"General strike" on 26 March demo

Submitted by Matthew on 30 March, 2011 - 12:27

There were hundreds of placards on the TUC anti-cuts demonstration with the words “General strike” — produced by the SWP and, in a new development, the Socialist Party.

Workers’ Liberty has criticised the SWP’s use of this slogan because it does not "follow the logic of the class struggle": it is not the right demand to take the movement forward from where it currently is. If the TUC did “call a general strike”, it would almost certainly flop.

Fight these pension cuts!

Submitted by Matthew on 16 March, 2011 - 6:14

John Hutton has produced his final report on the future of public sector pensions. But even before the report, according to the TUC, the value of these pensions had been reduced by 25 per cent due to a mix of negotiated changes and the government’s arbitrary switch to the Consumer Price Index as a measure of inflation.

But other Hutton recommendations will worsen the situation.

The recommendation to end final salary schemes and increase the Normal Pension Age (NPA) for all staff to 65 will impact badly on existing and future public servants.

Industrial news in brief Matthew Wed, 03/09/2011 - 14:38

A wildcat strike at a BP plant near Hull has forced management to back down on plans for unilateral redundancies.

The GMB and Unite members, opposed attempts by Redhall (an engineering construction contractor operating on the site) to impose redundancies that were outside the framework of the nationally-bargained collective agreement for the industry. 400 workers walked off the job and blocked the main road into the site, backing up rush-hour traffic.

Fighting after March 26th

Submitted by Matthew on 9 March, 2011 - 11:12

The labour movement is facing the most generalised attack on the working class in 20 years. Ministers and officials are routinely monitoring the union response and actively planning to defeat any resistance. If the unions do not respond with deep and extensive industrial action and a political alternative, then wages will be slashed, and everyone’s “social wage” of public services and benefits will be hollowed out and recast as a private-sector, parasitic, business opportunity.

Without industrial action and a political alternative, hundreds of thousands of jobs will be lost.

Scottish unions rally

Submitted by Matthew on 2 March, 2011 - 3:47

Around 300 people attended the 26 February Scottish TUC anti-cuts rally in Glasgow’s Pavilion Theatre. It would be unfair to be overly critical of the event.

If anyone from another planet had been in the audience, for example, they would doubtless have found the glittering array of eight platform speakers all saying the same thing in not particularly different words an illuminating event.

DWP strike

Submitted by Matthew on 26 January, 2011 - 11:06

Nearly 3,000 civil servants in the Department for Work and Pensions across seven sites struck on Thursday 20 and Friday 21 January.

Some of the offices in Bristol, the Chorlton district of Manchester, Glasgow, Makerfield near Wigan, Newport in south Wales, Norwich, and Sheffield, have already been set up as call centres. Others are due to transform to call centres in the near future.

Support Jobcentre Contact Centre strikes

Submitted by Matthew on 19 January, 2011 - 12:45

3,500 civil servants in the Department for Work and Pensions will strike on Thursday 20 and Friday 21 January against dramatic changes to their work conditions.

The workers, members of the PCS union, are based at seven sites across the country — Bristol, the Chorlton district of Manchester, Glasgow, Makerfield, Newport, Norwich and Sheffield. The offices currently process benefit claims and deal with enquiries on the phone. Now management are “transforming” these sites into call centres.

Jobcentre Plus benefits workers to strike against casualisation Matthew Wed, 01/12/2011 - 15:24

After over a year of prevaricating, the PCS leadership have finally called strike days around the Jobcentre Plus (DWP) “TPIP” (Telephony and Processing Implementation Project) on 20th and 21st January.

This affects seven “TPIP” sites across the country, in Sheffield, Springburn, Newport, Norwich, Chorlton, Makerfield and Bristol, which were compulsorily transferred from October 2009 (some sites have yet to “transform”) which has led to a huge reduction in terms and conditions for hundreds, even thousands, of low-paid, largely grades A-C*, staff.

Civil service compensation scheme: fight for levelling-up!

Submitted by Matthew on 12 January, 2011 - 2:47

PCS members are balloting against Coalition threats to the Civil Service Compensation Scheme, defended from the Labour government with strike action as recently as March 2010. The ballot period ends on January 14.

This is not a ballot for industrial action; it is merely a ballot to reaffirm support for the union’s existing opposition to Government plans. This is hardly the approach one might hope for from what is allegedly one of Britain’s “fighting unions.”