Socialist Worker


Health service

25 January 2003
THE executive of the health sector of public sector union Unison delivered a surprising blow to the government's attempt to drive through a rotten three-year pay deal for NHS staff. The government wants all health workers to accept a three year 10 percent pay deal, worth just 3.2 percent a year.

Hackney council

11 January 2003
A MAJOR public meeting is planed to support the "Anti-racist Three"-Unison union branch officers in Hackney, east London, who have been suspended by their council management. The attack by the New Labour council has set up a very important battle over racism and union rights.

Hackney council

04 January 2003
URGENT SUPPORT is needed for three branch officers of the Unison union in Hackney, east London, who have been suspended by council management. The disciplinary action raises crucial questions for the union movement about racism and union rights.

Hackney council

21 December 2002
LABOUR-RUN Hackney council has suspended three key union activists who all face dismissal for alleged gross misconduct. They are Unison joint branch secretaries Brian Debus and Will Leng plus equalities officer John Page.

Unity can end low weighting

23 November 2002
THE FIRST joint strike in higher education in the London area was held on Thursday of last week. Two unions, the AUT and Natfhe, represent lecturers in the old universities and the "new" universities (ex polytechnics). They joined with members of two other unions representing support staff, Unison and Amicus, to strike for an increase in the London weighting allowance. The demand is for £4,000 a year.

Council Workers

16 November 2002
STREET CLEANERS were on the picket lines at Ley Street depot in Redbridge, east London, last week. The Unison union members are part of the Londonwide campaign for £4,000 London weighting for council workers. Steve Wheeler, a street orderly on Wanstead High Street, said, "We had a pay cut ten years ago. People are fed up living hand to mouth. We are fed up working seven days a week for this money. It's wrong for the government to give themselves a 40 percent pay rise when they don't give it to the rest of us."

College workers

16 November 2002
THERE WAS a highly successful strike of lecturers in the Natfhe and ATL unions, and college workers in the Unison union across England and Wales on Tuesday of last week. Socialist Worker received reports from a number of colleges that we couldn't fit in last week:

Union with the unions?

16 November 2002
THOUSANDS OF trade unionists came to the European Social Forum. Their numbers reflected the rise in workers' struggle in much of Europe. There were members of many British unions present, including the CWU, RMT, Amicus, Unison, PCS, NUJ, Natfhe, Prospect, NUT and TGWU. There were more than 2,000 people at just one of the meetings on trade union struggles.

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

02 November 2002
WORKERS AT Resourcesaver in Bristol took strike action last Wednesday over management reneging on a deal to cut working hours. Resourcesaver is responsible for collecting black boxes for recycling. Doug Varney from the workers' of the Unison union branch explained, "Management had agreed to cut the working week to 40 hours - that's five eight-hour days. Now management have imposed a standard nine-hour day.

NHS action is getting results

02 November 2002
SOME 500 cleaners, porters and telephonists in Swansea were to vote this week on an improved offer from their private bosses, ISS Mediclean. Some workers are angry at their Unison union officials for calling off a planned week-long strike. More could have been won, but the Swansea workers have shown that action is getting results in the health service.


26 October 2002
THE LONDON weighting dispute in higher education is continuing to spread. There was a one-day strike by support workers in the Unison union in the old (pre-1992) universities on 26 September.

Leeds Unison

26 October 2002
SOME 350 social workers in Leeds, members of Unison, held three days of strike action over pay last week. This follows a one-day strike in September and ongoing industrial action where workers refused to take on any new cases.


26 October 2002
HEALTH WORKERS in Swansea look to have forced giant private contractors ISS Mediclean into offering at least some staff better pay. The workers' Unison union postponed a week-long strike which was due to begin on Monday of this week. Over 500 low paid health workers working for ISS Mediclean have already taken three days of strike action.

Swansea health workers to escalate strike

19 October 2002
SOME 500 porters, telephonists and cleaners in the Unison union at Swansea's Singleton, Morriston, Hillhouse and Cefn Coed hospitals were on the verge of escalating strike action as Socialist Worker went to press. The issue is resistance to poverty pay levels.

Gloucester City Council

12 October 2002
OVER 100 members of Gloucester City Council UNISON union demonstrated outside the council headquarters last week. They were protesting against proposed closures, redundancies and cuts in the city's museums, archaeology unit, arts centre and sporting facilities.

Successful strike hits London colleges

05 October 2002
HUNDREDS OF college workers, members of the Unison union in 11 pre-1992 London universities, took strike action last Thursday as the first step in their campaign to win an increase in London weighting to £4,000. Faced with a freeze on London weighting for the eleventh consecutive year, workers demonstrated that they had had enough.

Royal London Hospital

05 October 2002
UNISON MEMBERS facing Britain's biggest PFI project have voted overwhelmingly to take strike action against an attempt to break their union. In a consultative ballot 78 percent voted to back an official strike ballot demanding the reinstatement of their union branch secretary, Phil Billows. Phil was suspended for spearheading a campaign against the huge PFI project at the Royal London and Barts NHS trust.


28 September 2002
LIVERPOOL council lifted the suspensions and the threat of sacking to a Unison union convenor and a senior shop steward last week. This was a terrific victory. The convenor and steward were both suspended two weeks ago and this was seen as a direct attack on union organisation.


14 September 2002
AROUND 30 Unison union members staged a lobby of Liverpool City Council controlled by the Lib Dems last week. They were protesting at what they see as management's victimisation of a Unison union convenor and a senior shop steward.

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