Socialist Worker

GMB


'The political mood is shifting in my union'

21 June 2003
THE POLITICAL level of this year's GMB congress was great, with really heated debates on issues like tackling racism and the war on Iraq. The congress voted to change the rulebook to expel racists from the union and to oppose the Nazi BNP.

Round-up

14 June 2003
A MASS meeting last weekend saw over 120 airport workers at Liverpool's John Lennon Airport argue for possible strike action over huge pay cuts. Management want to cut baggage handlers' pay by up to 40 percent. The GMB union members are spitting blood. One worker said, "We work long hours, the shifts wear you out and now this." Paul Sillett

GMB conference

14 June 2003
THE SENSE that New Labour has betrayed its working class supporters ran throughout the GMB union's congress in Blackpool this week. Delegates voted unanimously to review the donations to MPs who do not share the "aims, values and priorities of the union".

Blair can't hide from his lies about Iraq

14 June 2003
THE LIES told by Tony Blair to justify war on Iraq are coming back to haunt him. This week the conference of Britain's fourth biggest union, the GMB, called for a public inquiry into events leading up to the war. If Blair was found to have lied, said the motion, he should resign. The conference also supported the Stop the War Coalition and voted to review its links with Labour MPs.

The walls come tumbling down

07 June 2003
OVER 1,000 brick workers are set to walk out on strike on 9 June in the first of a series of planned one-day strikes. Hanson Bricks employs the workers. They are members of the TGWU, GMB and Amicus unions and work at 14 plants across England and Wales. The workers voted by over 60 percent to take strike action after rejecting the company's revised pay offer of 3.45 percent spread over 15 months.

Hanson Brick

31 May 2003
HUNDREDS OF workers for Hanson Bricks, Britain's biggest brick producer, are set to take strike action in a dispute over pay. The workers, in the TGWU, Amicus and GMB unions, have voted overwhelmingly to strike. The first strike is set for Monday 9 June. The second day of action is set for Monday 16 June.

Council workers

31 May 2003
AROUND 140 council manual workers, members of the TGWU and GMB unions, met on Wednesday of last week in central Manchester to discuss resistance to the imposition of new contracts by Manchester City Council. Hundreds of cleaners and "street scene" workers face new duties and the loss of weekend working pay enhancements.

Don't copy this sell-off example

31 May 2003
COUNCIL WORKERS in Luton from the TGWU, GMB and Unison unions held a 40-strong protest of the council on Thursday of last week. Workers were protesting against plans to privatise the building, cleaning and printing departments. Jim Gregg, Unison branch secretary, said, "These are loyal, dedicated workers who after years of operating under difficult conditions are now finding themselves outsourced."

Remploy

10 May 2003
AROUND 4,000 workers at the Remploy factories, which mainly employ disabled people, have voted to reject a pay offer by 81 percent. The workers, based across 82 factories, defied their unions' recommendation to accept the pay deal. Most of the workers are in the GMB and TGWU unions. The two-year deal was "self funding", which meant workers had to give up their travel expenses to fund the pay package.

Scottish Water

03 May 2003
SCOTTISH WATER (SW) has announced 1,400 redundancies over the next two years (900 this year and 500 next year). Around 1,300 jobs have already been lost through voluntary redundancy. A year ago the four unions in SW, Unison, TGWU, GMB and AEEU,went into a partnership agreement with management.

Securicor

12 April 2003
OVER 4,000 workers who deliver cash to the bulk of the "hole in the wall" cash points across Britain are to walk out on strike next week. The workers, employed by Securicor, voted by 82 percent for a strike in a ballot organised by their GMB trade union.

Firefighters

08 March 2003
CONTROL STAFF in the London Fire Brigade have voted unanimously to ballot for a work to rule and strike action over congestion charges. An angry mass meeting last Sunday left GMB and Unison union officials in no doubt of the strength of feeling. A claim was submitted for compensation for congestion charges over a year ago.

Engineers walk out in the west

01 March 2003
WORKERS AT an engineering factory in Hereford walked out on a seven-day strike last week. The 400 members of the GMB union went on strike after rejecting a 1 percent pay offer with reduced overtime pay and limited sick pay. A senior shop steward at the plant, Phil Cogzell, said, "All we want is to maintain a stable income. The offer was rejected by 82 percent." The factory is the second biggest business in Hereford. The workforce are demanding a 3 percent rise.

Nightmares for Blair?

22 February 2003
THERE ARE many things that stop Tony Blair sleeping at night. One of them is his fear that the union movement may be about to humiliate him again. Two of Britain's biggest and most influential unions, the TGWU and GMB, are about to elect new general secretaries. In both elections the candidates have not been finally decided.

Can you spare a nickel?

22 February 2003
AROUND 400 workers at a factory in Hereford were set to strike for five days this week. The workers, members of the GMB union, work at Special Metals Wiggin producing nickel alloys.

Council workers

15 February 2003
SOME 3,500 workers at Herefordshire council decided at a meeting on Friday of last week to strike against threatened job losses and pay cuts. Bosses broke off long running negotiations last week and tried to impose a pay deal. Regional GMB union organiser Roger Jenkins said the council is cooking up "a recipe for conflict".

Health workers

01 February 2003
AN IMPORTANT meeting for all health workers is set to take place in Birmingham this weekend. Every worker in the health service should try to come, whether you're a porter or a nurse, a cleaner or a receptionist, work in a hospital or in the community, are in Unison, GMB, Amicus or any other health union.

Gas workers

21 December 2002
THE GMB union has suspended strikes by 6,000 gas safety engineers. Bosses offered workers at Transco, the privatised monopoly that runs the gas pipeline network, a pay rise of just 3 percent. This was conditional on changes to hours, allowances and sick pay that would have cancelled out the pay rise.

Act now to back the firefighters

30 November 2002
"This is no longer just a dispute between the Fire Brigades Union and the government. It is a fight between the government and the whole union movement" GMB union leader John Edmonds

Union leaders and the rank and file

16 November 2002
"YOU CAN'T get elected if you're a Blairite." That comment about the swathe of left union leaders who have been elected recently came from John Edmonds, outgoing general secretary of the GMB union. It's a breath of fresh air to see left wing leaders replace the likes of Sir Ken Jackson in the AEEU-Amicus union. They have been dubbed the "awkward squad".

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