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Reports round-up: Shaking up Britvic bosses

Issue No. 2619

Picketing at Britvic in Norwich

Picketing at Britvic in Norwich

GMB union members at Robinsons (Britvic) in Norwich staged an all-out strike on Friday of last week and Tuesday this week.

Bosses want to close the site with the loss of 240 jobs.

Strikers are confident they have hit production. Far fewer lorries than normal left the site last Friday.

Managers have agreed to meet the union but say they are still not prepared to discuss redundancy terms.

Further strikes are planned for Thursday and Friday next week. If the company does offer improved terms, it’s vital that these are put to a vote of union members.

Wendy Smith

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Workers at crane manufacturing company Liebherr struck for three days last week and were set to walk out again on Thursday of this week.

Around 30 Unite and GMB union members at the Sunderland plant are fighting over pay.

Following eight days of action in August, workers are planning to walk out for eight more days in the first two weeks of September.

Workers say bosses promised higher pay rises when business “picked up”, but those promises haven’t been offered.

They are fighting for an improved offer and are determined to make the action count.

It’s right to escalate the strikes.

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In a victory for pro-Palestine boycott, divestment and sanctions campaigners, six of the 11 invited speakers have confirmed their withdrawal from a physics workshop at Ariel University.

Ariel is built on occupied Palestinian land in an illegal Israeli settlement.

The settlements, which rob Palestinians of land and resources, are part of Israel’s system of oppression which dominates all aspects of Palestinian life, including education.

Israel routinely denies travel permits to Palestinian scholars, severely limiting their access to international conferences.

Palestinian academics have urged the remaining speakers to withdraw from the workshop scheduled for 3-6 September.

Elaine Palmer

Ministry of Justice workers decide on paltry pay offer

A ballot on a pay deal for workers in the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) was set to end on Thursday of this week.

The result could mark a step towards strikes over pay among civil service workers.

The PCS union urged its members to reject the deal, which is tied to cuts to working conditions.

MoJ bosses have offered workers an average pay increase of 11 percent spread over five years.

This is well below inflation—effectively a pay cut—and comes after nearly a decade of miserly 1 percent annual increases.

Many workers will also receive significantly less than this.

The plan also comes with new contracts that increase hours and cut overtime, sick pay and motor and mileage allowances.

Cleaners join forces to demand the living wage

On the picket line at the ministry

On the picket line at the ministry (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Workers at the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and the department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) were set to protest next Wednesday.

The MoJ cleaners are members of the United Voices of the World (UVW) union. The workers at BEIS are members of the PCS union.

MoJ workers struck earlier in August for demands including the London Living Wage of £10.20—now workers at BEIS are taking up that demand.

Following the strike, security guards at the MoJ have joined the UVW union “en masse”.

Workers will meet for the protest outside the MoJ at 12.45 on 5 September. They will then march on BEIS where shadow chancellor John McDonnell is set to address the protest.

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Protest against union derecognition

Workers were set to protest outside the offices of uniforms company Arco in Preston on Wednesday.

Bosses at the company derecognised the workers’ GMB union after it held a ballot over a pay offer.

Arco workers sew badges onto uniforms for companies such as arms manufacturer BAE Systems.

Ambulance strike suspended for talks

The gmb union suspended a planned pay strike by ambulance workers in the North West of England last Thursday.

The North West Ambulance workers had walked out for 26 hours every Friday for the last seven days.

The programme of industrial action was scheduled to continue into October.

The workers have been forced to wait for the results of job reevaluations going back 12 years.

The union and bosses will now go into talks at government conciliation service Acas.

Kent teachers are made redundant

Workers at St Christopher’s School in Canterbury, Kent, are being made redundant after the school announced its closure.

The job losses will hit teachers and teaching assistants. The NEU union has pledged to support the workers.

Healthcare workers fight for living wage

Workers at private healthcare provider Health Care America (HCA) have voted by 100 percent for strikes. The workers are members of the United Voices of the World union and are demanding the London Living Wage of £10.20 an hour.

They are currently on the minimum wage of £7.83 an hour. HCA offered a pay rise of 17 percent to stop the strike from going ahead, but that would still be less than the living wage.

Cheque makers walk out for pay

Cheque printers at Communisis in Crew struck for 48 hours from Tuesday in their fight for higher pay.

The Unite union members plan to strike every Monday and Tuesday for the next six weeks. The 79 workers rejected a three year pay deal. It would have seen them get a rise of 2 percent in year one, and 3 percent in year two and three.

Bosses refused talks with Unite and instead imposed the pay deal.

Workers at John Lennon Airport in Liverpool struck across the August bank holiday weekend.

The GMB union members rejected a 2 percent pay offer—and are fighting for a rise of at least 3.6 percent.

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Tue 28 Aug 2018, 13:39 BST
Issue No. 2619
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