Socialist Worker

Reports round-up

Issue No. 2042

Tanker drivers win 20 percent

Oil tanker drivers in the T&G union at ConocoPhillips contractor Suckling Transport have won a 20 percent pay increase after threatening a strike.

Drivers in Scotland will keep their 40-hour week and receive increases over the two-year deal of between 15 percent and 20 percent to close pay disparities between depots.

At English depots, the package includes a cut in hours from 45 to 40, and an increase in pay.

The 45 drivers have been voting on the deal.


Guernsey wildcat strike wins

Some 30 security workers with Group 4 Securicor (G4S) stopped work on Tuesday of last

week and blocked Guernsey airport’s departure lounge until bosses signed a recognition agreement with the T&G union.

T&G organiser Ron Le Cras said the decision not to warn the boss had been made collectively at a night’s staff meeting.

“The G4S staff wanted it kept confidential and so we honoured that,” he said. “The decision was taken late Monday night.”

The industrial action brought the airport to a standstill.

G4S staff blocked the departure lounge entrance just after 6am and refused to budge until bosses had signed a recognition agreement allowing the T&G to negotiate better pay and working conditions.

The firm finally relented and agreed to the terms just after 7.30am.


NCP

Some 70 traffic enforcement workers across Enfield in north London in the GMB union agreed to postpone strike action set for Monday of this week to allow talks, hosted by the arbitration service Acas.

The workers at NCP, which is owned by 3i, have been striking over union recognition. Their wages are lower than directly employed council parking staff and they are working longer hours.

Two days of strikes scheduled for Saturday 17 and Wednesday 21 March remain in place.


Coventry gets Respect

Around 100 people attended a lively Respect public meeting in Coventry. Yvonne Ridley was enthusiastically applauded for attacking the government and the police for demonising Muslims.

Loughborough Respect councillor Wayne Muldoon condemned Tony Blair for his illegal war, his support for Israel against Hizbollah in Lebanon and his privatisation policies.

An audience of largely Muslim women were resolved to stand a Respect candidate in Coventry in the May elections.

Patrick Connellan


BNP stopped in Canterbury

On Thursday of last week anti fascist campaigners managed to stop a major meeting of the Nazi BNP in Canterbury.

The action started when an activist heard that a Canterbury venue had been booked by the local fascist organiser for a Kent BNP meeting.

That evening the BNP were greeted by the activists who not only prevented them using the hall they had tried to book, but also followed them to stop them using a nearby venue.

In the end the 30 racists and fascists were left on the streets of Canterbury with nowhere to have their meeting.

Canterbury Unite Against Fascism


Rethinking Education Conference

Around 150 people attended the Rethinking Education Conference in Bolton last weekend.

After a superb opening by Christine Blower, Alex Callinicos analysed the link between education and the neoliberal agenda.

John McDonnell MP gave his vision of what the Labour Party should be doing in education, Terry Wrigley offered real alternatives to current school practice, and Alan Gibbons gave a rousing call for action.

Parents and educators talked about campaigns against academies and trust schools. Sessions on war, racism, community learning, testing, and democracy in schools provided a welcome opportunity to challenge the mind crushers now running children’s learning.

The conference, jointly hosted by Bolton NUT and Bolton Unison unions, was a modest but important start.

Barry Conway


Hackney Schools and the Black Child

Up to 400 people attended MP Diane Abbott’s Hackney Schools and the Black Child event last Saturday. Most were parents concerned that African Caribbean children continue to underachieve at school.

The marketing style introduction by Labour Hackney mayor Jules Pipe set the tone, as did a panel dominated by the chair of the Learning Trust and the police deputy borough commander.

The problem was presented in terms of absent fathers and poor parenting. Racism was barely mentioned.

Ken Olende


Southampton council workers to strike against cuts

Some 2000 Southampton city council workers in the Unison union are to strike for 24 hours on Tuesday 20 March.

The strike is over proposals to transfer 700 jobs to private sector company Capita.


Oxfordshire council workers ballot for strike

Over 4,000 Oxfordshire county council workers are balloting to strike against cuts in care assistants’ pay.

The council wants to cut care workers’ weekend pay from double time to time-and-a-half.


Strike against care home cuts in Barnet

Care assistants, domestic, admin and catering staff at five care homes in Barnet, north London, have voted to strike over pay cuts and sackings. They are GMB union members.

The first strike is next Monday, 19 March.


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News
Sat 17 Mar 2007, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 2042
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