Socialist Worker

Reports round up

Issue No. 2497

Vigil for Asad Shah

Hundreds rally for murdered Glasgow shopkeeper Asad Shah

Hundreds rally for murdered Glasgow shopkeeper Asad Shah (Pic: Frank Doleman)


Up to 1,000 people joined a vigil at less than 24 hours’ notice last Friday following the horrific murder of Glasgow shopkeeper Asad Shah.

The event was called under the slogan “This is not who we are”.

Police Scotland said Asad’s murder was “religiously prejudiced”. A man has been arrested and was set to appear in court on Tuesday of this week. An online crowdfunder had raised over £87,000 for Asad’s family by the time Socialist Worker went to press on Tuesday.


Pensions shift means pay cuts

Five million public sector workers and 1.5 million in the private sector face a cut in their take-home pay from next week.

Chancellor George Osborne has altered the way national insurance contributions are calculated due to a new state pension system. Someone on £25,000 a year could lose £7 a week.


Dangerous new fire call centre

Workers at a new fire and rescue call centre set to open in Edinburgh on Wednesday have warned of a “critical” and dangerous situation.

Whistle-blowers say they are under-trained and understaffed.


Lights, camera—and strike action

Cinema workers at The Rio in Dalston, east London, are to ballot for industrial action in a fight over pay.

The Bectu union is demanding a pay rise for all.

Workers have not had a pay rise since 2012, with the lowest paid on £6.91 an hour.


Workers send Royal Mail clear message

Postal workers in the CWU union have launched a campaign for a shorter working week.

The CWU says a 35-hour working week with no loss in pay will be a “priority aim” in upcoming negotiations with Royal Mail bosses.

It comes after the union held a postal policy forum in London last week.

Delegates to the forum also voted to ballot for industrial action if Royal Mail closes their current pension scheme.


Fast Food Rights plans day of protest

Fast Food Rights campaigners were set to protest outside Downing Street on Friday of this week.

They are demanding a £10 an hour minimum wage.

The protest will come ahead of a global day of action for fast food workers demanding higher pay, union rights and better conditions at work.


Boaters in London won’t tow the line

Up to 70 boaters joined a towpath gathering in Tottenham, north London, on Sunday of last week

Boaters pay substantial license fees to the Canal and River Trust (CRT) for access to water taps and rubbish and toilet facilities.

But the CRT is now restricting access to them.


Bid to stop Land Registry selloff

The PCS union has said it will launch a “major campaign” against Tory plans to sell off the Land Registry.

The Tories announced the privatisation on Thursday of last week.

Strikes by PCS members in 2014 thwarted a previous attempt.


Threat of strike crucifies bosses

A planned 24-hour strike by Allied Bakery workers in Cardiff was called off last week after their Bfawu union reached an agreement with bosses.

They had planned to walk out over changes to holiday entitlements and shift patterns.

Bfawu said the chosen strike date was one of the company’s busiest times for hot cross bun production.


Staff reject pay insult

Trade unions representing lecturers and support staff in higher education have rejected an initial pay offer from bosses.

The UCU, EIS, Unison, Unite and GMB unions have urged bosses to improve their initial 1 percent pay offer.

The trade unions said that it did not address areas such as the living wage.

Unions are set to meet again with the bosses’ UCEA group on 28 April.

A united strike could force a pay rise from the bosses.


Housing activists step up campaign with sleepouts

Housing campaigners are planning to demonstrate against homelessness on 15 April by holding sleepouts and protests across Britain.

Their action comes after the 5,000-strong march against the Tories’ Housing and Planning Bill last month.

The bill would spell the end of council and social housing.

The actions are also part of building for the People’s Assembly demonstration against austerity the following day.

In London, activists will hold a protest outside Downing Street on Whitehall.

Elsewhere people will demonstrate on the steps of town halls and outside housing offices.

Activists are also planning a mass protest and lobby of MPs on 27 April.

Alistair Farrow

For details of protests taking place go to Facebook event pages March with the Homeless London, Southwark: Kill the Housing Bill National Sleepout and defendcouncilhousing.org.uk

Camden council attacks tenants

Camden council is forcing 30,000 people on its council housing waiting list to reapply under new criteria.

Applicants will have to prove residency in the north London borough for five of the last seven years.

Communal rooms will also be counted as bedrooms.

Some 23,000 people will be kicked off the waiting list.


Tube drivers’ strike shuts down the Piccadilly line

United action can push back the bosses

United action can push back the bosses (Pic: Guy Smallman)


A 24-hour strike by Tube drivers through Wednesday and Thursday of last week shut London Underground’s Piccadilly line.

Members of the RMT and Aslef unions took part in the walkout.

The RMT said the “wholesale abuse of procedures and agreements by management” was behind the dispute.

It added that management were also “continuing to drag their heels over addressing fundamental safety issues which leave staff in a vulnerable and exposed position”.

Further 24-hour strikes are set to take place from 12 noon on 19 and 21 April.

Raymie Kiernan


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