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: 

Dale Street, Martin Corby and Neil Laker

Ten employees of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) were sacked with immediate effect on Thursday 9 February by email — whilst they were on strike! They were told to come into work the next day to clear their desks.

Sacked while on strike; university threatens campus closure; mass Job Centre closures; DOO fight at Northern.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Gemma Short, Ollie Moore, Peggy Carter and Simon Nelson

Workers at four Picturehouse branches in London will strike on Saturday 11 February. A new ballot including two new sites — Picturehouse Central and Crouch End Picturehouse — returned a 95% yes vote on a 75% turn out.

The Bectu section of Prospect, the Picturehouse workers′ union, had already balloted in January, but the ballot was challenged by bosses on a legal technicality. Individual workers have also been threatened with legal action over unfounded claims of intimidation and secondary picketing.

Picturehouse workers to strike; Tube staff win concessions; LSE cleaners fight victimisation; Southern: reject this sell out; public support for Derby TAs; Kinsley Three sacked.

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McCluskey moves ahead, but not left

Author: 

Dale Street

In the election campaigning for the post of Unite the Union’s General Secretary, the McCluskey election machine continues to deliver the goods.

With a while still to go before nominations close on 17 February, over 300 branches have nominated Len McCluskey, who has been general secretary since 2011 but has stood down early so he could run for a third term. A statement supporting McCluskey has been signed by 60 out of 64 Executive Council members and a similarly overwhelming majority on other top levels of the union.

The slick campaign being run for Len McCluskey conceals a number of problems, including the gap which separates McCluskey’s election rhetoric from reality, and the gap between McCluskey’s policies and the policies which Unite should be championing.

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Trump’s “America First” means workers last

Author: 

Lance Selfa

Perhaps it’s foolish to take anything Donald Trump says as an articulation of core principles or beliefs. But this passage from his inaugural address hit many like a bolt of lightning: From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this moment on, it’s going to be America First. Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families. We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies, and destroying our jobs.

Labour leaders like Jimmy Hoffa Jr. are giving Trump the cover to paint his economic programme — which in reality is based on tax cuts for the rich, allowing corporations free reign, and selling the US as a low-wage economy — as “populist” and pro-worker.

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Marxist Theory and History: 

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Any future for the steel industry?

Author: 

John Cunningham

I was born in a steel town – Stocksbridge, about 9 miles west of Sheffield. The steelworks were huge and employed at its peak 6,500 workers. The sirens which marked the start and end of shifts, the roar of furnaces, the clanging of shunting trains and machinery, were constant background noise to my early years.

In 1971, the steel industry employed 320,000. Today that figure stands at around 18,000.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Ralph Peters, Ollie Moore, Charlotte Zalens, Peggy Carter and Gemma Short

Teaching assistants in Derby held a rally, march and picket of the Derby Council meeting on 25 January. 400 TAs surrounded the Council House prior to the Council meeting. As previously reported in Solidarity, TAs are fighting a pay cut that for some is as high as 30% and a complete rewriting of their contract.

Derby TAs confront Labour; Tube station staff strike for jobs; Tube drivers strike; Southern dispute continues; ferry workers strike for safety; BA cabin crew set more strikes; King’s cleaners strike for jobs.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Ollie Moore, Charlotte Zalens, Peggy Carter, Michael Elms and Gemma Short

Tube workers’ union RMT has announced its members on stations will strike again from 6 February unless London Underground bosses meet its demands for an increased staffing level. The company’s latest proposal is to reinstate 250 of the jobs it cut under the “Fit for the Future” programme, but RMT has rejected the offer as insufficient.

Tube workers plan further strikes; Tories backing Southern’s war; Derby teaching assistants fight 25% pay cut; Picturehouse cinema strike solidarity; BA cabin crew strike again; teachers fight unfair scrutiny; Kings cleaners’ strike ballot.

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Keep the guards on the trains!

Author: 

Ollie Moore

Workers on Southern Rail are striking on 10-13 and 24-27 January, as they attempt to force Southern bosses to reverse the imposition of “Driver Only Operation” (DOO). Guards on Southern, who are members of the RMT union, also struck from 31 December to 2 January.

The 10-13 January strike had originally been scheduled for 9-14 January, but drivers’ union Aslef reduced it to three days, with their General Secretary Mick Whelan saying they had listened to “concerns” which suggested a six-day strike was “disproportionate”.

Rail strikes are set to spread, after RMT began balloting its members on Northern Rail for strikes, in a vote which runs between 10-25 January.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Ollie Moore, Gerry Bates, Dale Street, Gemma Short and Charlotte Zalens

Members of the train drivers’ union Aslef on Southern began an overtime ban on 6 December, and are preparing to strike alongside RMT guards later in the month. The guards’ latest strikes began on 6 December and will continue until 8 December, with Aslef due to participate in further strikes on 13-14 and 16 December.

Drivers join Southern fight; support Crossrail wildcat strike; Tube bosses forced to address staffing crisis; no cuts at EHRC; Picturehouse rejects living wage; Durham TAs push back council.

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