Contesting the UK's neoliberal model of capitalism:
worker-led dissent (2010-2019)

The following provides details of the most prominent worker-led forms of protest, industrial action and dissent in the UK during the 2010s.

For more details, see 'Worker-Led Dissent in the Age of Austerity: Comparing the Conditions of Success', in Work, Employment and Society

David J. Bailey (April 2023)

1  Campaign against Kraft takeover (2010)

 

Campaign led by Unite the Union sought to oppose Kraft takeover of Cadbury; including  a protest outside parliament; this in addition to protests during 2009 in run-up to deal; although the takeover went ahead. Some minor commitments extracted in terms of commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility, but one plant closed (despite promises to the contrary) almost immediately after the takeover.

Days: 3 protest event days reported

Organisation: Unite

Action (type): demonstration (informational)

Political support (government): partial - Brown Government (Lord Mandelson Business Secretary) espoused caution, but not outright opposition, to takeover - "government would oppose any buyer who failed to “respect” the historic confectioner" 

Political support (opposition): partial - Cameron says is 'heartbreaking' but can't avoid it due to open/global economy

Transport Sector: No

Public sector: No

Grassroots/independent union: No

Local dispute: Partially (largely focused around Birmingham plant)

Focus on immediate material interests: Partially (employer practices)

Corbyn leadership: No (Brown)

Outcome: Minor achievements


Sources: https://www.ft.com/content/1cb06d30-332f-11e1-a51e-00144feabdc0  https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmselect/cmbis/234/234.pdf 

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2010/jan/19/cadbury-management-criticised-kraft-takeover

https://www.theguardian.com/business/audio/2010/jan/28/cadbury-kraft-bournville-trade-union



2  PCS gallery attendants pay dispute (2010)

 

100 staff on strike over pay, including 2 days of walkouts; ongoing weeks later and continuing in May; no sign of victory over pay. 6 days of action in total.

Days: 6 strike days reported

Organisation: PCS

Action (type): strike

Political support (government): none reported

Political support (opposition): none reported

Transport Sector: No

Public sector: Yes

Grassroots/independent union: No

Local dispute: Yes (National Gallery)

Focus on immediate material interests: Yes (pay)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: No (Brown)

Outcome: Goals unrealised (pay award imposed with no sign of any subsequent improvement)


Sources: https://socialistworker.co.uk/art/19960/National+Gallery+strike

https://www.politics.co.uk/opinion-former/press-release/2010/02/23/pcs-national-gallery-staff-walk-out-again-over-low-pay/

https://www.workersliberty.org/story/2010/05/27/national-gallery-workers-take-action-living-wage 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/8518310.stm

https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:O53bs0mE-a0J:https://www.politics.co.uk/opinion-former/press-release/2010/02/12/pcs-national-gallery-staff-to-walkout-over-pay/+&cd=20&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk 

https://www.google.com/url?q=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nationalgallery.org.uk%2Fmedia%2F15434%2Fannual-review_2009-2010.pdf&sa=D 


 3  PCS severance payments dispute (2010)

 

Strike over proposed reforms to the Civil Service Compensation Scheme , which allows for voluntary severance/redundancy and early retirement. PCS objected on the grounds that it would impose a cap on compensation. Originally proposed by the Labour Government, prompting 2 days of strike action, conducted by around 200,000 workers, in early March 2010; and then another strike day in late March 2010. Following the switch to the new Coalition Government a further cap on redundancy payments was mooted but this was nullified by a High Court ruling in May 2010. The Government then in 2011 overturned the legal ruling on appeal. 

Days: 3 strike days reported (demonstrations occurred during the strike activity)

Organisation: PCS

Action (type): strike (as well as demonstrations and a legal claim)

Political support (government): No (Labour and Coalition Governments were both proponents of the reform)

Political support (opposition): No (Labour backbenchers supported but Labour Govt. had proposed reform and Conservatives extended it)

Transport Sector: No

Public sector: Yes

Grassroots/independent union: No

Local dispute: No (nationwide dispute)

Focus on immediate material interests: Yes (pay/redundancy payments)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: No (Brown)

Outcome: minor achievements (12 month delay in implementation due to legal ruling)


Sources: https://nvdatabase.swarthmore.edu/content/united-kingdom-public-and-commercial-services-union-strikes-against-cuts-civil-service-compe 





 4  UCU anti-cuts strikes (2010)

 

Strikes at 14 HE/FE institutions against funding cuts and the fear it would have an impact upon jobs. No obvious change in Government policy resulted from the action. Some movements in the institutions: UCL dispute called off after compulsory redundancies avoided- similar at KCL - and IoE other institution (UAL) (and Westminster where 2 days of strike action took place, and marking boycott) join the action later in the month. But protests continue over funding cuts.

Days: 3 strike days reported 

Organisation: UCU

Action (type): strike (and demonstration)

Political support (government): No (Labour Government implementing cuts)

Political support (opposition): None reported.

Transport Sector: No

Public sector: Partial (aimed at public sector funding)

Grassroots/independent union: No

Local dispute: Partial (London-focused)

Focus on immediate material interests: Mainly (aimed at public policy with implications for jobs and/or directly against job cuts in several cases)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: No (Brown)

Outcome: between minor and substantial achievements (several HE institutions (KCL, UCL, IoE, reached a resolution (substantial achievements),  but no real improvement in funding issue other than via (in HE) the fees hike, which was opposed by UCU - hence between minor and substantial achievements)


Sources: https://www.ucu.org.uk/article/4565/London-to-be-hit-by-strikes-at-universities-and-colleges-on-5-May

https://www.ucu.org.uk/article/4461/Kings-College-strike-action-ballot-in-row-over-job-cuts

https://ucu.org.uk/article/4552/Capital-university-crisis-as-staff-at-University-of-Westminster-and-UCL-join-list-of-London-universities-voting-for-strike-action?list=1676

https://ucu.org.uk/article/4586/London-education-strikes-and-demonstration-on-5-May?list=1676 

https://ucu.org.uk/article/4656/Strike-action-at-University-of-Arts-London-in-job-cut-row?list=1676

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10096888 

https://socialistworker.co.uk/news/day-of-action-workers-and-students-united-for-education/ 




 5  BA Cabin Crew Dispute (2010)

 


Days: Dispute over changes to cabin crew staff working conditions. "They took 22 strike days, albeit intermittently, during 2010. Eventually, in May 2011, Unite and BA agreed Working together – a joint settlement, that preserved collective bargaining, sustained the union and guaranteed a two-year pay increase of 7.5 per cent and Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) reviews for those disciplined. Nevertheless, BASSA conceded the mixed fleet. In June 2011, 92 per cent voted on a 72 per cent turnout for acceptance." (Moore and Taylor 2020),

Organisation: Unite

Action (type): strike 

Political support (government): None reported (Labour Government neutral advocates arbitration but no strikes)

Political support (opposition): None reported (Cameron hostile).

Transport Sector: Yes

Public sector: No

Grassroots/independent union: No

Local dispute: No (nationwide dispute)

Focus on immediate material interests: Yes (pay and working conditions)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: No (Brown)

Outcome: substantial achievements (see summary from Moore and Taylor, above)


Sources: https://www.france24.com/en/20100328-politicians-wade-dispute-british-airways-strike-enters-second-day

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0038038520973603





 6  Fish Market Porters against the City of London (2010)

 

Protest over the change to the licence system at the Billingsgate Fish Market. Unite represents the porters and says the end to licence system will risk their jobs. Demonstration on one day (140 porters) and a 20,000 signature petition. But licence changes go ahead.

Days: 1 protest event reported

Organisation: Unite

Action (type): demonstration and petition (informational)

Political support (government): None reported

Political support (opposition): partial - Livingstone (ex-London Mayor) backed the campaign

Transport Sector: No

Public sector: Partial (City of London Corporation)

Grassroots/independent union: No

Local dispute: Yes (Billingsgate Fish Market)

Focus on immediate material interests: Partial (public policy affecting employment conditions)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: No (Miliband)

Outcome: goals unrealised


Sources: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-10849882

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-11867185 





 7  GMB strike at AstraZeneca (2010)

 

Dispute over pensions and move to DB scheme; 12 days of strike action; strike eventually called off for fear of company retaliation but achieved a repayment of the lost wages as part of the deal to end the dispute - main summary here: https://www.gmb.org.uk/sites/default/files/GMB11-GS.pdf 

Days: 12 days strike action

Organisation: GMB

Action (type): strike

Political support (government): None reported

Political support (opposition): None reported

Transport Sector: No

Public sector: No

Grassroots/independent union: No

Local dispute: No (nationwide dispute at multiple plants)

Focus on immediate material interests: Yes (pensions)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: No (Miliband)

Outcome: minor achievements- AZ agreed repayment of lost wages, but no movement over main goal on pensions ("we settled with AZ on terms which were honourable even if they did not give our members what they wanted" - GMB Gen Sec report 2011)


Sources:https://www.hrgrapevine.com/content/article/2010-09-22-strike-three-at-astrazeneca

https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/business/business-news/astrazeneca-staff-walk-out-in-historic-898461

https://socialistworker.co.uk/art/22424/Astra+Zeneca+workers+strike+again

https://www.professionalpensions.com/news/1011705/union-halts-strike-action-astrazeneca

https://www.gmb.org.uk/sites/default/files/GMB11-GS.pdf 



 8  TUC anti-cuts demonstrations (2010 and 2011)

 

Demonstration staged by the TUC to protest the Comprehensive Spending Review 2010, which in broad terms largely went ahead as planned. Another repeat protest the following year: 26 March 2011 "March for the Alternative".


Days: 2 protest events reported

Organisation: TUC

Action (type): demonstration (informational)

Political support (government): No (protest was against Government policy)

Political support (opposition): partial/yes - had promised to attend 2010 event but didn't ("The Labour leader, Ed Miliband, did not join the demonstration, but aides denied the decision was a U-turn despite his declaration last month that he would "definitely" attend. "  from here) - Miliband did then attend the 2011 event in support

Transport Sector: No

Public sector: Yes

Grassroots/independent union: No

Local dispute: No (national policy dispute)

Focus on immediate material interests: Partial (policy-focused, but with implications for jobs/pay)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: No (Miliband)

Outcome: goals unrealised


Sources:https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2010/oct/19/spending-review-anti-cuts-rally 

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/mar/26/anti-cuts-march-swells-400000 


 9  FBU strikes against job cuts (2010)

 

Dispute with London Fire Authority over job losses with threat of immediate sack, which was removed as part of calling off the strike for talks; talks eventually led to an agreed change to working hours (concessions).


