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Reports round-up: ‘We are the gays and we don’t like May’ say Norwich Pride marchers

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Issue 2515
A section of the march in Norwich
A section of the march in Norwich (Pic: Sami Hillyer)

Several thousand people joined this year’s Pride march in Norwich last Saturday. It was bigger, younger and more political than in previous years.

An anti-racist bloc chanted, “Black and white, straight and queer, refugees are welcome here.”

Other popular chants were, “We are the gays and we don’t like May” and, “Tories out, Corbyn in”.

Some 300 people attended a question time event with panellists including shadow defence secretary Clive Lewis and Nicola Field of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners.

Over £400 was collected for refugees in Calais.

Sue Caldwell

Train workers rail against decision

Around 250 senior maintenance engineers at Network Rail are balloting for strikes in a row over payments for out of hours on call standby duties, the TSSA union has said.

The ballot closes on 15 August. A vote to strike could lead to disruption and delays by the end of August.

Bosses’ cuts are Virgin on ridiculous

A ballot of 2,000 RMT union members on Virgin Trains East Coast (VTEC) ends on Tuesday of next week. The ballot is over a threat to jobs, working conditions and safety.

VTEC is run by Virgin and Stagecoach. The union said the firms want to hack away at workers’ conditions.

It said bosses have refused to give assurances on protecting pay rates, staffing levels, safety and sticking to existing agreements.

Insurance workers ballot to save jobs

Workers at insurance firm Prudential in Reading are balloting for strikes against the outsourcing of around 75 jobs to Mumbai in India.

They are members of the Unite union.

Bosses say outsourcing back office work on annuities will save £2 million. But they have enough cash to splash on high salaries for four newly appointed executives.

Unite blasts Lloyds over more job cuts

Lloyds TSB has announced the closure of 200 branches, putting 3,000 jobs at risk.

The Unite union has demanded job guarantees from the bank. The move follows 9,000 job losses in 2014 after the closure of another 200 branches.

Unite national officer Rob MacGregor said, “This grim news of yet more job losses and branch closures will send a shiver down the spine of Lloyds employees”.

Shop fitters slam bosses’ pay offer

Over 40 shop fitters working at HMY Radford in Burnopfield, Newcastle, have slammed a “bizarre” new pay offer.

The offer gives workers a 25 pence an hour increase and a reduced working week until 16 December.

But the changes would be reversed in January. The workers are Unite union members. They struck over pay for 24 hours last month.

Unite regional officer Mark Sanderson said, “Workers are quite rightly angry at what they first thought was a mistake on the company’s behalf.”

Journalists resist restructuring at Trinity Mirror

NUJ journalists’ union members working for Trinity Mirror group newspapers in Newcastle, North Wales and Liverpool took industrial action on Thursday and Friday of last week.

They are fighting against redundancies and increasing workloads. The Trinity Mirror group bosses are pushing through a “restructuring”.

Their industrial action involved holding two-hour long union branch meetings during work time.

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