Socialist Worker

Reports round-up

Issue No. 2028

On the picket line at the BBC strike

On the picket line at the BBC strike

BBC strike

Some 100 Bectu union members working for BBC News in London struck over new working patterns on Tuesday of last week.

The action took place in the department that provides engineering and IT support.

Managers wanted to fill the gaps by calling the remaining staff into work more often and sometimes without adequate notice of work obligations.

Adrian Rausch, a Bectu rep, told Socialist Worker, “Management have refused to negotiate about the new rotas, which would mean people working 30 days extra a year with unrealistic hours.

Workers were set to strike again on Thursday and Friday of this week.

Exeter CWU workers vote to strike

Exeter mail centre workers have voted for a strike by 67 percent on a 75 percent turnout.

The issue is management imposing unagreed changes and reneging on the back to work agreement that ended the recent unofficial strike.

There are specific grievances around overtime and harassment of the union.

Workers were to meet this week to decide what action to take after the clear vote for action.

Drivers at Plymouth mail centre are also voting on strikes, and Truro delivery office has applied to the union for a ballot.

It is important that the whole CWU union rallies around Exeter and makes sure it is not punished for daring to stand up for basic union rights.

Devizes marches to stop closures

Hundreds of local people and health workers marched through the small country town of Devizes, Wiltshire, last Saturday to protest against plans to close Devizes hospital.

The closure plan is part of a bid to claw back £7.5 million by West Wiltshire primary care trust. Hospitals in the neighbouring towns of Trowbridge, Warminster, Melksham and Savernack are also under threat.

The march was highly successful, and the challenge for NHS campaigners now is to link up local campaigns across the country, and push for everyone who has attended local marches to attend the national demonstration, to be called by health unions, early next year.

Sarah Creagh

Peterborough battle for fair pay

Maintenance workers at Peterborough hospital, East Anglia, are set to strike for 24 hours on Monday over pay.

The workers, members of the Amicus union, are angry that they will earn an average of £3,000 a year less than those doing the same work at other trusts.

Management have refused to put the workers onto band four of the new NHS terms and conditions, the band that all other maintenance workers in the region are on.

Gloucester fights mental health cuts

Mental health workers in Gloucestershire have voted by two thirds for strike action to oppose job losses.

The strike ballot involved 800 members of the Unison union, and was held over plans to make £9.6 million in savings. Francis O’Ryan, chair of the union branch, said, “This vote reflects the very real anger of our members.”

Plymouth strike vote on deskilling

Over 1,000 workers at Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, are to be balloted for strike action.

The GMB union members are threatening action over plans to downgrade some theatre jobs – a deskilling exercise.

‘Hospitals not bombs’ in Bury

Some 80 people joined a march last Saturday to protest against the proposed closure of a rehabilitation ward at Fairfield hospital in Bury, Greater Manchester.

The protest was organised by the Bury Pensioners Association and Bury Stop the War Coalition, with the support of the health unions from the Pennine Acute Trust. 

A “hospitals, not bombs” petition with over 700 signatures was handed in at the local offices of the primary care trust. At the rally – which included local councillors and health workers – speakers emphasised how many cuts were planned, with hundreds of beds and jobs at risk in the Pennine Acute Trust.

Geoff Brown secretary, Bury Stop the War Coalition

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Article information

Sat 25 Nov 2006, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 2028
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