Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/555/6580
From The Socialist newspaper, 5 November 2008
Shipyard strike for fair wage
On 31 October, workers at Appledore shipyard in North Devon took part in the first of six days of strike action, which will continue every Friday and Monday after that up until 17 November.
Jim Lowe, North Devon Socialist Party
Every worker involved in shipbuilding was out, reflecting the anger at their treatment by owners Babcock Marine, and the strong union presence at the yard. Babcock Marine, who also own Devonport Dockyard, pay the workers much less at Appledore, and also do not provide them with a pensions representative or workplace nurse.
Wages in North Devon are lower than the average for Devon and nationally, and it seems Babcock Marine have been taking advantage of this for years to exploit the Appledore workers.
Extensive negotiations by the GMB and Unite representatives brought no significant concessions from Babcock Marine, and there has been no comment from the company on the strike action. However, Appledore workers are not known to shirk from a fight - the shipyard has been constantly threatened over the past thirty years, being nationalised by the then industry minister Tony Benn in the 1970s, and being taken over by the workers in 2003 when it was temporarily closed by the then owners.
Babcock Marine have threatened workers with closure in response to the strike action, even though they only ask to be paid at the same rate as their counterparts in Plymouth.
North Devon Socialist Party has expressed its support and solidarity for the industrial action. We also argue that the best way to safeguard the future of the shipyard for the workers and their families is to nationalise the yard and place it under the control of the workers.
They can develop a plan of production for ships for civilian use, as well as safeguard their own livelihoods, as part of a democratically planned and controlled economy locally, nationally and internationally.
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 5 November 2008:
Striking against low pay
Obama wins, neo-cons routed in US presidential elections
George Bush's toxic legacy
If Obama wins - Looking beyond the hope bubble
Socialist Party campaigns
Labour bashes lone parents
Canary Wharf: Low paid workers welcome socialist campaigners
Sri Lanka: Acting out oppression
Marxist analysis: history
1918 revolution: When German workers entered the stage of history
New Labour retreats on promises to students
Victory over Tory school closure plan
Austria: Socialist players suspended from football club for anti-fascist activities
Year 9 SATs abolished: Now get rid of the rest!
Republic of Ireland: Student fightback
Socialist Party workplace news
Liverpool City Council: Housing maintenance workers fight for jobs
Fighting for a socialist solution to the crisis in the car industry
Shipyard strike for fair wage
Striking for trade union rights
Turkish dockers fight workplace 'massacres'
The Socialist 5 November 2008 |
Join the Socialist