Midland: more to join action
Rail workers in the RMT union at Midland Mainline are escalating their dispute over safety. Over 160 on-board customer hosts are to ballot for strike action, joining 150 guards who struck for 24 hours on Friday of last week for the fourth time.
The dispute is over management insisting on putting only one guard on multiple-unit trains, which are impossible to pass through entirely while they are moving. On-board customer hosts, who are not trained in emergency train protection, have told the RMT they feel their safety is being compromised.
Standing up on the tube
The RMT union says it will ballot for industrial action across the whole tube network if there is any attempt to discipline drivers on the District Line who have been involved in a dispute since January.
Drivers based at the Acton Town depot, west London, have been refusing to book on at Earl’s Court since the beginning of this year after an overwhelming vote for action over the lack of booking-on facilities.
London Underground has broken a promise to provide full facilities for drivers booking on at Earls Court or to make a travelling time payment for those who book on at remote locations.
PCS in London jobs ballot
Members of the PCS civil service workers’ union in the Department for Work and Pensions are preparing for a strike ballot which should begin soon.
The ballot of around 9,000 members is against the job losses being driven through the department.
Phil Pardoe, a member of the PCS DWP group executive committee, told Socialist Worker, “There have been meetings across London to discuss the industrial action. They have all voted heavily in favour of it.”
Get behind long running strike
Workers at Ambala foods in Stratford, east London, were set to strike on Thursday and Friday of this week. The action will mark the tenth week of their dispute over low pay.
Some 45 members of the T&G union have been taking two days action each week in their battle to secure a £50 a week pay rise.
Lokon, a union rep at the site, told Socialist Worker there had been no movement whatsoever from bosses and so the action would continue.
No faith in Brown’s moves
Around 250 people attended the World Development Movement (WDM) annual conference on Saturday of last week.
It focused on the issues of aid, Africa and the demonstrations against the G8 in July.
At the final session there was a feeling that what was being proposed by chancellor Gordon Brown was not nearly enough.