Video: victorious Rolls Royce workers raised thousands of pounds for charities and food banks during strike

Unite’s Mark Porter tells Howard Beckett’s Strike TV how worker’s strike fund was vital for victory – but also helped local poor and sick people

Rolls Royce workers in Barnoldswick have just won a major victory in their dispute with Rolls Royce over the company’s plans to offshore hundreds of jobs, with a deal reached to designate the plant as a ‘core manufacturing facility’ and to host to a new centre of excellence.

But the workers facing a weeks-long battle to save their jobs still found time to provide for others – and were able to do so because they had been organising and fundraising for years, as well as receiving support and solidarity from their union and other workers.

Unite convenor Mark Porter talked to Howard Beckett on last night’s Strike TV on Socialist Telly about the action (full video here) and told Beckett about the dispute fund raised by workers starting eight years ago and the difference that had made to the workers themselves:

But he went on to describe the efforts and donations they had also been able to make to food bank, children’s cancer charities, homelessness charities, disabled people, local vulnerable people, Children in Need, the British Legion and others:

The heroes of the ‘Battle of Barnoldswick’ have shown what can be done when working people organise and stand in solidarity. If you’re not already in a union, join one – and when you’re in, make sure your branch is preparing and organising in readiness for when the time comes that it’s needed.

But most of all, they showed how working people look out for each other and the vulnerable, even under pressure. A starker contrast with the Tories’ ‘survival of the fittest’ worldview is hard to imagine.

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  1. Solidarity, the lesson here is when we stand united shoulder to shoulder we prevail. The Trade Union movement should reduce the contributions to the Labour Party and the savings re-channel to community campaigns in order to promote the need to join a Trade Union as it is the Trade Union movement that protect no only workers but also the wider communities, children, elderly, disabled and those our of work.
    Part of the savings from the cuts to the Party can be used too to support the electoral campaigns of selected Labour MPs and Cllrs. We need to stop the blank cheques to finance the Labour Party when LOTO doesn’t protecting employment or fight for universal public services for all.

  2. I’d like all the unions to divert all their contributions to a real socialist party – once Jeremy registers the Peace & Justice Project as a political party.
    All it would take is half a million of us asking nicely.
    Deadline is 31st. January

    From the Electoral Commission website:

    “Party registration applications ahead of the 2021 May Polls.
    If you would like to:

    register a new political party;
    amend a name for an existing party;
    amend or add an emblem; or
    add a description

    to be included on ballot papers for the elections taking place on 6 May 2021, please ensure that your application is with us by Sunday 31 January 2021.”

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