Days: 2 strike days

Organisation: FBU

Action (type): strike (and ASOS and demonstration in run-up to strike)

Political support (government): No (protest was against Conservative-led LFA)

Political support (opposition): partial -  some Labour MPs signed an EDM 

Transport Sector: No

Public sector: Yes

Grassroots/independent union: No

Local dispute: Partial (London-based)

Focus on immediate material interests: Yes (job cuts)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: No (Miliband)

Outcome: substantial achievements- agreed improvement to original offer over shift changes


Sources:https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/10598/11-11-2010/london-firefighters-dispute-fight-is-not-over

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-12447267 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-12063474 

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/363806/Carr_Review_Report.pdf 


 10  NUJ pensions dispute with BBC (2010)

 

2 day strike over pensions (which the other unions had agreed to) then called off next round of strikes for talks and to resolve the disciplining of foreign workers who took part; talks result in guarantee of increases in pensions until 2016


Days: 2 strike days

Organisation: NUJ

Action (type): strike 

Political support (government): No

Political support (opposition): no - Miliband sought to prevent the strike

Transport Sector: No

Public sector: partial (BBC)

Grassroots/independent union: No

Local dispute: No (nationwide dispute)

Focus on immediate material interests: Yes (pensions)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: No (Miliband)

Outcome: substantial achievements- talks resulted in guaranteed increases in pensions until 2016


Sources:https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-11736932 

https://www.professionalpensions.com/news/1019897/nuj-accepts-bbc-scheme-proposal 


 11  Heinz workers pay dispute (2010)

 

Pay dispute in pursuit of a 4.3% pay rise at Heinz's Wigan plant; after 2 strike days the employer eventually moved the offer up from 3.1% to 3.9% in the face of  a scheduled further strike day.


Days: 3 strike days

Organisation: Unite

Action (type): strike 

Political support (government): None reported

Political support (opposition): None reported

Transport Sector: No

Public sector: No

Grassroots/independent union: No

Local dispute: Yes (Wigan plant)

Focus on immediate material interests: Yes (pay)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: No (Miliband)

Outcome: substantial achievements- pay offer increased from 3.1% to 3.9%


Sources:https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/heinz-workers-agree-pay-deal-2187634.html

https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/keyword/Workplace_and_TU_campaigns/Heinz/10839/21-12-2010/round-two-of-heinz-strike 


 12  Lap dancers against Hackney Council (2010-11)

 

Protest by Lap Dancers against a proposed ban by Hackney Council on new strip bars - protest was held in December 2010, final decision made in 2011. Council went ahead regardless - despite widespread community opposition.


Days: 1 protest event reported

Organisation:  no formal organisation reported

Action (type): demonstration (informational)

Political support (government): None reported

Political support (opposition): None reported

Transport Sector: No

Public sector workers: No

Grassroots/independent union: Yes (campaign appears to be led by strippers themselves)

Local dispute: Partial (Hackney-focused)

Focus on immediate material interests: Partial (public policy with impact on employment)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: No (Miliband)

Outcome: goals unrealised- licence change went ahead despite widespread opposition


Sources: https://hackneypost.co.uk/sex-laws-blow-for-strippers-2/ 

https://www.hackneycitizen.co.uk/2011/01/10/sex-establishments-consultation-majority-say-no-to-hackney-councils-nil-policy/

http://www.hackneycitizen.co.uk/2010/12/10/strippers-and-vicar-unite-to-fight-cleanup-campaign/ 


 13  ASLEF tube workers bank holiday pay dispute (2010-3)

 

ASLEF strike action on Boxing Day 2011 over changes to rota and lack of bank holiday pay for boxing day.  ASLEF announce another day of strike action for Boxing Day 2012 over changes to rota and lack of bank holiday pay for boxing day - this is in addition to a similar strike in 2010. Further strike action planned for January and February 2012, but this called off after 1st day of action for talks. The dispute rumbles on until eventually a deal is reached between ASLEF and London Underground in 2013, although RMT are angry that this doesn't resolve the dispute for them and ASLEF have therefore acted in a non-solidarity fashion. The terms of the deal are an additional £350 for Boxing Day working, which are announced in December 2013. 


Days: 3 strike days

Organisation: ASLEF

Action (type): strike

Political support (government): none reported - (Government considers banning tube strikes at some point in 2013) and Conservative council provides free parking to try to mitigate the impact of the strike

Political support (opposition): none reported

Transport Sector: Yes

Public sector workers: Partial - London Undergrounds Ltd. is subsidiary of Transport for London

Grassroots/independent union: No

Local dispute: Yes (applies to London Underground only)

Focus on immediate material interests: Yes (pay)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: No (Miliband)

Outcome: goals realised (£350 additional payment for working Boxing Day)


Sources

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-12061069

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-20757141

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-16368586 

https://www.rmtlondoncalling.org.uk/content/rmt-front-issue-27


 14  Prison officers against privatisation (2011)

 

Around 100 staff walkout in protest at proposed privatisation of Winson Green prison in Birmingham.  The privatisation eventually went ahead although it experienced considerable problems and was eventually brought back into the public sector in 2018.

Days: 1 day walkout - although not strike

Organisation: POA 

Action (type): demonstration (informational)

Political support (government): None reported (protest is against government policy)

Political support (opposition): None reported (Labour Party introduced the policy)

Transport Sector: No

Public sector workers: Yes

Grassroots/independent union: No

Local dispute: Yes (Winson Green  Prison in Birmingham)

Focus on immediate material interests: Partial (public policy with impact on employment)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: No (Miliband)

Outcome: minor achievements- concessions were made, but much later (7 years later), so only considered minor achievements as an indirect result of this initial politicisation of the privatisation


Sources: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/11673/04-04-2011/birmingham-prison-officers-determined-to-fight-privatisation

https://www.theguardian.com/public-leaders-network/2011/apr/01/public-criminal-justice 

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2011/mar/31/birmingham-prison-privatisation-troops-kenneth-clarke 

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/aug/20/moj-seizes-control-of-birmingham-prison-from-g4s 



 15  GMB protest Southern Cross/Blackstone (2011)

 

Protests led by GMB against the near collapse of care home firm Southern Cross after Blackstone made large profit on sale of company to Southern Cross. Vince Cable agreed to look into the problem. 

Days: 1 protest event reported

Organisation: GMB

Action (type): demonstration (informational)

Political support (government): Mild support (Government says will look into issue of private equity funding)

Political support (opposition): Yes (Labour MPs sign EDM; Miliband makes public statements on social care to coincide with report on topic released at same time; and also here; but no obvious improvement to social care as a result)

Transport Sector: No

Public sector workers: partial (social care provided by private firms but often with public funding)

Grassroots/independent union: No

Local dispute: No (nationwide campaign)

Focus on immediate material interests: Partial (public policy with impact on employment)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: No (Miliband)

Outcome: goals unrealised - Government agrees to consider the problem but no obvious change to social care provision


Sources

https://www.prweek.com/article/1073923/blackstone-calls-help-finsbury-southern-cross-care-crisis

https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/12157/02-06-2011/southern-cross-social-care-on-the-brink

https://www.epsu.org/sites/default/files/article/files/Summary_Background-Info-GMB-Southern-Cross.pdf

https://www.gmb.org.uk/sites/default/files/GMB12-GS.pdf 

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2011/jun/02/blackstone-denies-blame-for-southern-cross 


 16  NUT pensions dispute (2011-14)

 

Dispute over reduction in pensions which was first mooted in 2010 as a result of the Hutton Report. First set of proposals made in October 2010 to increase member contribution rates by an average of 3.2 per cent across public service schemes. NUT and NASUWT were both opposed to the changes during the consultation. The final proposal was released in March 2011 (Hutton Report) and included move to career average pensions and a rise in the pension age. First strike action takes place 30 June - and then another on 30 November 2011. In Nov 2011 the Government improved the offer from 1/65th to 1/60th - and then December 2011 it was announced that 1/57th accrual had been agreed. NUT announced that it still didn't accept these changes: "As a result of our strike action on 30 June and 30 November, the Government offered concessions. While these were welcome, they are not nearly enough. The Government is still asking teachers to pay a lot more and work a lot longer to get a lot less". Strike action, including over pensions, continued into 2014 (incl. March 2012, March 2014 and July 2014) but with no further movement by the Government. Summary here.


Days: 5 strike days (and multiple demonstrations)

Organisation: NUT

Action (type): strike

Political support (government): No (dispute with government)

Political support (opposition): No (lack of support by Miliband criticised by unions - likewise no support in 2014)

Transport Sector: No

Public sector workers: yes

Grassroots/independent union: No

Local dispute: No (nationwide campaign)

Focus on immediate material interests: Yes (pensions)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: No (Miliband)

Outcome: minor achievements - Government moved some way in 2011 but then no further and NUT explicitly called these concessions "not nearly enough".


Sources

https://www.local.gov.uk/sites/default/files/documents/union-perspective-2015-tp-491.pdf

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-28182376

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2011/nov/29/why-are-teachers-striking

https://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/SN06731/SN06731.pdf

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-24268852


 17  PCS civil servants pensions dispute (2011-3)

 

Pension reforms introduced following the Hutton Report.  Initial proposal (Oct 2010) included an increase in contribution rates by 3.2%. Final recommendations in 2011 included career average and increasing the pension age. Government adopted the proposals in full. PCS (and other public sector unions) took strike action 30 June and 30 November 2011. Ahead of the November strikes the offer moved from 1/65th accrual to 1/60th. In March 2012 further details were announced that essentially repeated the November offer, and FDA and Prospect accepted; PCS, Unite and Prison Officers remained opposed.  Another strike took place March 2012 and then again in March 2013 but the reforms were eventually introduced in Public Service Pension Act 2013.

Days: 4 strike days over 2 years (and multiple demonstrations)

Organisation: PCS

Action (type): strike

Political support (government): No (dispute with government)

Political support (opposition): No- Miliband says he doesn't support

Transport Sector: No

Public sector workers: yes

Grassroots/independent union: No

Local dispute: No (nationwide campaign)

Focus on immediate material interests: Yes (pensions)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: No (Miliband)

Outcome: minor achievements - Government moved some way in 2011 but then no further and PCS remained opposed.


Sources

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-13772326

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-13967580

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2011/nov/30/strikes-public-sector-pensions-impact

https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/23982/23-11-2016/lessons-of-the-n30-2011-pension-strike

https://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/SN05768/SN05768.pdf

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/number-10-press-briefing-afternoon-from-30-june-2011

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2011/nov/11/public-sector-concessions-pensions-row

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16514522

https://www.redpepper.org.uk/n30-and-after-was-that-it/

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2012/mar/19/civil-service-union-pensions-strike

https://www.channel4.com/news/public-sector-workers-strike-over-pensions

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21855620 


 18  Unite living wage at Sainsbury's campaign (2011)

 

Unite protest outside Sainsbury's AGM demanding living wage for staff. ""Despite the protest, 98.2% of Sainsbury's shareholders approved the supermarket's pay policy. " (Neate 2011) Living wage campaign run by Unite and focused on Sainsbury's. No sign of improvement -  a year later and several years later. (Although in 2015 Sainsbury's did agree to this - we can't really put that down to the 2011 protests - put as minor achievements as eventually agreed despite it being much later than the protest).


