Industrial news in brief

Submitted by Matthew on 8 October, 2014 - 11:48

Tube cleaners employed by contractor ISS have returned to work, after a months-long lock out.

Workers were locked out of work without pay for refusing to use biometric fingerprinting machines.

ISS, which has a history of using immigration law against its mainly-migrant workforce, had openly admitted that the data collected would be shared with the UK Border Agency.

The locked-out cleaners have been given a number of options, including returning to work on alternative contracts without biometric fingerprinting.

Tubeworker called for a cleaners’ strike, voted for by ISS RMT members, to be called at the same time as LU staff struck against cuts and closures.

NHS service saved from privatisation

Older People’s and Adult Community Services in Cambridgeshire have been awarded to an NHS bid after a campaign to prevent them being privatised.

Virgin Care and a consortium led by Care UK both had bids which would have seen them in control of nearly £1 billion worth of NHS services.

The campaign collected signatures from 5,500 and held several demos and stunts to raise awareness.

Despite keeping the services in NHS hands the campaign is still highly critical of the Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) process. They claim over £1 million has been wasted on the unnecessary exercise.

A campaign spokesperson said “However, we believe the competitive procurement process was both unnecessary and highly wasteful.”

The campaign is also calling for other services to be brought back in house and for the CCG not to open up other services to bidding from private providers.

No cuts to Sure Start!

100 parents, children and Sure Start workers in Newcastle presented a petition of almost 4,000 signatures against cuts to the service.

The proposal sees £5 million lost from Sure Start children’s centres and wider family services in Newcastle.

The campaign has brought together trade union members from Unison as well as parents groups.

Councillors are under pressure over the nature of the consultation process, which only asked how to cut the £5 million rather than whether to do so.

A final decision on carrying out the cuts will be made as part of budget round in February 2015.

Campaigners hope that Labour councillors will take a stand against closing centres and cutting staff and services.

If the cuts go ahead they will be implemented just a month before a general election which could return a Labour government.

Construction workers' pay ballot

UCATT members at crane company HTC Plant Ltd are being balloted in a dispute over pay.

Steve Murphy, General Secretary of construction union UCATT, said: “Crane drivers are fed up. They have endured years of pay cuts and seen their pay fall in real terms. The industry is booming but their employers are not prepared to pay up.”

The ballot closes on 27 October.