Socialist Worker

Reports round-up: March to save libraries

Issue No. 2629

The save our libraries march in London

The save our libraries march in London (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Around 100 people marched in London last Saturday to say “Save Our Libraries”.

It was called by the Unison union and supported by the PCS and Unite unions.


Pay strike scheduled at Luton airport

Low paid workers at Luton airport are preparing to fight to be paid at least £9 an hour.

Passenger assistance workers in the Unite union employed by Clece Care Services were set to begin a seven-day strike from 5am on Thursday this week.

And cleaners, outsourced to Sasse, are voting on whether to strike over their wage of just £7.83 an hour.

Sasse won the cleaning contract in April this year.


Care homes protest in Southampton

“Save our care homes” was the message of a demonstration last Saturday called to pressure Southampton city council.

The Labour-run local authority wants to shut its last two care homes, threatening the future for 80 workers and 75 residents.

Some 200 attended the rally, organised by the Unite union, outside Solent University, where a regional Labour conference was taking place.


Members of the CWU union—which represents workers in the postal, telecoms and financial industries—held a “redesign” conference last weekend. They debated and voted on proposed changes to how the union is run and organised.

Delegates voted to reject union leaders’ plans to hold a decision-making conference only once every two years. Instead conference passed a motion that said, “Any move to increase the duration between Conferences will undermine the democratic accountability of this union.”

Delegates also rejected a proposal to sell the CWU’s training centre, Alvescot Lodge. Instead they called for “a full strategic financial plan” which must be “published to branches”.


Thousands of people marched in Telford to save their A&E

Thousands of people marched in Telford to save their A&E (Pic: David Smith)


The Town Square in Wellington, Telford, was packed with 3,000 protesters last Saturday.

They were demanding that Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust reviews its decision to close the A&E at Princess Royal Hospital overnight from December.

Telford and Wrekin council leader Shaun Davies said, “3,000 people have turned out today, 30,000 people have signed the petition calling for a government backed rescue plan and we will not stand idle.

“We will continue to fight for what is right.”

None of the five Tory MPs in the area attended the rally or sent a message of support.

Roger Mckenzie from the Unison union received the loudest cheers when he called for people to stand up and fight for our NHS.

Andy Brown


Hundreds out to hear Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn spoke at packed Labour Party meetings in Nuneaton and Rugby last Saturday.

Over 200 people attended the Nuneaton meeting and 750 people came to the one in Rugby.

Corbyn spoke about the need both to repeat and improve on the last general election campaign. He stressed that the Labour Party needed to be rooted and active in communities.

Stand Up to Racism was invited to hold a stall and leaflet at both meetings.

Coventry SWP


GMB on strike at a teachers’ union

Workers at the NASUWT teachers’ union struck for a second time over proposed pension changes on Monday of this week.

The GMB union members were set to strike again on Friday this week.

The dispute involves both highly paid union officals and low-paid admin workers.

The NASUWT union made changes to the pension scheme and imposed a three-year pay deal without consulting workers.


Fighting on for Orgreave justice

Campaigners handed in a letter to home secretary Sajid Javid on Wednesday of last week, demanding justice over Orgreave.

They want a public inquiry into the Battle of Orgreave, where cops attacked striking miners in June 1984.


Cable workers hope to tie down bosses in pay talks

Workers at Prysmian Cables in Eastleigh, Southampton, struck for

48 hours last week as part of their battle against a paltry 2 percent pay offer.

Unite union members walked out on Wednesday and Thursday last week.

They began taking action at the beginning of October.

The union—which has 162 members at Prysmian—says bosses approached the Acas conciliation service before the strike this week.

Debbie Watson, Unite regional coordinating officer, said, “It’s a shame the company didn’t do this last week.

“We have been standing by since then in the hope that management will sit down and negotiate constructively over the paltry pay offer.

“And now this looks like it is going to happen.”

More strikes were planned for Wednesday and Thursday of this week. 


More action to lift crane workers’ pay

Unite union members at the Street Cranes Company in Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, held their fourth one-day strike on Monday.

The pickets were out in force again in their fight for a 4 percent pay rise.

One worker said, “The company had grown considerably.

“But we feel let down, we have low wages which people cannot live on.

“So now the union is going to escalate action to 48-hour strikes, each Monday and Tuesday, until management see sense.”

lMessages of solidarity and collections to Shaun Lee shaun.lee@unitetheunion.org


Occupy to stop yard going under

Arms manufacturer Babcock announced it would shut the Appledore shipyard by March 2018.

The move puts 200 jobs in North Devon at risk.

One shipyard worker told Socialist Worker, “It’s a sad day for Appledore.

“Look what they did to the miners—now they’re now doing it to shipyard workers.”

He added, “I think the shipyard should be nationalised again to protect jobs even if they do have to be redeployed.”

Workers should occupy the plant and demand that it’s nationalised. Their skills could be used for socially useful ends.

Dave Clinch


Ballot of waste workers 

Unite union members working for Veolia Environmental Services Ltd will ballot for strikes in a dispute over unpaid shifts.

Workers at the site in Widnes, Cheshire, are contracted to work any five shifts during a seven-day period. But if drivers work a sixth day in the same period they are not being paid for it.

Unite officer Steven Gerrard said, “Our members have had enough of working for free.”

The ballot runs from this Thursday to 19 November.


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Tue 6 Nov 2018, 13:11 GMT
Issue No. 2629
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