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From The Socialist newspaper, 20 March 2013

Workplace news in brief

HCA strike

Unite Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) members (Housing Workers Branch) will be on strike on 20 March against a pay offer that has resulted in unprecedented anger and disgust among members.

The Agency's handling of the pay offer effectively blocked any meaningful negotiation, and was an insult to our members.

The offer itself was considered deeply divisive and inequitable in its distribution of pay uplifts and bonuses.

Some members will receive nothing at all despite a 13% average rise in cost of living since 2008, and two years of pay freezes.

Unite will have picket lines at the Maple House office on Tottenham Court Road (London) and Piccadilly Gardens (Manchester). The pay strike is being co-ordinated with the PCS.

Suzanne Muna

BT pay battle

After four pay meetings the nearest that BT have got to making an offer to the Communication Workers Union (CWU) is to say that while inflation is 'interesting' it is 'not relevant' to pay.

This contemptuous approach is the product of years of 'partnership' between the CWU and BT. But the union leaders need to prepare for the possibility of industrial action if BT doesn't make a serious offer.

The current leadership of the CWU Telecoms section have put up little resistance to the erosion of terms and conditions and place almost blind faith in the integrity of the company on issues like performance management.

Linked to industrial action over pay is the need to elect a new union leadership in elections due in the summer.

Clive Walder, Birmingham, Black Country and Worcester CWU, personal capacity

Justice for Remploy workers

On 20 March Remploy workers who have lost their jobs because of the government cuts and closures will be protesting outside the DWP buildings in Tothill Street, London at 9.30am. This is timed to link up with the PCS strike protests.

"Let this brutal Tory Lib Dem mob know we have not gone away."

Visteon

Former workers at the Visteon car parts factories marched to Westminster on 13 March, the fourth anniversary of the company going into administration.

Their former Ford pensions were transferred to Visteon but the workers lost out when Visteon collapsed.

They want the plant's former owner Ford to cover their losses. Ford has been trying to argue that Visteon was an independent business.

Unite began legal action against Ford in the High Court in January 2011.

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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 20 March 2013:


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