Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1142/32814

From The Socialist newspaper, 14 July 2021

Workplace round-up

Bexley bin workers strike

Bexley bin workers have started a two-week strike. Taking confidence from the recent victory of bin workers at Thurrock, another Tory-controlled council, workers are striking against private company Serco.

The refuse and cleaning contract has recently been retendered by Bexley council. But the workers' union Unite understands that Serco is the only bidder because the profit margins are so low. Bexley council plans to reduce the contract by 2.5 million over five years - a move that Unite warned could result in years of industrial unrest if staff bear the brunt.

The 140 Serco refuse and cleaning workers began striking from 25 July, with a picket line between 5am and 10am being held every weekday. Serco has failed for half a decade to include refuse and cleansing staff on a stipulated pay progression scale. The situation has led to instances of refuse truck drivers being on the same pay scale as street sweepers, with some staff being owed thousands in back wages.

Workers are also angry at the company's 2021 pay offer of 1.5%. Unite members have worked throughout successive national lockdowns to keep the service running, risking their own safety as well as that of their families.

Refuse staff in Bexley earn much less than their counterparts in other areas of the capital. For example, in neighbouring Greenwich refuse staff earn a minimum of 13 an hour, compared to 10.25 paid by Serco in Bexley, which is below even the London Living Wage.

We call for an end to privatisation in local government and across the public sector, and for all outsourced workers to be brought back in-house.


Labour council sacks GMB rep

The rally in support of Gary Bolister, photo Rob Williams

The rally in support of Gary Bolister, photo Rob Williams   (Click to enlarge)

Hundreds have signed a petition in defence council caretaker and GMB rep Gary Bolister who was dismissed after 24 years' service. Gary took part in a Facebook live video as part of a protest against Islington road closures in November last year.

During the clip Gary appeared in but did not film, an Islington councillor was inadvertently filmed in her home. The video was immediately stopped when the camera operator realised. Gary, who was mourning the loss of his father at the time, expressed full remorse - offering to write an apology to the councillor. Despite this - and despite 24 years of unblemished service - Islington Council sacked Gary and refused his appeal.

Workers protested outside the council offices in support of Gary on 8 July and were furious at the Labour-run council. They told Socialist Party members that they were angry union money is being paid to the Labour Party when it does this to GMB members and reps.


Dangerous new lorry driver legislation

Unions have condemned a relaxation of safety rules restricting lorry drivers' working hours. Transport and distribution unions Unite and Usdaw said that the government's move would not address a shortage of heavy goods vehicle drivers, estimated at more than 75,000.

The decision is to 'allow' drivers temporarily to work shifts of ten hours rather than nine, plus up to two eleven-hour stints a week. Demanding better pay and conditions to attract new entrants, Unite national officer Adrian Jones said: "Asking an already exhausted workforce to work even longer is likely to make an already difficult situation worse.

"Unite will be advising its members not to place themselves in danger and that if they are too tired to drive safely they have a legal right to refuse to do so.

"Unite will fully support those who make that decision, legally and industrially."

Usdaw national officer Mark Todd said: "This short-term response to the much greater problem of driver shortages is not the answer.

"The government needs to make the industry more attractive through improving employment rights and ensuring higher pay for workers."


National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) organising meeting: Stop the freeports race to the bottom - 7.30pm Wednesday 21 July

The NSSN would like to thank Solidarity Shouts for merging their planned meeting on Freeports into ours. They are supporting this meeting along with Southampton and South West Hampshire Trades Union Council and others.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

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 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.
  • 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.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 14 July 2021:


NHS

NHS: Kick out the privatisers - Fight for a 15% Pay rise

Scrap the privatising health and care bill

Tories threaten to axe free prescriptions for older workers


Covid

We cannot trust this government over Covid: Fight for a new workers' party

Trade unions must continue the fight for Covid safety


LGBTQ+

Pride is protest - Build a mass movement for LGBTQ+ liberation and socialism

LGBTQ+ workers' charter


Workplace news

Dagenham school workers strike against 'fire and rehire' pay cuts

St Mungo's strikers end 12-week strike

Telecoms workers angry at CWU deal with BT

GKN Birmingham workers rally against plant closure

Brush workers into eighth week of strike

Workplace round-up


International

New wave of radicalisation in Latin America

Putting the Olympic gravy train ahead of public health

Kazakhstan: Solidarity with protesters attacked by regime forces


News

Keep the Universal Credit uplift

Defend the triple lock - Fight to end poverty pensions

Wealth chasm widens

Right-wing study concludes youth like socialism


Campaigns

Youth Fight for Jobs is back

We need councillors who will end housing crisis - vote TUSC in Staines on 22 July

Stop Pimlico gentrification

Why I joined the Socialist Party

Everyone can spot Socialist Party in Stoke

Socialist Party meetings say: We're ready to go out and campaign


Readers' opinion

England football team

Farewell Leicester Square - the story of Britain's first black bus driver

Readers' comments


 

Home   |   The Socialist 14 July 2021   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Bin workers:

triangleBexley bin workers win big gains after six-week strike

triangleBexley bin workers strike for better pay

triangleThurrock bin workers solid in strike against pay cuts

triangleWorkplace news in brief

triangleVictory for Medway bin workers

Council:

triangleLeeds taxi drivers and disabled passengers unite to fight station changes

triangleWest Sussex 'disability tax' - our protest is not going away

triangleCarmarthenshire Unison: 'Recognise our union!'

triangleOaks Park school: Redbridge Labour council backs strike-breaking bullies

Workers:

triangleSocialists and the four-day week

triangleStop press: Sparks walk out

triangleWorkers at 13 colleges to strike over pay

Strike:

triangleOaks Park strikers call eleven days' more action

triangle10 years since Occupy

Unite:

triangleWorkers' politics won't come from Labour

Pay:

triangleMOJ pay deal accepted - we demand 10% and no strings attached

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

22/9/21

Youth Fight for Jobs

Yorkshire Youth Fight for Jobs relaunched

22/9/21

Disability

West Sussex 'disability tax' - our protest is not going away

22/9/21

NEU

Oaks Park strikers call eleven days' more action

22/9/21

Evictions

Fighting evictions in Cornwall

22/9/21

Disabled

Leeds taxi drivers and disabled passengers unite to fight station changes

22/9/21

Socialist Students

Socialist Students: Youth lit up when they saw us on campus

22/9/21

Trans rights

York: Non-binary and trans rights protest

22/9/21

Climate change

Who pays for the climate crisis?

22/9/21

BFAWU

Interview: Bakers' union to vote on Labour disaffiliation

22/9/21

NHS

NHS workers reject 3% insult

22/9/21

Martin Powell-Davies

End the teaching workload crisis

22/9/21

Pay

MOJ pay deal accepted - we demand 10% and no strings attached

22/9/21

Strike

Workers at 13 colleges to strike over pay

22/9/21

RMT

RMT announces new strike dates in East Midlands Railway guards dispute

22/9/21

Electricians

Stop press: Sparks walk out

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: [email protected]

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 077 7221 5281

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 078 0983 9793

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


September 2021

August 2021

July 2021

June 2021

May 2021

April 2021

March 2021

February 2021

January 2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999