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From The Socialist newspaper, 18 August 2010

Workplace news in brief

London buses

The London Bus Campaign will stage a rally outside City Hall on Wednesday 15 September to oppose cuts in services, fare increases and reductions in contract prices. The London bus industry, which receives significant public subsidy, will not escape the Con-Dem government's full frontal assault.

Reductions in route tender prices mean reducing labour costs. Fare increases and /or the removal of concessionary fares will affect the number of passengers using buses.

This, along with service cuts, will mean job losses. Clearly we could be facing attempts to cut pay and introduce longer hours and inferior conditions.

The London Bus Campaign is led by shop stewards in Unite the Union. The planned action is only a first step in the massive campaign involving bus users as well as bus workers that will be needed to repulse the coming attacks.

Andy Beadle

Fire chief blogs about mass sackings

The commissioner of the London Fire Brigade has threatened the entire workforce with the sack if the workers don't agree to changes to their contracts. Even worse, he posted this on his personal blog. Chief Dobson wants to force everyone onto 12-hour shifts which will be disruptive of family life and pave the way for cuts in fire cover.

The FBU has promised to ballot for strike action if these changes are imposed.

PCS denounces union busting

PCS branch secretary Sam Buckley has become the fifth union officer at the Child Support Agency (CSA) in Hastings to be sacked on trumped up charges since 2007. In that time management has got rid of a branch chair, two vice chairs, two branch secretaries and a treasurer.

PCS, backed by Hastings trades council, have called a demonstration and rally in Hastings for Saturday 18 September, assembling at 1pm at Hastings Pier for a 1.30pm start and marching to the town centre for a rally with speakers. For more information contact: PCS, CSA, TU Room B1F, Ashdown House, Sedlescombe Road North, St Leonards-on-Sea, TN37 7N.

Unsafe schools

Waltham Forest council, in east London, has received three improvement notices from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in relation to asbestos management and legionella in Waltham Forest schools.

Bill Palmer, Unison's branch Health and Safety officer, said: "The trade unions have long complained of inadequate health and safety management in schools and hope that these notices will make the council take the actions that are clearly laid out in their own risk assessments and the inspector's report."

Su Manning, Unison branch Health and Safety convenor said: "Unison believes that Health and Safety could be one of the biggest losers under the new academies scheme."

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In The Socialist 18 August 2010:

Action now to defeat cuts!


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