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Workplace news in brief
Transport union RMT is balloting its members working for Churchills as cleaners on the Tyne and Wear Metro.
The ballot is for strike action and action short of a strike in a dispute over pay and conditions. Churchills have decided to offer no increase in basic pay whatsoever to the workers, many of whom are only being paid the minimum wage. The company is only offering a minimal and conditional increase in conditions of service.
The ballot will close on 22 May.
Unison and pensions
At the recent South West TUC AGM, Unison regional officer Joanna Kaye was defeated by Richard Capps of PCS in a three-way fight for the position of regional chair for the coming year and again when she stood for vice-chair. This reflected the huge anger and bitterness among, especially public sector workers, at the role that the Unison leadership has played in the battle to defend pensions in the public sector.
The mood of anger was reflected from the conference floor. This was not so much in attacks on any particular union, but in calls to drive forward our fight to defend workers against the Tory attacks on trade unions and the working class in general.
A motion on localised [or regional] pay saw a mood to arrange an immediate meeting to organise a coordinated campaign on this most important of issues.
Ello, ello, ello
600 police from South Wales will be among those demanding an end to government cuts to their pay and conditions, when they march through London on 10 May. Picking the same day for their demo when thousands of public sector workers in PCS, RMT, UCU, Unite and Nipsa are striking seems like that at least some police officers identify with other public sector workers fighting cuts. The Police Federation is also balloting its members to gauge support for fighting for trade union rights, including the right to strike.
Nearly 700 firefighters working for the defence ministry at about 35 military bases will be on strike over pensions and cuts on 10 May. Military flights are expected to be disrupted.
The members of Unite will be joining the thousands of fellow Unite members in government departments and other public sector workers on the picket lines.
East Midlands train drivers will be on strike on 8, 10, 15 and 17 May. The action is over plans to reduce pension fund contributions for both workers and the firm from July.
The driver's union Aslef are arguing to maintain the current contributions, so as not to "cheapen" the fund.
The train company are claiming that the change would not affect pension benefits.
There were strikes over this issue on 1 and 3 May. Negotiations are due to take place on 10 May.
In The Socialist 9 May 2012:
Socialist Party election analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Socialist Party workplace news
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