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From The Socialist newspaper, 10 October 2018
Another first: pub strike victory in south London!
Ivy House pub strikers and supporters on the picket line, 30.9.18, photo by Ivy House Union (Click to enlarge)
Bill Mullins, Lewisham and Southwark Socialist Party
Striking workers at the Ivy House pub in Nunhead, south London, have won all their demands after three days of stoppage. Lewisham and Southwark Socialist Party heard from one of the strikers at our branch meeting.
The strike achieved reinstatement of four sacked workers, recognition of their trade union BFAWU, and fixed minimum hours to replace zero-hour contracts. It also forced bosses to introduce a proper appeals procedure for future disciplinaries, and an elected staff representative on the management board.
At one stage, bosses called the police to try to take keys off the undermanager who was supporting strikers on the picket line. But when strikers pointed out the property had to have a designated keyholder, and that was the undermanager, the police backed off and said it was "a civil matter."
The pub - as its signboard outside proudly says - is "community owned." But that did not stop bosses sacking four workers - with no notice, because they were on zero hours.
This was a deliberate attempt to prevent trade union recognition. Workers had been trying for a number of years to get official status for their union, but had been rebuffed continually.
The picket line on 30 September was widely supported, including by the Socialist Party. Many had spent the previous night making their own banners which they draped over the front of the pub.
All the time the pub was unable to function, despite attempts to bring in strike-breaking labour. Supporters told pickets they had been offered jobs but refused when they found out about the strike.
The 'offers' by management throughout the three days were continually rejected by workers. Management was forced to negotiate with a delegation of the strikers and supporters throughout 30 September, the last day of the strike, and on into 2 October.
This strike has many lessons. But it was the presence of politicised workers, including a Socialist Party member, who had worked away behind the scenes for a long time, which helped other workers gain the confidence to stand up and fight.
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In The Socialist 10 October 2018:
What we think
Tories' crisis conference - Corbyn must fight for general election
Workplace news and analysis
We need democratic, rank-and-file leadership to win national UCU disputes
First coordinated catering and courier strike whets workers' appetite for action
Another first: pub strike victory in south London!
Cable makers strike against real-terms pay cut
Strike raises pay at Liverpool airport
South Western rail guards hit 18 strike days
Socialist Party news and analysis
Fight the right
12 years to halt irreversible climate disaster. Capitalism's time is up
8,000 Glasgow workers plan historic mass strike
Super-rich flee to Monaco to evade Corbyn
Workers in UK do £1.2trn of unpaid housework and care
Workers' action wins Amazon pay rise
Them & Us
Fight racism: fight for jobs, homes and services for all
25 years since 50,000 marched against the far-right threat
International socialist news and analysis
Polarisation, risks and resistance in Brazilian elections
Mexico: socialists violently attacked by gangs - urgent solidarity needed
Ireland: 10,000 march for homes in Dublin
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Liverpool 47 plaque: "Better to break the law, than break the poor"
Palestinian solidarity: "We are not victims. We are freedom fighters."
Leicestershire: stop the cuts to our hospital services
Save Huddersfield Royal Infirmary - the fight goes on
Finance - a crucial component of socialist campaigns
The murky world of the 'Big Four' accountancy firms
The Socialist Inbox
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