Rail unions

Fantasy Union of Rail and Transport Workers

What kind of union do we need? There are strengths and weaknesses in our current union set-up. Union officials will often have you believe that things can only be done the way they are done, because ... well, because they have always been done that way.

We do not agree. We have several criticisms of the existing rail unions, so it is only fair that we set out in more positive terms what our ideal union might look like. Let's call it the Fantasy Union of Rail and Transport Workers (FURT).

What kind of union do we need? There are strengths and weaknesses in our current union set-up. Union officials will often have you believe that things can only be done the way they are done, because ... well, because they have always been done that way. We do not agree. We have several criticisms of the existing rail unions, so it is only fair that we set out in more positive terms what our ideal union might look like. Let's call it the Fantasy Union of Rail and Transport Workers (FURT).

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Industrial news in brief

Outsourced workers at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich employed by ISS struck for the first time in their campaign to win parity of pay, terms and conditions with directly employed NHS staff on October 8.

There were several lively GMB picket lines outside the hospital in Woolwich, South London.

About 50 workers were on the pickets at 9am, and picketing continued late into the evening.

GMB members were also out in force for the national NHS pay strike on 13 October.

GMB members at Woolwich Hospital, Sheffield recycling company and TSSA union strike; Picturehouse Cinemas renege on Ritzy deal; Tube strikes suspended.

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Support the Kurds! Resolution for trade union branches

The Central Line East branch of the RMT union has passed this motion in support of the Kurds. Could your union branch pass it too, or a version of it?


Support the Kurds!

1. We strongly oppose "Islamic State" and its attack on the mainly-Kurdish city of Kobani, Syria.

2. We support the Kurds of Kobani - including the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and Women's Brigades - in their valiant fight; we support their right to resist attack and to ask for help in doing so.

The Central Line East branch of the RMT union has passed this motion in support of the Kurds. Could your union branch pass it too, or a version of it?

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Industrial news in brief

Tube cleaners employed by contractor ISS have returned to work, after a months-long lock out.

Workers were locked out of work without pay for refusing to use biometric fingerprinting machines.

ISS, which has a history of using immigration law against its mainly-migrant workforce, had openly admitted that the data collected would be shared with the UK Border Agency.

The locked-out cleaners have been given a number of options, including returning to work on alternative contracts without biometric fingerprinting.

Tube cleaners return to work; Cambridgeshire NHS services saved from privatisation; Newcastle Sure Start cuts; construction workers ballot over pay.

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Tube strike called for 14-16 October

Author: 

Ollie Moore

London Underground workers will strike on 14, 15, and 16 October.

Tube union RMT is fighting to stop management imposing massive staffing cuts and the closure of every ticket office on the network.

The cuts would see a reduction of nearly 1,000 posts, with some stations set to lose more than 50% of their staff.

London Underground workers will strike on 14, 15, and 16 October.

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Strike to end low pay

Author: 

Editorial

Public sector workers from health, local government and civil service will strike over pay in the week beginning 13 October.

Unison, GMB and Unite local government workers (and some school workers) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will strike on 14 October. PCS (the civil service union) will strike across Britain on 15 October. Members of the lecturers' union UCU in Further Education colleges in England have rejected their 1% pay offer by 85%. They will strike on 14 October, on the authority of a previous ballot.

Public sector workers from health, local government and civil service will strike over pay in the week beginning 13 October.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Gemma Short, Gerry Bates and Jonny West

Two hundred GMB members employed by ISS at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich, South London have voted for strikes to end two-tier conditions in NHS.

The dispute is for the same pay rates, weekend enhancements and unsocial hours rates as the staff directly employed by the Trust.

The GMB members are employed as cleaners, security, ward hostesses, caterers, on the switchboard and as porters.

On 23 September GMB organised a protest outside the bondholders meeting of the PFI operator for the hospital.

Woolwich hospital dispute; NUT survey; construction workers’ wild-cat action wins better toilets; housing charity ballot; UCU pension ballot; Tube disputes.

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Survey

A round up of news from WL41

A round up of news from WL41

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Articles:

Letter from Hong Kong: Nothing to celerate (Chen Ying)
Showdown on private railways
Blairs plan to gut party democracy runs into trouble
The adventures of Tom Sawyer
A victory for socialism? (Martin Thomas)

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The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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Industrial news in brief

Staff at Your Choice Barnet (YCB), who work with a variety of vulnerable adults, were on strike for two days last week.

The strike was in addition to two days the previous week, where they held a joint rally with visiting Doncaster Care UK workers.

The dispute is over a 9.5% pay cut being imposed by YCB management — an arms length organisation devolved from the council. As well as defending their pay, strikers are also demanding to be taken back in house.

The strike is very well supported amongst staff, and picket lines are lively and well attended.

Barnet care workers strike; Brighton refuse dispute; Tube cleaners vote to strike; Tube victimisation; Tube cuts fight.

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Cash wins RMT election

Author: 

Ollie Moore

Mick Cash has won the election for General Secretary of the rail union RMT by a large margin, with nearly 9,000 votes to the 4,000 of his nearest rival, Alan Pottage.

John Leach, supported by Workers’ Liberty, came fourth, with 1,428 votes. Steve Hedley won 1,885 votes, and Alex Gordon won 1,176.

The election turnout was low, around 20%.

Mick Cash has won the election for General Secretary of the rail union RMT by a large margin, with nearly 9,000 votes to the 4,000 of his nearest rival, Alan Pottage.

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