Workers in the biggest union at Vauxhall have voted for action to save the Luton car plant from closure. The vote, by workers at Luton and the Ellesmere Port plant on Merseyside, saw members of the TGWU union, the vast bulk of shopfloor workers, back strikes by a 58 percent majority.
Some of the press claimed it was the 'end of militancy' because the smaller unions did not back strikes. But the majority of workers across Vauxhall backed strikes. Union leaders should act without delay on that democratic decision.
Let's cut hours
New Labour wants to see more 'flexible working'. But 'employers aren't flexible around our needs,' says Alison Philcock, a council worker in Knowsley, Merseyside, who is striking against longer working hours.
'The flexible working scheme they are pushing through means 11 extra days at work a year. When are we going to hear from this government that it wants to cut working hours?'
No to sell offs
Trade Unionists and campaigners were to protest outside New Labour's spring conference in Glasgow this Saturday. Dudley hospitals strikers, Glasgow Campaign to Defend Council Housing and others were all intending to make their voices heard.
Saturday 17 February, 12 noon, Glasgow SECC. Rally 2pm, Glasgow City Halls, Albion Street.
Dudley Health workers, who are fighting privatisation, are to march in Birmingham on 3 March. 'Private firms are going to take over more and more of the NHS-that much was clear from Blair's speech last week,' says Mark New, joint UNISON branch secretary for the Dudley group of hospitals.
Saturday 3 March, 10.30am, Chamberlain Square, Birmingham city centre.
MPs and ministers are awarding themselves even more pay. Backbench MPs are to get £49,822 basic, with lots of perks on top. That's almost £1,000 a week. Junior ministers are to get £85,178, or over £1,600 a week.
Hit back on jobs
Sections of steel workers in Scunthorpe have voted for strikes in protest at compulsory redundancies, just as steel firm Corus was to begin its destruction of 6,000 jobs nationally. A Scunthorpe steel worker says, 'the union should be calling immediate action.'