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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