Once again, there’s a lot going on. In London, employees at two McDonald’s stores are balloting for strike action over working conditions and bullying of union members, which has to be the biggest action at a UK McDonald’s since at least the days of the old McDonald’s Workers’ Resistance group. The bakers’ union BFAWU are also launching an ambitious push to organise Amazon workers:
Also in the capital, the long-running Picturehouse living wage dispute continues, with workers at the Brixton Ritzy and the Central, Crouch End, East Dulwich and Hackney Picturehouses on strike from 4pm on Friday 4 August until 5am on Sunday 6 August. Picket lines will be in operation 4pm-8pm on Friday and Saturday.
Unite seem to be keeping impressively busy: there’s the hospital workers, BA cabin crew, and Bank of England staff striking in London, with the BA strikers in particular seeming willing to carry on into August, while further north there’s the Birmingham bin dispute, with action planned to run into September, the Mears Housing workers in Manchester who’ve just finished a solid month’s strike action, scaffolders striking over pay at Eggborough power station near Goole, and more action expected in the Teesside “pay the rate” dispute. The last dispute is significant, not only for the degree of rank-and-file organisation shown by the Teesside Construction Activists network, but also because the dispute has been caused by the companies involved bringing in foreign workers and underpaying them. These kinds of issues can lead to nationalist responses, but it’s also possible to respond with internationalist solidarity, like at Fawley Oil Refinery, or the messages seen in Rotherham during previous rounds of #paytherate disputes:
Finally, while it’s a way off at the moment, the tireless Orgreave Justice Campaign are already planning their next step: since it was on 31 October last year that Amber Rudd announced there’d be no Orgreave enquiry, they’re planning a spooooky Hallowe’en action to mark the first anniversary of that event. More info and resources are available here.