One for all and all for One Housing rep
Some 84 percent of Unite union members in the One Housing Group in London voted for industrial action in defence of union steward Bryan Kennedy. The consultative ballot result came out last week. Bryan has been suspended by management. He has been an important part of building up the union. Workers see this as victimisation of their steward after a series of strikes and are determined to fight it.
Freedom riders take on the trains
For the third Monday running 150 protesters, pensioners and disabled people protested against the four South Yorkshire Labour councils’ axing of their free train travel. They rallied at Meadowhall shopping centre before protesting in front of Sheffield station. Tosh McDonald, vice president of the rail workers Aslef union told the rally, “It’s wonderful to see people taking direct action. These cuts are a nonsense. We need to take the railways back into public ownership.”
Scottish unions say no to zero hours
The annual congress of the Scottish TUC took place from Monday to Wednesday of this week in Dundee. One key motion on the first day was against the use of zero hours contracts. The STUC says as many as 85,000 workers in Scotland could be on the contracts.
Trade unionists debate racism
More than 200 trade unionists attended the annual TUC Black Workers Conference last weekend. Deaths in police custody was a theme through the conference, with Neville Lawrence, Carole Duggan and Marcia Lewis among those speaking. The conference also voted to work with the Movement Against Xenophobia on the Tories’ Immigration Bill. Black Activists Rising Against Cuts held a fringe meeting.
Pay cut sunk by strikes on the Clyde
Strikes at Faslane and Coulport naval bases on the Clyde have forced Ministry of Defency contractor Babcock Marine to give workers a bigger pay rise. It originally offered a 1 percent rise, but workers have now voted to accept a rise of 2.7 percent. This follows three weeks of industrial action by more than 800 workers in the Unite union. This consisted of a two hour strike by everyone, a rolling programme of one hour strikes by sections of the workforce, plus a work to rule and an overtime ban.