Industrial news in brief

Submitted by Matthew on 9 April, 2014 - 11:35

Cinema workers at the Ritzy cinema in Brixton have announced 11 April as the date for the first strike in their dispute over pay.

Members of BECTU at the cinema have conducted a long-running campaign to win the London Living Wage of £8.80 an hour. The typical hourly rate at the Ritzy is currently £7.24.

Workers voted to strike by an 85% majority.

Sparks win contract fight

Electricians working at a Network Rail construction site in Three Bridges, Sussex won new contracts following a wildcat strike on 4 April.

Following attempts by the agency through with they were employed to worsen their terms and conditions, 30 sparks walked off the job, demanding direct employment. NG Bailey, the construction company running the site for Network Rail, agreed to hire the workers directly on three-month rolling contracts.

The dispute shows the extent of subcontracting in the construction industry, which can sometimes involve three or four different companies — a client for whom construction is being carried out, a construction firm or consortium overseeing the work, and smaller companies to whom particular areas of work are contracted, who themselves may use employment agencies to find workers.

But the dispute also shows the power of workers’ action. If workers refuse to work without guaranteed contracts and industry-standard terms and conditions, work gets backed up.

Sparks at an NG Bailey site in Tottenham Court Road, Central London, followed the Three Bridges example with a strike on Monday 7 April, demanding full employment.

Other construction workers facing worsening terms and conditions should be encouraged and inspired by the Three Bridges sparks’ win.

• For more, see the rank-and-file Siteworker bulletin’s blog

Doncaster care workers to strike again

Workers employed by Care UK in Doncaster struck again from 6 April to 8 April.

The strike was the latest action in a dispute which saw the workers strike for seven days from 27 February.

They are fighting to stop the introduction of new contracts which will abolish unsociable hours payments, causing some workers to lose up to £7,000 a year in pay (nearly 50% of the salary for some staff).