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12 January 2011

Workplace news in brief

London Underground

Rail union RMT has demanded an end to the cuts programme being forced through by London Underground. The union has exposed plans by tube management to allow more than 30% of tube stations to be unstaffed during operational hours. This is in contradiction to London Mayor Boris Johnson's promise that no station would be unstaffed during passenger hours. At the same time, tube fares have gone up by nearly 7%.

Birmingham bins

Bin workers in Birmingham are due to strike on 13-14 January in a dispute over an attempt to cut their pay by up to 4,000 a year. Their strike on 20 December was successful as is their current work-to-rule.

But the council has retaliated by removing facility time for trade union reps and attempting to deduct more wages on the pretext of the work to rule. They are also trying to use poorly trained and equipped scabs.


Workers at the Heinz factory in Wigan were striking on 11 January, after voting to reject the company's latest pay offer.

Over 65% of the 1,200 workers voted to reject the 3.5% offer and so went on strike for the fourth day. Talks are proceeding at ACAS.