Socialist Worker

Reports round-up - solid strike hits Caledonian Sleeper

Issue No. 2674

Strikers on the Caledonian Sleeper service

Strikers on the Caledonian Sleeper service (Pic: Raymie Kiernan)


Workers on the Caledonian sleeper service struck for 36 hours from 12 noon last Sunday, causing all sleeper services to be cancelled.

Operator Serco has reneged on staffing promises and failed to address workers’ concerns.


Jobs saved at Harland and Wolff

Workers at Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast were celebrating on Tuesday after a new company bought the yard.

Workers launched an occupation—which has lasted nine weeks—after the previous parent company went into administration.

Energy firm InfraStrata said it plans to retain the 79 staff still employed at the yard. There were originally 120.

The outcome shows that job losses can be fought.

The Unite and GMB unions rightly praised the Harland and Wolff workers. When car firms order plant closures, union leaders ought to urge similar occupation tactics.


Fire cuts protest in Surrey

About 300 firefighters and their supporters demonstrated outside Surrey County Council in Kingston last Tuesday over fire service cuts.

They were joined by FBU union officials from Suffolk, Devon and Somerset and the London Fire Brigade.

All are suffering fire service cuts in their brigades. Fire cover in Surrey is already at dangerously low levels—putting lives at risk.

But the Tory council plans more attacks.

The firefighters have pledged to fight these cuts and will ballot for strikes if the council does not back down by 7 October.

Chris Rooney


Cross Country rail hit by overtime ban

Workers on Cross Country Trains staged a five-day overtime ban and other action from last Thursday.

Strikers, in the RMT union, are fighting breaches of collective bargaining deals.


Battle continues at Beis for pay and more

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 out 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.

Messages of support to beislsbranch@gmail.com

Fightback continues at the Foreign Office

Facilities management workers at the Foreign Office finished their fifth round of strikes against contractor Interserve last week.

It was strongly supported by PCS union members.

Messages of support to helenf@pcs.org.uk

RMT making a noise about the noisy Tube

Workers on four London Underground tube lines are set to start industrial action from Thursday of next week.

Drivers on the Jubilee, Central, Northern and Victoria lines voted by over 95 percent to fight excessive line noise.

Workers are set to drive trains at reduced speeds to cut excess noise.


New round of action by Hackney drivers

Drivers and escorts on buses for disabled children in Hackney, east London, are set to strike for 48 hours from next Wednesday.

The 38 workers are fighting for split shift payments.


Solidarity with four-month library strike

Bromley library workers need solidarity as they near their fourth month on all-out strike.

The Unite union members at the south east London borough are fighting against bosses’ plans to slash up to 35 percent of frontline jobs.

The proposed restructure by subcontractor Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) would also see 15 back office roles cut.

The workers walked out on 6 June after bosses failed to fill vacancies They feared a big attack was in the pipeline.

Their fears were confirmed when GLL announced its plans at a meeting with Unite last month.

Meanwhile, libraries and museums workers in Bradford, in West Yorkshire, have voted 77 percent Yes for strikes. The workers are fighting the Labour-run council’s plan to force through nearly £2 million worth of cuts by 2021.

Unite regional officer Mark Martin said, “This ballot result shows just how strongly our members feel about the swingeing cuts that the council is hell-bent on forcing through which could see funding for this service axed by 65 percent.

“We have had great and heart-warming support from members of the Bradford public and the surrounding areas. We are confident that this support will continue during forthcoming strikes.”


Strike at Matalan

Around 500 workers at clothing firm Matalan’s distribution centre in Merseyside began a two-day walkout over pay on Monday.

The GMB union members rejected the latest pay offer from the retail giant after “completely pointless” talks following a one-day strike in August.

They are fighting against a pay award of 1.5percent—a real terms pay cut.

GMB organiser Neil Holden said, “Matalan says the strike is not affecting it. But today it forced head office staff to leave their desks and walk onto the shop floor to try to cover the backlog of work.”

The Merseyside centre is a key part of Matalan’s supply chain for internet and high street orders across the north west of England.


Wilko strike looms

GMB union members at Wilko distribution hubs in South Wales and Nottinghamshire plan a series of strikes over forced weekend working.

Around 2,000 workers in Magor and Worksop are set to walk out on Friday 11 October and then again on Monday 14 October.


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Tue 1 Oct 2019, 15:23 BST
Issue No. 2674
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