The Socialist

The Socialist 27 January 2021

Covid spreading, poverty rising, rich get richer, fight for socialism!

The Socialist issue 1118

Covid spreading, poverty rising, rich get richer, fight for socialism!

Health, Covid and the vaccine: It's a class issue

Poverty wages: When workers can't afford to self-isolate

Fees frozen at £9,250 a year, fight for free education

DVLA Covid outbreak: They only care about output and productivity

Jaguar Land Rover: West Midlands superspreader


Schools: 'We have to fight for everything'

Martin Powell-Davies for NEU DGS: "We need to use our collective strength"


Biden, Labour, and the need for a new mass workers' party


Sage care workers strike again: Billionaires refuse to pay up

Unison NEC elections: United left challenge needed to fight slaughter of jobs and services

Steel site scaffolders strike for the 'rate of the job'

Merseyside: DHL workers at Burton's Biscuits strike against half-baked pay deal and bullying bosses

British Gas engineers continue strike against fire-and-rehire plans

Low-paid hospital workers strike


Overwhelmed, underfunded, underpaid, and still fighting for safe PPE

Health worker cooperation in the face of the pandemic


Ten years since the 'Arab Spring'


TUSC is up and running for May elections

Come to the TUSC local elections conference - 7 February

Why I'm leaving Labour and campaigning for TUSC

Councillors in Surrey resign from Labour and look to stand independently


Solidarity meeting with Mohamud Hassan

Save Our Square from New Labour gentrification

Help fund a challenge to austerity at the ballot box - donate today!


Mass protests in Russia against Putin regime


TV Review: It's a Sin

TV review: The Hidden Story of Disabled Britain

 
 
 
 
 

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Early morning picket line of striking scaffolders, British Steel plant in Scunthorpe, photo by A Tice

Early morning picket line of striking scaffolders, British Steel plant in Scunthorpe, photo by A Tice   (Click to enlarge)

Scunthorpe: Steel site scaffolders strike for the 'rate of the job'

Alistair Tice, Yorkshire Socialist Party

The British Steel site in Scunthorpe was disrupted this week as scaffolders at the plant employed by contractor Brand Energy began strike action on Monday and Tuesday in a dispute over pay.

The 50-plus scaffolders, who are members of the union Unite, are responsible for the maintenance of over 500 scaffolding structures at the Scunthorpe site.

The workers are striking to be paid in line with the National Agreement for the Engineering Construction Industry (NAECI) known as the Blue Book.

There is a difference of £2.00 an hour between their current pay rates and the established NAECI pay rates.

But since 2019, Brand Energy hasn't engaged with Unite over the pay dispute, resulting in a 100% Yes vote for strike action with six days of strike action called over the next three weeks.

The striking scaffs maintained socially distanced picket lines of six at both main gates of the steelworks.

They complained that Brand Energy is a multi-billion dollar American multinational company, yet not only won't pay the rate for the job, but penny-pinches on workers' welfare as well.

Pickets told of having to eat their dinners in their cars because of no canteen facilities and of rat infested cabins built for six - with 12 workers inside.

One said: "We had to choose between Covid and Weil's disease!" [Weil's is a bacterial infection that can be caught from rodents' urine - Ed]

The dispute is made more complex as Brand Energy will lose the scaffolding contract on 15 February when it will transfer to Activo. But now there are rumours that Activo could pull out because it put its bid in based on old pay rates that are three pounds an hour less than the scaffs are getting paid now, let alone the NAECI rate!

What the workers' strike action has showed is that they won't roll over any longer. One picket said: "I've worked here 15 years and it's the first time we've all stuck together."

If the matter is not resolved before the contract is transferred, Unite will begin balloting for fresh industrial action with Activo, once the contract transfers.


This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 26 January 2021 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.


In this issue


News

Covid spreading, poverty rising, rich get richer, fight for socialism!

Health, Covid and the vaccine: It's a class issue

Poverty wages: When workers can't afford to self-isolate

Fees frozen at £9,250 a year, fight for free education

DVLA Covid outbreak: They only care about output and productivity

Jaguar Land Rover: West Midlands superspreader


Schools

Schools: 'We have to fight for everything'

Martin Powell-Davies for NEU DGS: "We need to use our collective strength"


What we think

Biden, Labour, and the need for a new mass workers' party


Workplace news

Sage care workers strike again: Billionaires refuse to pay up

Unison NEC elections: United left challenge needed to fight slaughter of jobs and services

Steel site scaffolders strike for the 'rate of the job'

Merseyside: DHL workers at Burton's Biscuits strike against half-baked pay deal and bullying bosses

British Gas engineers continue strike against fire-and-rehire plans

Low-paid hospital workers strike


NHS

Overwhelmed, underfunded, underpaid, and still fighting for safe PPE

Health worker cooperation in the face of the pandemic


Arab Spring

Ten years since the 'Arab Spring'


TUSC

TUSC is up and running for May elections

Come to the TUSC local elections conference - 7 February

Why I'm leaving Labour and campaigning for TUSC

Councillors in Surrey resign from Labour and look to stand independently


Campaigns

Solidarity meeting with Mohamud Hassan

Save Our Square from New Labour gentrification

Help fund a challenge to austerity at the ballot box - donate today!


International socialist news and analysis

Mass protests in Russia against Putin regime


Review

TV Review: It's a Sin

TV review: The Hidden Story of Disabled Britain


 

Home   |   The Socialist 27 January 2021   |   Join the Socialist Party

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