Against victimisation

Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Gemma Short, Charlotte Zalens, Tom Harris, Dale Street and Anne Field

Strikes over privatisation continue at Bromley Council.

Workers are on strike between 10-20 June in a series of selective strikes. Unite members in adult services and transport workers will strike from 10-15 June, library staff between 13-20 June and central council workers on 16 June.

The council's cuts plan involves outsourcing most of its services, reducing the number of council employees from 4000 to 300, and privatising 14 libraries. Unite, Unison and community campaigns organised a march through the borough on Saturday 13 June.

Strikes over privatisation continue at Bromley Council; steel workers strike; reinstate Candy Udwin; solidarity with Robert O'Donnell; Glasgow homelessness caseworkers fight on.

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Industrial news in brief

Following a one-day strike at Lewisham and Southwark College on 4 June, union members report a different atmosphere in the college.

The dispute has now broken out of the world of committee meetings and into the classrooms and corridors, canteens and staff rooms. Everybody now has to have a position on the strike, everybody has to think about taking a side.

For many staff and students, this is a further political education and a first direct experience of trade union struggle.

College strike builds confidence; National Gallery protests; probation pay strike; Teesside construction protests; no to cuts at London Met; reject Network Rail deal.

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Industrial news in brief

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Ollie Moore and Gemma Short

Train drivers for Southern rail will vote on a new pay offer, after they voted by 91% and 95% for strikes and action short of strikes to win a better deal.

The strike votes, which saw turnouts of around 85%, followed the rejection of the company's initial pay offer of a 2.65% increase even against the recommendation of officials from the drivers' union ASLEF. Such resounding votes against union recommendations are rare anywhere in the labour movement, and show a clear strength of feeling amongst Southern drivers to win a better deal.

Southern rail pay deal; Tube unions plan strikes; DLR cleaners strike; Sheffield recycling workers protest against sackings; National Gallery protest; London Met strike; strike against LeSoCo cuts.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Charlotte Zalens

UCU members at Lewisham and Southwark college (LeSoCo) have voted by 85% for strikes over job cuts.

At a meeting with the chair of the college governors, union reps made it quite clear that we were going to fight to build a college, not a scrapheap composed of redundant education workers and working-class people denied a further education.

Already, more than a hundred students have demonstrated to governors their opposition at a meeting at the Camberwell site. This is only the beginning of a range of actions, on all sites, which will now unfold over the coming weeks.

FE colleges fight cuts; squeeze on university pay; National Gallery bosses sack rep.

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Three decades of organising

Author: 

Gerry Bates

Veteran Australian trade union activist and Workers’ Liberty member Bob Carnegie has been speaking to meetings around the UK about his organising experiences over three decades.

Starting the tour on Tuesday 12 May Bob spoke to a meeting of Lambeth Left Unity, alongside an activist from the Ritzy Cinema workers campaign. On Wednesday 13 May Bob spoke at the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) conference with Dave Smith of the Blacklist Support Group. The FBU may have been subject to blacklisting practices and a police cover-up.

Veteran Australian trade union activist and Workers’ Liberty member Bob Carnegie has been speaking to meetings around the UK about his organising experiences over three decades.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Gemma Short, Charlotte Zalens and Peggy Carter

On Saturday 9 May, over 400 people marched from South Friern library in Barnet, to East Finchley library, then Finchley Church End before finishing at North Finchley library, to protest over proposed cuts to library services in the borough.

The march was joined on the final leg, from Finchley Church End library to North Finchley library by a double decker bus decorated with union banners, and a brass band.

Activists in Barnet have now completed 4 days of action, marching through all the libraries in Barnet.

Protest over library cuts in Barnet; London Met UCU votes to strike; job cuts at Leeds and Bradford colleges; reinstate Candy Udwin!

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Fight union busting

Author: 

Dave Smith, founding member of the Blacklist Support Group

Blacklisting is primarily an industrial relations issue, and it needs to be fought in the workplace.

In the past, construction workers have walked off site just to get blacklisted workers onto the jobs in the first place. This isn't in the dim distant past; only last year, it happened on major Blue Book sites [sites covered by the terms of the “National Agreement for the Engineering Construction Industry”, known as the “Blue Book”].

Blacklisting is primarily an industrial relations issue, and it needs to be fought in the workplace.

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Bob Carnegie tour of England, May 2015

Author: 

Gemma Short

Bob Carnegie, who has been at the heart of every major workers' struggle in Brisbane, Australia, for more than three decades, is coming to the UK to talk about his experiences and lessons for organising workers. Read more at the tour blog.

Bob Carnegie is coming to the UK to talk about his experiences and lessons for organising workers.

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The “no-fly” list

Bob Carnegie, a Maritime Union of Australia activist, is speaking at meetings in the UK later this month. In this interview from 2010, Bob talks about how and why he was removed and blacklisted from a Chevron gas rig operating offshore from Western Australia.

Bob Carnegie, a Maritime Union of Australia activist, is speaking at meetings in the UK later this month. In this interview from 2010, Bob talks about how and why he was removed and blacklisted from a Chevron gas rig operating offshore from Western Australia.

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Fighting union busting

Author: 

Jim Denham

Trade unionists have known for decades that employers operated blacklists, whereby records were kept on militants and activists (and, indeed, not particularly militant or active trade unionists) in order to exclude them from employment.

The practice was especially rife in the construction industry, where simply raising a concern over health and safety could be enough to ensure that you never found work. Countless working class lives were destroyed by the blacklist.

A review of Blacklisted, the secret war between big business and union activists by Dave Smith and Phil Chamberlain (New Internationalist).

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