Strike to stop sinking pay
Coastguards in the PCS civil service workers’ union staged their second one-day strike over pay on Friday of last week.
Over 700 workers at the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) walked out over their pay levels, which fall behind those of workers at other emergency services.
The strike hit emergency and 999 distress calls, and led to a severely reduced service.
Workers in the MCA will strike again on Thursday of next week, joining many other civil service workers, teachers, lecturers and council workers in Birmingham.
Oldham against academies
Around 100 angry residents and parents met in the Waterhead area of Oldham on Friday of last week to voice their opposition to council plans to build an academy in their community.
Oldham council wants to close five secondary schools and replace them with three academies.
The meeting was organised by local residents after they met anti-academy campaigners.
Mac Andrassy, the NUT union rep at Counthill School – which is earmarked for closure – urged people to get active to fight the privatisation of public services.
At the end of the meeting petitions and question sheets for prospective local councillors were snapped up, while people made plans to visit picket lines of other schools under threat during the strike day on the 24 April to build more local opposition groups.
Meeting exposes media and war
Media Workers Against the War hosted a very successful meeting in central London on the media and its coverage of five years of the Iraq war on Thursday of last week.
Around 170 people came to hear Nick Davies author of Flat Earth News, independent journalist Dahr Jamail, Kim Sengupta of the Independent newspaper and Lindsey German of the Stop the War Coalition.
Media Workers Against the War will now be having its annual general meeting in London on 17 May. For updates go to » www.mwaw.net
Vote left in Unison elections
Socialist Worker is backing United Left and other candidates in the Unison union service group executive elections, including:
- Health: London, Janet Maiden and Len Hockey; North West female seat, Caroline Bedale
- Local government: Yorkshire and Humberside, John McDermott and Vikki Perrin; London, David Eggmore and Sonia Howard; West Midlands, Dave Hughes; South West, Jeremy Guise and Amanda Brown; Scotland, Duncan Smith
- Higher education: Matt Raine