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Posted on 10 September 2012 at 10:56 GMT

Protest picket at MHH Contracting, Sheffield

Protest picket at MHH Contracting, Sheffield   (Click to enlarge)

Sheffield Socialist Party pickets strike-breaking facility

So Mr Jack Scott, Labour council cabinet member responsible for waste (mis) management in Sheffield, how much council taxpayers' money did you waste this weekend on your strike breaking operation?

Sheffield Labour council authorised a private haulage and waste company, MHH Contracting, to open its facility to the public and advertised it on the council website to try to break the effectiveness of another two days of strike action by GMB recycling workers.

Talks broke down on Friday when the GMB refused to suspend the weekend strike and the latest "offer" was withdrawn.

So 30-odd workers still face the prospect, in three weeks time, of being reduced to 23 hours a week on the minimum wage for the six winter months.

This is the result of Labour council cuts and a privatised waste management service run by Veolia which has further subcontracted the Dump-it sites to Sova Recycling Ltd.

On hearing of this scabbing operation, with the support of the strikers, Socialist Party members organised a protest picket at MHH Contracting on Saturday morning.

We intended to ask the public not to use the strike-breaking facility. However in the two hours we were there, a total of one single car took waste in.

But it took two MHH staff, two Veolia staff, two police officers, one inspector and two community support officers to make sure that seven Socialist Party members didn't cause a breach of the peace!

The strikers are incensed that councillor Jack Scott had organised this strike-breaking operation as talks were taking place.

But they are grateful for the consistent support from the Socialist Party. Gordon, one of the Sova shop stewards texted: "Top job today pal, fanx a mill 4 that, wish we cud have bin with ya...........cheers pal, say fanx to all your crew".

Alistair Tice

This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 10 September 2012 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
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