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From The Socialist newspaper, 29 April 2020

Woolwich ferry - workers secure 100% furlough agreement

Woolwich ferry photo BL2002/C

Woolwich ferry photo BL2002/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Unite union member

Unite union has negotiated a 100% furlough agreement with Briggs Marine, the contractor who currently runs the Woolwich Ferry. The health emergency has meant a drastically reduced service.

This comes at the same time as the alarm being raised by London Mayor Sadiq Khan regarding the financial position of the client Transport for London (TfL). However, even before the health emergency, TfL faced similar financial pressures to those faced by local authorities as a result of reduced funding from central government.

This calls for the same response as that required by local authorities - a campaign, including trade unions and service users demanding that central government provides the funds to run services.

Unite members on the ferry have a fighting tradition - including strike action to protect the safety of workers, to oppose sexual harassment, to oppose racism, and to demand decent pay and conditions.

Lately campaigns were accompanied by a demand for the service to be taken back in-house which has now been agreed. The removal from the system of the need to make profit is the single best way to achieve savings.

This fighting tradition will have put the work force in the best possible position to secure a 100% furlough agreement.

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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.
  • 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.
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In The Socialist 29 April 2020:


Coronavirus news

Workers' safety before bosses' profits

Dispatches from the front: PPE chaos goes on

Private firm causes weeks of delay to free school meal vouchers: bring it back in-house!


Lessons from history

No return to the 1930s: World War Two and 'a land fit for heroes'


May Day

May Day 2020: join the protests - wear red, bring flags and banners

130 Years of May Day in Britain: Fight for workers' rights more relevant than ever

May Day greetings pull out 2020


Workplace news

Workers fighting to defend safety and livelihoods - NSSN national meeting a huge success

Civil servants in Paisley protest after Covid outbreak

Irish police use Covid-19 emergency powers to disperse Dublin shop workers' protest

B&M Bargains management puts profit before safety

Schools: No return without a national union agreement that guarantees safety!

Unions must organise throughout crisis

Waltham Forest trade unions discuss the fight for PPE and workplace safety

Woolwich ferry - workers secure 100% furlough agreement

ISS workers' pay victory


Organising during coronavirus

Should the Socialist still be produced during the Corona crisis? An exchange with Mark Serwotka about sales of the Socialist

Coronavirus crisis finance appeal

Adding demands to the weekly claps


Readers' opinion

Going viral: Socialist comments and letters


 

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