Socialist Worker

Reports round-up

Issue No. 2083

Vote over action at rail company

The strike ballot of 600 train guards and drivers in the RMT rail workers’ union at First Great Western is set to end on Thursday of this week.

The ballot is over a breakdown in industrial relations

Bob Crow, the RMT general secretary, said, “Industrial relations for both guards and drivers have hit a serious low. The company has fanned the flames by using managers to guard and drive trains.

“Our reps have tried hard to avoid these disputes, but when the company adopts a confrontational style of management, it can hardly complain when it results in confrontation.”

Strike threat to power supply

Workers at Rugeley power station in Staffordshire could strike over plans by parent company International Power to scrap its final pension salary scheme to new workers.

The Unite union has said it will ballot staff on industrial action. A strike could cripple energy production in Britain.

Dougie Rooney, national officer for energy at Unite, said, “We have been given the distinct impression that the company has already made its decision to close the final salary pension scheme.

“International Power is a highly profitable company and these pension changes will alienate its hardworking workforce.”

New negotiations in BBC dispute

The strike ballot of BBC workers over 2,500 job cuts, and attacks on pensions and terms and conditions, has been extended for two weeks to allow new negotiations to take place.

The ballot, involving workers in the NUJ, Bectu and Unite unions, will now end on Wednesday 23 January.

The NUJ has called for a big yes vote in the ballot.

Jeremy Dear, the NUJ general secretary, said, “We welcome the fact there are new negotiations and will work hard to try to reach an agreement but we remain prepared to take action should it become necessary.”

Tenants action over rent rises

Haringey council in north London is proposing an above–inflation rent rise of 6.5 percent for 2008-09. Tenants were told that the rises are needed due to government cuts in management and maintenance allowances.

Tenants in Haringey are opposing this increase. Haringey council’s own surveys show a severe housing affordability crisis in the borough.

On 22 January we will be attending an evidence session and rally at the House of Commons, where we will be lobbying our own MPs and building the campaign for the “Fourth Option” of direct investment in council housing. Join us at 10am on the day, at Wood Green tube station.

Paul Burnham, Haringey Defend Council Housing
07847 714 158

Virgin Atlantic strike called off

A proposed strike by Virgin Atlantic cabin crew was called off on Monday after the Unite union accepted a slightly revised 4.8 percent pay offer.

Workers had voted to reject 4.8 percent last November.

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Article information

Tue 8 Jan 2008, 19:08 GMT
Issue No. 2083
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