Socialist Worker

Reports round-up

Issue No. 2060

The Durham miners

The Durham miners' gala (Pic: Duncan Brown)


Durham Miners’ gala

PCS civil service workers’ union members were part of the 100,000 strong Durham miners’ gala last weekend 


By-election fight in Tower Hamlets

Respect activists in Tower Hamlets, east London, are campaigning hard against New Labour in a council by-election in Shadwell ward called for Thursday 9 August.

A members’ meeting last week selected local community activist Harun Miah as Respect’s candidate.

New Labour is putting forward the former leader of Tower Hamlets council, Michael Keith. Keith was voted out last year when Respect took all three council seats in Shadwell – previously one of the safest Labour wards in the country.


Strike at Scottish newspapers

Journalists at the leading Scottish newspapers The Herald, Sunday Herald and Evening Times have voted overwhelmingly for strikes against cuts by parent company Newsquest, the British subsidiary of US media giant Gannett.

The action was set to begin on Friday of this week.

The latest round of cuts included four compulsory redundancies at the Evening Times. More than 70 percent of NUJ union members backed strikes in a ballot.

One Sunday Herald writer told Socialist Worker, “Newsquest are bad news. When they took over the papers four years ago, they promised to invest and expand the titles.

“I’m freelance, but I support the vote for action by my staff colleagues. Management better not come looking to me to fill the papers when the staff go on strike, I’ll be on the picket line.

“The NUJ should take the dispute out from the papers’ offices onto the streets of Glasgow and Scotland.”


Pay battle coming at Silverlink

Over 350 members of the RMT rail union are set to strike on three days at the Silverlink company over their below-inflation pay offer.

Guards and retail and revenue staff voted by more than seven to one to take action after the company tabled a 3.6 percent pay offer. This is below the industry norm.

The strikes have been set for 30 July and 13 and 27 August.


CBBC walkout as bosses are dipsy

Twelve workers in the Bectu union at BBC Children’s TV struck on Tuesday of last week against compulsory redundancies. This follows a unanimous vote for action.

The strikers, all employed in the CBBC Education Unit, were protesting at a management decision to make six of them compulsorily redundant.

As well as denying the “CBBC Six” the chance of redeployment, the local management have taken on large numbers of freelance workers.


National demo for the NHS in November

Unison has announced that the national demonstration in defence of the NHS will be on Saturday 3 November. A celebration of 60 years of the NHS in London’s Trafalgar Square will be preceded by a march. Campaigners should start planning transport now.


Picketing the Harlow College recruitment fair

Members of Harlow College Support Group picketed the college recruitment fair last week.

The college principal was hoping to find teachers to replace the over 100 lecturers who have been made redundant or have resigned due to his introduction of a new contract.

The lecturers’ resistance and the scale of the redundancies have sent shockwaves through the town, bringing a haemorrhage of students and the management to the brink of collapse.

Paul Topley, convenor Harlow College Support Group


Teachers strike in Oldham

Teachers in the NUT union at South Chadderton School in Oldham were to strike on Thursday this week.

The school’s management has reneged on a deal over Teaching and Learning Responsibility (TLR) allowances. Four teachers will still lose money due to the changes imposed.

The strike is also over the suspension of the school’s NUT rep.

Mac Andrassy, Oldham NUT committee (personal capacity)

Messages of support to secretary@oldham.nut.org.uk


New Anti-Academies publication

An important publication for anti-academy campaigners is out now.

A New Direction: A Review of the School Academies Programme, written by Martin Rogers and Frances Migniuolo at the Children’s Services Network, has been published by the TUC.

The report is at » www.tuc.org.uk/extras/academies.pdf


Organising for Fighting Unions meeting in Nottingham

Some 60 people came to an Organising for Fighting Unions meeting in Nottingham on Thursday of last week.

Speakers included Mark Serwotka, the general secretary of the PCS union, Sasha Callaghan, the president-elect of the UCU union, and Dave Green from the Fire Brigades Union.

A resolution to revitalise the trades council was passed and the idea of united action across the unions over pay and in defence of public services was well supported.

Paul Williams


Public Service Not Private Profit rally in Newcastle

Around 30 trade unionists attended a Public Service Not Private Profit meeting in Newcastle on Thursday of last week. The meeting was in solidarity with the striking postal workers and organised to build a joint campaign against Gordon Brown’s public sector pay limit.

Newcastle CWU branch secretary John Woodhouse, NUT regional secretary Elaine Kay, Unison branch secretary Alan Docherty (pc), vice chair Tyne View Branch PCS David Stead, , and Newcastle TUC chair Martin Levy addressed the meeting which organised a delegation to the post strike the next day.

Tony Dowling


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Tue 17 Jul 2007, 19:46 BST
Issue No. 2060
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