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1 May 2013

Workplace news in brief

Swansea RMT

Train managers working for First Great Western were on strike on 26 April over the sacking of a guard.

Alec Thraves spoke to Peter Skelly, full time RMT regional organiser on the protest outside Swansea station: "The one day strike has arisen because one of our train managers [ticket inspectors/guards] has been disgracefully sacked after an incident which occurred on a train when he was on leave.

"This incident was never reported by any passengers, train manager nor the transport police who were called to the incident.

"Our member, some weeks later was called to an interview and dismissed, his appeal failed and he remains sacked! That's why our members have voted to take this day of action.

"This could obviously have serious consequences in the future for our members. First Great Western seem to be adopting a 'shoot on sight' policy which our union is determined to oppose by all means necessary."

Fight DfE closures

Department for Education (DfE) staff have been told that six of the offices in England will be shut, putting around 500 jobs at risk.

This includes Runcorn, where low-paid staff will be forced to move or commute to Manchester to work in a building that is due to be demolished.

The PCS union's 1,800 members, who in March held a two-hour strike against the plans, will walk out from 3-5pm on 1 May.

The offices which are being closed are Runcorn, Bristol, Histon, Guildford, London (Greycoat Street) and Nottingham (Lime House).

The DfE closures follow a review involving consultancy Bain and Company, which recommended cuts deeper even than those demanded by chancellor George Osborne.

PCS believes education secretary Gove is using the DfE as an ideological test-bed for wider civil service cuts.

Anti-academy strike

A lively picket of 30 teachers gathered at the gates of Hamstead Hall secondary school in Birmingham on 25 April as part of a one-day strike against management bulldozing through plans to become an academy.

One NUT rep commented: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it. If Ofsted have said we're a good school, why should we have to transfer over to being an academy?"

Nick Hart, Birmingham Socialist Party

NSSN lobbies the TUC

The National Shop Stewards Network lobbied the TUC on 24 April, to argue for a general strike against austerity.

For a full report see TUC: Set the Date

The 7th annual conference of the NSSN

29 June 2013 11am - 5pm in the Camden Centre, Judd Street, London WC1H 9JE

Speakers include union general secretaries: Mark Serwotka, PCS, Billy Hayes, CWU and Steve Gillan, POA. PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE