BAGGAGE HANDLERS at Liverpool's John Lennon airport began a five-day strike on Monday.
The 120 workers are members of the GMB union. They are protesting at plans to cut the pay of a quarter of the workforce by 40 percent. Two other five-day strikes are planned. The employers claim that the wage cuts are a job creation scheme which will enable them to take on more staff!
Workers were considering a new offer this week which appeared as soon as the strike began.
Graphic sign of pay anger
AROUND 180 print workers in Preston struck on Thursday and Friday of last week after bosses withdrew a 2 percent pay offer.
Talks between the union and the management at Goss Graphic Systems broke down last week.Bosses are threatening to axe jobs because of the walkout.
Union reps are ready to call more strikes.
Council victory shows the mood
THE SOCIALIST Party won a second councillor on Lewisham council in south London last week.
Chris Flood polled 590 votes, beating New Labour by 100 votes. The Socialist Party says it will use its second councillor to continue to oppose cuts to council services, privatisation and council tax rises.
New Labour lost some of its traditional votes because of its Tory policies locally. National issues also caused voters to abandon New Labour. The war with Iraq and support for George Bush were key issues on the doorstep.
The result was Socialist Party 590, Labour 490, LEAP (education campaign) 355, Lib Dems 155, Conservative 121, Green Party 88, UK Independence Party 9.
Will they refuse this bad deal?
REFUSE COLLECTORS and street cleaners in Slough are voting on whether to strike.
Around 80 workers employed by Slough Accord in Berkshire face changes to their working times which will mean cuts in pay. Their union says the private company has gone back on an agreement to keep salaries the same.
Outrage at multinationals
SOME 150 anti-sweatshop activists met for the weekend of 29-30 November in Sheffield University to discuss how best to challenge the employment practices of large corporations, such as Nike and Coca-Cola, around the world.
Speakers at the No Sweat! conference included Luis Eduardo Garcia, a trade unionist from a Coca-Cola bottling factory in Colombia, where workers are imprisoned and killed by paramilitary death squads for such 'crimes' as trade union activities.
The conference featured lively political debates about the way forward for the movement, and had a diverse mix of students, trade unionists and other activists.