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From The Socialist newspaper, 29 September 2010

Workplace news in brief

Migrant workers protest

The chant of "hands off our workmates, no one is illegal!" echoed outside the London office of contract cleaning company Initial Rentokil on Saturday 25 September.

Workers had gathered in an action organised by the London region of the transport union RMT in response to Initial Rentokil using the immigration police to intimidate migrant workers who were seeking to get organised.

One worker who had complained to management after not receiving his back pay, a common occurrence according to workers at the company, was reported to the immigration authorities by management and subsequently arrested.

As London RMT regional organiser Steve Hedley pointed out at the protest, Initial Rentokil was well aware of the immigration status of these workers when they hired them.

Glenroy Watson, secretary of RMT Finsbury Park branch, told the protest that the RMT would not allow its members to be intimidated by a union busting company. He warned that bigger and louder protests were planned outside Rentokil's office until it ends its bullying behaviour.

Neil Cafferky, London Socialist Party

Defend the Four

The four Socialist Party members who were banned from holding office in Unison for between two and three years following a witch-hunt are presently putting their case at a second Employment Tribunal. They are challenging the charges that the Unison bureaucracy imposed on them and which the four believe were unjustified.

A report of the proceedings and outcome of the Tribunal will be announced once the result is known.

Tube strike

The London RMT and TSSA 24-hour strike planned to start at 6.30pm on Sunday 3 October is going ahead. The unions and employer went to ACAS. The union representatives said that if the employer was prepared to enter meaningful talks and suspend all job cuts, new rosters and all attacks the unions would suspend strike action. Management refused, demonstrating their scant regard for the safety of the public. So reluctantly, tube workers are continuing the industrial action to defend jobs, services and the safety of staff and passengers.

The dispute so far has been a resounding success. On the last strike day, two thirds of trains did not run and over 100 stations were closed. TSSA members took strike action in London for the first time since 1926. The overtime ban in between strikes has also been successful - stations have had to close, and the action taken by engineers has lost millions of pounds in cancelled work.

Management have a plan, "Operation Horizon", in which they aim for a complete restructuring. The government spending review on 20 October also looms, threatening a further 20-40% cut in London transport.

Reg Johnstone

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

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In The Socialist 29 September 2010:

Anti-cuts campaign

We need action against the cuts... and a socialist political alternative

Fight the cuts! - demonstrate on 23 October

Stop wholesale sell-off in Suffolk

Suffolk Unison member speaks

Councils must defy cuts

Children's homes: Bosses' 'Tribalism' defeated

Fighting to save our services

Service users defend Ealing health centres

Anti-cuts demonstrations planned so far

Socialist Party editorial

No 'lurch to the left' for Labour

Socialist Party news and analysis

Stop the NHS sell-off

Death at Kington Court community care centre shows "regime of neglect"

UN fails to meet development goals

Housing bosses' pay goes through the roof

Unison elections: Socialists stand for a fighting and democratic trade union

Socialist Students

Students: Why we must all protest!

Socialist Students: showing an alternative to cuts and fees

Defend students' democratic rights

Socialist Party feature

Britain on the brink

Socialist Party workplace news

What's the point of the unions?

South Wales: Fight for car workers' jobs

Ballot victory against social enterprise

Bosses try to rewrite history

Workplace news in brief

International socialist news and analysis

Right-wing government re-elected in Sweden

Is Ireland's economy going bust?

Socialist Party feature

Global AIDS crisis: Profits punish poor


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