Liverpool dockers went out on strike for five weeks starting 19th September and halted their strike last Sunday, with a promise to go out on strike again on a week on, week off, basis. They were demanding a pay rise in line with RPI inflation from the Peel Ports employers, as well as a change to pay grades and structures. The bosses then issued 132 redundancy notices. Dockers in Hull and Southampton made it clear that they would not handle redirected cargo. This is vital solidarity that will hit shipping and port bosses hard. Despite the redundancy threats and the lies spread by Peel Ports that dockers earn an average of £43,000 a year, the workers stood firm.
Then Peel Ports agreed pay rises of between 14.3 per cent and 18.5 per cent plus, according to job grades, Last Thursday a mass meeting of 600 dockers voted to accept the deal by 98%. The strike was totally solid with not one person crossing the picket line.
Hull Bus Workers
250 Hull bus workers including drivers, cleaners, engineers and customer assistants also finished a five week strike which began on October 7th pending a pay deal from their employers Stagecoach. The pay demand was for £13 an hour, compared to the £11.14 some workers were earning.
Stagecoach profits rose from £48.1 million to £72.7 million to April this year with reported revenues of £1.2 billion. The company was bought £595 million takeover in June by the global finance company DWS Infrastructure. While these enormous profits re being accrued, bus workers suffered a pay freeze.
Stagecoach attempted to break the strike hiring agency staff and by using management and drivers from other areas. Unite, the union representing the bus workers, has done little about this strike breaking operation.
600 bus workers at Arriva Kent recently won a 13.92 percent increase after six days of determined strike action after rejecting below inflation deals agreed on by Unite in London at Go-Ahead-10.5%- and Arriva London North- 11.1%. Hull bus workers need to take a similarly determined stand.
Workers in 150 universities plan to strike for three days this month in two disputes over pay, pensions, inequalities and workloads.