Socialist Worker

Industrial round up: ‘We want to stay in NHS’, say Birmingham workers

Issue No. 2660

Solidarity on the picket line

Solidarity on the picket line (Pic: Unite West Midlands)


NHS support staff in the West Midlands began a three-day walkout on Monday of this week.

The Unison and Unite union members at Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust are fighting against plans to outsource their jobs.

Bosses want to transfer the workers to wholly-owned subsidiary SSL—a privately-registered company whose sole shareholder is the trust.

It lays the ground for full-blown privatisation.

Angela, a Unite member, said, “We want to stay in the NHS.

“SSL should leave us alone—that’s our message to the country.”


Midnight demo for Grenfell

Fans of rapper Lowkey last week fought to expose a Sheffield firm that made the cladding used on Grenfell Tower.

About 150 people supported a midnight protest outside the Arconic company on the outskirts of the city.

The impromptu demo was called by the musician and Grenfell campaigner as he was performing at the Migration Matters Festival. 

Sheffield Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) took up the call. With no other transport available, SUTR helped get 15 taxi drivers to drive people from the gig venue and back for free.

“The word went out on social media for taxi drivers and they responded in a brilliant show of solidarity with the Grenfell campaign,” said Maxine Bowler from SUTR.

“I can’t remember many other midnight protests!”

Phil Turner


Victory at Doctor's Laboratory 

Workers at The Doctor’s Laboratory (TDL) celebrated a victory last week as bosses caved in to almost all their demands after a long campaign.

The details of the deal include the option to be paid for hours worked, rather than per delivery.

Also included is an additional payment of 20p to 40p a mile to cover expenses for some couriers. Other details include a night rate of pay 12.5 percent higher than the day rate and guarantees over regular pay reviews.

TDL courier Alex Marshall said, “This victory shows that by staying united and campaigning together it is possible to reverse the race to the bottom inherent in the business models of so many so-called ‘gig economy’ employers.”


Essex distribution staff ready to strike

Some 300 workers at a Sainsbury’s distribution centre in Waltham Point, Essex, were set to strike on Thursday.

Usdaw union members are fighting changes to the company’s attendance policy.

Some 73.4 percent of those voting backed strikes in a ballot, and the turnout was 67.4 percent.


Wrexham walkout over union rights

Nursery workers in Wrexham, north Wales, were set to stage a three-day strike from Tuesday of next week.

The Unite union members at Peter Pan Children’s Nursery are fighting for union recognition from their employer, SHAP.

They voted unanimously for strikes.


Join demo at Lou Lou’s private club

Protesters were set to descend on Lou Lou’s private club in Mayfair on Friday of this week.

Workers at the London club want the London Living Wage of £10.55 an hour and “decent occupational sick pay”. They are members of the Independent Workers of Great Britain union.

Protests have already won a 35p an hour pay rise.

Join the protest at 7.30pm on Friday—go to bit.ly/2XChlFi

Union calls off bin strike in Newham

The Unite union suspended a planned 12-day strike by refuse workers in Newham, east London, after talks.

Unite members had planned to walk out over a pay regrading dispute that has raged for over a decade.

Unite said some workers have lost £20,000 as a result.


Stansted staff plan action on pay rates

Check-in staff for Easyjet services at Stansted airport, in Essex, could strike after their ballot ends on Tuesday of next week.

The 38 Unite union members want pay rates in line with similar firms at the airport and union recognition.

They are also fighting a lack of drinking water, unpaid overtime and staffing issues.


LGBT+ protest over cops’ advice

Dozens of people protested in Leamington Spa in the West Midlands on Monday evening against hate crimes targeting LGBT+ people

The protest was called after recent LGBT+ hate crime victims Tristan Gillet and Bradley Hunt said police told them “not to go out of the house alone”.


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