Workers at CBS Outdoor have won better pay after striking. The 100% solid 4-day strike was a product of bitterness against management and inspirational rank-and-file workplace organising by the union reps.
When pay talks started last year, CBS offered 2.5%. Negotiations built that up to 4.2% (without other benefits) or 4%. The workers did not buy into the lie that the bosses can’t ‘afford’ to keep pay in line with inflation. They refused to accept this offer and won a better one by taking action.
When a few new workers with a fresh outlook joined the company a few years ago, they built up RMT membership and confidence in the union. They educated people to stand up for themselves, saying that it should not just be for workers to humbly accept crap treatment just because the boss pays the wages.
Reps kept members informed at every step through the pay claim, reaffirming, ‘You are the union. The final decision is yours’. Two workplace meetings - one per shift - voted to go ahead with strikes.
This is a model of how to organise, how to relate the union to its members and how to get workers behind a fight.