Socialist Worker

Reports round-up

Issue No. 1951

Buses stop as pay fight continues

Workers at Centra Buses struck for 24 hours on Monday of this week in a dispute over pay and conditions.

The RMT transport union’s 93 members at Centra’s depot in Croydon plan a second

24-hour stoppage for 20 May.

“Our claim is for a basic £500 weekly wage, equal contracts with equal pay for all

employees, no zero-hours contracts, adequate annual leave, sick pay from day one of employment and full rostered earnings for victims of assaults at work,” RMT general secretary Bob Crow said.

“Our members voted overwhelmingly to strike,” he added.

Transport workers step up dispute

RMT members at Transport for London (TfL) struck on Thursday of last week, following the failure of TfL management to take up an offer of talks over the breakdown in industrial relations at the company.

The union’s 230 TfL members voted by a margin of six to one to strike following the company’s failure to resolve a series of disputes.

These affected members. in TfL’s call centre and information centres, the London Transport Museum, as well as office staff, revenue control inspectors, bus controllers and staff instructors.

Subway action called off

A planned four-day strike on the Glasgow subway over pay and conditions has been called off at the last minute, following talks with Strathclyde Passenger Transport management on Thursday of last week.

Ballot kicked into the long grass

A strike vote by council grass cutters in Carlisle has been delayed because of problems in distributing ballot papers. Workers were angry at being told to work longer hours because of climate change. The GMB union is arranging a second ballot.

New jobs blow at engineering firm

Telecom equipment group Marconi is to axe 800 jobs. The company announced the cuts on Friday of last week, sparking anger from workers who believe the news was held over until Friday to bury it in the aftermath of the election.

Marconi plans to slash 450 jobs in Coventry. The Edge Lane plant in Liverpool will be closed, with 300 jobs lost and another 300 set to be moved elsewhere.

Salma Yaqoob, Respect’s parliamentary candidate for Birmingham Sparkbrook & Small Heath, called for government action to save the threatened jobs.

“With thousands of jobs already lost at Rover it is simply not good enough for the government to wring its hands over redundancies at Marconi. They did nothing to save Rover and now they are letting Marconi go the same way.”


The result of the strike ballot against job cuts in the BBC was set to be announced on Wednesday of this week.

New BBC director general Mark Thompson wants to slash 3,800 jobs. The NUJ journalists’ union and the Amicus and Bectu unions have all balloted their members on this attack.

The unions were set to meet on Thursday of this week to decide their next move.

Anti-Nazis in Blackpool

Anti-Nazi protesters demonstrated against the BNP in the Blackpool South constituency on general election day.

We demonstrated outside the election count to let BNP candidate Roy Goodwin know he is not welcome in Blackpool.

We placed placards around the entrance to the building so that people would know why we were there.

Despite attempts to provoke us, we had an excellent demo. The BNP looked like a bunch of fascist buffoons and we ended up having a lot of conversations with people about precisely what the BNP are and why we were there.

Ketlan Ossowski

Turner & Newell asbestos textile factory site

The CWU post and telecom workers’ union has thrown its weight behind the campaign to halt the development of a former Turner & Newell asbestos textile factory site at Spodden Valley, near Rochdale.

Asbestos was processed on the former T&N site for more than 100 years, during which time hundreds of tonnes of asbestos dust was dumped on the site. As a result the site remains heavily contaminated.

Rochdale council has granted planning permission for a developer to build 650 homes and a children’s nursery on this site, to the horror of local people.

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Article information

Sat 14 May 2005, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1951
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