Socialist Worker


Newham strikers won't pay to be smashed

15 May 2004
BLAIR'S FAVOURITE New Labour council is trying to break our union. We are absolutely clear that Newham council in east London intends to lead the way in smashing the town hall union to force through Blair's plans to \"restructure\" public services-cutting our pay and jobs and selling off the people's assets to the fat cats. We are going to step up our action and we are determined we are going to win. But in discussing strategy with Unison union regional officials, the question of our political relationship to the government dominates the debate.

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.

Newham keep up the fight to defend union rights

08 May 2004
THE STRIKE in Newham on 22 April shook the council hard, and that's why we were to strike again this week. Over 2,000 Unison members stopped work last time to show the council we will not let them take away our union rights. Now we have to show the council that our action wasn't just for a single day and that we will take further action to defend our union.

Nursery nurses fight despite union betrayal

01 May 2004
THOUSANDS of nursery nurses across 17 councils in Scotland were still on all-out strike as Socialist Worker went to press. They were battling on even though officials of their union, Unison, had abandoned the key plank of their fight.

No more money for Labour, say strikers

01 May 2004
SCHOOLS, LIBRARIES and offices in Newham, east London, were closed on Thursday of last week as members of Unison struck to defend their union. The one-day strike is the first blow in a campaign to force the council to recognise our democratic right to be represented by the union officers we elect, to decide what we put in our newsletters and to defend facility time.

Major row over new pay scheme

01 May 2004
HEALTH WORKERS in the Unison union assembled in Glasgow on Monday for the union's health sector conference. It discussed issues that could lead to a major confrontation with the government in the autumn.

Give these brave strikers the support they deserve

24 April 2004
THE MAGNIFICENT all-out strike of 4,500 nursery nurses across Scotland is still going strong in its eighth week. The strikers, members of the Unison union, are fighting for a decent national pay deal from COSLA, the Labour-dominated local employers. Scottish nursery nurses voted to continue their action at a meeting on Tuesday of this week.

Nursery nurses still all out

17 April 2004
Nursery nurses in Scotland are continuing their all-out strike to win a decent national pay rise and regrading. The 4,500 strikers are members of the Unison union and have been out for almost seven weeks. On Tuesday they marched through Ayr.

Council workers

10 April 2004
COUNCIL WORKERS in Newham, east London, have voted by 86 percent for strikes to defend their Unison union branch. The New Labour council wants to axe the union facility time for elected branch officers and evict the union branch from its office in a council building. Unison chair Michael Gavan told Socialist Worker,

Nursery nurses are fighting for all of us

10 April 2004
UNION MEMBERS at Glasgow's Southern General Hospital have provided a superb example of the solidarity 4,600 nursery nurses need as they approach six weeks of all-out strike action. The Unison union branch at the hospital donated £3,000 to the strike fund and activists are taking collection sheets round the wards.

Anglian Water

27 March 2004
WORKERS at Anglian Water have gone "absolutely ballistic" over their bosses' plans to axe their pensions, says Unison union officer Tracy Lambert. Some 3,500 water workers are set to strike against threats to their final salary pension schemes. The first half-day strike is planned for next Tuesday.

Strike is shaking bosses

27 March 2004
COUNCIL employers were clearly coming under pressure as the strike by nearly 5,000 nursery nurses in Scotland entered its fourth week on Monday. Seven local authorities, including Glasgow and Edinburgh, issued a joint statement saying they were prepared to come to local pay settlements with the nursery nurses. "Our reply to that is simple," the nursery nurses' Unison union convenor Carol Ball told Socialist Worker.

News in Brief

27 March 2004
Ballot on action for decent pay LOW PAID health workers in North Manchester and Bury hospitals are planning strike action at the start of April. The porters and domestic staff are employed by private contractor ISS Mediclean. The workers, members of the Unison union, overwhelmingly voted for strike action in their ballot earlier this month. They earn just £4.61 an hour, and want to get £5 an hour. That is what similar workers directly employed by the NHS in the same hospital trust earn.

Council workers

20 March 2004
COUNCIL WORKERS in Newham, east London, were due this week to start a ballot on industrial action to defend their union branch. The New Labour council has renewed its threat to axe the Unison union branch's full time officers, and to force it out of its existing union office in a council building.


20 March 2004
ANGRY PARENTS and children joined a lobby of Barnsley Labour councillors called by the NUT and Unison unions last Tuesday. Barnsley council is applying to replace a secondary and two primary schools with the country's first "three to 19 academy". This would take local schools out of the local education system. GEORGE ARTHUR

Solidarity and a workers' paper

13 March 2004
"SOCIALIST WORKER is really hitting the mood," writes Tony Barnsley from the West Midlands. One in five Unison members attending Sandwell General branch's annual general meeting bought a copy of Socialist Worker. In all 21 papers were sold.

Union defiant in face of threats

13 March 2004
COUNCIL WORKERS rallied outside Newham Town Hall in east London on Monday lunchtime against a major threat to their trade union branch. At the heart of the fight is the right of trade unions to represent their members, and for members to democratically decide what the union branch does. Up to 100 members of the Unison union joined Monday's rally. They were supported by trade unionists from the local further education college and Unison branches in other London councils.

5,000 nursery nurses in all-out pay strike

06 March 2004
LOW PAID education workers have begun the biggest indefinite strike in Britain for many years. The 5,000 nursery nurses walked out in three quarters of Scotland's local authorities on Monday. Liz McCulloch, a nursery nurse and Unison union steward in East Ayrshire, explains why:

Nursery nurses need your support

06 March 2004
STRIKING NURSERY nurses were greeted with a wave of support from parents and the public. But they received staggering contempt from their employers, COSLA-the Labour-dominated Confederation of Scottish Local Authorities. "We are in a decisive dispute," says Carol Ball, the Unison union convenor of the nursery nurses' campaign. "All we want is for COSLA to talk to us about a national deal. Yet it's come to an all-out strike. We are calling for support from across the movement."

Council Workers; Liverpool and Coventry

28 February 2004
HILDCARE SOCIAL workers in Liverpool were set to start a three-day strike on Friday in a dispute over lack of staff and workloads. Around 145 workers, members of the Unison union in Liberal Democrat run Liverpool City Council, will be out on Friday. They will also be out next Monday and Tuesday.

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