Strikes and lock-outs

Cinema workers strike again

Workers at the Ritzy cinema in south London will strike again on Wednesday 21 May from 5 p.m.

The workers, who are members of BECTU, have undertaken a sustained campaign of strikes, protests, rallies, and other actions, to win the London Living Wage.

A similar campaign of BECTU members at the Curzon cinema in Soho was recently given an official award by the union at its 2014 AGM.

Workers at the Ritzy cinema in south London are set to strike again.

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Industrial news in brief

Workers at the Ritzy cinema in Brixton, London are balloting for more strikes. The campaign is gathering momentum but management are still refusing to negotiate on demands for the London Living Wage. Workers have struck three times in the last three weeks.

Students support Lambeth College strike

The dispute at Lambeth College between workers and management continues. UCU members at the college are fighting against reduced terms and conditions for new workers, as well as threats to the conditions of current staff.

Brixton Ritzy cinema strike; students support Lambeth College strike; Church of Scotland workers strike.

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Save Lambeth College!

Lambeth College workers struck on Thursday 1 May.

Workers are fighting the introduction of reduced terms and conditions for new workers, creating a two-tier workforce at the college, and threats to the terms and conditions of current staff.

An all out indefinite strike by members of the UCU union had been announced. However the bosses at Lambeth College obtained an injunction against that action. The 1 May strike was exempt from the injunction and so went ahead.

Workers at Lambeth College are fighting the introduction of reduced terms and conditions for new workers and threats to the terms and conditions of current staff.

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Tube strike forces concessions: keep up the pressure!

The RMT rail union suspended its three-day strike on 5-8 May after the union reached a settlement with London Underground management.

The settlement commits management to actually carrying out the station-by-station review first promised after the February strikes, sets out a timescale for this (by 23 May), and establishes a framework for proper trade union input. The settlement also commits managements to discussions to “ensure” that workers who previously faced pay cuts will be reallocated to a role of at least equivalent salary.

The RMT rail union suspended its three-day strike on 5-8 May after the union reached a settlement with London Underground management.

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Firefighters' pensions battle escalates

Firefighters took industrial action over three days last week as the FBU’s pensions long-running battle escalated.

Firefighters in England and Wales took strike action between noon and 5pm on 2 May, between 2pm on 3 May and 2am on 4 May and between 10am and 3pm on Sunday 4 May. In addition, there was a ban on voluntary overtime across England and Wales from 3pm on 4 May until noon on 9 May, and in Scotland a ban on voluntary overtime between noon on 2 May and noon on 9 May.

Firefighters took industrial action over three days last week as the FBU’s pensions long-running battle escalated.

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Pickets and protests: May Day 2014 in London

What Workers' Liberty members in London did on International Workers' Day 2014.

On the morning of Thursday 1 May (International Workers' Day) 2014, the London Underground network was just returning to normal after a two-day strike as part of the campaign against ticket office closures and job cuts.

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Industrial news in brief

On 1 May, UCU members at Lambeth College in South London will begin indefinite strike action to block attacks on their conditions.

These attacks include increased working and contact hours, cuts to annual leave, additional duties for no extra pay, reduced redundancy notice and drastically reduced sick pay.

Management are attempting to impose the new contracts on new workers, current staff who are promoted, and hourly-paid staff. They have also said that these new conditions may be rolled out to cover all staff.

Lambeth College strike; Crown Post office deal; SOAS cleaners win.

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Support the Tube strikes!

London Underground workers in the RMT union are striking on 28-30 April and 5-8 May against job and service cuts.

The dispute is better and stronger than other recent campaigns because it is against the principle of cuts. Even if London Underground can find a way to axe 900-odd front-line jobs and increase managerial posts by redeployment and voluntary redundancy, Tube workers oppose the cuts.

All workers will benefit if the Tube workers manage to put down a marker and defeat the job cuts.

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Tube workers set for more strikes

London Underground workers in the RMT union plan five days of strikes to stop the company slashing frontline jobs and closing ticket offices.

Strikes are due to begin at 9pm on Monday 28 April, and conclude on the evening of Wednesday 30 April, with a second strike commencing at 9pm on Monday 5 May and running until Thursday 8 May. Tube workers struck against management’s cuts plan in February, forcing a pause in the implementation of the scheme, but extended negotiations have seen management intransigent and revealed the full extent of the cuts.

London Underground workers in the RMT union plan five days of strikes to stop the company slashing frontline jobs and closing ticket offices.

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Industrial news in brief

Workers at The Ritzy Cinema, Brixton, struck for the second time on Friday 18 April and Saturday 19 April, part of an escalating campaign of action for the Living Wage.

The picket line, timed to coincide with the release of The Amazing Spiderman 2, was lively and well attended. The energetic picket activity included a kids’ club, face painting, break dancing, music and Spiderman himself.

Brixton cinema strike; Doncaster care workers continue dispute; Heathrow Express walkout.

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Doncaster Care UK workers continue the fight

Around 80 out of 120 Care UK staff who work with vulnerable people with learning disabilities in Doncaster continue to refuse to sign new contracts that would wipe out up to 50% of wages that comes from weekend and evening work, along with other benefits such as reducing sick pay from 6 months to 1 month and not receiving anything for the first few days off.

