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From The Socialist newspaper, 7 March 2012

Workplace news in brief


Stagecoach bus drivers win victory

Stagecoach South Yorkshire bus drivers in Barnsley and Rotherham have won a significant victory in their fight for higher pay.

After a bitter four month dispute, in which over 300 drivers, members of Unite, took 12 days of strike action, Stagecoach were forced to accede to most of their demands.

By 251 votes to 35, drivers voted to accept an increase in their hourly rate to 9.05 an hour, with no strings attached and a lump-sum payment in lieu of back-pay from the annual settlement date of April.

Drivers were on 8.57 an hour and had a 2% rise imposed in November, taking them to 8.74. In effect, they have won a 5.6 % pay rise.

This is a victory against a company who brought in managers from around the country to run a strike-breaking operation on every strike day. While this meant that up to 80% of services ran, it was at considerable expense as not only wages but bonuses and hotel accommodation were paid to the scabs, and fares were slashed to 1 to try to keep passengers.

Because of the determination of the drivers (there were only a handful of local drivers who scabbed and it's reported that even some of them joined the last days of strike action) and the solidarity from other bus workers and trade unionists, Stagecoach could not afford to keep the strike-breaking operation up. So the bosses were forced to drop the strings and offer a lump sum in back-pay.

Alistair Tice

UCU Wales Congress

The Welsh section of the University and College Union, UCU Cymru, held its annual congress in Cardiff on 3 March. Delegates were eager to fight, not just on pensions, but on a wide range of other issues.

The elections for Wales officers returned an increased number of left activists including one Socialist Party member to Wales Council. Delegates then passed unanimously a call to build the fightback on pensions.

Members also rallied around a socialist-led move to halt a Labour-backed attempt to water down UCU Cymru's strong position on young workers. UCU is affiliated to Youth Fight for Jobs and demands job creation and a minimum wage of 8/hour.

During the congress the re-election of Sally Hunt as union general secretary was announced. Hunt has promised to slash the UCU national executive by half and circumvent it through more online, one-way "consultations", so the fight is on to defend union democracy.

Edmund Schluessel

Olympics

Transport union RMT is to ballot for industrial action on Transport for London over a ban on staff leave for the duration of the Olympics and has also declared a formal dispute with London Underground (LU) over a failure to reach an agreement on Olympics recognition and reward payments for all LU staff.

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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 7 March 2012:


Fighting the government's attacks

On 28 March: Strike back against the Con-Dems

Trade unions must build mass party

NHS: Axe Lansley's bill!


International Women's Day

International Women's Day 2012

Socialist Party International Women's Day schools


Socialist Party youth and students

Workfare

No cuts, No fees, Bring back EMA

NUS elections - Vote Socialist Students for a fighting student leadership


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Kirklees marches to save child centres

Leeds Tenants Federation opposes Welfare Reform Bill

Become Coventry deputy mayor? Thanks, but no thanks!

Attack on pay defeated at Manchester's NHS Trust

Stop prison guards housing asylum seekers - stop G4S!

Party/campaigns news in brief


Socialist Party workplace news

MMP workers step up action

Unison: Delegates gagged

Anti-blacklisting battle continues on building sites

London election candidate named in employers' blacklist

Workplace news in brief


International socialist news and analysis

Quebec: Students engage in 'indefinite' general strike action

Spain: Thousands in student protests against education cuts

Revolution through Arab eyes - the Factory


Socialist Party news and analysis

A4e - The inside story

Cops and big business robbers

Them & Us


 

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Related links:

Stagecoach:

triangleVictory for Stagecoach bus strikers!

triangleLancashire Stagecoach drivers continue their fight

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Pay:

triangleSocialist Party & Unison NEC member Hugo Pierre (centre), alongside others, taking part in the 8 August health workers' protests for a 15% pay increase. Photo Sarah SE

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