Bus workers struggle over pay
A group of bus workers in the Unite union working for Metroline in north and north west London met last week to discuss pay.
The union is asking management for a basic salary of £30,000 based on a 38-hour week, in line with the union policy for a London-wide bus workers’ wage.
Many workers have learnt from past experience that management at companies across London drag out the pay claim each year until Christmas in the hope that workers who need money will settle without a fight.
Metroline workers won a 5.75 percent pay rise in 2006 after taking strike action. Management had previously only offered 3 percent.
Firefighters battle for pension rights
The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has launched a challenge in the high court against a ruling by the government that leaves injured firefighters sacked and without a pension.
The union has brought the action on behalf of three injured London firefighters, Martin Marrion, Neil Burke and Andrew Scott.
“The incidents we work at are treated as deadly hazards by everyone else,” said Matt Wrack, general secretary of the FBU.
“It is totally unacceptable to expect firefighters to take risks others wouldn’t then sack them if they are injured or become disabled.”
Vote left in the biggest union
Voting is continuing in the election for the Unite union’s national executive. This is a crucial point in the fight over the direction the new union will take.
Some 80 seats are up for election – 40 from the former T&G union and 40 from the former Amicus union. Left candidates are standing in both sections.
Key socialist activists standing for the Amicus section include Andy Hanks in education, Ministry of Defence, government departments and the CMA, Gill George and Frank Wood in the health sector, and Raymond Morell in Eastern and London.
They are part of the Amicus Unity Gazette broad left grouping. The ballot runs until 28 March.
For more information go to » www.unitenecelections.com
Glasgow schools set to strike
Staff at 12 secondary schools in Glasgow have voted for strike action over the imposition of new working hours.
Glasgow city council seems hell bent on imposing a 33‑period week which would save them 48 teachers’ wages.
Teachers say they have not been properly consulted over the plans.
The EIS union were right to ballot members. But members must now keep up the pressure on their reps not to let the branches down by ignoring the mood for a fight.