Unite

Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Gemma Short, Darren Bedford, Charlotte Zalens, Dale Street, Peggy Carter and Ollie Moore

Hundreds of Derby teaching assistants and their supporters protested outside Parliament on Wednesday 14 September. The lobby of Parliament was part of a strike by teaching assistants in their fight to against the council changing their working week, resulting in a 25% loss of pay.

Strikes in August finally brought the council to the negotiating table, but their offers since have been so miserly that workers have rejected them by large majorities. The council has also attempted to make divisive offers that would benefit only a section of the workforce.

Derby teaching assistants fight 25% pay cut; Manchester to sack all firefighters; Tube drivers’ strike solid; bosses cut benefits to meet minimum wage; Bromley libraries; Post office workers strike.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Gemma Short and Charlotte Zalens

Campaigners have targeted Sports Direct ahead of the Annual General Meeting of the company due to be held on 7 September.

The company AGM will consider a trade union sponsored resolution which calls for an independent investigation into the use of zero-hours contracts in Sports Direct. Campaigners protested at Sports Direct stores in Grimsby, Manchester, Liverpool, Eastbourne and south London on Saturday 3 September holding banners reading #SportsDirectShame and ″stand with migrant workers″.

Sports Direct; Huddersfield A&E; London bus workers strike again;

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Gemma Short and Ollie Moore

A recent survey of workers at Lambeth Council, south London, conducted by the Unison union uncovered high levels overwork, stress and anxiety among staff, following years of job cuts. The survey found that 56% of staff do not feel that they can continue at the council unless workloads improve.

Lambeth Council stress survey; Southern Rail strikes restart; Tube and London bus drivers strike; courier strikes defeat low pay bosses.

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Industrial news in brief

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Ollie Moore and Gemma Short

Members of the RMT union on Southern Rail have struck again, this time for five days, as they continue their battle to defend the role of the guard. Southern, which is owned by Govia Thameslink Railway, a train company which operates other services, including Gatwick Express, wants to de-skill the guard's role, meaning the safety-critical on-board tasks would be carried out by the driver only.

Southern: labour war continues; job cuts on East Coast; how not to save jobs; Derby teaching assistants fight on.

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Industrial news in brief

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Dennis Brian, Luke Hardy and Gemma Short

On Wednesday 20th July, library workers in Lewisham took their third strike day to defend our libraries. In the evening the workers, service users and community activists held a lively lobby of Lewisham council.

The council wants to make £1 million of cuts to the library service. They propose taking staff from four libraries, hoping that local voluntary organisations will take over the running of these libraries.
This would leave only three full libraries open in the borough.

Fight to save libraries spreads; Leeds bus workers win pay deal; striking cleaners win London living wage; keep the guard on the train!

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Unite backs Corbyn and mandatory reselection

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A delegate

Unite the union held its bi-annual policy conference from 11th to 16th July. Does the largest working-class organisation in Britain have the policies and perspectives needed for the next two years of struggle? The answer has to be, on the whole, no. 

Good policy was passed on the casualisation of work, Kurdish solidarity work, the union's relationship with the Labour Party, and many other areas.

Some good decisions but internationalist class struggle policies still required.

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The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Gemma Short, Luke Hardy, Peggy Carter, Ollie Moore, Charlotte Zalens and Neil Laker

Workers at Pennine Foods in Sheffield have suspended their strikes after negotiations meant bosses agreed not to implement changes to their contracts. Negotiations also got bosses to agree to all employees receiving a lump sum for their 2015 pay rise. Negotiations will continue on the contract and further strikes are not ruled out. The contract changes at Pennine Foods were in order for bosses to try to recoup some of the money from implementing the government′s new ″living wage″.

Bosses dodge “living wage”; Camden teachers striking to stop job cuts; bosses make £11m profit, workers get 16p; cleaners fight back against sackings; ScotRail guards vote for strikes; Durham County Council sacks all teaching assistants; Capita workers strike over pay cuts.

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The shaming of Sports Direct boss

Author: 

Charlotte Zalens

Mike Ashley, the Chief Executive of Sports Direct, has admitted to paying workers less than minimum wage. The admission came while he was being questioned by MPs on the Business, Innovation and Skills House of Commons select committee.

He recognised that for a ″specific time″ workers were effectively paid less than minimum wage due to the practice of keeping workers after their shift to be searched before they were allowed to leave.
He is now saying he will pay back pay to those workers effected.

Mike Ashley, the Chief Executive of Sports Direct, has admitted to paying workers less than minimum wage.

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Industrial news in brief

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Cath Fletcher, John Moloney and Ollie Moore

Catering staff at the University of Manchester have won a deal for no compulsory redundancies, no loss of hours, and no pay cuts. Their employer, UMC, a subsidiary company wholly owned by University of Manchester, had said in March that it would sack 46 of its 280-odd catering workers and move the rest to term-time only contracts — meaning a pay cut of about one third. Hannah McCarthy, the student union Campaigns and Citizenship Officer and vice-chair of Manchester Momentum, spoke to Solidarity.

Students help Manchester University workers win; lecturers strike for fair pay in HE; No to the DWP “employer” deal; train bosses hire scabs; cabin crew vote to strike over safety.

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Industrial news in brief

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Gemma Short, Ruth Cashman, Charlotte Zalens and Peggy Carter

UCU at the University of Nottingham is balloting for industrial action against threatened compulsory redundancies in the Faculty of Arts.

The University that claims to be Britain's global university wants to reduce its offer in archaeology, and theology and religious studies, and close language courses including Dutch. 11.5 FTE posts are at risk. The student body is up in arms over the threat. They have organised several protests, a petition and a Facebook group: Resist Restructuring Nottingham.

Anger at Nottingham University; victory at the John Roan School; Lambeth libraries; lecturers to strike over pay; stop victimisation at London Met; Hands off our weekends!; cabin crew fight for breaks

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