Strikes and lock-outs

Sheffield couriers strike

On Wednesday 25 November, food couriers in Sheffield will carry out an all-day, all-out strike. Their demands, aimed at all food platforms, are for a living wage plus costs, a fair process on terminations from platforms, and a hiring freeze. In recent weeks, many couriers across Uber, Stuart and Deliveroo, have found themselves being terminated with no right of appeal. In many of these cases the reason for the termination is computer error. For example, Uber requires riders to submit selfies during a shift in order to prove that they have not rented out their account to a third party. But Uber...

"This can inspire workers in all workplaces"

Rolling strikes by Rolls Royce workers in Barnoldswick, Lancashire, are continuing, as workers resist attempts by bosses to cut 350 jobs. The strikes, which involve workers in different parts of the factory striking at differ- ent times, maximising the impact on the employer whilst minimising the impact on workers, started on 6 November and will run until Christmas Eve. A statement by the workers’ union Unite said: “This week [starting 23 November], the company will be meeting with ministers and MPs to discuss the proposals. Given the criticism of Rolls-Royce’s actions from across the...

ScotRail guards to strike

ScotRail guards based at Glasgow Central station will strike every Sunday between 29 November and 3 January, in a dispute over bosses' abuse of disciplinary procedure.

The strikes are accompanied by a ban on overtime, rest day working, and higher grade working from 30 November to 2 January....

Striking to win at Barnoldswick

Workers at a Rolls Royce site in Barnoldswick (Lancashire) began an initial three weeks of rolling strikes on 6 November, to resist the loss of 350 jobs. The strikes have now been extended to 23 December. Unite organiser Ross Quinn spoke to Daniel Randall about the dispute. DR: How's the strike going so far? RQ: It's going really well. We've targeted specific areas in the factory. That's something we did at Camell Laird [shipbuilder] two years ago, where there was only ever 20% of the workforce on strike at any one time, but no production was going on. We've used the same overall principle...

French teachers strike

School teachers in France struck on 10 November to demand better virus controls in schools. Their demands included: • Rota systems, with students in school half-time, to allow half-size classes • More staff, again to facilitate smaller classes • Better ventilation and cleaning • Free masks. (Masks are compulsory in French schools). Unions report a 45% turnout for the strike from junior high schools and 20% from primary. In some areas students blockaded senior high schools in the days before the strike as an act of solidarity. On 5 November, the government tried to deflect the strike by...

Rolls-Royce workers strike for jobs

Workers at a Rolls-Royce plant in Barnoldswick, Lancashire, began a three-week programme of strikes on Friday 6 November, in a bid to resist the loss of 350 jobs. Rolls-Royce, which intends to cut 9,000 jobs throughout the UK, plans to outsource the work of the Barnoldswick site to Singapore. The industrial action is rolling through the three-week period and will see workers in different roles and departments strike at different times, but with Covid-distanced picket lines throughout. The strike ends on 27 November. A statement from the Unite union said: “It is simply unacceptable that Rolls...

US: "Mobilise on the streets"

Traven Leyshon, a socialist and trade unionist in Vermont, spoke to Sacha Ismail from Solidarity on 3 November, polling day for the US presidential and congressional elections. This is a very tense country now. There’s a widespread perception among the Trump supporters that there’s going to be violence from the left. They expect their homes and cars to be vandalised after the election if Trump wins, and in general rioting in the streets “from the other side”. It’s a deep paranoia. I guess it goes along with fairly widespread acceptance of conspiracy theories, and it’s been fed and built up by...

Couriers hit Wagamama again

Deliveroo workers in the IWGB union in Sheffield struck on 14-15 October against Wagamama over pay and terminations. From 4pm to 10pm on those two days, deliveries were boycotted at Wagamama, which is a major and exclusive client of the Deliveroo food delivery company. Couriers are fighting against a sustained drop in fees and a threatened mass-hiring drive by Deliveroo; and demanding basic due process be applied to the way that the app handles complaints and terminations. Presently drivers can find themselves dismissed arbitrarily from the app following a single anonymous complaint, with no...

Wave of wildcats

Since the start of March there have been over 1,000 strikes in the US, many related to the Covid-19 crisis and some to the Black Lives Matter struggle. Most are wildcat strikes, without formal vote or official union endorsement. In some cases they have taken place in workplaces where there is no union. The crowd-funded website Payday Report has put together a map tracking these strike. It argues that its tracker probably underestimates the actual numbers. The strikes, concentrated in the Eastern half of the US and on the West Coast, have taken place in industries and workplaces as diverse as...

Report from Inverness Sleeper picket

Despite the horrific weather conditions, there was a great turnout on the picket line at Inverness last night to stand with striking Caledonian Sleeper staff.

Placards and leaflets publicised the case for the strike, and tea, coffee and chips kept spirits up. Special thanks to the GMB union for...

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