Trade union issues

Were the University of London outsourced workers right to leave Unison?

Submitted by AWL on 11 July, 2013 - 12:04

This article was written in response to a piece in Socialist Review. The author has also requested that it be published there. We host it in our website in the interests of furthering the debate.


The move of Senate House cleaners, other outsourced staff, and their supporters to leave Unison en masse and form a University of London branch of the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB), after the annulment of their elections, has sparked heated debate within trade union circles, especially among Unison activists.

Industrial news in brief

Submitted by AWL on 2 July, 2013 - 11:29

East Midlands Trains workers to ballot

The Rail, Maritime, and Transport workers union (RMT) is balloting train manager, conductor, and stations grades members working for East Midlands Trains for strikes over a variety of issues, including the victimisation of RMT rep Ruth Strong.

The union says the company has taken a “deliberately aggressive attitude” to negotiations over ongoing engineering work at Nottingham station, and accuses East Midlands Trains of “unilaterally ripping up” a number of procedural and conditions-of-service agreements.

Appeal fund for injured activist

Submitted by AWL on 27 May, 2013 - 10:47

Salford TUC has launched an appeal fund for George Tapp, a retired construction worker who suffered head injuries and two broken legs when he was run over during an anti-blacklisting action in Manchester.

Police claim George climbed onto the car’s bonnet, but witnesses say the driver was “driving like a lunatic”, and that his actions seemed obviously deliberate.

Activists from the Blacklist Support Group and the Unite Construction Rank-and-File have been organising a series of actions around the country to highlight the issue of blacklisting in the construction industry.

Outsourced workers launch online campaign

Submitted by AWL on 24 May, 2013 - 2:56

Outsourced workers at the University of London have joined forces with trade union campaigning website LabourStart to demand sick pay, holidays, and pensions.

The online petition is coordinated in conjunction with the "3 Cosas" ("3 Things") campaign, as well as Unison branches at Birkbeck and SOAS.

Click here to support the campaign.

Leading trade unionist Steve Hedley accused of domestic violence

Submitted by cathy n on 10 March, 2013 - 6:52

Caroline Leneghan, an RMT member, has publicly accused her former partner Steve Hedley, who is Assistant General Secretary of the RMT, of serious domestic violence.

She says: “I have decided to make a public statement about this because of his public position in the union and because I want to encourage other women to come forward who have faced similar abuse”.

Workers' solidarity in Australia

Submitted by Matthew on 13 February, 2013 - 9:35

Solidarity spoke to Emma Kerin, Communications Officer of the National Union of Workers in Australia, about class struggle down under. Emma has been involved in the campaign to defend victimised trade unionist Bob Carnegie.


While there are obviously industry specific issues such as public sector cuts and privatisation, or health and safety for truck drivers and care workers, or being able to earn a living wage for minimum wage earners: there are two key issues affecting Australian workers across industries.

Tories attempt to bully low-paid out of striking

Submitted by Matthew on 20 June, 2012 - 10:07

Low-paid striking workers will have their tax credits reduced as part of the Tories’ reforms.

Workers paid less than £13,000 per year can currently get a bit more tax credit if their income drops because they’re on strike, as well as if it drops for any other reason. Tory minister Iain Duncan Smith said that, in future, low-paid workers would have to “pay the price” for choosing to take strike action.

Unions have condemned the move as a deliberate attempt to intimidate lower-paid workers out of taking industrial action.

Police against Tories Matthew Wed, 05/16/2012 - 09:23

On 10 May 20,000 coppers joined a Police Federation demonstration against cuts and reforms. On the same day just 500 public sector workers joined London’s strike day rally against pension cuts.

Trade unionists should take note here — the police mobilisation put that of the labour movement to shame.