Socialist Worker

Reports round-up: Paralympic protesters launch week of action

Issue No. 2520

Disabled people outside parliament highlight the impact of losing the Independent Living Fund

Disabled people outside parliament highlight the impact of losing the Independent Living Fund (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Disabled people are highlighting the impact of austerity alongside the Paralympic Games this week.

The Disabled People Against Cuts (Dpac) week of action began on Sunday.

Activists went into the Tate Modern gallery in London to set up artworks by disabled people.

People who lost support due to the closure of the Independent Living Fund launched a report into its impact at a meeting in parliament on Monday.

This was followed by a protest and street theatre on Whitehall on Monday evening.

Local protests took place across Britain on Tuesday. On Wednesday activists were set to challenge Theresa May at prime minister’s questions.

The week ends with a conference on Saturday with international speakers.

For details see dpac.uk.net

Old Firm clash hit by Glasgow workers’ action

Some 140 workers employed by Community Safety Glasgow (CSG), a company of Glasgow City Council, were set to strike this weekend. They include CCTV workers who struck earlier this year.

The strike by Unison, Unite and GMB union members was to coincide with the season’s first Celtic v Rangers football game.

Bosses want to pay them less than other workers in Glasgow City Council for shift work. Their night shift pay would be barely half that of other council workers.

Some workers are facing a pay cut of £3,000 per year.


Were steel unions missold PFF?

Steel unions Community, Unite and GMB met Tata Steel in London to discuss the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS) on Wednesday of last week.

Tata had said it would cut pensions to avoid folding the scheme into the government run Pension Protection Fund (PPF). Any cut means robbing from workers.

Now it says it may collapse BSPS into PPF after all.

Unions said that this was “unacceptable” and Tata had “lost the trust and confidence of its workforce”.

But that line was crossed long ago. As Unite said, “over five months since” Tata announced its plans to sell up, workers “are even less clear about their future”.

About time the unions did something.


University workers vote on pay walkout

The Unison union is recommending its higher education members vote yes for strikes after employers failed to improve on a 1.1 percent pay offer for the majority of staff.

The ballot runs until 19 September.

Unison labelled reports that the employers’ negotiating body has recommended to universities that they should pay staff the current offer as provocative and unnecessary.

Union general secretary Dave Prentis said, “It is time for the sector to fight back”.


Ballot on pay freeze at Freightliner

A strike ballot of workers at rail freight giant Freightliner Heavy Haul ends next Tuesday. The RMT union members are demanding a better pay deal for ground staff, shift managers, clerical and supervisory staff.

Bosses offered zero percent last year and have since used a downturn in the use of coal to consult on redundancies instead of giving workers a pay rise.

Directors handed themselves a 30 percent pay rise in the last year.


Bectu members vote for merger with Prospect

Members of the Bectu media workers’ union have voted to merge with the Prospect civil service union. The merger, set to take place on 1 January, will make Bectu the largest sector in Prospect.

Bectu’s leadership say it will have “industrial autonomy” within Prospect, with its own executive.

But that executive will still have to report to Prospect’s national executive committee.

Bectu will also have to disaffiliate from the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and the Labour Party. This will take place on a right wing basis as Prospect believes it has to be politically neutral.


CPS could charge over Kingsley death

The next step in the campaign for Kingsley Burrell was set to take place on 10 September. His family will hear whether the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) will charge cops who were involved in his death.

A public meeting has been called in Birmingham by the Justice for Kingsley Burrell campaign to follow the CPS’s announcement. See bit.ly/2c1J4ny for details.

Anti-racists protested outside the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) in London last Friday demanding justice for Dalian Atkinson, killed by police last month.


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