Striking nuclear weapons workers need support—despite their job
The sites where Britain’s weapons of mass destruction are developed face strike ballots against an attack on workers’ pensions.
Bosses at the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) in Burghfield and Aldermaston, Berkshire, aim to close the pension scheme of 4,000 workers.
AWE is privately-run but government-owned. The Ministry of Defence had promised pensions would be safe at the time of privatisation.
Instead the defined benefit pension scheme is to be replaced by a worse scheme.
The Unite union is balloting its 600 workers across both sites. Voting closes on Monday 31 October.
Workers should vote yes.
Socialists oppose all nuclear weapons. But weakening workers’ unions and pensions does not help to beat the system that produces such weapons.
Barnsley Festival attracts over 100
Well over 100 people came to the Barnsley Festival of Labour History organised by Barnsley trades council last weekend.
The Festival celebrated the 125th anniversary of our trades council being founded.
We had speakers on working class resistance from the Yorkshire Rising of 1820 to the 1972 and 1984-5 miners’ strikes.
We gave Ken Loach’s 1977 TV film The Price of Coal its first public screening in Barnsley.
Highlights included Anandi Ramamurthy’s talk on Asian youth movements in Yorkshire in the 1980s—which finished with the links to the Rotherham 12 defence campaign today.
Participants also joined a Unison union demonstration in solidarity with the Kinsley 3 cleaners on indefinite strike to defend their pay and conditions. We handed over £116 for their strike fund that was collected at the festival.
Workers vote to strike at human rights body
Workers at the Equality and Human Rights Commission have voted overwhelmingly to strike over cuts.
Workers have been told to expect a 25 percent budget cut and possible compulsory redundancies.
This follows a 70 percent cut since 2010.
The cuts would mean fewer caseworkers supporting victims of discrimination.
PCS union general secretary Mark Serwotka said, “The commission spends hundreds of thousands of pounds on consultants while getting rid of low paid staff who support victims of discrimination.”
In a ballot, 82 percent of PCS members voted for strikes on a 65 percent turnout.
Unite union members at the commission voted 100 percent for strikes.
Tower bus dispute is driving forwards
London bus workers at Tower Transit were set to strike on Wednesday and Thursday this week in a continuing fight against roster changes that cut pay.
It was set to be the third strike for around 1,000 drivers, engineers and controllers in the Unite union.
Previous strikes have caused disruption to 28 routes including London’s busiest, the 25.
Sites affected are at Atlas Road in Park Royal, Westbourne Park bus garage and Lea interchange depot.
Cabin crew embark on striking voyage
CityJet cabin crew based at London City airport were set to strike for five days against a proposed pay cut of up to 50 percent.
The action was planned for Thursday and Friday of this week and Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of next.
The 36 workers are members of the Unite union and they voted 84 percent to strike.
It coincides with action short of a strike by CityJet pilots based in Dublin over union representation.
Court too scared of fracking protesters
The court hearing expected to sentence
anti-fracking activist Tina Louise Rothery has been postponed in the face of solidarity protests.
Originally set for Wednesday of this week in Blackpool, it will now be put back to a different date and venue.
Tina was told the decision was made “considering the safety and security issues which may arise at the hearing”. More than 100 people protested outside her trial in June.
Oil bosses pat each other on their backs
Top fossil fuel bosses joined an “Oil and Money” conference in central London on Tuesday.
The Campaign Against Climate Change and other groups protested outside.
Protesters were also set to descend on the Drax power plant in north Yorkshire on Friday.
Food distribution workers balloting
The GMB union is balloting workers at food distribution giant Bidvest over a “derisory” pay offer.
Bosses only offered workers a 0.8 percent pay increase this year.
The union is recommending that its members reject the offer and support strikes.
Rent fighters take action
students from several universities across the country were gearing up for a day of action this week over rents.
It was set for Wednesday this week, 2.30pm at Russell Square in London.
The campaign won a victory in the last academic year at UCL in London when the university was forced to pay £1.2 million in subsidies to students’ rent. The campaign has spread to a number of other universities.
Some 150 activists came together last month to plan coordinated action.
For more information about the campaign go to facebook.com/rentstriker/
Let us go home to London, say tenants sent to Welwyn
Tenants living in Boundary House in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, are demanding to be moved back to Walthamstow, east London, by the council.
Some of them have been living with small children for up to two years in temporary accommodation they say is dirty and overcrowded.
Residents have called a protest outside the offices of the company contracted to maintain Boundary House, Theori Housing.
lDemonstrate, Friday 28 October, 11am, outside Theori Investments, 840 High Rd Leyton, London E10 6AE
Demo in London against Turkish repression
Around 200 Turkish and Kurdish activists and their supporters protested outside Downing Street last Saturday.
They were highlighting repression of workers and Kurds and the attacks on an independent media by the government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He is using the failed coup in July to crack down on all his opponents.
Marchers then joined the march for refugees.