Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/25916
Posted on 1 August 2017 at 11:35 GMT
Rom steel strikers, August 2017, photo by A Tice (Click to enlarge)
Sheffield: Steel workers at Rom Ltd strike for a pay rise
No pay rise for ten years! That's why 18 steel fabricators in Sheffield are on strike for a rise. They are members of Community union and work for Rom Ltd, one of many companies owned by Spanish steel multinational Celsa.
They started a two week strike on Tuesday 25 July, and have a picket rota covering two gates from 6am to 6pm. There's only agency staff working and they don't know what they are doing without the contracted workers.
I talked to Chris, Keith, Brian and Andy on the picket line. Between them they have worked there for 136 years! They've never been on strike before, or not since the national steel strike in 1980.
Chris explained that when the economic crisis hit in 2007 the company said: "Don't come asking for a rise for the next two years, then another two years, etc".
As the placards say: "We helped Celsa"; but Celsa has kept taking advantage by eroding terms and conditions. Brian said: "They've even take our £15 Xmas voucher, £15!"
The strikers have just heard that workers at another Rom site in Newport who were going to ballot for industrial action have had an increased pay offer to 2%. They are sure it's because the bosses didn't want two sites coordinating strike action. This has only made them more determined and they will strike for another fortnight if Celsa doesn't shift.
This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 1 August 2017 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.
Donate to the Socialist Party
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.
- The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
- When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.
Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777
Email: [email protected]
Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206
Regional Socialist Party organisers:
Eastern: 079 8202 1969
East Mids: 077 3797 8057
London: 075 4018 9052
North East: 078 4114 4890
North West 079 5437 6096
South West: 077 5979 6478
Southern: 078 3368 1910
Wales: 077 7221 5281
West Mids: 024 7655 5620
Yorkshire: 078 0983 9793