Wide screen devices may view this page better by clicking here

8 December 2021

Facebook   Twitter

Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Clarks strikers defeat 'fire and rehire'

Clarks protest. Photo: Bristol SP

Clarks protest. Photo: Bristol SP   (Click to enlarge)

Tom Baldwin, South West Socialist Party

After two months on strike Clarks workers have defeated the shoe firm's plans to fire and rehire them on considerably reduced wages. The company had been trying to impose a 15% pay cut, reducing hourly pay to just £9.50, along with a whole raft of other attacks. It came up against determined resistance from members of the Community trade union who began all-out strike action in October.

Clarks has now backed down from the plans to fire workers at the Westway distribution centre in Street, Somerset, to force them to sign up to the new terms. The existing pay of £11.16 an hour has been protected, and newer staff will have their pay raised to this level, in line with their workmates.

Full details of the deal have not yet been made public and may include some concessions by workers as well as management. Nonetheless, beating fire and rehire is a victory, and staff have voted to accept the deal and end the strike.

The deal between the firm and the union was struck at Acas, the third party mediation service. However, it was only possible due to concerted struggle pushing the company back. They had only agreed to mediation after the strike had already been in place for over a month and they'd already had to improve their offer to £10.03 an hour.

Strikers had kept up well-organised pickets covering every shift for two months. Support from other trade unionists was shown through donations to the strike fund, large numbers joining the picket lines for solidarity days, and the hundreds-strong demonstration which was applauded at every turn as it marched through the village of Street.

The successful fight by this relatively small group of workers will have much wider repercussions. Other employers will have been watching the outcome and may now think again before attempting to inflict similar attacks on their workforce.

Likewise, all workers will need to learn from this example, that struggle and solidarity are vital to defending their interests.

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.

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 donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 8 December 2021:


News

Unite to fight for pay and NHS we deserve

Government social care plans: Where is the money?

Uni staff and students must unite to end marketisation and for free education

Covid news in brief


What we think

Workers' politics needed to exploit Tory scandal and splits


People's Budgets

Building People's Budgets: An alternative to Tory and Labour cuts


International news

Chile presidential election - stop the far-right candidate

Unprecedented floods in British Columbia

Wider working-class and union struggle needed to win St Vincent nurses' strike

Defending abortion rights in the US


Workplace news

Universities strike - build the action and stand united to win

Thousands of Tesco warehouse workers to strike

Sandwell bin workers beat Serco and win pay rise

Panasonic workers break company pay freeze

Clarks strikers defeat 'fire and rehire'

Organise to win the NEU's 8% pay demand

Yorkshire Stagecoach bus workers' week-long strike

Worksop Wincanton logistics workers on strike

Newham Sixth Form College begins strike against academisation

Sheffield Just East couriers picket and march for pay rise

Napo ballots for trade dispute


Campaigns news

Affordable housing for all

Challenge cutters and evictors in Waltham Forest Council

Remembering Tony Davison

Fighting Fund: Help us reach over 50,000

Defying unjust laws - a rich history of struggle

Mail attacks tube strikers by stealing socialist's image


Review

Film review: The Harder They Fall


 

Home   |   The Socialist 8 December 2021   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Somerset:

triangleClarks shoe workers strike to give 'fire and rehire' the boot

triangleSave St Andrews mental health ward

triangleStop the fire service cuts

triangleWorkplace news in brief

triangleBristol: Angry meeting discusses tasering of race relations man

Fire:

triangleWeetabix workers defeat 'fire and rehire' and ballot on improved pay offer

triangleClarks workers fight 'fire-and-rehire' pay cut

triangleWeetabix workers escalate action in crunch dispute

triangleFight together for a pay rise

Strike:

triangleInvergordon Royal Mail mutiny wins

triangle10,000 tube workers vote to strike over jobs, terms and pension cuts

triangleSocialist Party members joined the picket lines of striking bin workers in Coventry fighting for better pay. January 2022

Workers:

triangleSolidarity with workers protesting in Kazakhstan

triangleKazakhstan: Working-class revolt only suppressed by massive mobilisation of troops

Pay:

triangleLow pay, stress and Covid drive: NHS staff crisis

South West:

triangleTories' cost of living squeeze - Build workers' fightback

Article dated 8 December 2021

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

triangle18 Jan Cardiff West Socialist Party: Racism in the police - the fight for justice for the Cardiff 3

triangle18 Jan Caerphilly and RCT Socialist Party: Where is Britain going?

triangle19 Jan York & North Yorkshire TUSC people's budget meeting

More...


The Socialist, weekly newspaper of the Socialist Party

News

Kazakhstan

Campaigns news

Workplace news

Reviews

Readers' opinion

Obituaries

Subscribespacer|spacerebook / Kindlespacer|spacerPDF versionspacer|spacerText / Printspacer|spacer1162 onlinespacer|spacerBack issuesspacer|spacer Audio files


Coventry bin workers on strike, January 2022, photo by Dave Nellist

Socialist Party members joined the picket lines of striking bin workers in Coventry fighting for better pay. January 2022

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

Platform setting: =

Desktop version