Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 27 November 2019

Workplace news in brief

Bradford libraries and museums workers out to win

National Science and Media Museum staff on strike in Bradford, 30.8.19, photo Iain Dalton

National Science and Media Museum staff on strike in Bradford, 30.8.19, photo Iain Dalton   (Click to enlarge)

As the strike by Unite union members in Bradford Council's libraries, museums and galleries service reached its ninth day, the strike hit a new milestone by successfully picketing out Cartwright Hall museum.

While the strike has closed most of the city's libraries when all-out action has taken place, this was the first time the strike had closed a museum, with other workers refusing to cross the picket line.

Public support for the strike was reflected in the teas and coffees brought to strikers by supporters, while volunteers from a library which the council had previously closed also joined the picket line.

These volunteers are under no illusion that they could provide the same service that fully trained librarians could, seeing their volunteering as the only alternative to the library remaining closed. But they also relied on expertise from the remaining council library staff and were fearful of the impacts further cuts across the council would have on them.

Given the savage cuts to library services across the district over the past decade, it's no wonder that there is such support, which has also been reflected in stalls run by Socialist Party members in the city centre.

The next round of action, due to start on 2 December, will see a full week of strikes, bringing the total number of strike days up to 14.

Please continue to send messages of support and donations FAO Mark Martin to Winwaed House, 64-66 Crossgates Road, Leeds, LS15 7NN, cheques payable to Unite the Union.

Bradford Socialist Party members

Hackney SEND strikes after Labour council reneges on deal

On 25 November, drivers and passenger escorts employed by Hackney 'SEND' Travel Assistance Service started their first day of their latest five-day strike. These Unite union members were joined by other trade unionists and supporters at their lively protest outside their depot.

The dispute was reignited after council bosses reneged on a previously agreed settlement.

The workers originally called off their strike in the long-running dispute over payments for working split shifts on 9 October. But the council is now insisting that the staff use contractual leave days for the training days agreed as part of the settlement.

The workers are extremely determined to win this dispute. It is clear that this dispute is worrying Labour-controlled Hackney council, as every day there is a strike the head of education is down at the depot!

Chris Newby, Hackney Socialist Party

Support Westex strikers

"They made 5 million last year and the managers got big bonuses and large company cars, so where's the reward for us?" a striking Unite member at Westex Carpets told me on the picket line on 22 November.

Workers at Westex Carpets in Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire, are taking indefinite strike action after rejecting a 2.2% pay rise offer, which was then withdrawn by management.

For a long time the company was a family-run firm, but went through a management buyout around a decade ago and has recently been purchased by Victoria Carpets Group.

While the company has made over 5 million in pre-tax profits in both the last two years, some of the workers would be paid less than the minimum wage without earning production bonuses, and these have been eroded year-on-year as the minimum wage has increased.

Picketing is being organised by Unite union members across all three shifts at the plant, including a well-supported night shift picket.

Send messages of support to

Health strikes push back privatisation

Porters, cleaners and security staff employed by Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust were celebrating a victory after the trust backed down from its privatisation plans.

The Unison union members had taken three weeks' strike action in the summer against plans to move them into a 'wholly owned subsidiary' company. The trust was left in no doubt that, had they decided to go ahead, they would have been faced with more strike action by workers who were determined to fight for their status as direct NHS employees.

The strike proved beyond all doubt the NHS workers are prepared to fight for their jobs, terms and conditions and that striking gets results!

The announcement came during the general election campaign in which the choices are clear - a vote for the Tory and Brexit Party privateers, or Corbyn's Labour Party which is committed to ending the privatisation of NHS jobs and services.

NHS workers, such as us in Mid Yorkshire and at Bradford who have won the battle to remain in the NHS, are looking to Labour to end the threat of privatisation and bring all outsourced staff back into the NHS.

Adrian O'Malley, Unison health service group executive Yorkshire and Humberside (personal capacity)

Northern Rail workers demand a living wage

RMT union members have been campaigning at stations across the north of England, culminating in a protest outside the headquarters of Northern Rail in Leeds.

They are fighting for the Living Wage Foundation's rate of 9 an hour (now 9.30 an hour) for gateline (ticket barrier) staff employed by Carlisle Security Services on the Arriva Rail North contract.

Carlisle has made 2-3 million in profit every year since its contract with Arriva started, while Arriva Rail North made 12.7 million in pre-tax profit in 2018. Meanwhile, 58% of Carlisle gateline staff say they are struggling to make ends meet in an RMT survey.

When Arriva won the contract to run the Northern franchise it pledged to 'use all reasonable endeavours' to ensure any contracting companies it used paid the Living Wage Foundation rates. RMT members branded the company 'hypocrites' as they leafletted the public.

The RMT is calling for people to sign the online petition at

Iain Dalton, Leeds Socialist Party

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.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation


Your message: 


In The Socialist 27 November 2019:

What we think

Labour's manifesto: fight to transform hope into a socialist society

Tories launch 'non manifesto'

International socialist news and analysis

Regime's fuel price rise sparks massive protests across Iran

Sri Lanka: Presidential election sees return of dictatorial Rajapaksa clan


Tory election campaign's dirty tricks and lies

Resist attacks against free speech on campus

Northern Ireland: strike action by NHS workers

Prince Andrew outrage exposes establishment

Council cuts

End council cuts now, to end Tory austerity!

Workplace news

Uni strike takes fight to bosses

CWU's right to defend members is on the line

South Western Railway strike: "We're up for the fight"

PCS union ballot closes 12 December: Marion Lloyd for general secretary

Sixth-form college strikes: 'Sticking two fingers up at the Tories'

Workplace news in brief

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Trump and Tories are a threat to environment

Brighton anti-academy campaign steps up

Posties withdraw goodwill from cruel bosses

Help fund the fightback: sponsor my marathon

Selling the Socialist

Buy a historical biography for Christmas

Readers' opinion

The private sector will never provide broadband to every home, nationalisation will

Plymouth Blairites side with anti-tenant landlords

Minimum wage debate


Home   |   The Socialist 27 November 2019   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook

Related links:


triangleLobbying for a lead from the TUC

triangleTUSC to stand in elections again against pro-austerity politicians

triangleA critical election for Unison general secretary

triangleReinstate Richie Venton

triangleFight Amazon's anti-union spies


triangleThailand: Youth rising against hated junta

triangleLondon bus drivers begin strike ballot over remote sign-on dispute

triangleTate workers on indefinite strike hold march and rally

triangleStrike wave marks new stage in revival of Iranian workers' movement


triangleFund NHS and pay rise now

triangleTV: The English Game - how the working class made football the people's game

triangleCovid and the campuses


triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleSussex: Hands off Peacehaven schools


triangleNHS workers: "We deserve a fair wage" - 15% now!

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns


The Socialist

The Socialist: More than a newspaper



Coventry: Socialist Students is back



Liverpool Council must save care homes



Sussex: Hands off Peacehaven schools


Fighting Fund

Fighting fund: One week to raise 3,444



Workplace news in brief



Dispatches from the front - chaotic schools are not safe!


The Socialist

Selling the Socialist


Socialist Party

Why I joined the Socialist Party: Tories and Blairites only care about corporate greed


Young people

Covid generation says 'fund our future'



Coventry: scrap 'profit before people' hospital parking charges


National Shop Stewards Network

Lobbying for a lead from the TUC



Angry health workers demand 15% now!



Reinstate Richie Venton



Reinstate Tony Smith

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


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: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041



Alphabetical listing

September 2020

August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020