Bus strikes get results
Bus workers in two Stagecoach companies in Hastings and the north east of England have voted to accept improved pay offers. Two days of strike action by workers in Teesside, Hartlepool and Darlington forced Stagecoach management to increase their offer to a flat rate of £6 an hour.
In Hastings workers voted to accept a deal that included an 11 pence an hour rise and the reinstatement of sick pay. They had held one-day strikes earlier in November after the management imposed a worse pay offer and tried to cut drivers' sick pay entitlements.
Chivas talks halt strikes
Strike action at whisky maker Chivas Regal has been suspended for talks between bosses and union officials at conciliation service ACAS. Members of the GMB, AEEU and MSF unions at Chivas plants in Paisley, Dalmuir and Balgray in Scotland had been striking for two days a week and banning all overtime.
Workers were fighting the bosses' imposition of a £600 lump sum pay increase instead of the usual annual percentage pay rise.
Anti terror bill demo
A lively group of 40 to 50 protesters attended a demonstration on Wednesday of last week in Parliament Square against David Blunkett's racist and repressive anti-terrorism bill.
It was called by the Whitstable Anti-War Alliance and the disability group Incapacity Action. The East Kent Anti-War Coalition now plans to picket a new detention centre for asylum seekers being built in Dover.
Kate Adams and Bunny Laroche
Blair booed at Brum Uni
Some 70 members and supporters of Birmingham University Stop the War Group protested loudly against Tony Blair when he came to open the new European Research Institute building.
Lecturer Sue Blackwell said, 'The university has spent £1.3 million so far on this building on top of government funding of £4.8 million. Yet it claims to be in a financial crisis that means dozens of my colleagues are threatened with redundancy. The government doesn't fund a proper system of student grants, yet it can afford to spend billions bombing Afghanistan.'