Pauline Campbell arrested at Styal Prison
Dedicated campaigner Pauline Campbell returned to Styal Prison on Tuesday of last week, following another death inside its walls.
Young mother Lisa Marley became the sixth woman to die inside Styal since the death of Pauline’s daughter in 2003.
Pauline was arrested and held for nine hours.
Pauline said, “Being held in police custody for over nine hours, locked in a dirty police cell for most of the time does not deter me. For daring to protest against the death of a young mother, the criminal justice system again seeks to criminalise and punish me.”
Battle on the tube moves to ballot
Tube workers in the RMT and TSSA unions are preparing a major dispute with bosses on London Underground.
The unions have declared a dispute over safety issues, including the closure of ticket offices, destaffing and the use of agency and security staff.
The TSSA’s 2,500 members on London Underground were set to begin a strike ballot on Friday of this week. The ballot will close on 11 March.
Guardian printers vote to strike
Printers at the Guardian newspaper in London have voted overwhelmingly to strike over their pay offer. On a turnout of 70 percent, Unite union members voted by over 80 percent in favour of industrial action short of a strike and over 70 percent for strike action.
This follows an overwhelming rejection of management’s pay offer.
The union believes that the vote represents a vindication of their members’ demand for a significantly improved offer that meets the aspirations of its staff.
A full chapel (workplace union branch) meeting will now decide on what action to take.
Vote for action at Shelter
More than 450 members of the Unite union working for housing charity Shelter are balloting for strike action over management proposals to scrap incremental pay rises, increase working hours from 35 to 37.5 and downgrade posts.
Union members are angry that they are being told to “agree” to cuts in their terms and conditions. If workers refuse, management are threatening to impose the changes by sacking workers and re-employing them on new contracts.
Activists start housing campaign
Over sixty council tenants and activists met in Manchester last Saturday to organise for a no vote in the ballot on council-homes transfer – Manchester council wants to hand over thousands of homes to private landlord Eastlands.
The meeting heard a message of support from Labour MP Gerald Kaufman.
Community nurse Ben pledged support from his Manchester Community and Mental Health Unison union branch, saying how many of his clients relied on public housing.
Others taking part in the lively discussion included community activists and Respect supporters from several areas affected by the privatisation plans. Activists are also planning to set up “Vote No” stalls to contact voters around school gates.
Pensions dispute gets talks
A strike by over 1,500 aerospace workers at the flight systems manufacturer Goodrich Actuation set for Monday of this week over pensions was suspended allow to talks with the company.
The workers in the Unite union struck solidly in January over changes to the company’s pensions scheme.
The strike hit Goodrich’s sites in Wolverhampton, Birmingham, Merseyside and Hemel Hempstead.
Milton Keynes strike suspended
Members of the NUJ journalists’ union at the Milton Keynes Citizen suspended their strikes last week as a goodwill gesture to encourage management to return to the negotiating table.
The journalists had been due to begin a third three-day strike on Tuesday of last week over a below-inflation pay offer.