Local Councils

Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Jim Denham, Ralph Peters, Gemma Short and Charlotte Zalens

Birmingham refuse workers have returned to the picket lines after the Labour city council reneged on a deal and sent out redundancy notices.

Council reneges on bins deal; Derby TAs may strike again; DOO strikes need driver support; train cleaners ballot; Sports Direct; Tube bosses attack RMT reps; riverboats workers win reinstatement; Argos workers three-week strike.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Jim Denham, Simon Nelson, Brenda Allen and Ollie Moore

Birmingham refuse workers have forced the Labour council to back down on plans to cut jobs and pay. The dispute has been suspended after seven weeks of discontinuous action, a day before Unite was to have balloted to extend the action to Christmas.

In talks at ACAS, the council agreed to withdraw the threat to leading hands’ jobs and pay: in response Unite has agreed to discuss the possibility of a move from four-day to five-day working and other potential cost savings.

Bin workers force council to back down; BA workers continue strikes; no pay rise for 10 years; DOO strikes continue; Central Line drivers plan strikes; cleaners’ struggles round-up.

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Newcastle abuse and lessons from Rotherham

Author: 

Charlotte Zalens

On Friday 11 August the Sun newspaper published an article by Labour MP Sarah Champion under the headline ″British Pakistani men ARE raping and exploiting white girls … and it’s time we faced up to it″.

The Rotherham case bears many similarities to that of Newcastle. There were multiple factors involved there: vulnerable young women, poverty, the use of drugs and alcohol, authorities disbelieving or in some cases blaming victims as well as, the patriarchal attitudes of some men, attitudes which are prevalent in many communities, in different forms, and which make women and girls “fair game” for sexual exploitation.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Ollie Moore and Gemma Short

July has seen a number of interesting and potentially important developments in the ongoing dispute between rail unions and the Train Operating Companies (TOCs) and the government over Driver Only Operation (DOO).

DOO fight spreads; staff cuts put passengers at risk; reinstate the Picturehouse Four!; uncertainty at Forest Hill; Barts workers strike again.

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Labour: left making gains

Author: 

Keith Road

Voting has opened in the Conference Arrangements Committee elections where left wing challengers Seema Chandwani and Billy Hayes received four times as many nominations as their incumbents.

The left in Labour is starting to make some gains.

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The crisis in social care

Author: 

Karen Shuttleworth

Old people today eh, growing up with all the benefits associated with a welfare state they have had the audacity to not die of horrible childhood diseases, malnutrition or in childbirth, like in the good old days. They have the cheek to continue living for more than a couple of years after retirement. Some inconveniently remain alive for decades after ceasing to be productive members of the work force.

The current state of adult social care is intolerable for both staff and service users.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Simon Marks, Ken Worthington, Ollie Moore, Simon Nelson and Gemma Short

A primary school in Sheffield is to become the first to get rid of all its teaching assistants. As part of a cost-cutting restructure, unions claim the school is planning on sacking its nine teaching assistants.

Sheefield primary scraps all teaching assistants; London hospital outsourced workers fight low pay; Kirkleees social workers strike; Durham teaching assistants reject deal; train drivers support guards’ strike; Tube workers strike for permanent jobs; defend the Picturehouse Four!; Mike Ashley drinks and vomits while workers suffer; teachers’ pay still frozen.

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Grenfell’s forgotten victims

Author: 

Gemma Short and Hugh Daniels

Survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire who were in the UK illegally have been told they will only get 12 months limited leave to remain by the Home Office. In a year’s time people could be forcibly deported. This, despite an appeal from the police just two weeks ago for people to come forward with information about those who were living in the tower, and for survivors to come forward to receive support, where the police claimed that immigration status would not be a problem.

Stop this social cleansing!

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Grenfell: the powerful are still not listening

Author: 

Charlotte Zalens

So far all 95 tower blocks which have had their cladding tested since the fire at Grenfell in Kensington, west London, have failed fire safety standards. These buildings are potentially as dangerous for their tenants as Grenfell was. Many hundreds of buildings are still to be tested.

The lives of working-class people have been routinely put on the line to make ″savings″ at every level of building planning and construction.

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Grenfell: Capitalism kills

Author: 

Gemma Short

Around 1am on Wednesday 13 June a fire tore through 24-storey Grenfell Tower in the London borough of Kensington and Chelsea, killing a currently unknown number of people. Firefighters have told people the number will be in triple figures.

The fire at Grenfell Tower has exposed inequality in housing and exploded the narrative that “we’re all in this together”. The class divide exists. It kills people.

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