Socialist Worker

Reports round-up

Issue No. 2087

Strike at Remploy

Birkenhead and Aintree Remploy workers are set to strike this week in protest at government plans to close 28 of its 83 factories, which employ 5,000 disabled people in total.

A walkout is planned for Wednesday and Thursday at the Merseyside factories.

Remploy also wants at least 650 voluntary redundancies from factories that aren’t closing plus one extra redundancy for every worker who transfers to a new site.

Results of a strike ballot at the York factory are due this week, with the outcomes of votes in Hartlepool, St Helens, Treforest and Ystradgynlais (near Swansea) and Brynammon, South Wales, due next week.

Remploy trade union convenor Les Woodward told Socialist Worker said this coming fortnight would be crucial for the unions’ campaign to halt the closures.

Aerospace pensions fight

Over 1,500 aerospace workers at the flight systems manufacturer Goodrich Actuation are set to strike for a second time over pensions on Monday of next week.

The workers in the Unite union struck solidly on Monday of last week over changes to the company’s pensions scheme.

The stoppage will affect Goodrich’s sites in Wolverhampton, Birmingham, Merseyside and Hemel Hempstead.

Workers are angry that the company has closed its final salary scheme to new employees and that it has made changes to members’ contributions and benefits, including raising the contribution rates.

McDonnell calls for new start

John McDonnell MP addressed a group of 70 people in Glasgow on Saturday afternoon.

At the meeting, organised by the Campaign for Socialism Group, he called for activists both inside and outside the Labour Party to campaign together around issues such as climate change and the arms trade.

He said that while the Labour Party had been founded by socialists, there had been a radical break which has led to the situation today with little debate and even less democracy within the party.

He recognised the depth of anger and bitterness, and that while the “organisational forms available at the moment were not up to it”, with cooperation and mutual respect, working together over specific issues, there could be a “renaissance of the socialist left”.

Protest to save Rolls Royce jobs

Over 200 Rolls Royce workers on Merseyside have organised a march and rally this Saturday to save their jobs.

Management intends to close their plant in Bootle and shift production to its Mount Vernon site in the US later this year.

The workers in the Unite union are calling on people from across the north west of England to join the march.

Assemble at 11.30am, Saturday 9 February, the People’s Centre, 50-54 Mount Pleasant, Liverpool L3. Rally at St George’s Hall plateau from 12.30pm.

Strike ballot over 1.25 percent

Around 2,200 members of the PCS civil service workers’ union in the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) in England and Wales are balloting over pay.

They are balloting for industrial action short of a strike and a one day strike. This follows a below inflation pay offer.

The offer sees the most experienced staff receive 1.25 percent and those at the start of their pay band receive 1.9 percent.

Inflation is currently running at 4 percent. Salaries in the VOA start at just £12,200.

The ballot closes on 18 February.

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Article information

Tue 5 Feb 2008, 18:05 GMT
Issue No. 2087
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