Fight over pay and reprivatisation
The RMT union is balloting 1,350 members on South East Trains for strikes to protect pay and conditions at the firm, which faces reprivatisation next year.
South East Trains (SET) was effectively renationalised after operator Connex lost the franchise in 2003. The RMT has been campaigning to keep SET in public hands as a step towards the renationalisation of the whole network.
But the government is pressing ahead with handing it over to another operator.
New dates for Eurostar action
Security guards employed by Chubb at Eurostar’s Ashford and Waterloo terminals and at the North Pole depot are stepping up their strike action following the company’s failure to table an acceptable pay offer.
The RMT union members were set to take bouts of strike action on Friday, Saturday and Sunday of this week.
Most of the workers are new to the union and staged vibrant strikes last week following a 100 percent vote for action.
Protest over Durham prison death
A three hour demonstration was held outside Durham prison on Wednesday of last week following the death of Louise Giles, aged 20, ten days before.
Protesters, including two ex-prisoners, halted four prison vans as they brought prisoners to the jail, one of the highest security prisons in Britain.
Louise Giles was held in Durham prison despite the jail being told in May of last year to close its women’s wing after a highly critical chief inspector of prisons report.
Weaving protest in the East End
Some 250 local people turned out in Bethnal Green, east London, last Sunday for a campaign picnic to save the Weavers Fields park from council redevelopment plans.
Residents signed petitions and pledged their opposition to any redevelopment that would reduce the amount of green space in the park, which is widely used by local people from across Bethnal Green’s communities.
The redevelopment plans are being pushed by East Thames housing association, with help from Tower Hamlets’ New Labour councillors.
Locals have twice rejected previous plans to build on the land, and are angry that East Thames is pressing ahead on the basis of bogus “consultation exercises”. The campaign plans a public meeting this month.
Clancy Gebler Davies
Trade unions against the war meeting
Tuesday 20 September, 6.30pm, Friends Meeting House, Euston Road, London
Speakers include: Bob Crow (RMT), Paul Embery (FBU), Jeremy Corbyn MP, Janet Maiden (Unison).
Called by London Transport Region RMT