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From: The Socialist issue 814, 11 June 2014: Baby feed death - NHS: Private profit kills

Search site for keywords: Strike - Docks - Council - Pay - Merseyside - Liverpool - Greenwich - Unite - Birmingham - GMB - Zero-hour contracts - Essex - Hillsborough - National Shop Stewards Network - IWGB

Workplace news in brief

Sun don't shine

The Sun newspaper continues to attract deserved opprobrium from those affected by the 1989 Hillsborough stadium disaster when 96 Liverpool FC fans died. Along with the establishment at the time who smeared Liverpool supporters for the disaster, the Sun falsely accused fans of robbing dead victims and other lies, and consequently was subject to a lengthy boycott on Merseyside.

This week postal workers in outer Merseyside districts have refused to deliver free promotional copies of the Sun to coincide with the football World Cup finals, while thousands have signed an online petition calling for a nationwide boycott.


3 Cosas job losses strike

University of London workers started five days of strike action on 6 June, with action continuing from 9 June, against 80-plus job losses at the Garden Halls of residence near King's Cross.

The Independent Workers' Union of Great Britain (IWGB) members voted 100% for action. They work for cleaning, portering, security, and maintenance company Cofely, and catering firm Aramark.

Many of the workers threatened with redundancy were prominent in the 3 Cosas campaign, which won improved sick pay and holiday pay after a November 2013 strike.


Tilbury Docks

National Shop Stewards Network supporters travelled to Tilbury Docks in Essex to support an eleven-day strike by Unite members against employer SCA Logistics imposing zero-hour contracts. The strike started on 5 June.


EDF strike

EDF workers are due to take a third day of strike action on Monday 16 June, unless Acas talks bring an agreement.

The strike, which is over pay, will mean delays in fixing and installing meters. Revenue protection will also be hit.


Defend Paul Langley

Birmingham's Labour council has been embarrassed by growing street piles of garden refuse following its withdrawal of free collections.

But it decided to start clearing the refuse in the week running up to the local elections. Such was the volume that bin crews were offered weekend overtime to clear it by election day!

GMB rep Paul Langley spilt the beans to the local paper and has now been suspended.

Birmingham's Labour council's contemptuous action shows the depths it'll sink to in order to minimise resistance to the cuts it enthusiastically supports.

Clive Walder

Occupational Therapists

As we go to press, occupational therapists at Greenwich council are due to strike for 48 hours from 11 June.

The Unite members, striking over bullying, harassment and the suspension of a worker, also took action on 21 May. They voted by 100% for strike action.

On 11 June the therapists will also protest at Greenwich council's annual general meeting.

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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.
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