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From The Socialist newspaper, 26 January 2022

Strike action by Carmarthenshire winter gritters wins concessions from council

Socialist Party and Socialist Students members on the picket line, photo Swansea and West Wales Socialist Party

Socialist Party and Socialist Students members on the picket line, photo Swansea and West Wales Socialist Party   (Click to enlarge)

Socialist Party Wales

Winter gritters working for Carmarthenshire County Council have won big concessions from the council which will now have to adhere to an agreement to pay decent shift allowances that it has been trying to cut back.

Members of GMB, Unison and Unite unions have taken three nights of strike action and operated nine picket lines in a dispute caused by the council's refusal to adhere to a two-year old agreement. Clearly, the council realised it could not maintain a winter gritting service without the workers, so has been forced to concede. A Unison spokesperson said: "It will not be lost on those involved that three nights of action achieved far more than two years of negotiations."

The council offer, which will be taken back to the members to vote on, is to pay the gritters £25 per shift (an increase of £8) if they are retained for winter gritting on a weekday. On the weekend, when a shift is longer, the employer will pay £40 per shift. On top of this, workers will get the agreed overtime rate.

The dispute was also a model of how three unions could work in partnership to take coordinated action that forced an intransigent employer to back down.

The well-supported picket lines clearly had an impact on the council. Unison Carmarthenshire said: "While it was the action of members that forced the council to concede to our demands in the main, the good turnout on the picket lines was also a crucial factor. We would like to thank other members, Swansea Trades Council (to whom our branch is affiliated), Rob James, Labour opposition group leader of Carmarthenshire County Council, and Socialist Students and Socialist Party members for showing solidarity and support by attending our picket lines."

Unison also criticised Hazel Evans, the Plaid council cabinet member for environmental services, who attacked the unions in the press but refused to meet union representatives to resolve the dispute.

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In The Socialist 26 January 2022:


What we think

We need a workers' alternative to big business Tories and Labour


News

Lords reject parts of anti-protest bill

News in brief

Social care providers put profit before residents' needs - nationalise care now


Cost of living

Cost of living crisis


Trade unions and the cuts

Trade unions and the fight against council cuts


Workplace news

Barts NHS workers strike back

Sheffield Just Eat strikers step up action and hold mass rally

Oaks Park School: valiant strike exposed state of schools

Education: Workload and inflation goes up, incomes fall

DWP reps demand action from PCS leadership

10,000 tube workers vote to strike - don't make workers pay for TfL funding crisis

Strike action by Carmarthenshire winter gritters wins concessions from council

Universities: Strike action at 68 in two disputes

Worksop Wincanton logistics workers begin ninth week of strike action


International news

Trade unionists in the USA fighting back


Campaigns news

Hundreds protest to save St Mary's Leisure Centre in Southampton

Wakefield TUSC - Fighting for low-paid workers and NHS

Eviction resistance on the march in Waltham Forest

This is students' chance to fight back - help build 2 March NUS walkout

Selling the Socialist


Environment

Britain's waterways choked with a 'chemical cocktail'


Readers' opinion

War in Yemen, made in Harlow, profit for rich

Somers 'slaughterhouse' Forge

UK Covid-19 mortality similar to Spanish Flu

It's my party, and I'll lie if I want to


 

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Related links:

Carmarthenshire:

triangleCarmarthenshire gritters take action as Plaid-led council reneges on agreement

triangleCarmarthenshire Unison: 'Recognise our union!'

triangleCarmarthenshire: Fighting for trade union recognition at council-owned company

triangleEvery voter in Wales has the opportunity to vote for TUSC

triangleWelsh schools close for safety after union pressure

Strike:

triangleWorkers and students unite and fight

triangleRail workers strike in Sheffield

triangleJust Eat couriers continue action to fight pay cut

triangleBarts NHS workers to walk out again on 28 February

Council:

triangleNewham City Farm - closed with no consultation

triangleBrighton Green and Labour cuts - workers and communities fight back

triangleRestore Cardiff's slashed services

Unison:

triangleSocialist Party statement on Unison president Paul Holmes

triangleHackney Unison to encourage anti-cuts candidates

Pay:

triangleTV review: This is Going to Hurt

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23/2/22

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Restore Cardiff's slashed services

23/2/22

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Usdaw

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triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


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