Strikes and lock-outs

Tube workers gear up for strikes

Published on: Wed, 20/11/2019 - 13:32
Author

Jay Dawkey

Tube union RMT will ballot its members across London Underground, after a reps’ meeting on 7 November rejected LU bosses’ latest pay offer.

Tube workers’ current deal expired on 1 April 2019, and unions have been in negotiations to secure a new settlement since February. A central demand has been for a reduction in the working week, with unions citing scientific evidence that extreme shift working shortens life and demanding additional time off for workers.

LU’s latest offer is for a four-year deal, with RPI + 0.2% pay increases in years one and three, and 1.4% pay increases in years two and

Unis out from 25 November

Published on: Wed, 20/11/2019 - 13:02
Author

Dan Davison

Members of the University and College Union (UCU), the national union for academic staff in the UK, are set to strike at 60 universities for eight days between 25 November and 4 December 2019.

This follows a highly successful pair of strike ballots among UCU members in higher education: one on pensions, the other on pay, equality, casualisation, and workloads.

The pensions strike continues the long-running dispute over proposed cuts to the United Superannuation Scheme (USS), the main pension plan in the “pre-92” universities.

The pay dispute affects both the “pre-92” and “post-92” universities

Industrial news thumbnail reports

Published on: Wed, 20/11/2019 - 12:41
Author

Ollie Moore

UCL, LouLou’s, St Mary’s

Outsourced workers at University College London struck on 19 November, after voting for industrial action by a 98% majority.

The workers, who include cleaners, porters, and security guards, are members of the Independent Workers’ union of Great Britain (IWGB), and are striking to demand equality with directly-employed staff.

IWGB members at “LouLou’s”, the exclusive celebrity members’ club in Mayfair, have also voted to strike. Their threat of industrial action has already secured two of their three demands – the reversal of outsourcing and the London living wage.

Repeal all anti-union laws!

Published on: Wed, 20/11/2019 - 12:17
Author

Daniel Randall and a CWU activist

The High Court injunction won by Royal Mail to block strikes by postal workers in the Communication Workers Union (CWU) highlights the undemocratic nature of Britain’s anti-trade union laws, and the urgent need for the whole labour movement to renew our fight for their abolition.

Royal Mail claimed that the union’s social media campaign, and its encouragement for members to bring ballot papers to work and write their votes there, breached the 1984 Trade Union Act, which requires that members be able to vote in ballots without “interference” from the union.

The 1984 Act was one of a succession

Strikes at Virgin, West Midlands, South Western Railway

Published on: Wed, 06/11/2019 - 07:39
Author

Ollie Moore and Jay Dawkey

Rail union RMT has called strikes on Virgin Trains, West Midlands Trains, and South Western Railway (SWR).

On the latter, the union has named a calendar of strikes throughout November and December, which will see walkouts on 16, 23, and 30 November, and 7, 14, 21, and 28 December. West Midlands Trains is the latest Train Operating Company to see its workers plan industrial action over the imposition of Driver Only Operation (DOO).

On Virgin Trains, train managers, a grade of customer-facing train crew, on the West Coast franchise will strike on 19 November to demand the reinstatement of an

Not just a Labour vote

Published on: Wed, 06/11/2019 - 07:34
Author

John Moloney, PCS Assistant General Secretary (in a personal capacity)

PCS members at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office will strike again on 7, 8, 11, and 12 November. These are members working in facilities management, employed by outsourced contractor Interserve.

We want Interserve to meet certain demands, including recognising the union; guaranteeing company sick pay; and reversing cuts in hours, but ultimately we want these workers to be employed directly on the same terms and conditions as all other civil servants.

We are also working closely with the United Voices of the World union, which has members in the Ministry of Justice and Royal Parks, which are

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 30/10/2019 - 08:48
Author

Darren Bedford, Ollie Moore and Jay Dawkey

Postal workers are discussing the timing of potential strikes, likely aimed at disrupting “Black Friday” retail deliveries on Friday 29 November, and/or Christmas post, after the Communication Workers Union (CWU) strike ballot returned a 97% majority for action on a 76% turnout.

The CWU’s Head of Communications Chris Webb, in an article for Tribune magazine discussing the successful ballot result, wrote: “Most crucial of all were our 1,250 workplace meetings.

“The explosive combination of the workplace meetings being posted on social media created a competitive feeling in our membership

Second victory at BEIS

Published on: Wed, 23/10/2019 - 08:32
Author

John Moloney, PCS Assistant General Secretary (in a personal capacity)

On 21 October our members working for the contractor ISS at BEIS (the Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy) won a complete victory in their dispute.

This follows a victory for catering staff at BEIS, employed by another contractor, Aramark, on 4 October.

Now porters, security, post room, cleaners and receptionist staff have also won the London Living Wage, improved sick pay, and a number of other conditions.

The victories can be put down to one factor: all-out indefinite strike action, which isn’t that common these days.

At FCO (the Foreign and Commonwealth Office) we’ve

Post workers target late November

Published on: Wed, 23/10/2019 - 08:29
Author

Gerry Bates

Postal workers are talking about strikes around the big online shopping days of “Black Friday” (29 November), “Cyber Monday” (2 December), and in the run-up to Christmas.

The aim is to time the action for maximum impact. A strike which included 29 November would also have the boost of coinciding with the next big student climate strike, when a number of workplaces will take action too.

The talk is not of one-day strikes. A Doncaster postal worker told Solidarity: “The general feeling in my office is we can handle a week or so of lost wages. We’ve had ample notice, and I know a few posties who

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 23/10/2019 - 07:41
Author

Charlie George and Tom Saff

USDAW, the shopworkers union, is facing a financial shortfall due to large numbers of its members being made redundant.

This is particularly felt at Tesco, which is the largest employer for the union’s members, but also where the union has refused to put up any resistance to the loss of around 9,000 jobs this last year.

Instead of launching a massive recruitment campaign or fighting back against the bosses, the union is instead considering getting rid of the part-time rate for new members, at its next annual conference, presumably a prelude to getting rid of it all together.

This would double

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