Unite

Industrial news in brief

Author: 

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

Author: 

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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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

Author: 

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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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Ollie Moore, Darren Bedford and Alice Bolton

Train guards on Southern in the RMT union are set for further strikes after talks between RMT and Southern bosses collapsed.

Workers are fighting the extension of “Driver Only Operation”, and resisting the de-skilling of the role of the guard, which the union says will have dire consequences for passenger service and safety on what are already some of Britain’s most overcrowded rail routes.

Southern workers stand firm; blacklisted workers win; ambulance workers to ballot.

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Unison’s rotten pay deal

Author: 

Simon Nelson

Unison members were shocked, or would have been shocked had they found the news buried on the Unison website (27 April), to find the Union has gone against the recommendation for strike action from the 2016/18 pay consultation and accepted the employers’ derisory offer.

The situation for national pay bargaining in Local Government is now incredibly grim.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Sacha Ismail, Peggy Carter, Ollie Moore, Luke Hardy, Graham Korn and Charlotte Zalens

On 21 March cleaning and catering workers employed by multinational corporation Aramark at the South London and Maudsley NHS mental health trust, which has sites across South London, struck for a £10 an hour minimum wage, full sick pay and proper unsocial hours payments.

South London hospital workers strike; battle to stop Lambeth libraries closing; Piccadilly line drivers fight dictatorial bosses; job losses in energy industry; FE pay strikes called off; Sixth Form colleges strike over funding cuts; London dockers want union agreement.

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