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From: The Socialist issue 872, 30 September 2015: Organise, strike, resist!

Search site for keywords: Pay - Workers - Strike - Unite - Government - Leeds - Steel - Jobs - CWU - Union - Yorkshire - Teesside - Wakefield - Refuse workers - Bromley - Cuts - Middlesbrough - Royal Mail

Workplace news in brief

Save our steel

One of the UK's biggest steelmaking plants, at Redcar on Teesside, is to stop production after nearly 100 years, with the loss of 1,700 jobs. Steelworkers union Community are in talks with executives of SSI's Redcar plant after the company announced its 'mothballing'. Protests have taken place on 24 September and at the home game of Middlesbrough football club on 27 September. The Socialist Party calls on the government to nationalise the plant, safeguarding the up to 9,000 jobs that rely on the production of steel in the area. The government should be playing a proper role, not just picking up the pieces.

Pay freeze binned

The threat of strike action by Bromley refuse workers in Unite has 'doubled their money' with an increased pay offer, which sets an example for other firms that provide outsourced local government services. About 100 workers, employed by waste disposal giant Veolia, had threatened three days of strikes after overwhelmingly rejecting a one per cent pay offer - but now after talks the company's improved offer of 2% has been accepted. The stance of the refuse collectors has been described as a wake-up call for other companies used by local authorities in England that they don't have to slavishly adhere to chancellor George Osborne's notional 1% annual pay cap for public sector workers.

Reinstate John

A recent workplace meeting voted about 80% in favour of calling the CWU Leeds No.1 branch to convene a meeting to organise industrial action if Royal Mail do not reinstate John Vasey and reverse job cuts. There were no votes against. John, a CWU postal rep in Wakefield, West Yorkshire has been sacked on what his work colleagues recognise as stitched-up charges.

Printing strike

Workers at a Leeds printing plate took part in a 48-hour strike over a below inflation pay offer. About 50 employees, members of Unite at Agfa Graphics, Coal Road, Seacroft walked out between 20-22 September. Unite regional officer Chris Daly said: "Our members don't feel that the management has made any meaningful effort to engage in realistic pay talks, especially as the company is profitable. The current pay offer is paltry."

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