Socialist Worker

Reports round-up

Issue No. 2121

There was protest at the Institute of Directors on Thursday of last week over the suspension of cleaners working for Amey

There was protest at the Institute of Directors on Thursday of last week over the suspension of cleaners working for Amey

Scottish Water workers to ballot

Workers at Scottish Water could be the latest public sector workers to take industrial action over a 2.4 percent pay rise.

Around 1,200 members of the Unison union will be balloted next month for industrial action. Members of Unite and the GMB unions will also be balloted.

Dave Wilkinson, chair of Unison’s Scottish Water branch, said, “Scottish Water is acting recklessly.

“The imposition amounts to 2.4 percent rise over a single year. It is simply not acceptable when inflation is rising at 5 percent, energy prices rising by anything up to 30 percent and food by 11 percent.”

Firefighters hold protest over hours

Some 150 firefighters in Derbyshire held a protest on Thursday of last week against plans by the fire authority to make their day shifts two hours longer.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) is now threatening to take industrial action if Derbyshire Fire Authority goes ahead with the changes.

“We will be taking them to employment tribunal for breach of contract and unfair dismissal if some form of industrial action doesn’t change their minds,” said Mark Ferron, chair of Derbyshire FBU.

Firefighters say the changes will cause havoc to their family arrangements.

Unilever fined for skin damage

Unilever – a company that makes huge profits from its skin care products – has been fined for harming the skin of its own workers.

Unilever was ordered to pay £28,000 in fines and costs after a number of Merseyside workers contracted dermatitis.

Twenty-five employees – including some Remploy agency workers – were exposed to chemicals at the firm’s Port Sunlight plant between 5 September 2005 and 22 February 2007.

The company apologised to staff after it was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive. Unilever pleaded guilty to breaching its duty to employees.

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Packed out Pilger meeting success

Up to 1,000 people packed into the Logan Hall in central London on Friday of last week to hear journalist John Pilger introduce his 2003 documentary about Afghanistan, Breaking the Silence.

The event was a fundraiser for the Socialist Worker Appeal and raised £3,708 towards the target of £150,000.

People came from as far afield as Edinburgh, Leeds and Gloucestershire to attend the event – and several people booked tickets from abroad.

The breadth of discussion, along with the huge number in attendance, underlines the questioning and growing radicalisation that is taking place at the moment.

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Tue 30 Sep 2008, 17:58 BST
Issue No. 2121
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