Days: 1 protest event reported

Organisation: Unite

Action (type): demonstration (informational)

Political support (government): Partial/indirect - Cameron made positive comments about living wage in principle but nothing reported specifically on the Sainsbury campaign

Political support (opposition): Partial/indirect - Labour signed up to living wage as a commitment but nothing reported specifically on the Sainsbury campaign 

Transport Sector: No

Public sector workers: No

Grassroots/independent union: No

Local dispute: No (nationwide campaign)

Focus on immediate material interests: Yes (pay)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: No (Miliband)

Outcome: minor achievements (see above in 2015 Sainsbury's did agree to this - we can't really put that down to the 2011 protests - put as minor achievements as eventually agreed despite it being much later than the protest)


Sources: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/jul/20/labour-living-wage

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2011/jul/13/sainsburys-staff-wages-justin-king-unite-protest 


 19  UCU Pensions Dispute (2011)

 

Following a proposal for pensions reforms to USS, UCU balloted for strike action in early 2011. Strike days are announced for March 2011. First strike March 2011 - 5 days in total (although spread out over different regions so effectively 2 days per institution). A second ballot launched in September 2011 and this led to, first, action short of strike ('work to contract'), and then strike action on 30 November. The final outcome saw no movement from the employers or USS and the dispute was therefore effectively a defeat as it allowed a two-track scheme to be introduced with risks that this would later turn into a single-track reform proposal (aligning with the worse of the two tracks) (Woodcock and Englert 2018) - this is confirmed in this UCU briefing. Further talks continued in 2012 after UCU opted to end ASOS but nothing came of them.


Days: 3 strike days (and prolonged ASOS for around 6 months in total)

Organisation: UCU

Action (type): strike

Political support (government): None reported.

Political support (opposition): No - Miliband openly refused to support strikes

Transport Sector: No

Public sector workers: Partial (Universities charities but publicly funded)

Grassroots/independent union: No

Local dispute: No (nationwide campaign)

Focus on immediate material interests: Yes (pensions)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: No (Miliband)

Outcome: goals unrealised


Sources

Woodcock and Englert (2018) Looking Back in Anger: the UCU strikes


 20  Unison/Unite dispute with Southampton City Council (2011-12)

 

Industrial dispute over contract changes/pay cut by 300 social workers who are members of Unison and another 700 Unite members, against a fire-and-rehire designed to cut pay by imposing a pay cut of 4.5% in July 2011. 12 weeks of strike action over summer 2011 was managed by rotating between different worker categories. Then another day of action on 6 October 2011. Then 13 October a compromise is agreed  - which amounts to a very marginal improvement - and the strikes are called off pending approval by union members - however, both unions reject the deal.  Once Conservative Party lose the council elections in 2012 and are replaced with Labour leadership the pay cuts are reversed (as had been promised during the election) and members accepted the new deal, calling off both tribunal claims and ongoing industrial action. In total 200 days of targeted action had taken place.


Days: over 200 targeted strike days

Organisation: Unison and Unite

Action (type): strike

Political support (government): opposed - Conservative council imposed the pay reductions

Political support (opposition): Yes - the Labour councillors stood on a platform promising to overturn the reductions and eventually did so

Transport Sector: No

Public sector workers: Yes

Grassroots/independent union: No

Local dispute: Yes (Southampton City Council)

Focus on immediate material interests: Yes (pay)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: No (Miliband)

Outcome: goals realised


Sources

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2011/oct/06/southampton-council-staff-strike-unison

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-15195885

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2011/11/sout-n01.html

https://www.unison.org.uk/news/magazine/2013/07/playing-a-part-from-pay/

https://www.communitycare.co.uk/2012/10/08/council-social-workers-accept-proposals-to-phase-in-higher-pay/

https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:j-EmQBISIHgJ:https://www.communitycare.co.uk/2012/08/07/councils-social-workers-could-see-heavy-pay-cuts-overturned/+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk

https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:1jSKhcMdpjoJ:https://www.politics.co.uk/opinion-former/press-release/2012/08/21/unite-southampton-first-council-offering-to-reverse-pay-cuts/+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk

https://careappointments.com/care-news/england/85296/unions-reject-southampton-city-councils-proposals/

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-19846882



 21  Unilever pensions dispute (2011)

 

Pensions dispute over Unilever decision to end final salary pension scheme, resulting in a 40% cut in pensions. Unite was the majority union involved, but USDAW and GMB also took strike action. After a total of 11 days of strike action Unite eventually agreed to the pensions despite, with the other smaller unions against agreeing but once Unite agreed they faced no choice but to also agree. None of the unions seemed happy with the deal - with Unite saying members were disappointed but also recognised that they had retained a good pension as a result of concessions: 'best in class pension'. Although USDAW said members were 'angry and bitterly disappointed'. 

Unite’s national officer Jennie Formby said: “Unite members voted by two-to-one to accept the revised pension scheme. “We were of course disappointed that we were unable to retain the final salary scheme but we were pleased that as a result of our fightback we were able to secure some significant improvements to the CARE (defined benefits) scheme proposed by the company. In addition we got a guarantee that there would be no further change before 2018 and agreement that, after that date, no further announcements of change would be made before there is full consultation with the trade unions.”


Days: 11 strike days

Organisation: Unite (and USDAW and GMB)

Action (type): strike

Political support (government): none reported

Political support (opposition): none reported

Transport Sector: No

Public sector workers: No

Grassroots/independent union: No

Local dispute: No (national dispute at multiple plants)

Focus on immediate material interests: Yes (pension)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: No (Miliband)

Outcome: Between Minor and Substantial achievements: improved offer to the pensions scheme was eventually agreed, but none of the unions seemed especially pleased with the outcome


Sources

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2012/jan/07/unilever-strikes-pension-closure

https://www.ft.com/content/97075178-19d2-11e1-ba5d-00144feabdc0

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leeds-16665042

https://www.foodmanufacture.co.uk/Article/2012/04/05/Unilever-pension-row-over-after-Unite-says-yes

https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/unilever-pensions-dispute-unite-usdaw-3347100


 22  Welsh language musicians dispute with BBC (2011-15)

 

Welsh language musicians entered into a dispute with the BBC over royalties payments. This led to up to 450 musicians/composers demanding BBC Radio Cymru do not play their music for three days.  It was labelled a 'strike' but more like a boycott as musicians made the request to the BBC and they agreed for one day (but not the requested three days). The musicians then switched agencies, from PRS to Eos, but in 2013 were still unable to agree new terms for the royalties.  The Welsh Government was neutral over the issue - "“We hope both sides reach an agreement as soon as possible.” - whereas Plaid Cymru were more supportive: "This is a disaster for Radio Cymru. It also speaks volumes about the patronising attitude of the BBC in London towards Welsh language culture. ... “The musicians have seen their income decimated by the new rates while the BBC hands out half a million to its former Director General without blinking an eyelid.” A temporary agreement was reached in early 2013 in an attempt to set up negotiations to resolve the dispute. However, the dispute was eventually lost in a copyright tribunal in December 2013 and so ultimately the musicians were unable to achieve their goals. Plans did emerge in early 2014 to continue negotiations - and then finally an agreement was reached in Jan 2015 (although it's difficult to say this was directly connected to the earlier strike/boycott as that had ended several years earlier - hence minor achievements).


Days: 1 day boycott then sustained negotiations over multiple years

Organisation: PRS then Eos

Action (type): informational (boycott)

Political support (government): none reported - Welsh Government made neutral statements

Political support (opposition): yes - Plaid Cymru criticises BBC in a way that supports Welsh language musicians

Transport Sector: No

Public sector workers: No

Grassroots/independent union: No

Local dispute: Partial (applies to Wales only)

Focus on immediate material interests: Yes (pay/royalties)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: No (Miliband)

Outcome: minor achievements (an agreement was reached in Jan 2015 (although it's difficult to say this was directly connected to the earlier strike/boycott as that had ended several years earlier - hence minor achievements)


Sources

https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2011/dec/18/welsh-language-musicians-strike-royalties 

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/long-running-dispute-prompts-bbc-radio-2496431

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/welsh-language-musicians-lose-bbc-6411374

https://www.thelineofbestfit.com/news/latest-news/bbc-reach-temporary-agreement-with-welsh-language-musicians-over-royalties-dispute-118338

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-30961059


 23  RMT restructure dispute - Network Rail (Scotland) (2011-12)

 

RMT dispute with Network Rail over changes to career progress system at at the West of Scotland signalling centre (ending an agreement that staff are 'slotted' into a post when it becomes vacant). RMT announce 3 days strike starting Christmas Eve 2011 as part of the dispute. Around 30 staff involved.  Another 2 days strike planned for January are called off for talks.  Talks break down and then a return to another day of strike action in Feb 2012.  next round of strikes called off in January; strike back on in Feb but eventually an agreement reached with a 'form of words' agreement that resolved the dispute.


Days: 4 strike days

Organisation: RMT

Action (type): strike

Political support (government): none reported 

Political support (opposition): none reported

Transport Sector: Yes

Public sector workers: Partial - Network Rail is an 'arms length' public body

Grassroots/independent union: No

Local dispute: Yes (applies to  West of Scotland signalling centre only)

Focus on immediate material interests: Partial (career progress system)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: No (Miliband)

Outcome: goals realised (dispute resolved to the satisfaction of RMT members)


Sources

https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2011/dec/24/railway-signallers-72-hour-strike

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-16670859

https://www.scotsman.com/news/transport/rail-workers-stage-24-hour-walkout-over-promotion-row-1643142

https://www.railtechnologymagazine.com/Rail-News/Signalling-dispute-resolved-




 24  PCS dispute HMRC over privatisation/outsourcing (2012)

 

PCS call a day of strike action to take place in HMRC on day of tax submission deadline (Jan 2012). The dispute is in opposition to outsourcing to Sitel and Teleperformance which is seen as a first step towards privatisation.  Another ballot for strike action later the same year, including on privatisation, plus no mention of any change of course on the trial, all suggests no subsequent sign of change or impact as a result of the day of action.


