Socialist Worker

Strike


Colleges

18 December 1999
<h4Liverpool SOME 300 workers at Liverpool Community College held a one day strike on Tuesday of this week over pay. The strikers, members of the UNISON union, held picket lines on all the college sites.

French workers fight back

18 December 1999
MANY BELIEVED that after Germany, France would also go down the road of fascism. This was a particular fear after the far right tried to launch a coup in 1934. A general strike was called. Workers united in a spontaneous show of unity against the fascist threat. In June 1936 France was rocked by a massive wave of strikes and occupations after the election of a left of centre Popular Front government.

Postal workers

18 December 1999
POSTAL WORKERS in many parts of Britain have won significant concessions over Christmas working arrangements. The moves follow an avalanche of requests for strike ballots. The biggest gains are in London where, according to one union member, "we have rewritten the national agreement between Royal Mail and the union, a deal which we did not like and should never have been accepted."

Civil servants

18 December 1999
CIVIL SERVANTS at the Manchester based Equal Opportunities Commission have accepted a pay offer for 1999 which will mean pay rises of up to 22 percent for the lowest paid. EOC rates began to lag behind those of other civil servants after national bargaining was ended. But an overwhelming vote to strike last year forced a much improved offer. The 4.1 percent offer will mean members near the bottom of each grade receiving the highest raise, without any reference to pay being performance related.

BA

18 December 1999
COMPUTER workers at Heathrow Airport have succeeded in forcing British Airways management to back off from some of its attacks. BA is still looking to sell off sections of the Information Management department. But a campaign, including the threat of strike action, has forced the company to promise that it will not take any worker off their BA contract.

Police staff

18 December 1999
POLICE CIVILIAN staff in Manchester continued their campaign of strike action on Monday. Over 100 people attended the picket line outside Greater Manchester Police HQ. The campaign follows a "job evaluation report" which recommended pay cuts of up to £5,500 a year. This is in stark contrast to the chief constable, who received a £20,000 pay rise and spent £80,000 on a new toilet for his office. Following the first strike last week, management offered to delay the pay cuts by a year. The UNISON union has rejected this and has pledged to continue the action next week and into the new year.

Turn heat on buses tyrant

18 December 1999
"SCROOGE" AND "despot" was how bus workers on strike at Yorkshire Traction buses described their boss, Frank Carter, last week. Around 700 bus drivers, engineers and clerical workers, members of the TGWU union, were holding their third one day strike in three weeks to demand a decent pay rise from Carter. The solid strike is already costing Carter £120,000 for each strike day as services across west and south Yorkshire are hit. Pickets were out at the Sheffield Road depot in a lively show of force last week.

130 ballots for action over Xmas

11 December 1999
POSTAL workers across Britain are angry at Royal Mail's plans to make them work harder and for less money this Christmas. Management has tried to push through Christmas arrangements that claw back on overtime, concentrate the mail on fewer deliveries and squeeze staffing numbers and conditions. The result is that a remarkable 130 areas across Britain have demanded strike ballots.

Sky Chefs

11 December 1999
TRADE UNIONISTS in west London are organising to raise solidarity with the Sky Chefs workers in the run up to Xmas. They are calling on everyone-trade unionists, campaign groups, etc-to collect money to take to the picket line on Sunday 19 December. The 270 workers were sacked by Lufthansa just over one year ago for taking part in a legal one day strike.

BT

11 December 1999
SOME 4,000 BT call centre workers at 37 workplaces were due to stage the second of a series of one day strikes on Friday of this week. The fight is over bullying managers, understaffing and work targets. There were picket lines on most of the affected offices on the last strike day. Talks between the workers' CWU union and BT were still taking place as Socialist Worker went to press.

Get Carter!

11 December 1999
YORKSHIRE Traction bus workers were boosted on Friday of last week as they staged their second one day strike for a decent pay rise. Their boss, Frank Carter, did not dare to run scab buses, driven by managers from outside the area, as he had done on the previous strike day on Saturday 27 November. The 35 pickets at the Barnsley depot talked about how the managers had received so much abuse from passengers they refused to work again.

In brief

11 December 1999
WORKERS AT British Airways at Heathrow Airport are still up in arms over management's plans to sell off three sections of the Information Management Department. Union shop stewards voted unanimously last week to call for a ballot for strike action. Stewards were planning this week to hold union meetings of the workforce to build the mood and a demonstration is also planned.

Rail

11 December 1999
OVER 500 train drivers on North Western Trains, members of the ASLEF and RMT unions, have voted by 90 percent and 100 percent respectively to take strike action over this year's pay award, which is still outstanding from April. The company has offered 3.6 percent with strings. The national executive of ASLEF was to meet on Wednesday to decide what form of strike action to call. The RMT will then respond with the same action.

Strike wave a sign of hot winter

11 December 1999
STRIKES AND protests are erupting across France in the run up to Christmas. The implementation of the new 35 hour week law lies behind many of the disputes. Workers are demanding that bosses pay for the hours cut.

On the line

04 December 1999
AN EXCELLENT 50 copies of Socialist Worker were sold to pickets during last week's Wandsworth council strike, while 29 papers were sold to striking postal workers during their unofficial strike in Glasgow. Socialist Worker readers in the post produced two copies of a strike bulletin.

Drivers rattle Centre West

27 November 1999
NEARLY 2,000 bus workers across west London struck for the day over pay on Monday this week. The action hit services in Greenford, Acton, Uxbridge, Orpington, Alperton and Westbourne Park. It was the workers' second official one day strike. Members of the TGWU also struck for the day on Wednesday of last week. The drivers and conductors work for a company called Centre West which is owned by First Group, Britain's largest bus operator.

It's good to walk

27 November 1999
"IT'S LIKE working in a slave galley." That was how one striker in Lancaster summed up the feelings of the 4,000 workers on strike at 37 BT call centres around Britain on Monday.

Manchester University

27 November 1999
SECRETARIES AND clerical workers at Manchester University struck on Tuesday of last week in a dispute over pay. Management had offered 3.5 percent but had set aside over 6.5 percent for a rise in the university's pay bill. The strike was solid, with over 40 people joining the UNISON union in the run up to the action.

'We want results from union leaders'

27 November 1999
OVER 400 people attended a one year anniversary rally for the Sky Chefs workers in west London last Saturday. Lufthansa Sky Chefs at Heathrow sacked the 270 workers last year for taking part in a legal one day strike. They have been fighting for reinstatement ever since.

Centres of a new struggle

27 November 1999
"IT'S LIKE George Orwell's 1984 in there. You can't even go to the toilet without someone in Coventry or London knowing where you're going and for how long." Those were the words of a BT call centre worker in Bristol who was out on strike on Monday along with over 4,000 call centre staff. Their fight is against bullying managers, understaffing and impossible work targets.

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