Socialist Worker

Reports round-up

Issue No. 2026

Workers protested at Coventry council last week against single status. (Pic: http://www.coventryunison.co.uk

Workers protested at Coventry council last week against single status. (Pic: www.coventryunison.co.uk)


Glasgow City Unison branch is now balloting its members for strike action over a pay review. The review is part of the city council’s single status scheme and involves pay cuts for 4,500 workers.

The council are revising overtime and allowance rates and extending the normal working day. These changes will mean cuts in out of hours payments for all council workers.

Unison has held well attended mass meetings to build support for the strike. A rally of 500 workers was held at the council chambers on Monday of this week.

The council are trying to rush through the scheme with workers being offered extra payments in December if they accept quickly. Many workers see the promised December payment as a bribe to accept a poor scheme.

Alan Thomson


Fife meals on wheels protest

Meals on wheels staff and other community workers staged a protest in Fife on Wednesday of last week. The workers could have as much as £400 sliced off their monthly salary if proposals by Fife council go ahead.

The workers are to receive a pay rise of 50p an hour, but would lose their long standing weekend entitlement of time and a half pay.


Kinross council workers may strike

Almost 2,500 Perth and Kinross council workers may strike over the forced introduction of a new pay structure without consultation.

Wilma Armstrong, secretary of the union’s Perth and

Kinross branch, said, “Given that the council has taken six years to reach this stage, it is totally unacceptable that it now wants to railroad this through.”


One rail strike -new offer heads off strike

Some 750 train drivers in the Aslef union, who work for the One company in eastern England, planned to strike on Friday this week and five subsequent Fridays over pay. They voted 94 percent for strikes.

One runs trains from London Liverpool Street to the east of England.

But Aslef issued the followng update on Thursday:

Following lengthy discussions at ACAS - which concluded at 23.50 last night - the following no strings offer was negotiated and is to be placed before the Executive Committee with a recommendation from Andy Reed, National Organiser; Nigel Gibson, EC Member and the full Company Council that it be put out to referendum.

Details of the offer are as follows:-

A 1 year deal that will result in an increase of £1,255 in respect of an experienced mainline competent driver or a 4 percent increase in basic salaries and dynamic allowances for other driving grades effective from the existing anniversary dates.

A further extension of rest day working until 31 December 2007

The Company has agreed to commence 2007 pay talks by no later than 31 January 2007 with the aim that these can be concluded by the due anniversary date(s).

The strike action and action short of a strike (ban on non-contractual overtime) is suspended pending the offer being placed before the Executive Committee, week commencing 13th November.

Meanwhile over 100 cleaners in the rail workers’ RMT union working for OCS on its Eurostar contract are to be balloted for industrial action over the company’s failure to improve a pay offer that falls way short of eradicating poverty pay rates.


McDonnell calls for a just society

Some 70 people representing a range of public sector unions attended a Bristol trades council meeting last Saturday.

The meeting heard John McDonnell, the Labour Party leadership challenger, outline his vision of a more just society.

Other speakers, including Paul Kelly, GMB deputy general secretary, and Christine Blower, NUT deputy general secretary stressed the need to defend public services.

A Respect-initiated open letter condemning Jack Straw’s comments about the veil and Islamophobia was signed by the majority of those present.


Deal at DHL heads off a strike vote

Unions and management at DHL Express have reached an agreement in principle over pay and working conditions which will halt a planned strike ballot.

This means that the prospect of action involving DHL workers and transferred NHS Logistics workers has disappeared.


Rolls Royce action comes to a halt

A pay dispute between management and workers at Rolls Royce’s aero-engine factory in Derby has been resolved.

Three thousand manual workers had been involved in industrial action for the past few weeks after rejecting a 3.5 percent pay rise.

But following talks, employees voted in favour of an improved pay offer which will see them receive a 3.5 percent rise this year and a minimum 4 percent rise next year.

Office workers have accepted a 3.5 percent pay rise and a one-off payment of £500.Thousands of workers had been leaving work an hour early throughout the dispute which had also seen workers observing an overtime ban.


Palestinians get a warm welcome

For the last two weeks a delegation of Palestinians from Beit Leed has been touring north west England.

They shared a platform with Tony Benn in Liverpool, as well as visiting trade unions, colleges, mosques, churches and community groups. During the visit almost £20,000, the bulk of which - an incredible £15,000 - was raised in Preston at a fundraising meal.


Orkney bus strike

Orkney and the Highlands bus drivers with Rapsons were set to stage a 24-hour strike on Wednesday of this week.


Metroline strike vote

Metroline bus drivers in north west London have voted 86 percent for strike action to achieve £11 per hour. Strike dates have been set for Friday of this week and 13 and 20 November.


Norwich buses strike vote

Bus drivers in Norwich have voted 92 percent in favour of industrial action which is set for on Monday of next week.


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News
Sat 11 Nov 2006, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 2026
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