Days: 1 strike day

Organisation: PCS

Action (type): strike

Political support (government): none reported - strike was against government decision

Political support (opposition): partial- many Labour MPs sign supportive EDM (although no statement issued by Labour leadership)

Transport Sector: No

Public sector workers: Yes

Grassroots/independent union: No

Local dispute: No (national dispute at HMRC)

Focus on immediate material interests: Partial (employment-related public policy decision)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: No (Miliband)

Outcome: Goals unrealised


Sources

https://www.workersliberty.org/story/2012/02/01/hmrc-strike-pushes-tax-deadline

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2012/jan/31/hmrc-delays-tax-return-deadline-strike

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2012/jun/01/hmrc-staff-vote-strike-action 




 25  interpreters boycott ALS-Capita (2012-14)

 

Up to 1000 interpreters start boycott of courts in opposition to a privatisation of the contract by the Ministry of Justice, following Capita buying ALS and then the contract for interpreting going to ALS. The boycott was widely upheld and resulted in years of under-performance by ALS-Capita - and caused a major shambles including fines for ALS-Capita - this prompted an increase in the pay rate but no sign of substantial changes to new system.


Days: ongoing - at least a year (300 days)

Organisation: no clear organisation leading the action

Action (type): boycott (quasi strike)

Political support (government): none reported - strike was against government decision

Political support (opposition): limited - Labour opposition criticise government decision in 2014, but no direct support for interpreters reported

Transport Sector: No

Public sector workers: Partial (outsourced)

Grassroots/independent union: Yes (either independently organised or through Professional Interpreters Alliance)

Local dispute: No (national dispute against MoJ)

Focus on immediate material interests: Partial (employment-related public policy decision)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: No (Miliband)

Outcome: substantial achievements (pay rate said to increase resulting in gradual ending of boycott, but no change to the fact that ALS-Capita are providing the service)


Sources

http://professionalinterpretersalliance.blogspot.com/2015/02/capita-fined-over-failure-to-provide.html

https://irr.org.uk/article/the-ongoing-fiasco-of-privatised-court-interpreting-services/

https://www.theguardian.com/law/2012/mar/02/interpreters-courts-protest-privatised-contract





 26  Prison officers pensions dispute (2012)

 

Prison Officers' Association took part in 1 day of unofficial strike action - prompting the Government to consider an injunction - although they were back at work before the injunction had a chance to take effect. The reforms were eventually introduced anyway in Public Service Pension Act 2013.


Days: 1 unofficial strike day

Organisation: POA

Action (type): unofficial strike (confrontational)

Political support (government): none reported - strike was against government decision and government considered injunction

Political support (opposition): yes - Labour front bench support

Transport Sector: No

Public sector workers: Yes

Grassroots/independent union: No 

Local dispute: No (national dispute against government/employer)

Focus on immediate material interests: Yes (pensions)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: No (Miliband)

Outcome: Goals unrealised


Sources

https://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/SN05768/SN05768.pdf

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-18010526


 27  TSSA protest Network rail bonuses (2012)

 

TSSA protest over bonuses for bosses at Network Rail.  Protest was outside company AGM - but members voted 92% to agree the bonuses. Nevertheless, two years later bonuses were reduced from c. 60% to a cap of 20%.


Days: 1 day protest

Organisation: TSSA

Action (type): demonstration (informational)

Political support (government): yes - Government also opposed the bonuses

Political support (opposition): yes - EDM signed by many Labour MPs and Labour front bench support blocking bonuses 

Transport Sector: Yes 

Public sector workers: Partial - publicly funded Network Rail

Grassroots/independent union: No 

Local dispute: No (national dispute against employer)

Focus on immediate material interests: Partial (employer practices)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: No (Miliband)

Outcome: Between Minor and Substantial achievements (reforms sought were adopted (substantial achievement), but two years later - hence put as 'minor/substantial')


Sources

https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/news/article-2618659/Network-Rail-slashes-bosses-mega-bonuses-20.html

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2012/feb/06/network-rail-bonuses-downing-street

https://www.scotsman.com/news/transport/three-fat-controllers-share-ps1m-bonuses-2479599

https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/02/06/network-rail-bonuses-labour-justine-greening_n_1256512.html


 28  Remploy job cuts dispute (2012)

 

Disabled workers at REMPLOY strike for a total of 7 days against plans for closure of 27 REMPLOY factories. Strikes started in mid-2012. Then another 5 days of strike action in September 2012. Despite the action, closures went ahead resulting in widespread job losses. More details here.

Days: 5 days strike action

Organisation: Unite/GMB

Action (type): strike 

Political support (government): no  - was DWP policy

Political support (opposition): partial - Labour Party accepted need for change but accused way it was done as 'mismanaged'

Transport Sector: No

Public sector workers: Partial - REMPLOY is a Non-Departmental Public Body of the Department for Work and Pensions 

Grassroots/independent union: No 

Local dispute: No (national dispute)

Focus on immediate material interests: yes (redundancies)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: No (Miliband)

Outcome: goals unrealised - closures went ahead despite strikes


Sources

https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/13066741.remploy-workers-staging-second-strike-job-cuts/

https://bdaily.co.uk/articles/2012/09/03/remploy-workers-begin-strikes

https://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/remploy-union-disputes-job-figures/

https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/13112415.disabled-workers-face-jobs-axe-amid-factory-closures/

https://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/SN00698/SN00698.pdf


 29  Lawyers against Legal Aid reforms - Scotland (2012 - 13)

 

Lawyers vote for industrial action, to take place in response to a proposed Scottish Civil Justice Council and Criminal Legal Assistance Bill . Opposition coordinated by Edinburgh Bar Association, other city Bar Associations, and with the support of the Law Society of Scotland. Lawyers stage a protest in November 2012. Then begin strike action also in November as part of a series of unannounced strikes. The first one on 21 November 2012 and then again on 27 Nov, earlier in December, and then a fourth day on 17 December. The government reform proposal was to increase private costs for those earning over £68 a week, with solicitors needing to collect the costs themselves. The reforms were eventually adopted in early 2013, with the threshold for fees rising to £82. Following these minor concessions (threshold raised) the Law Society agrees to the changes, although Edinburgh Bar Association remains unhappy about the reforms.


Days: 4 days industrial action

Organisation: Law Society

Action (type): "industrial action" - technically this is a refusal to take on cases so a quasi-strike, but effectively it's a strike

Political support (government): no  - action is against government, which is 'disappointed'

Political support (opposition): none reported

Transport Sector: No

Public sector workers: no

Grassroots/independent union: no

Local dispute: partial (Scotland only)

Focus on immediate material interests: partial - public policy with implications for fees

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: No (Miliband)

Outcome: minor achievements - threshold for fees was raised (from £68 a week wages, to £82) but the reforms went ahead and the concession was minor


Sources

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-20393477

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-20239429

https://www.theguardian.com/law/2012/nov/21/lawyers-scotland-strike-legal-aid

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-21245700 

https://www.scotsman.com/news/solicitors-strike-action-hits-sheriff-courts-1596787

https://www.pressreader.com/uk/the-herald-1130/20130119/281745561748943



 30  EIS protest Scottish cuts (2012)

 

Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS - teachers/lecturers' union) staged a demonstration with about 100 attending. Seek end to cuts to further education. No sign of improvement in the following year's budget. Also EIS calls 'no confidence' in SNP government over funding cuts the following year.


Days: 1 day demonstration

Organisation: EIS

Action (type): demonstration (informational)

Political support (government): no  - protest is against government policy

Political support (opposition): partial - Labour Party joins in criticism of SNP government (albeit a year later)

Transport Sector: No

Public sector workers: yes

Grassroots/independent union: No 

Local dispute: partial (Scotland dispute)

Focus on immediate material interests: partial (public policy with implications for jobs/pay)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: No (Miliband)

Outcome: goals unrealised - no sign of improvement to spending on FE colleges


Sources

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-19846679

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-21807709

http://www.scottishpolicynow.co.uk/article/chill-winds-blow-on-further-education


 31  NUJ/BECTU dispute with BBC (2013)

 

2 days of strike action over job cuts and management practices - 1 in Feb 2013 and the other in March 2013 - organised by NUJ and BECTU and eventually strikes called off for 'joint reviews'  which promised to tackle some of the problems identified by the unions.


Days: 2 strike days

Organisation: NUJ/Bectu

Action (type): strike

Political support (government): none reported

Political support (opposition): partial - some Labour Party MPs sign EDM 

Transport Sector: No

Public sector workers: partial - established by Royal Carter and funded by licence fee

Grassroots/independent union: No 

Local dispute: No (national dispute)

Focus on immediate material interests: yes (job cuts and working conditions)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: No (Miliband)

Outcome: minor achievements - agree to review but this obviously doesn't mean issues properly dealt with


Sources

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-21963301 

https://www.pressgazette.co.uk/unions-call-strike-action-after-rejecting-insulting-bbc-pay-deal/


 32  Lawyers and Solicitors against Legal Aid reform (Grayling's Transforming Legal Aid) (2013-18)

 

Lawyers and Solicitors start campaigning against proposed cuts to Legal Aid with a protest in May 2013, and again with a disruptive protest in June 2013 (road blocked), and another series of protests across the UK at the end of July.  This was in the wake of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 , which came into effect on 1 April 2013 and which limited the provision of Legal Aid both in terms of types of cases and individuals who could claim. And in advance of further reforms - Grayling's proposed Transforming Legal Aid proposal, which was mainly focused on reducing fees that lawyers receive for working on cases through Legal Aid. Lawyers began walkouts in Jan 2014 which led to court closures. Nevertheless, the final version of Grayling's proposals were announced in Feb 2014 with little change except for some minor concessions about implementation. This walkout action was repeated in March 2014 and again at the end of March this time for 2 days - although by this point the barristers had secured a delay in the reforms (until after the next general election) and so they dropped out of the action, but the solicitors went ahead. Actions coordinated by the Justice Alliance, and the delay described as 'minor concessions'.   The tendering system that was proposed as part of Grayling's proposals was delayed due to opposition and judicial review, but the planned fees reductions did go ahead as planned.

 

Days: 3 protest days (1 of which disruptive) followed by 4 quasi-strikes (not technically a strike but was a refusal to take cases)

Organisation: various legal organisations, including Criminal Bar Association and Justice Alliance.

