Socialist Worker

Reports round up

Issue No. 2498

Defend Doncaster Women’s Aid demo

Protesters were set to demonstrate in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, on Wednesday of this week to defend the town’s Women’s Aid service.

Women’s Aid in Doncaster was funded by the council before receiving funding from the Big Lottery. This funding has now come to an end and campaigners want the council to fund the service.

Activists plan to protest from 11am at Clock Corner in Doncaster.

Activists slam Tory ‘living wage’ sham

Fast Food Rights activists held an April Fool’s Day protest outside Downing Street last Friday. It was the same day that the Tories’ new “living wage” came into effect.

Protesters branded the new minimum wage “fool’s gold” as it falls short of the living wage as outlined by the Living Wage Foundation.

The protest came ahead of a global day of action for fast food workers set to take place on Thursday 14 April.

Day of action—for activity near you go to

Act Up protests for access to HIV drugs

HIV activist group Act Up London stormed the offices of NHS England boss Simon Stevens on Tuesday of last week.

Protesters were demanding access to HIV prevention drug PrEP, which NHS bosses have stalled bringing in.

Then last Friday naked activists took the fight to pharma giant Gilead’s London headquarters.

They were demanding the reduction in price of its hepatitis C medications, PrEP and pneumonia vaccine.

This was a co-ordinated action by a coalition of over 25 groups in 13 cities across the world against the greed that blocks access to life saving medicines.

Sami Hillyer

Managers to fight against a royal mess

The Unite union is balloting Royal Mail managers for higher pay.

The Unite members overwhelmingly rejected a 1.3 percent pay offer in a consultative ballot.

But Unite has said that the dispute is about more than just pay.

It says pay is part of a much wider set of problems engulfing the privatised company that could put the service at risk.

The ballot of 4,900 managers in the postal service ends on Thursday 21 April.

Bosses have declined talks at Acas.

Three weeks of strikes to beat weekend pay robbery

Workers at the National Museum of Wales are set to strike across its seven sites as part of rolling action lasting three weeks starting this Saturday.

The PCS union members have been fighting bosses’ plans to scrap weekend premium pay rates for two years.

The union announced the strikes after bosses refused to budge at talks on Thursday of last week.

Meanwhile PCS members at the National Museum of Scotland suspended their planned strike for the second week running following talks.

The workers are demanding that bosses reintroduce weekend working allowances for all workers after bosses withdrew them from new workers three years ago.

They had been planning to strike for six consecutive weekends, beginning with the last weekend of March. But they suspended the action after bosses promised to bring a new offer to the table.

Blacklist campaigners unearth buried treasure

A computer used to help run the construction blacklist has been discovered days before the latest High Court hearing into the industry scandal.

The computer used by illegal blacklisting organisation the Consulting Association was thought lost. It was seized in the Information Commissioners’ Office raid in 2009 but returned to Consulting Association boss Ian Kerr without being fully analysed.

But journalist Phil Chamberlain has acquired the machine from former Consulting Association book keeper Mary Kerr.

The computer had been wiped but its hard drive is now undergoing tests to see what data can be retrieved.

Campaigners consistently claimed that use of the blacklist was widespread.

Dave Smith, Blacklist Support Group secretary, said, “It’s like Indiana Jones finding the Lost Ark. No one knows what secrets might be locked away inside.”

The next round of the Blacklist hearing in the High Court was set to start on Thursday.

Scaffolders walk off job

Around 60 scaffolders and labourers at the Shetland Gas plant, 270 miles north of Aberdeen, walked out last Friday. They said they had been sacked.

Workers for contractor Bilfinger refused to work beyond 1pm, which they insisted was all their contracts require on a Friday.

One said, “As a body of men we thought we would just work our contracted hours today, but they said if you leave at 1pm we’ll sack you.”

Chief contractor Petrofac said no one had been sacked. Unite union official John Boland said, “I think we have got things calmed down a wee bit and the guys will be working as per normal over the weekend.”

TUSC argues for left exit

The Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is fighting to prevent “Brexit” campaigns led by Tories and Ukip supporters receiving huge sums of public money.

The Electoral Commission has to decide whether a particular Leave campaign in the European Union referendum is designated as the “lead” campaign. This would give it access to public money.

The favourites are reactionary-led campaigns that do not reflect the left case for exit.

The Electoral Commission refused to meet TUSC to discuss the issue, so TUSC has put in its own application to force the question into the open.

Sign TUSC petition

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