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From The Socialist newspaper, 30 January 2013

Workplace news in brief

Justice walkout

Members of the PCS civil service union working in the Ministry of Justice are walking out on 31 January.

The staff who administer and collect court fines are protesting against plans to privatise their work.

This would put a lot of the work into the hands of private bailiff companies who are already often the subject of claims about harassment received by agencies such as the Citizens Advice Bureau.

There was a 75% vote for action in the strike ballot.

Birmingham ballot

Lecturers' union UCU members at Birmingham university are balloting for strike action against cuts and redundancies.

Almost 1,000 members are being balloted for strike action to start on 28 February with a series of half-day strikes followed by a two-day strike.

The university want to make 17 posts redundant in one department and seven in another. But UCU members suspect that this may be the thin end of the wedge.

UCU branch president said: "This university has consistently made a large surplus for many years and we do not believe that the proposed job cuts are necessary.

"Making redundancies in this way is bad for staff and also bad for the quality of education that our university can deliver."

The ballot ends on 14 February.


On 26 January 300 trade unionists marched against the victimisation of lecturers' union UCU activists at Halesowen college, west midlands.

Branch secretary Dave Muritu and three other maths lecturers were sacked in the run up to Christmas for supposedly failing to meet targets for student results - itself a result of cutbacks by college management.

Nick Hart

Howdens jobs battle

On 3 January DHL announced that the Widnes transport depot for the Howdens joinery contract would be closing and moved to Yorkshire. This puts over 50 jobs at risk and Unite are organising an industrial action ballot.

But because of the shortage of time the workers have been organising protests, notably outside Howdens' major shareholders in central London.

The workers believe this attack by DHL is to do with the company's tough reputation and the well-organised Widnes workplace.

Prospect Housing

The GMB union has launched a campaign against Prospect Housing and Support Services after more than half of all care staff received notice of dismissal because they would not agree to drastic cuts to their pay and conditions.

On 4 January, the staff received letters stating that their employment would be terminated unless they accepted massive cuts of up to 16,000 a year to their salaries and further reductions to their terms and conditions. 268 staff are employed by Prospect across Surrey, of which more than half are GMB members.

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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.

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 click here to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

In The Socialist 30 January 2013:

Socialist Party NHS news & campaigning

NHS workers resist cuts

Privatisation: Bleeding the NHS dry

Heatherwood hospital campaign shows determination

East Midlands: Campaign forces retreat on ambulance station closure

Life as an NHS worker: bullying and stress

Socialist Party news and analysis

Cameron takes a gamble by threatening EU referendum

Austerity's utter failure

Taxing words from Cameron?

Aaron Swartz: a fight to free information

Them & Us

Fighting the cuts

Southampton councillors have a choice ... Don't vote for cuts!

Hull councillors ready to vote No

Brighton's Greens vote for cuts in workers' allowances

Labour meltdown in Stoke-on-Trent continues; and Unison withholds funding

Stop Sheffield children's centre closures

Workplace news and events

Twelfth day of strike action by Tyne and Wear metro cleaners

DfE strike ballot

London teachers call for strike action against Performance Related Pay

Workplace news in brief

Socialist Party review

Fired up by Fire in the Blood - a story of big business cruelty and neglect

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Jumping through hoops for a job

Shrewsbury 24: What is the government hiding?

Wales conference - confidence in socialist ideas

Server appeal: Members provide a huge boost to our resources

Socialist Party National Congress 2013


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