AROUND 400 workers at a factory in Hereford were set to strike for five days this week. The workers, members of the GMB union, work at Special Metals Wiggin producing nickel alloys.
The company's derisory offer of a 1 percent pay rise has been overwhelmingly rejected by the workforce, who are demanding a rise of 3 percent. Senior GMB shop steward Phil Cogzell said, 'Our members are not very happy with the situation, as shown by an 84 percent rejection of the offer. Our demands are in line with inflation. All we want to do is keep our heads above water.'
Workers say no to budget
COUNCIL WORKERS in Southampton were set to strike for the day on Wednesday of this week. Last week around 500 council workers gathered for a mass outdoor meeting and voted to reject Southampton City Council's budget by 467 to six. The budget included cuts in jobs and workers' allowances.
Unison branch secretary Mike Tucker said, 'The vote demonstrated how strongly council workers reject the council's proposals. 'The council is now facing the most serious industrial relations case in its history.' The strike will involve around 2,200 workers.
Make a stand for democracy
OVER 270,000 PCS civil servants' union members are continuing their ballot for more democracy in their union. Activists have leafleted a number of key workplaces to argue for annual national executive elections and annual conferences.
The vote is a great opportunity to win more control of the union for ordinary members. Many members are angry with the right wing dominated national executive's attempts to sack elected general secretary Mark Serwotka, and its refusal to accept democratic decisions.
The ballot ends on Friday 27 February. Activists should ensure that every member in their office has voted for more democracy, and that every PCS workplace in their area has been leafleted.
We'll make a din against racism
THE CAMPAIGN to defend the Hackney 'Anti-Racist Three' is continuing, with a protest planned for next week. Brian Debus and Will Leng are Unison's joint branch secretaries, and John Page is the union's joint equality officer in Hackney, east London.
They have been suspended by the Labour-run council for allegedly circulating a draft report on racism in the council. The union branch has been inundated with messages of support. On Monday 24 February there will be a 'Make a din against racism' lobby of the council meeting at the town hall in Mare Street at 6pm.
A benefit at the Ocean in Hackney is also organised for 21 March.