WORKERS AT a factory near Burnley have entered their tenth week of selective strike action. They are Amicus-AEEU press and paintline section members at Raven Manufacturing. The workers earn £5.08 an hour and are fighting for a pay increase. Strikers have just discovered the managing director had a 17.4 percent increase last year, bringing his salary to £166,000.
The pay increase for all directors was 34.4 percent with large pension contributions for senior management. The company makes no contributions to the workers’ pension scheme, and they have no sick pay entitlements. The company makes Sky satellite dishes and made a gross profit of over £2 million last year.
WORKERS AT the Peugeot car plant at Ryton near Coventry have voted overwhelmingly to reject the company’s pay offer. Some 2,245 workers voted to reject the offer, with only 270 voting to accept it. The company claimed the offer was worth 7.3 percent over two years, but the TGWU union said the deal amounted to around 3 percent in the first year and less in the second year. The company also wants to increase employees’ pension contributions. Tony Woodley, TGWU chief union negotiator for the car industry, said, ‘The union will be seeking authority for an industrial action ballot.’
HUNDREDS OF campaigners from across Britain met at the Palestine Solidarity Campaign national meeting on ‘What future for Palestine?’ in London last Saturday. They discussed how to increase the pressure on Israel through boycotting Israeli products and stopping investment. Dr Mustafa Barghouti, a Palestinian from the West Bank, described the horrific conditions and oppression the Palestinians face. Ronnie Kasrils, a South African government minister, called for international solidarity with the Palestinian people. The biggest cheer of the day came when US activist Nancy Murray called for ‘a regime change in the US’. The next day some 40 people protested outside an Israeli trade fair in north London.
A NORWICH bus driver has been suspended and is facing disciplinary action. Dave Manningham, a TGWU union steward at First Bus, was suspended and barred from his place of work after raising serious concerns with the local newspaper. Drivers see this suspension as an attack on their union rep at a time when they are being balloted over industrial action over pay and conditions. Dave Manningham, a former Socialist Alliance parliamentary candidate, was due to be hauled before a disciplinary committee this week.
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