Socialist Worker

Victory against housing sell-offs

Issue No. 1903

COUNCIL TENANTS in Kingston in south west London have voted against the sell-off of their homes. In another blow to the government's attempts to blackmail tenants to accept privatisation as the only way of getting improvements, 63 percent of tenants voted against the sell-off on a 65 percent turnout.

Meanwhile Tower Hamlets council, desperate to force through sell-offs, is throwing all its resources into trying to win its transfer ballot. It has instructed housing staff to take down all anti-transfer posters, and has stopped tenants using their own estate hall for meetings to oppose the sell-off.

ALAN WALTER, Defend Council Housing

Whose prints on this pay insult?

FORENSIC scientists have voted overwhelmingly for a one-day strike after management refused to improve an insulting 1.1 percent pay offer. The 1,300 workers at the Forensic Science Service (FSS) are members of the Prospect union.

They voted by three to one to hold a one-day strike next Wednesday. It will be followed by an overtime ban and work to rule. Prospect's general secretary, Paul Noon, said, "This pay offer is a further blow to dedicated public servants who are already demoralised by the home secretary's announcement that he plans to sell off FSS, making Britain the only country in the world with a privatised forensic science service."

Administrative staff at FSS, represented by the PCS civil servants' union, also voted to take part in the strike and campaign of industrial action by two to one.

There are union members at all seven FSS laboratories-Chorley (Lancashire), Wetherby (West Yorkshire), Trident Court and Priory House (Birmingham), Lambeth (London), Huntingdon (Cambridgeshire) and Chepstow (Gwent).

Starter's flag up for race strikers

STARTING STALL handlers at Epsom racecourse are balloting on strike action to protest against the imposition of new contracts. The workers undergo special training to ensure the horses and jockeys get safely into their starting boxes.

Any strike threat from the 55 workers would be particularly effective as they could disrupt Derby Day, a highlight of the racing calendar. The handlers are members of the TGWU union, which backs their action.

Chill wind at glazing factory

AN ALL-out strike by workers at Dessian double glazing factory in Belfast was continuing at the start of this week. The walkout began when a shop steward was sacked. The TGWU union, which represents the 70 workers, says he is the second union activist to be sacked by the company.

The strikers are furious because management refused to negotiate. It is the first strike in the company's 20-year history.

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Thu 27 May 2004, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1903
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