COUNCIL WORKERS in Luton from the TGWU, GMB and Unison unions held a 40-strong protest of the council on Thursday of last week. Workers were protesting against plans to privatise the building, cleaning and printing departments. Jim Gregg, Unison branch secretary, said, 'These are loyal, dedicated workers who after years of operating under difficult conditions are now finding themselves outsourced.'
Pitney Bowes is the preferred company from a range of bidders. It recently caused havoc when it pulled out of its contract after the council refused to agree to an increase in copying prices.
'Proud to be against racism'
AS THE trial of refugees blamed for starting the fire at Yarls Wood detention centre continues, trade unionists are raising support. Vince Dawes, a shop steward and branch executive member of Unison London Housing Association Branch, recently won a £100 donation from his branch to the Yarls Wood trial campaign.
'I arranged for the issues to be raised because so many aspects of this case go straight to the heart of what we as trade unionists are fighting for,' Vince said. My union branch is proud of its tradition of fighting racism and the persecution of asylum seekers by New Labour. Also central to this case is the continued privatisation of services which puts lives at risk for the sake of profit.'
Wide support for axing SATs tests
ANTI-SATs campaigners in Kingstanding, Birmingham, found great support from local people when they held a stall last weekend. We could really feel that lots of people in this working class area backed our stand against the tests.
There will be a public meeting on 10 June with speakers including Carol Lyndon, the head teacher of Kings Rise primary who was featured in Socialist Worker last week.
The prosecutor is called Mr Blair
BIRMINGHAM STOP the War Coalition supporters Paul Milling and Margaret were arrested at a peaceful demonstration against the illegal war on Iraq, at Fairford USAF Base, Gloucestershire.
They were later charged with criminal offences for which they face severe penalties. Rachael Milling reports, 'Paul and Margaret appeared in Gloucester Crown Court for a plea and directions hearing. The judge directed that as there are at least two similar cases awaiting trial, their legal representatives should get together with the CPS prosecutor (rather disturbingly called Mr Blair) in a month's time for another hearing.'