There has been nearly three weeks of strike action since the dispute erupted in February at the private care company, with Unison members planning a further 4 days strike action over the Easter weekend.

Care UK workers in Doncaster, who have held prolonged strikes against the imposition of new contracts, are keeping up their struggle.

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Industrial news in brief

Cinema workers at the Ritzy cinema in Brixton have announced 11 April as the date for the first strike in their dispute over pay.

Members of BECTU at the cinema have conducted a long-running campaign to win the London Living Wage of £8.80 an hour. The typical hourly rate at the Ritzy is currently £7.24.

Workers voted to strike by an 85% majority.

Sparks win contract fight

Electricians working at a Network Rail construction site in Three Bridges, Sussex won new contracts following a wildcat strike on 4 April.

Cinema workers strike; sparks win contract fight; Doncaster care workers to strike again.

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Tube workers gear up for further strikes

The negotiations forced on London Underground bosses by Tube workers’ strike of 4-6 February will conclude on 14 April.

Activists in the RMT union say the talks have been useful for learning more about the scale of bosses’ cuts plans, but that little progress has been made, management remain intransigent and workers must be prepared to strike again.

Activists in the RMT union say that talks with Tube bosses have been useful for learning more about the scale of cuts plans but that little progress has been made and and workers must be prepared to strike again.

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Teachers need a clear set of demands

Delegates to the conference of the National Union of Teachers will meet in Brighton from 18-22 April just weeks after our national strike.

Top of the agenda will be the national dispute with Michael Gove and, specifically, the next steps in the campaign of industrial action and public agitation. As at previous conferences the debate on the dispute will be shaped by a priority motion from the National Executive and amendments from delegates.

There are at least three major issues to resolve.

The National Union of Teachers conference will discuss the way ahead for the national dispute.

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Probation officers and solicitors strike

Probation officers and criminal solicitors struck at the end of March, in a dual protest against the outsourcing of 70% of the probation service and a huge cut to the budget for legal aid.

Probation officers struck on 31 March, while solicitors struck for two days to 1 April.

Probation officers and criminal solicitors struck at the end of March, in a dual protest against the outsourcing of 70% of the probation service and a huge cut to the budget for legal aid.

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Teachers strike, 10,000 march in London

Members of the National Union of Teachers struck across the country on 26 March against government policies, and 10,000 marched in London

Members of the National Union of Teachers struck across the country on 26 March against government policies, and 10,000 marched in London despite cold, rain, and hail.

Reports from individual schools varied, but some had had good picket lines and a good turnout.

The dominant slogans on the London march were along the lines of "Gove out!"

Unfortunately the union leadership proposes nothing definite as a schedule of escalating action which could really push the government back. That debate must be had out at the union's annual conference at Easter.

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Ealing hospital workers' seven-day strike

Outsourced health workers at Ealing Hospital in West London struck for seven days from Friday 14 March.

They are currently paid £6.31 an hour, 44% less than the lowest-paid directly-employed NHS staff. The workers are employed by Medirest, an outsourcing company which provides domestics, porters, catering workers, and other staff services. They are members of the GMB union, and have already struck for four days since the start of 2014.

Outsourced health workers at Ealing Hospital in West London struck for seven days from Friday 14 March.

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Teachers' dispute must escalate

Members of the National Union of Teachers will strike on Wednesday 26 March.

Talks with the Department of Education are ongoing, but the government has made it very clear that these talks will not deal with the issues at the heart of the teachers’ dispute. They will only discuss the implementation of policies, including the raising of the retirement age to 69, the end of final salary pensions, and the end of automatic annual pay progression.

Public campaigning, street stalls, rallies and meetings that the NUT has rightly been carrying out need to be backed up with a serious industrial strategy. This continues to be the only way to revive the dispute and give real hope to the tens of thousands of teachers who will strike on 26 March.

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Teachers will strike on 26 March

A special meeting of the National Executive of the National Union of Teachers has confirmed a national strike will take place on 26 March.

A special meeting of the National Executive of the National Union of Teachers has confirmed a national strike will take place on 26 March.

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SOAS cleaners to strike again

Cleaning workers at the School of African and Oriental Studies (SOAS) in central London will strike again on 21 March.

The workers, who are members of Unison, struck on 4-5 March. They are employed by private cleaning contractor ISS, and are demanding the same holiday entitlement, contractual sick pay, and pension scheme as directly-employed staff.

Workers are not satisfied with the progress made since the 4-5 March strike, so will walk out again for 24 hours on 21 March.

Cleaning workers at the School of African and Oriental Studies in central London will strike again on 21 March.

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Toyota Bangalore lock-out

Toyota’s Indian subsidiary has locked out around 6,400 workers at its two plants near Bangalore after workers protested against a delay in receiving pay rises following 10 months of negotiations.

In response to the protests and assembly-line stoppages, Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) closed its factories on Sunday 16 March and has not said when they will re-open.

