Socialist Worker

Reports round-up

Issue No. 2326

Council workers protest in Hull

Around 300 council workers in Hull lobbied the council meeting on Thursday of last week against a wide ranging plan to decimate conditions. Cuts are planned to overtime rates, increments for weekend working and car allowances.

There were manual workers, social care staff and at least four Labour councillors there. Some 90 bin workers presented the Unison union with a petition demanding to be balloted for an overtime ban.

Phil Sanderson

Joint strike could go down in history

Cleaners and maintenance staff have voted to strike against privatisation plans at the British Museum. They are already low paid and fear further cuts if their work is contracted out.

The workers are members of the Unite and PCS unions. If they strike it could force parts of the museum to close.

Biscuit bosses crumble in pay row

Workers at Fox’s Biscuits factories in Batley, West Yorkshire and Kirkham, Lancashire, have voted to accept a new offer. Around 600 members of bakers’ union BFAWU had voted to walk out, but held a new ballot after the firm’s owners 2 Sisters put forward another deal.

They voted to accept a 3 percent pay rise this year and 2.5 percent next year. But this is linked to cuts in conditions, including sick pay and redundancy pay.

Sparks challenge Crossrail sackings

Rank and file electricians are holding a series of protests against attempts to break union organisation on the Crossrail project. They blockaded the Oxford Street site on Monday and Tuesday of this week.

Some 28 Unite union members working at the Westbourne Park site were sacked last month. Two other Unite reps have also been removed from the site.

Tesco lorry drivers reject bosses’ offer

Tesco drivers in Doncaster suspended their planned two day strike last week in expectation of an offer from Eddie Stobart Ltd (ESL) bosses.

But the offer that emerged was “very disappointing”, according to the workers’ Unite union. Its regional officer Harriet Eisner says “further industrial action is still on the cards”.

ESL had issued the workers with 90 day redundancy notices almost as soon as their contracts had been transferred from Tesco. Unite believes the drivers should be protected by Tupe regulations.

Walkout against pay attacks at DHL

Distribution workers at DHL in Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire, and Neasden, north west London, struck for two days demanding a decent pay rise and assurances over the site’s future.

They are members of the Unite union. Workers’ pay has been frozen since 2008 and more than 100 have been made redundant. In Neasden workers are paid less than their counterparts in nearby Enfield, and do not get paid for agreed breaks. Unite officer Tony Devlin described the strike as “solid”.

Bus strike looms for First chiefs

RMT union First Devon and Cornwall bus workers are set to strike over pay on Friday of this week. They voted by 85 percent for strikes and by over 90?percent for action short of a strike.

This year’s pay offer is self-funding—meaning it would have no cost impact on the company and ring-fences their profits.

This involves the loss of paid walking time, and visual “walk round” check and the dilution of sick pay benefits. The workers have already lost the final salary aspects of their pension scheme.

Walkout against Tory minister

Around 200 civil service workers in HM Revenue & Customs walked out their office in Coventry when it was visited by Tory minister Francis Maude last week. Maude is heading up attacks on union facility time and workers’ rights.

Ian Hough is a PCS union rep at the office. He said, “If we hadn’t done anything, Maude would have taken it as a green light. The walkout sent a message.”

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Tue 23 Oct 2012, 17:13 BST
Issue No. 2326
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