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Workplace In Brief
Transport union RMT has announced that cleaners working for Churchill on the Tyne and Wear Metro will strike again for 24 hours, starting on 23 January. The strikers are lobbying the Transport Authority in Newcastle on 24 January.
This battle against poverty wages has resulted in 12 days of strike action by the RMT members. The company employing the workers, DB Regio, have 'offered' 0% pay awards to these workers on the minimum wage, while doubling its profits in the past five years. Now they have withdrawn all previous 'offers' and want any future negotiations to be via Acas.
The RMT is arguing that the regional passenger organisation NEXUS and Newcastle city council should intervene in this dispute.
After a number of revelations about the blacklisting of construction workers by McAlpine and Skanska, there is to be a debate in parliament over the issue. The two companies have not admitted directly to blacklisting workers on the Olympics project but they paid for over 25,000 checks by the Consulting Association at the time of maximum recruitment to the Olympic site. In fact senior staff at both companies have held positions in the Consulting Association, which operated the blacklist.
Bosses at Crossrail are also under investigation by the Greater London Assembly. This follows the effective sacking of 28 workers after their reps raised concerns about health and safety.
Ricky Tomlinson is one of the Shrewsbury pickets, jailed for picketing in the 1972 building workers' strike. He is calling on the government to release the documents relating to the trials in 1972. Justice secretary Chris Grayling has announced that the documents will not be released and the situation will not be reviewed until 2021. The documents are being withheld under legislation which relates to national security.
There will be a press conference in Westminster on 23 January at which Ricky will be speaking alongside TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady, Unite and Ucatt general secretaries Len McCluskey and Steve Murphy, Ken Loach and MPs Tom Watson, Steve Rotherham and David Hanson.
Civil servants, members of PCS in the Department for Education, will be balloting for industrial action against cuts. The cuts threaten 1,000 jobs and six offices. Last week it emerged that DfE bosses played a game using party hats to discuss their cuts plans. The permanent secretary has refused to apologise.
These cuts are clearly an attempt by education secretary Michael Gove to use his department as a test bed for draconian cuts as part of his scheme to privatise education with academies and free schools.
In The Socialist 23 January 2013:
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