Strikes and lock-outs

South African metal strike grows

Many tens of thousands of metal and engineering workers in South Africa, members of the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (NUMSA), have been on indefinite strike over pay and conditions since 5 October. NUMSA is calling for an 8% wage rise for everyone in the first year of a deal, and inflation plus 2% in the following two years. Employers offered 4.4%, then inflation plus 0.5% and inflation plus 1%. Under pressure they have now added an offer of 6% for the lowest paid. Last year NUMSA agreed to no wage increase due to the impact of the pandemic on the industry. That helps...

Rail strikes in Scotland

RMT has called strikes on ScotRail from 1-12 November, and from 31 October-2 November and 11-13 November on the Caledonian Sleeper. Both strikes could potentially impact the COP26 international climate change conference, which is taking place in Glasgow from 31 October-12 November. Workers on...

Support striking couriers in Brazil!

Brazilian delivery riders in São Paulo state have been on strike demanding better pay and conditions from the apps they work for. They have made links with couriers’ union IWGB here. Watch their message of solidarity ("Good morning, English!") As the IWGB says: “The striking riders suffer from the same problems that we do in the UK, from unfair account terminations to low delivery fees and unpaid waiting times… Our unity must be as international as the apps and their investors.” The IWGB is collecting funds to support the Brazilian comrades here. A small donation of pounds goes a long way.

Sage care workers to strike 20-21 October

Workers at the Sage nursing home in North London, members of United Voices of the World (UVW), struck in January and February over pay, sick pay, leave, union recognition and other issues. They will strike again on 20-21 October, with the main part of the strike on 21 October. Sage worker Julia Veros Gonzalez told us: “We’re striking again because we are tired of being ignored by the Sage management and trustees. Rather than doing anything for us, they have actually increased the pressure. The last months have seen a shortage of staff, making us do double the work, risking our health and the...

All-out metals strike in South Africa

Metal and engineering workers in South Africa, members of the left-wing National Union of Metal Workers (NUMSA), have been on indefinite strike over pay and conditions since 5 October. NUMSA is calling for an 8% wage rise for everyone in the first year of a deal, and inflation plus 2% in the following two years. Employers have offered 4.4%, then inflation plus 0.5% and inflation plus 1%. NUMSA is South Africa's biggest union, with over 300,000 members. The strike has already faced violence, including rubber bullets from the police and a striker killed by a car ploughing into a group of workers...

Make Labour councils back Royal Parks workers (John Moloney's column)

Royal Parks workers’ month-long strike is continuing. There’s no new offer from the outsourced contractor yet; we think they are talking to Royal Parks, to see how much license they’ll be given to resolve the dispute. The contractor says any changes to staffing levels that result from the restructure we’re opposing will be “minimal”, but that could mean almost anything. Until we get something firm then the dispute will continue. We want to increase the pressure on Royal Parks centrally. We’re writing directly to the Board of Trustees, which includes two leaders of Labour councils, Camden and...

Care workers strike 20-22 October

Interview with a Sage striker here Care workers at the Sage care home in north London will strike again from 20-22 October, as their fight for living wages and equality with NHS staff continues. The workers are also demanding full contractual sick pay. Bile, one of the striking workers, who also sits on the Executive Committee of the United Voices of the World union (UVW), said: “We built a high profile campaign, supported by care workers around the UK, that led to strike action at the start of the year in the harshest of conditions during a global pandemic lockdown. Yet Sage Nursing trustees...

UCU victory in Liverpool

Liverpool UCU has announced: “The Liverpool branch of the UCU (University and College Union) representing higher education staff at the University of Liverpool (UoL) last week called off their months-long industrial action, having saved dozens of jobs from compulsory redundancy. “In January, university management announced that 47 staff would be made redundant as part of reorganisation plans in the health and life sciences faculty (through the so-called ‘Project SHAPE’). However, the local UCU branch’s sustained action stopped all compulsory redundancies and won major increases in severance...

Royal Parks on strike (John Moloney's column)

Outsourced cleaners and attendants in London’s Royal Parks are striking throughout October. We began the strike with a successful rally on 1 October. We have more workers participating in the strike this time, which is a good sign, especially as a month-long strike is a significant escalation. We’ve had good support from across the labour movement. Jeremy Corbyn and Andy McDonald sent solidarity greetings, and John McDonnell addressed the strike rally. Fundraising is particularly important, as we want to ensure strike pay at a level as close as possible to workers’ full wages. We don’t want to...

University workers fight for jobs and conditions

On 4-5 October, workers at the Royal College of Art struck in support of their long running campaign against casualised working conditions. 90% of staff are employed on “zero hours” and other forms of insecure contracts — the highest percentage of such employment in UK Higher Education. Strikes are scheduled for the next three weeks . RCA strikers will take heart from the important recent win at Open University, where 4,000 Associate Lecturers won significant improvements in their (fixed-term) contracts, including a pay rise and payments for all work. At Goldsmiths in south London, staff are...

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