Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1043/29138
From The Socialist newspaper, 22 May 2019
Morrisons workers reject pay offer - now for action to fight for more
Morrisonsl, photo Jim Barton/CC (Click to enlarge)
'Jack Gallimore', Morrisons worker and Usdaw Broad Left member
The 17 May could be an historic moment for Morrisons workers. It is now time for our union Usdaw, the shop workers' union, to dig deep and come out on top.
It's that classic line all reps in Morrisons have heard, from disgruntled members and opinionated non-members, the length and breadth of the UK, in nearly every pay brief for years: 'It will go through regardless'.
But that is changing, a staggering 18,792 votes to reject the latest Morrisons pay deal, in comparison to the 8,410 that voted in favour.
There can be no doubt the membership are disgruntled and have rallied together, but this is ultimately down to the hard work of in-store reps. Usdaw didn't support the deal, but national reps didn't officially denounce the offer despite being very vocal on social media to vote No. While they clearly must have been under pressure, they missed a golden opportunity to lead the membership in Morrisons.
Yet despite all this the members are clearly angry enough to turn out and actively reject the offer. It's a clear second chance and an opportunity for the national negotiating team to fight back. There is clearly a need to reconvene with lay reps and call an emergency forum meeting, and listen to what elected representatives from each store want to see in the next set of talks, including discussing the possibility of balloting for industrial action.
Of course this shouldn't just rest on the national reps. Branches have an opportunity to mandate the national reps and officers. They at least want to see stronger statements from Usdaw, whatever the outcome of the next stage of talks is.
A lobby of workers and activists should be organised at Morrisons head office in Bradford like the GMB union organised at Asda HQ recently (see 'Asda workers protest against attacks on paid breaks and bank holiday working').
Nearly a year into Usdaw's new leadership, there is a clear opportunity to stand up to Morrisons' arrogant bosses. The rejection of this pay deal is most importantly a second chance to get a better deal for the members, but also to show that Usdaw has sharp teeth when necessary.
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 22 May 2019:
International socialist news and analysis
What lies behind the US-China trade war?
Sri Lanka - Ten years after the brutal end of the war
Reject Alabama abortion ban
Labour's nationalisation plan: What policies are needed to avert climate catastrophe?
British Steel threatened closure
What we think
European elections expose deepening political crisis: Workers need a party of our own
Birmingham home carers victory
Probation workers celebrate case management renationalisation
Fantastic RMT London Underground victory
Woolwich ferry workers begin ten days of strike action
Morrisons workers reject pay offer
Unite young members' conference
Workplace news in brief
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
4 June - Walk out against Trump! Climate criminal not welcome
Domestic abuse accommodation: Tories shift - but safety is more than a bed
Haringey: Socialists' stance fully vindicated
Anger and frustration at the establishment
Lifting the mood
Socialist sales boost
Pouring cold water on the Riverside estate
Worcester Tories stonewall action on climate change
Day of action against cuts to special needs education
Opinion: socialists must link climate struggle to power of organised workers
The Socialist Inbox
The Socialist 22 May 2019 |
Join the Socialist
| Audio | PDF | ebook