Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/29991

Posted on 10 December 2019 at 17:31 GMT

Morrisons Pay Deal

ACAS sides with management - a missed opportunity to fight

Morrisons, photo Jim Barton/CC

Morrisons, photo Jim Barton/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Iain Dalton, Usdaw Broad Left chair

In May Morrisons workers stunned management by rejecting its pay offer, with over two thirds of members of Usdaw, the shop workers' union, voting against, which would have given a 30p increase on the basic rate of pay to £9 an hour.

At the same time, Morrisons was also replacing the service bonus (commonly known as the Christmas bonus), which management claimed was separate but many members and reps saw as being traded away for a relatively meagre pay rise (still below Sainsbury's who are on £9.20 an hour).

At the time, Socialist Party members advocated a strategy to build a campaign amongst the membership to win more from management - including a meeting of lay reps to discuss a strategy and a national lobby of Morrisons' headquarters. But instead of giving a lead, the Morrisons' national reps instead mistakenly opted for binding arbitration through conciliation service Acas without any such campaign.

Undoubtedly, comparisons may be drawn with the failure of the GMB union to successfully fight the imposition of 'Contract 6' in Asda. However, unlike in Morrisons, Asda workers at least had a campaign, including numerous store protests, and three national demonstrations outside Asda headquarters in Leeds.

Of course, in both situations the 50% turnout threshold for strike action under the latest Tory anti-union laws provides an obstacle, especially in sectors where strike ballots have been rare, let alone strike action.

In the case of the GMB, Socialist Party members argued that one approach could have been to take targeted action in stores with a higher union density or those that were more affected by the contract imposition, in order to build up momentum for a campaign.

Given the lack of a fight - even to the extent that the GMB had in Asda - then demoralisation over the imposition of the pay deal will be felt even deeper among Usdaw members and reps in Morrisons.

While the Usdaw Broad Left did win some important recent elections, including that of President when Socialist Party member Amy Murphy was elected, there is no left majority on the union's executive.

The 'partnership' approach of former Usdaw general secretary John Hannett led to a similar situation in Tesco, where national reps rejected a pay offer in 2014, only for the subsequent meeting to be presented with the same offer which Tesco was then allowed to impose.

As we commented at the time: "This is the reality of partnership - a dictatorship where Tesco says jump and Usdaw's leaders end up asking how high. The only way to have shifted Tesco would have been to have organised a campaign to force them to come back with a better offer."(Usdaw Activist Issue 52)

To help challenge this approach, the consolidation of the Broad Left throughout the union structures needs to take place. There has been an influx of increased support seen in increased attendance at the Broad Left annual general meetings, but this needs to be consolidated into networks of Broad Left supporters in the different companies Usdaw organises in, in order to campaign for a fighting strategy to be adopted in relation to future pay negotiations.

Donate to the Socialist Party

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 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.
  • 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.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 






Related links:

Morrisons:

triangleThousands of Tesco warehouse workers to strike

trianglePrivate equity takeover proposals - Usdaw needs to move to a war footing

triangleMorrisons - 10/hr headline hides divisive pay offer

triangleHigh street jobs, safety and pay: We have to fight

triangleWorkers need a 'new deal' - at least 12 an hour now!

Pay:

triangleRoyal Mail: Unofficial walkouts precede bigger battle to come on pay and workload

triangleBus driver Tracey Scholes reinstated at Go North West

triangleWorkplace news in brief

triangleSomers Forge workers continue pay strike

Usdaw:

triangleMax McGee victimisation - second appeal rejected

triangleTesco strike action latest

triangleTesco warehouse workers ballot for strike action

Union:

triangleSheffield Just Eat couriers speak about strike

triangleEmployers use vaccine excuse to attack sick pay

GMB:

triangleWest Mids metalworkers strike over pay

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

20/1/22

RMT

10,000 tube workers vote to strike

19/1/22

Pay

Scunthorpe scaffs resume indefinite strike action

19/1/22

South Yorkshire

S Yorks Stagecoach strike results in "huge pay win"

19/1/22

Sheffield

Sheffield Just Eat couriers speak about strike

19/1/22

Coventry

Coventry bin strike continues

19/1/22

Students

NUS walkout: Organise to fight for free education on 2 March

19/1/22

Police

Oliver Campbell - 31 years fighting for justice

19/1/22

Pay

Somers Forge workers continue pay strike

19/1/22

Strike

Workplace news in brief

19/1/22

Bus

Bus driver Tracey Scholes reinstated at Go North West

19/1/22

Royal Mail

Royal Mail: Unofficial walkouts precede bigger battle to come on pay and workload

19/1/22

Newham

Newham college strike solid against bully privatisers

19/1/22

Bradford

Pauline Wall memorial meeting

19/1/22

Socialist Students

Southampton uni ignores staff and students in exam farce

19/1/22

Protest

Demonstrating against the Tory anti-protest bill

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: [email protected]

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 077 7221 5281

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 078 0983 9793

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


January 2022

2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999