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From The Socialist newspaper, 5 January 2011

Birmingham bin workers fight back

On 20 December a determined body of 30 bin workers beefed up the picket at the Holford Drive, Perry Barr, depot. All eyes are on the Con-Dem controlled council, where 26,000 workers are threatened with the sack unless they accept new contracts. The immediate issue, amongst other attacks, is that the bin workers stand to lose 4,000 a year. For many this can mean losing their homes.
A Unite rep spoke to Joe Foster, a Socialist Party and PCS member.

"Unison, GMB, Ucatt and Unite are in dispute with the council. There has been an overtime ban and work to rule since 17 December. Unite voted 94% for action short of a strike and 74% for strike action. This stems from a previous deal on single status - trying to use this to downgrade bin workers' pay instead of upgrading low-paid women workers.

"Additionally the council want to cut the number of drivers by 40 and reduce teams from five to four. They also want to end 'task and finish' whereby you can go home when the job is done. They also want Christmas Day and other bank holidays to be normal working days without enhanced pay.

"The strike is solid and no agency staff are working. But the council have recruited 200 workers directly from Jobcentres. Apart from the threat to our jobs, this is a danger to themselves and the public. We think the council want to hand over the workforce to a private company, after worsening our pay and conditions."

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In The Socialist 5 January 2011:


National Shop Stewards Network

We'll resist Cameron's 'hard times'

NSSN anti-cuts conference: Trade unionists to debate the way forward

A real strategy to fight the cuts


Socialist Party youth and students

March together, win together: students and workers join the demonstration in Manchester on 29 January

29 January demonstration in Manchester: Students and young workers unite


Socialist Party feature

2011: a year of sharpening struggle


Socialist Party news and analysis

Rail operators profit from commuter misery

Northern Ireland water crisis: Privatisation agenda wrecks service utility

NHS cutbacks - health bosses and government to blame

Tommy Sheridan trial - guilty verdict is a sham

Private ownership, public pollution


Socialist Party workplace news and analysis

Fight the NHS pay freeze!

Heinz strike again

Birmingham bin workers fight back

More pay strikes at Newsquest papers

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition conference on 22 January 2011

Trade unions must fight for agency workers' rights


Obituaries

Tribute to John Macreadie, trade unionist and socialist fighter

Grunwick: leader of historic strike dies


Socialist Party review

Fela! the musical


 

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Related links:

Bin workers:

triangleEast London bin workers call 12-day strike over wage grades

triangleHome carers victory

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