Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1042/29116
The Socialist 15 May 2019 |
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Newham gas workers' strike threat beats Labour council cuts
Newham gas safety and housing maintenance workers protesting ahead of threatened strike action, 3.5.19, photo Ian Pattison (Click to enlarge)
Newham's Labour council had unilaterally withdrawn call-out payments from gas safety managers. But the east London borough backed down on the eve of strike action.
General union Unite had heard these promises before. So the union waited until the money was in the workers' bank accounts before calling off the strike.
Key to victory was the workers' determination to take action, supported by solidarity from their workmates.
One week before the strike, the managers protested outside their workplace. They were joined by over 30 of their colleagues - housing repair workers - who are also balloting for strike action against pay cuts.
Newham refuse workers, also organised by Unite, could strike as well in a dispute over the grading of their jobs. The council could have stolen over £20,000 from each of them in the last decade.
Determined action by the housing and bin workers can bring them victory. Just like it has for the gas managers this year - and Newham school workers fighting against becoming privately run 'academies' last year, led by Socialist Party member and National Education Union branch secretary Louise Cuffaro.
Ian Pattison, East London Socialist Party