Socialist Worker

Reports round up: Cuts leave skeleton staff to run paper

Issue No. 2615

A previous strike over Newsquest bosses cuts in south London

A previous strike over Newsquest bosses' cuts in south London (Pic: NUJ)


Journalists have warned that short staffing at a newspaper has left the editorial team “at crisis point”.

The latest round of cuts at the Northern Echo, based in Darlington, has made working conditions unsafe, the NUJ union has said.

Bosses at Newsquest, which owns the paper, want to slash eight people from the editorial team.

The paper is already short staffed, with the NUJ reporting that some individuals are starting 9am shifts at 5:30am just to hit deadlines.


Waltham Forest Pride is big success

Around 500 people joined the We Are Waltham Forest Pride festival in the east London borough on Saturday of last week.

Sean Dewey, one of the organisers, explained why activists had decided to put on a community Pride—to put politics back into the event.

“The Evening Standard newspaper put out an article on two homophobic attacks in Waltham Forest last December,” he told the crowd.

“The people behind the attack were portrayed as Muslim.

“I knew there would be a negative backlash.”

He added, “We are a diverse community and we will not let fascism, racism or any other kind of hatred divide our community.

“I want to bring back community to Pride”.


Tube workers plan walkout at depot

Workers at the Ruislip Tube depot in west London are set to walk out on Friday and Sunday in the latest action over pay.

It follows 48 hours of action in June.

The strike is set to affect the running of the Underground, as the depot is responsible for all of the network’s trains.


Crane makers aim for higher pay rise

Unite and GMB union members at a crane manufacturer in Sunderland are planning four days of strikes in August.

Some 28 crane assemblers are set to strike from 8pm on Thursday of next week until midnight the following day.

The workers, who are already on an overtime ban, then plan to strike on 16 and 17 August.

Bosses at Liebherr Group boasted of a turnover of over £9 billion last year.

But they only offered workers a 3 percent rise, a £150 lump sum and an extra day off over Christmas.


Taxi drivers want the mayor to defend their rights

Taxi drivers want the mayor to defend their rights (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Cab drivers want action on Ubers

Cab drivers protested on Wednesday of last week to demand Transport for London (TfL) back them in their fight against firms such as Uber.

The protest was part of a long-running campaign to get TfL bosses to demand that “gig economy” firms guarantee workers’ rights before it issues licences to them.

The protest was called by United Private Hire Drivers (UPHD).

It is a part of the Independent Workers of Great Britain union.

Yaseen Aslam of UPHD said, “It is time for the mayor to stand up for precarious workers and to eradicate sweatshop conditions from the licensed trade in the capital once and for all.”


Big march for Scottish independence 

Chants of “Tory, Tory, Tory—out, out, out” rang out in Inverness last Saturday as thousands of people joined a demonstration calling for Scottish independence.

It was the latest in a series of big marches in favour of a second referendum.


Back the left in UCU vote

Left wing activists in the UCU union are encouraging union members to vote for four candidates in elections to the USS National Dispute Committee. Tim Wilson, Gholam Khiabany, Karen Evans and Jo Grady are backed by the UCU left group

The deadline to vote is

12 noon on 6 September. UCU members in older universities are eligible to vote, along with delegates who attended a special higher education sector conference in June.

The committee arose out of strikes earlier this year over pensions. UCU members in over 60 universities struck for 14 days to defend their USS pension scheme.

During the strikes, the UCU called a number of branch delegate meetings.

But delegates attending couldn’t vote and real decisions were made by the higher education committee. Many UCU members felt there was a lack of democracy and accountability.

Sadie Robinson


Pay judged unjust by cleaners

Workers at the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and Kensington and Chelsea council are set to strike from Tuesday until Thursday.

The vast majority of the workers are migrants. They are represented by the United Voices of the World (UVW) union.

Their demands include the London Living Wage of £10.20 an hour and equal terms and conditions as people employed directly.

Workers at the MoJ are paid the minimum wage—just £7.83 an hour.

If they win their demand for the London Living Wage it would be a 25 percent increase.

Cleaners at Health Care America are also set to strike at the end of August for similar demands. Solidarity protests will be taking place outside their workplaces during the strikes next week.

MoJ cleaner Luis said, “Even though we are paid minimum wage, the company still tries to make us work harder and harder, doing more tasks and cleaning more and the company doesn’t send anyone to replace the workers who are sick or absent.

“It is because they don’t even listen to us or treat us with respect that we have to strike.”

 


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