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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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".
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.
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.
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
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".
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.