Socialist Worker

Reports round-up: Waste disposal walkout, Sam Hallam case and more

Issue No. 2603

Receiving donations for the hardship fund

Receiving donations for the hardship fund

Waste disposal workers at the FCC plant in Hull began the second week of a two-week strike on Monday.

The Unison union members are fighting for equal sick pay for all workers.

Morale is high with a well organised picket line.

Strikers are determined not to let bosses break them.

There was a magnificent show of solidarity from another dispute across the road at the waste to energy works last week.

A worker at that site was sacked after raising health and safety issues and 15 other workers were also made redundant.

Some 40 waste to energy workers marched over to the FCC picket line in solidarity and gave them £1,000 towards the FCC hardship fund.

Unite union offshore branch rep Paul Jukes also brought a cheque for £1,000 to the picket line.

The FCC action looks like it could spread to the Driffield, Suton and Burma Drive sites.

Eleanor Woyen

Crucial case of Sam Hallam back in court

Sam Hallam, who was wrongly convicted of murder, has taken his claim for compensation for miscarriage of justice to the Supreme Court.

A teenager when he was sentenced to life in 2005 for a gang-related murder in north London, Sam always protested his innocence.

A powerful local campaign helped get his conviction quashed by the Court of Appeal in 2012.

Since then Sam has been denied compensation.

That’s because under new rules someone has to prove that the basis of the quashing of the conviction “shows beyond reasonable doubt that the person did not commit the offence”.

This requires Sam to establish his innocence once again. His case will be heard alongside that of Victor Nealon. Victor was released from a life sentence in 2013, after the discovery of DNA evidence pointing to another perpetrator.

Sam will attend the hearing with his mother Wendy Cohen. She campaigned for more than seven years for his release.

He will also be supported by two victims of previous high profile miscarriages, Paddy Hill of the Birmingham Six and Patrick Maguire of the Maguire Seven.

Hill said, “Under this appalling new test the Birmingham Six would have been denied compensation. We can’t allow this young man to be treated in this way”.

Greedy Virgin Media sack 800 call centre workers

Nearly 800 call centre workers are to be redundant after telecoms giant Virgin Media announced plans to close its office in Swansea.

Virgin Media has said the closure is down to its cost cutting plans to “centralise” work in Manchester—meaning 772 jobs will go.

Bosses have apparently offered workers the opportunity to relocate.

But the CWU union, which organises call centre workers, says this is “disingenuous”.

It pointed out that workers had been encouraged to relocate from Liverpool to Swansea in 2011, with the promise of “safe” jobs.

A video posted on the Wales Online news website appeared to show a group of workers walking out of the meeting where they were told about the redundancies.

The CWU said a number people walked out throughout the day.

Nick Clark

Strike ballot in Carlisle tyre factory

Workers at Pirelli Tyres in Carlisle, Cumbria, are balloting for strikes and an overtime ban in a battle over pay and conditions.

The Unite union members include store workers, forklift drivers and process operators at the company.

They are fighting against low pay, the “deterioration of workers’ terms and conditions” and a “culture of outsourcing” that leaves workers without employment protection.

The ballot for action closes on Tuesday 15 May with strikes planned for the end of May.

Pirelli supplies tyres to luxury brands such as BMW, Mercedes and Porsche.

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