Unions are not to blame for Labour's defeat

Submitted by AWL on 19 May, 2015 - 6:09 Author: Dale Street

When Jim Murphy announced he was standing down Murphy claimed that he had been “at the centre of a campaign by the London leadership of Unite the Union, (who) blame myself or the Scottish Labour Party for the defeat of the UK Labour Party in the general election.”

“Sometimes people see it as a badge of honour to have [Unite General Secretary] Mr McCluskey’s support. I see it as a kiss of death to be supported by that type of politics… We cannot have our leaders selected or deselected by the grudges and grievances of one prominent man.”

Industrial news in brief

Submitted by Matthew on 13 May, 2015 - 9:06 Author: Gemma Short, Charlotte Zalens and Peggy Carter

On Saturday 9 May, over 400 people marched from South Friern library in Barnet, to East Finchley library, then Finchley Church End before finishing at North Finchley library, to protest over proposed cuts to library services in the borough.

The march was joined on the final leg, from Finchley Church End library to North Finchley library by a double decker bus decorated with union banners, and a brass band.

Activists in Barnet have now completed 4 days of action, marching through all the libraries in Barnet.

Industrial news in brief

Submitted by Matthew on 6 May, 2015 - 9:08 Author: Gemma Short

Workers at Barnet council struck on 30 April and 1 May in a dispute over outsourcing up to 80% of jobs.

Workers in all areas of the council apart from schools joined the strike, and a 50-strong picket line was held at North London Business Park, where many council offices are housed. On 1 May, strikers joined the central London May Day march after picket lines in the morning.

If the council does not move, a second phase of strikes will follow on Thursday 21 May and Friday 22 May, and a third on Monday 1 June and Tuesday 2 June.

Len McCluskey: take on the SNP!

Submitted by cathy n on 3 May, 2015 - 7:42 Author: Ann Field

“I didn’t come to Scotland to criticise the SNP,” said Unite General Secretary Len McCluskey at a public meeting in Saltcoats a fortnight ago, organised by North Ayrshire and Arran Labour Party as part of its campaign to retain the seat for Katy Clark.

McCluskey was as good as his word.

He called for a vote for Labour. He called for a Labour government. He called for, if need be, a minority Labour government rather than one which entered pacts or a coalition with other parties. But he was not prepared to attack the SNP.

Industrial news in brief

Submitted by Matthew on 22 April, 2015 - 11:04 Author: Gemma Short and Charlotte Zalens

After voting for strikes over outsourcing by 87%, Unison members in Barnet Council will strike on Thursday 30 April and Friday 1 May.

On 1 May Unison hold a march and rally, followed by a members meeting to review the strike and any proposals from the council. If the council has not moved, a second phase of strikes will follow on Thursday 21 May and Friday 22 May, and a third on Monday 1 June and Tuesday 2 June.

Unite in talks over London bus drivers' pay

Submitted by cathy n on 14 April, 2015 - 3:48 Author: Gemma Short

Unite met with Transport for London and bus companies on Thursday 9 April in an on going dispute over bus drivers' pay.

Employers have refused to meet Unite for months. Unite says it will call more strikes if talks don't yield any significant offers.

Unite needs to keep bus drivers in the loop about progress in negotiations, instead of leaving them in the dark until either a deal is reached or more strikes are called.

Bus strikes suspended

Submitted by Matthew on 18 February, 2015 - 1:51 Author: Gemma Short

On February 11, Unite called off planned London bus drivers’ strikes scheduled for February 13 and 16.

In a press release Unite described this as laying down the “gauntlet” and “challenging the 18 bus companies to enter talks”. Yet there has been no news of these talks actually happening.

Workers' direct action gets the goods: sacked Crossrail worker reinstated

Submitted by AWL on 16 February, 2015 - 8:43 Author: Darren Bedford

Construction workers scored a big win against contractors operating on the Crossrail transport project in central London, after a sacked worker was reinstated within hours of a demo at Crossrail's Oxford Street site.

The worker, who began work on Monday 9 February, raised concerns over safety standards on the site. Despite being told he would have work for three years, he was summarily sacked on Friday 13 February.

Industrial news in brief

Submitted by Matthew on 11 February, 2015 - 10:57 Author: Gemma Short, Charlotte Zalens and Peggy Carter

London bus drivers will strike again for 24 hours on Friday 13 and Monday 16 February in their dispute to level-up pay between bus companies.

This follows a 24 hour strike on Thursday 5 February, and one on Tuesday 13 January. Solidarity visited several picket lines which were lively, confident and staffed throughout the day despite propaganda from Transport for London (TfL) claiming high numbers of services were still running.

Manchester Metrolink workers set to strike

Submitted by AWL on 5 February, 2015 - 10:21 Author: Matthew Thompson

Workers on Manchester's Metrolink tram system are set to strike on 11 February in a dispute over pay.

Around four hundred drivers, maintenance staff and controllers, who are members of Unite, will walk out for twenty-four hours after rejecting a pay offer of one and a half per cent this year and two per cent next which also includes changes to sick pay and absence rules.

Unite industrial organiser John Broughton said: