Trade union issues

Industrial news in brief

Submitted by Matthew on 2 March, 2011 - 3:38

Train drivers on Arriva Trains Wales have taken strike action in a dispute over a number of issues, including pay.

Arriva drivers are amongst the lowest paid in the country, and ASLEF – one of the unions which organises the drivers – says they are paid substantially less than their English counterparts. The strike had a significant impact on services with only four scab drivers turning up for work.

Tories want to help your boss sack you

Submitted by AWL on 11 January, 2011 - 12:06

The government is attempting to introduce a new charter of employers' rights that will give bosses much greater freedom to sack workers. The proposals include an extension of the qualifying period for an unfair dismissal claim from one year to two, meaning that no worker will be able to claim for unfair dismissal within their first year of employment. The charter also includes a plan to charge for the right to lodge an employment tribunal, with government sources suggesting the fee will be towards “the higher end” of the £30-£500 bracket suggested by bosses' organisations.

Workers' Liberty No.8 - Le Pen, South Korea, Australian Labor Party, National Union of Railwaymen (NUR), 1987 TUC conference

Submitted by AWL on 28 December, 2010 - 2:54 Author: AWL

A collection of articles from Workers' Liberty No.8.

* Conservative Party invitation to French Fascist and leader of the French National Front, Jean-Marie Le Pen.

* 1987 TUC conference and the Union leaderships' response to declining union membership.

* An analysis of the Australian Labor Party's 1987 Australian general election victory.

* Child sex abuse, incest and UK law.

* The rise of working-class struggle in South Korea

* General Secretary Jimmy Knapp's sell-out of the members of the National Union of Railwaymen (NUR)

Class struggle in the arms industry?

Submitted by AWL on 23 November, 2010 - 11:46 Author: A WCA supporter

From the Workers' Climate Action website.

Workers at Atomic Weapons Establishment in Aldermaston are set to take strike action over pay. A lunchtime protest on 23rd November was believed to be the first industrial action taken by workers in the company's 50 year history.

Stranded abroad by volcanic ash? Can't get to work? Tough!

Submitted by Matthew on 29 April, 2010 - 11:17 Author: Darren Bedford

Penny-pinching and sheer bloodymindedness has been the response of some bosses towards workers stranded abroad due to the recent volcanic ash cloud. “Act of god” or not, they want to dock workers’ pay.

During the heavy snowfalls of 2008/9 and 2009/10, employers all over the UK docked pay from workers prevented from getting to work, prompting RMT general secretary Bob Crow to refer to them as “throwbacks to the worst excesses of the Victorian mill-owners.”

Workplace bullying: winning respect at work

Submitted by Matthew on 14 January, 2010 - 11:23 Author: Ira Berkovic

“Work is, by its very nature, about violence — to the spirit as well as to the body... It is, above all (or beneath all), about daily humiliations. To survive the day is triumph enough for the walking wounded among the great many of us.” Studs Terkel.

Cuts fightback: Jersey workers prepare to fight

Submitted by Newcastle on 5 November, 2009 - 10:33 Author: By Mary Burgess

The tiny island of Jersey may be about to host some major class struggle. This year the island’s States (Parliament) decided to withdraw the money budgeted for public sector pay rises, over the head of the States Employment Board, which usually negotiates with the unions.

At the end of October, a motion to reinstate free collective bargaining fell, with Chief Minister Terry La Souer commenting: “At a time when private sector jobs are being frozen or cut, a pay rise for States staff is not viable.”

THE BLACKLEG* (By Jim Connell, author of"The Red Flag")

Submitted by dalcassian on 2 July, 2009 - 6:40 Author: Jim Connell (Author of the Red Flag, etc)

(Air: "Paddy's Lament")

There's a cuckoo** in our household
And he terrifies our young,
For the habits of the traitor
Have been often told and sung.
Though his feathers flutter softly,
There is murder in his heart,
And all down the toiling ages,
He has played the villain's part.

Oh! We hate the cruel tiger,
And hyena and jackal,
But the false and dirty blackleg
Is the vilest beast of all,

For jobs, fight the bosses, not other workers!

Submitted by Anon on 13 March, 2009 - 8:43

An Appeal by Socialists and Trade Unionists

As the recession brings attacks on jobs, wages and conditions, we are determined to fight back, and to support our fellow workers who do so, for example in the recent engineering construction walkouts.

We demand:

• Jobs for all workers

• Work or full pay

• Pay to be levelled up to the best rates

• Direct recruitment of labour by the companies or by principal contractors, rather than the use of subcontractors, wherever possible

• Union agreements to be enforced without exemptions for contractors