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From The Socialist newspaper, 21 October 2020

Optare workers strike over broken 'promise' to increase pay

Optare strikers in Yorkshire October 2020, photo Iain Dalton

Optare strikers in Yorkshire October 2020, photo Iain Dalton   (Click to enlarge)

Unite members at bus manufacturer Optare, in Sherburn in Elmet, on the outskirts of Leeds, took the first strike in a series of discontinuous 48-hour strikes starting on 15 October, alongside a continuous overtime ban.

During pay negotiations in 2019, workers had been given a promise of a decent pay rise, if the company was given three more months to put a package together. Instead, the company has broken this promise to workers who are already paid below the industry standard for their skilled work.

The situation has been aggravated further by the company bringing in increased numbers of contractors to work on lines, paid at a higher rate than the in-house workforce. A number of issues around health and safety during the Covid-19 pandemic have also arisen, with workers feeling the company is failing in its duty of care to keep them safe.

Despite heavy rainfall, workers kept up the picket for over 12 hours on the first day, with a confident mood, undoubtedly influenced by around 80% of all deliveries from suppliers coming into the plant refusing to cross the picket line.

Socialist Party members will be continuing to support the strike and seeking to build solidarity in the trade union movement locally.

Iain Dalton, Leeds Socialist Party

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In The Socialist 21 October 2020:


Lockdown

Health before profit - Work or full pay

Wales 'firebreak' lockdown fails to protect workers

Liverpool lockdown: suspicion and anger

Newcastle lockdown: stress and breakdowns

Leicester lockdown: disillusionment and anger


Unison

Why the Socialist Party is backing Hugo Pierre for Unison general secretary


International

Nigeria protests: 'This movement needs to fight the whole rotten capitalist system'

Horrific murder in Paris: fight intolerance and racism!

South Africa: Mass day of action for permanent jobs and a living wage


News

Tories reduce winter homeless funding: reverse the cuts,use the empty homes!

World capitalism's terrified strategists abandon austerity - for now


Coronavirus

Test and Trace U-turn on stopping local case reporting

Oxbridge gets private Covid tests: pool resources to test us all!

Millennials disillusioned with 'democracy'

Under the microscope


Workplace

RMT: Programme to fight redundancies and cuts

Action on Covid transmission in schools now

FCC dismiss Unison activist Tony Smith

Optare workers strike over pay broken 'promise'

Solidarity with Deliveroo Couriers in York


Campaigns

NHS workers

Students: Give us our money back

Fight for your future at the online rally

Southampton: Coxford community condemns racist attack

Socialism 2020: Will you help our finance appeal?

Selling the Socialist: increase in NHS anger

Truth about Zane: Cover-up Tories crack

Kent: Chaotic privatised asylum process

Teignmouth hospital closure threat ... again!


Readers' opinion

Books that inspired me: For Whom the Bell Tolls

Beware the billionaires bearing gifts

Disabled students let down by "rotten education system"

The Socialist Inbox


 

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Related links:

Unite:

triangleHackney council parking services brought in-house

triangleOptare: Right to strike defended

triangleLancashire workers' strike shows the way to fight aerospace cuts and job losses

triangle'The battle for Unite' - an article in Socialism Today

triangleWorkplace news in brief

Strike:

triangleHeathrow workers to strike against 'fire and rehire' plans

triangleLittle Ilford school strike stands firm - council must use reserves!

triangleStrike action ballot at UEL over job cuts

triangleOvercrowded Little Ilford School strikes against more expansion

Leeds:

triangleLeeds protesters demand "Buhari must go!"

triangleOptare strikers escalate their action

triangleLeeds: Little London residents are celebrating

Strikes:

triangleGermany: "Heroes" strike to demand a pay rise

triangleMass protests and strikes rock Belarus

Bus:

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

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