Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1123/32118
From The Socialist newspaper, 3 March 2021
RAF Leeming strike escalates
Picket line at RAF Leeming. Photo: Yorkshire SP (Click to enlarge)
Over 50 workers on a Babcock Aerospace contract for operational and engineering services at RAF Leeming, north Yorkshire, have been taking discontinuous action since 20 January, escalating to two days of strike action at a time.
Management refuses to accede to the demands for shift pay parity with workers doing similar work at RAF Valley on Anglesey, a difference of up to £5,000 a year. So the workers, organised in Unite, are escalating to three days' strike action a week from 2 March.
Most of the workers are ex-forces, and as one worker told me on the picket line on 23 February: "Striking doesn't come that naturally to us, it's taken quite a lot to force us to get to this point". Another striker explained more bluntly: "Management don't give a shit about us!"
The workforce remains solid, with a sizeable proportion of those on strike each day joining the picket lines. The position of the workers will be boosted by the newly awarded contract for maintenance of Hawk training jets for the Qatari Emiri Air Force in the hanger directly next to the Babcock workers. This contract pays better rates than those the Babcocks workers are on, and many workers will be considering applying for those jobs.
- Messages of solidarity can be sent to the shop steward at [email protected]
- Donations to the strike fund can be made payable to 'Unite the Union' and forwarded to the Leeds Regional Office, Unite the Union, 55 Call Lane, Leeds, LS1 7BW marked for the attention of the regional secretary (Babcock Aerospace Dispute)
Iain Dalton, Socialist Party Yorkshire
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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.
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In The Socialist 3 March 2021:
Not a budget for the working class!
Public sector workers respond to the budget
President of 'big four' Labour-affiliated trade union joins TUSC committee
Women's health matters
International Women's Day
A fighting programme for women's rights and socialism
A history of International Women's Day
What we think
Liverpool Labour meltdown - Fight for socialist policies
Schools' safety - teachers demand fighting union strategy
'Casino capitalism' - driving another potential financial Armageddon
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Bus workers under attack and fighting back
Manchester indefinite bus strike against 'fire and rehire'
HMRC: Pay deal agreed but at what cost?
British Gas strike
Sparks force bosses back but fight continues to stamp out deskilling
Reinstate victimised bus driver Declan Clune
RAF Leeming strike escalates
Tech workers walk out against 'fire and rehire'
Victory for Judith, defend Moe
Why we need socialists in London city hall
Socialist Students conference
Swansea BLM protest against racist police brutality
Union fight to save musicians' livelihoods
Labour surrenders to Tories in Devon
Determined to smash the fighting fund target to fuel election challenge in May
The Socialist 3 March 2021 |
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