Socialist Worker

Reports round up: Tax office strike on election day

Issue No. 2684

Ealing strikers march to a rally

Ealing strikers march to a rally (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Workers at a West London tax office were set to strike on Thursday of this week—the day of the general election.

Members of the PCS union in Ealing are fighting to stop redundancies following the planned closure of their office.

Many say they will be forced to take redundancy if bosses relocate their workplace to a new site in either Stratford or Croydon.They are set to take action from 12 noon on Thursday.

This follows a half-day strike last week.

Strikers walked out out of their office to applause from waiting supporters on Thursday of last week, before marching to a rally nearby.

Messages of support to RCGroup@pcs.org.uk and support on social media using the hashtag #SaveEalingTaxOffice

Strike at ‘Brexit HQ’ club

Kitchen porters, members of the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) union, were set to strike for two days from Wednesday at the private members’ club 5 Hertford Street.

The migrant workers are striking for proper sick pay and union recognition.

They currently receive only the minimum sick pay, meaning that they are not paid for the first three days that they take off work.

They then only get £94.25 per week, forcing them to return to work while ill so that they can pay rent.

The club has been dubbed “Brexit HQ”.

It is owned by Robin Birley who donated over £250,000 to Ukip and some £20,000 to the Tories. Membership to the club costs £1,800 a year.

Following a vote for strikes last month, the club agreed to pay porters the London Living Wage of £10.75 a month from January.

But president of IWGB Henry Chango Lopez said that their conditions are still “unconscionable”.

Meanwhile, cleaners working for contractors Lakethorne Group at Highgate Wood School in north London struck on Tuesday for the London Living Wage.

They are members of the Caiwu union.

They are also fighting for proper clothing and materials at work and equal holidays and conditions.


Whirlpool bosses in a spin after defeat

Workers have taken Whirlpool bosses to the cleaners. The multinational has agreed to pay workers at its tumble dryer factory in Bristol at least £10 an hour.

It has also pledged to give long-serving agency workers full-time contracts.

The 90 Unite union members were set to strike on Thursday and on 6 January after voting by 90 percent for action.

Unite regional officer Ken Fish said, “This result was down to the solidarity and determination of our Whirlpool members.

“They were prepared to weather hardship over Christmas by striking for fair pay and a fair deal for their agency colleagues.”


Pay offer leaves beer workers bitter

Workers at beer giant Green King are being balloted for strikes over a “paltry” 2 percent pay offer.

Over 160 workers, including dray people, brewery and warehouse workers, have until 13 January to vote for industrial action.

They are based at Green King’s head office in Bury St Edmunds and distribution centres in Abington in Oxfordshire and Eastwood in Nottinghamshire.


Strikes to drive VW to a standstill

Dock workers at Sheerness in Kent will launch a series of strikes against a pay freeze in the New Year.

The Unite union members, who offload cars for the Volkswagen Group, could cause disruption across the giant’s supply chain.

Unite regional officer Philip Silkstone said, “Strikes will seriously disrupt the distribution of Volkswagen Group vehicles arriving at Sheerness docks to be shipped to dealerships across Britain.”


Serco are ‘worst sort of scrooge’

The Unite union has vowed to fight against Serco’s plan to axe traffic wardens’ jobs in Ealing, west London.

The outsourcer, which took over the contract in April, has announced plans to slash eight out of 60 jobs.

Unite regional officer Clare Keogh said, “Serco is behaving like the worst type of Scrooge employer, by announcing job losses just before Christmas.

“Our members feel like Christmas is cancelled as their jobs are hanging by a thread.

“They perform a vital role in ensuring transport in Ealing is kept moving while bringing in vital income.”


Click here to subscribe to our daily morning email newsletter 'Breakfast in red'


Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.