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From The Socialist newspaper, 7 June 2007

Strikes show new mood

Nearly 150 drivers at the Tesco depot in Livingston, Scotland, are in dispute over the imposition of new contracts. These would mean losses of between 3,000 and 6,000 a year and de-recognition of their union when the depot is moved just 500 yards down the road. Drivers voted by 126 to 6 in a ballot to strike.

A second 24-hour walkout, planned for 5 June has been suspended. The TGWU section of Unite called it off after management offered to open talks.

This action and that of the Sunvic workers in Uddingston are important examples of a new mood beginning to emerge. On the one hand, employers are arbitrarily changing contracts and attempting to sack workers when they refuse to accept these changes without negotiation.

On the other hand, workers are prepared to take strike action and pull their union leadership into supporting it.

It is crucial that these workers receive widespread support from the whole labour and trade union movement. These aggressive attacks on workers' wages and conditions, if allowed to succeed, will only encourage other bosses. "An injury to one is an injury to all."

After ten weeks of strike action by the Sunvic workers, involving growing support from the Solidarity Party in the community, alongside activists in the FBU, management finally agreed to ACAS conciliation talks which lasted three days.

On Friday 1 June their union, Unite, called off a march and rally planned by the Sunvic workers for the following day.

When management finally accepted that any lay-offs proposed in the future would have to be subject to 'pendulum arbitration', the workers reluctantly accepted ACAS advice to return to work.

On 4 June at 7.30am, the workforce gathered outside the factory and returned to work united in their determination to resist any future attempts to undermine their contracts.

Similar support and community action which has been evident in the Livingston area may well result in a retreat by Tesco management.

Ray Gunnion, CWI Scotland

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In The Socialist 7 June 2007:

Labour cheats NHS

PFI - a licence to print money

Petition on NHS: Stop cuts and privatisations (word)


War and terrorism

Fight Brown's agenda of war, cuts & privatisation


Socialist Party workplace news

Postal workers fight closure

Coventry says 'keep our Post Office open'

CWU delegates attack link with Labour

Come to the Shop Stewards' Network conference

National Shop Stewards Network Founding conference

Ritzy - low-paid workers strike again


G8 Summit protests

80,000 demonstrate against the G8 summit

Activists with ideas


What we think

Drowning in an ocean of debt


Socialist Party feature

Young people: a bright future... or different shades of grey


International socialist news and analysis

Bolivia: Release Adam Ziemkowski

South Africa: Public sector workers in mass fightback

The Arab-Israel 1967 war: repression and bloodshed continues


Socialist Party news and analysis

Don't trust the Trust schools - organise!

Tony Blair "brings church into school"

Weekly bin collections AND recycling schemes

Black and Asian group: Socialist ideas to unite all workers

Take part in the 22-28 June Fighting Fund week of action

The fat cat and the 'cleaning lady'


Workplace news and analysis

Remploy management squander opportunities

Tesco strikes show new mood


 

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