Ladbrokes workers walk out
Some 200 workers at Ladbrokes telebetting call centre in Aintree on Merseyside struck last Saturday. The Usdaw union members rejected a 3 percent pay offer.
Michelle Owens, an Usdaw official, told Socialist Worker, 'With the massive increases in cost of living in the past year, 3 percent is a totally unacceptable offer. Ladrokes announced huge profits this year and could easily give us a better deal.'
Airport luggage workers strike
Workers who operate luggage scanning equipment at Stansted Airport struck on Monday of this week. The 33 members of the GMB union want a pay rise of 5 percent but the employer, Airfield Services, has only offered 1.5 percent. A second strike is due for Thursday of this week.
Planned strike action by baggage handlers and check-in staff at Stansted, Gatwick and Manchester was called off after the GMB and Unite unions agreed to an improved pay offer and the reintroduction of sick pay for the first three days of illness by their employer Swissport.
Boiler makers fight monthly pay
A series of strikes by more than 400 Unite union members at Baxi boiler manufacturers in Bamber Bridge, near Preston, has been suspended pending a ballot on a new offer.
The workers are angry over attacks on working conditions including an end to weekly pay and a new draconian disciplinary procedure for anyone off work for more than a week, regardless of the reason.
Unite convenor Steve Salisbury said, 'There are people who have worked here for 30 or 40 years who have always been paid weekly and they are afraid of how they are going to manage their budgets if they go monthly.'
Anti-racist event rocks Swansea
A successful Love Music Hate Racism gig was held in Swansea, South Wales, last Saturday. The event was organised by local school students who came together to fight racism and enjoy music.
The event raised £200 and had a great turnout, attracting some 80 people. It was an important event for Swansea because the fascist British National Party (BNP) won a worrying 1,900 votes here in the recent local council elections.
The gig is evidence that the city of Swansea and its surrounding areas are willing to fight back against the BNP – and celebrate music at the same time. For more information or to join the campaign go to » www.lovemusichateracism.com
Lobby to demand better pensions
The National Pensioners Convention (NPC) is backing a lobby of parliament on 22 October to call for decent state pensions for all generations.
Campaigners say the lobby is especially relevant at a time when fuel bills are rising at alarming rates, pushing thousands of older people into fuel poverty.
Dot Gibson, the NPC vice president, warned that higher energy bills will mean 'millions of older people facing the unenviable choice between whether they can eat or heat'. For more information go to » www.pension100.co.uk