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From The Socialist newspaper, 11 September 2013

Workplace news in brief


The TUC has called a day of action against blacklisting on 20 November. They are planning a lobby of Parliament, the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly as well as a number of other protests.

The scandal of blacklisting in the construction and offshore oil industries has now been comprehensively exposed and the idea of a day of action is a good one.

But it would be much better if the day of action was linked to united strike action against this major attack on workers' livelihoods.

In it together?

Unison, GMB and Unite trade unions at Warrington Council have challenged proposals for a senior management restructure. This is being considered at a council meeting on 9 September.

The proposals mean pay increases of up to 10,275 a year for some of the senior managers (between 4% and 13%.) This is far above the 1% national pay award for everyone else.

The council has attempted to justify this on the grounds that senior managers have taken on more responsibility.

But the trade unions have pointed out that staff cuts have meant the whole workforce has taken on more responsibilities.

The unions have organised a protest at the council meeting.

Beer supply threat

Workers at KNDL delivery company are on a 24-hour strike on 11-12 September. 85% of workers voted to strike over the company's plans to reorganise 29 depots into three super hubs, threatening jobs.

The strike will disrupt deliveries to many pubs, clubs and hotels.

The workers' union Unite is warning of further action if the company continues to refuse to negotiate.

School strike

Support staff, members of GMB and Unison, at an inner city school in Leicester took strike action on 4 September against plans to halve the number of teaching assistants (TAs).

Last term there were three days of strike action by teachers in the NUT at Uplands junior school. These were over grievances against the headteacher and management and included opposition to the cuts in the numbers of TAs.

Cuts in support staff are taking place at schools across the country. The workers at Uplands have shown that it is possible to fight. A united struggle can win!

Steve Score

City Link

RMT members working for transport company City Link have voted by nine to one for strike action against the company's plans to attack working conditions.

City Link was sold off this year by Rentokil Initial to private equity group Better Capital who certainly seem to be trying to live up to their name. The RMT is considering the next stage.

Hovis victory

Chancellor Osborne has argued that cuts to the public sector would pave the way for growth in the private sector.

This myth was demolished by Ronnie Draper, general secretary of the bakers union BFAWU: "We have achieved nothing without a fight, nothing has ever been given.

"Workers at Hovis in Wigan have been on a week-long strike, defending their jobs against the introduction of zero-hour contracts.

"They have won a victory with 24 workers given full time jobs." But the battle continues. There is further action on 11 September against the use of agencies - which allows zero-hour contracts to be brought in by a third party.

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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.
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In The Socialist 11 September 2013:

Socialist Party news and analysis

Let's organise an autumn of action against austerity

NSSN rally calls for mass action to stop the cuts

Disaffiliate from pro-capitalist Labour

Teaching unions prepare for campaign of autumn strikes

TUC congress dominated by questions of joint action and links to Labour Party

Save our NHS!

The government's Alice in Wongaland recovery

Zero faith in Labour on zero-hours

Their homes ... & Ours

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Bolton victory shows we can beat the bedroom tax

Large counter-demo against racist EDL

Merseyside People's Assembly - A lost opportunity

Socialist Students

Reinvigorate the student movement: Protest, occupy, strike for our education

International socialist news and analysis

Chile 1973: The other '9/11'

Obama's drums of war fail to win support for Syria strike

Socialist Party workplace news

Housing workers strike again

Yorkshire Ambulance: The battle against union derecognition

POA members hold meeting outside HMP Leeds

Workplace news in brief

Socialist Party reviews

Art review: The vanity of small differences

TV review: Failed by the privatising NHS

Book review: Capital - in Manga!


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