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H. Bell

Tyne Strike

(October 1945)

From Socialist Appeal Supplement, Mid-October 1945, p. 2.
Transcribed by Iain Dalton.
Marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

The employers’ vicious policy of nibbling at the rights of the workers has caused a strike of workers employed in the fitting shop of the Shipbuilding Corporation, Walker-on-Tyne. The management, contrary to the provisions of the E.W.O., on and after September 3rd locked out all men at 7.45 a.m. for the whole day.

A mass meeting of the workers in the Yard was held immediately following the lock-out and unanimously it condemned this arbitrary action of the management. As a result of this strong protest the management informed the men that they could start at 1 o’clock mid-day, by first seeking the permission of the foreman. This offer was rightly rejected; because such a procedure could only be calculated to victimise militant workers, who already were unpopular with the foremen.

Brother Tate, Shop Steward in the Fitting Department, approached the A.E.U. District Organiser asking for assistance to defend the rights of the workers. He was told by the District Organiser, that: the strike must remain the responsibility of the rank and file strikers. The District Committee, pursuing the same policy as the Organiser, used every method possible to evade the Strike Committee. Only after persistent efforts had been made did the men finally succeed in stating their case and presenting their facts to the D.C. – only to be cross questioned and told to retire ...

The Strike Committee realising the importance of the issue at stake has issued a Statement and an appeal for moral and financial support to the Works Convenors and Shop Stewards of all Tyneside Yards. Certain Convenors and Stewards are trying to break the back of the strike by withholding the facts and appeals for support from the men.

The rank and file Fitters are asking: whose side are the union officials on? They see that their struggle against the attacks of the employers is also a struggle against the attacks of the employers is also a struggle against a union leadership[ which refuses to defend the elementary rights of the workers. The immediate call of the Strike Committee to all Shop Stewards and sincere trade unionists is:

Call Shop Stewards Meetings on This Question!
Organise Shop Collections!
Support the Strikers

The Strike Committee request that all monies should be sent to:

W. Alexander
126, Clydesdale Road,
Byker, Newcastle-on-Tyne

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