Coventry bin workers picket line

Coventry bin workers picket line   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

Coventry Socialist Party

Socialist Party members have joined the picket lines of striking bin workers in Coventry fighting for better pay. On the first day of the strike, 5 January, there was a fantastic turnout of dozens of bin workers and supporters and morale is high.

The Socialist Party’s third strike bulletin was well received, especially because at the same time the Labour council has put out yet another insulting attack on the strikers, falsely accusing them of refusing to negotiate and of delaying tactics!

There was outrage over the council’s latest statement which dismisses the union’s statements on, among other things, the drivers’ rate of pay. The council arrogantly says: “Not one of the bin lorry drivers earn ‘as little as £22,183 a year.’ We pay them. We know.”

But as one striker said: “And I know what my payslip says!”

Already this year bin workers in Plymouth have won a 12% pay rise – that’s the sixth bin worker victory in under a year!

Several lorry drivers on the picket line are bluntly saying they won’t vote Labour again after this betrayal. It’s clear that Labour in Coventry isn’t on the side of workers.

We had some great discussions with the drivers about our bulletin, the bin worker victories across the country, and the atrocious attacks and slander by this Labour council against these workers.

Socialist Party members were thanked for their support and we sold copies of the Socialist, which featured an article about the strike.

The council hasn’t backed down, but with six bin worker victories in the last year the striking drivers should be confident they can win!

We say:

  • Mass meetings of bin workers and all other council department workers should be called to discuss the dispute and build support
  • Unite and the other council unions should prepare a mass campaign for further action across the council workforce against further attacks by the Labour council – especially with the budget to be announced soon
  • Unite members should discuss supporting and standing as anti-cuts and candidates in the May elections