Socialist Worker

Fight over conditions at Docklands Light Railway

by Sarah Bates
Issue No. 2598

DLR workers on strike last week

DLR workers on strike last week (Pic: RMT)

Workers on the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) in London walked out for 48 hours last week in a long-running dispute about working conditions.

The cleaners and travel safe officers are employed by outsourcing firm KAD, which operates the service for Transport for London.

They are fighting outsourcing, attacks on rostering, abuse of procedures and payroll mistakes.

RMT union members on the DLR struck on 28 and 29 March and plan to walk out for four consecutive days in April. The April strikes will coincide with the London marathon, which is set to cause huge disruption.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said, “RMT members employed by KAD have had enough of being treated like dirt.

“They have made it clear that they are prepared to stand up and fight for their fundamental rights.”

Drivers set to be all out in Aberdeen

Drivers at First Aberdeen were set to begin an indefinite strike on Friday to defend their terms and conditions.

Workers voted unanimously to escalate their action at a mass meeting of over 200 people last Thursday.

Around 250 Unite union members have been on strike for 11 days. While industrial action has forced the company to make concessions, Unite union branch convenor Graham Gavin said, “They haven’t gone far enough.”

First Bus is employing 45 scab drivers to provide a limited service on key routes at peak times during the day. But it has admitted that this is unsustainable with the company losing between £100,000 and £200,000 in the first ten days of strikes.

Drivers should continue with the action that has brought First Bus to its knees.

John Connon

Librarians in Bromley throw the book at outsourcer over low pay

Bromley library workers have walked out on indefinite strike in a fight for pay.

Some 36 workers in 14 libraries in the south London borough are fighting for an above inflation pay rise. After a 100 percent vote for action, the strike began on 28 March.

Unite union members are fighting for a 2 percent rise in keeping with the local government pay offer.

But tight bosses from outsourcer GLL are refusing to budge.

Demo against NHS pay deal

Health workers have called a protest against a proposed pay deal in central London for Friday 13 April.

The deal represents a below-inflation pay rise, would sneak

productivity-linked pay through the back door and strengthen the hand of managers. It would slash unsocial hours pay for the lowest paid and many ambulance workers.

The deal would also make increment progression less frequent—and link it to appraisals by management.

Activists should join the protest outside the Department of Health on Friday of next week—and call for strike ballots to win real pay rises.

For more information go to Ditch the deal on Facebook

Postal workers end dispute

ROyal Mail postal workers have voted to end a dispute over pensions, pay and conditions.

Members of the CWU union voted by 90 percent to accept a deal.

Socialist Worker opposed the deal. A new pension will mean improvements for some.

But the 100,000 workers who are currently on a defined benefit scheme risk getting less.

Whether or not the scheme will be implemented also depends on whether the Tory government passes the legislation needed to introduce it. The agreement also means a below-inflation pay deal.

A show of strength by workers forced bosses to make concessions.

Now they must be ready to fight if bosses come back for more.

Bosses dial a fight in London districts

Unite union members who work for the dial-a-ride service were on strike for 48 hours last week in a fight against new rosters and the withdrawal of ten rest days a year. They walked out on 28 and 29 March.

Some 120 Unite members at depots in north London and Orpington provide transport for older people, vulnerable people and those with disabilities.

Unite regional officer Hugh Roberts said, “The removal of rest days and the imposition of impossible rosters will directly affect the safety of our members and their passengers.

“They will no longer enjoy the rest periods they need in order to cope with what is a difficult, complex and stressful job.”

United Resistance to fracking launched

A 100 Women March near a fracking site in Lancashire on Tuesday marked the beginning of a three-month sustained campaign against fracking.

The United Resistance campaign comes as protesters in Lancashire face increasingly heavy-handed tactics by police.

Sixty years of the fight to scrap nukes

Anti-nuclear campaigners gathered on Sunday at the Aldermaston Atomic Weapons Establishment in Berkshire to mark the 60th anniversary of a historic protest.

A march there in 1958 led to the launch of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND).

Pat Arrowsmith recalls the first Aldermaston march 

Strong strike vote at Al Jazeera

Workers at the Al Jazeera news network have voted to strike over pay. They are demanding wage increases and a more transparent pay system.

Journalists in the NUJ union voted by 90 percent for strikes. Media workers in Bectu—part of the Prospect union—voted by 80 percent.

Determination on display in Liverpool

House keepers at Liverpool Museums protested against short staffing on Tuesday of last week.

The members of the PCS union are also worried about the use of private contractors to staff some exhibitions.

After the protest, organisers said it seemed managers were now, “listening and willing to meet the union to solve endemic short staffing”.

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Tue 3 Apr 2018, 15:37 BST
Issue No. 2598
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