Socialist Worker


Why we believe a merger between Amicus and the T&G unions will not be so super for workers

12 February 2005
Amicus THE NATIONAL executive of the Amicus union was told on Wednesday of last week about plans for a three-way merger with the T&G and GMB unions. Almost every executive member knew about the plans in advance—by reading about them in the newspapers.

Brighton and Hove

15 January 2005
OFFICIALS FROM the Unison and GMB unions were due to meet Brighton and Hove council for talks this week about the dispute over pay for teaching assistants. Teaching assistants in Brighton and Hove struck on three days last year against council plans to cut the number of weeks they work, effectively wiping out a promised pay rise.

In brief

18 December 2004
Let’s strike while the iron’s hot ABOUT 80 members of the GMB union working for the Multiserve steel company were set to strike on Monday of next week over pay.

In brief

11 December 2004
GMB rejects steel deal MEMBERS OF the GMB union working for the Multiserve steel company have voted to reject a pay offer, renewing the possibility of a strike that would hit steel production across South Yorkshire.

Funeral Directors

11 December 2004
HARD-HITTING industrial action at Co-Op Funeralcare has forced bosses to make a new pay offer. Members of the TGWU and GMB unions at the company are now voting on a new pay rise.

Teaching assistants’ strike wins support from parents claim che

04 December 2004
More than 40 schools across Brighton and Hove were closed on Thursday and Friday of last week as around 700 teaching assistants from the Unison and GMB unions struck over low pay.

Construction Workers

20 November 2004
LAING O’ROURKE construction workers at the Channel Tunnel site, King’s Cross, were forced to sit in again on Wednesday of last week as management reneged on a commitment to recognise the GMB union.

Make Jaguar demonstration a focus for city’s anger over attacks on jobs

13 November 2004
THE TGWU, Amicus and GMB unions have called a march and rally to save Jaguar’s Browns Lane factory in Coventry.

Workers’ happy hour at Famous Grouse

07 August 2004
THERE WAS cheering, waving and much beeping of horns last Friday when over 340 GMB union members at the Edrington whisky group in Glasgow walked out on strike.

In brief

26 June 2004
Pressure forces reinstatement MANAGEMENT and GMB union officials claim that the long-running dispute in the Brighton and Hove refuse collection service is at an end after an agreement was signed last week. Intensive talks between the union and management followed an overwhelming vote for strike action in response to enforced changes in working practices that saw 11 workers suspended.

Save manufacturing jobs

27 May 2004
AROUND 500 manufacturing workers marched through Birmingham on Saturday on a march called by the TGWU, GMB, Amicus and other trade unions. They were marching to protest against the decline of manufacturing industry. Contingents from Land Rover, Vauxhall, Alstom and other workplaces in the Midlands marched behind their union banners.

A million could strike in local government

15 May 2004
OVER ONE million local government workers could be heading for a major pay battle. Last week both sides in the negotiations over the local government pay and conditions deal upped the ante. The giant Unison, TGWU and GMB unions agreed to consult their members over the deal and possible action unless the employers back down before 21 May. The employers issued a press release saying that they would stand firm over their offer of a derisory 7 percent over 3 years.

Outcry at GMB leader's backing for Brown

27 March 2004
KEVIN CURRAN, the general secretary of the GMB union, disgracefully praised Gordon Brown's job cuts plans. Curran said, "The chancellor has bravely negotiated cuts in Whitehall departments that will ensure that public service investment reaches communities where it can most help individuals and families." Paul Kenny, head of the London GMB, said he was "mystified and angered" by the comment.


13 March 2004
WORKERS AT Mid Kent Water have started a strike ballot over a maintenance contract for raw sewage work. A GMB spokesperson says, "The ballot comes after harassment of staff who have refused the work."

Refuse workers

06 March 2004
WORKERS AT the main refuse collection depot in Brighton & Hove staged a 48-hour unofficial strike on Tuesday and Wednesday last week. The walkout followed the suspension by management of GMB steward Richard Warren. Workers returned to work on Thursday after voting overwhelmingly to work to rule-refusing to work overtime or catch up on work missing during the walkout.


29 November 2003
HUNDREDS OF Tyneside shipyard workers staged an unofficial "wildcat" strike last week over allegations of bullying in the workplace. The one-day walkout was by around 600 platers, welders and riggers in the Amicus and GMB unions at the giant Amec shipyard in Wallsend on Tyneside.

Council workers

13 September 2003
MANUAL WORKERS in the GMB union working for Manchester city Council struck for a day on Monday against the imposition of the Single Status agreement. They voted three to one to strike in an official ballot. Many other council workers in other departments refused to cross their picket lines.

Laing O'Rourke

16 August 2003
CONSTRUCTION workers at Heathrow's new Terminal Five complex have won significant gains over working hours that will enable them to have something approaching a family life. Bosses of construction firm Laing O'Rourke caved in at the end of last week under the pressure of a strike ballot planned by the GMB union and of threatened wildcat walkouts by the 1,500 workers on the site.

British Airways

16 August 2003
NEW DISPUTES are brewing among British Airways workers at Heathrow. Some 4,500 BA engineers moved a step closer to an industrial dispute when their union negotiators failed to reach an agreement with BA management last week. The engineers are represented by the Amicus and GMB unions. They are potentially an extremely powerful group of workers.

Amicus union

09 August 2003
AN INDUSTRIAL tribunal found that trade unionists who have been on strike against the William Cooks foundry business for over two years had been "unfairly dismissed". The 80 workers, in the GMB and Amicus-AEEU unions, were sacked in 2001 when they were involved in an official strike. Eddie Grimes, Amicus-AEEU member and striker, spoke to Socialist Worker about the result:

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