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Reports round up: Hundreds join Leeds Pride march

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Issue 2616
Hundreds of people joined the annual Pride march for  LGBT+ rights in Leeds last Saturday
Hundreds of people joined the annual Pride march for LGBT+ rights in Leeds last Saturday (Pic: Neil Terry)

Hungry kids at summer

A survey of 657 secondary school teachers by the National Education Union (NEU) has found they are increasingly concerned young people are not getting enough food over the summer holidays.

Teachers believed “holiday hunger” is affecting more children than three years ago. They also believed that initiatives designed to address the problem, such as food banks, were not capable of meeting the increase in demand. Some 51 percent said it had worsened.

NEU assistant general secretary Ross McNeil said, “Rather than fix the problem of child poverty, the Government has instead attempted to redefine it.”

Migrant cleaners walk out to sweep away poor pay

confidence on the picket lines at the Ministry of Justice
confidence on the picket lines at the Ministry of Justice (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Workers at the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and Kensington and Chelsea council in west London were set to strike for three days from Tuesday of this week.

United Voices of the World (UVW) union members at five sites walked out for demands that include the London Living Wage of £10.20 an hour.

The council backed down on one of the workers’ demands to bring cleaners back in house.

They are also demanding occupational sick pay.

They currently receive the statutory minimum, which means that many of them are effectively forced to work when they are ill.

UVW member Osvaldo de Oliveira said, “The companies always say we can’t change your pay because it is in the contract with the MoJ.”

MoJ cleaner Fatima Djalo said, “We are going on strike so we can live, not just survive. You have to pay rent. You have to pay bills. You have to pay transport.”

Cleaning services at each of the workplaces involved in the strikes are contracted out to different firms.

At the MoJ the firm is OCS group. At Kensington and Chelsea the outsourcers are Amey.

For details of the strike, go to
Donate to the workers’ strike fund at

Ballot over pay offer

Unison union members in universities are set to be balloted for action to fight a below?inflation pay offer.

It comes after over two thirds of members voted to reject the national pay offer in a consultative ballot.

They’ve been offered a one-year deal of a rise of 2 percent or £425 (whichever is greater).

The union put in a pay claim for 7.5 percent or £1,500 (whichever is greater). Other demands included a £10 an hour minimum wage, an end to the gender pay gap, and payments to recognise excessive workloads.

The ballot is likely to take place in late September or early October.

Ambulance workers fight for fair pay

Ambulance workers in the North West of England struck for 26 hours last weekend as part of their long?running fight over pay.

The GMB union members are fighting for the outcome of a job re-evaluation that took place 13 years ago.

They work for the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) NHS Trust, which covers Lancashire, Cumbria, Cheshire, Merseyside and Greater Manchester.

The workers have already staged five walkouts in recent weeks after 84 percent of workers voted for strikes.

Mike Buoey, GMB organiser, said, “Our paramedics are desperate for this situation to be resolved.

“But our pleas to NWAS are falling on deaf ears.

“Why won’t they meet with us? What are they so afraid of?

“After more than 13 years, our members are now saying enough is enough.”

Strike over pay at Ruislip Tube depot

Workers at Ruislip Tube depot in west London staged two 12-hour walkouts last weekend.

The RMT union members struck from 7pm last Friday to 7am last Saturday and from 7am to 7pm on Sunday.

The workers are fighting for pay parity and payments associated with train preparation.

The union says bosses have only offered “productivity measures” and job losses.

The depot deals with all operation and maintenance for the London Underground’s fleet of engineering trains.

Struggle brewing at Budweiser factory

GMB Union members at a Budweiser’s brewery are set to begin industrial action in solidarity with former colleague Paul Morley

The workers at AB-InBev Brewery in Samlesbury, Preston, plan to begin an overtime ban on Monday of next week. The union says Paul was sacked on 13 June for “refusing a reasonable management request”.

Paul was the senior health and safety rep at the brewery and raised concerns about bosses’ plans to speed up the brewing process.

Shaun Buckley, GMB regional organiser, said, “GMB members at In-Bev are taking industrial action in solidarity with Paul Morley as they press for him to be reinstated.

“For Paul to be dismissed when he was looking out for the health and safety of his colleagues is a scandal and our members are taking the fight for his job right to the company.”

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