Industrial news in brief

Industrial action by Tube workers' unions RMT and ASLEF on the Bakerloo Line is having a huge impact, with passengers reporting delays of up to 27 minutes.

Tube drivers are refusing to take trains into sidings or depots before personally performing safety checks to make sure they are clear of passengers. Last year there were over 3,000 passenger overcarries into the sidings at Queens Park station alone - far more than on any other line. These nearly resulted in the death of a 12-year old boy.

Safety checks prior to detrainment had previously been carried out by station staff, but job cuts have effectively led to corners being cut.

An RMT statement said: “Since the drivers’ action started, London Underground’s official response has been that there are 'minor delays on the Bakerloo Line due to operational issues.' The truth is that tube bosses are deliberately misinforming the public of the real extent and nature of the disruption to the service.

“While tube bosses go out their way to aggravate drivers, passengers are feeling the pain. London Underground bosses' response has meant severe delays on the Bakerloo Line and dangerous overcrowding on platforms as passengers are forced back into ticket halls unable to get on trains.

“London Underground’s traveling public are being lied to and abused. Passengers on the Bakerloo Line deserve better.”

33 sacked Bakerloo Line station staff formerly employed by the Trainpeople agency are also continuing their campaign for jobs, holding weekly demonstrations to demand London Underground reinstate them. LUL is spending over £300,000 replacing workers who were already trained and in post.

The RMT is balloting all remaining Trainpeople employees on London Underground for strikes to demand justice for the 33 sacked workers.

Mid Yorks NHS workers to strike again?

Clerical workers at Pinderfields, Pontefract, and Dewsbury hospitals may strike again, after unions rejected management's latest offer in a pay dispute.

Mid Yorkshire NHS Trust bosses want to make £24 million cuts by downgrading the salaries of medical secretaries and other clerical workers, leading to pay cuts of £2,800 for some. Unison members have already struck for four days against the proposals.

Workers are angry that, despite the alleged need for cuts, the trust has continuined to pay millions to consultancy firms. Since December 2011, it has paid Ernst & Young £3.3 million.

Honda job cuts

Car manufacturer Honda will cut over 1,000 jobs from its plant in Swindon, with 800 permanent and 325 temporary staff set to go.

Unite officer Tony Murphy said: “It's a tragedy for our members and their families. There's no doubt these cuts will have a significant knock-on impact on the supply chain, and on local shops and services .That is why we intend to save as many jobs as possible.

“Unite will oppose any compulsory job losses. We expect Honda to negotiate meaningfully with the union in order to mitigate the impact of these cuts. Unite will be meeting with our local union reps in the coming days to discuss the company's proposals.”

The union must be quicker off the mark than it was when Ford announced job cuts and plant closures in Southampton and Dagenham. A Ford union rep told Solidarity: “The first day the closure was announced, we should have walked out and been demonstrating outside the plant.”

Unite officer Vince Passfield has since said that the union continues to “consider all options” for action at the Dagenham plant, and is “not ruling anything out”.

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