Socialist Worker

Reports round-up: Protest against ward closure in Mansfield

Issue No. 2570

Unison union members on the protest

Unison union members on the protest (Pic: Richard Buckwell)

Up to 300 people marched in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, last Saturday.

They rallied against the planned closure of the Chatsworth ward at Mansfield General Hospital.

One Housing tenants won’t be divided

An east London housing organisation has begun using rent reductions to divide tenants’ resistance, campaigners say.

Earlier this year One Housing tried to raise rents by up to 40 percent on an estate in West Ham, Newham.

But tenants refused to pay and bosses put the hike “on hold”.

Now some tenants have received a letter saying they could get 15 percent knocked off their rent and £100 put into their online rent account.

Others are still being made to pay the full price. They don’t know why only some people qualify for a discount.

Truus Jansen, chair of the tenants’ association, told Socialist Worker, “They are trying to divide us.

“The text we received said ‘congratulations’ but we know to be suspicious. Some people think they are decreasing the rent so they can put us in cheaper accommodation when they evict us.”

McDonnell addresses Burston Strike School centenary rally

Around 3,000 people joined the Burston Strike School rally in Norfolk last Sunday.

The event remembers what is known as the longest strike in British history when schoolchildren walked out after the dismissal of Kitty and Tom Higdon from the village’s school in 1914.

The teachers had clashed with the local Tories and landowners.

The strike school, an alternative site for the children, opened in 1917, so this year is its centenary.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell spoke to the rally about how inspiring it was to see young people at the event and fighting back at McDonald’s and elsewhere.

He said, “It is Labour MPs’ role to support workers whether in parliament or on the picket line.”

Action can lift pay higher at crane firm HTC Wolffkran

The Unite union has called off a strike at crane company HTC Wolffkran after a new pay offer.

Bosses have offered a two-year deal worth 6 percent plus two one-off payments of £250.

Unite said it would reinstate the action if workers reject the deal. They are a powerful group who can win more.

Back to work after walkout at Argos

Argos distribution workers concluded their three-week strike on Friday of last week.

The Unite union members want guarantees that they won’t be forced from their jobs by being told to move sites. They also demand that workers in Barton near Burton-on-Trent are allowed to join collective bargaining.

More strikes could follow if Argos bosses don’t meet their demands.

Big Ben tolls for blacklisting bosses

Construction workers protested on Tuesday in front of Big Ben because a £29 million renovation contraction has been handed to prime blacklisting company Sir Robert McAlpine.

The protest highlighted how public contracts are handed to companies found guilty of blacklisting.

Dave Smith from the Blacklist Support Group said, “Big Ben may have fallen silent but blacklisted workers refuse to stay silent about this national scandal.”

Flashmob against firings at Glasgow Grosvenor

A flashmob demonstrated outside the Grosvenor cinema on Ashton Lane, Glasgow, last Saturday.

Workers’ rights group Better than Zero claims that ten employees from the Grosvenor on Ashton Lane were sacked for using too much staff discount over a period of four months.

The G1 group that owns the Grosvenor is headed by millionaire Stefan King.

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Rally against Trump called in Liverpool

Activists have organised a rally in Liverpool on Saturday 21 September. The rally aims to take on the racism of US president Donald Trump and Theresa May.

Alexandria Adamson of the charity Peace One Day told Socialist Worker, “We want to speak out against the Charlottesville killings. And we also want to demand that Theresa May gives more rights to LGBT people.”

Saturday 21 September, 5pm, St George’s Hall, Liverpool

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