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.”