Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/694/13151
Sparks battle pay cuts
Emboldened by the construction electricians' protest in London on 10 November, around 200 sparks turned up at Corus Steel on Teesside on 14 November. Both Corus gates were obstructed and traffic tailed back for a couple of miles from the entrances. Other workers walked out in solidarity at the Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station site in Nottinghamshire.
As the 35% pay cut for these workers looms, the protesters are taking on a more serious stance. The police 'lifted' one of the protesters for handing leaflets to workers entering the site. Immediately the electricians surged onto the road, blocking all the traffic. It was demanded that she was released - the police promised she would be released without charge - which she was.
A cheer went up when it was announced that no sparks had gone into work. Many of them, seeing their workmates blocking traffic, turned their cars around, tooting their horns in support of the protest.
Other workers driving onto the site, who aren't affected by these attacks, made a point of driving slow to further hold up traffic.
The next "dawn Corus" has already been organised for 16 November at 6.30am.
- Unite opened the ballot of 1,000 workers at Balfour Beatty BBES on 14 November. Counting should be finished by 28 November, meaning strike action could begin on 7 December.
In The Socialist 16 November 2011:
Fighting the cuts
Socialist Party workplace news
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
The Socialist - Readers' comments