Socialist Party
| Print

20 February 2018

After 80 strike days Mears workers achieve victory

Becci Heagney, Manchester Socialist Party

The long-running Mears dispute has ended in victory! Workers voted to accept a deal which means an average pay rise of 22%, and parity of pay across the workforce and in line with others in Manchester.

It also involves the revoking of the 'sackers' charter' Mears was trying to bring in (to attack terms and conditions) and no changes to pensions and holiday pay which had also been planned.

After taking over 80 days of strike action, 180 workers at Mears have been able to go back to work with their heads held high.

One of the Unite stewards at Mears spoke to the Socialist:

"The average operative will receive a 22% pay rise going up to 27,000 and 28,000. Some painters and decorators who were on 19,500 per year are getting a massive 33% pay rise, their money was that low.

"The workers were TUPE transferred from Manchester City Council in 2006 who operated a bonus scheme, so that's why people were on different rates of pay.

"The workers were put on their average bonus before the TUPE and kept on this for nine years.

"The workers were constantly told there was no money in the pot. But just like Carillion, Mears were giving public cash to their shareholders and senior management in massive pay rises, while their workers, suppliers and subcontractors suffered.

"The resolve of the striking workers strengthened during the dispute, especially due to the underhand tactics deployed by the Mears account director and general manager.

"The workers received fantastic support from around the country. They had magnificent support locally from the Socialist media and Fujitsu workers who have their own ongoing battle."

This dispute shows, on the one hand, what is necessary in order to win - a programme of strike action coupled with protests and mobilisations, along with other striking workers, to put pressure on the council and management - and on the other hand, that it is possible to win significant pay rises when the workforce is united and prepared to fight.

This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 20 February 2018 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube


triangle20 Jun Save our NHS

triangle20 Jun Rolls Royce: fight all job cuts!

triangle20 Jun Desperate divisions in Tories - Corbyn and unions must act

triangle20 Jun 1000 issues of the Socialist: A vital weapon standing in proud...

triangle13 Jun No to Trump and Tory racism

triangle13 Jun Civil service pay strike ballot: vote yes!

triangle13 Jun How can we fight for trade unions that fight for women?

More ...


triangle23 Jun Tower Hamlets Socialist Party: Karl Marx walk

triangle26 Jun Manchester Socialist Party: Who are the 'alt-right' and how do we stop them?

triangle27 Jun Harrogate NSSN: Fight austerity in Harrogate

triangle27 Jun Salford Socialist Party: The abortion rights victory in Ireland


Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551


What we Stand For

About the Socialist Party

Our 2015 election manifesto

Joining the Socialist Party - what will it mean for you


Alphabetical listing

June 2018

May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018