Trade union issues

"The fundamental element was our confidence in the working class"

Submitted by AWL on 20 September, 2013 - 12:57

Mike Treen, the National Director of the Unite union in New Zealand (no connection to the British union of the same name) spoke to Solidarity about their drives to organise precarious workers in the fast food and service industries.

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Dozens arrested at anti-fracking protests

Submitted by AWL on 18 August, 2013 - 12:33


A number of activists, including Green Party MP Caroline Lucas, were arrested on protests at the Balcombe site. As of 4.50pm on 19 August, the No Dash for Gas Twitter feed was reporting that 19 activists had been arrested, "with more to be confirmed".

Activists also protested at Cuadrillo's Sheffield headquarters, and the central London offices of Bell Pottinger, the PR firm used by Cuadrillo. For updates, see the No Dash for Gas website.

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No job cuts on London Overground!

Submitted by AWL on 2 August, 2013 - 3:17

Over 100 jobs on the London Overground network could be lost, as London Overground Rail Operations Ltd. (LOROL) seeks to move to “driver-only operation” (DOO).

The immediate impulse for cut is a 12.5% cut in central government funding for Transport for London, announced in George Osborne’s 26 June spending review. Moving towards DOO is also key recommendation of the McNulty Review into railway industry reform.

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Democratise our unions!

Submitted by AWL on 2 August, 2013 - 3:12

The RMT is currently conducting a root-and-branch review of its internal structures. This means RMT members have a chance to say how they think their union should be organised.

Off The Rails has a charter called “The Fantasy Union of Rail and Transport Workers”, which sets out our ideal vision for how unions should operate. The FURTW would be a union led from the workplace up, where members were engaged in deciding strategy and industrial action were controlled by those involved in them. It would also be an industrial union.

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Assessing the East Midlands Trains pensions fight

Submitted by AWL on 2 August, 2013 - 3:09

In the aftermath of the pension dispute some rank-and-file train driver members of ASLEF at Nottingham attempted to call the leadership to account over their undemocratic actions in settling the dispute against the clearly stated wishes of the membership.

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Domestic violence is a union issue

Submitted by AWL on 2 August, 2013 - 2:49

Every week, two women are killed by their partner or ex partner.

Many thousands more (and a smaller number of men) are victims of domestic violence. This is NOT an issue to be dealt with behind closed doors. It affects people at work and we need to take it up as a workplace issue.

Being a victim of domestic violence can affect how well you do your job, your timekeeping, your physical and mental well-being. But on a more positive note, going to work can be your means of escape, your opportunity to find support.

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Cleaners' battles continue

Submitted by AWL on 2 August, 2013 - 2:39

The Tyne and Wear Metro cleaners’ struggle for living wages, sick pay, and travel pass equality is now one of the longest-running disputes in the British labour movement.
They began a two-week strike on 9 July, and have so far struck for 19 (not all consecutive) days in their dispute.

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Fighting casualisation

Submitted by AWL on 2 August, 2013 - 2:37

This issue of Off The Rails focuses on the issue of casualisation, and how to fight it (and how not to fight it!).

On the centre pages, there’s an article looking at the “Justice for the 33” campaign, and elsewhere we discuss the dispute against casualisation on Northern Rail.
Casualised forms of working are spreading around the railway industry like wildfire.

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