Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/243/24897

From The Socialist newspaper, 1 March 2002

A NUMBER of trade unions have held strike ballots recently, which have resulted in big majorities for strike action. Outside localised battles by council workers, the rail unions have been at the forefront of this so far but other workers are moving into struggle. The Socialist reports on some of the major disputes.

Striking Against Low Pay On The Rail

GUARDS WORKING for Arriva Trains Northern are striking on 1/2 March as pay talks with the company have broken down. This time they will be joined by members of the Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA), also striking over pay.

Craig Johnston from the guards' union RMT, spoke to The Socialist:

"Arriva Trains Northern have got particularly vicious this week. They've arbitrarily decided to smash their own rostering agreements to cut overtime payments.

"If anything that's made the staff more angry.

"Arriva's position is we can have a 3% pay increase but we won't settle for just 3% in a million years. We're the only ones who've moved at all in this dispute, Arriva haven't. And we're not moving any further because our members won't allow it.

"The strike will be solid again from Cleethorpes to Carlisle and from Newcastle to Manchester. And we've another strike organised in four weeks."


Scotrail

SCOTRAIL DRIVERS, members of ASLEF and RMT, have voted overwhelmingly to strike on four days in March.

The drivers are claiming a 'substantial' pay rise from their basic of 23,000, in line with rates paid to drivers working for other companies who are paid around 28,000.

An extra 5,000 per year would work out at a 22% rise but Scotrail have offered 3% with a further 13.5% dependent on 'productivity initiatives to make the deal self-financing.'

Low pay has already caused a severe driver shortage at Scotrail. Services have been cut by 50% across the network when drivers have refused to work their rest days.


Postal Workers Call For Strike Now

POSTAL WORKERS voted by a 64% majority to strike over pay. The Post Office's latest offer is a derisory 2.1% across the board, still with strings attached. The union has set up a strike committee but no strike days have been announced.

In the meantime the Post Office, now Consignia, are preparing the announcement of some 'radical solutions' to their plight of losing 1.5 million a day, which will worsen with the hiving off of the lucrative business mail.

According to the new chairman Alan Leighton, these radical plans include the possibility of changing the name back to 'Post Office'. Leighton is also quoted as saying there should be a pay freeze. Presumably not on his wages though.

An Edinburgh postal worker told The Socialist:

"Negotiations are proceeding very slowly. Workers want to take action but they're just waiting in frustration. The ballot result was near enough 2:1 for a strike.

"But the pay issue has now been overtaken by the privatisation issue. Thousands of jobs are under threat and workers are worried.

"The trade union strike committee should invoke the strike ballot majority and call a strike now."


Tube Drivers Strike

DRIVERS ON London Underground are furious that management are trying to renege on an agreement made in October. RMT and ASLEF train drivers have voted by nearly nine to one and five to one respectively for strike action.

A tube driver

The unions have called two 48-hour strikes from noon on 5 March until noon on 7 March and from noon on 26 March until noon on 28 March, thereby crippling the service for three days. As the two unions are working together there is no doubt that the strike will be solid and no trains will run.

Train drivers were meant to get a 5.7% increase phased in between April and October 2002. The timetable for this should have been announced by the end of 2001.

Management agreed to implement an independent mediators' recommendation to correct an anomaly between the pay of tube drivers who drive trains in passenger service and those who drive trains carrying engineering equipment. In order to get the full amount the unions agreed to four changes to working conditions.

Now management are saying that they will offer 1.7% in April, a further 1.7% in October depending on the union accepting a package of strings and between 1.3% and 2.3% in January 2003 if it can be self-financed through further productivity.

But the new proposals are totally unacceptable. These include part-time drivers, extended running until 3:30am when necessary, all night running for special events and changes to annual leave.

Drivers are also threatened with a ban on participating in sports such as football and rugby because management believe that drivers take too much time off work with sports injuries!

Many of these proposals affect all grades and should not even be discussed as part of a train driver's claim.

When we were striking for the 35-hour week in 1995 and 1996, the then ASLEF leadership agreed we should pay for reduced hours through below-inflation pay rises for three years. This was after tube workers' pay had been eroded through several years of lousy pay deals.

Other groups of workers have won the 35-hour week without suffering reduced pay, including the transplant (engineering) drivers.

This is not about differentials, as the press are saying but to resolve this anomaly.

We should now fight for the 35-hour week for all grades, to put all tube workers back on the same conditions, without strings. The aim should be for a unified annual pay and conditions claim for all underground workers.

ASLEF and RMT branches should hold joint depot meetings to explain to the members how the noon to noon strikes will work and to cement unity for the future.

STOP PRESS: LUL mangement have made substantial concessions to the tube train drivers negotiators. The planned strike action has now been halted.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 1 March 2002:

NHS Crisis

No More War

Striking Against Low Pay On The Rail

Strike back at privateers

Students March Against Funding Nightmare

Bush Drives Tank Through Social Spending

Divisions open up in Israeli society


 

Home   |   The Socialist 1 March 2002   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Low pay:

triangleBosses say 217 years to close pay gap - workers' struggle can close it now!

triangleMixed-fleet workers show strikes get results

triangleYoung people being strangled by debts

triangleWorkplace news in brief

Rail:

triangleBrutal rail privateer Abellio takes over Midlands rail services

triangleNationalise rail now

triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleStrike wave continues

Pay:

triangleRetail sector crunch: nationalise to save jobs

triangleLocal government pay: fight for the 5% claim, fully funded

triangleDemonstrations by uni students and staff greet Bath vice-chancellor resignation

Strike:

triangle110 years ago: massacre at Santa Maria school in Chile - commemorate 21 December 1907

triangleThe Socialist's 2017 quiz

Workers:

triangleSupport the Crossrail Woolwich walkout

Drivers:

triangleArriva bus strikers stand firm

RMT:

triangleAnti-DOO lobby of Liverpool's transport committee

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

13/12/17

Housing

Two in five 'right to buy' homes now for let

13/12/17

NHS

Save our NHS

13/12/17

Labour

Labour 'purge' furore really just democracy

13/12/17

Brexit

Brexit deal no solution to Tory rifts

13/12/17

Them & Us

Them & Us

13/12/17

Fees

Uni market 'failure', two-year degrees - end cuts, scrap fees!

13/12/17

Retail

Retail sector crunch: nationalise to save jobs

8/12/17

Government

Local government pay: fight for the 5% claim, fully funded

6/12/17

Labour

Corbyn's Labour can defeat Tories with socialist programme

6/12/17

NHS

Branson sues NHS: kick out the profiteers

6/12/17

Immigration

Royal wedding exposes them-and-us visa system

6/12/17

Banks

RBS to sack 1,000: nationalise the banks

6/12/17

Homelessness

Rough sleeping crisis: make homes, not arrests

6/12/17

Poverty

End Tory war on poor

6/12/17

Rail

Nationalise rail now

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle13 Dec Support the Crossrail Woolwich walkout

triangle8 Dec Local government pay: fight for the 5% claim, fully funded

triangle6 Dec Strikers rally in Liverpool

triangle6 Dec Corbyn's Labour can defeat Tories with socialist programme

triangle5 Dec Victory at Glenfield shows people power can save our NHS

triangle5 Dec Labour council Blairites deselected

triangle30 Nov Victory: Glenfield Children's Heart Centre saved!

More ...

triangle13 Dec Caerphilly Socialist Party: Are we heading for an era of war?

triangle14 Dec Wakefield Socialist Party: Universal Credit - the Tories' latest assault on the poor

triangle18 Dec Leeds Socialist Party: Religion and Socialism

triangle19 Dec Bristol North Socialist Party: Christmas social

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2