Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/982/26872
From The Socialist newspaper, 14 February 2018
Woolwich Crossrail walkouts demand promised bonuses
Woolwich Crossrail walkout, photo Rob Williams (Click to enlarge)
Paul Callanan, Greenwich and Bexley Socialist Party
76 electricians on the Crossrail construction site have been taking part in industrial action. The construction company Balfour Beatty has ceased paying workers a finishing bonus. This payment is standard across the industry and is to be made in the event of redundancy.
The bonus is vital as all of the electricians on the site come from outside of London. They have all had to arrange temporary accommodation while working on the project. Without the bonus they all risk getting into financial difficulties when they give notice to their landlords.
Having already taken three days of strike action, workers will be coming out again on 14 and 21 February.
Workers on the Crossrail project have faced one attack after another. Last year workers at the Tottenham Court Road site took action after their bonuses were stopped. The project is also well known for its victimisation of trade union activists.
Balfour Beatty was found to be knee-deep in the blacklisting scandal. They were one of eight companies forced to collectively pay an estimated £75 million in compensation to workers excluded from construction projects because of their trade union activity.
Crossrail is the biggest taxpayer-funded construction project in Western Europe. Yet for contractors like Balfour Beatty that isn't enough. They are also intent on taking from the people carrying out the work as well.
The Socialist Party calls for the whole trade union movement to build solidarity and support for the Crossrail workers and their struggle. A victory against these vicious anti-union, anti-worker bosses would give confidence to workers across the whole industry and beyond that it's possible to fight to defend and improve conditions and win.
Donate to the Socialist Party
Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal
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.
- Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
- 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 special coronavirus appeal.
In The Socialist 14 February 2018:
Socialist Party news and analysis
We can win the fight for the NHS
Stop press: victory - campaign saves NHS rehab ward
McDonnell says Labour would put services 'irreversibly' in workers' hands
Tamil youth march for justice
Rent doubles in a decade: cap rents, build council homes!
What we saw: Tory-Blairite EU love-in
Oxfam scandal: we need democratic aid and working class solidarity
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition
How should TUSC approach the local elections and Brexit negotiations?
Czechoslovakia 1968: 'Prague Spring' challenges Stalinism
International socialist news and analysis
Cape Town drought
Brazil: Lula conviction confirmed
Big political strike against Finnish government's attack on unemployed
France: rallies in support of oppressed Kurdish people
Workplace news and analysis
UCU uni strike: coordinate public sector fightback
Sadiq Khan's bus drivers' London licence doesn't go far enough
Newham teachers strike again as anti-academy pressure mounts
Woolwich Crossrail walkouts to demand promised bonuses
Threat of action defeats pay cut at Surrey council
Socialist Party campaigns
Haringey protests HDV - but Labour fails to kill it off completely
Staines fire services saved
Carlisle debate - socialism or social democracy?
Enjoyable and successful Cardiff Refugee Rights gig
I'm now a 'manager' and I can barely manage!
In Windsor none of us want to see homeless people on the street
The Socialist 14 February 2018 |
Join the Socialist
| Audio | PDF | ebook