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From The Socialist newspaper, 19 April 2017

Workers sailing to victory on Woolwich ferry

Woolwich ferry photo BL2002/CC

Woolwich ferry photo BL2002/CC   (Click to enlarge)

A Unite member

Unite and GMB trade union members employed by Briggs Marine on the Woolwich Ferry have scored another win in their battle to improve conditions and fight bullying and harassment.

Workers have taken two days of strike action so far to protest against appalling health and safety failures, sexual harassment and union victimisation.

The strike action had already secured the suspension of one manager, several investigations and also the installation of a temporary management structure to oversee the local management team after workers made clear that they no longer had trust and confidence in local managers.

Further strike action was planned on 18 April 2017 but prior to the action commencing, the employer announced that the senior manager on site is 'moving on' and that there will be a new wider management team with staff able to put themselves forward.

The union will be demanding that these positions should be filled via an election of the workforce. While this is not strictly workers' control, it is certainly an example of what can be achieved right now!

The next planned action has therefore been suspended but only on the basis that discussion continues on a list of other grievances. As we go to press, the action for 21 April is still on.

These workers are a shining example. A large majority male workforce has been willing to stand shoulder to shoulder with a woman union member who faced the most disgusting sexual harassment, while at the same time building a campaign that poses the question of who controls the workplace.

The fact that the action has led to the removal of the most senior manager means that a victory has already been won - now the campaign will build on this to maximise that victory.

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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.

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In The Socialist 19 April 2017:


What we think

Defeat the millionaires' Tory government


Socialist Party news and analysis

900 carers quit a day - nationalise social care now

Fight the Sun's bigoted lies

Benefits workers oppose 'rape clause' and two-child limit

Joint struggle can stop tuition fee interest hike

Them & Us


Jobstown Not Guilty

Protest is not a crime: back Jobstown Not Guilty


Save our NHS

What kind of movement is needed to save our NHS?


International socialist news and analysis

Trump escalates geopolitical tensions on Korean peninsula

Turkey: constitutional referendum result a pyrrhic victory for Erdogan

French presidential election: Mélenchon campaign gains momentum

Relaunch of socialistworld.net


Workplace news and analysis

CWU conference: fight Royal Mail pension attack

Workers sailing to victory on Woolwich ferry

PCS ballot papers out: vote Democracy Alliance

Weapons workers continue pension strike

Mood for a fightback at education conferences

Picturehouse cinema strike spreads

National Shop Stewards Network conference 2017


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Mass movements, not 'fringe cultures', can win feminist change

Buses and buggies: a driver speaks

The Socialist inbox


Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

TUSC backs RMT Save Our Guards campaign, while local Labour Party blocks debate

Energetic start to TUSC local election campaigning

Doncaster mayoral election: Socialist Steve campaign diary

TUSC council candidate vows never to go to the 'dark side'!


 

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