Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/927/24034
From The Socialist newspaper, 30 November 2016
London Crossrail workers walk out
Socialist Party and NSSN supporters march with Crossrail workers photo Paula Mitchell (Click to enlarge)
Rob Williams, NSSN national chair
Hundreds of electricians walked off construction sites on the massive Crossrail job in London on 25 November demanding that management adhere to the Joint Industry Board (JIB) agreement on the payment of a second tier productivity bonus.
They protested outside Crossrail's head office, in the belly of the beast of capitalism itself, Canary Wharf. They then went en masse to the Oxford Street office of one of the major contractors - Laing O'Rourke/Crown House - near the Tottenham Court site.
Members of the Socialist Party and the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) supported the workers and suggested taking the demonstration inside the office, which saw the reception crammed with protesting electricians chanting "Crossrail pay up!" Workers found out afterwards that the Farringdon had been locked down by management because they thought they were next for a visit!
I spoke at the Oxford Street protest, reminding workers about the 2012 victory over the Besna contract that would have seen wages cut by 35% and this year's £75 million compensation won from bosses by blacklisted workers. I also called for the immediate reinstatement of the suspended Unite shop steward at the Bow site.
The stoppage was a timely warning as Unite launches a campaign of demands they want from Crossrail and the electrical contractors. A consultative industrial action ballot will start this week.
As well as the second tier payment, workers are calling for project-wide agreements on a safety committee, redundancy terms, stewards committee and full and unfettered access of union officers to workforce, and a working party on working hours.
As the trade union movement marks the fifth anniversary of the massive two million strong 30 November public sector pensions strike it also awaits the implementation of the Tory Trade Union Act. This action, along with the unofficial walkout of prison officers two weeks ago, is a sign of the potential power of the organised working-class!
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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.
The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.
The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.
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In The Socialist 30 November 2016:
Fight for workers' democracy in Cuba
Socialist Party news and analysis
Time to fight low pay
Hands off our NHS!
Hunger strikes, suicides - end detention now
Women bear 85% of benefit cuts
Fight to make letting agent fee ban reality
Hospital admissions for malnutrition rise threefold
Them & Us: Autumn Statement special!
What We Saw
What we think
Brexit spin: demand a real workers' exit
The housing crisis - a toxic issue for the Tories
Homelessness - capitalism is destroying people's lives
Fight the cuts - victims of domestic abuse depend on it
Workplace news and analysis
London Crossrail workers walk out
Durham teaching assistants determined to win
Strike action across London and South East rail network
Protest to demand pay rise for Sheffield
Young workers in Leeds socialise and mobilise at Unison young workers gig
The fight in Labour
Support the campaign to readmit expelled trade union militants
Conference to debate TUSC's role now and the 2017 elections
Labour Party branch votes for reselection
Southampton Labour councillors vote through more cuts
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Sheffield for sale!
Hands off HRI charts way forward
Reclaim the Night solidarity march
Repeal the 8th protest for abortion rights
Leicester playground protest
Socialist readers' comments and reviews
Readmit expelled socialists: a proven record of fighting back
The Socialist Inbox
International socialist news and analysis
Spain: militant struggle by Students Union succeeds
The Socialist 30 November 2016 |
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