Action (type): disruptive protest/strike

Political support (government): none reported - action against government

Political support (opposition): yes- Labour (Kahn) supports

Transport Sector: No

Public sector workers: no

Grassroots/independent union: No 

Local dispute: No (national dispute)

Focus on immediate material interests: partial (publicy policy focus but with clear implication for fe

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: No (Miliband)

Outcome: minor achievements - secured a delay (only) in implementation of reforms


Sources

https://www.theguardian.com/law/2013/jun/04/lawyers-protest-legal-aid-cuts

https://www.theguardian.com/law/2013/jul/31/sadiq-khan-legal-aid-cuts-protest

https://www.theguardian.com/law/2013/may/22/lawyers-protest-parliament-legal-aid-cuts

https://www.theguardian.com/law/2014/jan/06/courts-close-england-wales-lawyers-legal-aid-cuts

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-26472809

https://www.theguardian.com/law/2014/mar/27/barristers-call-off-walkout-deal-legal-aid-cuts

https://www.theweek.co.uk/law/56714/legal-aid-cuts-why-lawyers-are-walking-out

https://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/LLN-2017-0093/LLN-2017-0093.pdf

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/practice/grayling-unveils-final-package-of-criminal-legal-aid-reforms/5040114.article



 33  UNITE oil tankers dispute with BP - Grangemouth (2013)

 

3 day strike by 40 oil tanker drivers at at Scotland’s oil refinery in Grangemouth ,organised by Unite - over pensions and pay. At the end of the first three days of strike action another day was planned and then called off as BP agreed to a deal which included compensating workers for reduced pension/pay.  The deal looks generous and Unite industrial officer Tony Trench said: “This is a magnificent result for our members ..."


Days: 3 strike days

Organisation: Unite

Action (type): strike

Political support (government): no - neutral - sought to achieve a resolution

Political support (opposition): none reported

Transport Sector: No

Public sector workers: No

Grassroots/independent union: No 

Local dispute: Yes (Grangemouth refinery only)

Focus on immediate material interests: yes (pensions/pay)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: No (Miliband)

Outcome: goals realised


Sources

https://forecourttrader.co.uk/news/grangemouth-tanker-driver-dispute-settled/633680.article


34  FBU pensions dispute (2013-14)

 

FBU took part in strike action for around 19 days over 2 years over changes to pension scheme. This failed to reform scheme via strike action - strikes started Sep 2013 then Nov and Dec 2013 then May 2014, June 2014 (which was reported as the 13th walkout), July 2014, August 2014 a 4-day strike Oct-Nov 2014. The reforms were eventually adopted. But the later Sargent ruling found that the new pension was discriminatory and the government then had to put in place a partial reversal (remedy). 


Days: 19 days strike action

Organisation: FBU

Action (type): strike

Political support (government): no - dispute was against government

Political support (opposition): mainly - Labour opposed the reforms - e.g. through an EDM, with the front bench eventually signing the EDM (although they did need some persuading) - London labour fire spokesperson backed the firefighters - although no reports of in the press of Miliband openly backing the strikes

Transport Sector: No

Public sector workers: Yes

Grassroots/independent union: No 

Local dispute: No (national dispute)

Focus on immediate material interests: yes (pensions)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: No (Miliband)

Outcome: minor achievements (the Sergeant ruling meant that a 'remedy' had to be put in place - but this was reluctantly and only tendentially related to the strike action)



Sources

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-24673890

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-24762990

https://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/SN06585/SN06585.pdf

https://www.fbu.org.uk/blog/pension-consultation-qa

https://www.fbu.org.uk/circulars/2014hoc0703mw/pensions-update-political-industrial-legal

https://edm.parliament.uk/early-day-motion/47293/public-service-pensions


35  CWU Post Office dispute (2013-14)

 

Dispute over pay  (pay, branch closures and job cuts ) by around 4000 workers- included 3 days of strike action and 12 months of negotiations - eventually agreed a 3.9% pay deal and a lump sum - negotiators recommend the deal - 95% members voted yes the deal (turnout 74%)


Days: 3 days strike action

Organisation: CWU

Action (type): strike

Political support (government): no - took neutrality stance

Political support (opposition): none reported

Transport Sector: No

Public sector workers: partial (PO private firm but owned by UK Government Investments)

Grassroots/independent union: No 

Local dispute: No (national dispute)

Focus on immediate material interests: yes (pay and jobs)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: No (Miliband)

Outcome: goals realised (pay deal widely welcomed)


Sources

https://postandparcel.info/61524/news/union-members-back-first-class-pay-deal-from-post-office-ltd/

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/oct/29/post-office-royal-mail-staff-to-strike

https://www.hrmagazine.co.uk/content/news/post-office-workers-secure-long-term-pay-increase


36  NUT/NASUWT pay and conditions strike (2013-14)

 

Strikes over two days across two regions - over pay and performance-related pay scheme - strikes called off for talks in Nov 2013 - then dispute continued into early 2014 with another strike day (without NASUWT) March and again (again NUT only) in July 2014 - all of which produced no sign of any movement by DfE.


Days: 4 days strike action

Organisation: NUT/NASUWT

Action (type): strike

Political support (government): no - strike was against government

Political support (opposition): none reported - (Conservatives accuse them of silence on the matter)

Transport Sector: No

Public sector workers: yes

Grassroots/independent union: No 

Local dispute: No (national dispute)

Focus on immediate material interests: yes (pay and working conditions)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: No (Miliband)

Outcome: goals unrealised


Sources

https://www.theguardian.com/education/2013/oct/01/teachers-strike-nut-nasuwt

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-24549604

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-26080285

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-26647255

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-28226042

http://www.islingtonteachers.org.uk/minutes-of-meetings-1

https://www.sec-ed.co.uk/news/strike-is-on-july-10-walk-out-will-go-ahead-after-nut-criticises-dfe-talks/


37  UNITE dispute with INEOS over union rep (2013)

 

Dispute over disciplining of UNITE union rep and plans to reform/close the plant, sees 400 protesting workers (on 20 Oct) and a protest outside the house of one of the executives on 18 Oct 2013. However, amid threats to close the plant entirely the end result is a capitulation by union, including accepting pay freeze and changes to pensions and continued disciplining of union rep. details here.


Days: 2 protest events (different days)

Organisation: UNITE

Action (type): demonstration (informational, although outside of house protest considered confrontational)

Political support (government): none reported

Political support (opposition): partial - Miliband distanced himself from the protest outside the house but called on the government to act to avoid job losses

Transport Sector: No

Public sector workers: No

Grassroots/independent union: No 

Local dispute: Yes (Grangemouth plant)

Focus on immediate material interests: yes (working conditions, trade union representation, and risk of plant closure)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: No (Miliband)

Outcome: goals unrealised


Sources

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-24758166

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/nov/09/ineos-unite-union-grangemouth-oil-refinery

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-24594680


38  Sex workers against police crackdown (Soho) (2013)

 

Dispute over policing of sex workers in Soho and calling for property owners to stand up to police - organised by the English Collective of Prostitutes - sex industry remains in place in Soho but undergoing gentrification forcing out the lower-end sex work industry


Days: 1 protest event

Organisation: English Collective of Prostitutes

Action (type): demonstration (informational)

Political support (government): none reported 

Political support (opposition): none reported

Transport Sector: No

Public sector workers: No

Grassroots/independent union: Yes

Local dispute: Yes (Soho focus)

Focus on immediate material interests: partial (public policy with direct impact on work)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: No (Miliband)

Outcome: substantial achievements - police didn't succeed in eliminating sex work from Soho, although gentrification has had an impact on lower-end sex work industry


Sources

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/oct/09/soho-sex-workers-protest-eviction

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10901-020-09753-5


39  IWGB dispute with UoL/Balfour Beatty (2013)

 

Dispute seeking in-housing of cleaners - includes noisy demo and 2-day strike - resulted in deal where cleaners get similar terms/conditions but without in-housing.


Days: 2 day strike

Organisation: IWGB/Unison

Action (type): strike + noisy demo (strike/confrontational)

Political support (government): none reported 

Political support (opposition): none reported

Transport Sector: No

Public sector workers: partial (University employed - public funded - but also outsourced)

Grassroots/independent union: Yes

Local dispute: Yes (UoL)

Focus on immediate material interests: yes (working conditions)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: No (Miliband)

Outcome: substantial achievements


Sources

https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/17829/28-11-2013/london-university-strike-by-support-staff

https://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2013/december/not-a-recognised-union


40  UCU pay dispute  (2013-4)

 

UCU entered into a dispute with the university employers (UCEA) over a 1% pay offer made in 2013-14. UCU took 1 day of strike action and a 2-hour strike later on. Eventually a deal was reached for the subsequent year's pay negotiations. Under this deal the 1% pay offer for the previous year was agreed to by UCU - as part of a 2% pay rise for 2014-5. The original offer for 2013-14 was therefore accepted and no improvement was reached as a result of the strike action.


Days: 1.5 days strike action

Organisation: UCU

Action (type): strike

Political support (government): none reported 

Political support (opposition): none reported

Transport Sector: No

Public sector workers: partial (University employed - partly public funded)

Grassroots/independent union: No

Local dispute: No (national dispute)

Focus on immediate material interests: yes (pay)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: No (Miliband)

Outcome: goals unrealised


Sources

https://www.ucu.org.uk/hepay13 


41  RMT dispute over restructuring at London Underground (2014-16)

 

RMT entered into dispute in early 2014 with London Underground on behalf of its tube worker members, over job cuts and ticket office closures. 2 days strike Feb 2014; compromise for more consultation reached in Feb 2014; but strikes back on with 2 day strike in late April 2014; May 2014 strikes called off after LU agreed to concesssions but the dispute continues; strikes planned but then called off again as London Underground agrees to more talks in October 2014; balloted again in 2015 - 2 days strike action July 2015; strikes then planned but suspended August 2015;  dispute still going in 2016 when a week of action was planned, but called off at the final hour once a new offer was put on the table- dispute ended Feb 2016 ahead of further planned strike action with union negotiators pleased with outcome (but nevertheless many ticket office closures do seem to have gone ahead)


Days: 6 days strike action

Organisation: RMT

Action (type): strike

Political support (government): no - government strongly opposed

Political support (opposition): no - Miliband labelled the strikes 'wrong' - Kahn opposes the strike  - no support reported 

Transport Sector: Yes

Public sector workers: Partial - London Undergrounds Ltd. is subsidiary of Transport for London

Grassroots/independent union: No

Local dispute: yes (London Underground)

Focus on immediate material interests: yes (jobs)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: Partial (Miliband then Corbyn)

Outcome: substantial achievements (but closures did go ahead)



Sources

https://tfl.gov.uk/info-for/media/press-releases/2014/january/tfl-sets-out-plans-to-keep-capital-moving-during-strikes-over-modernisation-of-london-underground

https://www.rmt.org.uk/news/every-job-matters-lu-dispute-acas-latest/

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/feb/01/tube-station-staff-to-strike-over-job-cuts-and-ticket-office-closures

https://rmtlondoncalling.org.uk/content/industrial-action-suspended-our-fight-save-jobs-continues

https://rmtlondoncalling.org.uk/content/gallery-picket-lines-strong-across-london

https://rmtlondoncalling.org.uk/content/rmt-lays-out-future-every-job-matters-dispute

https://rmtlondoncalling.org.uk/content/every-job-matters-tube-dispute-ballot-results

https://rmtlondoncalling.org.uk/content/every-job-matters-strikes-continue

https://rmtlondoncalling.org.uk/content/every-job-matters-defending-jobs-london-underground-strike-details

https://rmtlondoncalling.org.uk/content/rmt-announce-new-strike-dates-over-tube-cuts-and-night-tube

https://rmtlondoncalling.org.uk/content/every-job-matters-industrial-action-suspended

https://www.cityam.com/rmt-last-union-to-call-off-tube-strike-scheduled-for-26-january-2016/


42  Unite dispute with Optare (2014)

 

Industrial action at Leeds-based bus and coach manufacturer Optare's Sherburn facility over holidays and pay. Organised by Unite and consisting of 2 days of strike action by around 140 workers in May/June 2014.  The dispute was eventually resolved in June, in the face of a threat of a further 2 days of strike action, with some forced holidays still scheduled to take place (which as the original grievance) but now with a pay rise as compensation.


