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Workplace news in brief
London bus strike
Eleven London bus garages will be affected by a strike on 10 and 22 October. 2,500 Unite members working for Metroline voted over 88% in favour of strike action. Workers at Arriva South and North and East London and East Thames buses are being balloted and are likely to join the strike on 22 October.
Unite members at other bus companies will be balloted soon in the battle to win £30,000 a year and a 38-hour week for all bus workers in London.
Tube workers ballot
Tube infrastructure workers are being balloted for industrial action over the breakdown of industrial relations with Metronet. This follows the victimisation of Andy Littlechild, an RMT safety rep, the company's dangerous plans to reduce signals maintenance and attempts to impose new rosters.
Surrey car protest
Workers at Surrey county council are planning a protest at the council headquarters on 14 October. They are organising a car convoy as part of their claim for fair mileage expenses. At the moment they are getting around £300 a year less than the national agreement. They are subsidising the council when they use their cars for work.
A packed Unison mass meeting on 24 September agreed this and other action to force the council to pay up.
It's not Labour's fault!
On 2 October, Shropshire trades council invited the Telford New Labour MP David Wright to a meeting. He attempted to re- grovel some favour with the local trades union movement after the tumultuous economic events of last week.
A UCU delegate Mike Edwards questioned him on why over the last eleven years New Labour had done nothing to improve our trade union freedoms and why workers in this country have the worst labour relations laws in Europe?
He asked the MP if he would put his name to an early day motion to repeal some of the anti-trades union legislation.
David Wright replied he had not seen the motion, therefore he could not commit himself. The motion was then passed to him. After reading it, he said he liked some names on the list, so he agreed to sign!
Wright attempted to wash the government's hands of all responsibility for the economic crisis. He blamed maverick financial traders.
We asked Wright if he would stand on a manifesto to implement a windfall tax on the huge profits made by private energy companies. He agreed with a windfall tax but expressed concerns that these companies would pass on the cost to the consumer.
Looks like the trades council may have to stand its own candidate after all!
Peter Grue, UCU delegate, Shropshire trades council
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