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Baggage handlers, Call centres, AMICUS recognition, Remembering Edward Said, Fight against injustice
Issue 1883

A SMALL but powerful group of workers took strike action at Heathrow over Christmas.

The 30 or so Aviance employees who handle baggage for the Spanish Iberia airline struck for 24 hours on 23 December and held a second strike on 30 December.

The baggage handlers are members of the GMB union.

Ed Blisset of the GMB told Socialist Worker, “It is about solidarity. Thirty workers were offered regrading. Four were left out. They are supposed to do managers’ jobs with no extra pay.” More action is being planned.

This action follows strikes by Swissport workers and BA check-in staff at Heathrow last year.

Call centre fight gets left on hold

THE UNIFI finance workers’ union called off a planned strike at a Lloyds TSB call centre in Newcastle.

Workers at the call centre faced Christmas under threat that the centre would be closed and the jobs moved to India. Faced with the possibility of strike action, Lloyds TSB agreed to offer workers at the call centre other jobs.

Most of the 1,000 workers will have to travel to Sunderland to work in another call centre. But not all of them will get jobs there.

Unifi negotiators urged workers to vote in favour of the deal, rather than fight to save the Newcastle call centre. In their consultative ballot 59.5 percent of union members voted to accept, which shows a substantial minority were unhappy with what had been negotiated.

Workers get up off the couch

THE AMICUS trade union has won a ballot for recognition at the British Psychological Society. Over 80 percent of those who voted supported the union. Now members will need to work on the details of the recognition deal.


Celebrating life of Edward Said

OVER 200 people came to a meeting before Christmas at Bristol University student union to celebrate the life of Palestinian writer and activist Edward Said.

Speakers included Hala Abuateya, a Palestinian scholar, Alex Callinicos, professor of politics at York University, Ghada Karmi, Palestinian writer and Steven Rose, scientist and author.

Questions and debate covered the question what strategies of protest and resistance we should adopt.


    Continuing fight against injustice

    TWO GLOUCESTER men, Gary Mills and Tony Poole, who were released by the court of appeal last July joined their supporters this week in marking the 15th anniversary of the death of Hensley Wiltshire. Mills and Poole were wrongly convicted of his murder and-after serving 14 years-finally overturned their conviction.

    Determined to expose the true murderers of Hensley Wiltshire, Mills and Poole started their campaign to call for an independent public inquiry into the death of Hensley Wiltshire.

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