Train drivers on Arriva Trains Wales have taken strike action in a dispute over a number of issues, including pay.
Arriva drivers are amongst the lowest paid in the country, and ASLEF – one of the unions which organises the drivers – says they are paid substantially less than their English counterparts. The strike had a significant impact on services with only four scab drivers turning up for work.
The action comes hot on the heels of a strike by cleaners employed by Mitie at First Great Western’s Cardiff and Swansea depots. Speaking before the action, RMT general secretary Bob Crow said “As a result of wage discrepancies, which have proved to be a serious issue for some of our members who have been short-changed by hundreds of pounds, a dispute exists between Mitie and RMT and following a 100% vote for action we will strike. This appalling situation shines the spotlight on just how these facilities companies operate and how they treat their low-paid staff.”
Despite a promise to guarantee work until 2012, food company Burton’s is planning to close its site in Moreton near Liverpool.
The site employs 342 workers and has been a major employer in the area since 1953. Unite leader Len McCluskey said “This is the moment for Burton’s workers, supporters and the whole community to send a clear message to Burton’s Foods that we are not prepared to sit back and let decisions be made that will destroy our community.” A demonstration on Saturday 26 February brought together nearly 1,000 workers and supporters to protest the closure. A TV report of the demo is available at tinyurl.com/burtonsmarch
The National Shop Stewards’ Network has called a protest outside the Labour Party’s local government conference, aimed at pressuring Labour councillors to defy the cuts.
The demo, which will take place on Saturday 5 March, will assemble at 11am at Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park, St. George’s Road, London SE1 6ER.