Socialist Worker

Reports round-up

Issue No. 2503

Civil service workers walk out at the Health and Safety Executive

Civil service workers walk out at the Health and Safety Executive (Pic: Simon Hester)


Lunchtime walkouts at HSE office

Over 60 Prospect and PCS union members working at the Health and Safety Executive London office walked out for a lunchtime protest on Monday.

It was a show of solidarity with a colleague who was dismissed last week. One Prospect member said, “Our colleague’s ‘crime’ wasn’t gross misconduct and the punishment was totally disproportionate.”

Lunchtime protests were set to continue.


Unions slam council’s plan to ‘bribe’ Glasgow workers

unions have accused Labour-run Glasgow City Council bosses of “bribery” over an offer to buy off workers fighting attacks on their terms and conditions.

Some 2,500 workers in the Unison and GMB unions are currently balloting for strikes following the council’s latest cuts announcement.

The key services staff are being asked to forego double time pay for working public holidays in return for £800.

The plan to halve the number of public holidays means a direct pay cut for some workers, but it also affects council workers across the board.

Some 4,000 Unison members voted for council-wide action in a consultative ballot.

They are expected to be balloted for strikes soon. And janitors working for council firm Cordia struck again last week for three days.

The Unison union is demanding equal pay to that received by other council workers with similar duties.

The janitors were set to escalate their dispute next week with a five-day walkout from Monday.


TSSA union conference stands with Palestinians

The TSSA union conference in Eastbourne took place in the aftermath of last week’s elections. Delegates backed motions supporting Jeremy Corbyn against the right.

They also backed remaining in the European Union by two to one.

Rejecting the right’s attempts to smear the left as antisemitic, delegates reiterated their solidarity for Palestine.

TSSA head Manuel Cortez said, “I used to believe in a two state solution. Having seen the scale of settlements, I no longer think this is possible.”


Journalists defy clickbait and cuts

Officials from the journalists’ NUJ union lobbied bosses at newspaper publisher Trinity Mirror’s AGM last week. They were campaigning over pay and for “quality journalism”, which is threatened by online “clickbait” targets.

It came as Trinity Mirror announced it was scrapping new paper The New Day after just two months. The firm also announced job cuts as Nuneaton News moves from daily to weekly publication.


Drivers deliver unofficial action

Delivery drivers at the DPD Old Kent Road depot in south London briefly walked out unofficially on Sunday and Monday over working conditions.

They are technically self employed and most are not union members.

One driver said they are fined £150 if they take a day off sick and are unable to get anyone to cover for them.


Legal challenge to Scottish post ballot

Postal workers in Scotland who voted to strike in defence of a sacked colleague last month are having to reballot after a legal challenge from bosses.

The CWU union members had voted to strike in defence of David Mitchell from Cupar in Fife. He was sacked after bosses accused him of stealing mail.


Car workers take action as talks stall

Workers at Sunderland car parts factory Unipress began an overtime ban last weekend after pay talks broke down.

Almost 400 Unite union members are involved.


Give us a break, say Thomas Cook crew

Over 1,000 Thomas Cook airline cabin crew began voting in a strike ballot on Friday of last week.

Bosses want to cut their rest breaks to just 20 minutes in an 11 hour 59 minute shift.

This could increase the risk of accidents and damage workers’ health. The ballot closes on Wednesday 25 May.


Bargees fight back

Some 100 boat dwellers and their supporters protested at the Canal and River Trust (CRT) headquarters today, Tuesday. The protest was organised by the National Bargee Travellers Association (NBTA).

They were protesting against CRT's new policy of evicting boat dwellers for failing to meet strict travel requirements. These mean that boat dwellers are forced to travel minimum distances and they have to prove that their pattern of movement has covered enough ground.

The numbers of boats without home moorings has declined recently. The NBTA believe this is because of the CRT’s recent changes.


Don’t let the bosses sack this lecturer

Workers at Edinburgh College are campaigning to defend a lecturer sacked for having paracetamol in his drawer and for having non-work-related conversations “in working time.”

The EIS union branch has called for a strike ballot.

Sign the petition to defend Colin at chn.ge/1Xh4yjL

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