Defending jobs

The Vestas workers' struggle

Vestas

Author: 

AWL

For a full list of all stories on this website about Vestas, click here. Key articles below:

What you can do - practical solidarity

The story so far - timeline 28 April to 18 August

Why wind turbine production should be publicly owned - Government minister Joan Ruddock challenged face-to-face on her "principles"

Key articles on the factory occupation that brought the issues of renewable energy and of jobs together, and both centre-stage.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Ollie Moore, Charlotte Zalens and Daniel Randall

Workers at Southern struck again on 21 June in their dispute against “Driver Only Operation” (DOO). One of the strikers spoke to rank-and-file railworkers’ bulletin Off The Rails.

News from across the unions.

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Democracy, direct action, and socialism

There are decisive turning points in history that shape the future for many years ahead. The British labour movement was brought to such a turning point by the victory of the Thatcherite Tories in the 1979 general election and the events that came after it. The defeat of the labour movement then shaped the social, political, and ethical world we live in now. Was that defeat unavoidable? The revolutionary left argued then that it wasn’t: that if we mobilised our strength we could defeat Thatcher, as we had defeated her Tory predecessors in 1972-4.

Is direct action undemocratic? What methods should the labour movement use to defeat the bosses? Should we stick within the law? This new pamphlet discusses these issues and more.

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Marxist Theory and History: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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Financial Times backs workers' control

Author: 

Martin Thomas

According to law, when a company collapses, the creditors (the other companies to which it owes money) have rights. The workers, and the retired workers dependent on pensions funded by the company, have few.

When the company is prospering, however, all the rights belong in theory to the shareholders, who have limited rights when the company collapses but, on the other hand, stand to lose little then.

It doesn't make sense to you? More interesting, it also makes no sense to John Kay, a conservative economist who writes regularly for the Financial Times.

In the case of BHS, workers' control makes sense even to a conservative economist writing for the Financial Times.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Gemma Short, Luke Hardy, Peggy Carter, Ollie Moore, Charlotte Zalens and Neil Laker

Workers at Pennine Foods in Sheffield have suspended their strikes after negotiations meant bosses agreed not to implement changes to their contracts. Negotiations also got bosses to agree to all employees receiving a lump sum for their 2015 pay rise. Negotiations will continue on the contract and further strikes are not ruled out. The contract changes at Pennine Foods were in order for bosses to try to recoup some of the money from implementing the government′s new ″living wage″.

Bosses dodge “living wage”; Camden teachers striking to stop job cuts; bosses make £11m profit, workers get 16p; cleaners fight back against sackings; ScotRail guards vote for strikes; Durham County Council sacks all teaching assistants; Capita workers strike over pay cuts.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Mark Mills, Tony Byrne, Ollie Hill, Ollie Moore and Gemma Short

Bakers’, Food and Allied Workers’ Union (BFAWU) members are in the middle of a fierce battle against massive pay cuts in a food factory in Sheffield.

Pennine Foods is part of 2 Sisters Group, which has revenue of over £3 billion; its owner Ranjit Singh Boparan has a personal wealth of £190 million. Boparan’s “salami-slicing” of conditions has been going on now for 8 years.

Sheffield food factory strike; train drivers: reject means reject!; GTR uses courts to stop strikes; Tube bosses celebrate job cuts; Barnet library workers to strike.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Cath Fletcher, John Moloney and Ollie Moore

Catering staff at the University of Manchester have won a deal for no compulsory redundancies, no loss of hours, and no pay cuts. Their employer, UMC, a subsidiary company wholly owned by University of Manchester, had said in March that it would sack 46 of its 280-odd catering workers and move the rest to term-time only contracts — meaning a pay cut of about one third. Hannah McCarthy, the student union Campaigns and Citizenship Officer and vice-chair of Manchester Momentum, spoke to Solidarity.

Students help Manchester University workers win; lecturers strike for fair pay in HE; No to the DWP “employer” deal; train bosses hire scabs; cabin crew vote to strike over safety.

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Stop the steel pension rip-off!

Author: 

Ralph Peters (former steel worker)

The sell-off, or potential closure, of Tata Steel will affect not only the 14,000 current UK steel workers but also at least 110,000 former steel workers. All former workers will have their pensions reduced.

The sell-off, or potential closure, of Tata Steel will affect not only the 14,000 current UK steel workers but also at least 110,000 former steel workers.

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"Students and workers need to organise together"


An industrial dispute at University of Manchester involving extensive student-worker solidarity has just won concessions. One of the central activists, student union Campaigns and Citizenship Officer and Manchester Momentum vice-chair Hannah McCarthy, spoke to Solidarity.

How workers and students fought together and won concessions in a recent industrial dispute at Manchester University - interview with activist Hannah McCarthy.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Neil Laker, Peggy Carter, Ollie Moore, Darren Bedford and Charlotte Zalens

In March, the University of Manchester announced plans to restructure its subsidiary company, UMC, making 46 redundancies in catering while moving the remaining staff on to “term-time only” contracts.

This latter move would have meant cuts of about one third to their total pay. But now, as a result of solid negotiating by Unison, and agitation, occupations and disruption by students, management have backed down. There will be no compulsory redundancies, no loss of hours and no pay cuts.

Manchester University catering staff win; lecturers strike; rail workers’ disputes spread; CalMac ferries stay public; Glen Hart reinstated; left makes gains in PCS.

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