Socialist Worker

Reports round-up

Issue No. 2025


Coventry's Halloween protest (Pic: Coventry Unison)

Coventry council single status protest

Workers in the Unison union protested on Tuesday lunchtime outside a Coventry council meeting as part of their single staus campaign.

Unison rep Vince Butler said, “We have a situation where one worker is financing the other’s pay rise. This has meant many workers have had their pay frozen and face pay cuts.

“The council went ahead with the scheme without consultation The situation is an open wound which will continue to weep for years to come if it is not resolved now. They have the money, it is a question of priorities.”

Staff collecting cash payments at the Council House have been on strike for the last week and more walk-outs involving other groups of workers are expected to follow.

Loud echo of journalists’ anger

There was a lively NUJ journalists’ union picket outside the offices of the Southern Daily Echo in Southampton on Thursday of last week.

This follows a unanimous decision by journalists to strike for two days over management’s refusal to budge over a 2.3 percent pay offer. There is also discontent over the closure of the final salary pension scheme and eight redundancies among editorial staff in June.

Drivers turned away, including TNT lorries and refuse collectors. The local Respect branch and Southampton TUC visited the picket line.

Bobby Noyes
Messages of support to [email protected]

Herald holds vote for second time

Staff at the Herald, Sunday Herald and Evening Times newspapers in Glasgow were balloting again on industrial action this week after management postponed their October salaries by a week.

Members of the NUJ and Amicus unions are reballoting after management queried a previous overwhelming vote for action by NUJ members.

Daily Telegraph vote for strike action

NUJ members at the Daily Telegraph have voted overwhelmingly to strike over redundancies, changes to shift patterns and other issues.

Fujitsu workers ballot over rights

Hundreds of Amicus union members at Fujitsu in Manchester are balloting for strike action in defence of union recognition and redundancy rights, and for a decent pay deal.

The ballot closes on Thursday of next week.

For more information, including how to offer support, visit

Bus battle over pay deal delay

T&G union members who work for Stagecoach Northeast in Newcastle and South Shields called off their strike on Friday of last week pending further negotiations over pay.

Workers have been waiting for a pay rise since May. They struck on Monday of last week after rejecting an improved offer from management.

York day school breaks records

Over 65 people attended the third, and largest ever, York Against the War day school last Saturday.

With ten sessions taking place during the day, topics ranged from The Archaeology of War and Peace to The New Nuclear Hypocrisy, Islamophobia and a musical meeting on Folk Peace and Protest.

The day was used to organise for the future. Students met to establish a Stop the War group at the university. At the end of the day four people agreed to be delegates to the Stop the War Coalition’s People’s Assembly on Islamophobia.

Chris Fuller

Students occupy in Cambridge

Some 30 students occupied a lecture hall in Cambridge university overnight on Tuesday of last week. The students had been attending a lecture on neoliberalism and education and, when the room booking expired, announced that they were occupying.

The occupation took the university authorities by surprise.

Several speeches and presentations were given, with discussion centring on the marketisation of education.

Cambridge’s vice-chancellor Alison Richard has been at the forefront of lobbying for the cap of £3,000 on top-up fees to be raised. The occupation seems to have had some effect, forcing the university to “clarify” its view.

They now claim they are merely waiting for the results of a review.

The occupation represents a step forward in the fight for a free education at a local level. However, it is necessary to draw in far wider layers of students than those who occupied.

Dan Swain

Respect boosted by large student meeting in Bristol

The university of the West of England in Bristol had its largest political meeting on Thursday of last week.

Some 300 students packed into a Student Respect meeting to listen to George Galloway MP.

Respect is now seen as a major political force on campus. We also sold about 40 percent of the tickets for transport to the NUS demonstration last weekend.

Twelve people asked to join Student Respect at the meeting.

Simon Guy

DHL strike ballot

Workers at the DHL haulage firm will ballot for strike action over pay, and the threat of huge job losses. DHL has made a pay offer described as “derisory” by the GMB union, which represents about 5,000 DHL workers around the country.

Under the offer workers would get 1.5 percent in 2006 and 2.5 percent in 2007 and 2008.

This “generous” offer is contingent upon the GMB accepting 1,800 sackings. The union believes that DHL wants to shut at least 20 depots. The ballot starts on 8 November and closes on 21 November.

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Sat 4 Nov 2006, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 2025
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