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From The Socialist newspaper, 30 April 2014

Workplace news in brief

Strike ballot

A strike ballot among workers covered by the National Joint Council for local government will run from 23 May to 23 June. This is after the rejection of a 1% pay offer. Action is likely to start in July but Socialist Party members within the union are arguing for the coordination of any strikes with action in other sectors with disputes, such as NHS and higher education. Linking action with other unions like NUT would obviously make any action more effective.

Post Office

An agreement giving up to a 7.3% pay increase for Crown Post Office workers has been struck. After several days of strike action the three-year deal starts with 3.9% from 1 April 2014. Communication Workers Union members will be voting on the deal shortly.

EDF strike

EDF Energy have just spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on rebranding their vans with the image of their mascot "Zingy". But this is fast turning into a public relations disaster. Drivers have pointed out that the new colour resembles baby poo. Some drivers have been instructed not to park under direct sunlight for fear of damaging this glorious piece of artwork!

This company, which has increased energy bills for customers by 10%, has been refusing to pay out on an agreement it made with the unions in 2012, because it says it got its sums wrong and cannot afford to honour the deal.

For 2013, the company offered a below inflation proposal of 2% plus 200 as a one-off payment, which Unite members in London, South East, South Western and Eastern regions have rejected. These members, following a 77% majority yes vote in a strike ballot will be taking strike action on 6 and 8 May.

Messages of support please via Please also look out for details of picket lines to be announced in the next few days.

Onay Kasab

Strike ballot

Eleven occupational therapists, all employed at Greenwich Council, are currently being balloted for strike action in protest at a prolonged campaign of management bullying.

Grievance complaints have their place in the armoury of a trade union. But ultimately, taking collective action will allow for real change in workplaces, especially on issues such as bullying. Too often workers, even with the full support of good local reps, can feel that they are fighting alone.

The ballot for strike action runs until 7 May.

Messages of support via

'I'm Bryan' housing protest

Housing workers Unison LE 1111 branch of Unite the union organised a big turnout of trade unionists when Bryan Kennedy faced a disciplinary hearing from his employers One Housing group on 23 April.

Noisy Unite members aimed to show this wage-cutting, anti-union boss that they will fight back against all attacks, barracking one of the bosses as he went to get a lunch at Sainsbury's, and preparing to build united action if and when it becomes necessary.

The bosses could not go ahead with disciplinary action on the day but trade unionists were determined to keep supporting the I'm Bryan campaign.

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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.
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 donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

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In The Socialist 30 April 2014:

Socialist Party election campaigning

Vote for a working class voice

Getting under Labour's skin in Southwark

Your financial support is vital

Election Appeal: 2,148 raised so far

International socialist news and analysis

USA: reviving working class traditions

Ukraine: skirmishes threaten wider conflict

Socialist history

A South Wales miner remembers

International workers' day

May Day 2014 - Step up the fight for a socialist world!

May Day: Remembering Bob Crow and Tony Benn

May Day greetings in The Socialist 2014 - pdf

Socialist Party news and analysis

Cost of living crisis: Scrap zero-hour contracts!

UKIP - a pro-cuts party for the 1%

Them & Us

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

United against the far right in Brighton

Save Leicester Race Equality Centre

Fighting Library cuts in south Wales

Newsnight - socialist teacher demands right of reply

Why I joined the Socialist Party

Socialist Party workplace news

Defending pensions, jobs, pay, services... Back the strikes!

Workplace safety: It's big business as usual

Usdaw conference - fighting democratic union needed

Care UK strike: Miliband shows workers can't rely on Labour

Workplace news in brief


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Related links:

Post Office:

trianglePost Office workers - The long road to justice

triangleWHSmith: hands off our Post Offices!

triangleCWU conference: Sharpen up our act? Yes. But weaken our democracy? No

triangleHuddersfield set to lose two town centre post offices


triangle1920s Britain: A "country nearer Bolshevism than at any time since"

triangleThe Tyneside apprentices' strike during WW2

trianglePlymouth students discuss rent strike

triangleRefuse collection workers strike


triangleCovid crisis boosts union membership but TUC leaders want to cosy up to the bosses!

triangleEnergy firm plans to make 2,600 redundant

triangleNo return to unsafe construction sites


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