RMT to ballot over pension rights
Over 11,000 members of the RMT rail workers’ union at companies covered by the Transport for London (TfL) pension fund are balloting for strike action over plans to undermine the pension rights of people forced to leave their jobs through ill-health.
The ballot, of all RMT members at London Underground, TfL, Metronet, Tubelines, Cubic Transportation and EDF Energy, will go-ahead despite the fact that they have postponed the cost-cutting measures.
Rosyth Dockyard plan industrial action over pensions
Around 1,200 workers at Rosyth Royal Dockyard in Fife are balloting for industrial action over pensions.
The ballot of workers in four unions was set to begin on Wednesday of this week and the result will be declared on 25 July.
The ballot follows an unofficial walkout last month.
Work at the yard stopped last month when the entire workforce walked out after Babcock management said it intended to impose a 4.5 percent increase in pension contributions, reduce pensionable pay and raise the retirement age to 65.
The unions involved are Prospect, GMB, Unite and Ucatt.
JCB bosses ditch new pay scheme
A threat of industrial action has forced JCB bosses to reverse a decision to move weekly paid workers at three of its sites to monthly pay.
The company had given notice of the switch and offered loans to affected workers to cover the period without pay.
However, GMB union senior organiser Keith Hodgkinson said the switch represented a contractual change for his members.
In a ballot of 1,200 workers, almost 70 percent were in favour of an overtime ban.
Under this pressure, JCB decided to continue paying affected employees weekly.
Festival boost for Unique strikers
The Unique Care women are still on the picket line after six months and their demand for justice is as strong as ever.
They are now waiting on the outcome of an investigation and report from the council’s overview and scrutiny committee. This is due on 24 July.
Four of the sacked women came to the Marxism festival last weekend.
Kathleen said that it had opened up a new dimension on politics for them.
Sandra said that until now, she had no idea that there was this whole new way of viewing the world. All of them seem to have enjoyed it tremendously.
End deportations to dangerous DRC
Protests were to take place on Friday this week about the lack of justice for Congolese asylum seekers and attempts to return 4,000 Congolese to a regime of danger, torture and persecution.
Demonstrate Friday 13 July, London 12 noon to 3pm, Parliament Square, and Manchester 12 noon to 3pm, starting from the Urbis Centre near Victoria Station at 12 noon to the Peace Gardens for rally at 12.30pm and then to the immigration appeals tribunal.
Exeter protest over PFI schools
Over 40 teachers protested in Exeter last week outside the offices of building firm Carillion.
They came from five secondary schools in the city and were protesting over the condition of PFI built schools.
Pupils and staff complained classrooms were too hot to study in. The schools do not have air conditioning and the ground floor windows do not open.
Carillion will be paid £315 million over a 30 year contract, but have built schools which – teachers say – have unusable sports pitches.
Dave, an NUT union branch secretary, said, “It is a scandal that PFI has meant millions for Carillion but has delivered school buildings which are unfit for purpose.”
Go Ahead bus strikes suspended
The RMT union has suspended two bus workers’ strikes that were due to take place this week at companies owned by the Go Ahead group.
Union members at Southern Vectis in the Isle of Wight are to ballot over an improved pay offer.
They had previously rejected an offer of 8 percent this year and inflation plus 1 percent next year.
RMT members at Wilts and Dorset buses, also part of Go Ahead, were due to strike over hours and rosters.
The RMT suspended the action pending talks over the roster changes.
BBC workers improved accept pay offer
Workers at the BBC have voted to accept management’s improved 2007-9 pay offer.
Management increased the pay offer to 4 percent from August this year and a further 2 percent next year after the Bectu, NUJ and Unite unions threatened to strike.
Increases in pension contributions, equal to 1.5 percent of salary, which were due to take effect in September this year, have been postponed to 2008.
If the retail price index for inflation in April 2008 is above 2 percent the unions have the option to table a fresh pay claim.