Socialist Worker

Reports round-up—Bin the Anglesey outsource pay gap

Issue No. 2649

Anglesey workers walked out

Anglesey workers are paid less than those employed directly by the council


Bin workers on Anglesey are set to strike for seven days from 22 April.

The Unite union members are outsourced to Biffa, and are in dispute with the Ynys Mon local authority over pay and collections.

Paddy McNaught, Unite Wales regional officer, said, “These workers are the lowest paid refuse collectors in Wales. Whilst the loaders are on the minimum wage the drivers are paid just a few pence per hour more.”


A result to fight the BT redundancies

Workers at the BT telecommunications company have rejected a management “People Framework” to overhaul the firm’s pay and grading structures.

Prospect members voted by 96 percent to reject it, following a recommendation to do so by their union.

New CEO Philip Jansen is reported to want to get rid of as much as 25 percent of the firm’s 100,000 workforce.


Strikes coming on the Underground?

A tube strike could be on the cards after the RMT and Aslef unions rejected bosses’ latest offer.

Around 1,000 RMT members were offered a one-year, 2.5 percent deal—with no reduction in the working week, better work-life balance or improved travel facilities.


Two strikes on London Overground

The London Overground saw strikes by two groups of workers last week.

Travel Safe Officers struck on 2 April, and cleaners—outsourced to Vinci—staged a 72-hour strike from 4 April.

Strikers held a joint demonstration at Arriva Rail London’s headquarters on Thursday of last week.


Three battles against Mitie

Three groups of workers are taking on their employer, the outsourcer Mitie.

Some 180 workers at Sellafield nuclear plant in Cumbria are set to strike for 20 days over pay.

Security guards, catering, vending and laundry workers are paid £8.45 an hour and voted 98 percent for action on a 70 percent turnout.

Unite union members are set to stage a ten-day walkout, starting next Friday, and a further ten-day strike from 4 May.

Workers are also banning overtime.

Meanwhile security guards and passenger assistants at London City Airport—also employed by Mitie—voted 100 percent for strikes on a 69 percent turnout.

The Unite members are fighting for a pay increase, better overtime and sick pay. They are also demanding union recognition and proper rest break facilities—their staff room is a 15-minute walk away from their workplace.

And security guards working for Mitie at Southampton General Hospital struck on Friday of last week.

Another strikes is set for 19 April.

They want better pay and better sick pay. The strike was solidly supported.

Please sign the support petition at tinyurl.com/uhs-security Send messages of support to scott.kemp@unitetheunion.org


Over 100 minicab drivers blocked London Bridge on Thursday of last week over having to pay the London congestion charge.

The workers argue that it should be their employers, not them, who pay the congestion charge as well as Transport for London’s new emissions charge.

James Farrar from the IWGB union said, “This isn’t really about congestion. It isn’t really about reducing pollution. It’s about money.”


Sixty cab drivers in Luton employed by the operator Addison Lee are preparing for strikes.

Some 92 percent of drivers voted for action. They are members of the IWGB union.

The operator has jacked up the rent it charges drivers to use its cars to £220 a week. It has also increased the commission it takes from 30 percent to 35 percent.

The strike is set for 1 May.


Angry rally for LGBT+ rights

Around 500 people attended an angry rally outside the Dorchester Hotel in Park Lane, London last Saturday.

They were protesting over its owner, the Sultan of Brunei’s appalling decision to reintroduce stoning as a punishment for homosexuality.

The furious crowd broke through police barriers and laid siege to the front of the hotel attempting to break in.

This followed direct action by LGBT+ activists earlier in the week.

The rally was called by the Peter Tatchell Foundation.

This issue should be taken up in the trade union movement to show solidarity with LGBT+ people’s rights across the world.

Michael Dance


AFG workers keep battling

Care workers in the north west of England fighting for the national minimum wage struck for three days last week.

Workers at Alternative Futures Group (AFG) are battling against attempts to slash their overnight pay to just £30.

The Unison union members support vulnerable adults in their homes.

It would mean a cut of thousands of pounds for many already low paid workers.

Bosses claim they don’t have enough money to pay workers for every hour they are on shift.

They are able to get away with this because of a legal ruling last year that a flat payment was allowed as workers will be asleep for part of their shift.


Victory in Liverpool

Unison union members at Liverpool Women’s Hospital have won their struggle to secure NHS rates of pay after a series of strikes.

The domestics, porters, catering and security staff are employed by private contractor OCS.

It had refused to pay them the same rate for the job as staff employed directly by the NHS.

Now OCS staff will receive the higher NHS rate.

This is worth more than £1 an hour—over £2,000 a year for full-time staff.

As part of a three-year deal, staff will also get the same payments as their colleagues for working

antisocial hours, overtime and weekends.

The pay increase is to be jointly funded by OCS and the hospital trust.


Bins fightback in Angus

Bin workers at Angus council near Dundee began a five day strike on Monday over changes to their terms and conditions.

Around 140 Unite union members in environmental services then plan strikes for the next 11 Mondays and Tuesdays.

Council bosses want to switch the current 7am-3pm shift to a 6am-2pm and a 2pm-10pm shift.

It is an attack on workers’ work-life balance.

The council—controlled by a coalition of Lib Dems, Tories and Independents—has brought in temporary workers to break the strike.

Workers voted by 92 percent for strikes on a turnout of

87 percent. George Ramsey, Unite regional industrial officer said, “We firmly believe that these proposed changes will ultimately result in a poorer service for the public, and greater pressures on the workforce.”


Workers at Dundee City Council in the Unite and Unison unions have voted overwhelmingly for strikes in a consultative ballot.

Bosses at the SNP-led council want to impose compulsory redundancies, limit flexible retirement and reduce pay protection for some workers.

Full strike ballots are now being planned.


Rallying against Swansea far right

Stand Up To Racism Swansea is calling a counter-protest against a far right mobilisation led by Islamophobe Ann Marie Waters.

There have been various attempts by the far right over the years to try and occupy the city’s main square. They have all failed.

Swansea anti-racists are horrified that such blatant Islamophobes will try and agitate in the wake of Christchurch.

They have put out a call— “Leave or stay, Islamophobia no way“.

Join the demonstration—assemble 11am, 27 April, Castle Square, Swansea

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