Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/467/1906
Leeds workers on strike to defend pensions
MONDAY 11 December. Chaos in Leeds. Traffic jams all over the place. A 24-hour strike by 1,000 First bus drivers brought the city to a halt.
Transport union (TGWU) members are striking against attacks on their company pension scheme. First bosses have axed their final salary pension scheme in most other divisions of the company around the country, replacing it with a worse index-linked one. But Leeds drivers are holding out. The strike was solid at all three garages with only a makeshift team of managers, supervisors and one non-union scab driving just 17 buses!
All three garages were solid. This was an impressive display of solidarity as some of the senior drivers are not affected.
They are still in the old local authority pension scheme, since before privatisation.
25 pickets braved the weather at the Cherry Tree garage at Mabgate which Socialist Party members visited. More than one driver told me: "What a government! Never thought Labour could be so bad."
Further strikes are planned for 23-24 December. There's only one winner of the Scrooge boss of the year award if First don't back off. They won't be getting any seasonal cheer from drivers or Christmas shoppers.
In The Socialist 15 December 2006:
War and terrorism
Violence against women
Workplace news and analysis
Socialist Party Marxist analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party news and analysis
The Socialist Xmas quiz