Socialist Worker

ScotRail strikes set to hit Cop26 + Housing day of action + round-up

Issue No. 2776

RMT union members are fighting for justice

RMT union members are fighting for justice (Pic: RMT)


More ScotRail workers are to escalate the battle for pay justice and equality.

The RMT union has announced that train conductors will extend their strike to each Sunday throughout November.

This will mean workers will strike during the Cop26 climate conference in Glasgow.

As the dispute reaches its seventh month RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said, “It’s about time those calling the shots in Scotland took responsibility.”

ScotRail engineers in the Unite union will also strike due to the “reckless” actions of management.

Engineers

Since 24 September engineers have been taking action short of a strike but will escalate to hit Cop26.

They will walk out for four days impacting 12 depots, stations and workplaces.

Unite industrial officer, Pat McIlvogue said, “Talks have produced absolutely nothing. There has been no pay offer and no movement by the company.

“Now strikes will severely disrupt events and the Cop26 climate change conference due to this shambolic company.

“The Scottish government and Transport Scotland must urgently intervene because the Abellio ScotRail management clearly lacks the ability, humility and intelligence to live up to their responsibilities with respect to the workforce and the Scottish public.”


Up to 400 bus drivers in North Wales are being balloted for strikes in a dispute with operating company Arriva over pay.

Workers in the Unite union will be balloted at six depots including Amlwch, Bangor, Hawarden (Chester), Llandudno, Rhyl and Wrexham.

If Unite members vote for strike action, bus services across the region will be seriously disrupted.

The ballot closes on 26 October and if passed, strikes could start as early as November.

Unite regional officer, Jo Goodchild said, “Low pay and tough working conditions have led to a significant number of bus driver shortages across North Wales and the public is facing bus services being cut on a weekly basis.

“This is all down to Arriva and other companies simply not paying the rate for the job.

“Our members have had enough. It is time for Arriva to stop the rot, think again and give our members the decent pay award they deserve.”


Housing day of action

Housing activists took part in a day of action last Saturday. While over 100,000 families are living in temporary accommodation, half a million homes have no permanent residents.

Protests took place in Southwark at the Aylesbury Estate, Islington outside Pentonville Prison, Millbank Tower in Westminster, Kensington, Walthamstow and Harlow.

An online rally live streamed from the protest sites included speakers from housing and homelessness campaigns, refugee charities, Disabled People Against Cuts, as well as Jeremy Corbyn.

The Millbank Tower protest brought together campaigners from the Unite union, Radical Housing Network, Defend Council Housing and Homes for All. The tower could provide homes for ordinary people but instead is to be turned into luxury flats and a hotel.

The Aylesbury estate in Southwark saw 30 people protest where over 2,000 council homes will be demolished for a "regeneration". 


Scaffolders for contractor Actavo Limited working on the British Steel site in Scunthorpe are continuing an all-out strike in a long running dispute over pay.

The 60 Unite union members began action in 2019 and then restarted it recently.

They want workers  to be paid in line with the National Agreement for the Engineering Construction Industry (Naeci). The rates for the workforce are currently 10 to 15 percent below these rates.

Workers will picket gates A, D and G from 5.30-9.30am every day.


Teachers and support staff at Oaks Park High School in Redbridge, east London are set to protest against bullying.

Workers are acting in solidarity with a victimised NEU union rep who raised concerns about working in unsafe classrooms at the height of the pandemic in January.

Four staff members used Section 44 to refuse the return to unsafe workplaces and demanded to work from home.

Those workers were denied permanent employment positions.

Workers also stand against the local Labour council’s refusal to oppose the school’s use of strike breaking staff.

Protest, end the bullying culture at Oaks Park High School, Sat 16 Oct, 2pm, Redbridge Town Hall

Workers at plastic manufacturer Alpla UK in Wigan will strike in October and November after a two percent pay offer.

Nearly 150 factory workers in the Unite union voted for 90 percent in favour of strikes with a 72.5 percent turnout.

A series of 48 hour walk outs will take place on 21 October, 4 November and 16 November. 

Alpla UK manufactures plastic bottles and containers for Britvic, Coca Cola, PZ Cussons, Johnson & Johnson, Lever, Arla Foods, Core Ingredients and Princes Foods.


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