Socialist Worker

Reports round-up: London Bridge 3 dispute to spread across Tube

Issue No. 2553

RMT members on the picket line at London Bridge

RMT members on the picket line at London Bridge (Pic: John Eccles)

London Bridge 3 dispute to spread across Tube

RMT union members based in “all station areas and cover groups” on London Underground (LU) are to be balloted for action in defence of three colleagues at London Bridge station.

The “London Bridge 3” were involved in an incident with a passenger without a ticket last year but have been sacked or disciplined with 52-week warnings.

Workers at London Bridge struck on Monday and the union has taken the step to ballot all grades across stations. They demand the three are reinstated and all disciplinary charges dropped.

Solidarity for Picturehouse at Bectu conference

The Bectu section of the Prospect union held its annual conference in Brighton this week.

Picturehouse cinema workers from London and Brighton told the conference about their long-running battle for the Living Wage and union recognition.

The Bectu leadership rejected the cinema workers’ call for them to supervise their own picket lines, instead of union officials.

But delegates unanimously supported a motion to increase contributions to the Picturehouse hardship fund.

Delegates also reaffirmed Bectu’s support for Stand Up To Racism.

Warehouse workers win in South Yorks

warehouse workers in South Yorkshire have won an improved pay offer after threatening a series of hard hitting strikes.

The Unite union members, based at logistics giant DHL’s warehouses in Tickhill and Harworth, had planned 18 strike days from next Monday.

Bosses have agreed to a 2.6 percent pay rise, having offered 1.25 percent before.

Rolling strikes called at EHRC

Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) workers were set to begin 20 days of rolling strikes against cuts from Monday of next week.

The PCS union members’ action will begin in Glasgow from 15-19 May, followed by London from 22 to 26 May, Cardiff from 29 May to 2 June, and Manchester from 5 to 9 June.

A ballot for strikes at Sheffield Eastern Avenue job centre was set to finish this Friday.

The PCS union members are fighting to stop the closure of their office.

Elections to the PCS’ national executive committee were set to end this Thursday.

Socialist Worker supporters back the PCS Democracy Alliance candidates that includes the Left Unity slate.

Scottish councils pay ballot delayed

A Unison union ballot of 70,000 Scottish local government workers that was due to start last Friday was delayed until this Thursday.

Council chiefs have offered a £350 increase for those earning under £35,000 a year and a 1 percent increase for those earning above.

The union is calling for £1,000 increase for everyone.

The ballot ends on 30 May.

Take on the bigots in Birmingham

An abortion rights demonstration will take on an anti-choice “March for Life” in Birmingham on Saturday 20 May.

The pro-choice protest was called by the Abortion Rights campaign. It assembles at 12 noon, Victoria Square, Birmingham city centre.

March remembers mining disaster in Barnsley

Around 500 people marched through Barnsley last Sunday to the unveiling of the Oaks mining disaster memorial.

Some 361 miners and rescuers were killed in the worst mining disaster in England 150 years ago.

George Arthur

Lively debate over Labour at Usdaw union conference 

The Usdaw retail workers’ union held its annual conference in Blackpool last week.

The union leadership, strongly aligned with the Labour right, invited deputy party leader Tom Watson to speak.

But many delegates spoke in favour of motions that supported Jeremy Corbyn and slammed the Parliamentary Labour Party. While the motions lost, they generated a lively debate.

Watson was asked why Tony Blair is still in the Labour Party after he recommended voting for Lib Dems in the general election.

The contribution received loud cheers and applause.

Usdaw also launched a No Room for Racism campaign in response to members reporting an increase in racial harassment. It has produced posters, badges and leaflets for reps to take into their workplaces.

Delegates also passed a progressive motion on trans rights, calling for a law similar to Malta’s Gender Identity, Gender Expression and Sex Characteristics Act 2015. It would remove the need for medical gender reassignment and allow for a declaration of gender identity.

Nazis humiliated in Croydon

Over 300 anti-fascists humiliated the Nazi splinter group the South East Alliance in Croydon, south London, last Saturday.

The Nazis could only muster 26 for their protest outside Lunar House immigration centre.

The protest came just a month after Kurdish asylum seeker Reker Ahmed was brutally attacked in the local area.  

It was supported by Unite Against Fascism, Croydon trades council, Disabled People Against the Cuts, among others.

It was also importantly supported by the PCS union, which represents the workers inside Lunar House.

A large number of police meant the Nazis were allowed to “Sieg Heil” outside the building.

But a buoyant anti-fascist protest drowned out their speeches with chants of “Nazi scum off our streets”.

Lewis Nielsen

  • Unite Against Fascism is calling on anti-Nazis to join protests in Liverpool and Birmingham on Saturday 3 June.
Go to Don’t let the racists divide us – No To Fascist Britain First! on Facebook for Birmingham event and for Liverpool details

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