The Lost Communities of Industrial Teesside
This picture of children on a slag tip in Teesside in 1973 is part of an exhibition, The Lost Communities of Industrial Teesside, by photographer Derek Smith. The exhibition runs till 30 November at Chat’s Palace, 42-44 Brooksby’s Walk, Hackney, east London, E9. Nearest train station is Homerton. For more information go to www.chatspalace.com
Stagecoach strike in North East
Hundreds of bus workers who work for Stagecoach in Newcastle and South Shields struck on Monday of this week.
The workers, members of the T&G union, were striking for better pay. They have been waiting since May for an improved pay offer.
GMB union members who also work for Stagecoach North East were due to strike, but called off their action at the last minute.
Management made a revised offer that would see drivers’ pay rising to £9 an hour in June 2008. This was rejected by the T&G members. They were due to strike again on Friday.
Scottish bus drivers ballot for strike
T&G union members who work for the Rapsons bus group in the Scottish Highlands and Northern Isles are balloting for strike action in a dispute over pay.
Drivers have recently had their pay increased to £7 an hour, which they point out is less than at other bus companies in the area.
JJB Sports to strike
Workers at Wigan-based JJB Sports are preparing to strike on Tuesday of next week after an overhelming vote for action.
Warehouse staff in the GMB union say that a 3 percent pay offer will take their hourly rate before bonuses to just one penny above the minimum wage. They also say that bosses are refusing to equalise pay.
Workers are also set to strike on Thursday of next week.
Journalists in pay day dispute
Journalists at the Herald, Sunday Herald and Evening Times newspapers in Glasgow have voted to strike over the company costing them a week’s wages by delaying their salary payments.
Staff expected to be paid as normal on Friday of last week, but Newsquest, which owns the papers, has imposed a change in the monthly pay date from the 20th of the month to the 26th.
Members of the NUJ journalists’ union voted by 86.5 percent for a strike and 94 percent for action short of a strike.
The Amicus union has told the company that it will ballot its members on industrial action.
The company has agreed to reimburse anybody who has evidence that bank charges, for instance, have been imposed due to the delay.
Driving for better pay on the rail
Members of the Aslef train drivers’ union working for One have voted overwhelmingly for industrial action.
An overwhelming 94 percent of members voted for a strike.
The company covers the London to East Anglia area.
The company made a revised pay offer while the ballot was taking place. Union members are considering this in a referendum which finishes on Thursday of next week.
North Sea divers make waves
An overwhelming vote for strike action has forced North Sea oil and gas industries to increase their pay offer to diving members of the RMT union.
The new offer would mean a 37 percent pay increase over three years.
Strike action by more than 800 divers was planned from Wednesday of next week following a massive rejection of the previous pay offer.
The new deal means a 20 percent increase from 1 November, another 5 percent on 1 April 2007 and for the following two years an increase of retail price index plus 1.5 percent, or 5 percent, whichever is greater.
Steve Todd, the RMT’s shipping negotiator, said, “This is the best deal in the industry and members can be proud of the stand they have made.”
The signatory employers to the agreement include Subsea7, Technip, Acergy, Integrated Subsea Services (ISS), KD Marine, RBG Limited and Well-Ops.
Ballot over transport cuts
Over 150 TSSA transport union members working in travel centres for the GNER company are balloting for industrial action.
Workers are angry at the company’s plans to cut staff at travel centres with devastating effects on customer services.
The ballot concludes on Wednesday of next week.
GNER’s ailing parent company, SeaContainers, filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this month.
Oldham teachers to strike in defence of wage rates
Teachers at Counthilll and South Chadderton secondary schools in Oldham are due to take strike action on Tuesday and Thursday of next week.
This is the second coordinated strike, after teachers at the two schools held a one-day strike earlier this month.
They are fighting the implementation of new pay scales that will see some teachers lose up to £3,000 per year.
Mac Andrassy is the National Union of Teachers rep at Counthill school.
He said, “We have been leafleting parents outside the school so that they know why we are on strike.
“The mood among teachers is great. We balloted and took our first action over this issue last year.”
Merseyside school strike
Eight staff from Holy Spirit Primary School in St Helens, Merseyside, struck on Thursday of last week.
Teachers at the school are members of the NASUWT union.
They were striking over pay allowances for additional workloads being withdrawn despite staff being expected to take on more duties.
John Rimmer, a NASUWT member, said, “Teachers who are paid responsibility allowances are having them taken away, but told to continue doing these duties without pay.
“Staff are then being invited to apply to take on extra duties in addition to their current responsibilities.
“Only two members of staff will receive payment for these extra duties.
“The likelihood is that if they continue their intransigence we will escalate the action and next time have a two-day strike.”
The union has said that more strikes are likely unless a deal with St Helens council is agreed.
Conference Against Academies and Trust Schools
Saturday 25 November, Institute of Education, London
Speakers: Clyde Chitty, Melissa Benn, Melian Mansfield, Terry Wrigley, Stephen Ball, Francis Beckett and Tony Benn
Contact Bill Anderson, Park Hill Primary School, Alcester Road, Moseley, Birmingham B13 8BB or email: firstname.lastname@example.org