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Workplace news in brief
Guest services staff at London's National Gallery are escalating their strike campaign against privatisation. Members of public service union PCS will begin indefinite action on 17 August. They have taken 52 days of strike so far, with four more planned before the all-out offensive.
Tory-led Bromley council in south London wants to wipe out trade union representatives. Alan Brown, a steward for general union Unite, was suspended on 17 July - with no clear charges.
Meanwhile, the branch secretaries of Unite and public service union Unison have lost all time to do trade union work. Unite secretary Kathy Smith is not even invited to liaison meetings with management anymore.
What a trial!
The courts have postponed anti-blacklisting activist Dave Smith's trial due to establishment incompetence. He stands accused of 'unlawful obstruction' during a demonstration.
Prosecutors had not completed any of the tasks expected of them. And ten witnesses were due to speak - in only half a day Dave's case, which has become about the democratic right to protest, is slated for 25 to 26 January.
Two victimised union reps at international art seller Sotheby's have won reinstatement - two more to go. Cleaners and porters at the London auction house are fighting for sick pay and against management bullying. They are organised by the trade union United Voices of the World.
Maintenance workers for housing company Aspire in Newcastle-under-Lyme plan further strikes against cuts to wages, sick pay, holiday and benefits. Members of construction union Ucatt and general union GMB walked out on 27 July, and will strike again on 31 July.
Earning a crust
Bakery workers at Gunstones in North East Derbyshire plan to strike again from 6 August over pay and conditions. The 48-hour walkout organised by bakers' union BFAWU follows members' 93% rejection of bosses' latest offer.
Unite rep reinstated
Building workers picketing investment bank Morgan Stanley over sacked union rep Graham Boxall on 27 July. The action got the electrician, a member of general union Unite, reinstated ahead of talks.
Electrical contractor Phoenix is working on the finance corporation's London office. Phoenix is a signatory to the 'Joint Industry Board' (JIB) bargaining body. One JIB agreement allows workers employed through subcontractors - like Graham - to transfer to direct employment.
When Graham asked to do this he was summarily dismissed. Just days before, bosses had offered him weekend overtime.
The direct action saw off police intimidation and high court threats to force Phoenix's managing director into talks. Graham is now on full pay while the matter is discussed.
In The Socialist 29 July 2015:
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