Socialist Worker

Reports round-up

Issue No. 1952

I’ll fight on, vows Irene Stanley

The high court has overturned the verdict of unlawful killing against police who shot dead Harry Stanley in September 1999.

Harry was shot walking home from a pub in Hackney, east London, carrying a table leg which the police claim they mistook for a shotgun.

Irene Stanley, Harry’s widow, plans to appeal against the decision. “There was no jury in the high court — the decision was made by a judge,” she told Socialist Worker.

“But the inquest that produced the unlawful killing verdict did have a jury. Those members of the public felt there was something wrong. I feel a great injustice has been done.”

The high court ruling effectively reinstates the open verdict reached by the first inquest into Harry’s death.

But Irene, who has fought for justice for five and a half years, intends to battle on. “I will go to the European court of human rights if necessary,” she says.

Joseph Choonara

FDA union calls for pensions fight

Civil servants in the First Division Association (FDA) have pledged to fight government moves to raise the full pension age to 65 and replace final salary pensions with inferior schemes.

The FDA conference on Thursday of last week also passed resolutions against long working hours, institutional discrimination against women and performance pay.

But it was New Labour’s attacks on public sector pensions which brought out the full strength of delegates’ anger. Half the day was largely given over to the issue.

Although the FDA represents senior ranking civil servants, ranging from tax inspectors to Whitehall mandarins, the pensions attack has brought trade union instincts to the fore.

Earlier this year the FDA delivered one of the strongest ballot results in favour of strike action to defend pensions. Several conference speakers referred to members’ willingness to strike on this issue.

The conference demonstrated an increasing recognition among FDA members that we have a battle on our hands now the election is over.

FDA member

Bus stoppage in East Midlands

More than 400 bus workers at Stagecoach East Midlands were due to take the first of four separate days of strike action on Friday of this week in a dispute over pay.

The members of the RMT union are also set to strike on Monday 23, Friday 27 and Tuesday 31 May. An overtime ban will begin this week.

The bus workers are claiming a £7.50 an hour basic rate for drivers, with £9 for engineers and £6.20 for cleaners, plus enhanced rates for weekend and bank holiday work.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said Stagecoach was “subsidised by state benefits” because of its low rates of pay.

Luton Airport

Security staff at Luton airport have voted overwhelmingly to strike in a dispute over shift payments. Some 84 percent of workers supported strike action in a ballot organised by the T&G union.

The dispute was sparked by Luton airport management’s refusal to pay shift allowances for unsocial working hours.

Such allowances are paid to security staff at similar airports such as Stansted, says a T&G spokesperson, and are worth up to £3,500 a year. Both sides are now in direct negotiation.

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Sat 21 May 2005, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1952
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