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From The Socialist newspaper, 21 April 2021
Ballots to defend reps on Woolwich Ferry
Woolwich ferry photo BL2002/CC, photo BL2002/CC (Click to enlarge)
Unite members working for Transport for London (TfL) at the Woolwich Ferry site in London began a ballot for strike action on 16 May.
The straw that broke the camel's back was the employer beginning disciplinary procedures against one of the reps and also changing the shifts of other reps, in what is little more than an act of spite which has the aim of taking on and breaking the union. TfL recently insourced the contract from Briggs Marine, promising a bright future that included better work-life balance and access to an improved pension scheme. The work-life balance turned out to be little more than a pay cut, and last week workers received a letter stating that the promised TFL pension scheme was not appropriate after all.
The attack on trade union representatives is a calculated one - the union has a proud record of defending and winning better conditions, fighting and winning a safer working environment and fighting discrimination.
The union has responded as any union should when reps are under attack - not by relying on grievances, internal disciplinary procedures or a lengthy legal process through the anti-worker courts, but instead through collective action by balloting members for strike action. If Greater London Assembly (GLA) members from the Labour Party will not step in to defend workers, then they should stand aside - instead, this is a role that Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidates for the GLA will take up without hesitation.
This comes at the same time as Hackney parking wardens prepare to be balloted. Unite members employed by APCOA who run parking services in Hackney are again preparing for strike action after the employers failed to tackle long outstanding pay issues. Now the employers have begun disciplinary proceedings against the Unite rep based on trumped-up charges. Just as with the Woolwich Ferry, Hackney parking wardens have a record of industrial militancy and campaign wins - the last of which was the decision by the council to insource the service in April 2022. But with a further ballot pending, the union is demanding that the council bring forward the date of the transfer back into council control.
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In The Socialist 21 April 2021:
What we think
Build a Socialist alternative
Capitalism discriminates against us - Disabled people fighting for our rights
Football: no trust in billionaire owners - kick them out and reclaim the game
Left candidate, Pedro Castillo - surprise of Peruvian elections
USA: cop killings and the anti-racist movement
Superpowers' tensions continue to ratchet up
Don't trust the Labour right's empty promises
Fight to stop cuts
Keep Liverpool council's One Stop Shops open
Liverpool hustings - only TUSC has a strategy to take on the Tories
Essex: Why I'm standing for TUSC
Carlisle campaign day success
Socialist Party northern region meeting
With public campaigning back in full swing - now is the time to raise fighting fund
Socialist Party members - part of a left challenge for Unison's leadership
Fight back against British Gas bosses' 'fire and rehire' offensive
Retail workers desperately need a fighting and democratic union
CWU BT ballot - time for action now!
Thurrock bin workers solid in strike against pay cuts
Bus workers protest Go-Ahead's 'fire and rehire'
Ballots to defend reps on Woolwich Ferry
PCS leadership ballot underway
Long Covid: Fight for jobs, benefits and services
Climate change - Johnson spouts 'greenwash 2.0'
Covid and precarious workers - union organisation vital
News in brief
Housing activists storm rental firm's offices
Protests continue against proposed anti-protest laws
The Socialist 21 April 2021 |
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