Socialist Worker

Reports round-up - workers at Royal Palaces fight over pension cuts

Issue No. 2635

On the picket line outside the Tower of London

On the picket line outside the Tower of London (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Workers at three Historic Royal Palaces—the Tower of London, Kensington Palace and Hampton Court Palace—struck for three hours last month.

The PCS union called off two further three-hour strikes for talks.

Workers at the three sites are fighting attacks on their pensions.

Bosses at Historic Royal Palaces, which manages the sites, want to close the current pension scheme and replace it with a worse one.

The strikers walked out on 21 December. They also planned to strike on 28 December and Wednesday of this week, but the action was suspended when new talks began.


Durham bus workers plan seven-day strike over pay

Bus drivers in the north east of England plan a week-long strike over pay from this Sunday.

The Unite union members at Arriva Durham voted by 72 percent to reject bosses’ latest pay offer .

The action from 6 January will affect buses in Durham, Darlington, Stockton and Whitby.

Unite regional officer Bob Bolam said, “Our members can’t endure the glaring pay inequality with other companies. The revised offer failed to bridge that pay gap

“The ball is now very much in the management’s court.”


Cleaners at London Luton Airport struck over Christmas in their fight for higher pay.

Unite union members outsourced to Sasse staged a seven-day walkout from 21 December. Workers are demanding £9 an hour.

But bosses have only offered a three-day pay deal that would see cleaners earn below the Living Wage of £8.25 by 2021. The action followed a seven-day strike from 11 December.


Bin workers refuse to take bosses’ rubbish treatment

Birmingham bin workers began a round of industrial action last Saturday.

The Unite union members’ overtime ban means workers will not perform work normally allocated to another grade and will return to base for food.

They are angry about management’s treatment of workers following Birmingham’s high-profile bin strike in summer 2017.

Unite says “secret payments” have been made to GMB members, who didn’t take part in the action.


Home care workers in Birmingham finished off a year of strikes with a dramatic confrontation at a cabinet meeting of the Labour-run council last month.

The Unison union members hoped to confront council bosses but were barred from entering the building.

Workers staged 46 walkouts last year over devastating cuts to the home care service. The low-paid women workforce voted by 96.8 percent in December to continue with strikes.


Reject the pay offer

The Unison union is recommending that 80,000 Scottish local government workers accept a pay deal.

Bosses have offered a 3.5 percent rise this year followed by a 3 percent rise next year and in 2020. The GMB and Unite unions are yet to announce their position on the offer.

Council workers should reject the offer and join the Scottish teachers in demanding a 10 percent rise.


Rail strikes to defend safety

Strikes on South Western Railway and Northern rail in December completed a year of resistance against driver only operation (DOO) trains.

RMT union members have held walkouts during many weekends.

Strikers are fighting for a guarantee that future DOO services will have a second safety-trained member of staff on board.

More action will be needed as train bosses and the Tories are keen to roll out DOO across Britain.


Ferry workers demand rights

RMT union members rallied at Portsmouth International Port on 22 December.

Workers were protesting against Condor Ferries, which operates between Portsmouth and the Channel Islands.

It doesn’t pay the minimum wage or recognise unions.


Bakerloo Tube line walkout called off

A strike planned for Boxing Day over low staffing on the Bakerloo Tube line was called off after progress in talks.

The RMT union members are still set to walk out on Monday 14 January.

A strike was also suspended on the Central Line.


Strike over bullying at Rail Gourmet

Rail Gourmet staff in Edinburgh employed on the LNER line struck on Christmas Eve, their third day of strikes.

The RMT union said the dispute was centred on claims of bullying and harassment of workers.


Students say no to Soas library cuts

Big crowds joined an “emergency rally” to stop savage cuts at the Soas University of London library on 11 December.

Management has proposed cutting nearly 25 percent of staff at the library as part of a restructure.


Win over pay at Wetherspoon pubs

Wetherspoon workers in Brighton have won pay rises after staging a strike last year.

Bfawu union members at two Wetherspoon pubs in Brighton joined workers from the fast food industry to strike for better pay last October.

The pub chain announced pay rises for all of its workers in Britain last November.

Now workers at two of its pubs in Brighton have won an extra 60p an hour rise on top of that.


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News
Tue 1 Jan 2019, 15:09 GMT
Issue No. 2635
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