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From The Socialist newspaper, 14 April 2021

Bristol Water workers walk out

Bristol Water picket line April 2021, photo Roger Thomas

Bristol Water picket line April 2021, photo Roger Thomas   (Click to enlarge)

Tom Baldwin, Bristol Socialist Party

GMB members organised a lively first picket line outside the headquarters of Bristol Water on 6 April.

This group of workers are taking strike action for the first time in decades against a pay freeze that management is trying to impose. This would mean the company offers the worst pay and pensions in the water sector in England and Wales.

Workers were in good spirits and buoyed by the frequent honking of car horns in support from passing motorists. Speaking to the Socialist, one of the workers said: "Bristol Water in the last three years has been imposing pay freezes on us. Members have had enough of the way the company doesn't want to engage with us in trying to get fair pay and a cost of living rise."

Another added: "Executives' bonuses are rising. It's so unfair, we've kept the taps on during a global pandemic, we need a pay rise to keep going. It shows how passionate our members are about it that they're willing to come out on this freezing cold day. We've got some good camaraderie from all the guys so it's amazing. We're serious about it as well."

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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.

  • 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.
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In The Socialist 14 April 2021:


Covid-19

'Covid passports' discriminatory and questionable - fight for workplace safety

Covid inquiry? Workers must decide


News

Tensions escalate in Northern Ireland

How to deal with the tax-dodging mega-rich? Nationalise!

NHS pay: reject Tories' miserly 1% 'offer' - Fight for full 15% rise

Amazon - union vote lost

Tory hypocrisy over housing benefit cut

US cops shoot dead another black man


Elections

Every voter in Wales has the opportunity to vote for TUSC

TUSC: Launching a working-class electoral alternative in London

London housing crisis: vote TUSC to fight back


Workplace news

PCS elections: Support the Broad Left Network for a democratic, fighting union leadership

St Mungo's maintenance workers on indefinite strike

Thousands of London bus workers strike across multiple companies

Rally for sacked RMT rep Declan

East London cleaners fight outsourcing and redundancies

Bristol Water workers walk out

SPS Technologies workers end strike after management backs down

Thurrock Council workers strike against pay cuts

Deliveroo workers strike and protest


Lessons from history

1920s-30s Britain: A working-class movement fighting unemployment and capitalism


Campaigns news

Youth under attack

Students in action: Protest on 21 April

Why you should join the Socialist Party

Cardiff: Hundreds protest to free Siyanda

Worcester: Kill the Bill

Fighting fund target smashed. Can we do it again?


Readers' opinion

The Socialist Inbox


 

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Related links:

Bristol:

triangleBristol North Socialist Party: Education under capitalism

triangleBristol North Socialist Party: The national question and Northern Ireland

triangleBristol North Socialist Party: The criminal justice system under capitalism

triangleBristol North Socialist Party: Financing the revolutionary party

triangleBristol North Socialist Party: Liverpool - history of socialist struggle

Workers:

triangleHartlepool sums up Labour crisis

triangleDefend the right to protest - to resist bosses' attacks

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleSt Mungo's strikers fight on

Water:

triangleWhat councils can do to protect the environment

triangleBristol Water walkout

triangle10 years ago - the Fukushima nuclear disaster: "We came close to losing northern Japan"

Pay:

triangleNottingham NHS pay protest

triangleBellway must pay! Make our homes safe!

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