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From The Socialist newspaper, 21 April 2021

Thurrock bin workers solid in strike against pay cuts

photo Eleanor Donne

photo Eleanor Donne   (Click to enlarge)

Dave Murray, Essex Socialist Party

Thurrock refuse workers' action against drastic cuts in pay completed its first week in fine form. Workers are taking daily strike action from 9am, returning refuse vehicles to the depot and joining the picket line.

For the moment, the employers, Thurrock's Tory council, are trying to play hardball, insisting that cuts to unsocial hours payments are going to happen. This might have something to do with alleged losses that the council has made in its speculative investments in the 'green energy' sector - which the council was in court recently trying to keep secret.

The strike is solid and seems like it will stay that way. Whatever the reason, the employer's current stance and tactics reflects weakness, with petty measures such as threats to fine pickets for dropping cigarette ends (actually everyone is very careful not to litter) and on 19 April sending for a police officer to somewhat sheepishly remind organisers of the need to socially distance. Obviously, such distancing does not apply when workers are travelling in the cabs of the refuse vehicles four at a time.

The weather has been kind, and morale is high, so there is an almost festive atmosphere on the picket line as workers who normally wouldn't be spending time all together get to swap experiences outside the gate. The sound system helps (the Pina Colada song though? Really?) and the barbecue is due to arrive soon, but what really shines through is the determination of this workforce not to be walked on.

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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 21 April 2021:


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Build a Socialist alternative

Capitalism discriminates against us - Disabled people fighting for our rights


Football

Football: no trust in billionaire owners - kick them out and reclaim the game


International

Left candidate, Pedro Castillo - surprise of Peruvian elections

USA: cop killings and the anti-racist movement

Superpowers' tensions continue to ratchet up


Elections

Don't trust the Labour right's empty promises

Fight to stop cuts

Keep Liverpool council's One Stop Shops open

Liverpool hustings - only TUSC has a strategy to take on the Tories

Essex: Why I'm standing for TUSC

Carlisle campaign day success

Socialist Party northern region meeting

With public campaigning back in full swing - now is the time to raise fighting fund


Workplace

Socialist Party members - part of a left challenge for Unison's leadership

Fight back against British Gas bosses' 'fire and rehire' offensive

Retail workers desperately need a fighting and democratic union

CWU BT ballot - time for action now!

Thurrock bin workers solid in strike against pay cuts

Bus workers protest Go-Ahead's 'fire and rehire'

Ballots to defend reps on Woolwich Ferry

PCS leadership ballot underway


News

Long Covid: Fight for jobs, benefits and services

Climate change - Johnson spouts 'greenwash 2.0'

Covid and precarious workers - union organisation vital

News in brief


Campaigns

Housing activists storm rental firm's offices

Protests continue against proposed anti-protest laws


 

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Related links:

Bin workers:

triangleWorkplace news in brief

triangleVictory for Medway bin workers

triangleRefuse collection workers strike

triangleEast London bin workers strike to get back unpaid holiday pay

triangleBexley bin workers strike over lack of hand sanitiser

Workers:

triangleHartlepool sums up Labour crisis

triangleDefend the right to protest - to resist bosses' attacks

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleSt Mungo's strikers fight on

Thurrock:

triangleThurrock bin strike in third week

Strike:

triangleEstablishing factory sales of the Socialist in Leicester

triangleGo Ahead offers deal to Manchester bus drivers

Pay:

triangleNottingham NHS pay protest

Cuts:

triangleCan the 'Preston model' beat the cuts?

Council:

triangleNew law ignores economic barriers to escaping domestic abuse

Essex:

triangleEssex: Why I'm standing for TUSC

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