Privatisation

Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Ollie Moore, Charlotte Zalens, Peggy Carter and Gemma Short

On 16 June over 100 people attended a short-notice demonstration called at Brixton’s Ritzy cinema, in protest at the sacking of three trade union reps. Three reps for the Bectu union at the Ritzy were sacked for failing to report to management the contents of an email sent from a Bectu branch email address to members’ private emails, which mentioned actions that community supporters of cinema workers’ strikes planned to undertake. One other rep remains suspended and awaiting disciplinary.

Defend sacked cinema reps; Tube workers held back by the anti-union laws; fight at Forest Hill School continues; BA blacklisting workers; UoL security guards strike; Southern overtime ban; Unite sacks Coyne.

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Grenfell: Capitalism kills

Author: 

Gemma Short

Around 1am on Wednesday 13 June a fire tore through 24-storey Grenfell Tower in the London borough of Kensington and Chelsea, killing a currently unknown number of people. Firefighters have told people the number will be in triple figures.

The fire at Grenfell Tower has exposed inequality in housing and exploded the narrative that “we’re all in this together”. The class divide exists. It kills people.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Gemma Short, Charlotte Zalens and Peggy Carter

Cinema workers at East Dulwich Picturehouse in south London will strike on Saturday 27 May to coincide with the opening of the new Pirates of the Caribbean film. Workers at the other cinemas involved in the dispute have just voted for further strikes, and will be on strike on 3-4 June to coincide with the Sundance Film Festival, which Picturehouse hosts.

Cinema workers protest at Cineworld AGM; Argos warehouse workers strike; students support lecturers’ strike; train companies threaten striking guards; LSE threatens cleaners; school strikes suspended.

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Labour: rebuild the welfare state

Author: 

Gemma Short

The welfare state created by the 1945 Labour government was a little bit of the “political economy of the working class” carved out of a still capitalist economy (a phrase Karl Marx first used to describe the victory of the fight for a ten-hour working day).

To some extent the ruling class has been forced to accept a minimal level of state provision. There is a constant battle over what proportion of profits is redirected, over who should receive support, and what sort of support is given. The ruling class has been winning that battle for some time.

The Labour manifesto is a significant shift from decades of neo-liberal consensus where the “political economy of the ruling class”, the rule of the market in every aspect of our lives, has almost destroyed the “political economy of the working class” carved out of capitalism in the shape of the welfare state.

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Grow old? Fall sick? Vote Labour!

Author: 

Editorial

The Tories used their general election manifesto to reveal their true callousness. They decided to squeeze more money out of elderly people to pay for social care, and hit less well pensioners by cutting winter fuel payments and ditching the “triple lock” on pensions (introduced in 2011 the triple lock guarantees that the basic state pension will rise by 2.5%, the rate of inflation, or average earnings growth, whichever is largest).

The Tories’ real intention is to open up new markets in the insurance industry for products to cover elder care. With private companies in on the “business of care”, after-death sale of homes will likely be forced.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Gemma Short, Charlotte Zalens and Peggy Carter

Staff at Manchester Metropolitan University will strike against job cuts on 24 and 25 May, against a backdrop of hundreds of jobs at risk across the sector. Manchester University is planning to cut 171 jobs; up to 150 are at risk at Aberystwyth; 139 at the University of Wales Trinity St David; Sunderland, Durham and Plymouth are all looking for voluntary redundancies.

Universities start cutting jobs; LSE cleaners fight back; Fujitsu workers fight 1,800 job losses; stop job cuts at EHRC; nurses may ballot for strikes.

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Security guards at University of London strike for security and wage rise

Author: 

Sacha Ismail

Security guards at the central University of London site in Bloomsbury took a third day of strike action against the university and contractor Cordant on 16 May, following two last month. They want an end to disguised use of zero-hours contracts, itemised pay slips and a pay rise they were promised six years ago when UoL’s outsourced workers first won the Living Wage.

The Independent Workers of Great Britain union is continuing to put the leaderships of the big unions to shame by pushing hard for the demands of workers where it organises, despite daunting circumstances.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Ollie Moore and Gemma Short

RMT members on Northern rail struck again on 28 April. The strike was every bit as solid as the previous two days’ action, reducing the company’s service to 40% of its usual level, with scab labour being provided by managers.

The union is yet to announce its next move. It will need to think carefully about what to do next, taking into account the various different situations at different Train Operating Companies around the country.

Drivers crucial to DOO fight; teachers turn up heat on council; RMT protests at sweatshop hotel; Picturehouse can afford to pay!; Tube news round-up.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Gemma Short and Ollie Moore

On Tuesday 25 and Wednesday 26 April, National Union of Teachers’ (NUT) members at Forest Hill school in Lewisham struck for the fifth time in their on-going dispute against a management proposed restructuring to deal with a £1.3 million deficit. The management’s proposal sheds 15 teaching jobs, significantly increases teachers’ workload, radically reduces the depth of the creative aspects of the curriculum, ends any specialist English as an Additional Language (EAL) support, and massively diminishes the support for students with Special Educational Needs.

Forest Hill teachers strike; cinema workers to strike on May Day; Tube round-up; NUT: close vote on Labour; DOO strikes continue; UCLU cleaners strike.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Ollie Moore, Janine Booth, Peggy Carter and Gemma Short

National Union of Teachers (NUT) members at Forest Hill School in Lewisham will strike again on 20, 25 and 26 April in their campaign against vicious cuts being imposed by management to fulfil conditions of repayment of loan to Lewisham council. There is a demonstration on Saturday 22 April.

The proposed restructure at the school is in response to a £1.3m deficit. Lewisham council has given the school a “loan” however they are demanding that the school cuts £800,000 from their wage bill.

Forest Hill strikes again; reinstate Lee Cornell!; Night Tube win; RCN to ballot nurses over pay; RMT holds first disabled members conference; train strikes disrupt Grand National; six cinemas on strike; cleaners’ wild-cat strike.

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