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.
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.
03 August 2002
LEADERS OF the three council workers' unions-Unison, the TGWU and the GMB-walked out of talks with management in disgust last week. Council bosses had widely hinted in the press that they were putting a new deal on the table, including offering £5 an hour to some low paid staff, to end another strike across England and Wales scheduled for Wednesday 14 August.
20 July 2002
"I AM 51 and a GMB union shop steward in Manchester. I work on the Benchill estate in Wythenshawe as a family service worker. My job involves working with and helping people, teaching basic parenting skills, helping their children get access to services, and so on. I'm based in a childcare centre with places for 50 children.
20 July 2002
"THIS COULD lead to the biggest pensions rip-off in history." That was the reaction last week of GMB union leader John Edmonds to the report on pensions prepared for the government by Alan Pickering. It says workers will face either a cut in pension income or benefits or both unless they pour even more of their wages into company schemes. Pickering says this move is justified because such benefits are "bells and whistles".
13 July 2002
AIRPORT WORKERS are balloting for strike action that could hit Manchester, Gatwick, Heathrow, Stansted and Birmingham airports this summer. The 1,500 workers are employed by the airport services business Aviance which is owned by the transport group Go Ahead. The workers, members of the TGWU and GMB unions, process passengers and dispatch aircraft.
29 June 2002
THE NATIONAL conference of the giant public sector union Unison took place in Bournemouth last week, as 800,000 of the union's members in local councils in England and Wales balloted on strikes over pay. If that ballot, and similar ballots in the GMB and TGWU unions, are successful a massive one-day national strike of council workers could take place on Wednesday 17 July.
16 March 2002
Union leaders exploded in fury at the Labour government last week. "The time has come for Tony Blair to stop bowing down to big business," said GMB union leader John Edmonds. Blair had launched a pamphlet on public services side by side with Chris Garnet. Garnet is chief executive of the GNER rail company and the brother of ex Tory health secretary Virginia Bottomley.
09 February 2002
"I am under pressure from rank and file members of my union to disaffiliate from the Labour Party." That was the message from Dave Prentis of Unison to his fellow union leaders last week. Both Unison and the GMB union have launched big advertising campaigns in response to Blair's "wreckers" insults. They rightly point out that public sector workers are not wreckers.
26 January 2002
THERE WAS a real taste of anger at New Labour at a conference in Liverpool last weekend. Some 200 people attended Saturday's "Keep public services public" conference organised by the Liverpool joint trade union committee.
15 December 2001
"A war on the public sector." That is how GMB trade union leader John Edmonds described New Labour's new plans to send NHS patients for treatment in private hospitals or abroad.
10 November 2001
Stewards reject deal
Shop stewards at Scottish Power have rejected management's latest offer. However, the new offer will be put to a ballot of union members. The workers, who are members of the AEEU, GMB and TGWU unions, have been fighting management's plans to transfer workers in the "wire business" to a new company.
03 November 2001
Strike action by workers at Scottish Power and Manweb has been postponed again after management made a new offer. This was due to be put to a meeting of stewards from the AEEU, GMB, and TGWU unions on Thursday of this week.
27 October 2001
SOME 450 British Airways workers at Heathrow attended a GMB union meeting last week to discuss the management's attacks on their pay. The company wants to cut the pay of 36,000 workers, including flight crew, cabin crew, engineers, administrative staff and ground staff. The attack amounts to a 4 percent pay cut, and the equivalent of 7,000 job losses at the company.
27 October 2001
STRIKE action planned at Scottish Power this week has been called off to allow negotiations with management. The decision was taken at a stewards' meeting addressed by officials from the AEEU, GMB and TGWU unions.
20 October 2001
WORKERS AT whisky makers Chivas Regal took part in a third day of strike action on Wednesday of last week. The workers, members of the GMB, AEEU and MSF unions, voted to strike by an overwhelming four to one in an attempt to win a pay rise.
13 October 2001
WORKERS AT Chivas Regal whisky plants across Scotland are striking over pay in a series of one-day strikes. The 1,000-strong workforce, who are members of the GMB, AEEU and MSF unions, were angered when management put forward a one-off payment of £650. The two one-day strikes have been 100 percent solid.
22 September 2001
"NO TO privatisation" chanted 200 trade unionists and campaigners as they demonstrated through the streets of Milton Keynes last Saturday. The march was called by local trade unionists in the post workers' CWU union and the GMB union and was joined by children, parents and teachers from the local Save Our Schools campaign.
11 August 2001
JOINERY WORKERS in the GMB union at Jeld-Wen, Lowestoft, entered their third week of one-day strikes this week against management pay freezes and cuts over many years.
03 March 2001
Rolls Royce workers at Ansty in the West Midlands stepped up their fight against up to 1,300 job cuts with a second round of strike action on Monday of this week. Cars tailed back for miles from both gates as workers in the MSF and GMB unions caused massive disruption to the site. "We're having a serious effect," one engineer told Socialist Worker. The strike by 500 workers, mainly skilled engineers and office workers, has been solid.