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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.

Solid

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.

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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.
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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?


Socialist history

Hiroshima - 70 years on


International socialist news and analysis

China at a turning point


Workplace news

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


 

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Related links:

Hackney:

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: Northern Ireland - what lies ahead?

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: Eleanor Marx and new unionism

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: Young people - the struggles to come

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: How councils could set needs-based budgets

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: Rosa Luxembourg

Strike:

triangleReaders' comments

triangleLeicester University workers strike against redundancies

triangleEngineers in fourth week of strike action

triangleTV review: Mrs Thatcher vs the miners

Pay:

triangleSparks win victory!

triangleJohnson's G7 hypocrisy

triangleEnfield byelection: We need councillors prepared to resist

Workers:

triangleBooks that inspired me: The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists

triangleRedbridge school walkout over victimised union rep

East London:

triangleHundreds march to scrap Silvertown Tunnel project

Unite:

triangleLeft candidate needed for Unite general secretary election

Agency workers:

triangleGoodlord sacks strikers - fight the penny-pinching, bullying bosses!

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