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From The Socialist newspaper, 10 September 2008
London bus workers inspired by strike
The strike by First bus drivers in London on 29 August showed management that bus workers are serious about our claim for decent pay. Just as important, it's got bus workers in garage canteens across London saying: "about time too".
A London bus driver
Some garages don't even have proper canteens these days but it's definitely got us inspired. For the first time since the mid-1990s privatisation of London buses, widespread militant action seems on the cards across the capital.
Times have changed. Back in pre-privatisation London Transport days, if you failed your probation as a bus driver, they'd make you a conductor. And if you failed as a conductor, they'd put you on the Underground!
These days, tube workers are better paid than us, get better sick pay, more holidays and better conditions. It's not so much they've gone forward, but we've gone back.
Unite's London bus workers campaign is for £30,000 or 5% increase, whichever's most - across all bus firms operating for Transport for London.
This can be an important first step in rebuilding the united strength of bus workers. London bus workers working for different companies are currently balloting on equally dismal pay offers.
Together, we can confront this race to the bottom.
We say, don't give another penny to New Labour - the party that backs privatisation and bosses' attempts to keep down wages. We need a new workers' party.
We say return London buses to public ownership, but with democratic control. Take private profit out of public transport.
First and Metrobus workers will be on strike for 48 hours, starting on 12 September.
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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 10 September 2008:
Housing Crisis: Brown has no answers
War and occupation
End the wars and occupations
USA: Defying police, students walk out against the Republican national convention
Socialist Party editorial
US mortgage bank nationalisation - sign of deepening crisis
Scotland council tax to be scrapped
Scotland: Council pay battle at critical stage
Socialist Party workplace news
Workers' anger surfaces at TUC
London bus workers inspired by strike
Fighting for decent pensions
Come to Socialism 2008!
Socialist Party campaigns
May Day detainees fight for justice
No to post office closures
Boom to bust in Cardiff Bay
Fans pay for the success of the 'beautiful game'
Protest against harassment!
Fighting start to freshers fairs
Young workers ripped off
Bangor University students union fees referendum
Environment and socialism
Can we have 'the right to travel' - without adding to climate change?
Socialist Party review
Richard Dawkins: The genius of Charles Darwin, (Channel 4)
International socialist news and analysis
Thailand in grip of political deadlock
The Socialist 10 September 2008 |
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