Strike at tax offices warns bosses to clean up their act
Cleaners at HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) offices in Liverpool and Bootle struck on Monday and Tuesday of this week against attacks on pay and conditions.
Bosses at outsourcer ISS cut the cleaners’ hours in response to the minimum wage being increased to the Tories “living wage” rate of £7.20 an hour.
The workers are in the PCS union.
Martin Kelsey is PCS group secretary at HMRC. He said, “Despite making hundreds of millions of pounds ISS is holding back from the lowest paid workers even the most meagre benefits ofthe government’s new minimum rates of pay.”
The strike was set to be followed by an overtime ban and a work to rule.
And the PCS has warned that it could escalate action if bosses don’t back down.
Station stays but at a price
A campaign to stop staffing at a Lincoln fire station from being drastically reduced seems to have been defeated.
Lincolnshire County Council had planned to close the Lincoln South fire station during nights, with firefighters only available on call.
The fire station will now be kept open 24 hours a day after the council accepted a proposal from the FBU union.
But some 12 jobs will be lost across Lincolnshire through a process of “managed retirement” as part of the deal.
Bosses are set to cut more than £1 million from the local fire brigade’s budget.
Unions shouldn’t give away jobs to get concessions from bosses. Strikes can defend the fire service—and jobs.
Housing activists plan next moves
Housing campaigners debated how to fight the Housing and Planning Act at the Defend Council Housing campaign’s national meeting last Saturday.
The Act’s “Pay to Stay” part links council tenants’ rents to private market rents if they earn over £40,000. But MPs will have to debate this again because it requires secondary legislation.
Activist Glyn Robbins said, “We’re going to be ready for it with another wave of campaigning.”
They plan to protest at the Department for Local Government and Communities on Wednesday 10 August.
Union delivers red letter to privatisers
The CWU postal workers’ union delivered a giant postcard to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy last Friday.
They were demanding an end to Tory plans to privatise Crown Post offices. The postcard had travelled across Britain, starting in Edinburgh last Monday. It stopped off in the North West, the Midlands, Wales and Bristol.
Anti-fascists plan counter-protests
Anti-fascists are preparing to protest against the Nazi South East Alliance in London this Friday.
The counter-protest, called by Unite Against Fascism, assembles at Downing Street at 5pm.
Anti-racists will also protest against Britain First in Coventry this Saturday
Teaching assistants protest in Durham
Hundreds of teaching assistants (TAs) protested in Durham outside the county council headquarters last Thursday.
They are fighting a massive attack on their pay by the Labour-run council.
The council ended an official consultation last week.
Many TAs are pushing for their Unison union to ballot for strikes early in the new term.
North Lanarkshire vote for action
GMB union members in North Lanarkshire council’s regeneration and environmental services department have voted to be balloted for industrial action against cuts.
In a consultative ballot workers voted by 96 percent in favour of action on an 86 percent turnout for an overtime ban and work to rule.
Bakery bosses plan to slash 53 jobs
Allied bakeries is planning to close its Chester Road distribution centre in Saltney in Cheshire. This would cut some 53 jobs.
The company, which owns the Kingsmill and Allinson brands, is in talks with the Bfawu trade union.
Eurostar managers ballot for strikes
Eurostar Train managers working out of St Pancras station in central London are being balloted for strikes.
The TSSA union members are fighting plans to change their shift patterns.