Socialist Worker

Reports round-up - one thousand join protest at Faslane nuclear base

Issue No. 2623

Part of the protest at Faslane last weekend

Part of the protest at Faslane last weekend (Pic: Neil Terry)


Around 1,000 people protested at the Faslane nuclear base in Scotland last weekend against Trident missiles.

Campaigners demanded, “Nae Nukes Anywhere”


Massive vote in Glasgow for strikes demanding pay equality

A huge vote for strikes in Glasgow could see schools and council services shut. Workers are fighting a discriminatory pay structure that saw women paid less than men.

School support staff voted by 90 percent to strike, and cleaning, care and catering workers in Cordia returned a result of 99 percent for action.

Unison steward Denise Phillips told Socialist Worker the result was “absolutely brilliant. That’s 5,000 workers in Unison all out together.”

Workers are 12 years into a battle to get their jobs regraded and to receive a lump sum for years of an unfair pay system.

When Glasgow City Council walked away from negotiations in August, they decided to act.

Denise said the council is “dragging its heels, and women have had enough.”

Strike dates are yet to be announced.


No waiting for pay justice for Camden traffic wardens

Over 120 traffic wardens in Camden, north London, are set to start a five-day strike over pay from Monday.

The Unison union members had to suspend earlier action due to the Tory anti-trade union laws.

The wardens—known as Civil Enforcement Officers—are striking for a new basic hourly rate of £11.15.

Strikes in 2015 won them a three-year deal of 25p above the London Living Wage (LLW), and they are paid £10 an hour.

Workers are outsourced from Camden Council to NSL. And there’s big money involved—Camden Council made £26 million profit from its parking services in 2017.

The LLW is supposed to be set at a rate to allow people to live and work in London.

But Camden Unison says high living costs mean the workers deserve more.

Messages of support to unison@camden.gov.uk Visit the picket line—Camden Car Pound, Regis Road, NW5 3EW

School means workers strike back in Grimethorpe

Unison members at Ladywood Primary School are serving up a portion of resistance to redundancy plans.

Some 20 Unison union members were set to strike on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of this week.

It follows three days of action at the school in Grimethorpe, South Yorkshire.

School management decided to sack all nine School Meals Supervisory Assistants (dinner ladies) who look after 200 children at lunch time. They want teaching assistants to do the job.

Some 94 percent of eligible members voted for strikes on a 90 percent turnout.

The school is asking teachers to supervise children when strikes take place. The NEU and NASUWT union reps have refused to do this.

The pickets welcome support at any time from 6am to 3pm.

George Arthur

Send messages of support to branchoffice@unisonbarnsleylg.org

Bins strike put on hold in Kirklees

Planned strikes at Kirklees council in West Yorkshire have been suspended for talks.

Bin workers were due to walk out over failures by management to implement an agreement reached after strikes in July. The Unison union members were due to start an indefinite strike on 1 October.

The union was set to meet management through the joint secretaries on 26 September. Workers feel strongly that this is the council’s last chance to settle their grievances.

Nick Ruff, Unison union branch chair (pc)


Strike threat wins a pay rise at Luton

A threat of strikes has won a pay rise for outsourced workers at Luton Airport.

It affects baggage handlers, check-in staff, passenger service assistants and security staff employed by Menzies Aviation.

They have won a 5 percent increase backdated to October 2017 and a rise of 3.75 percent or the increase in the retail price index (RPI)—whichever is higher—from January 2019.

And workers will get an extra £1 per hour for unsociable hours.

The possibility of strikes scared the bosses. Walking out could have won more.


Action ballots start at 12 Welsh colleges

UCU union members in 12 Welsh colleges have begun balloting for strikes over pay.

College unions put in a claim for a 7.5 percent pay rise or £1,500. But bosses offered just 1 percent.

Workers in the Ucac union are also balloting workers at the 12 colleges. The NASUWT, Unison, GMB and NEU unions are set to consult their members on action.

UCU union members across 110 colleges in England and 147 universities are also balloting for pay strikes.


Left challenge in UCU union election

Elections to the UCU union’s national executive committee were set to end on Friday of this week.

The UCU Left, which Socialist Worker supports, is backing Naina Kent for the equality black members’ seat.

If elected she pledges to campaign to involve more black members in the union and give confidence to workers to challenge racism and fascism.


Have these cheque workers cashed in?

Workers who produce cheques and cheque books have resolved a pay dispute.

Unite union members at Communisis voted to strike over the bosses’ pay offer of an 8 percent increase over three years.

Some 79 workers planned to strike every Monday and Tuesday for seven weeks—but called off the action for talks.

Workers at the Crewe factory have now voted to accept the improved offer of 3 percent for each of the next three years.


Scottish teachers are ready for battle

The EIS Scottish teachers’ union has formally rejected a 3 percent pay offer.

A national demonstration for the 10 percent claim is set for Glasgow on 27 October.


Couriers block roads

Over 100 Uber Eats couriers blocked roads in London to protest against a significant pay cut.

The couriers, riding scooters, bikes and motorbikes, chanted, “No money, no food” as they shut down traffic outside Uber Eats’ London headquarters last Wednesday and Thursday and again on Monday.

The minimum delivery guarantee per food delivery used to be £4.26. Now, under the new system, some orders are being paid at rates as low as £2.62. The IWW and IWGB union members’ demands include a flat minimum rate of £5 a drop and a £1 per mile distance payment.

The action follows strikes by Uber in Glasgow earlier this month. Uber Eats riders also staged a solidarity strike in Plymouth last week.


A platter of joint action

Workers at branches of the Wetherspoon pub chain, TGI Fridays restaurant and McDonalds are all set to strike on Thursday of next week.

Bfawu union members at Wetherspoon and McDonalds are striking for a £10 an hour living wage.

And Unite union members at TGI Fridays are fighting a change in tipping policy that sees 40 percent of waiters’ tips given to kitchen staff.

Incorporating £10 an hour into their demands could combat bosses’ attempts to divide workers over tips.

The strike will include two Wetherspoon pubs in Brighton and McDonalds in Brixton, Crayford in south London and Cambridge and Watford.

TGI Fridays workers in Milton Keynes, Covent Garden and Stratford in London will also strike.


Defend driver Marcia Carty

Metroline bosses have suspended Unite union member and London bus driver Marcia Carty.

Bosses are refusing to let Rastafarian Carty wear a headscarf in the red, green and gold colours. Unite regional officer Russ Ball said ,“The company acknowledges that Sikhs can wear orange turbans and Muslim men can wear white skull caps.

“So what’s the difference with Marcia wearing Rastafarian colours?”


Bus workers ballot 

Unite union members on Trentbarton buses in Nottingham struck for the third day to fight a below-inflation pay offer of 2.5 percent. Meanwhile, 400 drivers in a different part of the company are being balloted to join the action.

Richard Buckwell

Bus workers at Arriva London North garages have voted to reject bosses’ below-inflation pay offer in an indicative ballot.

The garages balloted were Wood Green, Stamford Hill, Clapton, Ash Grove, Barking, Tottenham, Enfield, Walworth and Palmers Green.

The union should move to a formal strike ballot.


 


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