Socialist Worker

Reports round-up: Cleaners still out at business department

Issue No. 2673

Beis department strikers in London during the summer

Beis department strikers in London during the summer (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Outsourced workers at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in London are keeping up their indefinite strike.

The PCS union members have been on indefinite strike since mid-July. They’re demanding the London Living Wage of £10.55 an hour from their current employers, outsourcers ISS and Aramark.

They also want improved sick pay and holiday pay, and ultimately to be brought back in house. Strikers joined the climate protest in London last Friday—fighting for a living wage on a liveable planet.

Strikers are holding a social evening and quiz on Tuesday 1 October, 6pm-10.30pm, Civil Service Club, Great Scotland Yard, London, SW1A 2HJ

Rail workers march for public ownership

Rail workers in Glasgow marched through the city centre on Friday of last week to demand the end of Abellio running the Scotrail franchise.

The RMT union members are calling for the immediate termination of its contract and for rail services to be brought back into public ownerships.

In a separate dispute, RMT union members on Scottish sleeper services were set to strike for 24 hours from Sunday at noon.

Operator Serco reneged on staffing promises. The company said it would address a raft of serious concerns that have ruined working lives and placed the workforce under intolerable pressure.

Caledonian Sleeper services from London Euston and stations including Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen will be hit hard.

Meanwhile, Tube workers on the eastern end of the District line were set to begin an indefinite programme of industrial action from Friday of this week.

The RMT union members are fighting the growing levels of violence at their workplaces.

Workers are set to “work from within a place of safety when alone and not to detrain alone or attend incidents on trains alone.”


Victories against fire cuts 

Firefighters have claimed victory in their fight against cuts to the South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service.

After a campaign from FBU union members, the fire authority resoundingly voted to shelve plans to reduce the number of firefighters riding a fire engine from five to four.

Instead, the fire authority agreed to use its reserves to maintain safe crewing levels

It would have seen 84 firefighter posts cut.

Meanwhile, Firefighters in Devon and Somerset handed in a petition with over 30,000 signatures last Friday calling on the service to scrap plans to slash fire services in the area.

Devon and Somerset fire and rescue service is currently consulting on proposals which could close eight fire stations and scrap or cut fire cover of over 30 fire engines across the counties.

And in Surrey FBU union members habe launched a trade dispute with the fire and rescue service, calling for management to end unsafe practices.

Concerned firefighters and residents were set to protest outside Surrey county hall on Tuesday this week.


No outsiders in football say fans

Over 150 representatives of grassroots football supporters’ groups gathered in London last Friday to discuss tackling racism on the terraces and promoting football as an inclusive sport.

Fans for Diversity is a joint initiative of the Football Supporters Association and Kick It Out.

The remit of Fans for Diversity is much wider than tackling racism. It promotes the inclusion of women and disabled and LGBT+ people.

David Hughes


Workers demand amnesty on attacks

The Unite union is balloting for strikes by workers at Amnesty International.

Bosses at the human rights NGO want to push through 93 job cuts.

The ballot, which was set to open on Thursday, runs until 7 November.


Clean air march in south east London

Parents and school children marched to demand urgent action over toxic air pollution levels in Lewisham, south east London, last Saturday.

A rally at Catford civic suite was addressed by Rosamund Kissi-Debrah. She is fighting a legal battle to have the role of unlawful air pollution levels in the death of her daughter Ella recognised.

She told Socialist Worker, “We need a bigger more diverse movement putting pressure on government and local authorities to act.”

Mark Dunk


School workers say no to academisation

NEU union members at Bexleyheath Academy in south east London were set to start a two-day strike on Wednesday of this week.

The action follows a walkout on Wednesday of last week. Workers at the south east London school are fighting a restructure.

Send messages of support to Debbie.jones@neu.org.uk

Diageo workers consider pay deal

The Unite and GMB union suspended a programme of strikes by 1,500 workers at Diageo drinks plants across Scotland last Tuesday night. Bosses had presented a new offer.

The offer is understood to be a two-year deal with a 3 percent rise this year and a pay increase next year in line with RPI inflation.

The Unite and GMB unions said they would now consult their members on the deal.

Workers have previously been offered a rise of a mere 2.5 percent.


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