Socialist Worker

Reports round-up - anti-racist protest humiliates EDL fascists in South Yorkshire

Issue No. 2588

Anti-fascists protesting against the EDL in Hexthorpe, Doncaster

Anti-fascists protesting against the EDL in Hexthorpe, Doncaster (Pic: Unite Against Fascism)

Supporters of the fascist English Defence League (EDL) were humiliated in Hexthorpe, Doncaster, last Saturday.

They drew just 37 people for a “regional” demonstration in the South Yorkshire town.

Around 150 people joined the counter-protest called by Doncaster Unite Against Fascism, Stand Up To Racism and Doncaster Anti-Fascists.

Energy workers won’t be tracked

Some 270 EDF energy meter installers and fixers are planning to strike next Monday over the introduction of vehicle tracking systems in their company cars.

The Unite union members fear this will lead to bosses disciplining workers if they are found to be “driving uneconomically”.

Strike ballot at Bromley council

Outsourced council workers in Bromley, south east London, are balloting for strikes over working conditions.

Some 36 workers at 14 libraries in the borough are employed by Greenwich Leisure Limited.

A further 20 care workers are employed by Certitutde Support at the Astley day centre.

Poverty pay protest hits Weymouth

Campaigners in Weymouth and Portland have launched a campaign against poverty wages in the area—now the lowest on average in Britain.

The campaign was launched with a lobby of South Dorset MP Richard Drax and members of the local Chamber of Commerce in Weymouth.

Drax refused to discuss the crisis.

Phil Marfleet

Oil workers on strike in Cheshire

Oil workers on strike in Cheshire (Pic: Alan Gibbons)

Oil workers on all-out strike in Cheshire

Unite union members at Suttons Tankers oil refinery in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, are on continuous strike against bosses’ attacks. Bosses plan to sack 30 workers then re-employ them on worse terms and conditions in February.

Day of action called on Universal Credit

Disabled People Against Cuts has called a national day of action to scrap Universal Credit (UC) on 1 March.

UC aims to make it easier to harass benefit claimants and is driving people further into poverty.

Sellafield nuclear workers strike

Firefighters at Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant in Cumbria struck on Monday.

It is part of a long-running dispute by the GMB union members to force a pay rise from bosses.

Meanwhile, the Unite union suspended a planned walkout by outsourced construction workers at Sellafield in a separate pay dispute.

Bus drivers win licence to fight for more

London bus drivers are celebrating the introduction of the Licence for London, a step towards pay harmonisation across the network.

Currently drivers at different bus companies are paid different rates for doing the same job.

And if drivers take a job at another bus company, they will often start on the lowest rate—even though they may have years of experience.

The new licence promises drivers that they will be able to start at a new company at a pay grade equivalent to their level of service and experience. A London bus driver said, “We’ve lost terms and conditions in the time I’ve been a driver so to gain something is a positive.

“It’s not everything we wanted, but it’s a foundation to build on.

“In the past we’ve been told that separate companies have to negotiate separately with Transport for London, but this shows that can change.”

Strike looms on the DLR

Workers on the Docklands Light Railway in London are preparing to strike over pay.

after a “comprehensive breakdown in industrial relations.”

The RMT union members, who work as cleaners, security and travel safety officers, struck in December and are planning to walk out on Thursday 1 and Friday

2 February.

They’re also planning a programme of work to rule between 1 and 3 February.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said management was trying to “impose fundamental changes to working conditions”.


No to a two-tier workforce in Tarmac

Tarmac Building Products in Essex, maker of concrete breeze blocks, is set to be hit by strikes over cuts to pay, and two-tier working.

The company, based in Stanford Le Hope, wants inferior terms and conditions for new starters, creating a two tier workforce.

The Unite union represents 100 percent of the workforce. A ballot returned a huge yes vote and a 24-hour strike is scheduled for Tuesday 30 January.

Further strikes are planned for 6, 8, 20, 22 February and then on 20 and 22 March.

Unite regional officer Guy Langston said, “Unite’s members have made it totally clear they will simply not accept their terms and conditions being eroded.Tarmac’s plan to cut pay for new starters is the thin edge of the wedge.

“Our members believe that if this is unchallenged it will lead to further attacks on terms and conditions.”


Housing workers strike in Merseyside

Housing maintenance workers in Merseyside are carrying on strikes against the “pig headed” management.

They have overwhelmingly rejected the bosses’ offer of a 2 percent pay “rise”.

The 120 workers are employed by Vivark and Knowsley Housing Trust. They have walked out every Monday and Friday since 1 December last year and have resolved to continue action until 22 February as well as an overtime ban.

The Unite union members do repairs and maintenance work on the Trust’s social housing properties.

Unite regional officer John Sheppard said, “Vivark’s pig headed attitude to negotiations in preventing this dispute being resolved is creating misery for tenants.”

Unison black workers call for union to stand up against Home Office

The Unison union black workers’ conference, held in Liverpool, could have been a head-nodding exercise.

However delegates discussed direct action in response to the Tories’ hostile environment to migrants.

Many members talked about refusing to be agents for the Home Office and said the union should defend service users.

They added the union should develop a united approach to this.

Members also talked about the rise in racism and how the Grenfell Tower fire and austerity disproportionately affect black people.

One member said—to rapturous applause—that if protest got Robert Mugabe out in Zimbabwe then we can take on this Tory government.

People also discussed the Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) demonstrations on 17 March and building the SUTR trade union conference.

There was a successful SUTR fringe meeting.

Shazziah Rock

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Article information

Tue 23 Jan 2018, 13:10 GMT
Issue No. 2588
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