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From The Socialist newspaper, 25 September 2013

Workplace news in brief

Grangemouth

As we reported last week, workers at the Grangemouth oil refinery in Scotland are balloting for strike action over attacks on working conditions and pensions, including the victimisation of a Unite senior steward. Stevie Deans, chair of Falkirk Labour Party, was suspended from the Party during the debacle when the Labour leadership falsely accused Unite of interfering in the selection of the parliamentary candidate. He was then suspended by Ineos, the owners of the oil refinery.

He was only reinstated after the workers threatened to walk out. But Unite says: "Ineos is continuing with a sinister campaign of victimisation against an innocent employee".

The adjacent petrochemical plant, also owned by Ineos, is threatened with closure.

The ballot closes on 27 September.

Royal Mail ballot

On 20 September the Communication Workers Union (CWU) served legal notice to Royal Mail of the intention to ballot members for strike action over pay, pensions and privatisation. Ballot papers will go out on 27 September. The result will be announced on 16 October. If there is a yes vote, the earliest strike date would be 23 October.

This is the first national strike ballot in Royal Mail since 2009. It affects 115,000 postal workers in Royal Mail and Parcelforce.

RMT

John Reid, currently London regional secretary of the transport union RMT is standing for election to the union's national committee, the Council of Executives. He is standing on a programme to defend jobs, pay and conditions and to unite all grades in the battles against the many attacks on RMT members.

RMT members who are drivers on the Victoria line on London Underground are due to strike from 9pm on 24 September over working conditions.

Firefighters

Firefighters in England and Wales will walk out for four hours from noon on 25 September. This is over the massive attacks the government is waging on their pension scheme. There is a national agreement that during the strike firefighters will be able to volunteer to return to work in the event of a major incident. But in Surrey and Buckinghamshire the employers are preventing firefighters from entering stations for the duration of their shift - leaving those areas unnecessarily without cover for nine hours.

In Wales firefighters will march to the National Assembly for a protest at 1pm.

The FBU must be given full support by the whole trade union movement to give the union confidence to take further action, particularly given the employers' strikebreaking plans, which could turn this struggle into a bitter 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.

Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
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In The Socialist 25 September 2013:


Socialist Party NHS feature

Mass Action Can save our NHS

Another crackpot scheme for the NHS


What we think

Labour conference - no socialist policies


Socialist Party feature

Rotten, wasteful capitalism has to go - the case for a socialist alternative


Socialism 2013

Socialism 2013


Socialist Party news and analysis

Labour to scrap bedroom tax in 2015 - we demand an amnesty now!

Them & Us


Socialist Students

University unions' ballot: Students and staff - unite and fight!

Socialist Students gains new members

'Success' for owners - zero for workers


International socialist news and analysis

Greece: Neo-Nazis murder Pavlos Fyssas, a left activist and rapper

Greek teachers show the way forward


Socialist Party workplace news

Bakers rise against Hovis: Victory shows zero-hours can be beaten

Support Teachers' fight to defend education

Industrial and political battles at Hull city council

Stop privatisation of the Probation Service

Glasgow Unison strike wins important victory

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reviews and comments

Book review: Militant Liverpool - A City on the Edge

Obituary - Steve Draper


 

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Related links:

Grangemouth:

triangleThem & Us

triangleWorkplace news in brief

triangleIndustrial struggle

triangleWorkplace news in brief

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Royal Mail:

triangleCollective action becoming necessary to ensure safety and vital deliveries

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trianglePostal workers mobilise to win strike reballot: Vote yes!

RMT:

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Strike:

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Firefighters:

triangleSurrey firefighters to ballot on Christmas industrial action

Unite:

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