Socialist Worker

Reports round-up

Issue No. 1990

Marshall workers reject pay offer

Union members at Marshall Aerospace in Cambridge have overwhelmingly rejected the company’s offer regarding pay and conditions.

A consultative ballot delivered a 97 percent rejection of what was considered an insulting offer. The most contentious issue was a proposal to cap all overtime at time and a half.

Current overtime rates pay double time for Sundays and bank holidays, so this would result in a pay cut for many employees.

A breakdown in industrial relations at Marshall last year saw 250 skilled workers take strike action to get the company back round the table and resolve the issue of skilled grading. Last year also saw the rest of the membership having a rejected pay offer imposed on them by the company.

The joint shop stewards committee hopes that the membership will not have to resort to industrial action to resolve this year’s pay claim.

Mark Evans, trade union convenor, Marshall Aerospace

International Socialism Latin America day school

Over 180 people came to the International Socialism journal’s day school on Revolution and Reform in Latin America last Saturday. Those taking part ranged from undergraduates to the 1968 generation.

Discussions covered Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution, the uprisings in Bolivia and Ecuador, and the left’s response to deals struck with the IMF by governments in Brazil and Argentina.

A key question involved the impact of two decades of rabid neo-liberalism on the Latin American working class. Can workers become a coherent force when so many have been pushed into the informal economy or rely on street trading to scratch a living?

International Socialism intends to hold further day schools on other topics. Further details will be announced on

Sally Campbell

Matthew Boulton college

Fifty students from Matthew Boulton college in Birmingham, supported by students from Aston and Birmingham universities, protested on Wednesday of last week against the expulsion of two Muslim students.

Assed and Darryl were expelled for distributing copies of their newsletter, the Guerrilla, in the college.

One of the demands put forward in the Guerrilla was the right to form an Islamic student society.

Pete Jackson

Dublin shopworker wins her job back

Workers in Dunnes Stores supermarket in Ireland have won the reinstatement of Joanne Delaney, a 22 year old shop steward sacked from the Ashleaf store in Dublin for wearing a union badge.

The campaign to support Joanne placed pickets on more than 20 stores. On Monday of this week she won her job back.

Last week also saw the release of building workers Andrew Clarke, Keith Kelly and Billy McClurg. They were imprisoned two weeks ago for defying an injunction against taking part in a protest at a building site in Ballybrack, County Dublin.

Asda warehouse workers to ballot

Members of the GMB union at Asda supermarket warehouses across the country are to be balloted for strike action following the company’s threat to terminate collective bargaining agreements.

Asda’s union busting management has made several attempts to break the GMB at its depots and stores. The ballot timetable will be released later.

Building workers back blue book

Engineering building workers across Britain have narrowly voted in favour of this year’s Naeci agreement over wages and conditions, known as the “blue book”.

The 3.5 percent pay deal for the next year was passed by a margin of 22 votes. It affects over 20,000 workers in the Amicus, T&G and GMB unions. Several key sites such as Wembley stadium and Heathrow Terminal 5 rejected the deal.

Carlisle marches to save cinema

Hundreds of people marched through Carlisle city centre last Saturday to stop the local Lonsdale cinema from being bulldozed – the biggest protest in the city for 20 years.

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Sat 4 Mar 2006, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1990
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