STRIKES BY drivers in the Aslef rail union on First North Western last weekend were solid again. The Aslef union is asking all drivers to put £5 into a FNW disputes fund. Drivers on the Merseyrail company have offered to put in £10 each. More drivers are discussing escalating the dispute.
Liverpool Aslef branch has sent a resolution to Aslef head office asking for a week-long strike. There is to be a mass rally outside FNW's head office.
Knitwear staff fleeced by firm
WORKERS AT Barrie Knitwear in Hawick in Scotland struck for two days last week. Bosses want to end all the workers' contracts and re-employ them on worse terms and conditions.
The company owners, Dawson International, have threatened to pay everyone off by Christmas if they don't accept the new deals. The Dawson International chief executive grabbed an £87,000 bonus earlier this year, while workers at another plant had their pay frozen.
The company is refusing to negotiate with the GMB union, which represents the workforce, until the new contracts are signed.
Dramatic battle over better pay
THEATRE workers walked out on a one-day strike at the Haymarket Theatre, Leicester, last week, cancelling a performance of a hit musical. The engineers, wardrobe staff and box office workers are members of the Bectu union.
Their strike is over pay. In a ballot 88 percent of the workforce voted to reject a 2 percent pay offer.
Bectu officer Willy Donaghy says, 'The union's recent low pay survey highlighted the shocking fact that the vast majority of theatre workers are paid less than the levels acknowledged by both the Low Pay Unit and the Council of Europe as poverty pay.'
It's not the end at First Group
OVER 250 bus drivers in Norwich have voted unanimously for a ballot for strike action against their employers, First Group, at a mass meeting. The bus workers are threatened with losing most of their paid breaks and having their pay cut by £18.50 a week.
They will be forced to spend up to five hours at the wheel without any breaks. The ballot will take up to four weeks, while the new working hours will be introduced in only two weeks.
Early chapter in book struggle
WORKERS AT publisher HarperCollins' Bishopbriggs plant in Glasgow, owned by Rupert Murdoch, are to vote on taking strike action. Management is changing the rules on redundancy payments.
Literary editors are at the moment entitled to one month's salary for every year worked if they are made redundant. Bosses now want to cut the 25-year upper limit to 12 years. The 36 workers involved in the ballot are members of the journalists' NUJ union.