Socialist Worker

Reports round-up

Issue No. 2321

Southampton council cuts close pool

Protesters lobbied Southampton council on Wednesday of last week as it voted through £2.5 million of budget cuts—including the closure of the popular Oaklands pool.

The Labour-run council has decided to shut it permanently, cutting 33 jobs. Council workers in the Unison and Unite unions joined the protest together with local swimmers.

Lobbies in Barnet over privatisation

Council workers and residents in Barnet, north London, lobbied councillors against privatisation on Saturday of last week.

The Tory council is planning to outsource almost all council services in a £1 billion contract known as One Barnet.

Barnet Alliance for Public Services campaigners visited councillors at their ward surgeries. For more details go to

Health workers strike for travel pay

Unison members in the occupational therapy department at Wansbeck Hospital in Northumbria struck for three days from Friday of last week.

They are protesting against moves by Northumbria Healthcare Trust to reduce travel subsidies from 47p to 24p a mile for workers who rely on their car to do their job.

Trust bosses made an offer, following action short of a strike. But Unison called it “derisory”, and workers rejected it by 74 percent in a consultative ballot.

Strike vote to stop Stobart sackings

More than 150 lorry drivers at a Tesco distribution centre at Doncaster have voted to strike for their jobs.

Their new employers, Eddie Stobart Ltd, issued them 90-day termination notices when the workforce was transferred from Tesco on 5 September. The workers are members of the Unite union. They voted to strike by 91 percent.

Take the Direct Line to 900 job losses

Insurance company Direct Line has announced that 891 workers are to lose their jobs. Some 500 are to go at a call centre in Stockton-on-Tees.

But the firm announced a 7 percent half year profit increase to £224.2 million last week. Company boss Paul Geddes pocketed a £3 million bonus. Workers’ terms for redundancy pay were reduced in May of this year.

A Direct Line worker

College ballot in Bedfordshire

Lecturers at Barnfield College in Bedfordshire are balloting for strikes over attacks on their contracts. The ballot closes on Friday of this week.

College management are trying to impose new contracts that the UCU union says could lead to increased hours and redundancies.

Doncaster bin workers plan strike

Bin workers in Doncaster, south Yorkshire, are set to strike for six days over the next month over pay. They plan to hold strikes on six days between Friday of this week and 15 October.

They also plan an overtime ban. The workers, who are in the Unite union, are employed by Sita UK.

Ferry workers to scupper attacks

Ferry workers have voted by almost nine to one for strikes to protect job security, pensions and union organisation.

They are members of the RMT union employed by Caledonian MacBrayne in the west of Scotland. The company is also taking over routes that are being privatised.

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Tue 18 Sep 2012, 16:50 BST
Issue No. 2321
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