Days: 2 days strike action

Organisation: Unite

Action (type): strike

Political support (government): none reported

Political support (opposition): none reported

Transport Sector: no

Public sector workers: no

Grassroots/independent union: No

Local dispute: yes (Sherburn facility)

Focus on immediate material interests: yes (working conditions/pay)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: no (Miliband)

Outcome: substantial achievements (improved pay concession but half of holidays (1 week) still to be forced)


Sources

https://www.imeche.org/news/news-article/optare-workers-strike-over-holidays-270514-02

https://leedssocialistparty.wordpress.com/2014/06/02/optare-workers-strike-against-holiday-changes/ 

https://socialistworker.co.uk/art/38398/Settlement+in+Optare+bus+makers+dispute

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/strike-at-optare-over-enforced-august-holiday-gs6nw00s6hl 


43  Cab drivers against Uber licences (2014-2017)

 

Protests over 4 different days 2014-16 - June 2014, April 2015May 2015, February 2016 organised by different organisations, including the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association and United Cabbies, RMT, Unite, including disruptive go slow protests that blocked the roads,  in opposition to the London Mayor's decision allowing an Uber meter. After some time (2017) TfL ended the licence for Uber.


Days: 4 protest events

Organisation: various, including Licensed Taxi Drivers Association and United Cabbies, RMT, Unite

Action (type): disruptive go slow/blockade (confrontational)

Political support (government): partial - Mayor Johnson comes out against Uber - but no reported statement in support of the protests themselves

Political support (opposition): partial - Mayor Kahn supports non-renewal of Uber licence  - but no reported statement in support of the protests themselves

Transport Sector: yes

Public sector workers: no

Grassroots/independent union: partial -  Licensed Taxi Drivers Association and United Cabbies, amongst others

Local dispute: yes (London only)

Focus on immediate material interests: partial (public policy with direct impact on working conditions)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: partial (Miliband then Corbyn)

Outcome: substantial achievements (the desired outcome - Uber ban - did come about in2017, albeit after some time and due to legal ruling - hence put as 'substantial achievements' rather that 'goals realised')


Sources

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/jun/11/london-taxi-drivers-protest-uber-app

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-27799938

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/uber-london-ban-live-updates-tfl-ride-hailing-app-prive-hire-licence-not-renewed-expires-taxi-drivers-black-cabs-a7960856.html

https://www.london.gov.uk/press-releases/mayoral/statement-from-mayor-of-london-on-uber-hearing

https://www.cityam.com/boris-johnson-uber-london-mayor-thinks-uber-breaking-law/

https://www.cnet.com/tech/services-and-software/london-streets-blockaded-as-taxi-drivers-protest-against-uber/

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/feb/10/black-cab-drivers-uber-protest-london-traffic-standstill


44  Ritzy living wage campaign (2014)


Sustained campaign seeking the London Living Wage (£8.80) - after 13 strike days and demonstrations the eventual outcome was a pay rise to £8 (backdated) (see Bailey et al. 2018: pp. 82-6)


Days: 13 strike days

Organisation: BECTU

Action (type): strike

Political support (government): limited - Johnson supports idea of living wage in principle but no support on this campaign reported

Political support (opposition): limited - Miliband supports idea of living wage in principle but no support on this campaign reported

Transport Sector: no

Public sector workers: no

Grassroots/independent union: no 

Local dispute: yes (Brixton Ritzy)

Focus on immediate material interests: yes (pay)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: no (Miliband)

Outcome: substantial achievements


Sources

Bailey, D.J., Clua-Losada, M., Huke, N. and Ribera-Almandoz, O., 2018, Beyond defeat and austerity: Disrupting (the critical political economy of) neoliberal Europe, (London, Routledge). pp. 82-6


45  GMB living wage campaign - Next (2014-15)


GMB campaign for living wage for Next staff - demonstration in Liverpool in June 2014 as part of a national campaign which saw demonstrations in 9 cities in total. The campaign continues in 2015, with another demonstration (Newbury), although there is no sign of a positive response, in fact as Next moved to cut pay on Sundays in 2015 and Next boss, Wolfson, denounces living wage campaign


Days: 10 protest events

Organisation: GMB

Action (type): demonstration (informational)

Political support (government): very limited - Johnson supports idea of living wage in principle but no support on this campaign reported

Political support (opposition): mainly - supports living wage - congratulates GMB on campaign at their conference - but nothing reported directly on Next campaign

Transport Sector: no

Public sector workers: no

Grassroots/independent union: no 

Local dispute: no (national campaign)

Focus on immediate material interests: yes (pay)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: no (Miliband)

Outcome: goals unrealised


Sources

https://wrp.org.uk/features/pay-the-living-wage-gmb-to-demonstrate-at-nexts-agm/

https://www.gmbnorthwest.co.uk/news/next-liverpool-final-leg-during-paul-heaton-tour

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/jun/24/living-wage-commission-report-minimum-pay

https://ww.fashionnetwork.com/news/Uk-s-next-threatens-to-lay-off-staff-who-don-t-agree-to-pay-cut,485226.html

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/lord-wolfson-next-living-wage-5367964


46  NUJ dispute Newsquest (2014)


NUJ members at Newsquest North East go on strike against plans to move their offices to a new Newport hub. Strikes in Feb and June 2014 (with June strike including South London branch too).  Nevertheless the move went ahead anyway.


Days: 2 strike days

Organisation: NUJ

Action (type): strike

Political support (government): none reported

Political support (opposition): partial - some left-leaning Labour MPs signed an EDM

Transport Sector: no

Public sector workers: no

Grassroots/independent union: no 

Local dispute: no (Blackburn, North East and South London)

Focus on immediate material interests: yes (working conditions)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: no (Miliband)

Outcome: goals unrealised


Sources

https://www.pressgazette.co.uk/newsquest-north-east-strike-goes-ahead-management-defends-wales-subbing-super-hub-first-time/

https://oxfordnuj.wordpress.com/2014/12/ 

https://edm.parliament.uk/early-day-motion/46586/newsquest-newspapers-and-local-journalism

https://www.theguardian.com/media/media-blog/2014/feb/17/newsquest-journalists-striking-job-losses-garnett

https://www.prolificnorth.co.uk/featured/news/2014/06/north-west-journalists-go-strike-over-newsquest-subbing-plans


47  Public sector pay dispute (2014)


Public sector pay dispute sees multiple unions, including NUT, FBU, PCS, Unison, GMB, Unite, all taking industrial action on 10 July 2014. PCS again on strike in October 2014. This was in opposition to the 1% pay cap which was in place between 2013-18 (i.e. it remained in place despite the strike action).


Days: 2 strike days

Organisation: public sector unions, including NUT, FBU, PCS, Unison, GMB, Unite

Action (type): strike

Political support (government): no - government very opposed and questioned the legitimacy of the ballots

Political support (opposition): partial - does not support the strike but attacks Conservatives for belligerence

Transport Sector: no

Public sector workers: yes

Grassroots/independent union: no 

Local dispute: no (national dispute)

Focus on immediate material interests: yes (pay)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: no (Miliband)

Outcome: goals unrealised


Sources

https://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/CBP-8037/CBP-8037.pdf

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/jul/10/strikes-public-sector-industrial-action-pay-pensions

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-29624816

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/jul/10/stop-demonising-lowest-paid-workers-cabinet-labour-michael-duger?CMP=twt_gu


48  Hack the Art World (2014)


Protest organised in the form of an alternative exhibition - against the way that google dominated the Barbican exhibition, Digital Revolution. The goals of the protest are relatively clear but seem to be focused on the way the event was exploitative in inviting less established developer/artists to labour for free competing for a commission. In this sense, the protest did draw attention to google practices (minor achievements) but beyond this no obvious impact, and no change to the Barbican exhibition or google practice in itself. 


Days: 1 protest event

Organisation: Hack the Art World  (collective of artists)

Action (type):  e-protest (informational)

Political support (government): none reported

Political support (opposition): none reported

Transport Sector: no

Public sector workers: no

Grassroots/independent union: yes

Local dispute: yes (focused on Barbican exhibition)

Focus on immediate material interests: no 

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: no (Miliband)

Outcome: minor achievements


Sources

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/jonathanjonesblog/2014/jul/21/hack-the-art-world-digital-revolution-barbican-protest

https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:MKepl8MBCnEJ:https://www.ico-d.org/database/files/library/20557132.2015.1057378.pdf+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk


49  Unite dispute Northampton General Hospital (2014)


In response to a proposed restructuring of staff at Northampton General Hospital, 78 staff (organised by Unite) threatened ASOS. However, this prompted a lock out by the hospital, which meant that the ASOS couldn't go ahead. Instead a protest was staged outside the hospital in July 2014. A  negotiated settlement was subsequently reached in September; although this seems to have seen the adoption of the proposed reforms (only minor achievements, in that the final deal was negotiated, but most reforms seemed to go ahead).


Days: 1 protest event

Organisation: Unite

Action (type)demonstration (informational)

Political support (government): none reported

Political support (opposition): none reported

Transport Sector: no

Public sector workers: yes

Grassroots/independent union: no

Local dispute: yes (Northampton General Hospital)

Focus on immediate material interests: yes (working conditions)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: no (Miliband)

Outcome: minor achievements


Sources

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/jul/22/northampton-hospital-staff-protest-lockout-industrial-action

https://www.northamptongeneral.nhs.uk/About/Our-Trust-Board/Meeting-and-papers/Downloads/Year-2014-PDF/Public-Trust-Board-25-September-2014-PAPERS.pdf

https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/818/18890/02-07-2014/locked-out-pathology-staff-cannot-give-in


50  PCS passport office dispute (2014)


1 day strike action in July 2014 by PCS members in the Passport Office over staff shortages.  Passport Office later stripped of agency status which was a limited win in the sense that at least the existing working practices were shown to have been not working.


