Strikes and lock-outs

Support British gas workers!

British Gas workers struck from 7-11 January, resisting their employer’s attempts to level down conditions by sacking workers en masse and rehiring them on worse contracts. The strike was extremely solid, with activists reporting that its strength grew as it went on. The workers’ union, GMB, is set to announce further strikes. Workers’ morale is high, bolstered by significant engagement with and support for the strike via social media. Workers report numerous instances of self-employed gas contractors committing on social media to take no work on British Gas strike days. British Gas bosses are...

Barnoldswick workers consider offer

Workers at Rolls Royce’s plant in Barnoldswick are considering a proposal from their employer which could end a weeks-long strike at the factory. Unite suspended its latest strikes, which began on 4 January and were due to continue until 22 January, when the offer was received. The union has described the offer as a “landmark deal”. 350 jobs at the Barnoldswick site were threatened by Rolls Royce’s plan to offshore the factory’s work to countries including Singapore. The cuts are part of a wider tranche of job cuts planned by Rolls Royce, totalling 9,000. Unite says the employer’s offer would...

Help couriers' strike fund

This January I’m going to wild swim every day to raise money for the South Yorkshire Couriers’ Network Strike Fund. Covid 19 has made demonstrations, pickets and face-to-face meetings difficult or impossible. It has also hit key workers in precarious employment very hard. By getting in cold water every day, I hope to spread the word about the couriers’ struggle against poverty wages, verbal and physical abuse, exploitative working conditions and unfair dismissal. • Contribute here

Industrial reports: DHL; British Airways; Sage; Rolls-Royce

DHL workers strike for better pay Workers at DHL Supply Chain, a distribution company based in Liverpool which distributes Burton biscuits to shops in the north west, struck on 19-23, 29, and 31 December, and 3-4 January, demanding a 50p/hour pay increase. From April 2021, pay rates will be just 2.5p/hour above the minimum wage. The low pay is despite DHL’s profits increasing by nearly 20% in the second quarter of 2020. Police were called over 10 times as bosses attempted to disrupt successful picketing at the depot. Nine days’ strike at British Airways Cargo workers employed by British...

Barnoldswick workers resist lockout

Workers at Rolls Royce’s plant in Barnoldswick in Lancashire have been striking since 6 November to prevent the offshoring of 350 jobs. Facing strikes through until Christmas, the company has now locked the workers out. Ross Quinn, a Unite organiser involved in the dispute, spoke to Daniel Randall from Solidarity. The targeted action we’ve taken has put the company under huge pressure. The majority of workers were still coming into work, but nothing was moving, and nothing was getting done. The employer couldn’t use the government furlough scheme, because the impact on work wasn’t to do with...

ScotRail and TransPennine Express workers ballot for strikes

RMT is balloting members on ScotRail and TransPennine Express in disputes over pay and conditions.

Nearly 2,500 workers are being balloted on ScotRail, in a vote that closes on 8 December. An RMT statement said: "The union has been trying to secure a pay rise for 2020 for all Scotrail workers...

General strike in India

On 26 November many tens of millions of workers took part in a general strike against India’s far-right government. Indian unions gave a figure of 250 million. Alongside its fascistic Hindu-chauvinist and anti-migrant policies, which it has intensified during the pandemic, Narenda Modi’s regime has consistently pursued an aggressively neoliberal, anti-working class economic and social agenda. The strike, also backed by a mass farmers’ mobilisation, demanded the withdrawal of Modi’s anti-worker changes to labour law, expansion of social provision, the restoration of subsidies and price...

Shutting down all the apps

On Wednesday 25 November the majority of the takeaway food delivery workforce in Sheffield struck. The strike affected all of the big apps — Stuart, Deliveroo and UberEats — and involved over 100 drivers. It effectively shut down the delivery service across the city. On the drivers’ WhatsApp, pictures flooded in of restaurant order boards overflowing with uncollected orders. The workers were united around three key demands: living wage after expenses; a fair process around discipline, with hearings and natural justice for drivers accused of infractions; and a hiring freeze, to stop the big...

Alstom workers strike to smash pay freeze

Alstom workers have launched a series of strikes, aiming to smash a pandemic pay freeze imposed by penny-pinching bosses.

The workers, who perform maintenance on rolling stock, struck at depots on Alstom's West Coast contract on 29-30 November, and will strike again on 3-4, 8-9, 13-14, 17-18, and...

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