Socialist Worker

Reports round up: Hundreds join the Silent Walk for Grenfell

Issue No. 2668

Hundreds of people joined the Silent Walk for Grenfell in west London last Wednesday. The monthly march demands justice for the dead and survivors of the blaze that ripped through the Grenfell Tower housing block in North Kensington in 2017

Hundreds of people joined the Silent Walk for Grenfell in west London last Wednesday. The monthly march demands justice for the dead and survivors of the blaze that ripped through the Grenfell Tower housing block in North Kensington in 2017 (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Union reps meet as post strike may be in pipeline

Royal Mail postal workers in the CWU union were set to meet in Liverpool for a national briefing of reps on Thursday of this week.

Bosses are breaking from an agreement struck with the CWU early in 2018, which promised an end to a bullying culture.

It also promised a shorter working week linked to pay rises and “savings” in Royal Mail workplaces.

But the union says bosses are pushing through unagreed changes without consultation. Bosses want to make Royal Mail more like other private parcel delivery companies.

The changes could lead to job losses, worse working conditions, and a poorer service.

The number of unofficial strikes at Royal Mail workplaces over bullying management has increased in recent weeks.

The CWU has told its reps to prepare to hold mass gate meetings, as it did in 2017 ahead of an overwhelming vote for a national strike.

March for the martyrs of 1819 Peterloo Massacre

Over 1,000 people joined a protest in Manchester last Sunday to remember the Peterloo Massacre of 1819. It linked remembrance of the killing of 18 demonstrators 200 years ago with struggles for justice and democracy today.

Speakers at the rally included trade unionists and suspended Labour MP Chris Williamson.

Protesters raised the ruthlessness of the state when it feels under threat, and also highlighted the battles against austerity, racism and climate chaos now. There were trade union banners from Dundee, Carlisle, Birmingham, Stafford, and across the North West of England.

The day before protesters—including Extinction Rebellion activists—held an “illegal picnic” at the site of the Peterloo memorial in Manchester.

It had been unveiled the day before. At the precise anniversary of the killings, the names of the dead were read out.

Ryanair bosses try to ground strikes

Ryanair rushed to the courts in an effort to stop pilots striking on Thursday.

The workers are members of the British Airline Pilots Association.

In a ballot they voted 80 percent for strikes on a 72 percent turnout. Ryanair tried to get an injunction to halt the strike.

The verdict had not been announced as Socialist Worker went to press.

Strikes could hit supply of fuel

Tanker drivers in Ellesmere Port, Merseyside, could strike over pay.

The action by Unite union members employed by Hoyer Petrolog UK Limited might mean petrol shortages and flight delays

The workers deliver to Euro garages and Exxon Esso forecourts.

The company also delivers aviation fuel to Leeds Bradford airport on behalf of Essar and Liverpool John Lennon airport on behalf of World Fuels Services.

The dispute would also impact the operations of BP, Shell and Essar at the Stanlow refinery.

Hoyer employs tanker drivers on different terms and conditions, and different rates of pay.

Drinks workers vote for strikes

Workers at drinks firm Diageo’s plants have voted overwhelmingly for strikes.

Around 95 percent of Unite union members have voted to reject a “derisory” pay offer and are likely to stage walkouts in September.

The dispute affects staff at Diageo’s Leven distillery and its bottling plant at Cameron Bridge.

Workers at the company’s Shieldhall plant in Glasgow are also affected.

Workers don’t want to take a hit in pay

Workers at the Addaction alcohol and drug rehabilitation service in Wigan planned to strike for equal pay on Friday.

The 31 Unison union members, who were outsourced from the health service, are angry that charity bosses at Addaction have failed to keep NHS pay rates.

All you need are airport strikes

Workers at Liverpool John Lennon Airpot were set to strike on Thursday and Saturday of this week, and on Thursday of next week.

The GMB union members on the Swissport EasyJet and Swissport Mainline contracts are angry over health and safety issues.

IT support workers vote to strike

IT support workers at the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) were set to begin a month-long strike from Thursday of this week.

The members of the PCS union are part of a long-running battle over longer working hours, working practices and restructures.

The PCS says the action by IT workers is part of a plan of rolling action in DVSA—and that other groups could soon be called out on strike.

‘Blue water’ action ends at North Lanarkshire schools

The NASUWT union has called off strikes over health concerns at Buchanan High and St Ambrose schools in North Lanarkshire.

Teachers have held a series of strikes after four former pupils and current teachers were treated for bladder cancer since 2012. For a period blue coloured water ran from the schools’ taps.

Last week the union leaders met with experts who have been advising them.

Afterwards the union said, “Our experts have advised that they believe that the remedial action taken on the campus enables them to advise that NASUWT members can return to work.”

Chris Keates, acting general secretary of the NASUWT, said, “If it hadn’t been for the willingness of the NASUWT members to take a strong stand on this issue, many of the actions which have now been taken on the site would never have occurred.”

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