Socialist Worker

Reports round-up

Issue No. 2067

The picket line at Northern General Hospital in Sheffield

The picket line at Northern General Hospital in Sheffield

Strike against pay cuts at Northern General Hospital

Bulk stores workers, who are members of the Unison union, at Northern General Hospital in Sheffield took their third day of strike action on Monday against a planned 20 percent pay cut.

The strikers have received good support locally and regionally. Last week they met a delegation from the Manchester mental health workers’ strike.

The dispute is due to escalate with a strike on Monday and Tuesday of next week.

Jill Chanter

Preston fighting unions rally

Preston Organising for Fighting Unions held a successful trade union social on Friday of last week. Some 70 local trade unionists were joined by Respect and Labour councillors in an event sponsored by the local UCU, CWU, FBU and PCS union branches.

Victimised health union activist Karen Reissmann spoke. Over £100 was raised for Karen’s campaign.

At the meeting it was decided to organise a Lancashire wide rally for fighting unions and to continue publishing the Preston Fighting Unions newsletter which appears every four weeks and is emailed out across trade union networks in the Preston area. Thanks to Dan Berry Jam who played the event for free.

Cllr Michael Lavalette (Preston)

City of Sunderland College to ballot for action

Members of the UCU college and university workers’ union at the City of Sunderland College are set to ballot for strike action against threatened redundancies.

Management plan to lower the qualifications and expertise of teaching staff by replacing lecturers with lower graded, cheaper staff. Some 25 jobs may go.

Lecturers at Craven College in Skipton in the UCU union are also contemplating balloting for action over management’s inaction over promised pay rises.

Orkney Ferries hit by strikes

Workers in the RMT union at the council-owned Orkney Ferries company struck over pay for three days, from Wednesday to Friday of last week.

The strike by around 30 workers led to sailings being cancelled, and the three ferries remaining in Kirkwall.

Workers voted to strike after rejecting the company’s revised offer of a 3.5 percent pay rise. Staff were originally offered a 2.5 percent increase.

Unite wants Total commitment

The T&G section of the Unite union is balloting its members who drive Total’s oil tankers for industrial action over the company’s plans to break up its national distribution network.

The ballot of 270 drivers is over Total’s decision to end national agreements.

The union wants assurances from the company on jobs, pensions and keeping its negotiating machinery.

Action group plan to stop closure

Hundreds of people packed into a meeting in Cardiff last week to oppose the Liberal Democrat council’s plans to build a school on the site of their leisure centre.

Under the plan, three other schools in the area would close and local residents would also lose their playing fields to the new school.

Don Taylor, a Rumney Recreation and Eastern Leisure Centre Action Group member, said, “This is only a proposal at the moment.

“It’s our job as a community to stop this in its tracks.”

Tracy Johnson, a fellow action group member, added, “There are people who through no fault of their own live on the breadline.

“Without the centre, what are their children going to do?”

So far the campaign has gathered 4,800 signatures on a petition, and now it plans to lobby the council.

Des Mannay

Keep supporting Yunus Bakhsh

Leading Unison union and health service activist Yunus Bakhsh will face further hearings this week.

This is part of Tyne and Wear NHS trust’s attempt to discipline him and break the power of the union.

Yunus has been suspended from his job as a psychiatric nurse for almost a year.

His campaign against this has gained wide support from workers across the trade unions.

Yunus has addressed packed fringe meetings at Unison conferences.

Send messages of support to Yunus at

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Article information

Tue 4 Sep 2007, 18:44 BST
Issue No. 2067
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