Strikes and lock-outs

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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French strikers defy bosses

Lutte Ouvrière (editorial 12 June)

The government, the bosses and the media ... have used the victims of the floods as part of their grotesque moral blackmail [in a fight over France’s new labour laws]. They used Euro 2016 to demand that the strikes stop. And, in spite of everything, the SNCF [French rail] strike is carrying on, the refuse workers are sticking to their guns, and Air France pilots have carried out their threat to strike. They are right to do so.

The national demonstration organised in Paris on 14 June, and the many initiatives which are being taken locally, are an opportunity for French workers to show the massive rejection of the anti-labour law.

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Junior doctors call to reject contract

Author: 

Pete Campbell and Yannis Gourtsoyannis

On Friday 3 June the British Medical Association’s junior doctors’ committee met to discuss the proposed new contract. The committee agreed not to make a recommendation for the referendum which runs from 17 June to 1 July. Some members will be campaigning to reject. JDC members Pete Campbell and Yannis Gourtsoyannis set out their reasons in this article.


Whilst gains have been made by junior doctors over the last eight months it is clear that we do not yet have a contract offer as good as the one we are presently working under.

On Friday 3 June the British Medical Association’s junior doctors’ committee met to discuss the proposed new contract.

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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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France: strike movement grows

Author: 

Olivier Delbeke

Over the last week, the balance of forces has shifted in favour of the working class. This was a surprise for its enemies, who responded with howls of anger, and a powerful and growing cause for confidence and unity within the ranks of the social layers in the battle — but also for those who haven't yet joined in, but who are watching, listening and learning. But you wouldn't hear this by watching or reading the national media, who, for just this reason, have taken up a shrill tone of outrage, which is becoming fouler and more ridiculous by the day.

French workers are playing for high stakes in terms of their conditions of life and work. The most conscious part of the movement knows this full well, and will organise to beat a Hollande-Valls government which is running out of steam.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Cath Fletcher, John Moloney and Ollie Moore

Catering staff at the University of Manchester have won a deal for no compulsory redundancies, no loss of hours, and no pay cuts. Their employer, UMC, a subsidiary company wholly owned by University of Manchester, had said in March that it would sack 46 of its 280-odd catering workers and move the rest to term-time only contracts — meaning a pay cut of about one third. Hannah McCarthy, the student union Campaigns and Citizenship Officer and vice-chair of Manchester Momentum, spoke to Solidarity.

Students help Manchester University workers win; lecturers strike for fair pay in HE; No to the DWP “employer” deal; train bosses hire scabs; cabin crew vote to strike over safety.

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Wins for Verizon workers

Author: 

Ollie Moore

Workers at US telecommunications giant Verizon have forced significant concessions from their bosses, after a strike that lasted more than six weeks. Around 40,000 Verizon staff are expected to return to work on Wednesday 1 June after the company reached a settlement with their unions, the Communication Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, which sees the company retreat from its plans to cut staff pensions and increase outsourcing.

Workers at US telecommunications giant Verizon have forced significant concessions from their bosses, after a strike that lasted more than six weeks.

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Reject junior doctors “deal”

Author: 

Pete Campbell, BMA Junior Doctors Committee, personal capacity

The BMA junior doctors′ council will meet on Friday 3 June to decide its response to the ″deal″ that the BMA has made with the government.

The BMA junior doctors′ council will meet on Friday 3 June to decide its response to the ″deal″ that the BMA has made with the government.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Neil Laker, Peggy Carter, Ollie Moore, Darren Bedford and Charlotte Zalens

In March, the University of Manchester announced plans to restructure its subsidiary company, UMC, making 46 redundancies in catering while moving the remaining staff on to “term-time only” contracts.

This latter move would have meant cuts of about one third to their total pay. But now, as a result of solid negotiating by Unison, and agitation, occupations and disruption by students, management have backed down. There will be no compulsory redundancies, no loss of hours and no pay cuts.

Manchester University catering staff win; lecturers strike; rail workers’ disputes spread; CalMac ferries stay public; Glen Hart reinstated; left makes gains in PCS.

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“Cost-neutral” clause poisons ACAS formula for junior doctors

Author: 

Dr Pete Campbell

During the past year junior doctors have learnt a lot. From how to organise a picket and deal with the media, to contract law and equality impact assessments.

On Wednesday 18 May, the Government taught us a lesson in media management.

News of the deal at the government arbitration service ACAS broke, and the Government was able to shape the story. “The war is over”, “the deal is done”, “BMA agrees terms with NHS Employers”.
It left a lot of junior doctors scratching their heads. Was that it? Had we just lost?

On Wednesday 18 May, the Government taught junior doctors a lesson in media management.

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