September 18, 2022 Morning Star (UK)
More than 500 Liverpool dockers to be the first in action on Monday night as they strike for two weeks over pay.
WAVES of strike action are to sweep across Britain as tens of thousands of workers unleash their strength following 10 days of restraint in the period before the Queen’s funeral today. More than 500 Liverpool dockers will be the first in action on Monday night as they strike for two weeks over pay.
In Felixstowe, 1,900 dockers who were already involved in strike action will strike for eight days on September 27. But on Friday this week they will be in Liverpool to show solidarity with their comrades there.
And on October 1 more than 170,000 workers will be out as communications union CWU and rail unions RMT, Aslef and TSSA take action together, paralysing the rail network and postal services. Barristers, bin workers, airport workers, college lecturers and cleaners have also dates set for strike action.
Liverpool’s dockers, who are members of Unite, have rejected a 7 per cent pay increase as inflation continues to hover around 10 per cent, describing the dock owners’ proposal as “a pay cut dressed up as a rise.” Mersey Docks and Harbour Company is owned by Peel Ports, one of five companies which own Britain’s ports. Unite said that the Liverpool operators made £30 million profits last year. The company shut down Liverpool docks for Monday’s funeral, but plans to reopen at 7pm in the evening. Pickets are planned, with a big turnout Tuesday morning.
Members of the University and College Union (UCU) are also to take 10 days of strike action at 26 further education colleges this month and in October. And strike dates are to be announced by general union GMB after refuse workers voted overwhelmingly for action at Waltham Forest in London.
NHS nurses with the Royal College of Nursing will begin voting on strike action on October 6th, and more than 30,000 firefighters will vote next month on strike action over pay.
Secretary of Sheffield Trade Union Council Martin Mayer said: “Trades councils around the country are gearing up to support workers taking strike action — and working hard to support more workers to join a union and fight back. Politics didn’t stand still for the government during this period: bankers’ bonuses are to be allowed to let rip once more, a smack in the face to millions of workers who face extreme hardship this winter as record inflation is not matched by pay rises.
“We have no illusions either that the fightback will be easy. The new PM, big business and the mainstream media will be determined to crush this renewed self-confidence across the unionised working class. That’s why we need to show solidarity with those fighting back and encourage thousands more to join them. “The old maxim is as true today as it ever was: ‘The workers united will never be defeated!’”
Labour will stage its annual conference in Liverpool from September 25 to 28, while the Tory conference in Birmingham will be hit by rail strikes on its first and final days, October 1 and 5.
A statement from national campaign group Momentum said: “Whether it’s posties, rail staff or nurses, working people shouldn’t pay the price for this Tory cost-of-living crisis.
“At Labour conference, members and trade unions can come together to stand with striking workers and an inflation-proof pay rise.”