Socialist Worker

Reports round-up

Issue No. 2103

Workers locked in pay struggle

Some 50 workers at Link Lockers in Halesfield, Telford, struck for three days over pay last week – the second action in less than a month.

The company manufactures lockers, cupboards, benching and pallet racking. The workers, members of the Unite union, have rejected a below inflation offer from management.

Workers say they want a 3.5 percent deal backdated to October but have only been offered 2.5 percent backdated to January.

One striker told the local paper, “Everybody is staying strong. This is happening all over the country because the cost of living has gone up so much.”

Pensions battle at Babcock

Unite union members at Babcock International, the recently taken over Strachan & Henshaw, have rejected a 3.25 percent pay offer.

The 56 skilled engineers working in the nuclear and defence industries now intend to take action over the deal.

Babcock International is also proposing the closure of a final salary pension scheme. The company intends to replace the scheme with a money purchase scheme with 10 percent employer and 6 percent employee contributions.

Andy McDowall, Unite’s regional officer, said, “This pay offer is woefully inadequate. Our members are now prepared to take strike action unless the company reaches a deal with the union that recognises the rising cost in living.”

BMA strike threat forces gains

The threat of strike action by 200 workers in the GMB union at the British Medical Association (BMA) has won “proper and meaningful negotiations” over their performance related pay system.

Workers had voted by 72 percent to strike over the divisive system that pits colleague against colleague within departments to fulfil a pre-defined management quota.

A BMA worker told Socialist Worker, “We want to negotiate a replacement of the system or amend the existing one to make it a fair and open remunerative system. People are very happy, although we reserve the right to take action just in case.”

Network rail strike ballot results

Maintenance workers in the RMT rail workers’ union on Network Rail have voted to strike over terms and conditions.

But a ballot of 5,000 signal workers and other operational staff saw a two-to-one vote to reject strike action over pay and conditions. They did, however, back action short of a strike.

The TSSA rail workers’ union is also balloting its 5,000 members for strikes against Network Rail’s failure to guarantee that there will be no compulsory redundancies during a reorganisation of maintenance staff.

The TSSA ballot closes on Tuesday of next week.

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Article information

Tue 27 May 2008, 18:52 BST
Issue No. 2103
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