Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/582/7397

From The Socialist newspaper, 5 June 2009

Bristol refuse workers strike

"We don't want to go on strike, but you've got to stand up for your rights" explained one of the striking refuse collectors in Bristol to Socialist Party members on the picket line.

The workers were contracted out from Bristol City council to French firm Sita, whose main interests are profits. Unite, the union the 271 workers belong to, entered talks back in November for their 2007/08 pay award. "Maybe we were greedy" questioned the Unite official, by asking for 5% when inflation was only at 4.75%, yet Sita refused to even discuss it and offered only 2.75% - an insulting pay cut for the Sita workers.

Sita has agreed to three meetings since then, with no pay award forthcoming. The third meeting was after the workers balloted and decided to go for strike action. But only as long as the strike was called off.

The union immediately called off the strike, keen to sort out the dispute. After two hours of conversation, going round in circles with no mention of pay, the convenor realised this was just a ploy to get the rubbish collected that day and left.

The workers aren't giving up though. With a rolling strike on Friday 29 May and Monday 1 June, with only a couple of workers crossing their picket lines at the two main depots in Bristol, they are hopeful. "We need to get our message to the general public," the convenor explained on the picket line. They certainly did this on Friday with almost 300 workers descending on the Council House, demanding that the council sits up and take notice.

Although the work is contracted out to Sita, the council pays for the service and could easily take the service back in-house. Yet this is part of the broader programme to privatise as many of the public services as possible, making massive profits for big business, but with continual cuts in wages and conditions for the workers and year on year increases in council taxes for the public to pay for the companies.

  • Messages of support can be sent to the striking workers via Pam Jennings, Bristol Unite, Transport House, Victoria Street, Bristol, BS1 6AY.
  • Sheila Caffrey

    Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


    In The Socialist 5 June 2009:

    Action to defend union rights

    Visteon pensioners battle on

    Vauxhall jobs threat - unions must organise a fightback


    Workplace news and analysis

    Royal Mail sell-off - Time for action!

    Fast news

    Tube workers vote to strike

    Bristol refuse workers strike

    Battling against the blacklist

    Glasgow care workers' success


    Socialist Party election campaign

    Prepare now for next election challenge

    European elections: Putting forward a workers' alternative

    A Question Time carve up

    Challenge these disgraced MPs

    A Parliament of celebrities and a speaker of integrity


    Youth

    Aston University socialists fight for student democracy

    Sussex University: Save Linguistics campaign

    Socialist youth conference and protest

    Youth Fight for Jobs: Fortnight of action 27 June to 10 July


    Socialist Party feature

    NATO anniversary: 60 years of aggression and terror


    Socialist Party review

    The Frock-Coated Communist: the revolutionary life of Friedrich Engels


    Marxist analysis: history

    Tiananmen Square 1989: Counter-revolution crushes China's democracy movement


     

    Home   |   The Socialist 5 June 2009   |   Join the Socialist Party

    Subscribe   |   Donate  




    Related links:

    Bristol:

    triangleBristol anti-cuts campaigners debate alternatives to the cuts

    triangleBristol North Socialist Party: 'You can't have capitalism without racism' - was Malcolm X correct?

    triangleBristol North Socialist Party: 'Bad Art' - socialist struggle in the arts

    triangleBristol North Socialist Party: What is happening in Catalonia?

    triangleBristol North Socialist Party: Christmas social

    Refuse workers:

    triangleStreet cleaners support the Birmingham bin strike

    triangleRefuse workers strike against bullying bosses

    triangleWorkplace news in brief

    triangleBin workers strike against 'regime of fear'

    Strike:

    triangleAfter 80 strike days Mears workers achieve victory

    triangleCardiff East Socialist Party: We're all under attack - TUC call a general strike

    triangleNorth London Socialist Party: Save our NHS - the lessons of the Barts strike

    Sita:

    triangle'Pay the rate' construction protests continue on Teesside

    triangleBin workers calling indefinite strike brought results

    Pay:

    triangleI'm now a 'manager' and I can barely manage!

    Council:

    triangleTower Hamlets Socialist Party: How can we get Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity policies into our local council?

    Unite:

    triangleSadiq Khan's bus drivers' London licence doesn't go far enough

    Reports and campaigns

    Reports and campaigns

    20/2/18

    Manchester

    After 80 strike days Mears workers achieve victory

    19/2/18

    Walthamstow

    Building the campaign against clearances of the working class

    16/2/18

    Haringey

    No fudge with the right wing

    15/2/18

    TUSC

    TUSC statement on sentencing of Derby TUSC agent

    14/2/18

    Haringey

    Haringey protests HDV - but Labour fails to kill it off completely

    14/2/18

    UCU

    Uni strike: coordinate public sector fightback

    14/2/18

    Cardiff

    Enjoyable and successful Cardiff Refugee Rights gig

    14/2/18

    Carlisle

    Carlisle debate - socialism or social democracy?

    14/2/18

    Firefighters

    Staines fire services saved

    14/2/18

    Surrey

    Threat of action defeats pay cut at Surrey council

    14/2/18

    Woolwich

    Woolwich Crossrail walkouts to demand promised bonuses

    14/2/18

    London

    Sadiq Khan's bus drivers' London licence doesn't go far enough

    14/2/18

    Mansfield

    Stop press: victory - campaign saves NHS rehab ward

    8/2/18

    Newham

    Teachers strike again as anti-academy pressure mounts

    7/2/18

    Unison

    Unison national women's conference

    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: info@socialistparty.org.uk

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

    Regional Socialist Party organisers:

    Eastern: 0798 202 1969

    East Mids: 0773 797 8057

    London: 020 8988 8786

    North East: 0191 421 6230

    North West 07769 611 320

    South East: 020 8988 8777

    South West: 07759 796 478

    Southern: 07833 681910

    Wales: 07935 391 947

    West Mids: 02476 555 620

    Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

    ABOUT US

    ARCHIVE

    Alphabetical listing


    February 2018

    January 2018

    2017

    2016

    2015

    2014

    2013

    2012

    2011

    2010

    2009

    2008

    2007

    2006

    2005

    2004

    2003

    2002

    2001

    2000

    1999