Interserve Security Staff and Cleaners working on the DLR ran a lively and determined picket line on the first day of their 48-hour strike for a decent pay offer and improvements in conditions. As the Queen’s speech announced plans for further restrictions on trade union rights, strikers cheered as cars and vans beeped their support. Attacks from the government only seemed to make them more determined to fight.
As the planned strike by RMT and TSSA members in Network Rail showed earlier this week, militant action can force concessions. The RMT, who organise the Interserve Security Staff and Cleaners, called management’s response totally inadequate.
Strikers were confident and determined to keep the fight going until management make a decent offer on pay and conditions. Management seem to have totally underestimated how solid the strike would be, and the importance of the work the Security Staff and Cleaners do. Pickets described how management had brought agency staff into a classroom, given them a quick training and a hi-vis vest and expected them to do the job to the high standard of the regular Security Staff and Cleaners. Between 5.30am when the strike started and 9.30am, the trains and platforms were in such a state that had incurred fines from Transport for London totalling in excess of £3000 – who knows what it’ll be by the end of the strike.