TGWU

Union recruits through the Web

Sussex District of the T&GWU is establishing a new branch for lorry drivers, using the Web as a prime recruitment tool.
Many drivers now use laptop computers to keep in touch from the cab whilst away from home, both in the UK and abroad. The website also carries Russian-language material. Firms from Eastern Europe, paying very low wages, threaten to undercut UK-based firms in international haulage, and the branch is working to recruit drivers whose first language is not English.

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Cleaners win union recognition: "No more abuse or poverty pay!"

Gemma Pillay and Jean Lane report from the East End

Cleaners who work on Canary Wharf in east London celebrated a big step forward in their campaign for a living wage on Thursday 8 July. They have won recognition for their union, the TGWU, from one of the major office cleaning contractors, ISS. They are demanding a wage of £6.70 an hour.

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Lynx workers to strike again

Workers at the parcel delivery company Lynx have taken two days of strike action for an improved pay offer. The company bussed in dozens of agency workers to their main depot in Nuneaton, and then claimed the strike had “had no effect”.

Union officials persuaded the agencies to withdraw their staff and by lunchtime on the first strike day the agency staff had left. On the second strike day, agency workers were again bussed across the picket lines, but in much smaller numbers.

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Jaguar demo

Workers at Jaguar in Coventry are voting in a strike ballot as part of the unions' campaign to prevent the closure of the Browns Lane plant. The result will be announced on 14 December. 2,000 took part in a protest march in Coventry on Saturday 27 November.

Jaguar is owned by Ford, who are predicting losses in the near future.

It's not clear whether the unions intend anything more than a token protest strike. Only production line workers have been balloted, a decision attributed by some to the fact that the unions were slow in getting their resistance organised.

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Glasgow Airport strike

Firefighters at Glasgow Airport, TGWU members, have been on indefinite strike action since 29 January. The strike is over BAA’s plans to remove the current fire fighting service in the “land side” areas of the operation. The TGWU say this will jeopardise safety at the airport.

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“Super-union” plan could mean turn inwards

The proposed “super-union” formed from a merger between AMICUS, TGWU and possibly the GMB, is an issue that should be taken seriously by all socialists.

The idea that there should be no barriers between working class people in the representation of their interests at work is an important and progressive one. The UK trade union movement has been beset by historical and personal rivalries, partial views of the class struggle. Coming together can sometimes eradicate out these weaknesses. Unity is strength!

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Occupy Longbridge!

By Jim Denham

The jobs of 6,100 Longbridge workers and of a further 20,000 working for Rover’s suppliers hang in the balance after the collapse of the proposed partnership deal with the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC). Longbridge workers are on the payroll, at least until 15 April, thanks to a £6.5 million cash injection from the government.

Everyone was counting on the Chinese deal for investment that would allow the company to develop new models and give it a chance of survival. Now, it has been placed in the hands of administrators.

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Why Longbridge closed without a fight

By Jim Denham

In the end the MG Rover plant at Longbridge closed not with a bang, but a whimper. The factory that in the 1960s and 70s had been a byword for militancy, just lay down and died. Even in 2000, when the previous owners BMW pulled out, there had been angry mass meetings and a huge demonstration through the centre of Birmingham. The few token protests that occurred in April 2005 were pathetic affairs, more like wakes than any sort of serious resistance.

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