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Andrew Price & Chris Burns

Rubbish for Rubbish

(February 1979)

From Militant, No. 444, 23 February 1979, p. 3.
Transcribed by Iain Dalton.
Marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

Reg Deacon [Chairman Cardiff No. 18 branch GMWU] and Doug Toutt on the picket line spoke to Militant:

Cardiff’s dustmen initially voted to work during the low pay dispute, and about two-thirds of the refuse would have been collected. But management [i.e. Cardiff Tory council] told them they would work as normal or not at all. This deliberate provocation has led to an all-out dustmen’s strike in Cardiff.

Doug’s wage slip showed a take-home pay of £43 after being paid a bonus. This was for a driver – assistants get less and many have to claim FIS to make ends meet.

Because the employers’ offer does not cover bonuses it would mean only 70p a week for most of the men!

Picketing has been very successful. If Jim Callaghan tried to cross the picket line, said Dave, they would persuade him not to. But if he did, it would show him up in his true colours.

All the pickets felt angry that they had been forced to take this action under a Labour government. They felt the government’s attitude was bound to disillusion Labour voters. One thing was certain, however: the last person they wanted was Margaret Thatcher.

“We want £60 a week – I’m fed up of collecting rubbish and getting paid rubbish for it.”

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