AROUND 30 bus drivers joined picket lines last Friday as First Group bus workers in Southampton went on strike. The drivers in the TGWU union held the one-day official strike in protest at a 4 percent pay offer. One picket said young drivers have become more militant, and there is an angry mood.
- Sharon Merrick
OVER 1,000 firefighters and control room staff on Merseyside attended mass meetings last week and unanimously voted for a strike ballot. The ballot was to begin on Wednesday of this week. The chief officer of Merseyside, Malcolm Saunders, has launched a war against the Fire Brigades Union by tearing up national agreements.
OVER 200 porters and cleaners at Glasgow's Stobhill Hospital are to ballot for strike action over working conditions. Their employer, Medirest, is a subsidiary of the giant Granada Compass group. The dispute centres on sick pay, pension rights and shift allowances. These fall below those of other workers employed directly by the NHS.
Shop steward Morag Houston said last week, "If they cannot provide the same conditions staff would get in the public sector, services should be brought back into the NHS." With Stobhill Hospital facing the threat of closure, the workers can expect lots of support.
- Roddy Slorach