Industrial news in brief

Tesco drivers' strike


Lorry drivers at a Tesco distribution centre in Doncaster, south Yorkshire, have struck against a management plan that could cost 183 jobs.

The workers, who are employed by haulage firm Eddie Stobart Ltd., recently rejected a management offer to increase their redundancy pay. Unite officer Adrian Jones said that the offer "was designed to get them out the door and not to maintain employment."

For more info, see the drivers' campaign page on Facebook here.


Postal workers' boycott threat

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) has announced plans to hold a consultative ballot in early 2013 over a boycott of private mail.

If the action goes ahead, CWU members could refuse to deliver mail sent through private delivery and courier firms rather than Royal Mail. The union believes that opening up the postal service to a market and competition between private firms damages a universal postal system as a public service.

CWU General Secretary Billy Hayes said: “Under unfair competition we've seen prices rise, services diminish, closures and job losses. Competition and privatisation are old-fashioned theories which have had their day. What's important is decent services and jobs and that's what we're standing up for.”


London Overground workers' strike

Travel Safe Officers employed by the STM Security Group on London Overground struck on Thursday 6 December in a dispute over contractual changes.

Workers face routine bullying and harassment from STM managers, who are now attempting to impose a raft of contractual changes without consulting the workers’ union, the RMT. STM workers have previously coordinated their action with strikes by other low-paid London transport workers, such as cleaners.

RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said: “The bullying and intimidation of our members’ representatives by STM Security is utterly deplorable and represents a pre-meditated assault on this trade union in a desperate attempt to try and undermine RMT’s growing strength on this contract.

“The attempted imposition of new terms and conditions is just another element contributing to the picture of a company that is hell bent on confrontation with its workforce and their union.

“RMT is demanding that London Overground, which tolerates STM as one of its key contractors, intervene to stop the disgraceful activities of this outfit and we repeat our demand for these key safety services to be brought in-house rather than subbed out to these cowboys.

“Our members have shown their determination to stand up to the bullies and union-busters in the unanimous strike vote and in last month’s action and the whole union stands with them in this struggle for justice. RMT remains available for talks aimed at resolving this dispute.”


RMT to launch "cleaners' charter"

Transport union RMT plans to launch a "cleaners' charter" at a Parliamentary lobby on Tuesday 11 December.

The charter is intended to unite cleaners' struggles around common demands and give a political focus for campaigning.

For more on the cleaners' fightback, see here.

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