Socialist Worker

In brief

Issue No. 1797

Victory against Labour flagship

COUNCIL WORKERS at New Labour's flagship council in Newham, east London, were celebrating a victory on Monday of this week. The victory came the day before the 2,500 workers were set to strike because the council had derecognised their Unison union. But on Monday the council backed down and signed an agreement to negotiate with the union.

Michael Gavan, branch chair of Newham Unison, said, 'This is a real victory for Unison. 'The council arrogantly believed ordinary staff would not respond to the strike call but they finally realised that we would not allow the council to derecognise our union. Last week they were dismissing our action as laughable — today they've had to eat their words.'

Rolls workers walk out in anger

SOME 80 workers at the Rolls-Royce aerospace factory in Bristol walked out on Monday of this week. They were furious at bosses' plans to transfer work from Bristol to Scotland and sack 100 workers in the process.

The company has received £15 million of taxpayers' money from the Scottish Office to set up in Scotland. Workers were fuming that they would suffer despite the handout to the bosses.

Dockers stop port and traffic

FALMOUTH DOCK workers walked out on unofficial strike on Wednesday of last week following a mass meeting the previous day. The dockers stopped nearly all work at the port. Some 200 dockers then brought the traffic in Falmouth to a standstill as they marched through the town.

The dispute is over the use of contract labour. Workers are also angry about their bosses' 1 percent pay offer for this year. Union full timers from the TGWU, Amicus (AEEU) and GMB unions managed to convince the strikers to return to work the following day. But they have threatened to make the action official if management have not resolved the issue by next week.


The princess and the picketers

PRINCESS ANNE was greeted by striking library and computer staff when she visited Kings College in London on Tuesday of last week. Staff chanting 'Save our services! Save our jobs!' held up Unison union placards which made their message clear: 'No to cuts, no to redundancies-yes to jobs and services'.

The library and computing staff, members of Unison, were on a very successful half-day strike against the college's vicious implementation of a cost-cutting restructuring of the department.

Most of the staff have been forced to compete with each other for their own jobs in the new structure. Members of the AUT and Amicus unions, as well as Unison members from other departments and students, joined the rally to show their support.

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Birmingham council tenants

COUNCIL TENANTS and trade unionists lobbied parliament on Wednesday of last week against the privatisation of council housing. At a series of meetings inside parliament they listened to campaigners from Birmingham speak on how they won the recent ballot to stop privatisation. George Brumwell, general secretary of Ucatt, Mick Graham, a national officer of the GMB, and Colin Meech, a national officer of Unison, pledged full backing for the fight against council house privatisation.

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Hackney Library Workers

LIBRARY WORKERS in Hackney, east London, went on strike and held a picket on Monday of this week in their ongoing campaign over pay. The library workers have been on strike every Saturday for the last five months. They are demanding the reinstatement of enhanced pay for working Saturdays.

Monday's strike was timed to coincide with the opening of the council's new flagship library in the Technology and Learning Centre.

Abdi Dorre

SOME 200 supporters of the Abdi Dorre family picketed Northampton police station last Saturday. Abdi, a Somalian refugee and father of three, died in August 2000. His family feel the police and authorities have treated them with contempt.

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Article information

Sat 27 Apr 2002, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1797
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