Socialist Worker

Reports round-up

Issue No. 2084

Wilts bus workers striking back

More than 375 drivers at Wilts and Dorset bus company were set to strike for 24 hours on Wednesday.

This will be their third one day strike this year. The workers, members of the RMT union, say that continuous driving time without a break should not exceed four and a half hours.

Regional RMT organiser Phil Bialyk told Socialist Worker, “The issue is very important and the drivers are saying they have had enough. The company is trying to squeeze yet more profits from drivers.”

The drivers are based at depots in Blandford, Bournemouth, Lymington, Poole, Ringwood and Swanage. They have called another 24-hour strike for next Monday.

In defence of Salford’s services

Around 50 staff and users of the Salford Women’s Centre held a torchlight vigil on Thursday of last week to protest at plans to close the centre.

For 23 years the centre has offered support and counselling to local women. It’s the only centre of it’s kind in Salford.

Salford council wants to “redistribute” the services around the area, without public consultation.

The campaign to keep the centre open is set to lobby the council’s Labour group this week, followed by a protest at the full council meeting.

Vote for action at Great Western

Members of the RMT and Aslef rail workers’ unions at First Great Western have voted overwhelmingly to strike in a dispute over a breakdown in industrial relations and the use of managers to guard and drive trains.

Drivers in the RMT voted by 82 percent to strike, while guards voted by 71 percent to strike. Train drivers in Aslef voted by 75 percent for strikes.

The RMT called strikes for Sunday and Monday of next week but the union’s negotiating committee has recommended that they be suspended after management’s offer of further talks to resolve the dispute.

Public meeting for Michael Gavan

Unison union members in Newham, east London, have organised a public meeting to defend suspended union branch chair Michael Gavan.

Michael was suspended after the union started a campaign to stop the privatisation of the refuse and cleansing service.

Speakers at the meeting will include Tony Benn and John McDonnell MP. It takes place at 7pm, Monday 11 February at St John’s Church in Stratford.

For further information, or to send messages of support, contact Newham Unison on 020 8555 9351.

Defend Karen Reissmann

Mental health workers in Manchester plan to take their campaign for the reinstatement of nurse and union activist Karen Reissmann to the Labour government minister responsible for mental health on Friday of this week.

The workers are angry that the government has allowed an NHS trust to sack a leading trade unionist for speaking out against health cuts and privatisation.

  • Lobby Ivan Lewis MP at his surgery, 5pm, Friday 25 January, 381 Bury New Road, Prestwich, Manchester, M25
  • Send messages of support to Manchester community and mental health Unison branch, 70 Manchester Road, M21 9UN

Derby health workers meet to challenge cuts

More than 300 health workers from debt-ridden Derby Hospitals NHS trust packed into a union meeting last week to demand that management’s plan to downgrade staff is scrapped.

Management are forcing frontline surgical staff to reapply for their own jobs – but at lower rates of pay.

“The trust won’t show us their timetable but we believe that medicine services will be next,” said Jenny Flood, a Unison union regional official.

In an indicative ballot at the union meeting, workers voted unanimously in favour of taking strike action.

Bosses pay Brighton traffic wardens union dues

Traffic Wardens in the GMB union in Brighton are having their union dues paid by NCP bosses for three months. The workers voted to strike after NCP unilaterally cancelled the Christmas bonus.

The GMB met with the directors of the company over Christmas, and negotiated a deal in which the company agreed to pay union subscriptions of £31.20 per member – more than the original cost of the £25 bonus. The members celebrated their victory with an Elvis impersonator later that evening.

We are delighted that the company saw sense and rewarded the hard work of our members.

Rob Macey, GMB Brighton

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Article information

Tue 15 Jan 2008, 17:58 GMT
Issue No. 2084
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