Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/319/9723

From The Socialist newspaper, 18 October 2003

The Socialist: What we think

London Workers Lead Fight For A Living Wage

LONDON POSTAL workers will be joining UNISON members working for London councils on strike on 16 October. Workers from 32 London boroughs will be coming together with 30,000 Communication Workers' Union (CWU) members in a one-day strike for a 4,000 London weighting allowance.

We completely oppose any government plans for regional pay bargaining, which would divide worker against worker and region against region. But since the 1920s it has been accepted that the higher cost of living in the capital has to be taken into account in any national pay agreement.

A united battle of public-sector workers in London would enormously strengthen the battle to defend the public sector all over the country.

UNISON's dispute with the London council employers has dragged on since the first strike ballot in May 2002. The union recently rejected an offer of a 201 increase for the lowest paid, which was accepted by the TGWU and GMB unions. But in a recent consultative ballot of UNISON members, 80% voted for more strike action. This is 10% more than in the first strike ballot.

London council workers are clearly furious at the employers' intransigence, at the same time as they fritter away millions on consultants, agencies, privatisation and generous 'allowances' to senior councillors and council bosses.

They are prepared to fight for a living wage, as are postal workers, shown by the solid support for the last London postal workers' strike on 1 October.

These workers cannot afford to live in London on their current wages. Postal workers currently get a 3,282 allowance in inner London and 2,038 in outer London - the 'inner' and 'outer' distinction in itself is now completely out of date and can result in postal workers in an office on one side of a road earning 1,000 more than those in an office on the other side. The current allowance in London boroughs for local authority workers is between 1,500 and 2,850.

The Metropolitan Police get 6,000 in London allowances, plus free travel over a wide commuting distance.

Higher costs

Figures produced by the CWU indicate that the cost of living in inner London is about 4,500 per year more than the rest of the UK. The average cost of a house bought by first-time buyers in London is now over 175,000 - you would need to be earning over 58,000 a year to afford this.

A study by the Labour Research Department in 1998 found that private rents were 2,000 per year more in London than the overall average for England.

Water rates and council tax on a three-bedroom terrace house are 38% higher than the UK average. Childcare costs 30% more. London workers commute for 110 minutes a day on average - equivalent to an extra day's unpaid overtime every week.

So it is no wonder that postal and council workers are determined to attain their modest demands for 4,000 across the board. Already many jobs are left vacant because people cannot afford to take them.

The union leaderships' agreement to organise joint strike action is welcome and it has had an inspiring effect on many of the workers involved. But there are many other public sector workers struggling to get by in London, who would jump at the chance of a united battle for a decent London cost-of-living allowance.

Teachers, firefighters, college lecturers and college support staff are all already involved in disputes over their pay rates in London. Civil servants and London Underground workers are now considering action on this issue.

Vacancies for health care workers are at record levels - some London trusts have 30% fewer nurses than they need and survive on agency nurses. Pay is the key factor in not being able to recruit health care staff in London.

Different unions representing different groups of workers in the public sector are organising their own pay campaigns, but united action across the whole public sector would enormously strengthen these campaigns.

That is why the Socialist Party is campaigning for a delegate conference of all London public-sector unions, to organise joint action. This action should include a one-day London-wide public-sector strike and demonstration. Different unions have different claims but the minimum London allowance should not be less than 4,000.

New Labour has declared war on the public sector. United action in London is an important part of the fightback.

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


In The Socialist 18 October 2003:

United Action To End Low Pay

Save Our Health Service

London Workers Lead Fight For A Living Wage

Stand Together To Scrap The SATS


Socialist Party news and analysis

Can The Nasty Party Win Again?

Fighting Women's Oppression

Socialist Alliance Trade Union Convention


Comment

Apparently it's all my fault...


Socialist Party feature

More Jailings But Deeper Anger

Greater Dublin City Bin service shut down!

Anti Bin Tax Campaigns Thank Bin Workers; Call for End to Non-Collection and Jailings


War and occupation

Iraq's 'Liberation' Nightmare

Protest Against Warmonger Bush

Democracy And The Stop The War Coalition


Socialist Party Marxist analysis

World economy: Will There Be A Recovery?


Youth

ISR conference:

Stop Fees Now!


International socialist news and analysis

Bolivia: A Movement Of Insurrectionary Scale

California: Last Action Hero Will Let Down Voters

Nigeria: General Strike Suspended After Government Backs Down

Poland: An Explosion Of Class Struggle


 

Home   |   The Socialist 18 October 2003   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Public sector:

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

trianglePCS union says no to pay misery

triangleAfter the budget - unions must launch pay fight

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

trianglePay cap decisively rejected by PCS union members

London:

triangleTamil Solidarity AGM & public meeting

triangleBrutal rail privateer Abellio takes over Midlands rail services

triangleSocialism 2018

triangleSocialist Party national women's meeting

Strike:

triangleDriving examiners walkout hits first day of new test

triangleSchool staff strike against privatisation

triangleTeachers strike in Sheffield

Postal workers:

triangleRoyal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangleCWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

Pay:

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

Council:

triangleRough sleeping crisis: make homes, not arrests

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

7/12/17

RMT

Anti-DOO lobby of Liverpool's transport committee

7/12/17

Blacklisting

Unite protest against blacklisting

6/12/17

Donald Trump

Mobilise to stop bigoted billionaire Donald Trump's state visit to Britain

6/12/17

Transport

Arriva bus strikers stand firm

6/12/17

Pensions

BT pensions review - oppose the attacks on the pension schemes

6/12/17

PCS

Driving examiners walkout hits first day of new test

6/12/17

Newham

School staff strike against privatisation

6/12/17

Rail

Brutal rail privateer Abellio takes over Midlands rail services

6/12/17

PCS

PCS Left Unity celebrates 40th anniversary at annual conference

6/12/17

North Yorkshire

Court maintains injunction against fracking protesters

6/12/17

Waltham Forest

Waltham Forest Universal Credit protest

6/12/17

Coventry

Coventry Socialist sales hit 1,000

6/12/17

TUSC

TUSC conference to debate 2018 elections

6/12/17

Liverpool

Liverpool John Moores Uni landslide for Socialist Students

6/12/17

Kirklees

Plans to launch no-cuts campaign at Kirklees College

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


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

triangle8 Dec Local government pay: fight for the full 5% claim

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!

triangle30 Nov Dramatic retelling of Grunwick strike

More ...

triangle11 Dec Leeds Socialist Party: Campaigning workshop

triangle11 Dec Bristol North Socialist Party: Christmas Quiz

triangle12 Dec Birmingham South East Socialist Party: Can the Labour Party be changed?

triangle12 Dec Liverpool Socialist Party: Fighting council cuts

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