King’s College Hospital rally
Union members held a rally last week in support of Unite union representative Tony Anthrobus, whose job is threatened by a reorganisation at King’s College Hospital in south London where Tony has worked for over 40 years. A demonstration has been called on Wednesday 15 August, assembling 12.30pm, Ruskin Way entrance, King’s College Hospital, Denmark Hill
Strike at EWS, Port Talbot
Workers at an EWS depot in Port Talbot, South Wales went on strike on Monday in protest at plans to cut more than half their jobs. Eighteen ground staff at the rail freight depot are fighting a cost-cutting redundancy plan. Another 31 engineering staff are being balloted.
Charlie Hall has worked at the depot for over 30 years. He said, “I’m being made redundant with 34 years experience. They think they can do what they like.”
Tim Jennings, an RMT union steward, said, “EWS bosses are planning on bringing in other grades to do our work.”
Messages of support to Timothy Jennnings, RMT steward, 34 Wern Road, Skewen SA10 6DN
Bus workers demand toilets
Bus workers from across London are to hold a protest on Thursday 23 August as part of a campaign by the Unite union over toilet facilities for drivers.
The union is threatening to ballot for strike action if its demands are not met.
On many routes there are few or no toilet facilities. This puts drivers at risk of bladder and kidney problems as well as creating discomfort and stress.
The call for the demonstration came from Unite’s London bus workers’ conference which brings union members together to discuss issues and problems faced by bus workers across the city such as pay rates and the competitive tendering.
Assemble 11.30am, Victoria Coach Station, Thursday 23 August.
Victory against outsourcing
A planned strike by 700 members of the Unite union at the Pirelli tyre factory in Carlisle was called off last week after management backed down over plans to outsource five jobs.
Two thirds of workers had voted to strike and the union had set three days of strikes – Friday and Saturday of last week and Friday of next week.
The threat of action, which would have cost the company hundreds of thousands of pounds, forced management to back down.
Alan McGuckin, a Unite regional industrial organiser, said, “The company withdrew the proposal and has returned the grinder operation to an internal process.”
Health campaign demands answers
Activists from London Health Emergency (LHE) have written to the chief executive of London’s strategic health authority to demand clarification on the plans for hospital and health services in the capital.
A spokesperson for NHS London was recently reported as stating that no cuts or closures are planned this year.
But LHE points out that plans are already underway for the downgrading of services at five London health trusts.
Dr John Lister from LHE said, “If NHS London want to freeze these moves until next year that’s fine. But if they don’t, we will be fighting them all the way.”
One decisive vote for strike action
Over 100 members of the RMT rail workers’ union at One Railway in north Essex are set to strike on 18 and 20 August after voting by a massive margin for action against the unfair dismissal of a guard.
Guards based at Colchester and Clacton, revenue protection inspectors based at Colchester and retail workers between Chelmsford and Manningtree voted by 83 to one to strike.
The dispute is over the sacking of guard Paul Yarwood and the company’s failure to support other members involved in an incident with a fare evader.
The union has now called a company-wide ballot.
Defend Yunus Bakhsh
Campaigners to defend Yunus Bakhsh, a leading Unison union and health service activist, are organising a meeting next week to discuss taking the fight forward.
Management at his NHS trust suspended him on 27 September last year. Yunus had been speaking out against cuts. Yunus’s campaign has won wide support among health workers and other union activists.
The campaign meeting is next Tuesday 14 August, 7pm, Salsa Club, Westgate Road, Newcastle.
Send messages of support to Yunus at firstname.lastname@example.org
Courage Idiagbonya anti-deportation campaign
Courage Idiagbonya, a biochemistry student at Newcastle University, is again facing deportation to Nigeria. He was held for three months in 2005 – then freed after a campaign by colleagues and supporters.
As a student leader in Nigeria, Courage was involved with movements opposing the government.
He sought asylum after he received death threats. If forced to return he faces immediate detention by the Nigerian authorities.
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