Industrial news in brief

Submitted by Matthew on 10 July, 2011 - 3:30

6,500 workers at Tory-controlled Shropshire Council face the sack as their employer becomes the latest local authority to use the threat of mass redundancies as a way to undermine collective bargaining and bully workers into accepting worse conditions.

Workers must agree to a 5.4% pay cut by 30 September if they want to keep their jobs, as the council seeks to make £76 million of cuts.

Unfortunately the response from Unison, which represents 40% of all workers at the authority, has been less than stirring. “We are advising our members to do nothing”, Unison spokesman Alan James said.

City cleaners

The syndicalist union Industrial Workers of the World reports that its members working as early morning cleaners at Guildhall in the City of London have staged at two-shift strike in protest at the non-payment of wages.

Workers sat in the reception area of cleaning contractor Ocean’s offices for the duration of their two-hour shift on the mornings of 14 and 15 June. The IWW describes the situation as “on a knife-edge”, with bosses’ promising to make good the shortfall in next month’s pay packet.

Fawley lock-out

Unrest in the engineering construction industry continues as 20 GMB members have been locked out of their jobs.

The workers, employed by PTF Engineering at the Fawley Refinery in Southampton (currently operated by Exxon Mobil) were locked out after the contract PTF held was re-tendered and taken over by Hertel, a Middlesbrough-based contractor. The other 80 workers employed under the PTF contract, not members of the GMB, have been taken on by Hertel.

Workers have been protesting at Fawley itself, and the GMB plans further protests at Hertel’s offices in Middlesbrough.

London postal workers

Postal workers in London have registered a score draw with management in a battle over job losses and closures.

• For more, see bit.ly/qA51e5