Socialist Party
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8 May 2019

Newham gas workers to strike against Labour's pay and safety attacks

Stop press!

The threat of strike action has forced the council back! The gas workers have won! More to follow...

Ian Pattison, East London Socialist Party

In October, Newham's Labour council promised a "closer working relationship" with general union Unite, and said it "values its staff and the unions they are members of."

But on 3 May, 40 of the east London borough's housing maintenance workers had to protest outside their workplace - the Bridge Road depot in Stratford - against pay cuts and other issues.

Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said the council's proposed new rota could leave "up to 42 weeks of the year without a manager having gas knowledge to deal with potential gas emergencies and issues involving some of our most vulnerable residents."

On the protest, we heard horror stories caused by cuts. Gas safety managers will strike on 9 and 10 May.

Housing repair and refuse workers are also balloting for strikes. Unite estimates bin workers could have lost up to 20,000 each.

East London Socialist Party calls on Newham's Labour council to immediately agree to the union's demands and stop all these attacks.

In 2018, the council dragged its feet when campaigners urged it to help block local schools becoming privately run 'academies'.

It was only strike action by school workers, led by Socialist Party member and National Education Union branch secretary Louise Cuffaro, that stopped academisation.

Unite will have to do the same now. We back the striking workers 100%.