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Workplace news in brief
Power station walkout
600 construction workers walked out of Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station on 29 May in protest against the suspension of Unite health and safety rep Jason Poulter. Those walking out included electricians, pipe fitters, welders and scaffolders. As we go to press, night-shift workers are also due to down tools.
The walkout was planned by a recent national meeting of rank and file sparks, and was supported by members of the National Shop Stewards Network and the Socialist Party. Also at the protest was expelled Ucatt member Mick Dooley.
Jason was suspended by management six weeks ago for carrying out trade union duties, an action that workers believe was taken in revenge for their success in defeating the Building Engineering Services National Agreement (Besna) which would have reduced pay and attacked terms and conditions.
Rob Williams, NSSN chair
Dump the cuts!
Around 40 GMB members at five "Dump It" recycling centres in Sheffield took three days strike action, from 26 to 28 May, against the Labour council's drastic cuts to recycling services.
The £500,000 'savings' are in addition to ending free collection of green waste and cutting general waste collections to fortnightly.
Waste services, privatised ten years ago by a Lib Dem council, are run by Veolia. Veolia have now sub-contracted the centres to SOVA Recycling Ltd, a supposed 'charity'.
GMB found out that SOVA's original contract bid was £1 million, but they were 'advised' to cut their bid to £600,000.
However, Veolia still received £941,000 from the council, pocketing over £300,000 in the process. The GMB also calculates that the private operators 'make' a further £900,000 a year from selling on recycled materials.
Seven workers still face redundancy while everyone else faces cuts in hours, bonuses and pay. While one recycling centre would stay open seven days a week, the other four face weekday closures. All will have reduced opening hours.
With these cuts due from 4 June, further prolonged strike action from this weekend is planned.
TfL Olympic ballot
An RMT ballot for industrial action is underway in Transport for London. This concerns management's failure to offer any Olympics recognition to 'core' staff, and their derisory offer to 'non-core' staff when 'volunteering' for special Olympics duties.
A TfL worker
Vote Steve Hedley
Steve Hedley, the London regional organiser of the transport union RMT, is standing for assistant general secretary of the RMT.
The ballot opened on 28 May, lasting about six weeks. Any RMT member wanting to help Steve's campaign should contact him on 07545 530526.
See issue 719 of the Socialist for more.
In The Socialist 30 May 2012:
Socialist Party features
Socialist Party news and analysis
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