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From The Socialist newspaper, 13 June 2012

Workplace news in brief

PCS political ballot

Members of the Public and Commercial Services union have started voting in a ballot on the union's political campaigning strategy. This includes the proposal to stand or support candidates in national elections, where this will help to defend members' jobs and protect public services. This ballot follows a motion carried at the union's conference in 2009, and two branch consultation exercises have been carried out. The ballot closes on 29 June.

Jobcentre strike

Across Merseyside PCS members employed in jobcentres took strike action between 6-8 June. I visited one picket line where Fran Heathcote, DWP president, explained why her members were on strike to stop staff and office cuts. Steve Bramwell, PCS branch secretary said: "Management want to reduce staffing levels in jobcentres and in an area like Toxteth with high unemployment levels this will affect service provision and add to members' working conditions". PCS members across Merseyside are solid.

Rachel Potter Merseyside Socialist Party


The GMB union has produced a new report for its conference this week, which investigates the blacklisting of mainly construction workers by employers like Carillion. It was revealed earlier this year in an industrial tribunal that Carillion have blacklisted 224 workers all over the country. Among other demands the GMB and the Blacklist Support Group are calling on blacklisting companies to be removed from approved contractors lists for publicly funded projects. The report is available on the GMB website:

On 12 June, Dave Smith, the worker involved in the tribunal, is giving evidence to a parliamentary investigation into blacklisting.

Metro strike

"Today there's not a single train running on Tyne and Wear Metro", one of the striking workers told us on 7 June as Metro workers from the RMT, Aslef and Unite staged a 24-hour strike over pay. A further strike is planned for 21 June. Also, Tyne and Wear Metro cleaners working for Churchill's began a 48 hour strike on 10 June. This is in support of a victimised worker and a 0% pay offer.

Elaine Brunskill

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.

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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 13 June 2012:

Socialist Party news and analysis

No to austerity! - Turn anger into action

NSSN conference agrees call for one-day general strike against austerity

Leveson: contradictions and a crisis of credibility

No to local government pensions deal

The class divide in elderly care

Fast news

Them & Us

Socialist Party youth and students

Youth Fight for Jobs national meeting

My workfare nightmare

From pillar to post: reassessment for ESA

Super-rich Beecroft targets workers' rights

International socialist news and analysis

Spain: bank bailout can't stop Euro death-spiral

Wisconsin Recall: Democrats paved the way for Walker's victory

Kazakhstan: Oil workers jailed by rotten regime

International day of support for political prisoners in Iran

Threat from far-right in Greece: Time to build defence committees

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Tamil protest scores victory as Rajapaksa cancels speaking engagement

Bolton Uni: Reinstate Shana Begum!

Greece comes to Southampton

Olympic's sponsor exploits workers

West Lancs Against Cuts

Socialist Party workplace news

Sheffield recycling centre strikers supported by 90% of public

Council admin workers in Kirklees strike against cuts

Olympics - a fair deal for transport workers

Coryton refinery closure protests

Striking against academies

Workplace news in brief


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