Socialist Worker

Strike


Stakes are high in post battle

23 February 2002
A national postal strike could begin a week next Wednesday, 6 March, union leaders announced last week. Talks are still continuing, but the union says that if there is no agreement then strike dates have been "pencilled in".

Ombudsmen

23 February 2002
"This is the first strike in this office's history. It tells you something. This office isn't militant-people have just had enough." That's what one of the 40 civil service strikers in London told Socialist Worker outside London's Millbank Tower, home to New Labour, on Wednesday of last week.

Job centres

23 February 2002
The national strike of tens of thousands of civil servants in the PCS union working in job centres and benefits offices is reaching a crucial point. We are striking over the removal of safety screens in the newly merged Jobcentre Plus offices.

General strike in Madagascar

23 February 2002
Huge street protests and a two-week general strike have shut banks and businesses in many parts of Madagascar.

Privatisers stalking the postal service

16 February 2002
"I know many of our union's members will be concerned about what the government is doing. Don't all rush to send motions to the union conference about the way we use our political fund. I can tell you the leadership of the union will be suspending funds for Labour unless there is a substantial change in policy." That was the message to union reps from John Keggie, the union's deputy general secretary, last week. He was speaking to reps from all over Britain. They had gathered the day after a ballot had overwhelmingly backed a national postal strike over pay.

Lecturers

16 February 2002
The proposed all-out strike action at Huddersfield Technical College by Unison union members which was to begin on Monday of this week has been suspended until the end of the month.

Councils

16 February 2002
Some 40 Lambeth council workers in special housing services held a second day of strike action on Tuesday of last week in protest at the sacking of Unison steward Alex Owalade.

New dates for action

16 February 2002
Civil Servants working in job centres and benefits agencies are set to hold their next strike on 6 and 7 March. The workers, members of the PCS union, have held two-day strikes on two occasions since mid-December.

A walkout at the chalk face?

16 February 2002
Teachers in London are to ballot for strike action over pay. Ballot papers will go out to over 40,000 members of the NUT union the week after next. Teachers will vote on a one-day strike over the allowances paid for working in London and neighbouring areas.

In brief

09 February 2002
Members of the Ambulance Service Union on Merseyside are celebrating the reinstatement of two suspended colleagues. Management took two paramedics off work a fortnight ago after both left a shift early due to illness. Workers voted to strike if the two were sacked, and both workers have now been cleared.

Strike lands at Labour airport

09 February 2002
Around 400 workers at Manchester Airport struck on Monday in the first of six one-hour stoppages. The strikes are against the imposition of new contracts which would mean wage cuts of up to 40 percent, attacks on holidays and sick pay, and a longer working week. The airport management are also threatening to axe jobs

BT throws down gauntlet to union

09 February 2002
BT has issued a major challenge to its workers' CWU union, and the challenge looks set to spark a strike ballot. BT plans to transfer core workers to a private company.

News made by victory on pay

09 February 2002
The first strike by journalists over pay in over a decade has won a victory at the Bradford Telegraph and Argus titles. After just one half-day stoppage by NUJ union members, management at the Newsquest-owned titles were forced to offer a deal worth 3 percent. The Bradford NUJ chapel (workplace union branch) was the first to win back recognition at Newsquest, which owns papers across the country and is owned by US multinational Gannett.

Standing firm against New Labour agenda

02 February 2002
A national strike by tens of thousands of civil servants in the PCS union on Monday and Tuesday of this week defied New Labour and bullying management. It is the second two-day strike by workers in benefits agencies and job centres. The first one was in mid-December. They are challenging the government's plans to remove safety screens in the newly merged benefits agencies and job centres-Jobcentre Plus. Reports were coming in as Socialist Worker went to press that strikers were holding firm.

In brief

02 February 2002
Workers at Manchester airport have voted by 726 to 153 to strike against job cuts. The vote by members of the TGWU union may not signal a quick move to action, as talks with both airport management and other unions at the airport are taking place.

Health workers

02 February 2002
Medical secretaries in hospitals across the north east of England are gearing up for a fight over pay. The move follows the victory won by medical secretaries in Glasgow last year, when all-out strike action won a regrading and so higher pay. "Medical secretaries are the hidden workers in the NHS," explained Clare Williams, chair of health in the Unison union's northern region. "They check records and send out appointments.

Caterpillar

02 February 2002
Over 500 workers at the Caterpillar plant in Peterlee vote unanimously to ballot for an all-out indefinite strike against a pay freeze and attacks on working conditions. The vote, taken by a good old fashioned show of hands, came at a determined mass meeting held in the leisure centre of the County Durham town last Saturday. Workers are fighting a plan by the management of the US-owned multinational to impose a three-year pay freeze and rip up agreements with the union.

Letters

02 February 2002
Sacked Friction Dynamics workers deserve better The 87 members of the TGWU 4/550 branch at Friction Dynamics, Caenarfon, Gwynedd, were sacked after eight weeks locked out by their employer for going on strike. They are still picketing the plant. Their strike committee chair, Gerald Parry, knows what determination their stand has shown.

We are right to take strike action

02 February 2002
A crucial battle is now underway at South West Trains (SWT) and Arriva Northern. On the one side stand rail workers fighting for decent pay and dignity at work, and against the madness of privatisation.

Wider focus key to making strike bite

26 January 2002
Tens of thousands of civil servants are set to strike next Monday and Tuesday. The workers are PCS union members in benefits offices and job centres. They are striking against New Labour's plans to remove safety screens in the amalgamated benefit agencies and job centres being set up.

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