Socialist Worker

Reports in brief

Issue No. 1941


SOME 5,000 BT engineers are voting on an offer over new attendance patterns. The new scheme would offer a four day week, but at the expense of making Saturday an ordinary working day.

This would reduce the overtime earnings of many workers and therefore, taken as a whole, the deal could cut pay. Many activists inside the workers’ CWU union are campaigning for a no vote.
BT engineer

‘Modern’ service will be less safe

DUDLEY FIRE station is set to lose an appliance during the night, as are others in the West Midlands. This is part of the government’s “modernisation” plan for the fire service. Fire brigade management say the cut will make little difference, as there are few calls between midnight and 8am.

But the ones that are received between those times are bigger jobs — house or factory fires. We are asking for support from the public and local councilors to oppose the cuts.
Stuart Henley

Judgement on the Glasgow strike

FIREFIGHTERS AT Glasgow airport, members of the T&G union, returned to work on Tuesday after a four week all-out strike.

The details of the settlement were unclear as Socialist Worker went to press. If it means a reduction of the airport fire service’s ability to provide cover, then it will have to be viewed as a setback.

BAA management went all out to win this dispute. They mounted a 24/7 scabbing operation using senior fire officers drawn from all their airports.

Until they were threatened by their management, Grangemouth tanker drivers providing fuel to the airport refused to cross picket lines. The union gave in to these threats and the drivers were given little alternative but to cross the picket line.
BAA worker

Billions for them, peanuts for us

THE AMICUS union announced a possible strike ballot of 25,000 members at HSBC on the day the bank revealed record profits of nearly £10 billion.

The pay deal the bank has offered its workers would mean 10 percent of the clerical workers covered by Amicus would get no pay rise this year. A further 40 percent would get a below inflation rise.

Clear case for cellophane plant

WORKERS FOR Innovia, formerly British Cellophane in Bridgwater, were set to march this Saturday against their profitable plant’s threatened closure.

Some 250 jobs are at risk. The workers’ T&G union has organised the march. The march assembles at 10.30am at St John’s Church, Blake Place.

Tyre union gets a grip on Michelin

PRODUCTION workers in the T&G union at the Michelin tyre plant in Stoke were set to begin industrial action on Friday of this week.

The action will include a ban on overtime, a work to rule and withdrawal of co-operation. The dispute is over pay and involves almost 400 workers. In a ballot they supported strike action by nearly three to one.

Michelin has offered a non-consolidated pay increase of £650 or 3 percent. This means that any rise in pay would not count towards the pension.

NUJ union members at the Independent and Independent on Sunday are preparing to ballot on industrial action over pay, after a massive 96 percent call for the action.

The journalists are angry that, despite a 30 percent rise in circulation on the daily paper since it turned tabloid, management has offered a 3 percent rise.

Management continues to plead poverty because the papers are loss-making. Yet it is happy to boast that the papers are the flagships of Irish billionaire Tony O’Reilly’s media empire.
NUJ member, Independent newspapers

The GMB, Unison and the T&G unions have voted to ballot all their members for a campaign of industrial action over Tory-run Coventry council’s attempt to bypass negotiations and unilaterally impose a deal on staff.

Large numbers of workers will lose out under the “single status” deal, which is meant to harmonise conditions between blue and white collar workers.

The council is clearly hoping its imposition of the single status deal will weaken the unions so that the Tories can then push ahead with further attacks.
Richard Milner

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Article information

Sat 5 Mar 2005, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1941
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