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From The Socialist newspaper, 18 September 2013

Workplace news in brief

Glasgow Unison walkout

Council workers in Glasgow walked out on 13 September after a social worker was suspended in a row over workloads. The action continued by members of the Homeless Team on 17 September.

Glasgow City Unison is demanding that the worker is reinstated immediately and that staffing is increased to cope with the rising workload.

This underlines the need to build widespread action over workload, pay and working conditions.

FBU strike and demo

The FBU has called a four-hour strike in England and Wales on 25 September. This is over pensions and follows an 80% majority for action in a ballot.

Talks are continuing in Scotland. The government is trying to force firefighters to work until they are 60, knowing that many will fail the fitness tests as they get older, putting their pensions in jeopardy.

But the battle is also against cuts to fire services all over the country. 3,600 firefighter jobs have been lost since 2010, almost 7% of firefighters across the UK.

The FBU calculate that 6,000 more jobs could be lost by 2015. The union has therefore called a national demonstration in London on 16 October.

Teaching unions

The campaign to build the strike action by the NUT and NASUWT teaching unions started on 14 September with rallies in London and Nottingham. This will be followed on 21 September by rallies in Cambridge and Exeter.

The strikes will start on 1 October in Eastern, East Midlands, West Midlands and Yorkshire and Humberside regions.

On 17 October there will be strikes in the North East, London, South East and South West regions.

Week of action at HMRC

PCS members in revenue and customs department HMRC have called a week of action against plans to close 281 enquiry centres across the UK.

This will run from 23-27 September. There will be protests on 25 September in central London at Euston Tower and Portsmouth and Brighton.

The closure of these offices will deny pensioners, vulnerable workers and tax credit claimants a vital face-to-face service.

Grangemouth ballot

Workers at the Grangemouth oil refinery in Scotland are balloting for strike action over attacks on their terms and conditions and pensions.

Cleaners strike

69 GMB members employed as cleaners in Kensington and Chelsea are striking over pay. Currently they are paid 7.18 an hour but they are fighting for the London living wage of 8.55 an hour.

OCS employ them to work in one of the richest boroughs in the country, while the workers can barely afford the fares even to get to work. The two-day strike ran from 16 September.

Train cleaners fight for living wage

On 16 September RMT members working as cleaners for contractors ISS on the East Coast mainline backed up their strike action by protesting at York and Kings Cross stations. They are campaigning for a living wage and improvements to their working conditions.

In London, after the protest, the workers marched to ITN headquarters nearby. They refused to leave until a reporter came down to meet them. RMT assistant general secretary Steve Hedley was then interviewed about the dispute.

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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.

  • 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.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 18 September 2013:

Socialist Party news and analysis

Fight royal mail sell-off!

Britain: a seething cauldron of class anger

Stop NHS cutbacks

A UN attack we agree with

Hillsborough: even more cover-ups revealed

MPs still have their snouts in the trough

Ban this trade in death

Lock up the tax evaders

What they really think

Socialist Party youth feature

Anger at zero-hour contracts in universities

Socialist Party workplace news

Second seven-day strike at Hovis

Warrington town hall unions lobby councillors

Strikes force One Housing Group into talks

Bus strike against pay freeze

Workplace news in brief

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Lively demo against cuts at Whipps Cross hospital

TUSC campaigners look to shake Fleetwood

Scotland: Bedroom tax close to death

Wolverhampton councillors slash jobs

Overwhelming opposition stuns Hull council

Leicester council feels the pressure

One week left to smash fighting fund target!

The Socialist: Swansea achieves subscription goal

International socialist news and analysis

Commonwealth governments' meeting: Protest against despot Rajapaksa

Kazakhstan: Jailed activist awarded human rights prize

Oppositionists condemn murderous Iran regime

Socialist Party comments and reviews

TV review: Vietnam's 'children of Agent Orange'

Labour backs austerity...


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