London Midland pensions fight
Train drivers in the Aslef union at the Bletchley depot of London Midland are set to strike on Thursday and Friday of next week after the breakdown of talks over pensions.
Workers’ pensions are being reduced because the employer refused to enhance pension provision when pay improvements were agreed in the past.
Some train drivers – the ones nearest to retirement – stand to lose £2,700 a year from the pensions they expected to receive – and £4,700 from the lump sum to which they expected to be entitled.
Drivers at Silverlink, which recently lost its franchise to London Midland, struck in defence of their pension rights last year.
Lincoln signals the way forward
Signallers in the RMT rail workers’ union in the Lincoln area are to strike on the next two Saturdays in support of a worker treated unfairly by Network Rail.
Over 50 workers voted by four to one to strike after the company made Peter Gregory, a local operations manager with 33 years’ experience, redundant rather than offering him suitable options under the established procedure.
The workers will strike this Saturday 23 February and on Saturday 1 March.
The union has also warned that it will ballot all signallers and supervisors in the area between Doncaster and King’s Cross if the dispute is not settled within seven days.
Guardian printers win better deal
Printers of the Guardian newspaper in London have won a better pay deal following an overwhelming vote for action.
Management offered a new deal after workers voted by 70 percent to strike. The Unite union chapel (workplace union branch) saw this as a victory and voted to accept.
The deal sees an average 4 percent increase across the board for workers this year and a one off payment of £1,300.
This will take everyone above inflation. Workers will also get a pay rise that matches inflation next year plus another one-off payment of up to £1,000, as part of a scheme that will pay out each year afterwards.
The union has also won improvements in pension rights and holidays at the Guardian printworks.
The union has seen a 30 percent increase in its membership since the talks over the pay deal began.
Battle on ferries over start times
Over 100 seafarers on Wightlink’s Portsmouth to Fishbourne route began refusing to start work before 5.30am on Monday of this week in a dispute over the company’s attempt to impose earlier rosters.
The RMT union members voted by more than two to one for strike action after attempts to negotiate with the company failed when management walked out of talks.