Frontline

UCU ballots members at Salford University over victimisations

Author: 

Peggy Carter

UCU members at the University of Salford are being balloted for strikes after two of their members were sacked.

The two members, who had raised grievances against the university, were placed on “gardening leave” the day before a new restructure was announced. Their contracts of employment were then terminated.

Neither of the members were given the opportunity to be part of a redundancy selection pool, were not consulted on how their redundancies could be avoided or allowed to appeal the decision.

UCU members at the University of Salford are being balloted for strikes after two of their members were sacked.

Trade Unions: 

National Gallery workers to strike again

Author: 

Charlotte Zalens

Workers at the National Gallery threatened with outsourcing will be on strike for seven more days on 14 and 15 March and 24-29 March.

Gallery bosses plan to outsource 400 staff, including guards and visitor assistances.

CIS, the company that will employ the staff once outsourced, has contracts in many industries, meaning that staff could be transferred to other workplaces.

PCS union also argues that TUPE protections only protect existing staff, and new staff can be employed on worse terms and conditions.

Workers at the National Gallery threatened with outsourcing will be on strike for seven more days on 14 and 15 March and 24-29 March.

Trade Unions: 

Unison members vote to accept 1% pay offer

Author: 

Gemma Short

Unison members have voted to accept the government's 1% pay offer for NHS workers.

67% of members voted to accept the offer, with 32% rejecting it. GMB, Society of Radiographers and the Royal College of Midwives members have already accepted the deal.

This is essentially an offer of 1% over two years for most health workers and a slightly bigger increase for those on the lowest pay.

Unison members have voted to accept the government's 1% pay offer for NHS workers.

Trade Unions: 

Stop victimisations on London Underground

Author: 

Tubeworker

RMT's campaigns against the unfair sackings of several of its members continue.

Drivers across the Tube struck on the evening of Saturday 7 March, as part of the fight to reinstate Alex McGuigan (who was sacked after failing an improperly-administered breathalyser test). The East Ham branch of the RMT has also requested a local ballot for strikes to demand the reinstatement of Noel Roberts, a station worker who was "medically terminated" despite not having had a day off sick in 10 months and being declared fit by his GP and LU's own Occupational Health department.

RMT's campaigns against the unfair sackings of several of its members continue.

Trade Unions: 

Syriza's leading economists analyse the euro-deal

Author: 

John Milios, Spyros Lapatsioras, and Dimitris Sotiropoulos

In this article written in late February, SYRIZA members Spyros Lapatsioras, John Milios and Dimitris Sotiropoulos analyze the agreement with the Eurogroup and propose a different way forward. Lapatsioras is a SYRIZA central committee member and assistant professor at the University of Crete; Milios is a SYRIZA central committee member and professor at the National Technical University of Athens, and was until recently chief economist of Syriza; Sotiropoulos is a SYRIZA member and lecturer at the Open University Business School in Britain.

John Milios, former chief economist of Syriza, and other Syriza economists, criticise the euro-deal

Around the world: 

What will unions do in the election?

Author: 

Colin Foster

The big unions are working on a drive to encourage people to register to vote in time for the general election (by 20 April). And in the last quarter of 2014 Unite, Unison, and GMB each gave the Labour Party £1 million for its election campaign.

Missing, though, is union activity aimed at raising issues and mobilising workers not only to vote but also to put demands on Labour. The only thing like even Unison's anaemic "Million Voices for Change" campaign of 2010 (formally still going, but only formally) is the "Action for Rail" campaign of the rail unions.

Unions could fund a newspaper pushing a vote for Labour and demands on Labour

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Trade Unions: 

Publications: 

Many thousands on climate march, but class-struggle voices needed

Author: 

Sacha Ismail

Something like 20,000 people took part in the demonstration against dangerous climate change in London on Saturday 7 March. It was a vibrant action, with huge numbers of young people.

A report and analysis of the 7 March climate change protest in London.

Issues and Campaigns: 

Death of a troublesome neo-liberal

Author: 

Dale Street

Exactly a year to the day after Putin commenced his annexation of the Crimea, Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov was murdered in Moscow on 27th February.

Nemtsov was certainly no critic of Putin from the left.

In the early 1990s he had been Governor of the Nizhny Novgorod region. He pursued aggressive neo-liberal and privatisation policies, winning the admiration of Margaret Thatcher when she visited the region in 1993.

Death of Boris Nemtsov is linked to rise of Russian nationalism. Analysis + Russian Open Left statement.

Publications: 

Around the world: 

Beth Redmond speaking at All the Rage 2015

Author: 

Gemma Short

Beth Redmond, Workers' Liberty member and NCAFC candidate for NUS president, gave the closing speech at socialist feminist conference, All the Rage, hosted by women in Workers' Liberty.

Beth Redmond, Workers' Liberty member and NCAFC candidate for NUS president gave the closing speech at socialist feminist conference, All the Rage, hosted by women in Workers' Liberty.

