Workers who face losing their jobs at Peugeot’s factory near Coventry took their protest to London on Monday. Workers also demonstrated in Coventry and Birmingham about the planned closure at Ryton with the loss of 2,300 jobs. On Monday, staff joined the London May Day union rally to gain more support for their campaign.
Some 8,000 workers took part from across the unions in the annual TUC march.
According to Tony Johnson, a Peugeot worker, “We’ve got to fight and we’re not going away. This plant is doing the best, delivering the best. What more can you ask for? If you fight you don’t always win, but if you don’t fight you will surely lose.”
Workers’ memorial day
Across the country hundreds of constructions workers took part in commemorations as part of workers’ memorial day on Friday of last week.
In Leeds, more than 400 construction workers downed tools.
In London around 200 people marched. The route led past several large construction sites, where speakers urged workers to join in the demonstration. Some came out and joined the marchers in a minute’s silence remembering people killed at work.
Democracy for Nepal protest
Around 60 people joined a lively picket of the Nepalese embassy in London last Saturday. Officially, protests are banned on the super-wealthy street that the embassy is situated on.
But the private security guards that surround the embassy were taken by surprise as protesters, many of whom were Nepalis living in Britain, unfurled banners that called for an end to the monarchy, and started chanting for the release of political prisoners.
There was a sense of frustration among many of the demonstrators that the democracy protests in Nepal had been called off too early, and that more concessions should have been wrought from the king.
Midlands bus drivers settle
Bus drivers, members of the T&G union, across Travel West Midlands operations have voted to accept a new two-year pay deal which will reduce the current six different pay rates to three.
Bus workers voted by 55 percent to 45 percent to accept the new deal which will also include back pay and an extra day’s holiday.
The deal will consolidate the four different rates between £6 and £7 into one with a two-stage payment to £7.50 by October this year. A planned strike was called off by the union leadership to allow the talks that produced the deal.
Cardiff fight to save schools
Some 500 parents, teachers, children and others protested outside Cardiff County Council on Thursday of last week against the Liberal Democrat council’s plan to close 22 schools throughout Cardiff, leading to the loss of 300 teaching jobs and a further 300 support staff jobs.
This was the culmination of protests that have effectively defeated the proposal, with all opposition councillors agreeing to oppose it.
Local parent, Kate Derbyshire told Socialist Worker, “We are pretty organised. In a way this has actually done us a favour because its brought us closer together.
“Everyone’s so angry they’re joined at the hip at the moment. We are networking with other schools, and we are linking up.”