Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1022/28405
From The Socialist newspaper, 12 December 2018
Strike action saves jobs at Cammell Laird shipyard
Merseyside Cammell Lairds shipbuilding workers walk out, 23.11.18, photo Hugh Caffrey (Click to enlarge)
Jack Yarlett, Wirral Socialist Party
The planned 291 redundancies at Birkenhead's Cammell Laird shipyard have been put on hold following 13 days of strike action by workers starting on 26 November.
The redundancies were announced just weeks before Christmas in spite of £621 million worth of upcoming contracts for the company. Unions feared that the sacked employees would be replaced with low-paid agency workers. But bosses have been forced to climb down and come to the negotiating table.The strikes have been temporarily suspended.
It is no wonder the strike has had such an effect. It's been rock solid from the start. Support for the strike among workers was overwhelming and picket lines were jam-packed with both Cammell Laird workers as well as those who had joined to show their support, including Socialist Party members.
Delivery trucks turned around at the gates to show solidarity. Just one week after walking out, Cammell Laird workers had already voted to double the length of the strike action.
As Unite the Union official Ross Quinn said: "The solidarity with Cammell Laird workers is overwhelming, the only people who don't seem to want to save the jobs are the management. The GMB and Unite union members voted to further the strike after management started attacking them for exercising their basic human right to withdraw their labour."
Cammell Laird boss John Syvret complained after just a matter of days that the strike had cost the company up to £1.5 million and later attacked the strikers by claiming they were "pandering to negative stereotypes of Merseyside", remarks for which he was later forced to apologise for through gritted teeth.
A benefit gig at the Marine Street social in New Brighton to raise money for the strike fund on 7 December was turned into an impromptu celebration of this temporary victory.
Given the overwhelming support for the strike action and opposition to redundancies among the workforce and the local community, and the fact that the redundancies have been pushed back, workers have good reason to be confident that the redundancies can be beaten completely.
We will be following negotiations closely and we will be on hand to lend our support should strike action resume.
This win should be a boost to all workers and trade unionists and it is a great example of what can be done when workers organise and fight back to turn the tide of casualisation.
Donate to the Socialist Party
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.
- Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
- 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 special coronavirus appeal.
In The Socialist 12 December 2018:
What we think
Tory chaos reaches fever pitch
National Union of Students faces bankruptcy
Tories' NHS cash insult - mass action can save our NHS
Cuts and NHS crisis result in 'excess' elderly deaths
Corbyn supporter wins Welsh Labour leadership
Worldwide threat to journalists at worst for ten years
Universal Credit Christmas misery
Tommy Robinson's rich backers
Strike action saves jobs at Cammell Laird shipyard
Select Chris Baugh as Left Unity AGS candidate
Spontaneous hull walkouts stick two fingers up at Tory anti-trade union laws
Hull council workers fight to protect sick pay
Veolia waste workers vote for action in Cheshire
Workplace news in brief
France in revolt
John Maclean - revolutionary fighter of the working class
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Women's Lives Matter national meeting - a determination to fight cuts to domestic violence services
'Stansted 15' - outrageous guilty verdict
Socialist Students LJMU victory
Jobs and homes not racism - kick the Tories out!
Give us a bumper Christmas cash boost!
New twist in Derby TUSC election agent case
Obituary - Beth Roper (1990-2018) - comrade, friend and fighter
The Socialist quiz of 2018
The Socialist 12 December 2018 |
Join the Socialist
| Audio | PDF | ebook