Prasanna Kumar of the Motor Corporation Employees’ Union said: “The lockout is illegal as management did not give the mandatory 14-day notice to employees and the state labour office.

Toyota’s Indian subsidiary has locked out around 6,400 workers at its two plants near Bangalore after workers protested against a delay in receiving pay rises following 10 months of negotiations.

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Probation officers to strike

Probation officers in England and Wales will strike on 31 March and 1 April against the proposed privatisation of their service.

Members of the National Association of Probation Officers (NAPO) also struck in November 2013, only the fourth strike in the union’s history. NAPO general secretary Ian Lawrence said: “The Coalition’s plans to sell off the management of offenders to private providers so that they can make a profit from the justice system is a recklessly dangerous social experiment that presents massive risks to the safety of communities.”

Probation officers in England and Wales will strike on 31 March and 1 April against the proposed privatisation of their service.

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Teachers need a strategy

Nominations for General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) close on 30 April.

Martin Powell-Davies, secretary of Lewisham NUT, is standing as the left candidate for General Secretary, with the support of the rank-and-file activists’ network Lanac, along with Patrick Murphy (Leeds NUT secretary and an AWL member) for Deputy General Secretary.

Martin Powell-Davies, secretary of Lewisham NUT, is standing as the left candidate for General Secretary, with the support of the rank-and-file activists’ network Lanac, along with Patrick Murphy (Leeds NUT secretary and an AWL member) for Deputy General Secretary.

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Industrial news in brief

Campaigners presented online retail giant Amazon with a 56,000-strong petition demanding it pay living wages.

The hand-in, which took place on Friday 28 February, was the latest action in an ongoing media campaign to expose exploitation in Amazon warehouses.

Campaigners have now set up a blog where Amazon workers can share and discuss experiences of working life.

Yorkshire care workers' seven-day strike

Workers at Care UK in Doncaster, South Yorkshire struck for a week from Thursday 27 February.

Amazon petition; Yorkshire care strike; Teamster Rebellion reading group.

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University cleaners strike

Outsourced cleaners at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in central London struck on 4 and 5 March to win the same holiday entitlement, contractual sick pay, and pension scheme as directly-employed staff.

The cleaners, who work for the outsourced company ISS, have been involved in the long-running Justice 4 Cleaners campaign at SOAS. The strong ballot of 100% in favour of strike action on a 62% turnout is a testament to the strength of the campaign and the local SOAS Unison branch.

Outsourced cleaners at the School of Oriental and African Studies in central London struck on 4 and 5 March to win the same holiday entitlement, contractual sick pay, and pension scheme as directly-employed staff.

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NUT must end its “one-day” culture

The upcoming National Union of Teachers (NUT) strike against the government’s attacks on teachers pay, terms, and conditions on March 26 is a positive development, and the strike should be built for across the country.

There needs to be serious discussion about what to do on the day and, most importantly, what should follow on from this strike. These discussion must involve the members at every level of the union. NUT activists must link up with other workers fighting across the public sector.

NUT activists must link up with other workers fighting across the public sector.

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Tube dispute: keep up the pressure

Tube unions RMT and TSSA suspended a strike planned for 11-13 February after London Underground management retreated slightly from the plans to implement massive job cuts and close every ticket office on the network.

A 4-6 February strike rocked bosses and Tory Mayor Boris Johnson, shutting down the vast majority of London Underground services. The strike forced an arrogant management and City Hall regime, which had been referring to the plans as a fait accompli, into a limited but real climb-down.

Tube unions RMT and TSSA suspended a strike planned for 11-13 February after London Underground management retreated slightly from the plans to implement massive job cuts and close every ticket office on the network.

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Anti-union pseudo-revolutionaries attack Tube workers' struggle

The bizarre Socialist Equality Party has taken the opportunity of Tube workers' ongoing fight against cuts to publish a denunciation of the RMT and of various “pseudo-left” socialist organisations involved in it - including us.

What is behind the Socialist Equality Party's attack on the RMT and socialists within it?

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Cleaners' stuggles

Cleaning workers at the School of African and Oriental Studies (SOAS) in central London will strike on 4-5 March.

The cleaners, who are employed by ISS, are members of Unison. Their strike ballot returned a 100% yes vote for strikes, on a 62% turnout.

The strike aims to win improved sick pay, annual leave, and pension rights for the cleaners, who currently receive only statutory sick pay and annual leave, and, while they can join ISS's pension scheme, are excluded from joining the SOAS scheme alongside their directly-employed colleagues.

Cleaning workers at the School of African and Oriental Studies in central London, at Ealing Hospital and on the London Undergound are all involved in struggles against their bosses.

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Where next for the universities dispute?

After three one-day strikes — and three two-hour strikes by UCU members — the universities’ pay dispute looks no closer to resolution.

The employers are refusing to talk, and say they regard the 2013/14 round as settled with the imposition of a 1% rise.

The UCU leadership has not delivered the escalation strategy proposed back in September — which would have seen a marking boycott begin in time to hit first semester exams in a significant proportion of institutions.

After three one-day strikes — and three two-hour strikes by UCU members — the universities’ pay dispute looks no closer to resolution.

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