Socialist Worker

Reports round-up

Issue No. 2051

Oxford post fight is on the cards

Postal workers in Oxford are to ballot after management imposed job cuts without agreement.

CWU union members at the delivery office in Oxpens Road have called for a fast-track ballot after six jobs were deleted.

Oxfordshire CWU rep Bob Cullen said, “Management has taken executive action to make six positions redundant. The individuals involved have been redeployed, but it means that at Oxpens Road deliveries are heavier, we will be working a longer day and we will be struggling to complete jobs.”

If a strike goes ahead it will hit the OX1 and OX2 postcodes, which include the city centre.


Media workers want critical news

Media Workers Against the War held a successful public meeting on Afghanistan at City University in London on Thursday of last week. Speakers included Tariq Ali.

Among the 60-strong audience were a dozen journalism students and some leading NUJ journalists’ union activists.

A senior BBC producer spoke about the inadequacies of British media coverage.

Tariq Ali said, “News management has been elevated to an art form,” with uncritical use of press releases and stories fed to the media from above.

You have to decide what sort of journalist you want to be, he said, one who simply sells goods to the public or one who adopts an independent position – not biased, but critical.

He called for the creation of space in the media in which alternative points of view can be published or broadcast.

A central theme of the discussion was how media workers can organise to combat distortion.

Dave Crouch


Council ballot for pay strikes

Some 300 workers in the Unison union at Breckland council in Norfolk are voting on strikes over pay.

Breckland has offered a 3 percent “cost of living” increase over 18 months backdated to last October, while Unison has demanded 6 percent.?The ballot closes on 4 June.


Tesco drivers prepare for battle

Tesco distribution drivers at Livingston, near Edinburgh, are set to strike for three days starting on 24 May. This action will hit supplies to nearly 100 Tesco stores across Scotland on the eve of the May bank holiday.

Over 100 drivers, members of the T&G section of the newly merged Unite union, met last Saturday to plan the action.

Drivers are angry at the company’s plans to move their depot 500 yards down the road and impose new pay and conditions on them, including the effective derecognition of the union.

The union estimates that if Tesco’s plans went ahead, drivers could lose an average of £3,000 each.

The drivers voted by an overwhelming 126 to six for strike action.


Prison staff protest at zero percent pay rise

Over 400 professional and technical prison service staff in the Prospect union have begun a campaign of industrial action in protest at the imposition of a zero percent pay rise for 2006.

The workers taking action short of a strike include chaplains, drug workers, farm and catering managers, medical officers, psychological assistants, trainee psychologists and store officers.

They work in prisons throughout England and Wales.


Prison chaplains' protest

Prison chaplains are planning a coordinated silent prayer protest

Emily Boase, a Prospect negotiator, said, “The Prison Service has tried to blame the low offer on the cost of an equal pay settlement with a separate group of staff represented by the PCS union.

But the truth is that the Prison Service failed to submit an adequate remit to the treasury.”


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News
Tue 15 May 2007, 18:31 BST
Issue No. 2051
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