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From: The Socialist issue 1069, 15 January 2020: Low Pay, Long Hours. Bosses rip us off. Organise the fightback now!

Search site for keywords: Strike - Pay - Workers - Union

Westex Carpet strike reaches two month mark

Picket line on 14 January, photo Bradford Socialist Party

Picket line on 14 January, photo Bradford Socialist Party   (Click to enlarge)

Iain Dalton, West Yorkshire Socialist Party organiser

Members of Unite the Union at the Westex Carpets factory in Cleckheaton, west Yorkshire, are about to reach the two month mark in their ongoing dispute over pay.

The strike began on 20 November after workers rejected a minimal pay rise which was then withdrawn by the company. It has since refused further dialogue.

Dave, shop steward at the factory told us: "The company are sourcing yarn from an outside company to bypass a large part of the production process, and have now started to employ staff to fill in the gaps left by the members on strike.

"This, however, has not diminished the resolve of the workers on strike and we remain resolute in our goal of seeking a fair and just pay increase."

The wider trade union movement must be mobilised in support of the strikers. One way of increasing the profile of the dispute would be to organise a march and rally in support of them.

In the meantime, trade unionists should keep donations coming into the strike fund:

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.

Please donate here.

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