Socialist Worker

GMB


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".

Public Sector Alliance

09 November 2002
STRIKING RAIL workers on Arriva Trains Northern led an 800-strong march in Newcastle on Saturday called by the Public Sector Alliance. Other delegations included firefighters, postal workers (with a significant delegation from Oxfordshire), GMB and Unison union members, further education college lecturers, university lecturers, anti-war activists and others.

Refuse workers

26 October 2002
REFUSE WORKERS in Trowbridge, West Wiltshire, last week told management where to shove their pay offer until all workers are put on the same contracts. The 45 GMB union members have been privatised by the council and now work for the Cleanaway contractor.

Newcastle demonstration against privatisation

19 October 2002
A MAJOR demonstration and rally are planned in Newcastle upon Tyne in suppport of public services and against privatisation. GMB union general secretary John Edmonds and CWU union general secretary Billy Hayes are among the speakers.

GMB ballots

12 October 2002
THE DEFEAT for the Labour Party leadership in the conference vote last week on PFI confirms the high level of opposition to this policy. Tony Blair then told the unions, "Work with us and we may do something about the two-tier workforce that now exists in the private sector."

160,000 set for battle over pay

28 September 2002
AROUND 160,000 low paid workers employed by private companies that run many local government services are set to start ballots for strikes over pay. The GMB union is campaigning to get contractors to implement the pay rates which have just been agreed for directly employed council workers.

Rubber workers

28 September 2002
OVER 100 members of the GMB union at William Freeman Ltd in Barnsley struck for their second one-day strike on Thursday of last week. They are demanding a 4 percent pay rise. This is the first strike in the company's history.

Rubber Workers

21 September 2002
A one-day strike was staged by over 100 workers at William Freeman Ltd in Barnsley on Thursday of last week. The workers, members of the GMB union, plan a further series of one-day strikes in their campaign for a 4.5 percent pay rise.

Lupton and Place

31 August 2002
MEMBERS OF the GMB union at the two Lupton and Place die casting factories in Burnley struck for three days last week. The 100 workers were set to hold another three one-day strikes next week. Talks were scheduled for Tuesday of this week. Management had withdrawn their measly 1 percent pay offer, which was only conditional on selling some land and was not to be backdated.

Burnley residents back the strikers

24 August 2002
AROUND 100 GMB union members are taking strike action at Lupton & Place's two die-casting factories in Burnley. They have already struck for three days and planned a further three-day strike this week. The workers have not had a pay rise for years.

Lowest paid lead drive to reject half-baked deal

17 August 2002
HUGE NUMBERS of council workers across England and Wales are up in arms over the pay deal agreed by their negotiators last week. It is now out for consultation among council worker members of the Unison, GMB and TGWU unions. Consultation will last six weeks.

Airports

10 August 2002
THE GMB union is recommending that members at key airports accept an improved pay offer. Airport baggage handlers and check-in staff employed by Aviance have already rejected two pay offers.

This is no time to stop fight for pay

10 August 2002
UNION LEADERS called off the strikes of over one million public sector workers on Monday of this week after they struck a deal with council bosses. The leaders of Unison, the TGWU and the GMB called off all strike action for six weeks after bosses were forced to slightly improve their previous offer of a 3 percent pay rise. This is despite the fact that they had previously refused to offer anything to council workers and said anything more than 3 percent was "pie in the sky". But the offer falls far short of what council workers deserve and what could have been won.

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