Days: 1 day strike action

Organisation: PCS

Action (type)strike

Political support (government): no - strike against government and Home Office unhappy about the strike

Political support (opposition): some minimal support - Labour MP Paul Flynn criticises government for criticising strikers - although Labour MPs (Ian Austin) also criticise PCS for considering strike action and Yvette Cooper states against strike action

Transport sector: no

Public sector workers: yes

Grassroots/independent union: no

Local dispute: partial (national dispute - but focused only on one agency within the government)

Focus on immediate material interests: yes (working conditions)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: no (Miliband)

Outcome: minor achievements


Sources

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/jul/28/passport-office-staff-strike-staff-shortages-backlog

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/sep/26/passport-office-stripped-agency-status-summer-backlog


51  Unison Care UK dispute (2014)


In response to efforts by Care UK to impose a large pay cut, care workers organised by Unison took part in 90 days of strike action. This resulted in significant concessions and the pay reform was avoided for 12 months with further guarantees for subsequent years.


Days: 90 days strike action

Organisation: Unison

Action (type):  strike

Political support (government): none reported

Political support (opposition): no - Miliband criticised for lack of support

Transport sector: no

Public sector workers: partial - contracted out by Doncaster Council

Grassroots/independent union: no

Local dispute: yes (Doncaster)

Focus on immediate material interests: yes (pay)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: no (Miliband)

Outcome: goals realised (immediate pay cut averted and protections/concessions put in place)


Sources

https://www.unison.org.uk/news/article/2014/03/doncaster-carers-strike-against-massive-cuts/

https://www.unison.org.uk/news/article/2014/11/victory-for-the-care-uk-strikers/


52  NHS pay strike (2014)


NHS staff and midwives strike over pay in October 2014 - national 'Britain needs a pay rise' demo organised by TUC - and strike again in November - nevertheless the 1% pay cap remained in place.


Days: 2 days strike action

Organisation: Royal College of Midwives and Unison

Action (type):  strike

Political support (government): no - strike was against government

Political support (opposition): no - Miliband criticised for lack of support

Transport sector: no

Public sector workers: yes

Grassroots/independent union: no

Local dispute: no (national dispute)

Focus on immediate material interests: yes (pay)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: no (Miliband)

Outcome: goals unrealised


Sources

https://www.theguardian.com/society/live/2014/oct/13/nhs-hospital-staff-midwives-strike-over-pay-live-updates

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/nhs-strike-government-accused-lying-about-health-service-pay-nurses-midwives-and-ambulance-staff-stage-four-hour-walkout-9879525.html 

https://novaramedia.com/2014/11/26/7-reasons-the-midwives-strike-affects-us-all/

https://labourlist.org/2014/10/the-nhs-is-at-the-heart-of-labours-campaign-miliband-shouldnt-be-silent-when-workers-strike/ 

https://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/CBP-8037/CBP-8037.pdf 


53  Unite dispute - St Mungos Broadway (2014)


In a dispute organised by Unite, homelessness charity workers take strike action for 7 days over detrimental changes to terms and conditions, working practices and management style, following a merger with Broadway. In the face of another round of 10 days of planned strike action St Mungos Broadway conceded to demands in order to avoid this second round of strikes.


Days: 7 days strike action

Organisation: Unite

Action (type):  strike

Political support (government): none reported

Political support (opposition): partial - sizeable group of Labour MPs sign EDM

Transport sector: no

Public sector workers: partial - charity, but with a large number of local authorities as partners

Grassroots/independent union: no

Local dispute: no (national dispute)

Focus on immediate material interests: yes (working conditions)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: no (Miliband)

Outcome: goals realised


Sources

https://www.thirdsector.co.uk/st-mungos-broadway-staff-stage-week-long-strike-working-conditions/management/article/1316744

https://unitelive.org/strike-called/

https://www.theguardian.com/voluntary-sector-network/2014/oct/24/why-were-striking-st-mungos-broadway-worker-shares-motivations

https://socialistworker.co.uk/art/39241/St+Mungos+seven+day+strike+hits+housing+bosses


54  Journalists against government monitoring (RIPA) (2014)


In opposition to the use of Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act to monitor journalists, the Press Gazette set up a petition opposing the powers, which was signed by hundreds of journalists.  The fear was that the police were regularly using the power to identify journalists' sources. This prompted an inquiry led by Paul Kennedy, who was standing in for Anthony May (due to road accident suffered by May) - report recommended in Jan that judge should need to authorise use of RIPA on journalists to release sources - this was subsequently incorporated into law in the IPA 2016. More details here.


Days: 1 event (petition)

Organisation: Press Gazette

Action (type)petition (informational)

Political support (government): yes - front bench (Osborne) says use to investigate journalists not appropriate

Political support (opposition): none reported

Transport sector: no

Public sector workers: no

Grassroots/independent union: partial - petition set up by Press Gazette but voluntary signed by journalists

Local dispute: no (national dispute over public policy/legislation)

Focus on immediate material interests:  partial (public sector policy/legislation that has an impact on working conditions)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: no (Miliband)

Outcome: substantial achievements (requirement that judge approves use of RIPA is new safeguard)


Sources

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2014/dec/10/home-office-draft-code-of-conduct-nuj-state-snooping

https://www.pressgazette.co.uk/interception-chief-acknowledges-press-gazette-role-ripa-inquiry-and-promises-report-january/

https://www.news.co.uk/2015/01/the-news-blog-protecting-journalists-sources/

J. Richards (2018) Snooper's Charter? Reflections on 2016 update to interception law in the UK 


55  NUT defend union reps in Highgate Wood and Fortismere School (2014)


NUT launch a dispute over the sacking of a union rep - strike was for 2 days in November 2014 - who according to this report (and this one) was eventually reinstated as a result of a local authority arrangement in which a local schools forum would employ the rep - this was done in the face of further planned strike action.


Days: 2 strike days

Organisation: NUT

Action (type)strike

Political support (government):  none reported

Political support (opposition): none reported

Transport sector: no

Public sector workers: yes

Grassroots/independent union: no

Local dispute: partial (with local authority)

Focus on immediate material interests:  partial (local authority decision that affected trade union representation)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: no (Miliband)

Outcome: goals realised (trade union rep reinstated)


Sources


https://www.theguardian.com/education/2014/nov/25/academy-spends-pupil-premium-funding-buses-taxis

https://socialistworker.co.uk/art/39423/Defend+Haringey+teachers+union+rep+Julie+Davies+from+bosses+attacks

http://edwatch.blogspot.com/2014/11/uk-heads-attack-union-rep-strike.html

https://www.haringey.gov.uk/news/school-strike-resolution-bid-welcomed


56  Protests over unpaid wages - COC/Saatchi (2014)


In opposition to the failure to pay wages by cleaners COC, in Saatchi offices, when COC went bust, the 35 affected cleaners launched a protest over unpaid wages. In the face of a potential tribunal claim (and bad publicity) Saatchi eventually agreed to pay and the cleaners also kept their jobs.


Days: 1 protest event reported

Organisation: no formal organisation in reports

Action (type)demonstration (informational)

Political support (government):  none reported

Political support (opposition): none reported

Transport sector: no

Public sector workers: no

Grassroots/independent union: yes

Local dispute: yes (COC/Saatchi offices)

Focus on immediate material interestsyes (pay)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: no (Miliband)

Outcome: goals realised (unpaid wages reclaimed in full and kept jobs)


Sources

https://www.thedrum.com/news/2014/12/09/saatchi-saatchi-reimburses-cleaners-missing-wages

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/dec/07/saatchi-cleaners-fight-unpaid-wages-low-pay

https://www.campaignlive.com/article/saatchi-saatchi-london-agrees-pay-cleaners-owed-wages/1325483


57  Sex workers against government restrictions (2014)


Sex workers organise a protest by sex workers against porn restrictions brought in under the Audiovisual Media Services Regulations 2014 - no obvious sign or reports of any response or change in tack by government.


Days: 1 protest event reported

Organisation: no formal organisation in reports

Action (type):  demonstration/stunt (informational)

Political support (government)no - Government defends regulations

Political support (opposition): minor - a small handful of Lib Dem MPs put an EDM supporting the protests

Transport sector: no

Public sector workers: no

Grassroots/independent union: yes

Local dispute: no (against national legislation)

Focus on immediate material interests:  no (public policy)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: no (Miliband)

Outcome: goals unrealised (no obvious sign of any response or change)


Sources

https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2014/dec/12/face-sitting-protest-outside-parliament-against-new-porn-rules

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/long-list-sex-acts-just-got-banned-uk-porn-9897174.html

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-30420193


58  Unite dispute - Barbour (2014-15)


Workers at a Barbour warehouse (Gateshead) organised by Unite stage 6 day strike against changes to working conditions (late working with no compensation). Strike involves about 70 workers - first round of strikes in December; then  begin a 4-week strike in January 2015 - this is eventually called off after 8 days following a resolution that members were happy with that shortens the late working and includes a pay element.


Days: 14 strike days

Organisation: Unite

Action (type)strike

Political support (government)none reported

Political support (opposition): none reported

Transport sector: no

Public sector workers: no

Grassroots/independent union: no

Local dispute: yes (Gateshead warehouse)

Focus on immediate material interestsyes (working conditions)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: no (Miliband)

Outcome: substantial achievements (working conditions changes amended and pay increased)


Sources

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tyne-30528477

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tyne-30797138

https://www.itv.com/news/tyne-tees/update/2014-12-18/workers-at-barbour-begin-six-day-strike/


59  Unite London bus drivers strike (2015-16)


After a single day of strike action in Jan 2015, Unite bus drivers in London launch a campaign of 3 strike days in January 2015 - to take place in Feb 2015 - against the lack of standardisation of pay bargaining across London.  After the first of the Feb strikes took place the other 2 were called off in order for talks to occur.  After lengthy talks (nearly two years) a deal reached with TfL that sees considerable standardisation, although the changes will take considerable time to be phased in.


