Defending jobs

The Vestas workers' struggle

Vestas

Author: 

AWL

For a full list of all stories on this website about Vestas, click here. Key articles below:

What you can do - practical solidarity

The story so far - timeline 28 April to 18 August

Why wind turbine production should be publicly owned - Government minister Joan Ruddock challenged face-to-face on her "principles"

Key articles on the factory occupation that brought the issues of renewable energy and of jobs together, and both centre-stage.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Ollie Moore and Gemma Short

Members of the RMT union on Southern Rail have struck again, this time for five days, as they continue their battle to defend the role of the guard. Southern, which is owned by Govia Thameslink Railway, a train company which operates other services, including Gatwick Express, wants to de-skill the guard's role, meaning the safety-critical on-board tasks would be carried out by the driver only.

Southern: labour war continues; job cuts on East Coast; how not to save jobs; Derby teaching assistants fight on.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Dennis Brian, Luke Hardy and Gemma Short

On Wednesday 20th July, library workers in Lewisham took their third strike day to defend our libraries. In the evening the workers, service users and community activists held a lively lobby of Lewisham council.

The council wants to make £1 million of cuts to the library service. They propose taking staff from four libraries, hoping that local voluntary organisations will take over the running of these libraries.
This would leave only three full libraries open in the borough.

Fight to save libraries spreads; Leeds bus workers win pay deal; striking cleaners win London living wage; keep the guard on the train!

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Teachers and lecturers strike and protest on 5 July

Author: 

Peggy Carter and Ben Tausz

Teachers struck on Tuesday 5 July in a well supported national strike for guaranteed terms and conditions across all schools, increased funding to schools, and the resumption of negotiations on teacher workload.

The strike saw large protests. The march in London was overwhelmingly young, and many young teachers told Solidarity sellers that they had joined the Labour Party in the past year.

On Tuesday 5 July, UCU members at 33 universities walked out to coincide with the teachers’ national strike against school funding cuts.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Gerry Bates, Simon Nelson and Ollie Moore

On 7 July the International Dockworkers’ Council (IDC), the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) called a one-hour world-wide strike, from 8 a.m. local time.

Under the slogan “Defend Dockers Rights,” the Global Day of Union Action was organised to call for: Improved health and safety in the workplace, an end to job deregulation, respect for bargaining rights and collective agreements, the need for universal labor standards in GNTs, the concerns over automation processes in terminals, and social justice.

Global strike in the ports; Minnesota nurses strike for control; progress for left at Unison conference; driver-only operation fight continues; ISS must investigate chemicals.

Around the world: 

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Ollie Moore, Charlotte Zalens and Daniel Randall

Workers at Southern struck again on 21 June in their dispute against “Driver Only Operation” (DOO). One of the strikers spoke to rank-and-file railworkers’ bulletin Off The Rails.

News from across the unions.

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Democracy, direct action, and socialism


There are decisive turning points in history that shape the future for many years ahead. The British labour movement was brought to such a turning point by the victory of the Thatcherite Tories in the 1979 general election and the events that came after it. The defeat of the labour movement then shaped the social, political, and ethical world we live in now. Was that defeat unavoidable? The revolutionary left argued then that it wasn’t: that if we mobilised our strength we could defeat Thatcher, as we had defeated her Tory predecessors in 1972-4.
Is direct action undemocratic? What methods should the labour movement use to defeat the bosses? Should we stick within the law? This new pamphlet discusses these issues and more.

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Marxist Theory and History: 

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Financial Times backs workers' control

Author: 

Martin Thomas

According to law, when a company collapses, the creditors (the other companies to which it owes money) have rights. The workers, and the retired workers dependent on pensions funded by the company, have few.

When the company is prospering, however, all the rights belong in theory to the shareholders, who have limited rights when the company collapses but, on the other hand, stand to lose little then.

It doesn't make sense to you? More interesting, it also makes no sense to John Kay, a conservative economist who writes regularly for the Financial Times.

In the case of BHS, workers' control makes sense even to a conservative economist writing for the Financial Times.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Gemma Short, Luke Hardy, Peggy Carter, Ollie Moore, Charlotte Zalens and Neil Laker

Workers at Pennine Foods in Sheffield have suspended their strikes after negotiations meant bosses agreed not to implement changes to their contracts. Negotiations also got bosses to agree to all employees receiving a lump sum for their 2015 pay rise. Negotiations will continue on the contract and further strikes are not ruled out. The contract changes at Pennine Foods were in order for bosses to try to recoup some of the money from implementing the government′s new ″living wage″.

Bosses dodge “living wage”; Camden teachers striking to stop job cuts; bosses make £11m profit, workers get 16p; cleaners fight back against sackings; ScotRail guards vote for strikes; Durham County Council sacks all teaching assistants; Capita workers strike over pay cuts.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Mark Mills, Tony Byrne, Ollie Hill, Ollie Moore and Gemma Short

Bakers’, Food and Allied Workers’ Union (BFAWU) members are in the middle of a fierce battle against massive pay cuts in a food factory in Sheffield.

Pennine Foods is part of 2 Sisters Group, which has revenue of over £3 billion; its owner Ranjit Singh Boparan has a personal wealth of £190 million. Boparan’s “salami-slicing” of conditions has been going on now for 8 years.

Sheffield food factory strike; train drivers: reject means reject!; GTR uses courts to stop strikes; Tube bosses celebrate job cuts; Barnet library workers to strike.

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