Rising tide to stop academies
The campaign against Newcastle council’s proposals to establish a city academy and close West Gate Community College is being stepped up following a public meeting last week.
Unions opposing the closure have distributed 28,000 newspapers to homes throughout the West End of the city.
The council is consulting on its proposals but Kenny Bell from the Unison union said, “The council’s consultation process has been a complete sham and meaningless.”
The unions are particularly critical that the Liberal Democrat council overturned a manifesto commitment not to establish an academy.
School campaigners in Hackney, east London, have called a lobby of the learning trust on Wednesday 27 July.
This is the next step in the battle to keep open a local secondary school, Homerton College of Technology.
The lobby takes place outside the town hall in Mare Street from 6pm.
First class response on pay
Bus drivers working for First Group in Devon and Cornwall struck solidly on Friday of last week over pay.
The RMT union members are in dispute with the company over the discrepancy in pay between drivers of normal buses and those who drive smaller vehicles.
A further strike is planned for Thursday of next week should talks fail. The workers have already imposed an overtime ban.
No sweet end at Ambala Foods
Workers at Ambala Foods in Stratford, east London, have ended their long-running series of strikes.
About 50 Asian workers, members of the T&G union, took strike action to fight for better pay. For 12 weeks they held weekly one or two-day strikes with pickets of deliveries.
The majority of the factory’s workers have been involved in picket lines and in meetings to decide on strategy.
However, most of the night shift carried on working through the strike.
Some workers are angry that national T&G officials did not do enough to build the strike on the nightshift and win solidarity from other groups of workers.
Lokon, a T&G rep at Ambala, said that although the workers would end their strike, they were proud of having stuck together through the dispute.
Lobby to ‘Stop this Asbo fever’
Asbo concern has called a lobby of the home office next Wednesday to protest at the authorities’ “Asbomania”.
Speakers include Shami Chakrabarti (Liberty), Harry Fletcher (Napo), Sue Christoforou (Mind) and Deborah Coles (Inquest).
Lobby Wednesday 20 July, 5-6.30pm, Home Office, 2 Marsham Street, London SW1.