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From The Socialist newspaper, 17 September 2008
Pickets cheer in West London
At 7.45 am, Socialist Party members in west London went down to Westbourne Park bus garage to show solidarity with the First bus drivers on strike for better pay. Over 150 pickets thronged the pavement outside the garage in a confident mood.
Kevin Simpson, West London Socialist Party
One of them said: "This is about showing management that we have power and we will use it to make them listen to us." As he said this yet another car driver hooted their support and all 150 cheered in unison.
As we walked up to the picket line, one of the drivers who was on the megaphone immediately asked one of us, who is a Shelter housing charity worker, to speak to the strikers. They all stopped talking and gathered round when they heard about the Shelter strike against pay cuts and downgrading. Strikers cheered to hear that other workers in struggle were sending solidarity greetings to the bus workers.
Strikers told us that they were angry that at a time when fuel bills are climbing upwards every day, management are telling them to tighten their belts while loosening their own.
"Their wages aren't cut - they just keep on going up", said one striker. The strikers explained that only seven buses had gone out of the garage - out of 900 that normally work from there. As we stood there we heard that one of the drivers had been assaulted by an angry member of the public who had not known about the strike.
By the end of the day none of the buses were working.
It was clear that bus drivers at this garage will go on strike again if they have to - they aren't in the mood to give up now.
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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.
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In The Socialist 17 September 2008:
It's time to fight back!
Socialist Party editorial
Capitalist crisis - Karl Marx was right
No to racism: Yes to decent jobs, homes & services!
Socialist Party campaigns
Socialist candidate gains 40% of vote, stuns Usdaw leaders
Conflict in Georgia - independent position needed
Brown's feeble fuel package
Labour Party conference protest
Protest at war and occupation
Welcome to the real Manchester
Fighting city needs a fighting party
Panicky MPs turn on Labour
Privatisation and closure
No to post office closures
Protesters tackle Metro privatisation
Socialist Party feature
Middle East: End imperialist aggression!
Socialist Party workplace news
London bus strike: "Showing them our power"
Pickets cheer in West London
Ford workers meet to defend jobs
Journalists win union recognition victory
2008 Trades Union Congress: Pressure from below begins to show
Swansea rail workers fighting for a living wage
International socialist news and analysis
Interview with Cindy Sheehan: "Some kind of populist uprising needs to happen"
Scotland: Tactical questions for local government pay battle
Socialist Party review
'Bob Marley' reviewed by Jason Toynbee
The Socialist 17 September 2008 |
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