Pressure forces reinstatement
MANAGEMENT and GMB union officials claim that the long-running dispute in the Brighton and Hove refuse collection service is at an end after an agreement was signed last week. Intensive talks between the union and management followed an overwhelming vote for strike action in response to enforced changes in working practices that saw 11 workers suspended.
The workers have been unconditionally reinstated. Workers at the main Brighton depot do not see the agreement as an end to the dispute. One bin worker told Socialist Worker, "This agreement is nothing more than a ceasefire. There's no doubt after the brilliant strike ballot that if things don't work out there'll be re-escalation of our action."
Inspecting the bosses' resolve
AROUND 1,200 members of the PCS and Prospect civil servants' unions in the vehicle inspectorate division of the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency worked to rule last week.
Management have imposed a three-year pay deal on workers that doesn't address the pay inequalities that exist in the newly merged department. These can be as much as £3,000 a year.
David Millar, the PCS negotiating officer in the south west, told Socialist Worker, "Staff are fed up with the way they're being treated. After last week's work to rule management have offered us new talks on Friday of this week."
New timetable for ballot
THE RMT union is to reballot more than 750 members at Southern Trains for strikes over the use of agency staff to undermine the jobs, pay and conditions of directly employed staff.
Action scheduled for 14, 15, 21 and 22 June was cancelled by the union when it emerged that it had been timetabled to begin one minute after the legal deadline set by the anti-union laws.
The union is in dispute over the company's insistence on using agency security staff, paid £2,000 less than directly employed staff, to collect revenue and penalty fares.
* STRIKE ACTION by RMT members at the Mitcham Belle bus company in south west London has been suspended after management guaranteed to redeploy two union reps who had been sacked during the dispute.
Goliath threatens our community
I AM involved in the Portobello Campaign Against the Superstore in Edinburgh. The development of a new superstore threatens to destroy our local shops and community. We are facing similar threats to other communities across the UK-increased traffic and pollution, use of land which would be much more socially useful as affordable housing.
The proposal in Portobello is to use a site on the edge of our community. Friends of the Earth are supporting our campaign. This is David and Goliath stuff.
For more information go to www.pcats.org.uk