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Reports round-up – cleaners in London score two more wins against outsourcing

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Issue 2624
Cleaners at Soas celebrating winning a dispute over outsourcing in August
Cleaners at Soas celebrating winning a dispute over outsourcing in August (Pic: SOAS Justice For Workers – End Outsourcing )

Cleaners at two London universities have been brought in house by management.

The decisions follow hard-fought campaigns led by cleaners with the support of students and other workers.

King’s College London management said the change will happen “as soon as practicably and legally possible.”

And at Goldsmiths university in south London 100 cleaners have been brought in house.

Oil workers trade shift rota for pay

Scottish Offshore oil rig workers have voted to accept a 15 percent pay rise as compensation for changes to shift patterns.

Unite union members at the Alwyn, Dunbar and Elgin rigs struck against a shift change that would see them work three weeks on the rigs, with three weeks’ rest.

Rebuild activist base in PCS union

Civil service workers in the PCS union are to debate the next steps in their campaign against low pay at a series of regional briefings.

The PCS now says it is preparing for a strike ballot over pay next year.

The briefings are a chance to argue for reinvigorated activist networks that are key to winning a yes vote and to beat the 50 percent turnout threshold.

Looking for opportunities to strike in offices or sections can also boost the campaign.

Uber drivers protest over rights at work

The IWGB union has called a precarious workers’ demonstration in London on Tuesday 30 October.

Uber workers represented by the union are challenging the taxi firm over workplace rights in the court of appeal on the day.

Cable workers fight over paltry pay

Workers at Prysmian electric cable company struck over pay last Wednesday.

The Unite union members were set to walk out this Wednesday—and again on the following two Wednesdays.

They want more than the bosses’ 2 percent pay offer.

Isle of Man postal workers to ballot

Postal workers on the Isle of Man have voted unanimously to ballot for industrial action.

Members of the CWU union working for the Isle of Man Post Office are fighting cuts to pay and pensions.

Can you trust Kirklees council?

Kirklees council in West Yorkshire has again conceded to workers’ demands after they threatened to hold an indefinite strike.

A meeting of union joint secretaries took place on Wednesday of last week.

Two days later members met to accept the latest offer from the employers.

However, the mood of the workers was sober because this was the third time that they have accepted an offer from the employers.

It is hoped that the council will implement this agreement.

But if not the action will be back on.

Nick Ruff, Kirklees Unison branch chair (pc)

Mayor shuts nurseries

Parents picketed a Tower Hamlets council meeting in east London on Wednesday of last week as Labour mayor John Biggs agreed to close council-run nurseries.

The cuts affect the Overland nurseries in Bow for children with conditions such as deafness and autism.

The Mary Sambrook nursery in Shadwell has already closed and the John Smith nursery in Stepney is likely to shut in December.

Biggs claimed he was “unhappy” at the closures but said Tory cuts meant having to make “difficult choices”.

Parents have vowed to fight on. Campaigners hope that a meeting of the council’s scrutiny committee this week will reverse the decision.

School meals staff ready for an all-out strike

Chants of, “Dinner ladies here to stay” rang out on the picket line at Ladywood primary school in Grimethorpe last week.

Management at the school in South Yorkshire are threatening to sack all nine dinner ladies at Christmas.

They also want teaching assistants to cover dinner duties.

There have been six days of strikes with teaching assistants and dinner ladies out in unity.

They have had great support from the local community with very many signing a petition calling for management to back down.

Talks have been arranged. If these fail the dinner ladies were set to start an indefinite strike from Thursday of this week—with teaching assistants working to rule.

George Arthur

Messages of support to [email protected]

Strikes are planned over increased Saturday working for 18 transport drivers at AB Agriculture in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.

The Unite union says its members at the animal feed firm are angry at the imposition of increased weekend working from one Saturday every four weeks to two in four—with no pay rise.

Workers will meet later this month to plan for industrial action.

Drivers voted by 62 percent for strikes and by 87 percent for action short of strike.

Unite regional officer Steve Harley said, “The imposition is an attack on our members’ work-life balance and also an erosion of continuous rest breaks, which are essential for the safety of all road users.

“Working days can already exceed 12 hours a day.

“Therefore, weekends are essential to those who want time to be with their families.

“Should the industrial action go ahead, we predict that it will directly impact on the availability of poultry and pig feed to business customers.”

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