Privatisation

Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Jim Denham, Simon Nelson, Brenda Allen and Ollie Moore

Birmingham refuse workers have forced the Labour council to back down on plans to cut jobs and pay. The dispute has been suspended after seven weeks of discontinuous action, a day before Unite was to have balloted to extend the action to Christmas.

In talks at ACAS, the council agreed to withdraw the threat to leading hands’ jobs and pay: in response Unite has agreed to discuss the possibility of a move from four-day to five-day working and other potential cost savings.

Bin workers force council to back down; BA workers continue strikes; no pay rise for 10 years; DOO strikes continue; Central Line drivers plan strikes; cleaners’ struggles round-up.

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Bart's strikers name more dates

Author: 

Gemma Short

Serco-employed workers at Bart's Health NHS Trust will strike again on 18-22, 25-29 August, and 1-5, 8-12, and 15-19 September.

Workers have so far stuck for 22 days, including a two week strike from 25 July to 7 August, in their fight over low pay. Serco is still refusing to negotiate with the workers' union Unite.

They are demanding a 30p per hour increase, and for lower workloads.

Bart's strikers plan strikes throughout August and September.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Ollie Moore and Gemma Short

July has seen a number of interesting and potentially important developments in the ongoing dispute between rail unions and the Train Operating Companies (TOCs) and the government over Driver Only Operation (DOO).

DOO fight spreads; staff cuts put passengers at risk; reinstate the Picturehouse Four!; uncertainty at Forest Hill; Barts workers strike again.

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The crisis in social care

Author: 

Karen Shuttleworth

Old people today eh, growing up with all the benefits associated with a welfare state they have had the audacity to not die of horrible childhood diseases, malnutrition or in childbirth, like in the good old days. They have the cheek to continue living for more than a couple of years after retirement. Some inconveniently remain alive for decades after ceasing to be productive members of the work force.

The current state of adult social care is intolerable for both staff and service users.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Simon Marks, Ken Worthington, Ollie Moore, Simon Nelson and Gemma Short

A primary school in Sheffield is to become the first to get rid of all its teaching assistants. As part of a cost-cutting restructure, unions claim the school is planning on sacking its nine teaching assistants.

Sheefield primary scraps all teaching assistants; London hospital outsourced workers fight low pay; Kirkleees social workers strike; Durham teaching assistants reject deal; train drivers support guards’ strike; Tube workers strike for permanent jobs; defend the Picturehouse Four!; Mike Ashley drinks and vomits while workers suffer; teachers’ pay still frozen.

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Grenfell’s forgotten victims

Author: 

Gemma Short and Hugh Daniels

Survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire who were in the UK illegally have been told they will only get 12 months limited leave to remain by the Home Office. In a year’s time people could be forcibly deported. This, despite an appeal from the police just two weeks ago for people to come forward with information about those who were living in the tower, and for survivors to come forward to receive support, where the police claimed that immigration status would not be a problem.

Stop this social cleansing!

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Ollie Moore and Gemma Short

As Solidarity goes to press, the annual general meeting of the National Union of Rail, Maritime, and Transport workers (RMT) is debating a series of motions at its annual general meeting on its relationship with the Labour Party. The RMT, whose predecessor union helped found Labour, effectively had its affiliation cancelled by the New Labour leadership in 2004, after the RMT leadership refused to censure Scottish branches which wanted to back candidates of the Scottish Socialist Party, then an active and growing force.

Will the RMT reaffiliate to Labour?; RMT votes against free movement; defend the Picturehouse four!; Lewisham council shames Labour; outsourcing round-up; Unison conference wakes up.

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Grenfell: the powerful are still not listening

Author: 

Charlotte Zalens

So far all 95 tower blocks which have had their cladding tested since the fire at Grenfell in Kensington, west London, have failed fire safety standards. These buildings are potentially as dangerous for their tenants as Grenfell was. Many hundreds of buildings are still to be tested.

The lives of working-class people have been routinely put on the line to make ″savings″ at every level of building planning and construction.

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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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