wildcat in Plymouth

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baboon
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Aug 8 2008 14:46
wildcat in Plymouth

16 building contractors from Alstom working on a power station were laid off on Thursday and picketed the rest of the workers coming in. Within a few minutes, in the pouring rain, 350 workers were on strike including several dozen Polish workers who openly expressed their solidarity and other sub-contractors. One workers said "if we don't stand together we'll all be tipped out of a job". Unite union representatives were called in and negotiated a financial settlement for the laid off workers that they called a victory.

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Demogorgon303
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Aug 8 2008 15:30

This was on the local news. One of the 16 laid off was a union rep and he and the official union chappie were both together telling the workers to get back to work. The workers didn't look happy and were having a go at them. The official union guy wouldn't speak to the cameras until he was away from the crowd.

Beltov
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Aug 8 2008 19:03

Video of it here:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/7547516.stm

akai
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Aug 9 2008 10:48

There's about 400 foreign workers there, most of them Poles. Unfortunately some of the Polish media in the UK was portraying this as an "anti-Polish strike". Good thing some of the workers from Poland stood in solidarity - but the BBC said that there were none in sight, leading people to believe that all the Poles were just happily working during the strike. Still, it looks like most of the Polish workers went to work, which shows some greater division. There are a lot of people who totally bought the capitalist bullshit and the media propaganda that is saying to them that, if you work hard, you can make money in the UK because British workers and lazy and their bosses have had enough of them.

Mike Harman
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Aug 9 2008 11:25

http://libcom.org/forums/news/wildcat-falkirk-09082008

baboon
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Aug 9 2008 12:32

On the BBC news I saw the Polish workers, who were interviewed, were standing on the picket line, though as a seperate block, and clearly supporting the strike. The BBC interviewed one guy mouthing off about "too many foreign workers" and "not enough British workers". He was careful to say British because he was Scottish and something of a union steward I think.

ernie
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Aug 14 2008 18:02

It was the union who pushed the British jobs for British workers line. Given the media's usual playing up of nationalist divisions the fact they could only find one guy who was willing to defend a nationalist position was interesting. Not all the workers went back straight away as the union demanded, but stayed out until the next day. The end of the strike was another demonstration of the role of the unions in such wildcat strikes. The workers walked out 16 workers came to the gates in the morning to tell the other workers that they had been laid off and people walked straight out. The union was called in, told workers that they would sort things out, and that they did: the 16 workers got some financial 'award' but lost their jobs. As other have said many of the workers looked furious with the union.