OVER 400 Notts, Hucknall and Linby striking miners and their families celebrated the 20th anniversary of the strike on Friday of last week. Speakers included ex Hucknall miner Les Dennis, who said that the only ballot there should have been was whether to return to work after the strike without the sacked miners from the pits being given their jobs back.
Notts NUM union secretary Keith Stanley reiterated that they were right to have no ballot before striking. He pointed out that over 90 percent of miners nationally were on strike while the NUM agent at his pit, Roy Link (later organiser of the UDM breakaway), was calling for a ballot.
Henry Richardson, NUM secretary at the time, condemned the role of the then Labour leader Neil Kinnock, who refused to show real support for the strike.
Determined to save nursery
SOME 60 nursery workers, children, families and supporters marched to a noisy lobby of Southend council recently. They were protesting at the council's decision to close the Queensway Day Nursery as part of budget cuts.
The nursery provides an intensive service to children and families in crisis. Workers do not believe that the same level of service can be given by the planned transfer of the children to private sector nurseries.
No co-operation on pensions
WORKERS AT the Co-op Bank, famous for proclaiming its 'ethical' stance, have voted for industrial action over attacks on the pension scheme. Members of the finance union Unifi voted overwhelmingly for action after the bank opted to remove some staff from its final salary pension scheme. The workers affected are the ones being outsourced to the bank's computer specialist, SCC.
From 12 May an overtime ban will begin, which may escalate if the Co-op Bank maintains its stance, Unifi warned.
Gas dispute could boil over
SOME 60 engineers employed by British Gas went on strike in Staines, west of London, last week. They are fighting to get the same allowance as British Gas engineers who work in central London.
The workers walked out for 36 hours on Tuesday of last week. Their strike had an impact on services in north west London. The workers are members of the GMB union, and are striking for two evenings this week.
Banner making against Bliar
HUNDREDS OF Hackney residents in east London showed their disdain for Tony Bliar and his government's foreign policy by stopping to sign a 15-foot Hackney Against the War banner last Saturday.
The banner was created on Hackney's bustling Narrow Way by Clapton Stop the War Coalition. It will be taken on the demonstration on 20 March. Enthusiasm was such that it took less than two hours to fill with signatures and tags.