Socialist Worker

Reports round-up

Issue No. 2055

Protesting Unique Care workers and thier supporters (Pic: Clifford Brown)

Protesting Unique Care workers and thier supporters (Pic: Clifford Brown)

Boost for Unique Care campaign

The fight for reinstatement by 17 black women in Huddersfield received a massive boost last week.

The women were sacked by private care provider Unique Care in January.

A recent report produced by independent inspectors received widespread publicity in the local press. The reports highlighted serious criticisms made against Unique Care.

They are now confident that Kirklees council – which gives over £400,000 to the firm – will have to take action.

The women are also looking forward to the Unison union conference where their branch will organise a fringe meeting.

Donations are crucial to the dispute at this stage. Please send to Kirklees Unison, 20 Queen Street, Huddersfield, HD1 2SP.

Edinburgh NCP workers vote for pay action

Parking attendants working for NCP in Edinburgh have voted overwhelmingly for action over pay.

They are set to take a one-day strike on 20 June. The attendants will also start an overtime ban on the same day.

Members of Unite, formed by the merger of the T&G and Amicus unions, voted by 82 percent in favour of striking, while 84 percent voted for action short of a strike.

The workers want to force a substantial increase in the basic pay of the lowest paid attendants who earn around £11,500 a year. They have already refused an offer of 4.4 percent.

Unite is pressing for a minimum wage of nearly £14,000 this year, with a view to raising wages up to £18,000 within five years.

Anti Academies Alliance committee of enquiry

Teachers and parents from across Britain went to the Anti Academies Alliance committee of enquiry on Tuesday of this week. The enquiry, held at Westminster, heard evidence from campaigns across the country.

Watch this site for a full report
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Livingston Tesco strikes suspended

Tesco delivery drivers in Livingston, near Edinburgh, have suspended their strike action pending a meeting with their management due to take place on Wednesday.

The drivers – members of Unite, the new union formed by the merger of the T&G and Amicus – are in dispute over management plans to change pay and conditions and derecognise their union when the depot moves a short distance down the road.

The drivers voiced their determination to continue their fight at a support meeting in Bathgate, West Lothian, on Tuesday of last week called by West Lothian trades council.

Pat Smith

James Bond up in court

James Bond, a former long standing Neath Labour party member and opponent of the invasion of Iraq was due in the Neath magistrates dock on Wednesday 13 June after calling Neath MP Peter Hain a war criminal.

His heckling was shown on Welsh television and was obviously a blot on Hain’s deputy leadership launch. Jim will be pleading not guilty and will point out that the real criminals are still at the heart of government.

Huw Pudner, Neath Stop The War Coalition

Ferries recognise RMT unions

The Norfolkline shipping company conceded recognition to the RMT union to represent deck, engine-room and catering ratings on three ships, the Maersk Delft, Maersk Dover and Maersk Dunquerque last week.

London Olympics construction workers demand direct employment

Britain’s biggest construction union is demanding that workers on Olympic construction sites are directly employed rather than being hired by numerous contractors and sub-contractors.

More than 9,000 workers will be required on the Stratford site in 2010 at the peak of construction for the games.

Alan Ritchie, general secretary of the Ucatt union, says,“Direct employment for the Olympics is entirely possible, just as it was for Heathrow Terminal 5.

“If the Olympic authority goes ahead and insists on opening the floodgates for bogus self-employed labour then the results will be disastrous”.

Ucatt says it is not against genuinely self-employed workers but claims “bogus” self-employment is rampant in the construction industry, meaning workers do not get proper holidays, sick pay and employment rights.

Edinburgh refuse workers refuse overtime over single status

Refuse workers in the Unite union in Edinburgh are refusing to work overtime over a threatened pay cut of up to £5,000.

Workers say they will refuse to carry out extra duties after being told they could lose out in the council's single status deal.

Some workers could see wages fall dramatically from £18,000 to £13,000. Joe Greenan, who works as a bin lorry driver in Craigmillar, said the council relied on overtime to cover all the shifts. He said, “As a response to these proposals, the majority have refused to take out vehicles. We’re not contracted to do overtime.

“In the run-up to the Edinburgh Festival, people are asked to work from 2pm to 10pm, but some are refusing point blank to do it.”

Another worker at the Craigmillar depot said, “The normal, ground force workers can’t afford this kind of cut.'

West Lothian council staff ballot for action over pay cuts

Hundreds of West Lothian council staff are set to be balloted for strike action after it was revealed a single status wage review could cut their pay.

Some workers stand to lose up to £5,000.

One pupil support staff worker said, “The council has failed to recognise the importance and value of our work.

“The message we want to give them is to be prepared for a fight – because we will not be bullied.”

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Tue 12 Jun 2007, 19:56 BST
Issue No. 2055
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