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Battle at Amazon Gateshead + More Woolwich ferry strikes + RLH + UVW + Usdaw at DHL

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Issue 2760
Picketing at the Amazon site
Picketing at the Amazon site (Pic: Dave Smith on Facebook)

A battle has broken out at the construction of a new Amazon Warehouse in Gateshead.

Electricians protested last Wednesday over labourers being employed to do electricians’ work—connecting up electrical systems.

Some 60 workers refused to work.

Jim Harte, chair of rank & file electricians’ group said, “SSE Enterprise Contracting are using unskilled workers to carry out skilled electrical roles.

“Workers will not tolerate this kind of behaviour on our sites. There is no such thing as an ‘Electrical Mate’ within our national agreements.”

While polite noises were made in response from the main contractors, workers who took part in the protest were sacked last Friday.

A protest against the sackings at the site took place on Monday morning.

Woolwich ferry new strike dates

Woolwich Ferry workers in London are set for another nine days of strikes. The first is on Friday of next week.

This is in response to bosses at Transport for London (TfL) issuing a written warning to a second union rep.

The Unite union says this is a further case of victimisation of a shop steward.

The ferry has seen repeated strikes and disputes in recent years.

This led to TfL taking over its operation from the Briggs Marine Contractors Ltd in January this year.

Workers are also angry over pay, excessive use of agency staff and inadequate health and safety training.

The 57 workers plan 24-hour strikes on 2,5,9,12,16,19,23,26 and 30 July.

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Picketing at RLH on Monday
Picketing at RLH on Monday


Royal London Hospital action

Catering workers at the Royal London Hospital in east London struck this week in a fight over management bullying and new rotas.

The Unite union members work for Serco, the infamous NHS subcontractor.

They expect to be out for five days of strike this week, with more to follow if management do not agree to talks.


  • Concierge and cleaning workers at the luxury West End Quay apartment block are balloting for strikes.

The UVW union members, who are mainly migrant workers, are outsourced to First Port UK property management services.

The union says workers are ready to strike over bullying and harassment, inadequate sick pay and the slashing of their usual Christmas bonus.

  • A UVW union member is taking The Royal Parks to the High Court in a judicial review.

She says that along with dozens of other black workers she is outsourced onto inferior pay and conditions.

  • Usdaw union members in Derbyshire are striking over the effects of a depot closure.

They work on a Marks & Spencer third-party logistics contract, operated by DHL at Long Eaton.

The site is set to close at the end of July, and the battle is over how much redundancy pay the workers will then receive.

They have held two strikes and plan more action

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