Strikes by workers at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has resulted in a huge backlog for applications for driving licences. Further strikes are planned for July12th, 14th and 16th.
DVLA workers are determined to resist an attempt by bosses to push them back from working at home to working in cramped offices where more than 600 have already contracted COVID. In fact, the DVLA’s own figures show that COVId cases are again on the increase at the DVLA buildings.
THE DVLA bosses have refused to give in and an escalation of strike action is called for, as well as increasing solidarity from other workers
Workers at the Woolwich Ferry in London have step up strike action in the first week of July after victimisation of a union rep. Nine days of strikes have so far taken place. This follows eight days of strike action after ferry bosses victimised another union rep. Further strikes are planned .
Conductors and ticket examiners are striking every Sunday on Scotrail to achieve pay equality. In addition, cleaners and train presentation staff are due to take action on July 13th over equality for rest day pay. This will involve a refusal of overtime, higher grade duty and rest day working.
Royal London Hospital/Serco
Last month 20 catering workers at Royal London Hospital, employed by outsourcer SERCO, went out on strike for five days in June. This was over bullying by management and the imposing of an unworkable rota. Now Serco is promising the moving of a manager and the adoption of a workable rota. A further five days of strikes are planned, but these will be called off if Serco agrees to the deal.
These workers working continuously throughout the pandemic, many of them catching COVID and some dying
Brush engineering workers in Loughborough have been on strike against fire and rehire for six weeks. Workers and their supporters demonstrated outside the old Brush factory on 1st July, the day workers were meant to be sacked if they did not sign the new contracts. Brush bosses have now been forced to postpone the sackings.
Thousands of electricity workers have gone out on wildcat strikes across Turkey. They are fighting against new contracts imposed on them after the COVID pandemic. Two thousand workers struck in Istanbul on April 30th despite a ban on strikes. This has now been followed by thousands more taking action in Istanbul, Adana, Ankara and Zonguldak. The strikers held mass protests recently in various cities in Turkey. Workers for Ayedaş in Istanbul, refused to accept the offer by the company and gathered in front of the Sabancı Holdingbuilding,. This company is at the head of privatising of energy throughout the Turkish state. Other protests have taken place, including in Ankara where workers put on a sit-in in front of the union building, demanding that the union leadership should resign over their handling of the dispute.
Elsewhire, miners from Soma, who had not received their redundancy payments for several years, attempted to march to Ankara, but were prevented by police , who blocked their entry to the city.
In Iran too, thousands of energy workers have gone out on strike to demand better wages and conditions. Workers went on strike and demonstrated at 60 oil and petrochemical plants. So far, only workers employed by private companies on temporary contracts have been involved and the unrest has not spread to the State-owned National Iranian Oil Company, where 200, 000 workers receive wages three times higher than their privatised comrades.
These privatised workers toil in the southern desert where temperatures reach 50 degrees Celsius. They want wages equality with the State-employed workers and 10 days off a month to visit their families in distant cities.
The pandemic and US sanctions have devastated Iran’s economy and inflation has risen by 40%. The former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has attempted to exploit the strike by sending a letter of support to the strikers. This hard line politician is now attempting to pose as a friend of the working class.