Workplace Notes

Postal workers strike in Barnsley over coronavirus

Postal workers at Barnsley sorting office in West Yorkshire walked out on unofficial strike on June 22nd after some of their workmates tested positive for coronavirus.

Dozens of posties gathered outside the sorting office whilst management were forced to carry out a deep clean. Management asked workers not to speak to the press, but this was ignored and some spoke to local reporters. They raised concerns that the wearing of face masks had not been made mandatory and the lack of PPE and hand sanitisers.

Minneapolis postal workers support protests

Two sorting offices were burnt down in Minneapolis during the recent events, because they happened to be right next door to targetted police stations.

Postal workers held a rally in front of one of the burnt out offices behind the banner “Postal Workers Demand Justice for George Floyd”, stating that “you can rebuild a post office, but you can’t rebuild the life of a man murdered by the police”.

Dockworkers strike on Juneteenth along North American West Coast

Dockers in ports from Alaska down through British Colombia to California went out on strike for eight hours in support of Juneteenth, held on June 19th to celebrate the official liberation of slaves in 1865.

Port of Vancouver, Prince Rupert, Stewart and Chemainus were affected in British Columbia.

Iron workers strike in Maine

Workers, over 4,300 of them, walked out on strike on Monday June 22nd at the Bath Iron Works in Maine in the USA. They voted overwhelmingly for strike action after being offered a measly 3% pay rise with big changes to conditions, which means more jobs being subcontracted and to loosen rules on workers being moved from place to place. Under the proposed new contract the bosses can use subcontractors whilst permanent employees are still on layoff.

Mexican workers strike

Workers making car parts for the US motor industry over the border in Matamoros, Mexico, went out on unofficial strike on June 19th following the death of two workmates suspected of having COVID-19. 3,200 workers at Tridonex Cardone came out on strike. The strike spread from one plant to two others.

Safety precautions at the factories are atrocious with little or no social distancing and a lack of PPE. Workers are disgusted at this, and the putting of profit before workers’ health and safety.

Iranian sugar workers strike

Since June 11th, Iranian sugar workers have been staging strikes and daily demonstrations outside the governor’s office in Shush demanding back wages and social security benefits not paid since March at the huge Haft Tapeh sugar cane processing plant.

Meanwhile the sugar boss is on trial in Tehran on charges of obtaining $1.4 billion in hard cash, supposedly for investment in the company, which was then sold on to the black market at 3 times the price.