Socialist Worker

Reports round-up: Firefighters protest in solidarity with jailed refugee activist

Issue No. 2654

FBU members protest

FBU members protest (Pic: Guy Smallman)

The FBU union rallied in solidarity with Miguel Roldan.

The Spanish firefighter who faces prison because he was part of Mediterranean refugee rescue missions.

Driving up pay at Uber

Drivers for the Uber taxi app firm struck on Wednesday of last week, the day before the company was floated on the stock market.

Workers protested outside the company’s headquarters in east London, as well in other cities. It was organised by United Private Hire Drivers (UPHD), a branch of the IWGB union.

Chair of the London branch of UPHD, Muhumed Ali, told Socialist Worker, “Uber would not exist without its drivers.”

Drivers are demanding an increase of £2 a mile in their fares and a reduction in the rates that Uber charges them. The next step in the campaign is weekly strikes on Fridays.

“Uber doesn’t want to listen, so we have to make them,” said Muhumed.

Workers at Lyft and Uber in dozens of countries also took action last week.

Bus workers fight for £1 an hour more

Bus drivers in Preston and Chorley staged two one-day strikes in a dispute over pay.

Unite union members at Stagecoach walked out last Saturday and on Tuesday of this week because they earn over £1 an hour less than colleagues driving nearby.

Almost 300 drivers are set to stage four more days of action in the next three weeks.

They are fighting for an increase of their rate of £10.50 an hour.

John Broughton of Unite said Stagecoach can “afford to do right by its drivers and take steps to close the pay gap”.

Heathrow drivers strike over shifts

HGV drivers at Heathrow Airport are set to walk out for five days over “punishing” shift patterns.

The Unite union members are employed by Alpha LSG and are due to begin their action from Wednesday of next week.

The workers supply 29 Airlines and are responsible for supplies of food, drink and duty free.

They are fighting new shift patterns, which were introduced on 1 March.

New rotas mean drivers are working extra days, and have to work up to six weeks before they get a weekend off.

Workers aren’t receiving their proper break allowance and rest days, and also report being unable to complete their work during their shift.

Action could take off in Scotland

Workers at Highland and Islands Airports Limited are set to strike on Thursday of next week.

The air traffic controllers are in the Prospect union.

The strike follows the breakdown of talks, for which an earlier strike was called off.

Airports that will be affected are Dundee, Inverness, Wick, Kirkwall, Sumburgh, Stornoway, and Benbecula.

Shopping centre decision imminent

The Elephant and Castle shopping centre planning application is set to reach the next phase on 17 and 18 July.

The High Court will decide on whether to grant permission for the development plans in south London.

It will also make a ruling on whether to launch a judicial review into the process. It follows a long campaign to ensure that any development includes social housing and guarantees for shopkeepers already there.

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Article information

Tue 14 May 2019, 15:00 BST
Issue No. 2654
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