Socialist Worker

Reports round-up: Cleaners protest at Ferrari showroom

Issue No. 2574

Grotesque wealth and poverty in west London

Grotesque wealth and poverty in west London (Pic: Socialist Worker)

Around 100 people protested outside Maserati and Ferrari showrooms in South Kensington, west London, last Saturday.

Two cleaners have been suspended after voting to strike for the London Living Wage of £9.75 an hour.

“I’ve been working for Ferrari for five years,” said Angelica, one of the workers. “We wanted to speak to them but they refused.”

Thomas Cook pilots’ strike grounded—for now

Pilots’ union Balpa suspended a strike planned to take place at Thomas Cook on Friday of last week.

But it began a consultation of members on escalating to eight strike days in October.

Balpa general secretary Brian Strutton hinted that strikes could be stopped if bosses agreed to arbitration.

The workers already struck last month for a better pay rise.

It’s right to take longer, more hard-hitting action—but calling off planned strikes only gives bosses time to undermine workers.

Gatwick baggage handlers ballot

Nearly 200 baggage handlers at London Gatwick airport are voting in a ballot for strikes that began on Friday of last week.

The Unite union members are employed by contractor Omni Serve for Norwegian Airline’s subsidiary Red Handling.

Bosses offered a company barbecue as an alternative to a pay rise. But Unite regional officer Jamie Major said, “Workers want bucks, not burgers.”

Manchester Airport cleaners vote for action

Around 200 cleaners at Manchester airport could strike over pay after a 100 percent vote for action.

Turnout was 73 percent in the ballot of Unite union members employed by Mitie.

The workers are paid just the minimum wage of £7.50 an hour.

After a two year pay freeze they want a £1 an hour raise.

Ballot result on pay strikes looms in UCU

The result of a consultative ballot for strikes over pay was set to be announced as Socialist Worker went to press. The UCU union balloted members in further education colleges.

Bosses have offered a below-inflation rise of 1 percent, following years of real terms pay cuts.

The UCU should begin a real ballot and lead a determined fight to win it.

UCU members in older universities are taking part in a consultative ballot on possible industrial action over pensions.

The lecturers’ defined benefits pension scheme could be replaced with a defined contributions scheme. This would slash the value of pensions.

UCU Left will hold its autumn conference, Preparing to Win—Post-16 Education for All, on Saturday 18 November. The conference will take place in central London.

Go to for more details

Sellafield workers fall out over pay

Traffic tailed back from the Sellafield nuclear power plant in Cumbria as 2,500 workers struck last Wednesday. GMB union members have rejected a pay offer of a 1.5 percent “rise”.

GMB organiser Chris Jukes slammed “an upstairs downstairs culture where the big bosses receive eyewatering bonuses”.

GMB members had voted 76 percent to strike on a 66 percent turnout. Unite has also been balloting for strikes.

Sacking threat to Picturehouse staff

Workers at the Picturehouse cinema chain have been threatened with the sack if they take part in strikes at five cinemas that were set for Wednesday.

They are striking for the Living Wage of £9.75 an hour in London, £8.45 elsewhere.

lProtest Wed 4 Oct, 3.30pm, Leicester Square to coincide with London Film Festival.

Murals celebrate the Grunwick battle

Activists, including many veteran supporters of the dispute, marched in north west London last Saturday to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the historic Grunwick strike over union recognition.

Two murals were unveiled—one 28 metres long. Former striker Vipin told the crowd he learned all he needed to know in life from the picket line at Grunwick.

John Gamble

Sign against Fujitsu victimisation move

Unite union members employed by Fujitsu have set up a petition against the firm’s victimisation of reps amid mass redundancies.

Reps Ian Allinson and Denis Morris both face redundancy.

Remembering the life of Mehmet Aksoy

Hundreds of people gathered at the Kurdish Community Centre in north London on Sunday to remember Mehmet Aksoy.

Mehmet, a comrade to all socialist and anti-imperialists, was killed while working alongside Kurdish forces fighting Isis in Syria.

Mears workers vote on renewed action

Housing maintenance workers at Mears in Manchester are balloting for fresh strikes.

Unite members have already taken 40 days of industrial action this summer over pay and conditions. The ballot closes on 18 October.

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Article information

Tue 3 Oct 2017, 13:07 BST
Issue No. 2574
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