Publications: 

Issues and Campaigns: 

Women workers fighting back - speech from All the Rage

Author: 

Gemma Short

On Saturday 28th February women in Workers' Liberty hosted a socialist feminist conference called All the Rage.

This is the recording of the women workers fighting back session, including speeches by Becky Crocker, Workers' Liberty member, tube worker and chair of the RMT women's advisory committee, and by Charlotte Munro, a unison rep sacked for trade union activity.

Speeches in the women workers fighting back session at All the Rage 2015

Issues and Campaigns: 

Trade Unions: 

Publications: 

Wake Up #1 - 2 March 2015

Author: 

Wake Up

A new workplace bulletin by Wakefield Council workers, for Wakefield council workers.

This issue contains articles on the Council's latest cuts budget, heating problems inside the main council building, and further privatisation of services; as well as articles on Greece and the upcoming general election.

Click here to download the PDF.

A new workplace bulletin by Wakefield Council workers, for Wakefield council workers.

Publications: 

Gains for union-backed left candidates in Chicago

Author: 

From Labor Notes

Three rank-and-file trade unionists running for Chicago city council seats made it into the April 7 runoff. Re-posted from Labor Notes.


On election night the Chicago Teachers Union and its new independent political organization didn’t knock out Mayor Rahm Emanuel—but they did take him down a notch, forcing him into a runoff with the union’s preferred candidate, Jesus “Chuy” Garcia.

It’s the first runoff in a Chicago mayoral election in 20 years.

Three rank-and-file trade unionists running for Chicago city council seats made it into the April 7 runoff.

Around the world: 

Tubeworker 26/02/15 - The answer to austerity: expropriate the banks!

Author: 

Tubeworker

An industrial bulletin by London Underground workers, for London Underground workers.

This issue includes an article on the LU pay talks, Tubeworker's take on reinstating action in the "Every Job Matters" dispute, a stop-press update on the sacking of Karen Guyott, the latest on the reinstatement campaigns for Noel Roberts and Alex McGuigan, plus your local and workplace stories.

Click here to download the PDF.

An industrial bulletin by London Underground workers, for London Underground workers.

Publications: 

1.8 million zero-hours jobs

Author: 

Martin Thomas

According to the Guardian (25 February) the Office for National Statistics now estimates the number of people estimated to be employed on a zero-hours contract in their main job as 697,000, representing 2.3% of all people in employment. In the same period in 2013, the figure was 1.9% of all people in employment, or 586,000.

ONS found the number of employment contracts offering no minimum hours jumped from 1.4m in 2013, to 1.8m in 2014. There are more zero-hours jobs than workers who have zero-hours main jobs, because many people have zero-hours second or third jobs.

There are 1.8 million zero-hours jobs being worked in the UK, up from 1.4 million in 2013.

Issues and Campaigns: 

The Greek government's "list of reforms" and left-wing criticisms

Author: 

Colin Foster

Below, from Reuters, is the text of the Greek government's 24 February 2015 letter to the eurozone finance ministers. The rumour is that the finance ministers have found it acceptable as a basis for extending credits for another four months, but the formal decision is due to be taken around 28 February.

Text of the Greek government's letter to the eurozone finance ministers, and a letter to all Syriza members from Costas Lapavitsas

Publications: 

Around the world: 

How Queensland unions forced a political turn

Peter Simpson

Author: 

Interview with Peter Simpson

Peter Simpson, Queensland state secretary of the ETU union, spoke to Workers' Liberty about the 31 January 2015 Queensland election result, in which Labor came back to defeat the ruling conservatives after having been reduced to just seven seats in the 89-seat parliament last time round.

1. By all accounts the ETU played a major part in the big swing to Labor in the Queensland state election of 31 January 2015. It's very unusual, especially in recent times, for a union to have a big impact on the outcome of an election. How did the ETU did it?

Peter Simpson, Queensland state secretary of the ETU union, spoke to Workers' Liberty about the 31 January 2015 Queensland election result.

Around the world: 

£27 billion subsidies for landlords

Author: 

Martin Thomas

Private landlords gain about £27bn a year from housing benefit and tax breaks, according to the Generation Rent lobby group.

There are about 1.6 million buy-to-let landlords in the UK, and about 4.75 million households rent from them. Numbers both of landlords and of private tenants are rising.

The £27 billion total comes from:

Private landlords gain about £27bn a year from housing benefit and tax breaks.

Issues and Campaigns: 

Rome: 15,000 march in solidarity with the struggle in Greece!

Author: 

By Hugh Edwards
Italian left, trade unionists and political groups march with further marches planned.

"I have been part of so many, but this time it is different. I went to Athens and that night I saw a victorious left, a population that chose the left". The words of Antonio Alcino, 70 year old from Milan, militant in an anti-racist organiation, Radice, among the 15,000 or so of trade unionists, parties, movements and radical associations of all kinds marching across Rome to celebrate the electoral victory of Alexis Tsipras and Syriza in Greece.

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