Car makers gear up for a pension fight
Unite union reps at BMW sites were meeting to discuss strike dates this week after a resounding ballot result for action against bosses’ “pension robbery”.
BMW workers voted by over 93 percent to strike on a turnout of 72 percent in ballots of almost 3,500 people.
Bosses want to close their pension scheme by 31 May. BMW group just announced an 8 percent surge in its net profit.
The workers make Mini and Rolls Royce cars—which both saw sales increase—and engines at sites in Cowley, Goodwood, Hams Hall and Swindon.
Lambeth libraries deal under new fire
Over 200 people protested outside the closed Carnegie Library in Lambeth, south London, last Saturday.
It marked one year since an occupation to keep it open.
Councillor Rachel Heywood, suspended from Lambeth Labour for speaking out against the closures of ten libraries, said the empty building “symbolises all that is wrong” with the council.
It comes after campaigners unearthed emails showing a “secret deal” with GLL, the firm brought in to run some libraries, that raise “disturbing” questions.
Workers rally over pay in civil service
Civil service workers in the PCS union protested against low public sector pay on Friday of last week.
The government’s longrunning 1 percent public sector pay cap (see page 17) means civil service workers have had a real terms pay cut of up to nine percent since 2010. They could lose as much as 20 percent by 2020.
At a rally outside the Treasury in central London, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) worker Andy Roach told Socialist Worker, “I’m 49 years old and I live with my parents. Not out of choice but out of necessity.”
Vote for Action on Unison union NEC
Voting opened on Monday for the Unison union’s national executive committee (NEC) elections.
Socialist Worker supports the slate of the Unison Action broad left, which calls for real resistance to Tory austerity.
It is standing on a platform of defending pensions, terms, conditions, the NHS and breaking the public sector pay cap.
Unison Action also urges a fight against racism and the scapegoating of migrant workers.