Cleaners and security guards employed by Carlisle Cleaning and Support Services working for First TransPennine Express (FTPE) struck on 1 October in protest at a pay freeze imposed by the employer.
The picket in Hull leafleted members of the public outlining their reasons for the strike. Workers have been offered a below inflation pay increase and no enhanced rate for weekend, night, bank holiday or overtime working. Those employed by Carlisle have no access to a company sick pay scheme, and no leisure travel facilities on First TransPennine services as offered to workers employed directly.
A striker told Solidarity: “Management has refused to negotiate on any of our demands, and we are being paid below a basic living wage. We are asking people to contact Carlisle’s director and FTPE’s Director to show their support for our action.
“The strike is fairly solid so far, we have only seen supervisors inside.”
Higher education workers vote to strike
Higher Education workers in Unison have voted (with a 50.3% majority) to take strike action over pay.
The union had recommended that members voted yes to strikes against a below-inflation pay offer from university bosses. Unison represents some of the lowest-paid workers in the higher education sector, including cleaners, catering staff, and porters, many of whom are paid well below levels calculated by the union to represent a “living wage”.
If the strike ballot is now acted upon it will feed other industrial action now being taken on university campuses.
On 10 October, lecturers at the University of East London will strike over changes to workload agreements that will substantially increase their marking loads, and lecturers at Queen Mary University (East London) are also set to strike against redundancies and bosses’ performance management regime after a ballot returned a 65% majority.
Supporters of the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts are active in organising solidarity with workers’ struggles on their campuses.
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Rank-and-file construction workers took to the streets on 26 September to picket the Crossrail site on New Oxford Street, central London. Workers are demanding that Crossrail bosses reinstate 28 electricians whose employer, EIS, had its contract terminated on the Westbourne Park Crossrail site after union reps raised health and safety concerns. The action succeeded in blocking traffic for an hour.