Unite

14 October: organise on the ground

Author: 

Gemma Short

Between 2008 and 2013 real wages fell by 8.2%, on average. The median worker lost £2000 a year, for many that will have been much worse.

The wage squeeze is worse for younger workers, a 14% drop for those aged 18-25, 12% for 25-29 year olds. Each decade since the 1980s real wages growth has been lower than the previous decade.

In the public sector wages have fallen by 15%, many face a pay freeze.

14 October will be a display of the potential power of the labour movement, and will raise hopes for all workers feeling the squeeze on wages. The labour movement should bolster that hope with a strategy to win.

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14 October can be big!

Author: 

Gemma Short

On October 14, local government workers in Unison, Unite and GMB unions will strike over pay. They may be joined by health workers in Unison, Unite and the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) who all have ballots under way. If civil servants in PCS union join the strike this will be a very large and important action against the huge cuts in pay public sector workers have endured since 2009.

On October 14, local government workers in Unison, Unite and GMB unions will strike over pay.

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Good turnouts needed in health union ballots

Strike ballots in the health unions runs up to the end of September, with Unison's closing date on the 18 September and Unite on the 26th. 

A pay offer of 1% for 2 years, with no rise at all for those who receive an incremental rise, has angered workers, but a good turn out in the ballot would be very significant. 

The government has stopped the Health Pay Review Body from even going through the motions of reporting on annual pay this year. Instead it has been asked to propose cuts in unsocial hours pay, should further galvanise the vote. 

Strike ballots in the health unions runs up to the end of September, with Unison's closing date on the 18 September and Unite on the 26th. 

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Industrial news in brief

The Hands Off London Transport coalition plans a day of action for 16 September, involving leafleting, petitioning, and demonstrations at Tube stations.

The action will coincide with the introduction of contactless payment technology on the Tube which unions say will lead to problems for both passengers and staff.

The HOLT coalition want to raise the profile of cuts as a political issue, mobilise community direct action against them, and pressure GLAs and London MPs to take a stand on the issue.

Hands Off London Transport day of action; BBC workers to strike; Heathrow Airport strike; Doncaster care workers' dispute; NUT secretary suspended.

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Tom Cashman

Author: 

Jim Denham

In the last issue of Solidarity, Bruce Robinson remembered the life of Tom Cashman, socialist trade unionist and long-time associate of the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty, who died last month. In this and future issues we will print further tributes.

Remembering the life of Tom Cashman, socialist trade unionist and long-time associate of the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty, who died last month.

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Culture and Reviews: 

Unison to discuss pay fight

Author: 

Dave Pannett

After just a single day’s strike over pay by workers local government, education, and the civil service, the press and the Tories are on the offensive against unions, highlighting the low turnouts in ballots, and pushing for new anti-union legislation.

The pay fight in local government and the NHS.

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Health workers to ballot for strikes: unions must coordinate the action!

Public sector union Unison has confirmed it will ballot its 300,000 health sector members from 28 August to 18 September for strikes against the “1% or increment” offer from the employers (which Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt believes is already too high!). Unite, GMB, and the Royal College of Midwives have also announced they will ballot for strikes.

Public sector union Unison has confirmed it will ballot its 300,000 health sector members from 28 August to 18 September for strikes against the “1% or increment” offer from the employers (which Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt believes is already too high!). Unite, GMB, and the Royal College of Midwives have also announced they will ballot for strikes.

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After 10 July, extend the action

10 July saw the biggest strike in Britain since the 30 November 2011 pensions strike.

The strike, which involved hundreds of thousands of teachers, council workers, civil servants, fire fighters, and other public sector staff, shut down schools and local government services across the country. Workers’ Liberty members participating in the strike sent reports to Solidarity.

In Leeds, activists say the number of pickets matched the levels of the 2011 strike. Around 4,000 attended a city centre rally.

10 July saw the biggest strike in Britain since the 30 November 2011 pensions strike.

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Industrial news in brief

Power control workers on London Underground began an eight-day strike on Tuesday 1 July.

Workers are resisting attacks on terms and conditions, and want conditions for formerly-outsourced workers to be levelled-up. Members of the RMT, TSSA, and Unite unions are participating in the strike.

London Underground power control and cleaning workers take action; RMT AGM; Ritzy workers call for Picturehouse boycott.

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Plan the fightback

The public sector strike on 10 July will be the biggest strike in Britain since the November 2011 strike over attacks to public sector pensions. Well over one million workers could take part.

The public sector strike on 10 July will be the biggest strike in Britain since the November 2011 strike over attacks to public sector pensions. Well over one million workers could take part.

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