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Reports round-up: Hundreds rally for trans conversion therapy ban

Conductors get ready for more strikes on trains, Luton airport workers win sick pay and there’s a victory on the tugboats
Issue 2801
Protesters hold placards saying "Trans rights now" and "Conversion therapy ban for all"

Hundreds rallied in Manchester (Picture: Mike Killian)

Around 200 people staged a protest and rally in Plymouth on Saturday, against the Tory plans to not ban conversion therapy for transgender people.

Some 600 people also attended a similar protest in Manchester.

Last week the government announced it wouldn’t ban conversion therapy for trans people.

New legislation will mean conversion therapy to attempt to change people’s sexuality will be outlawed, but those practices carried out to try to change people’s gender identity will not.

More than 30 people spoke to the Plymouth assembly about their experiences of institutional discrimination and condemned the Tory government as discriminatory and uncaring. The crowd repeatedly shouted “Stand with trans rights”.

Tony Staunton

Churchill workers get ready for strikes

Outsourced cleaning staff employed by the company Churchill will take to picket lines for 11 consecutive days.

Churchill staff who clean trains on Thameslink, Eurostar, South East Trading and HS1 lines are fighting for £15 an hour, to be brought in house and free travel.

The RMT union members are also fighting for company sick pay like nearly every other rail worker receives.

Following the previous shorter strikes workers will walk out from 27 April to 7 May.

Currently workers are paid as little as £8.91 an hour.

In 2020 Churchill made £39 million profit yet has refused to raise cleaners’ wages to an acceptable amount.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said, “With the profits Churchill makes, they could easily pay our members a fair wage, pay company sick pay and allow free travel across the network, just like directly employed railway staff.

“But Churchill have offered nothing meaningful to in our pursuit of pay justice.

“RMT will continue to ramp up its campaign and ensure that these greedy multimillion pound contractors are stripped of their ability to exploit workers on our railways.”

The strike is set to come shortly after it was revealed that Southeastern Trains bosses receive free travel while denying it to some of the lowest paid on the rail network.

It’s a disgrace that workers are paid a pittance to keep this vital service going, they should keep up the fight until bosses cave in.

Conductors escalate fight

TransPennine Express conductors walked out for an additional day last weekend in a row over pay and Sunday working.

They are fighting for flat payments of £250 for rest day working and £275 for working on Sunday.

 As part of their battle conductors on major lines have been striking each Sunday for several weeks.

The company has refused the workers’ demands, claiming there’s not enough money. But that’s a lie. Every day bosses are paid three times what conductors are asking for.

Workers’ RMT union has repeatedly pointed out that there are vastly different pay levels for conductors and other train crews for doing the same thing.

Walkout threats win some sick pay

Strikes by Luton Airport baggage handlers and check-in staff employed by GH London Ground Handling Services have been called off.

The Unite union made a deal that workers on the Wizz Air contract will receive sick pay for the first time. Those who have been working for at least a year will receive 13 weeks of sick pay.

Some 100 workers were due to strike on Tuesday of this week.

Meanwhile, at Heathrow Airport, Unite union members are balloting to strike over pay.

The 200 cargo handlers and truckers could soon be on strike, causing huge disruption to services such as American Airlines flights.

Tugboats workers accept pay deal

Tugboat workers at Teesport have called off strikes after bosses Svitzer made an improved offer.

Workers were due to walk out over their pay freeze from last Wednesday until last Sunday. The Unite union members have accepted the improved offer.

NEU staff set to act over disciplining

Unite union members employed by the NEU union planned to strike for 48 hours this week over a colleague they say was unfairly disciplined.

Workers voted 94 percent in favour of strikes after their colleague Michael Gavan, a regional NEU officer, was disciplined. Strikes were set to take place on Wednesday and Thursday of this week.

Car workers grease gears for walkouts

Warehouse workers and shunter drivers at the Mini plant in Oxford have vowed to strike over a new deal that would see them hit by a real terms pay cut.

Nearly 150 workers employed by Rudolph & Hellmann Automotive Limited will strike next Tuesday and Thursday. A further wave of strikes is set to hit on 4,6, 10, 12, 17 and 19 May.

Ballot opens at housing giant

Workers at Thirteen Housing Group, with over 35,000 properties in the north east of England and Yorkshire are being balloted for strikes over pay.

The Unite union members rejected a 3 percent pay offer.

They have been offered an extra day’s holiday on their birthday but they also face increased pension contributions leaving them £1,000 a year worse off.

The ballot opened on Tuesday.

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