Socialist Worker

Reports round-up

Issue No. 2317

Downhills school is made an academy

The High Court crushed the hopes of parents and teachers at Downhills primary school in Haringey, north London, last Wednesday. A judge ruled against holding a judicial review into the forced conversion of the school into an academy.

As of next month it will be run by the Harris Foundation—owned by Conservative peer Lord Harris, owner of Carpetright. Parents and teachers had fought bitterly against the academy plans with strikes and demonstrations.

GMB court threat over blacklisting…

The GMB union has threatened to take legal action against the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) over blacklisting. An illegal blacklist is used by construction bosses to victimise workers who raise safety concerns. The ICO holds the names of 2,863 people who were on the list.

Only those who make a formal request can find out if they are on the list. GMB calls for the ICO to contact all victims—as it did for victims of phone hacking.

…as blacklist firm boss gets safety job

A boss of one of the companies at the heart of the blacklisting scandal has been appointed to the board of the Health and Safety Executive. Howard Shiplee is an executive director of building firm Laing O’Rourke.

Bad news at the BBC for workers

Unions at the BBC have been informed of some grim news when it comes to workers’ pension funds. In a meeting last week BBC management informed representatives from the NUJ, Bectu and Unite that the fund has a £2.6 billion deficit.

This is up from £1.4?billion last year, despite annual additional contributions of £170 million above the employer’s standard contributions. Unions last year signed up to a pensions deal which the NUJ had previously described as “robbery”.

Alarm at threat to Sunday work hours

The Shopworkers’ union Usdaw has demanded assurances that the government won’t deregulate Sunday trading hours. Tory cabinet minister Eric Pickles has suggested the government may make changes brought in temporarily for the Olympics permanent. This would be an attack on workers’ conditions.

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Tue 21 Aug 2012, 18:12 BST
Issue No. 2317
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