Unite

Support Crossrail construction workers' strike!

Workers at the Crossrail construction site on Tottenham Court Road, Central London, are striking in protest at the forced displacement of Terry Wilson, their site steward, to a different workplace.

Terry was transferred after 200 workers protested at Crossrail's headquarters to demand increased "second-tier" (bonus) payments, and occupied the site offices of Crown House Technologies and Laing O'Rourke.

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Residents plan Heathrow campaign

Author: 

Simon Nelson

Four Tory Councils are set to take legal action against the expansion of Heathrow Airport. Hillingdon, Richmond, Wandsworth and Windsor and Maidenhead will be joined by Greenpeace in seeking a judicial review of the decision to go ahead with a third runway.

Court action is likely to delay any final decision actually being implemented. For the residents of the area and those who will be most directly affected the words of David Cameron, “No ifs, No buts. No third runway” now ring very hollow.

The interest in a working-class environmentalism amongst some of the unions appears to have faded in recent years. This is something that needs to be urgently rediscovered if the fight against Heathrow is to be won once and for all.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Gemma Short, Ollie Moore,Simon Nelson and Peggy Carter

Workers at the Ritzy Picturehouse cinema in Brixton struck on Friday 7 October, and will strike again on Saturday 15 October. The Ritzy cinema was completely shut down by the strike, and films due to be shown as part of the London Film Festival moved to other venues.

Picturehouse cinema strikes spread; Southern workers strike again; #Unisongate hearings to start; Hackney traffic wardens fight for unsocial pay; Sheffield bin workers strike.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Ollie Moore, Peggy Carter and Gemma Short

Rail workers on Southern Rail will strike for 14 days across three months, with strikes planned for 11-13 and 18-20 October, 3-5 and 22-23 November, and 6-8 December.

The workers, who are members of the RMT union, are fighting to defend the safety-critical role of the guard. Southern, which is owned by Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR, which also operates the Gatwick Express franchise), wants to de-skill the guard's role to make it non-safety-critical, meaning that only the driver would have responsibility for tasks such as opening and closing doors.

Southern fight steps up; Virgin Trains East Coast strike; Ritzy strikes back; support Fujitsu workers; Durham TAs fight 20% pay cut.

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Union report highlights harassment... in its own workplaces

Author: 

Ann Field

According to a report leaked to the Guardian last week, over half of Unite the Union’s 74 female officials have been bullied or sexually harassed by fellow officials or by union members.

One example of the kind of behaviour complained of was: “I have to sit among colleagues who refer to our secretaries as the girls … [They] think it is correct to refer to black people as coloured, talk about chairmen, and refer to women as a piece of skirt.”

Over half of Unite the Union’s female officials have been bullied or sexually harassed by fellow officials or by union members.

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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

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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