AFTER THE controversy over the Hutton report, Labour-run Haringey Council in north London is seeking a confrontation with journalists in its own press office. The journalists, NUJ members, have faced a union-busting consultant who wants to delete not only any reference to 'journalism' in their job descriptions, but their jobs themselves.
The journalists were set to meet to discuss action to defend their jobs and are looking for support from the wider labour movement.
Strike vote on Cumbria buses
BUS WORKERS in Cumbria have rejected their latest pay offer and are balloting for strikes. More than 460 staff, mostly drivers, who work for Stagecoach, are involved.
Union members are angry at proposals by Stagecoach to vary pay between different depots. It wants to give most to drivers in Carlisle, where there is a shortage of drivers. But drivers in Workington, Kendal and Barrow would get less.
Challenging racist lies
AFTER THE tragic deaths of 19 cocklers in Morecambe Bay, anti-racists in Barrow-in-Furness and Ulverston have been out distributing leaflets in defence of the cocklers, who have been on the receiving end of racism since last summer. The local paper, the North West Evening Mail, has published a stream of scare stories using phrases like 'invasion' and spreading lies about cocklers 'raking it in'.
The cocklers have been earning a mere £1 a shift. The anti-racist leaflets counter many lies about the cocklers.
Brady retreats on union attack
THE GENERAL secretary of the Aslef rail union, Shaun Brady, appears to have backed down from his anti-union assault on employees at the union's headquarters.
Staff, in the GMB union, had voted for strike action following threats from Brady to derecognise their union. That threat has been withdrawn and officials from the GMB union have 'made progress' over resolving other staff grievances.
But Aslef activists, who opposed Brady's election, are determined not to let the matter drop and organising to hold him to account through their branch meetings, executive and annual conference.
Respect takes off in Southall
AROUND 100 people from a broad ethnic and occupational range came to the launch of the Respect coalition in Southall, west London, last Sunday. Leading national figures behind the Respect project, Salma Yaqoob and George Galloway, addressed the meeting.
Nick Grant of the local Socialist Alliance and Salvinder Dhillon also spoke and backed the new coalition. A meeting on 29 February will now discuss a Respect candidate for the Ealing-Hillingdon constituency of the Greater London Assembly.