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Industrial round-up – Mears housing workers strike in Manchester

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Issue 2586


Mears workers on strike last November
Mears workers on strike last November (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Mears housing workers have launched a series of strikes over pay.

The Unite union members struck this week and plan to strike every Monday and Thursday this month, with further action planned for February.

The 180 workers are involved in a long struggle for pay parity and an end to outsourcing.

They are employed by private company Mears.

They are paid up to £7,000 less than if they were employed directly by the council’s housing association Northwards.

The workers are determined to beat the greedy bosses, despite reports that their strike pay has not been paid for several weeks.

Fight for Yassar continues one year on

One year on from his death at the hands of police, Yassar Yaqub’s family vow to continue their search for justice.

Some 100 supporters joined a candlelit vigil organised by his family and the Justice4Yassar campaign group on Tuesday of last week.

Yassar was shot at point-blank range by police after being stopped by an armed response unit. His family is fighting to bring the police to account.

Roger Keely

Strike raises spirits at fork lift company

Workers at a fork lift truck engineering company in Bolton struck on Monday.

Over 80 percent of workers at GNB Industrial Power voted for industrial action after bosses offered them a below-inflation 1.5 percent pay “rise”.

Unite union members have called an overtime ban and a series of 24-hour and 48-hour strikes in January, February and March.

Picturehouse vote for sequel to action

Workers at the Picturehouse cinema chain have voted for more strikes in their long-running dispute.

Some sites have voted by 100 percent for action.

The workers are members of the Bectu arm of the Prospect union.

They are fighting for the London Living Wage of £10.20 an hour.

They also want maternity and paternity pay, sick pay and union recognition.

Firefighters walk out at Sellafield

Firefighters at the Sellafield nuclear decommissioning plant in Cumbria plan two strikes this month.

The walkouts were set for Thursday of this week and Monday 22 January.

They are part of the GMB union members’ dispute over job evaluation.

Workers had planned to walk out last October, but the action was suspended.

Demo to remember Christopher Alder

The Justice for Christopher Alder campaign, backed by Stand Up To Racism, has called a protest to commemorate the 20th anniversary of his death.

Christopher died in Hull’s Queen’s Gardens Police Station in April 1998.

His family has suffered injustice after injustice.

In 2011 it was revealed his body had not been buried and had been used for training.

The family had been given the wrong corpse.

Protest Sat 31 March, 1pm, Queen Victoria Square, Hull

Mustard workers are keen to keep jobs

The Unite union has vowed to fight compulsory redundancies at the Colman’s Mustard factory in Norwich.

Unilever, which owns Colman’s Mustard, is ending two centuries of mustard production in Norfolk by 2019.

Redundancies are set to take place in September.

Unite national officer Rhys McCarthy said, “We still do not believe that closure is the only possible option.”

Stop the War meetings tour set to start

The Stop the War Coalition is organising a “Why We Need An Anti-War Government” tour of meetings. They will also raise opposition to a Donald Trump visit to Britain.

Speakers include Gary Younge, Lowkey, Salma Yaqoob, Moazzam Begg, Maz Saleem and Lindsey German.

Meetings scheduled so far are: 11 Jan Luton, 23 Jan Norwich, 26 Jan Merseyside, 3 Feb Newcastle, 7 Feb Bristol, 15 Feb London, 15 Feb Cardiff, 17 Feb Manchester, 21 Feb Birmingham, 21 Feb Cambridge.

Click here for meeting details

Back Amy Murphy in Usdaw union election

Usdaw union members are set to vote on a new union president over the next few weeks.

Socialist Worker supports Amy Murphy in this election.

Murphy is the candidate of the Broad Left and a member of the Socialist Party.

She is challenging a right wing candidate. Murphy won 45 percent of the vote when she stood in 2015 and has received more branch nominations this time.

A victory for Murphy would show that there is a mood for Usdaw to become a fighting union on the left.

The ballot opens on 19 January.

Doosan Babcock workers face redundancy threat

Hundreds of engineering workers have been issued with redundancy notices across central Scotland.

Doosan Babcock is laying off staff on short-term contracts at Grangemouth and the Levenseat waste management site.

The GMB union said 350 staff could be affected.


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