School students rally against war
Around 50 school students met last Saturday in north London for the annual School Students Against the War conference.
A variety of old and new members attended from across Britain. Delegates attended workshops and heard speakers such as Tony Benn, Andrew Burgin from Stop the War and Sophie Bolt from CND.
The workshops covered a whole range of issues from the freedom to protest to the environment. We also elected our new national convenors during the closing rally.
We were all able to meet new people, and discuss school students’ plans for the coming year. We held discussions, made new friends and overall had a highly enjoyable day and after-party.
Sitara Amin Tilly
Driver reinstated after strike vote
Workers at First Bus in Glasgow have forced the bosses to reinstate a driver who was fired after an anonymous complaint made by a passenger.
Some 3,000 workers, including drivers, engineers and office staff in the T&G union, voted to strike by 15 to one in a consultative ballot.
First Bus broke their own disciplinary procedures by not allowing a union representative to interview the passenger over the complaint. This would allow management to get rid of drivers they didn’t like through anonymous complaints.
“It’s not acceptable that a worker faced the sack on the basis of an anonymous complaint or that established procedures could be so readily set aside,” said Derek Ormston, regional T&G organiser. “I am delighted that First Glasgow have decided to reinstate this worker.”
Anger at Rentokil over site closures
Workers at two sites in Bradford owned by Rentokil are angry and reeling at the shock announcement by the company on Wednesday of last week that the sites will shut at the end of April.
Rachel Dix, organiser for the GMB union, which represents the Rentokil workers, says the company did not consult before announcing the closures and is proposing to pay only statutory redundancy pay.
Rentokil announced it was shutting down its final salary pension scheme at the end of last year. Workers at one of the sites, Initial Laundry, walked out on strike last September over pay.
Wardens driven to distraction
Some 70 traffic wardens in Hackney, east London, are being balloted for strike action over pay and working conditions.
The wardens, members of the T&G union, are objecting to a new bonus scheme that involves unrealistic targets over car clamping quotas, as well as rota changes that mean they will have to work up to 11pm.
Hackney’s parking enforcement is contracted out to a private firm, Central Parking System, that has withdrawn its recognition of the union.
Woolwich Unite Against Fascism
Around 70 local people came out at just a couple of days’ notice to oppose a march by the Nazi National Front in Woolwich, south east London on Saturday of last week.
The Nazis could only muster around 25, only one of whom was from the area.
There was a union banner from the Greenwich branch of the Unison council workers’ union and a banner from the local Respect group.
Around 25 people gave their contact details to Unite Against Fascism.
Conductors working for the TransPennine Express rail firm are being balloted for strike action over a dispute involving the introduction of new ticketing technology.
Other train companies that have brought in the Avantix ticket machines have paid out for training and usage. TransPennine is refusing to do so. The ballot of 120 members of the RMT union was due this week.
Virgin Cross Country
RMT members on Virgin Cross Country struck again last Sunday in their dispute over Sunday working.