Socialist Worker

Reports round-up: Join the boycott of London Met

Issue No. 2528

Mark Campbell and supporters

Mark Campbell and supporters (Pic: London Met UCU)


Hundreds of academics have signed a pledge to observe a boycott of London Metropolitan University.

Bosses at London Met are pushing through compulsory redundancies and have victimised two UCU union activists, Mark Campbell and David Hardman.

The UCU’s higher education committee (HEC) last month voted to censure or “greylist” London Met.

Unless bosses meet demands including bringing back Mark and David, it could begin an international academic boycott.

The national union should urgently work to publicise and implement this decision.

Pledge your support bit.ly/2aamyqY

Stop the cuts to civil service redundancy payments

Civil service workers in the PCS union are to be balloted on Tory plans to slash their redundancy payments.

Tory Cabinet Office minister Ben Gummer wants to push through attacks that include reducing caps on redundancy payments.

The Tories have refused to negotiate with unions unless they agree to accept all the attacks in the “offer”.

The ballot will begin on Monday of next week and end on 28 November. PCS officials recommend its members vote “yes” to reject the Tories’ attacks.

PCS members should reject the offer—and demand united strikes across all civil service departments to stop the cuts.


Pension strike votes at BMW Group and AEW

Some 5,000 car workers began a consultative ballot on Monday against BMW Group bosses’ plans to close their final salary pension scheme.

This would rob thousands of pounds a year from their retirement income.

The ballot involves Unite union members across sites in Cowley, Farnborough, Goodwood, Hams Hall in the West Midlands and Swindon.

It closes on Monday 7 November and could be followed by a full strike ballot.

Workers in the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AEW) also voted overwhelmingly for strikes against an attack on their pensions in a ballot that closed this week.


Action called off for talks at EHRC

A planned strike by workers at the Equality and Human Rights Commission set for Wednesday of last week was called off for talks.

Bosses had told workers to expect a 25 percent budget cut and threatened compulsory redundancies.

The PCS union said it may serve notice for a new strike on Wednesday if bosses don’t meet workers’ demands.


Bin workers refuse to be treated like trash by Veolia

refuse workers in Sheffield walked out for half a day last Thursday. The GMB union members are demanding a 2 percent pay rise.

They work for outsourcing giant Veolia on a contract to Labour-run Sheffield City Council.

Bosses offered workers a two-year pay deal. It would mean a 1.7 percent increase this year and a 1.5 percent increase next year.

But workers rejected this at a mass meeting last Monday.

Workers have shown they are determined to win—and their action is having a real impact.


Nightmare on Ritzy street

Workers at the Ritzy cinema in Brixton, south London, struck on Monday.

They are demanding the London Living Wage (LLW) as well as sick pay and maternity pay.

One Ritzy worker spoke to Socialist Worker. “Management agreed in the summer to negotiate, but now they’re refusing,” she said. “They’ve refused to sit at the table with Acas.”

Bosses at Cineworld claim pay increases are unaffordable, but they posted an 8 percent increase in turnover last year.

To keep up to date with the campaigns at the Ritzy and at Hackney Picturehouse follow @ritzylivingwage and @hphlivingwage on Twitter

Jannies fight Labour cuts in Glasgow

Community Safety Glasgow (CSG) workers were set to strike over shift payments this weekend. It will be the seventh walkout in their escalating dispute with bosses at Glasgow City Council.

The Unison and GMB union members are angry that other council workers earn more for working similar shifts.

Some are calling for a two-week stoppage throughout the Christmas and New Year holiday period.

Janitors working for council-run firm Cordia are also fighting. They ended a five-day strike last Friday as part of their battle to receive similar benefits as other council employees.

Bosses announced last week that up to a quarter of janitors could be sacked. The Unison members should escalate.

Not content with their party’s dismal performance Labour council chiefs decided to head for oblivion in next May’s local elections.

Councillors voted last Thursday to fully privatise IT services in a move that will threaten jobs and conditions.

Hundreds of workers protested and are now balloting for strikes.


Polish abortion protest in Bristol

Polish women, socialists, trade unionists and feminists protested in Bristol last week in solidarity with the struggle for abortion rights in Poland.

Teacher Kay spoke about how trade unions have fought attacks on abortion in Britain.

Marta, a Polish woman who called the protest, outlined the onslaught on women in Poland. It was agreed to call further protests if the attacks continue.

Salena Williams


Conference slams Turkish clampdown

The Solidarity with the People of Turkey conference in London on Saturday discussed repression after the failed coup in July.

There have been mass arrests, and closures of press agencies and newspapers.

Speakers from the RMT, NUT, PCS unions and the TUC addressed the meeting.

It condemned the arrest of the mayors of the Kurdish city of Diyabakir on trumped up terror charges.

Paul Burnham


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