Ritzy cinema workers strike again
Workers at the Ritzy Cinema in Brixton, south London, struck for a second time on Saturday of last week. The Bectu union members, who voted to strike unanimously, are fighting against poverty pay.
School campaign beats closure
We have won a victory in the battle to save Wisewood School in Sheffield.
The Labour council have publicly acknowledged the strength of feeling and admitted that their defeat in the recent council elections in Hillsborough ward was down to opposition to the school closure.
They have agreed to “revisit” the proposal to close our school. The u-turn was announced as our campaign solicitor was taking action to challenge the council in the courts.
We are delighted – this shows that campaigning works. But we intend to stay vigilant and there will be a lobby of the full council on Wednesday lunchtime of this week.
Karen Mee, Save Our Community Schools Sheffield
Disarming the university
Students at the UCL university in central London last week presented UCL provost Malcolm Grant with a petition signed by over 1,000 UCL staff and students calling on him to sell UCL’s shares in an arms company.
The provost was also given a signed copy of a book by former UCL student Richard Wilson, in which he describes how his sister died as a result of the arms trade in Burundi.
Disarm UCL is calling for UCL to divest from arms trader Cobham plc and to adopt an ethical investment policy.
After meeting the provost, campaigners held a protest in camouflage uniforms, with toy guns in their hands and mortar boards on their heads.
Inverness care workers strike
Care workers in Inverness in Scotland struck for half a day on Wednesday of last week.
Care staff at the Corbett Centre for people with learning difficulties and the Mackenzie Centre for elderly people took the action after Highland council cut from four to three the number of minibuses serving the two facilities.
There is now set to be action every Wednesday for the next three weeks. The workers are also working to rule.
Users of the centres have been supportive of the action. The workers, members of the T&G section of the new Unite union, have vowed to take further measures if necessary.
Ferry unions unite against low pay
Transport unions in Ireland and Britain targeted Irish Sea ferry operator Celtic Link last week in a protest over pay and conditions for workers on the company’s vessels.
Senior figures from the unions affiliated to the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) delivered a letter to the privately owned ferry company’s Liverpool offices urging the company to end its “poverty” pay rates.
According to the ITF, seafarers aboard the Cyprus-flagged Celtic Star, which operates between Dublin and Liverpool, are paid as little as £1.90 an hour.
Fighting single status pay cuts in West Lothian
Some 850 workers at West Lothian council in Scotland are being told their pay will be cut by up to £3,000. Their Unison union is instructing them not to sign the new single status pay contracts.
The council says that anyone who does not have sign will have their contracts terminated and be re-employed under new contracts.
Workers are extremely angry and many are calling for a strike ballot.
Hampshire libraries anti cuts action continues
Unison union members in Hampshire libraries are continuing their campaign against cuts. Workers struck in March against redundancies and pay cuts.
They overwhelmingly rejected a new offer on pay protection in a ballot. Unfortunately, Unison regional officials said the turn-out was too low to call more action. Unison reps are continuing their public campaigning.
To sign a petition in support of the workers go to » petitions.pm.gov.uk/Defend-libraries
NUT Roger King campaign
The Socialist Teachers’ Alliance (STA) is backing Roger King as candidate for the upcoming elections for vice president of the NUT teachers’ union.
The STA has agreed with the Campaign for a Democratic and Fighting Union group to support Gill Goodswen for the other vice president position.
Harlow College Support Group
Around 20 local trade unionists, students and campaigners gathered last week to launch the Harlow College Support Group.
We agreed to work together to support the lecturers’ struggle against exploitative new contracts and a bullying management regime.
Jim Rogers, former leader of Harlow Council and a sponsor of the support group, said, “Our college is a good college with a good reputation. That is all being destroyed, driving skilled and qualified lecturers away.”
Support group chair, Tom Topley, said that 2,500 people had signed a petition in support of the lecturers.
He said, “It is clear how close the community and its college lecturers are. We will not let that be destroyed, we are determined to save our college.”
Paul Topley, Harlow College Support Group