This morning I stopped to speak to the Sutton Bridge engineers who are on strike over a dispute to cut their working conditions and pay. I wanted them to know that I supported them in their action.
This action is not over ‘more pay’; it is over a loss in existing pay. These men, like most public service workers, have not received a pay rise in three years. These men, quite rightly, are angry that they will lose pay.
The three men I spoke to this morning maintain the bridge and keep it operating 24/7. They have to be on call for four hours either side of their shift. They are skilled and dedicated. They should not be subjected to a loss of pay or an unfavourable change in their working conditions.
None of the men want the public to suffer, but if the bridge is not properly and regularly maintained, as it hasn’t been done this week, it may cause problems to arise. They know how to fix problems; they know how to prevent them occurring in the first place.
The Cross Keys Swing Bridge IS Sutton Bridge; it is part of the community; it is the gateway into Lincolnshire; it is OUR bridge. We should support them in this justified industrial dispute.