An emergency protest in Liverpool to defend trans rights

Around 250 people protested for transgender rights in Liverpool on Saturday of last week, while people also gathered in Manchester on Sunday. In Liverpool protesters held banners that read, “Fight for trans rights and support the strikes.”

The rally met at Derby Square marched through the city centre chanting, “What do we want? Trans rights. When do we want it? Now” and “Tories out”.

The emergency demonstration was called after the Tory government blocked a Scottish law that improves trans rights. Protests all over Britain have demanded that the use of Section 35, which gives the Westminster government power to block law passed in Scotland, is reversed.

May, Damien, Tristan, Richard, Dave, Steve reported to Socialist Worker from Liverpool. “The protest against Tory attacks on trans rights tapped into a defiant and radicalised mood with at least 250 turning up for the rally and march,” they said.

“All of the speakers inspired and energised the crowd with powerful speeches. There was a lot of solidarity, support, and engagement between all of the protesters.

We also found a lot of vocal support from passers by on the spontaneous march through the city centre to St George’s Hall.”

Isabel Ringrose

Workers using foodbanks fight for a pay increase

Workers at Liverpool Streetscene Services Limited walked out on strike last Monday until Saturday. The 80 workers are involved in refuse collection and street, park and cemetery cleaning.

To encourage strike breaking and keep itself running, the company moved all its vehicles off-site. Workers are demanding a 4 percent pay increase and a £1,000 payment. LSSL is a private enterprise wholly owned by Liverpool council.

Pay rates are linked to local government National Joint Council “green book pay scales”. The 4 percent demand by the Unite union members is in addition to a pay increase they received as part of the green book settlement for 2022-3.

Brian Troake, Unite union regional officer said, “The last 10-12 years of Tory cuts implemented by Liverpool council means workers are 30 percent worse off.

“We’ve got members going to food banks. They can’t afford to live on the wage provided by this company.”

Firefighters could set pay revolt alight

Results of a national strike ballot by firefighters in the FBU union were set to be announced as Socialist Worker went to press.  The ballot comes after bosses offered them just a 5 percent pay increase—a real terms pay cut—following years of similar below-inflation rises.

Two previous consultations of FBU members last year showed workers were up for the fight.  If they vote to strike, they would be another powerful addition to the pay revolt by NHS, education, rail and post workers—and union leaders should call strikes immediately.

Seeds of a strike at three power plants

Workers at Drax Hydro Limited who operate power stations across Scotland are balloting for strikes over pay. The vote by Unite union members at the Stonebyre, Cruachan and Glenlee power stations closes on Wednesday 22 February.

Swissport workers could have won more

GMB union members at Swissport have voted to accept an improved offer of a 10 percent pay rise.

But it wasn’t a resounding call to accept the new deal with 39 percent of workers voting to reject the below inflation pay deal. Workers might have won much more than 10 percent if they’d taken action.

Increase won at Welsh oil refinery

After weeks of strikes workers at Valero Pembroke oil refinery in Wales have won a pay rise. Workers at the oil refinery are outsourced to a web of different subcontractors. Strikes disrupted fuel distribution. Bosses at one point tried to withdraw holiday pay to try and force workers back to work. 

The Unite union said that members in construction won a minimum of an 11 percent pay increase as well as improved bonus pay. The GMB union added that its members won an improved offer of 74p per hour.

Don’t chicken out of fight to save jobs

The Unite union has vowed to fight the closure of the 2 Sisters chicken processing plant in Llangefni. It employs over 750 workers and is one of the largest employers on Anglesey.

Peter Hughes, Unite Wales regional secretary said, “Unite will fight to reverse this decision.” Turning those words into reality will almost certainly require a strong series of strikes against 2 Sisters across Britain.

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