Socialist Worker

Reports round-up: Fresh walkout at Little Ilford school

Issue No. 2734

Pickets outside Little Ilford school during one of their previous strikes

Pickets outside Little Ilford school during one of their previous strikes (Pic: Guy Smallman)

NEU union members at Little Ilford school struck for a seventh day on Tuesday of this week. 

Workers are fighting a planned expansion of the school that they say would harm education and working conditions.

The walkout on Tuesday marked the first day of a two-day strike at the east London school. It follows a three-day strike the previous week, and two-day and 24-hour strike last month.

Newham council wants to forcibly expand student numbers at the school from 1,470 to 1,800.

Strikers say this would hit support for vulnerable children.

Some 24 percent of students at the school have special educational needs.

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Victory after school tries to cut £100,000 by slashing education workers’ salaries

A group of workers has stopped big pay cuts after threatening to strike.  

At the Woodchurch Road Primary School in Wirral, teaching assistants and play workers had been threatened with 20 percent cuts to their hours.

The school was trying to make “savings” of £100,000. 

For some workers this meant losing nearly £4,000 a year in pay.  

The 21 Unison union members directly affected balloted for strikes and delivered a 100 percent turnout and a 100 percent Yes vote.  

Two days before their first strike day, school management took away the threat of cuts for the play workers. They also removed the immediate threat to hours for teaching assistants.  

Although the strike was called off, these Unison members are determined to fight in the summer if management come back again.  

An online solidarity event that had been organised with strikers by Merseyside People Before Profit was turned into a victory rally.

Mark O’Brien

Health and safety walkouts called

NEU union members at a school in Wallasey, Merseyside, have called six days of strikes over health and safety concerns.  

The Kingsway Primary School workers say they have had to flush toilets with buckets of water as there is no running water at the school.  

Their first strike was set to take place on Thursday of this week. More walkouts are planned for 15 and 16 December, and 12, 13 and 14 January next year.  

Over 85 percent of union members who voted backed the action in a ballot. NEU regional secretary Peter Middleman said workers are also concerned about how coronavirus bubbles and infection outbreaks are managed.  

Ian Harris of Wirral NEU, said, “Our members have been working tirelessly throughout the pandemic to ensure children can access the education they deserve.  

“It is unfortunate that they have been hindered by the action of the employer. Members have been raising concerns since May.”  

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NHS pay fight is on in Reading 

Security guards at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading plan a five-day strike over pay from Monday of next week.

The 20 Unite union members are furious with subcontractor Kingdom Services Group Ltd for failing “to make a decent pay offer”. 

Sainsbury’s workers deliver strike

A strike by delivery drivers could hit hundreds of Sainsbury’s stores in London and the south east during the Christmas period.

Around 12 drivers, who work for subcontractor Harper & Guy Consulting Ltd at the Sainsbury’s Waltham Abbey distribution centre, were set to begin a series of pay strikes next Monday.

The Unite union members plan 24-hour walkouts on 14, 15, 20, 21 and 22 December and from 6pm on Boxing Day until 6pm the following day.

Union warns of ‘crisp famine’ 

A “crisp famine” could blight Christmas because of haulage bosses’ refusal to negotiate over pay. 

The Unite union’s warning came as lorry drivers at Eddie Stobart in Warrington balloted for industrial action. The ballot of the drivers, who deliver Walkers crisps, was set to end on Wednesday.

Strike ballot at British Gas 

British Gas workers could walk out on New Year’s Eve over bosses’ plans to “fire and rehire” 20,000 workers. 

British Gas owner Centrica threatened the move unless the GMB union members agreed to accept draconian cuts to their terms and conditions. The ballot ends on Thursday of next week.

Leicester aerospace workers ballot 

Around 280 workers at SPS Technologies in Leicester are balloting for strikes over pay. 

The Unite union members could lose as much as £3,000 a year if bosses’ push through the attacks. 

The ballot ends on Monday of next week.

Bosses’ attacks provoke reaction

Workers at chemicals giant Croda Europe in Ltd Hull are balloting for strikes over “years of missing holiday pay”.

Around 90 Unite union members are angry over “the company’s failure to incorporate holiday entitlement into their shift rotas at its Oak Road site”.

The ballot ends on Monday of next week.

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