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industrial reports round up

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Issue 2547

IT services shutdown while nuke workers get tactical

Fujitsu IT services workers struck last Friday and again on Monday to defend their jobs and livelihoods from the firm’s cost-cutting.

The Unite union members’ demands include better redundancy payments, redeployment efforts and consultation as the firm makes 1,800 job cuts.

They are also fighting to reverse a pension cut, extend union recognition and pay of at least £8.45 an hour.

The strike involved workers in Basingstoke, Belfast, Birmingham, Bracknell, Crewe, Edinburgh, London, Manchester, Stevenage, Wakefield and Warrington.

Industrial action hit Britain’s nuclear weapons naval base Faslane last week, as well as another base in Coulport. Civilian workers in the Unite union began continuous action short of a strike and a series of “staggered” strikes that could cause months of disruption.

Contractor Babcock Marine has been attacking workers’ union organisation, including by withdrawing facilities for shop steward meetings.

Workers at the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE), where the weapons of mass destruction based at Faslane are developed and maintained, are also striking.

They walked out on Monday against attacks on their pensions. Trident should be scrapped—and a defeat for its bosses’ at the hands of their own workers can help make the case.

BMW workers protested outside the Mini plant in Cowley, Oxfordshire, last Friday against bosses’ plan to “drive off with our pensions”.

A strike ballot was set to close this week. The workers’ union, Unite, warned the firm it was “sleepwalking” into strikes as talks stalled last week.

Some 70 people rallied at Barnsley bus station on Monday for the third anniversary of the South Yorkshire Freedom Riders. Some then took the train to Sheffield for a rally attended by 100 people. They want the return of free local train travel for the elderly. When this was removed in 2014 they began mass train journeys without a ticket in protest. They forced the return of disabled free train travel and half price for elderly people.

George Arthur

The GMB union suspended a planned walkout over pay by warehouse workers in Leeds last Wednesday for talks.

The union members work in the Spectrum for Arcadia warehouse.

Workers at the warehouse in Solihull, near Birmingham, plan walkouts at the end of this month.

Civil service workers’ lobby to save jobs

Members of the PCS union in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) lobbied parliament on Tuesday afternoon against office closures and job cuts.

PCS union branches across Britain have held public meetings and protests in defence of offices earmarked for closure.

The local campaigns could be the start of building a campaign to save jobs in the DWP.

Saving jobs will mean going out on strike.

PCS union members across Britain were set to take action over low pay on Friday.

The civil service workers were planning local protests and meetings as part of a fight against the 1 percent public sector pay cap.

Many PCS branches have also planned leafleting sessions.

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