Coventry bin workers lobby the council 3 May, photo Len Shail
Coventry bin workers lobby the council 3 May, photo Len Shail

Dave Griffiths, Coventry Socialist Party

On Tuesday 3 May, 200 people marched through Coventry town centre to the council house in support of the Coventry HGV bin drivers’ pay claim and for the reinstatement of Unite rep Pete Randall.

Striking Rugby bin workers joined the Coventry demo, returning the solidarity shown to them by Coventry strikers. On their picket lines, the Rugby workers had come out in a mighty show of strength, and the bosses had been left scuttling in panic as the gigantic picket was joined by Coventry strikers.

Rugby rep Paul Hancox spoke at the rally. Summing up the whole issue, he declared: “This austerity has been going on for years and then they offer us these bullshit wages. But it’s time we stood up to these bastards!”

Paul told me that six months ago he would never have thought this could have happened: “Our lads aren’t militant”. But attacks on pay and a fighting lead from the union have changed everything.

Chants rang out through the town included: “Shame on you for turning blue”, directed at the Labour council acting like Tories. And the conclusion from that was also chanted by many: “Vote TUSC!” referring to the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidates that stood on 5 May.