Socialist Worker

Reports round-up: Big turnout at Glasgow’s Govanhill Carnival

Issue No. 2666

There was a big turnout for Glasgow’s Govanhill Carnival last Saturday. The carnival celebrated multiculturalism and diversity in the city. People brought placards against racism and fascism, while others opposed the hated Universal Credit benefit.

There was a big turnout for Glasgow’s Govanhill Carnival last Saturday. The carnival celebrated multiculturalism and diversity in the city. People brought placards against racism and fascism, while others opposed the hated Universal Credit benefit. (Pic: Bob Fotheringham)

FBU members should say no to below-inflation offer

Firefighters are voting on whether to accept a 2 percent pay offer agreed between bosses and the leadership of their FBU union.

The FBU’s executive committee is recommending that workers accept.

FBU members have rejected previous pay offers tied to changes to conditions and contracts.

Fire authority bosses want firefighters to take on extra duties outside their normal roles in return for ­below-inflation pay rises.

Now the FBU says bosses have agreed to pause discussions over extra duties.

The union also said it would “prepare the ground for a major campaign addressing the increasing amount of work outside of firefighter’s negotiated roles”.

But 2 percent is still a real-terms pay cut, and firefighters should reject it. A campaign involving strikes could protect conditions and win a real pay rise.

Meanwhile, the FBU union has slammed attempts by Heathrow bosses to hire strikebreakers.

Over 4,000 Heathrow workers could strike later this month. 

The FBU says bosses plan to use strike-breaking unit South East Business Services to undermine any workers’ walkouts.

FBU general secretary Matt Wrack said that by using the firm, bosses are “playing fast and loose with public safety”.

“Striking Heathrow workers have the full support of the FBU,” he added.

Postal workers walk out over bullying by bosses

Postal workers outside the Haverfordwest delivery office

Postal workers outside the Haverfordwest delivery office

Royal Mail postal workers in Haverfordwest, west Wales, staged a brief unofficial strike on Tuesday of last week.

Their CWU union said the walkout at the Merlins Bridge delivery office was over “allegations of bullying from a manager”.

CWU general secretary said, “Haverfordwest delivery office members have walked out in support of a colleague.”

He called on his Twitter followers to send solidarity.

The strike was the latest in a long series of unofficial walkouts over bullying and harassment at Royal Mail workplaces across Britain.

Council bosses pay up after workers threaten to strike

Bin workers at Newham council, east London, are celebrating after workers’ organisation and threats of strikes have won them a decent payout.

Some 45 members of the Unite union were due to walk out for 12 days in June over an unfair pay grading scheme.

They say their jobs weren’t graded correctly, and it cost them up to £12,000 over a 12-year period.

They’ve won a one-off payment and a promise from Newham council to review workers’ terms and conditions.

Willie Howard from the Unite union said it was an “absolutely thumping victory”.

He said that each worker would be getting £4,500 this year, including overtime payments.

Howard added that Newham workers “are setting the blueprint on how to fight back” against austerity and cuts to public services.

Road workers say no to new contracts

Road maintenance workers in Hertfordshire are balloting for strikes over “sign or be sacked” contracts.

The Unite union members work for Ringway Infrastructure Services and replace traffic bollards and damaged railings for Hertfordshire county council.

The union accused bosses of “bully boy tactics” after they made it clear workers would be transferred onto inferior contracts. The ballot closes on 21 August—workers should vote for strikes to stop these attacks.

Ballot for strikes at St Mungo’s charity

Some 500 workers at homelessness charity St Mungo’s are set to be balloted over strikes

St Mungo’s supports homeless people across London and the South of England.

Workers, who are members of the Unite union, are worried about management plans to replace experienced workers with lower paid assistants. Unite is mounting a campaign to “safeguard the jobs and the professional standard of its members”.

Workers feel their power in Yorkshire

Workers at Drax power station in North Yorkshire have voted to accept a new two year pay deal.

Almost 400 Unite union members voted by a large majority to accept, after threats of strikes won an improved offer.

They will receive a 2.8 percent increase for 2019 and a 3 percent increase for 2020.

Wilko workers don’t like weekend work

Thousands of Wilko supermarket workers are balloting for strikes after the company tried to force them to work weekends.

Around 2,000 GMB union members at two Wilko distribution centres in Magor, Wales and Worksop, Nottinghamshire are affected.

Asda bosses try to impose contracts

The GMB union is set to stage a mass protest in Leeds after Asda attempted to impose new “punitive” contracts onto workers.

The protest is set to take place at 12 noon in Leeds City Centre on Wednesday of next week.

Gary Carter, GMB National Officer, said, “This demonstration will send a loud and clear message to Asda that however much pressure management has put on staff to sign, workers believe the contract is still not good enough.”

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