Wide screen devices may view this page better by clicking here

4 November 2020

Facebook   Twitter

Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Optare strikers escalate their action

Optare strikers in Yorkshire October 2020, photo Iain Dalton

Optare strikers in Yorkshire October 2020, photo Iain Dalton   (Click to enlarge)

Iain Dalton, Leeds Socialist Party

At a meeting held on the picket line on 30 October, workers at bus manufacturer Optare in Sherburn in Elmet, Leeds voted to escalate their ongoing strike action in their long-running pay dispute from two days a week, to four days a week, starting from 16 November.

Two weeks into the strike, many of the deliveries coming into the workplace have been turned back at the request of the pickets. On the first day of the strike alone, 20 out of 21 deliveries did so. So while management has refused to budge at the negotiation table, they have started trying to reschedule deliveries for other days of the week. Additional cameras have been put up, and extra security hired in an attempt to intimidate pickets.

After having topped up workers' pay to 100% during furlough, and with a much-reduced demand for orders given the impact of Covid on public transport, the company claims that it can't afford more. However, Optare workers are paid less than other manufacturing workers, and the company has brought in increasing numbers of contractors, including bringing people into the workplace from Covid hotspots.

Optare's ultimate owners are the wealthy Hinduja brothers - the two of whom resided, in the UK, Sri and Gopi, topped the Sunday Times rich list in 2019 with an estimated 16 billion fortune between them.

Workers should demand the company open its books - and answer why workers can't be paid a wage comparable to other bus manufacturers if the company can afford to bring in increasing numbers of contractors.

If the current owners refuse to pay up, then Optare should be brought into public ownership to guarantee jobs. Even if orders are down now, investment in public transport will be vital to tackle the looming climate crisis, and publicly owned, democratically controlled bus manufacturing would be vital to develop a socialist plan for public transport.

Please send messages of support to the shop stewards via [email protected] and donations to the strike fund via bank transfer to

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.

We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to click here to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 4 November 2020:


What we think

Our lives, our jobs - not safe in Tory hands

Corbyn suspended - Time to fight for a new mass workers' party

Socialism 2020: Mass workers' voice needed


Unison

Why the Socialist Party is backing Hugo Pierre for Unison general secretary


News

A lockdown that doesn't include education?

Spycops inquiry finally opens

Testing is failing - it's a privatised mess

Furloughed worker speaks out: Let down by insecure contracts


Workplace

Transport for London given funding stop gap

Usdaw needs a fighting leadership

Birmingham NHS porters' 48-hour strike against shift changes

Optare strikers escalate their action


International news

Chile: A defeat for the right!

Poland: Mass protests against abortion ban

US presidential election 2020


Campaigns

Save St Andrews mental health ward

Leeds protesters demand "Buhari must go!"

Building Bangor Socialist Students

Maybe now they will listen - Refund the fees!

Donate now to the Socialism 2020 appeal

Corbyn suspended: Join the fightback, join the socialists


Readers' opinion

The Socialist Inbox


 

Home   |   The Socialist 4 November 2020   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Leeds:

triangleDefying the anti-protest restrictions

triangleLeeds Socialist Party: Lessons of the AIDS crisis for struggles during the Covid pandemic

triangleLeeds Socialist Party: Trotsky and the fight against the rise of German fascism

triangleLeeds Socialist Party: Lessons of the post '08 crash youth movement for today

triangleLeeds protesters demand "Buhari must go!"

Workers:

triangleCapitalism discriminates against us - Disabled people fighting for our rights

triangleBus workers protest Go-Ahead's 'fire and rehire'

triangleThurrock bin workers solid in strike against pay cuts

triangleRetail workers desperately need a fighting and democratic union

Strike:

triangleFight back against British Gas bosses' 'fire and rehire' offensive

triangleWorkers strike and protest

triangleThurrock council workers striking against pay cuts, photo Dave Murray

Pay:

triangleSupport the Broad Left Network for a democratic, fighting union leadership

triangleBristol Water workers walk out

Bus:

triangleRally for sacked RMT rep Declan

Manufacturing:

triangleRolls-Royce Barnoldswick factory future secured following strike action

Article dated 4 November 2020

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

MEMBER RESOURCES

Pay in Fighting Fund

Pay in paper and book sales

Leaflets

Bulk book orders

New member submission

WHAT'S ON

triangle23 Apr Socialist Party meeting: No to football Super League

triangle26 Apr Oxfordshire & Aylesbury Socialist Party: The May local elections

triangle27 Apr Bristol North Socialist Party: Open discussion - Question and Answers

More...


The Socialist, weekly newspaper of the Socialist Party

Subscribespacer|spacerebook / Kindlespacer|spacerPDF versionspacer|spacerText / Printspacer|spacer1130 onlinespacer|spacerBack issuesspacer|spacer Audio files


Protesting in  Leeds as part of  a Socialist Students day of action on the education funding crisis. 21st April 2021

Protesting in Leeds as part of a Socialist Students day of action on the education funding crisis. 21st April 2021

What We Stand For
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Platform setting: =

Desktop version