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From The Socialist newspaper, 30 August 2017

Bron Afon housing workers step up strike

Bron Afon picket line, photo Dave Reid

Bron Afon picket line, photo Dave Reid   (Click to enlarge)

Support workers at Bron Afon Community Housing in Cwmbran, south Wales, have begun their second five-day strike in as many weeks, as the Unison members escalate their action to send a message to management that 3,000 pay cuts will not be accepted lying down.

Strikers have been boosted by visitors from other trade unions and trade union councils, and by messages of support from service users - one who said she "owed her life" to the workers.

Jeremy Corbyn too has urged management to "direct all their energy" to resolve the dispute. Some of the strikers were so moved by all the support they were weeping!

One worker told the Socialist: "The pay cuts are bad enough, but they also want to take us out of collective bargaining and give us spot salaries, so we're no longer entitled to any incremental pay increases. It's obvious to us, and increasingly obvious to the rest of the staff, that Bron Afon plans to do the same to other workers if they get away with it."

No doubt other third-sector organisations will jump on the bandwagon if it appears to be picking up momentum. That's why broadening the action makes sense. Bringing more workers out on strike would terrify management.

But although Bron Afon is a severe case of cuts to workers' living standards, its far from the only one. If other outsourced and council workers were inspired to follow the lead shown by those at Bron Afon, a movement could be built to end the relentless driving down of our pay and living standards.


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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 August 2017:


Socialist Party news and analysis

McStrike against low pay

School spend is behind eastern Europe

May's lies about foreign students exposed

Landlord licensing under threat - fight back

Corbyn confirms 1bn for the arts


What we think

Reject Starmer's Single Market u-turn


Workplace news and analysis

Barts health workers' strike: pay up Serco!

Ford workers vote for action - the fight is on

BT attack on pension benefits

Bron Afon housing workers step up strike

Unite takes legal action against Argos


International socialist news and analysis

China: debt crisis, state repression and the prospects for workers' struggle

Hong Kong: mass demonstration against repression

Where is Scotland going?


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Chatsworth workers and patients fight to save ward

Campaigners fight second Yorkshire Women's Aid closure in two years

Community and artists campaign to save Todmorden College

Orgreave campaign calls Halloween rally


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Should you be furious about 'furious cycling'?

Catchy folk rock with a socialist edge

The Socialist inbox


 

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