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Plymouth Trades Union Council

Major Struggles as Workers Fight Back

The last couple of weeks have seen three major events for the working class in Britain.

Construction Strikes - Stunning Victory

The Lindsey Refinery Oil workers have won a stunning victory!

As I write this it appears that the return to work deal that has been agreed includes:

  • All 647 Lindsey workers who walked out in solidarity to be reinstated to their jobs
  • No victimisations for anyone across Britain who struck in support of Lindsey
  • The 51 workers who were sacked – which sparked the walkouts – will be re-employed

Clearly the workers need to stay vigilant to make sure that management do not renege on the deal.

We have to be clear - this is a tremendous victory, based on 'illegal', militant action by both the Lindsey workers and the others who took (totally illegal) solidarity action around the country! If they had waited for the legal process, they'd still balloting, with absolutely no change of any solidarity action. Lindsey Workers marching, Tuesday 23rd June

We all need to learn the lessons of this victory!

Read the background here

Post Strikes

Over 10,000 CWU members in London and thousands in Edinburgh took strike action last week, against bullying management and attempts to impose 'cost saving measures' - in reality cutting jobs and conditions outside existing agreements with the union.

Legal challenges to the ballot results in three of the major London centres - part of a growing trend of managers using scab legal firms to nit-pick over the details of members workplaces, and judges ruling ballots illegal - the strikes were strong, with lively pickets across London.

In Edinburgh and the surrounding areas, the strikes were also a resounding success.

The strikes sent shock waves through management, and will increase pressure on Lord Mandelson to shelve his hugely unpopular plans to privatise the Royal Mail.

More strikes are set to follow, as the major London offices re-ballot, and other areas ballot over similar issues.

CWU leaders must seize the time and launch a major campaign to stop the privatisation.

Read more here

London Underground

Strikes stopped most of the underground for two days 10-11th June, as RMT members stopped work over pay, job cuts and management bullying. The strikes at London Underground(LU) and Transport for London(TfL) were a tremendous success; RMT were forced to reballot after legal challenges to the ballot (over issues like which door workers at Bakers Street used to go into work - 11 or 13), but there was a higher yes vote on a higher turnout in the second ballot.

London bus management tried to run extra busses, but were thwarted by Unite stewards opposing the extra services, in magnificent show of solidarity. ASLEF drivers also refused to cross RMT picket lines, despite a shameful instruction to do so from their union leaders.

The strike took place after a farcical set of negotiations with LU & TfL management. On the eve of the strikes an agreement, excluding pay was signed by Bob Crow, RMT General Secretary but was withdrawn after a phone call - the LU managing director was in the room, so the order to withdraw can only have come from mayor Boris Johnson, or his TfL Commissioner Peter Hendy.

There are likely to be further strikes, and links between RMT and Unite bus workers will be crucial in taking their fights forward.

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