Socialist Worker

Reports round-up

Issue No. 2043

The Bristol Airbus protest (Pic: Jo Benefield)

The Bristol Airbus protest (Pic: Jo Benefield)

European rallies against job cuts

Some 40,000 Airbus workers protested last Friday in Germany, France, Spain and Britain against plans by the European aircraft maker to cut one in ten of its workforce of 87,000.

Some 400 gathered in Bristol and 900 in Chester. In Hamburg, in Germany, 20,000 protesters took to the streets and about 7,000 marched in Toulouse, in France, outside Airbus’s headquarters.

Back the Unique Care workers

Seventeen sacked black women have started the eleventh week of their fight for justice.

The 17 women were sacked when they walked out in defence of their colleague who was sacked.

The women have exposed the attitude of their employer, Unique Care, which provides care in the Huddersfield area to elderly clients.

However Kirklees council, which is the sole funder of the company, appears to have failed to act. It has continued to support the company.

The women were set this week to lobby a council meeting and address the councillors.The women need financial support.

Send donations to Kirklees Unison, 20 Queen Street, Huddersfield.

Strike decision at Capgemini

Former civil servants working for IT firm Capgemini on the government’s HM Revenue and Customs Aspire contract, have voted in favour of industrial action for the first time since their jobs were privatised nearly 13 years ago.

In a ballot involving around 350 members of the PCS union based in Telford and Worthing, workers voted by 174 to 73 in favour of strikes and other action to increase the company’s 2.3 percent pay offer.

Capgemini has made over £50 million profit on the contract in the past year, yet is offering the vast majority of employees a below inflation pay rise.

It is likely that the action will include days of selective strike action supported by a broad campaign involving those members on other terms not directly involved in the pay dispute.

David Smith

Vote back on at Grampian Foods

Talks over pay, pensions and minimum standards for agency workers across the Grampian Foods group have broken down. This means the T&G union has reinstated the strike ballot it suspended in February.

The ballot – covering 2,000 workers – was to start this week with the result expected a week later.

Wigton march to save community centre

Around 500 people marched through Wigton (population 5,360) in Cumbria last Saturday to save the town’s community centre.

The community centre is used by 22 different groups and an estimated 400 people every week. Mary Heslam, chairperson of the Age Concern members who use the centre, said, “It’s ideal for our needs. Allerdale council should try to look after their old people.

“We are being made to feel like second class citizens.”

Hereema workers win improved offer

About 130 workers in the GMB and Amicus unions at the Hereema rig-building site in Hartlepool have won an improved pay offer after announcing they were going on indefinite strike.

Heerema’s original offer of a two-year deal with a 3.5 percent annual pay rise was revised to a 4.2 percent one-year deal, backdated to the start of the year.

Manchester University UCU

Members of the Manchester University branch of the UCU union have slammed university bosses for mismanagement and their plans for 400 redundancies.

At a packed meeting of the union, members strongly criticised the management and blamed poor decision making for the institution’s £30 million debt.

There will be a full report in next week’s Socialist Worker.

Anti Academies Alliance

The national steering committee of the Anti-Academies Alliance (AAA) met last week in the wake of a new wave of successful local campaign meetings in places such as Brent and Camden in north London.

The AAA continues to provide support for local campaigns across the country and has a new website (

It carries the latest briefings on academies, as well as articles, resources and links to help campaigners.

It intends to build on the success of the “level playing field” argument set out by Ken Purchase MP in early day motion 605.

This aims to ensure the extra funding available to academies is also available to other state schools.

There are also plans for a national broadsheet, regional AAA meetings and a committee of enquiry to be held in parliament.

Alasdair Smith

Union right demanded by migrant flower packers

Some 350 mainly eastern European flower packers are demanding union rights. On Tuesday workers in the GMB union staged demonstrations outside the main entrance to World Flowers packing plant in Hampshire.

The company delivers over 1.5 billion flowers a year to its customers around the world. These include major retailers such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose.

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Article information

Sat 24 Mar 2007, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 2043
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