Days: 2 strike days

Organisation: Unite

Action (type):  strike

Political support (government):  no - Conservative Mayor Johnson says the strikes are 'wrong'

Political support (opposition): minimal - Labour member on London Assembly  calls for an agreement

Transport sector: yes

Public sector workers: partial - private bus companies but negotiations are with TfL as coordinator of services

Grassroots/independent union: no

Local dispute: partial (London only)

Focus on immediate material interests:  yes (pay negotiations)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: partial (Miliband then Corbyn)

Outcome: substantial achievements (standardisation agreed but to be phased in over a considerable amount of time)


Sources

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-30784623

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-31026915

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/london-bus-strike-union-postpones-industrial-action-10038862.html


60  Northern Ireland NHS workers' strike (2015)


NHS workers (including ambulance staff) in Northern Ireland stage 2 days of strike over pay, staged by Unite and GMB. The strike only took place in N Ireland as a pay offer (1%) was made in rest of country. Day 1 took place in Jan 2015, day 2 in May. No improved offer by the government.


Days: 2 strike days

Organisation: Unite and GMB

Action (type):  strike

Political support (government):  no - action is against government

Political support (opposition): none reported 

Transport sector: no

Public sector workers: yes

Grassroots/independent union: no

Local dispute: partial (NI only)

Focus on immediate material interests:  yes (pay)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: no (Miliband)

Outcome: goals unrealised


Sources

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/jan/29/nhs-strike-northern-ireland

https://www.union-news.co.uk/nhs-workers-on-strike-in-northern-ireland-over-pay/ 

https://unitealliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/EC-Report-March-2016.pdf

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/may/06/paramedics-24-strike-northern-ireland-unite-pay


61  Met Office workers' pay dispute (2015-17)


Prospect members in the Met Office enter a dispute over pay, claiming concerns about recruitment due to low pay.  The first action was a 3-hour strike in Feb 2015. The dispute then morphed into an equal pay claim - with another day of strike action in Feb 2016, which was successfully resolved in 2017 after 2 years of campaign after a promise by the Met Office to put in place a new pay system that would equalise pay by 2020, partly due to the threat of legal action over discrimination.


Days: 2 strike days

Organisation: Prospect

Action (type):  strike

Political support (government):  no - action is against government

Political support (opposition): none reported 

Transport sector: no

Public sector workers: yes

Grassroots/independent union: no

Local dispute: partial (Met Office as sub-unit of BIS Govt. Dept.)

Focus on immediate material interests:  yes (pay)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: partial (Miliband then Corbyn)

Outcome: substantial achievements (new pay system agreed but focused on gender inequality not the 1% pay claim where the dispute started and also changes to be phased in over a prolonged period up to 2020)


Sources

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/feb/26/met-office-staff-strike-over-pay

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-35641829

https://www.civilserviceworld.com/professions/article/met-office-staff-to-go-on-strike-amid-fears-pay-restraint-hitting-specialist-recruitment 

https://www.civilserviceworld.com/professions/article/met-office-tables-deal-to-close-its-10-gender-pay-gap-by-2020 


62  Northern Ireland public sector workers' strike (2015)


Public sector workers' dispute in Northern Ireland over public sector cuts and Stormont budget (Stormont House Agreement). Sinn Fein and SDLP backed opposition to proposed welfare reform and as a result the legislation reached an impasse. The dispute was still ongoing in October 2015. In an attempt to resolve the dispute, welfare measures were eventually pushed through Westminster parliament in November 2015 following a new deal between Sinn Fein and DUP which 'softened the blow' of the welfare reforms (concessions)


Days: 1 strike day

Organisation: public sector unions - led by Unite

Action (type):  strike

Political support (government):  no - action is against government

Political support (opposition): partial - Sinn Fein indirectly support strike by virtue of opposing welfare reforms

Transport sector: no

Public sector workers: yes

Grassroots/independent union: no

Local dispute: partial (NI only)

Focus on immediate material interestsmainly (public policy with focus on threat of 20,000 job cuts)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: partial (Miliband then Corbyn)

Outcome: substantial achievements (the welfare reforms imposed by Westminster were backed by Sinn Fein, and "included a four-year package to soften the blow of the welfare reform and tax credits cuts, with a value of £585m")


Sources

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-31858483

https://www.centreonconstitutionalchange.ac.uk/opinions/lessons-stormont-house-agreement

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/stormont-agreement-and-implementation-plan-welfare-reform

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-34894223

https://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/CBP-7284/CBP-7284.pdf



63  Highlands and Islands airport security staff strike (2015)


A dispute which had been ongoing for the previous 6 years eventually saw strike action (2 days) over pay/conditions in April 2015. The union conducting the strike was Prospect, with around 120 security staff workers taking strike action across 11 airports, against the Highlands and Islands Airports (Hial), but the workers work for Hial's security company AMSL. An improved pay offer was made after the 2 day strike.  The trade union seeks parity with other workers at Hial, plus a 5% pay rise. Hial eventually offer to standardise terms and conditions over a 20 month period and the workers vote overwhelmingly to accept the offer. The dispute therefore ended with a clear victory and the workers got what they want (standardised terms with the rest of Hial employees).  - compromise agreed and supported by members - standardises terms and conditions with others working for the firm - deal looks good and wins main aims - dispute itself lasted for 6 years


Days: 2 strike day

Organisation: Prospect

Action (type):  strike

Political support (government)none reported

Political support (opposition): none reported 

Transport sector: yes

Public sector workers: partial - Hial is Scottish-government owned

Grassroots/independent union: no

Local dispute: partial (Scotland only)

Focus on immediate material interestsyes (pay, terms and conditions)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: no (Miliband)

Outcome: goals realised 


Sources

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-32197075

https://www.shetlandtimes.co.uk/2015/04/22/offer-made-to-staff-in-airport-dispute

https://www.shetlandtimes.co.uk/2015/05/05/airport-security-staff-vote-to-stop-industrial-action


64  National Museum of Scotland strike (2015-16)


2 days strike in April 2015 by around 120 PCS staff at the National Museum of Scotland over the lack of weekend pay for new staff, after 18 months of dispute. Then another 7 days of strike in August 2015 - and another 2 days in December 2015.  In the face of a further round of strike action planned for April 2016 the NMS improved their offer and the dispute was resolved. This saw compensation for the weekend workers not paid weekend rates, and an improved pay offer. Overall the goals sought were realised.


Days: 11 strike day

Organisation: PCS

Action (type):  strike

Political support (government):  none reported

Political support (opposition): partial: some supportive  questions raised by Labour MPs

Transport sector: no

Public sector workers: partial - National Museums Scotland is publicly-owned

Grassroots/independent union: no

Local dispute: partial (Scotland only)

Focus on immediate material interests:  yes (pay)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: partial (Miliband then Corbyn)

Outcome: goals realised 


Sources

https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/strike-action-sees-national-museum-7078368

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-34033163

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-35186941

https://www.twinfm.com/article/week-long-strike-at-scottish-museums


65  Northern Ireland Midwives strike over pay (2015)


Northern Ireland Midwives, organised in the Royal College of Midwives, go on 4-hour strike over pay, in opposition to the 1% pay rise the previous year and no offer for 2015. No evidence of any change in pay policy as a result.


Days: 1 strike day

Organisation: Royal College of Midwives

Action (type):  strike

Political support (government):  none reported

Political support (opposition): none reported

Transport sector: no

Public sector workers: yes

Grassroots/independent union: no

Local dispute: partial (NI only)

Focus on immediate material interests:  yes (pay)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: no (Miliband)

Outcome: goals unrealised 


Sources

https://www.nursingtimes.net/roles/midwives-and-neonatal-nurses/midwives-in-northern-ireland-complete-historic-strike-over-pay-30-04-2015/ 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-32521572


66  ITV workers' pay dispute (2015)


Pay dispute by ITV workers in three unions - NUJ, Unite and Bectu. The unions staged a 1-day strike in May 2015 (timed to coincide with the AGM). They sought 2.7%, but got 2.2% plus improved redundancy pay.


Days: 1 strike day

Organisation: NUJ, Unite and Bectu

Action (type):  strike

Political support (government):  none reported

Political support (opposition): none reported

Transport sector: no

Public sector workers: no

Grassroots/independent union: no

Local dispute: no (national dispute)

Focus on immediate material interests:  yes (pay)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: no (Miliband)

Outcome: substantial achievements


Sources

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2015/jul/07/itv-staff-settle-pay-dispute-after-industrial-action-hit-programmes 


67  National Gallery workers against privatisation (2015)


National Gallery employees (members of PCS) took over 100 days of strike action to oppose the privatisation of the National Gallery in London. The outcome of the dispute (reached in October 2015) was a resolution that didn't avoid privatisation but did get pay deal, protection of terms and conditions, and a union recognition deal. The agreement was then supported by members.


Days: 100 strike days

Organisation: PCS

Action (type):  strike

Political support (government):  none reported

Political support (opposition): partial - neutrality under Miliband; supportive under Corbyn

Transport sector: no

Public sector workers: partial - National Gallery is publicly-owned

Grassroots/independent union: no

Local dispute: yes (only National Gallery)

Focus on immediate material interestspartial (employer policy (privatisation) with impact on employment conditions)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: partial (Miliband then Corbyn)

Outcome: substantial achievements


Sources

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2015/oct/02/national-gallery-privatisation-strike-ends-union-pcs-visitor-security-services 

https://www.civilsociety.co.uk/news/national-gallery-staff-strike-again-over-privatisation-of-services.html


68  NUJ dispute Newsquest (2015)


NUJ members working for Newsquest (covering 11 newspapers in South London) launched 10 days of strike action in June 2015 (but called the strike off after 8 days), over job cuts and restructuring. A resolution eventually reached which didn't end all job reductions (6 left seemingly through voluntary route; whereas the initial plan was to lose 14) but did reduce job losses and secured a commitment to the Living Wage.


Days: 8 strike days

Organisation: NUJ

Action (type):  strike

Political support (government)partial - Conservative MPs sponsor supportive EDM - see here

Political support (opposition): none reported

Transport sector: no

Public sector workers: no

Grassroots/independent union: no

Local dispute: partial (South London focus)

Focus on immediate material interestsyes (jobs)

Corbyn leadership of Labour Party: no (Miliband)

Outcome: substantial achievements


Sources

https://www.pressgazette.co.uk/nuj-reaches-compromise-newsquest-after-strikes-south-london-including-living-wage-promise-trainees/ 


69 Mental health workers against the treatment of unemployed (2015)


Psychologists staged a demonstration (June 2015) outside Streatham's job centre in opposition to the use of psychologists in treatment of the unemployed, whereby the DWP has started to employ therapists to "treat" the unemployed. Despite protests the use if psychologists in this way seems to continue several years later. - see here  and here.


Days: 1 protest event

Organisation: Mental Health Resistance Network, Psychologists Against Austerity, amongst others

Action (type)demonstration (informational)

Political support (government)no - the protest is against government policy

Political support (opposition): none reported

Transport sector: no