Socialist Worker

Unions


London bus workers interviewed about the battle over transport

09 December 2006
Bus drivers working for Metroline in London are in dispute with their bosses over pay – and have taken two days of strike action so far to press home their point.

Mark Serwotka interview: out to defend vital jobs and services

09 December 2006
Why is the PCS union planning to ballot over 280,000 members for strikes in the new year?

Sacked JJB Sports union rep calls for support

09 December 2006
The JJB dispute is threatening to erupt again after the firm sacked a leading union representative.

‘We will not live in fear’ - Canary Wharf cleaners speak out

24 July 2004
Canary Wharf in east London is the site of the cathedrals of capitalism. It is the most concentrated area of wealth in Britain. Its only rival is the very heart of the City around the Bank of England.

Are left wing union leaders too awkward for New Labour?

04 October 2003
IN 1998 a relatively unknown train driver from Leeds, Mick Rix, won the general secretary election in Aslef. He was the first in a series of new left wing trade union leaders now known as the "awkward squad". Their election signalled a wider radicalisation taking place inside Britain's trade union movement.

Strike at Ifor Williams Trailers

16 August 2003
"What do we want? Shift pay! When do we want it? Now!" These chants echoed round a small North Wales town last Sunday as workers from Ifor Williams Trailers continued their battle for night shift pay and other improvements.

Friction Dynamics dispute at industrial tribunal

19 October 2002
STRIKING WORKERS who were sacked by their millionaire boss took their case to an industrial tribunal last week. The 87 workers were employed at the Friction Dynamics car components factory in Caernarfon, North Wales. They went on strike in April 2001 when boss Craig Smith imposed a 15 percent pay cut.

London council workers' rolling strike action continues

19 October 2002
ROLLING STRIKE action by council workers in London continued last week as finance staff in nine London boroughs walked out. The selective action is part of the workers' fight for an increased London weighting allowance.

Lecturers and support staff set to strike in London universities

19 October 2002
Lecturers and support staff in London universities are now set to strike on Thursday 14 November over allowances for working in the capital. A meeting of the London region of the Natfhe union, which represents lecturers in the former polytechnics, decided the strike date last Saturday. The AUT union, which has members in the "old" universities, is balloting for a strike on the same day.

Raven Manufacturing engineers: 'Yachts for bosses, poverty pay for us'

19 October 2002
WORKERS IN the press and paintline section at Raven Manufacturing near Burnley are continuing their series of one-day strikes over pay. Pay levels are appalling, with this group of engineering workers on just £5.80 an hour.

Free our unions to fund socialists

16 March 2002
Why should we continue to fund those who support privatisation? Hundreds of trade unionists will be debating this question on Saturday at what promises to be one of the biggest rank and file trade union conferences for years.

Row deepens trade unions' discontent with Labour

09 March 2002
Tony Blair has gone too far even for the leaders of the Trades Union Congress. They have been reluctant to criticise Tony Blair. But union leaders at a TUC general council meeting last week were fuming about Tony Blair's agreement with right wing Italian leader Silvio Berlusconi. Blair and Berlusconi met two weeks ago and agreed to try to push through "economic liberalisation", "flexible labour markets" and "minimum labour standards".

The unions they are a-changin'

23 February 2002
Bob Crow's election as general secretary of the rail workers' RMT union is the latest in a series of successes for left wing candidates in the unions. It is a further sign of a deep change in mood among the eight million workers who are members of trade unions in Britain. For the employers and the right wing press the election results summon up their nightmare of a return of union strength.

New Labour gets union cash but treats us with contempt

02 February 2002
"My union has supported Labour candidates in every election since it was founded more than 100 years ago. But no longer can the party take the support of our members for granted."

Anger at TUC smears

02 February 2002
Revelations that an official in the Trades Union Congress has been trying to stop the election of left wing candidates in union elections are fuelling anger among trade unionists. Socialist Worker reported two weeks ago on smears against Bob Crow, the left wing candidate for general secretary of the RMT rail union. A meeting of the union's west of England and South Wales region took place in Bristol, also two weeks ago.

Why do the unions bankroll New Labour?

26 January 2002
WORKERS ACROSS Britain are beginning to voice their anger and frustration with the New Labour government. They see continuing privatisation and the government pandering to its big business friends while workers have to battle over pay, conditions and job cuts. Trade unionists spoke to Socialist Worker over what they feel about New Labour. They raised questions about the unions funding the Labour Party.

'More than just a strike on the rail'

19 January 2002
DO YOU think there's going to be a Winter of Discontent? I THINK there is a real possibility. Before the attacks in New York on 11 September we saw a rising mood of bitterness in the trade unions over privatisation, and discussions about breaking the link between the unions and New Labour. That was beheaded on 11 September. When the TUC conference was called off, so was the debate over privatisation. Blair got away scot free.

Interference in other elections

19 January 2002
EVERY TRADE unionist should be asking questions about what is happening inside the TUC. While some newspapers denounce the "politically motivated union men" behind the rail strikes, we can show who the real plotters were.

TUC's own official part of plots against left leaders

19 January 2002
SOCIALIST WORKER has seen vital documents about the involvement of the Trades Union Congress in the current elections to high office of the RMT rail union. They make it clear that at least one official at the TUC has been plotting with a right wing official of the RMT to improve the vote of right wing candidates and smear rivals from the left. The main documents are:

Taking on Blair's strikebreaking

10 November 2001
Strikers in the government's new Pathfinder job centre and Benefits Agency offices are continuing their determined action. New Labour has launched attempts at strikebreaking and union busting. Around 2,500 civil servants in the PCS union are on all-out strike against the government's plans to remove screens in the new amalgamated offices. Screens are important for staff supplying benefits because of the increased harshness of the government's system.

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