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Dynamics of Wildcat Strikes in The UK: For Wage Increases, Strike Everywhere and Without Delay!

(August 20th 2022)
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Warning: not having the means to intervene concretely in Great Britain in the situation of mobilization and workers’ strikes, it is difficult for us to put forward in a precise and local way orientations and slogans of concrete action according to the situation and the immediate possibilities. For all that, the proletarian response in progress allows us to put forward orientations and general slogans that would be the basis for the entire party, if it existed, to mobilize its forces. This is why what is in fact more of a communiqué calling the attention of the international proletariat to the situation in the United Kingdom has been written in the form of an agitation leaflet. In this sense, it is intended to be direct and limited to a few orientations and slogans. It does not explain; it calls for action. It does not analyze; it puts forward a slogan: to go on strike all together. But let’s recognize right away that this leaflet is in fact already late in regards to the real situation and that it should have been published and distributed before the succession of strikes of the London Underground and the British trains of August 18, 19 and 20. If it is not in advance of the situation and cannot be massively distributed in Great Britain, it will serve as a reflection and an experience for the communist minorities for the period that is beginning:a period of massive confrontations between the classes. All comrades or groups of comrades who would like to reproduce it and diffuse as a leaflet are welcome to do so.

In the United Kingdom, there is only one slogan today for proletarians: to go on strike and join the wave of struggles and strikes that has been going on for several months in many companies and sectors of varying importance: transport, trains and the London Underground in particular, the port of Felixstowe, refineries, Amazon centers, the Post Office, etc. To do as many strikers do, to take the initiative of the strike or of any other form of struggle if the strike is not possible immediately. To take the example of the many spontaneous strikes, not to fear that they be ’unofficial’, i.e. wildcat, without call, nor legal notice, from the unions. Reinforcing the dynamic of strikes provoked by inflation and the explosion of prices in Great Britain, just like the generalized inflation that affects the whole capitalist world, is the way to make the government and the bourgeoisie back down, at least momentarily. It is the moment to go all together. It is the moment to impose the increase of the wages for all the proletarians and in all the sectors. It is the moment to say no to sacrifices in the name of the crisis of capital and the preparation for generalized imperialist war.

This is also the time not to leave the initiative to the unions, whether they are the official Trade-Union direction or rank and file. If they have been forced to call for days of action on the trains and subway, for example, or in the port of Felixstowe, it is precisely to prevent unofficial strikes, which they would not be able to control, from continuing to appear across the country in an increasing way and becoming massive and united.

"10 May: some 100 refuse collectors in Welwyn Hatfield walked out in protest against a manager accused of sexism, racism and bullying ; 11 May: some 300 construction workers at a refinery in Hull went on strike because of wage payments being delayed or incomplete ; 17 May: over a thousand offshore oil workers in the North Sea walked out across 19 rigs demanding their wages match inflation ; 27 July: some 100 workers at a food plant in Bury walked out in response to not being allowed proper breaks at work ; 3 August: hundreds of Amazon workers at various sites in Tilbury, Rugeley, Coventry, Bristol, Dartford and Coalville have staged walkouts and slowdowns in response to a pay “rise” of only 35p more per hour : 10 August: hundreds of contract workers, including scaffolders and maintenance workers, at refineries, chemical plants and other facilities in Teesside, Grangemouth, Pembroke, Fife, Fawley and Drax walked out in a fight over pay, picketing motorists entering and leaving the facilities.” [1]

The strike dynamic in the UK is the example – of the moment – for the whole international proletariat to follow. Moreover, street demonstrations and protests against the rise in prices are exploding on all continents. But above all, the same dynamic of strikes, often spontaneous and wildcat, tends to emerge, here and there, in other countries, in particular in Western Europe as in Italy and in France [2].

It is precisely this dynamic that the British unions are trying to control in order to sabotage its development by organizing limited strikes, like those of June and August and the one, called a “general strike”, to come ... after “Liz Truss became prime minister in September”! [3] The unions aim to ride the dynamics of spontaneous proletarian reactions in order to better control them and, thus, direct them towards days of action spread out in time; and this in the name of the so-called preparation of a united struggle of all sectors. If the proletarians of the UK let themselves be softened up by the unions, let them take the initiative and organize the struggle, the field of demands and the timing of the demonstrations and strikes, by October, the present dynamics will have been stifled.

We must put ourselves in struggle and on strike wherever possible. Decide collectively to continue the strike and do not return to work after the days of action conclude . Seek solidarity and extension to other companies and sectors, starting with those closest geographically. Send mass delegations and picket lines to nearby workplaces. For the workers not yet in open struggle, regroup in a struggle committee and seek the help and solidarity of the proletarians already on strike. Do not let the unions determine the demands and the timing of the fights and battles; take the initiative into your own hands wherever possible. These are the general slogans of the moment. It is up to the most militant proletarians, as well as the minorities and revolutionary nuclei on the spot, to apply them locally according to the immediate needs and possibilities.

Against price increases!

For the general increase of wages!

All in struggle! All on strike against the growing misery that capitalist crisis and imperialist war can only aggravate!

The IGCL, August 20th 2020
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[1. TCI-CWO, Wildcat Strikes in the UK: Getting Ready for a Hot Autumn, (

[2. “This Tuesday, SNCF train drivers on the Paris-North network put down the bag and went on strike without respecting the notice period. Inflation, low salaries and broken working conditions cause exasperation among railway workers.” (Révolution permanente, “Thanks to a massive ’surprise strike’ last Wednesday, the railway workers of the SNCF Saint-Lazare network obtained a bonus and stopped part of the attacks on their working conditions.” (

[3. The Guardian, “Union leader issues threat of UK general strike as rail crisis grows”, July 27th.