Thursday, 10 September 2009

In support of striking Enterprise Liverpool workers

Tuesday's Liverpool Echo reported that "crisis talks are continuing to resolve the stand off that has led to the Liverpool bin walkouts." Last month, talks between the GMB union and Enterprise Liverpool over pay broke down, and an overtime ban, selective strikes, and a work-to-rule followed. Now, as the BBC reports, the union and company are engaging in "talks aimed at breaking the deadlock."

However, as is quite often the case in industrial disputes, the mass media coverage does not tell the full story. Whilst "crisis talks" meant to "diffuse tension" or "break the deadlock" are well covered, the strike-breaking machinations of the bosses against the workers are not. For the full details, we have to turn to Indymedia, where Merseyside Anarchists report that "series of rolling strikes, overtime bans and a work to rule have not been enough to stop the council using strike-breaking scabs." "Assist-Streetcare, who already have a number of juicy contracts, have been supplying workers to Enterprise Liverpool to break the strike. These workers are been told specifically that they will have to cross picket lines."

Unreported by the media, this action is clearly aimed aat undermining the position of the striking workers, thus limiting how far exactly theycan push in talks with their employers. At a time when the government and business have, essentially, vowed to make low-end workers pay for the costs of the economic crisis that they started, this is an extremely cynical move. It demonstrates that Enterprise Liverpool are not only unwilling to talk at an equal level with organised labour but also utterly uninterested with their concerns.

Thus, in sympathy with the workers whose very ability to negotiate better pay and conditions is under threat by these actions, I reiterate the appeal that they have made for support and solidarity;
Assist-Streetcare need to understand that although they may be able to find some people desperate enough for work to scab, there are many more of us who won't let them get away with it. Assist-Streetcare need to understand that if they disrupt a strike, we will disrupt their business.

Join us on Tuesday 15th September 9am to 2pm for a picket, phone and email blockade of Assist-Streetcare Liverpool

How to join the action:

Join us at any time in the day of Tuesday 15th September outside Streetcare's Liverpool offices. Stay for ten minutes or stay all day, your support would be appreciated.

The address is:
Assist House
Bridle Way
L30 4UA

Map here ( Just a short walk from Aintree train station. Bring banners placards, and whatever else takes your fancy.

Phone and Email Blockade
From 9am to 5pm we'd like as many people as possible to contact Streetcare Liverpool as many times as they are able to. We want people to demand two things:
Streetcare should not supply any extra staff to Enterprise Liverpool during this dispute.
Streetcare should not to require any of their staff to cross picket lines.

Please spread these phone numbers and email addresses as widely as you can. In recent disputes in Sheffield and Scotland it has proved possible to overload and shut down phone switchboard and email systems using this tactic.

0845 600 8376 – Liverpool office general contact.
0151 525 0066 – Liverpool office direct.
0151 524 3083 – Fax number.

Feel free to write your own email, but keep it polite, or cut and paste this statement and send it on:

The ongoing industrial action by workers at Enterprise Liverpool is an important fight to protect wages and conditions. Assist-Streetcare's actions in supplying scab workers not only threaten workers in this dispute, but all of us at a time when wages and conditions are under attack in many different workplaces.

In support of the striking workers I would ask Assist-Streetcare:

Not to supply any extra staff to Enterprise Liverpool during this dispute.
Not to require any of your workers to cross picket lines.

Thank you very much.

Contacting the Picket
Email us on with any questions.

Thankyou for your support.
At a time when the livelihood of the working class is more under threat than ever, and where we are beginning to see a rekindling of the militant spirit that dragged us out of the Victorian era, solidarity is vitally important. Without it, we might as well lie down and accept it as our rights and standing are continually rolled back to further the profit of the rich.