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From The Socialist newspaper, 5 August 2020

Workplace news in brief

Papa John's workers' pay protest

Protest against wage theft by pizza chain Papa John's 25 July, photo Sheffield Needs a Pay Rise

Protest against wage theft by pizza chain Papa John's 25 July, photo Sheffield Needs a Pay Rise   (Click to enlarge)

Campaign group 'Sheffield needs a pay rise' and the fast food workers' union BFAWU organised a protest against wage theft at Papa John's pizza chain on 25 July.

Workers were demanding wages owed to them for work completed before the franchise was transferred from the previous owner in June. Some claim their wages for this period amounted to less than the legal minimum wage.

Workers faced unsanitary conditions including no access to private toilets, and no breaks during long shifts while the store remained open throughout the lockdown. But on 27 June they arrived to find their store was closed.

Workers claimed they were not told that the store would be closed temporarily, and that the franchise, which covers all Sheffield Papa John's stores, had been transferred to a new franchisee.

In the month since, the previous owner has not paid workers the full pay they are owed, including all hourly wages at the legal minimum wage, and delivery allowances.

Bexley bin workers win better pay

Strike action by Bexley refuse workers in south London was called off after a revised pay deal was accepted. 150 workers were set to strike for five days but voted to accept a revised pay deal from outsourcing company Serco.

The deal includes a new 10.25-an-hour minimum rate, backdated to 1 April this year, and a 2.75% pay rise for everyone already above the minimum rate, pending the outcome of national negotiations.

Unite union regional officer Ruth Hydon said: "We have made significant progress on the pay issue and other matters, such as health and safety improvements.

"But the campaign is not over as Bexley council is currently considering whether to award the contract to Serco for a further five years up to 2025.

"We believe that the contract should come back in-house and Unite will be campaigning to that end as councillors gear up to make that decision this autumn."

Reinstate FCC activist Tony Smith

Trade unionists will be outraged at the dismissal of Tony Smith by an FCC waste disposal company disciplinary hearing. Tony, a Unison union activist, has been sacked for 'gross misconduct'. But in reality he has been victimised for trade union activities.

All of Tony's fellow drivers at the FCC plant at Wilmington agreed that Tony made a correct health and safety call, and view this decision as a blatant stitch up by management.

Tony led the successful strike two years ago which won sick pay rights for 2,500 FCC workers up and down the country.

40 attended a protest (above) organised by Hull Trade Union Council on 4 August. There will be a bigger protest in Hull on the day of Tony's appeal, and at other FCC sites around the country.

Please send messages of support to Tony Smith c/o Hull City Unison, Town Hall Chambers, 39, Alfred Gelder Street, Hull HU1 2AG or to info@unisonhull.org.uk.

Mike Whale, chair, Hull Trade Union Council

South west trade unionists meet

The National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) held a successful meeting on 25 July to develop its work in the south west of England. Over 42 people joined in the Zoom meeting, brought together by a desire to help build the rank and file of the trade union movement.

Trade union militancy will be a vital means of the working class defending itself from the tsunami of attacks on jobs resulting from the capitalist Covid crisis. The meeting covered key aspects of the struggles we face including defending jobs, developing trades councils, recruiting young and unorganised workers, and defending health and safety, especially in schools. Volunteers came forward for a coordinating group to set up a regional conference in the new year to further strengthen the NSSN in the south west.

Tom Baldwin

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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 5 August 2020:


News

NHS pay: 15% for all now

From first wave to second? Capitalism's Covid failures

Capitalism's 'vaccine war' shows need for socialist cooperation

Tories' obesity plans - blaming individuals not the profit system


What we think

Labour payouts: unions must discuss political representation


Workplace news

Wales: GE Aviation workers march to save jobs

PCS union: Reject longer DWP opening hours

'First you clap us then you slap us': hundreds march for NHS pay rise

Sick pay victory at Homerton hospital!

Unite union branch pledges to support socialist candidates who oppose cuts

Oppose BT site closures - national strike ballot needed

Workplace news in brief


No going back

What would socialist universities look like?


International

Cuba: Covid-19 and the 60-year-old embargo

Anniversary of nuclear destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

80 years since the murder of Leon Trotsky rally


Campaigns

A-level results day 2020: Fight for our future!

Fighting to end racism and capitalism

North London: Socialist Party speaks at BLM protest

Young Socialist day of action

Doncaster: Vigil for murdered women

Engage for Change Hull - trade union youth festival goes online

Campaign stalls on jobs, pay, NHS and racism

Why I joined - Covid changed my outlook

Socialist Party meetings: Online and in-person

The Socialist summer schedule


 

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Related links:

Workers:

triangleNHS workers: "We deserve a fair wage" - 15% now!

triangleNational Shop Stewards Network lobbying for a lead from the TUC

triangleBlame politicians, not workers and young people

triangleOur lives and livelihoods at stake

triangleStrike wave marks new stage in revival of Iranian workers' movement

Pay:

triangleAngry health workers demand 15% now!

triangleJobs, training, pay, we want a future!

triangleNSSN rally: Workers must not pay the price of Covid

triangleA Socialist Party poster held on the Saturday 12 September demonstration in Bristol, part of a day of action in solidarity with NHS & social care workers who are demanding increased pay. Photo by Mike Luff

Union:

triangleTUSC to stand in elections again against pro-austerity politicians

triangleA critical election for Unison general secretary

triangleReinstate Richie Venton

Trade union:

triangleHull: Defend Tony Smith!

triangleNo Covid penalty on our future

Hull:

triangleReinstate Tony Smith

Sheffield:

triangleSheffield Socialist Party: Crisis in Lebanon

NSSN:

triangleDemand a fightback from the TUC and unions

BFAWU:

triangleTories put profit before lives

National Shop Stewards Network:

triangleTate strike: "Coronavirus - no reason to fire us!"

Bin workers:

triangleVictory for Medway bin workers

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