OVER 250 social workers in Leeds went on strike to demand higher wages on Wednesday of last week. The workers were demanding better pay rates and faster progression up the pay scale.
The one-day strike was extremely solid, with pickets on all major offices and scores of agency workers refusing to break the strike. The social workers are now beginning an overtime ban and refusing to take on new cases.
The strike was called in the face of management's threats to dock workers' pay if they took industrial action.
A great show of solidarity
POSTAL WORKERS in Portsmouth returned to work last week after an unofficial strike. The Waterlooville office near Portsmouth walked out two weeks ago in protest at management breaking national agreements over staffing.
Workers at the Portsmouth mail centre had been warned by the management, and disgracefully their own CWU union, that they must handle mail from Waterlooville.
But we refused. On Tuesday of last week management threatened to sack two workers and 600 walked out. There was a brilliant mood of solidarity. We stayed out until Wednesday, when CWU union officials negotiated a back to work settlement over staffing, which includes the lifting of any threat of disciplinary action.
Die-cast workers end dispute
THE 100 strikers, members of the GMB union, at Lupton & Place die-casting factories in Burnley returned to work last week. Workers feel they have managed to squeeze something out of a management that had given them nothing for two years.
The strike forced some concessions. Workers have won a definite 1 percent pay rise that will be backdated. Originally bosses had tied the offer to selling some land and said it would not be backdated. Workers also won a 'service day' for every three years and a quarter of an hour off some shifts.
Although most workers voted to accept the final offer, one third of the workforce voted against.
Fury at Parsons factory closure
WORKERS AT the Siemens Parsons engineering plant in Tyneside are considering industrial action after the firm announced 400 job losses. That means over half of the 700 workers at the steam turbine factory could be sacked, leaving just 300 at the plant, which used to employ 10,000.
Brian Cole, who has worked in the blade room at the factory for 14 years, said, 'People will be angry when this sinks in. 'After years of doing everything we can to improve productivity and making a profit for the company, they suddenly do this.'
Dave Harrison, regional organiser with the Amicus-AEEU union which represents all 700 workers, said, 'Nothing could be ruled out', in terms of calling action.