Adam Ford writes on an exciting development in electricians’ dispute as the ‘Sparks’ launched a wildcat strike against 35% pay cuts.
Hundreds of electricians took wildcat strike action on Wednesday, defying the bosses who want to slash their wages, the anti-union laws which the bosses use to pick holes in strike mandates, and the union bureacracy which had to be dragged kicking and screaming to holding a ballot at all. The country’s biggest ‘unofficial’ walkout in decades represents a new stage in the UK class war – a stage in which workers recognise the limitations of their own leaderships, and consciously move beyond them. By cutting out the utterly compromised middle men and women in this way, working people come face to face with their ultimate enemy – huge corporations and the capitalist state.
I’ve been reporting on the rank-and-file Sparks movement since early autumn, when electricians angry at proposed pay cuts of 35% started their own rank-and-file organisation, with the aim of pressurising union tops into leading a struggle for their members’ livelihoods. Instead, as the Sparks’ resistance increased, so did the machinations of the bureaucracy. As early as September, negotiator Bernard McAulay was slandering the workers as “cancerous”, but he gradually wormed himself back into a position of influence. Continue reading “sparks defy anti-union laws with massive wildcat strike”