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.

Libraries are one of the services to be affected by outsourcing and cuts. Activists have been holding a “grand tour of Barnet libraries” with marches between local libraries in protest. The next, and final, leg of the tour will start from South Friern Library at 11am on Saturday 9 May and march to East Finchley Library then onto Church End Library and finish at North Finchley Library.

Unite members at Bromley Council have continued their strikes against mass privatisation of services in the council.

Workers are taking part in selective strikes. Library workers were out on 27-30 April, parks on 5 May, Astley care centre and passenger services will strike on 13-19 May, and all workers (apart from school staff) struck on 1, and will strike again on 7 and 19 May.

Tory run Bromley council has £130 million in reserves, yet is privatising the bulk of its services.

The council has also attacked the Unite union, by withdrawing facility time from the branch secretary.

Send messages of solidarity to: Barnet — John Burgess; Bromley — Onay Kasab

May Day solidarity for gallery strike

National Gallery workers took their 23rd strike day on May Day in their dispute over outsourcing of gallery assistant jobs.

Strikers welcomed the London May Day march into Trafalgar Square, where the gallery is, by handing out 1,000 painted sunflowers. May Day participants were asked to hold up the sunflowers to show solidarity with strikers.

Support from the art world has been mounting, with artists including Grayson Perry signing a letter to Gallery management.

Workers are calling for increased solidarity as management continues refusing to negotiate over job losses.

Donate to the strike fund, organise a solidarity event, pass a motion of solidarity, or sign the petition here.

Six week strike still strong

An indefinite all-out strike by Homeless Caseworkers in Glasgow is still going strong after six weeks.

The strike, which started on 31 March, is over pay grading which sees the workers paid in a different band to other workers who do a similar job. The difference between grades is up to £5,000 a year.

The strike has left the service running on just 5 workers and drafted in management.

Strikers have been getting lots of support from the community and the labour movement, including a £340 donation from probation officers at a prison. The strikers have been picketing the prison because a council homelessness office, staffed by non-Unison workers, is housed there.

Strikers say CWU members have consistently refused to cross their picket lines, and workers at housing charity Shelter are organising solidarity collections.

Send messages of support to Glasgow City Unison

Unison puts in pay claim

The Unison reps on the NJC (the body that negotiates pay and conditions with the local government employers) have put a pay claim based on the decisions of the Unison Local Government Special Conference which took place in March.

This is a claim for 2015-16, which would override the 2014-16 deal the union pushed through in October last year.

Reps from the other local government unions (Unite, GMB) did not support putting the pay claim.

The Unison NJC reps meet on 12 May to decide the next steps.

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