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From The Socialist newspaper, 2 December 2015

Water workers protest against pension attacks

Iain Dalton, Leeds Socialist Party

Around 40 water workers and supporters protested outside the Queen's hotel in Leeds on 26 November where the Northern Consumer Council was holding a meeting.

The workers - GMB members from United Utilities, Northumbrian Water, Yorkshire Water and Hartlepool Water - were angry at the rampant profiteering of the companies which have seen debt levels and consumer prices rise and are attacking workers' pensions at two of the companies.

I spoke to workers from United Utilities who told me that after the company conducted a regrading exercise a few years ago they had promised in the future to consult with the trade union and workforce more widely in the future.

Yet as a result of a recent cryptosporidium (a parasite which causes severe diarrhoea) outbreak, the company has had to pay out compensation to 300,000 customers.

Understaffing

Despite union reps raising the issue of understaffing in the company over a period of time, it has taken action by the regulator to force the company to take on the extra staff needed. But to pay for this, United Utilities is planning on closing its defined benefit scheme.

A dispute is also underway at Northumbrian Water where the company is attacking the final salary pension scheme.

Water provision, a vital public service, should never have been privatised.

Socialists argue for the renationalisation of the water companies, under the democratic control and scrutiny of the local and national population.

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In The Socialist 2 December 2015:


What we think

Don't bomb Syria! War vote reveals two Labour Parties in one


International socialist news and analysis

Greece - general strike against austerity sees mass protests

Eyewitness to the refugee crisis: a visit to 'The Jungle'

Belgium: ruling class can't be trusted with 'security'

Socialist takes third of vote in Hong Kong election


Socialist Party women

Women: fight for equality, fight for socialism


Socialist history

How the Iron Lady was reduced to iron filings


Socialist Party news and analysis

Action needed to save our NHS

Autumn Statement u-turns: austerity can be defeated

Student nurses must pay to work

Paris climate summit falls short in world's hottest year

London ambulances in special measures due to underfunding

Them & Us


Workplace news and analysis

Junior doctors' strike suspended for talks

JCB redundancies mitigated but fight needed

Open Uni strikers prepared to go the distance

Bus drivers fight bully-boy managers

Water workers protest against pension attacks

Workplace news in brief


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Film review - The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2

A socialist Christmas gift guide

Letters


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Christmas 'collectathon': 8 to 17 December

Workers snap up the Socialist!

Protesters demand system change not climate change

Demonstration against the war

FBU fights the cuts in Yorkshire


 

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