Telegraph staff vote for ballot
Members of the NUJ journalists’ union at the Telegraph Group have voted overwhelmingly to ballot for industrial action over proposed job cuts of 55 editorial staff.
Well over 100 staff attended a chapel (workplace union branch) meeting last week. Management had failed to consult workers early enough about these proposals.
NUJ members also rejected the threat of compulsory redundancies and demanded that, where appropriate, staff should be compensated for contractual changes.
The company has not made it clear which editorial posts are to go and there are fears that production will be particularly hard hit.
Nearly 80 other posts are to go in non-journalistic departments.
NUJ union is the Guardian of pay
NUJ union members at the Guardian have voted to reject a 3 percent pay increase and threatened industrial action if their demands are not met.
The chapel (union branch) also called on management to involve the union in talks to integrate the website and the paper.
It insisted that the paper’s £28,000 minimum wage for journalists should include staff on the website.
Workers are demanding a 4 percent pay rise. If their demands are not met there will be a ballot on industrial action.
Fighting against Burberry closure
“The loss of 311 manufacturing jobs at Burberry will be as big a blow for the Rhondda as the pit closures of the 1980s. Our bosses want the shirts off our backs!”
This was the reaction of one factory worker when Burberry announced last Wednesday that it planned to shut the polo shirt factory, in Treorchy, South Wales, by Christmas.
Merfyn Burnett of the GMB union said, “Following a meeting with the membership, they have overwhelmingly decided we are going to fight these proposals.
“They are going to put up a strong fight to retain their jobs.”
Solidarity wins new members
Members of the Highlands and Islands regional council of the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) last week voted overwhelmingly to leave the SSP and join Solidarity, Scotland’s socialist movement, as a group.
Three branches in the region had already voted to join Solidarity en masse with three more to vote this week.
This follows a similar situation in the south of Scotland region where over 100 members have now left to join Solidarity.
All nine listed candidates who were selected earlier this year to stand in the Highlands for the SSP in the elections to the Scottish parliament next May have now joined Solidarity.
Glasgow council workers threaten action
Shop stewards in Glasgow city council’s Unison union branch have voted for industrial action if threats of pay cuts by the council are not withdrawn.
The vote took place after council plans for a job evaluation scheme were released to union members and other council staff. The council claims the scheme is required to meet equal pay legislation and have introduced it as part of a single status agreement.
The council’s proposals involve a pay cut for 28 percent of staff. Pay cuts of more than £500 per year are planned for 16 percent of the council’s staff.
Unison has held meetings across Glasgow in the last two weeks. Stewards agreed there should be a ballot if the council does not amend its plans.
LG Electronics workers threaten strike
Workers at a South Wales electronics plant are preparing for a strike over a derogatory redundancy offer.
The Amicus union has rejected the redundancy package offered to 315 workers at the LG Electronics plant in Newport, who will lose their jobs in December.
The mood to fight follows a recent battle at Dura in Llanelli where an indefinite strike won over £3 million extra redundancy money.
South West Trains strike off
The Aslef train drivers’ union called off two days of strike action on South West Trains set for Friday of last week and Monday of this.
The dispute, over management driving trains during a strike about workers’ taxi rights at Waterloo station, had seen 900 workers strike on 29 September.
Graham Morris, an Aslef full time official, told Socialist Worker, “Management have said they will endorse an agreement as to when management can drive trains.
“They have also agreed that local level union reps can have one day release so that we can make sure management do not abrogate local deals.
“We are now going to court over the taxi issue at Waterloo.”
North Sea divers reject pay offer
Over 800 diving personnel employed in the North Sea oil and gas industries last week massively rejected a pay offer.
The workers, in the RMT union, rejected the offer by 640 votes to two. Only a dramatically improved pay offer will stop strike action from 1 November.