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Workplace news in brief
Socialist Party website
The Socialist is proud to get reports from workers in struggle around the country. We do our best to fit them into the paper but also post material on our website.
This issue of the Socialist will cover two weeks, check our website for additional material on these stories and new reports.
Stop job cuts
As previously reported, workers at RF Brookes of South Wigston, Leicester, are facing the possibility of closure of their factory by the '2 Sisters' food group. In May they announced 193 redundancies along with the slashing of the previously agreed redundancy terms. Members of the bakery workers' union, BFAWU, took four days of strike action in protest.
Management's response has been to increase the number of redundancies to 350, leaving a workforce of only 150 behind. The workers feel there is a clear plan to close the factory.
The BFAWU is correctly pursuing legal action. However, the Socialist Party believes that further workers' action is needed. To prevent closure the idea of a "sit in" at the factory should be considered.
Stop Essex fire cuts
Hundreds of striking firefighters and their supporters paraded through Essex's county town of Chelmsford on 18 July in a show of defiance against the dictatorial attitudes of the Fire Authority and the cuts in service it is trying to force through. FBU banners from as far afield as Northern Ireland and Cornwall showed that all firefighters are watching this dispute with great interest.
They heard from the general secretary of their union, Matt Wrack. Just before coming to address the crowd he had delivered notice of further strike action on 18 August to the chief fire officer.
On 27 July, the Olympics opening ceremony day, transport union RMT members in Transport for London (TfL) (Customer Experience) are to strike again in their fight for a fair Olympics recognition reward.
They will be joined by RMT members on South West Trains, Serco "Boris Bikes", ISS and Initial tube cleaners and Carlisle DLR cleaners, striking over the same issue.
Living wage demand
John Lewis cleaners organised in the International Workers of the World (IWW) took their second day of strike action on 20 July. Forty cleaners and their supporters picketed outside the company's high-profile store on Oxford Street in central London.
John Lewis pays its hard-working cleaners only the minimum wage, a measly £6.08 a hour. But the cleaners are demanding the London Living Wage of £8.30.
The next strike is on 26 July when the Olympic torch passes down Oxford Street in front of the John Lewis store.
In The Socialist 25 July 2012:
Socialist Party news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Stop NHS cuts & privatisation
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party review
Socialist Party appeal & news