Socialist Worker

Reports round-up: Justice4Grenfell sends three billboards round London

Issue No. 2592

justice for grenfell three billboards

. (Pic: Guy Smallman)


The justice4Grenfell campaign’s billboards drove through Westminster last Thursday, demanding truth and justice for those who died in the fire at Grenfell Tower.

Their signs mimicked those of hit film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.


Tank instructors want the bosses to shell out more

Tank driving instructors in Bovington, Dorset, began a three-day strike on Monday.

The PCS union members train soldiers to drive tanks and armoured vehicles at the Babcock Armour Centre.

They voted to strike last year after rejecting a 2.4 percent below-inflation pay offer.

They are furious that their wages have fallen in real terms by more than 5 percent while the company’s profits have risen by more than £200 million since 2013.

Bosses increased their offer with benefits they said were worth an extra 0.4 percent following a strike last November. But workers overwhelmingly voted against it.


Protesters arrested outside a major arms fair last year have been cleared by a district court.

Some 40 activists were charged with obstruction of the highway following a protest outside the Defence And Security Equipment International (DSEI) arms fair in east London.

At least twelve of them have now been acquitted.

The DSEI arms fair showcases some of the most deadly weaponry. It is attended by representatives from British-backed human rights abusers such as Saudi Arabia.


Cheshire fire fighters celebrate victory

Fire fighters in Cheshire have forced bosses to step back from downgrading fire engines at two stations.

Bosses at the Labour-controlled Cheshire Fire Authority had planned to make the second fire engines at Crewe and Ellsmere Port stations “on call” instead of “full time”. This would have left fire crews relying on part time colleagues for back up or to respond to other fires.

Andrew Fox Hewitt is the FBU brigade secretary in Cheshire.

He said, “Activists knocked on doors and ran campaign stalls. It culminated in a 150-strong lobby of the authority.”

He added, “We know the fight isn’t over. We need to bring about a fit for purpose funding settlement from central government and we have to put an end to stockpiling of reserves by fire authorities.”


Mears housing workers win 20%

outsourced Mears housing maintenance workers in Manchester have returned to work with a 20 percent pay rise.

The Unite union members had struck for 80 days since May 2017 because they were being paid up to £3,500 less than other workers employed directly by the council.


Cement workers set for strikes

Some 240 Unite union members at Castle Cement plan to strike next Monday and Tuesday.

Bosses made them a two-year pay offer, which would have amounted a 1 percent increase this year.

The depots affected are Avonmouth, Bellshill, Birmingham, Clitheroe, King’s Cross, Middlesbrough, Mold and Stamford.


Sweep away the Tube privatisers

Outsourced cleaners on the London Underground were set to protest this Wednesday in their fight for equal rights at work.

The RMT union members are employed by contractor ABM.


Strikes at the end of the tunnel

Train guards on Northern and Merseyrail are set to strike on Saturday 3 March.

It is part of the RMT union members’ long-running fight against driver only operation (DOO) trains, which will make train travel unsafe and inaccessible.


Tesco workers reject pay offer

Over 700 workers for the Tesco supermarket chain are balloting for strikes over a two-year pay offer.

The Unite union members work at two distribution centres.

Tesco has 24 distribution centres in Britain.

The Usdaw union, which represents workers at 20 sites, has recommended its members accept.


Strike over mean time changes

Workers at Royal Museums Greenwich struck last Saturday after talks over changes to their contracts failed to progress.

The changes include breaks becoming shorter and shifts falling within a larger period.

Workers had previously walked out on New Year’s Day as part of the same dispute.

The workers’ Prospect union has estimated the changes will result in effectively an extra three weeks work a year.


No block to strike

Workers at Tarmac Building Products Ltd struck on Tuesday against plans to start a two-tier workforce.

The workers make concrete breeze blocks.

They plan to strike on Thursday and again on 20 and 22 March.


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