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From The Socialist newspaper, 15 December 2021

Coventry bin workers strike against Christmas holiday cut

Socialist Party members leafletting

Socialist Party members leafletting   (Click to enlarge)

Coventry Socialist Party

Coventry bin workers have voted overwhelmingly for strike action over low pay and an attempt by the Labour-run council to wreck the bin workers' Christmas.

At the eleventh hour the council has suddenly decided that the bin workers don't deserve a Christmas break. Previously, they always had Christmas week off. This decision was made despite the fact that they have been risking their lives working through nearly two years of the Covid pandemic. With a month until Christmas itself, the bin workers' festive plans could be ruined and family life disrupted.

The second issue is that the drivers' wages are as stale as the waste they've been collecting all year. Our bin workers have had real-terms cuts for years. Other councils have, under pressure, brought in retention payments or increased pay outright. Coventry Labour Council refuses to pay anything more.

Bin worker strikes have won in at least five other councils just this year, including Sandwell bin workers winning a 4% pay rise and £1,000 uplift in early December. Coventry council should remember the gigantic victory won by Unite's bin workers in neighbouring Birmingham just four years ago. Then, the Labour council tried its luck at firing and rehiring 113 workers - essentially cutting their pay to cut costs. The bin workers took 12 weeks of strike action before the council caved in entirely.

The strike action follows a foul record by the council with its own workforce. Since 2010, the council has slashed over 2,000 jobs as part of carrying through brutal Tory austerity. It has repeatedly clashed with trade unions and has ignored protests against savage cuts to its services in that time, even when anti-cuts campaigners, including from the Socialist Party, have demonstrated that legal no-cuts budgets are possible.

The council increased its reserves while making cuts, and yet it wants to blame the bin workers for the strike. The council is refusing to end the dispute when it could easily stand on the side of workers in Coventry, not against them.

On pay, the council could frankly pay far more to keep its bin workers, and even hire more to make their jobs easier. With total council reserves amounting to £144 million and wide-ranging borrowing powers, far more could be done for the people of Coventry while a fightback against austerity is built.

But no Labour council has shown any interest in taking up that fight, which is why the Socialist Party campaigns for anti-cuts socialist councillors under the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), and will be standing in elections in May next year.

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In The Socialist 15 December 2021:


News

Tory cuts and privatisation leave NHS in crisis

Unions must fight for Covid workplace safety

Councils to make workers pay, again

Assange faces extradition

Global inequality grows


What we think

Split Tories and spineless Starmer


End of the USSR

The legacy of the collapse of Stalinism


LGBTQ+ rights

Stonewall attacked by the establishment


Workplace news

Sharon Graham: 100 days as Unite general secretary - the challenges ahead

Fighting union leadership needed to win NHS pay rise

Support tube workers fighting back

South Wales Stagecoach victory

Yorkshire Stagecoach strikers confidence growing

Welcome support for striking Scunthorpe scaffolders

Guards fight for their grades on CrossCountry rail

London colleges victory

Coventry bin workers strike against Christmas holiday cut

Sheffield couriers escalate and spread action

Uni support staff strike ballot

Tesco strike action latest

Barts health workers to strike for a pay rise

Worksop Wincanton depot strike builds


International news

Sudan: End military rule and poverty


Campaigns

Nana's eviction: Community vs heartless Labour council

London solidarity protest: Rio Tinto out of Serbia

Save St Mary's Leisure Centre in Southampton

Why we joined the Socialist Party

Selling the Socialist - Waltham Cross and Boscombe

Posters, car boot and socialist guided tour - some ideas to raise funds


Readers' opinion

TV review: Vaccine Wars: The Truth About Pfizer


Quiz 2021

Christmas quiz of 2021


 

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Related links:

Bin workers:

triangleSocialist Party members joined the picket lines of striking bin workers in Coventry fighting for better pay. January 2022

triangleSandwell bin workers beat Serco and win pay rise

triangleSheffield bin workers strike: "End rubbish pay!"

triangleBrighton bin workers' victory in sight

triangleBexley bin workers win big gains after six-week strike

Workers:

triangleSolidarity with workers protesting in Kazakhstan

triangleKazakhstan: Working-class revolt only suppressed by massive mobilisation of troops

triangleWeetabix workers defeat 'fire and rehire' and ballot on improved pay offer

triangle10,000 tube workers vote to strike over jobs, terms and pension cuts

Strike:

triangleInvergordon Royal Mail mutiny wins

triangleNew unionism - when mass workers' action changed Britain

triangleS. Yorks Stagecoach workers start indefinite strike

Coventry:

triangleCoventry Socialist Party: Rob Windsor memorial

triangleCoventry: Private profits from hospital parking

Council:

trianglePeople's Budget: We beat council cuts before, we will again

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Fire

Weetabix workers defeat 'fire and rehire' and ballot on improved pay offer

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


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