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3 March 2010

Workplace news: In brief

Visteon pensioners

Former Visteon workers fighting for their pensions will lobby parliament on 31 March. When Visteon was 'spun-off' from Ford, workers were assured that their pensions would be protected. But this has not happened, with the company being put into administration. Some former workers are losing as much as 40% of their pensions.

3,000 Visteon workers' pensions have been put into the Pension Protection Scheme, which is 11 billion in deficit. Ford is denying responsibility, claiming that Visteon was "fully independent".

Opposing NHS privatisation

Activists from Lancashire trades councils and the Unite trade union lobbied the East Lancashire Primary Care Trust (PCT) on 26 February. They were protesting at the PCT putting several NHS services up for tender, including cervical cancer screening, dermatology and substance misuse services.

Protesters held up the Unite "Health B4 Profit" placards and leafleted staff and members of the public to alert them to this pernicious attack on the NHS.

Andy Ford, Unite North and East Manchester Health branch, personal capacity

Twinings ballot

Shopworkers' union Usdaw has decided to ballot its members working for Twinings in Andover and North Shields. Twinings' parent company, the highly profitable ABF, want to scrap 400 jobs at the two sites and move production to Poland and China.

The determined campaign to save jobs has built a lot of support from trade unionists and others in Andover and North Shields. See

New start for bus drivers

At New Cross bus garage in south east London, many drivers were jubilant to see the garage rep and branch chair replaced in the Unite union elections. The losing candidates had spent over 20 years in office. This means all four garage reps at London Central Bus Company have been replaced this year. Socialist Party member Andy Beadle won the New Cross branch chair. Andy used to be rep at Peckham garage and fought off an attempt to sack him four years ago.

Notting Hill strike

Workers at the Notting Hill Housing Trust have voted for strike action by a massive majority, in one section 100% voted to strike. 93.5% voted to strike in the rest of the Trust. The dispute is over imposed cuts to flexitime and carers' leave, also cuts to relocation arrangements.

The first strike will take place on 15 March.

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