Industrial news in brief

Submitted by Matthew on 14 October, 2015 - 11:24 Author: Gemma Short, Charlotte Zalens and Peggy Carter

Service controllers on the Waterloo and City Line on London Underground (LU) have been fighting for regrading. They struck from 28-30 September. One of the activists spoke to Tubeworker.

What’s happening to us is part of a wider picture.

London Underground is cutting staff in a variety of areas, and our experiences – of essentially being promoted to more responsible roles, involving more work, without that being reflected in our pay – mirror what’s currently happening to station staff. They’ve picked on us particularly because we’re a small unit, but if we can win our fight for justice it might inspire other grades in other areas.

To make sure that the anger in our workplace fuels a resolve to continue fighting, we need continued communication from the union, and regular updates from talks and negotiations so we can decide the best way forward for our dispute.

• Full interview here

IWGB wins couriers living wage

Couriers organised by the IWGB have won the Living Wage for couriers working for Gophr.

The IWGB has been organising courier and logistics workers in London, campaigning for the London living wage and better terms and conditions. Gophr has agreed to pay its couriers £11.10 an hour, as well as bicycle maintenance costs and sock pay.

Campaigners are still campaigning against City Sprint, which has not raised its rates of pay for 15 years!

IWGB hopes that more courier companies will now sign up to paying the living wage.

Barnet strikes

Council workers in Barnet struck again on 9 October in an on going dispute over privatisation.

Over 50 workers and supporters joined the picket line at Mill Hill depot, and were addressed by Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell.

Workers later held a rally where reports from picket lines and next steps were discussed, as well as issues such as the Trade Union Bill.

Workers will next strike on 2 November, and will join the lobby of parliament against the Trade Union Bill on that day.

Lambeth libraries

On Friday 2 October, Lambeth council informed its library staff that 25% of us will be made redundant as five libraries are closed and replaced with unstaffed book collection stations and self-issue machines.

Three of the libraries will transfer to a new ″Culture Board″ run by Greenwich Leisure Ltd (GLL) — which will run gyms in the buildings! In fact the final council report, after a six month consultation which overwhelmingly rejected the library cuts proposals, is solely based on what GLL wanted, down to which locations they wanted, regardless of local need.

Library campaigners and Unison members protested at the Council Cabinet meeting on Monday 12 October.

Despite the council moving the location of the meeting at the last minute, hundreds turned up to protest, with many of those unable to get into the hall.

Win at Sellafield

Construction workers at the nuclear decommissioning plant at Sellafield have secured a deal in their dispute over health and safety.

The construction companies and Sellafield Ltd have agreed to facilitate a shop steward to deal with health and safety, workplace welfare and training issues. The agreement comes after several strikes, including unofficial walk outs, in the past months.

A cross-company health and safety committee has also been formed.

This can go a long way to ensuring competing construction companies don′t undercut each other by risking workers′ safety.