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40 days and 40 nights of strikes planned + Scaffolders fight + Local government pay + Royal Berks NHS

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Issue 2743
La Retraite workers want justice
La Retraite workers want justice (Pic: UVW union)

Cleaning workers at the La Retraite Roman Catholic Girls’ School in south London are planning 40 days of strikes from 16 March.

This comes after workers returned a 100 percent Yes vote for strikes.

The members of the UVW union at the school are demanding the London living wage, improved sick pay, no reduction in working hours and recognition of their chosen union.

The workers—outsourced to Ecocleen—are also angry that the company withheld a month’s worth of their wages.

Workers refused to return to work last year saying the school wasn’t a safe environment to work in.

One of the cleaning workers, Montserrat said, “They have punished us by not paying us this month the only thing we have done has been to claim our rights”.

Details at

Scaffolders build new action

Fifty scaffolders at the British Steel plant in Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire, began a 48-hour strike on Monday. And a further 24-hour strike was set for Thursday this week.

The Unite union members employed by contractor Brand Energy have already struck for nine days over pay.

Workers are fighting to be paid in line with the National Agreement for the Engineering Construction Industry (NAECI). There is a difference of £2 an hour between the NAECI rate and Brand Energy’s rate.

Start fight for local government pay

A major battle could be coming over local government pay in England and Wales.

Three local government unions last week submitted a pay claim for school and council staff.

They want to see a “substantial” pay increase from this April with a wage rise of at least 10 percent for all.

The Unison, GMB and Unite union represent 1.4 million council and school workers.

They say staff working in local government have seen up to 25 percent wiped from the real value of their pay in the last decade.

Winning a pay rise that begins to redress years of cuts will take a major fight.

Unions should be preparing their members for strikes now, and demanding that Labour council leaders give their full backing.

Royal Berks NHS strike

Security staff at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading are on strike until 7 March. This is the third wave of action by Unite union members.

The 20 security guards work for Kingdom Services Group Ltd and have been striking since mid-December.

Bosses have refused to offer more than £9.30 for security officers, who are fighting for an increase to £12 an hour.

Eddie Stobart strike postponed

Strikes at Eddie Stobart Ltd’s Warrington depot have been suspended as talks with bosses over pay began.

The 38 workers who deliver Walkers crisps were due to strike on 17 February until 20 February. The Unite union said further strikes from 28 February could go ahead.

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