Industrial news in brief

Submitted by Matthew on 10 June, 2015 - 11:17

Following a one-day strike at Lewisham and Southwark College on 4 June, union members report a different atmosphere in the college.

The dispute has now broken out of the world of committee meetings and into the classrooms and corridors, canteens and staff rooms. Everybody now has to have a position on the strike, everybody has to think about taking a side.

For many staff and students, this is a further political education and a first direct experience of trade union struggle.

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Industrial news in briefMatthewWed, 03/06/2015 - 08:45

Train drivers for Southern rail will vote on a new pay offer, after they voted by 91% and 95% for strikes and action short of strikes to win a better deal.

The strike votes, which saw turnouts of around 85%, followed the rejection of the company's initial pay offer of a 2.65% increase even against the recommendation of officials from the drivers' union ASLEF. Such resounding votes against union recommendations are rare anywhere in the labour movement, and show a clear strength of feeling amongst Southern drivers to win a better deal.

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Industrial news in brief

Submitted by Matthew on 20 May, 2015 - 11:00 Author: Charlotte Zalens

UCU members at Lewisham and Southwark college (LeSoCo) have voted by 85% for strikes over job cuts.

At a meeting with the chair of the college governors, union reps made it quite clear that we were going to fight to build a college, not a scrapheap composed of redundant education workers and working-class people denied a further education.

Already, more than a hundred students have demonstrated to governors their opposition at a meeting at the Camberwell site. This is only the beginning of a range of actions, on all sites, which will now unfold over the coming weeks.

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Industrial news in briefMatthewWed, 13/05/2015 - 09:06

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.

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Industrial news in briefMatthewWed, 06/05/2015 - 09:08

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.

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Industrial news in brief

Submitted by Matthew on 29 April, 2015 - 7:37

On Friday 1 May, the UCU union at Lewisham and Southwark college will begin the ballot for industrial action to save 110 full-time equivalent jobs.

We are now one of several colleges in London preparing to resist attacks on our jobs and our ability to serve local working class students with what is for many the last chance to escape poverty and the hopelessness of unemployment. 

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Industrial news in brief

Submitted by Matthew on 15 April, 2015 - 9:08 Author: Charlotte Zalens and Gemma Short

Following strikes on 3-4 February, 27-28 February and 2 March, management at the Information Commissioner’s Office have imposed the disputed new pay offer on staff.

This is despite half the staff having refused to sign up to the offer on an individual basis and demanding they negotiate with the recognised unions.

The pay offer was improved slightly as a result of the strikes, but it remains far short of meeting PCS’s demand for a 5% or £1,200 increase in annual pay.

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Strike ballot at Windsor Castle

Submitted by cathy n on 7 April, 2015 - 1:17 Author: Gemma Short

From PCS - http://www.pcs.org.uk/en/news_and_events/pcs_comment/pcs_comment.cfm/royal-family-faces-first-ever-industrial-action-by-low-paid-staff

It would be the first such action specific to the Royal Households and comes after years of pay restraint have left loyal workers paid below the widely-recognised living wage, with new recruits starting on as little as £14,400 a year.

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Industrial news in brief

Submitted by AWL on 18 March, 2015 - 12:02 Author: Charlotte Zalens and Gemma Short

Pat Hutton, GMB rep at Queen Elizabeth Hospital where workers have been on strike to win the same terms and conditions as in-house workers, spoke to Solidarity.

"Since our last strikes at Christmas, GMB has been going round hospitals where they recruited scabs — in Liverpool, Coventry, Westminster, Chelsea, Kingston — organising to stop it.

A lot of the scabs were casuals and didn’t know what was going on. With the help of GMB in those places we put a stop to it.

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