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Strike saves jobs at Fiddlers Ferry
Two days of solid 'unofficial' strike action won back 65 jobs for electricians on the Fiddlers' Ferry power station site, Merseyside. The site was shut down as workers of all other trades refused to cross the electricians' picket line.
Plunging profits for the big construction companies means sub-contractors and agencies are going unpaid. These smaller organisations supply workers on most construction sites, and if they go unpaid then workers lose their jobs.
The BMS agency supplying electricians to the strongly unionised Fiddlers' Ferry site laid off 65 electricians on 14 November after not being paid by the big companies.
From Monday 17 November, the sacked workers picketed the power station. Workers of all other construction trades refused to cross the picket line.
A striking worker told me: "There must be only 10 or 15 working on a site that should have 600-700 working on it". By Tuesday night the strike had forced the workers' reinstatement.
Fiddlers' Ferry is one example of what is happening across the country. As profits fall in the recession, workers are hit with job losses, pay cuts, short-time working, and so on.
This victory should be held up by the trade union movement as an example of decisive strike action, with the active support of an organised workforce, cutting across the rising tide of unemployment.
In The Socialist 26 November 2008:
Socialist Party NHS campaign
Environment and socialism
Socialist Party editorial
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party campaigns
Socialist Party feature
Socialist Party women
International socialist news and analysis