Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/866/21178
From The Socialist newspaper, 5 August 2015
Traffic wardens strike for sick pay
Chris Newby, London Socialist Party
With union banners waving, traffic wardens in Hackney, east London, began day one of a 48-hour walkout on 3 August. Members of general union Unite working for APCOA Parking are striking for proper sick pay and a decent raise.
For all these workers, this is the first strike they have ever been on. Sick pay is a critical issue for parking inspectors. Many have to work ten hours a day, out in all weathers, with only a one-hour break. They also suffer frequent abuse and assaults. Currently, they are paid only the statutory minimum.
Strikers are also angry at Hackney council, which gave the contract to APCOA Parking. Hackney is a Living Wage employer, yet workers are not getting a decent pay rise.
As a result of the union's determined stand, membership has reached over 90% of directly employed staff and up to 20% of agency workers. In the ballot, 100% voted to walk out. Still management completely underestimated workers' determination, thinking only a few would strike.
Yet the stoppage is solid. Over 20 pickets were in a very determined mood, and running a very lively picket line. Even an agency worker who could face losing their job as a result of coming out was on the picket. This worker bought two copies of the Socialist.
One manager, normally all smiles, had a face like thunder when he saw the size of the line.
Socialist Party members visiting the picket line got a very warm response. All pickets took a leaflet for the National Shop Stewards Network lobby of TUC congress on 13 September.
Donate to the Socialist Party
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.
- When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.
In The Socialist 5 August 2015:
Socialist Party news and analysis
Jeremy Corbyn: Thousands rally to anti-austerity appeal
Health trusts told 'don't fill posts' - stop NHS cuts!
Abolish the House of Lords!
Police spying: campaigners demand full disclosure
Fiddling finance capital in the dock
Rent hikes make housing unaffordable
Them & Us
Socialist Party features
Human tragedy of Calais crisis
Personal care budgets: more choice for service users?
Hiroshima - 70 years on
International socialist news and analysis
China at a turning point
Kill the bill! Join the NSSN lobby of the TUC
National Gallery strike: all-out art action
Rail shutdowns step up: second tube strike, 72-hour Great Western walkout
National Museum Wales strike against pay cut
Traffic wardens strike for sick pay
Workplace news in brief
Fighting the anti-union laws
Socialist Party comments and reviews
Bath: behind the elegant walls
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Campaigning to end the housing crisis
Lincoln demonstrators defy far-right threats
TUSC lobbies 'Labstainer'
Thousands gather at Leeds Pride
Socialist Party Summer Camp
The Socialist 5 August 2015 |
Join the Socialist
| PDF | ebook