MEMBERS OF the Amicus union at the Royal Mint in Llantrisant, South Wales, struck for the second time on Wednesday of last week. Around 500 manual workers at the plant, which produces all of Britain's coins, are fighting for a decent pay rise.
Management offered workers 3 percent plus £400 this year and 2.5 percent plus £400 next year. Gerald Sheehan, the Royal Mint's chief executive, pockets £125,000 a year, plus other perks. Workers rejected the pay offer and voted for strikes by more than 90 percent in a ballot last month.
They have now staged two one-day stoppages, and plan to strike every second Wednesday until management come up with a better offer. Amicus official Graham Smith said, 'Our members have experienced mass redundancies and pay freezes. So this offer is just not good enough. 'It's a matter of pennies for the workers and pounds for the bosses.'
A very critical mass
AROUND 2,400 workers at the Sellafield nuclear plant in Cumbria are set to stage selective strikes in a dispute over pay. Industrial workers at the plant, mainly in the GMB union, make up a quarter of the workforce.
They are angry that their BNFL bosses are dragging their heels over implementing an agreement to harmonise their pay with white collar and technical staff. At the moment there is a pay gap of up to £2,000 a year. The company signed an agreement in 1999 to end this difference, but now say it will take until 2009 to implement it.
Having rejected this, workers have planned 'selective shift strikes', pulling out people for a shift at a time to pile pressure on management.
Black horse bank bolts
HUNDREDS OF staff at a Tyneside call centre have signed a petition demanding that their union ballots them on strike action to defend jobs. Lloyds TSB has announced it plans to close its customer contact centre near Newcastle, a move which will cost 1,000 workers their jobs.
The bank wants to move the work to a centre in Bangalore, India. Within hours of the announcement last Thursday up to 200 workers at the Tyneside centre signed a petition calling on their union, Unifi, to ballot them on strikes.
Workers show true grit
WORKERS WHO do vital road-gritting work in winter around Dundee are threatening action unless management drop threats to arbitrarily change the routes they take whilst gritting roads.
The workers are employed by Tayside Contracts, a semi-privatised division of the local authority. The workers last took unofficial action five years ago when management attempted to install in-cab work monitoring systems in all their vehicles.
An infectious mood
PORTERING AND domestic staff at North Manchester General Hospital have voted unanimously to ballot on industrial action unless management come up with an acceptable offer over pay.
The workers are demanding a similar pay deal to that won by other staff at the hospital who took action against their employer, ISS Mediclean. North Manchester General is part of the Pennine Acute Hospital NHS Trust. Staff employed by ISS Mediclean at the Fairfield General in Bury, which is also part of the trust, plan a similar pay campaign.
On pay path at Emap
JOURNALISTS AT Emap in London voted to call off strike action set to start on Monday of this week. Following half a day of action in October and the threat of more strikes this week, management decided to reopen negotiations with a timetable to produce a system of pay grades by the end of February.
The journalists' NUJ union has accepted a pay offer of 3 percent, with 3.5 percent for those on the minimum (£21,000) and management have promised not to dock pay for the half-day action in October.