Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/643/10455
Workplace news in brief
Unite general secretary election
The ballot papers for the election of the new general secretary of Unite will be distributed in the week beginning 25 October. There are four candidates: Les Bayliss, Gail Cartmail, Jerry Hicks and Len McCluskey.
Socialist Party members in Unite are urging support for Len McCluskey as the best candidate to lead the union in a fight against the bosses and the Con-Dem government.
Ballot papers have to be returned by 19 November. The Socialist will have a fuller article in our next issue.
South Yorkshire under the axe
Nearly one third of jobs in this area are in the public sector, so Con-Dem policies will hit us hard.
Half of organisations in the voluntary sector are cutting jobs over the next three months.
Sheffield's Lib Dem council has issued redundancy warning notices to 8,200 staff.
The council has already cut £6 million from this year's budget, leading to careers and youth agency Sheffield Futures threatening 95 redundancies.
Now they are aiming to cut £220 million over four years.
Labour-controlled Rotherham and Barnsley councils are also cutting jobs. In Rotherham, 172 policy and performance staff are being forced to reapply for 85 jobs, with the remainder facing redundancy.
Unison in Barnsley estimates that 1,000 out of 5,000 jobs are under threat, as are pay and conditions in all councils.
The TUC's call for a demo in March 2011 will be too late for most of these workers - they will have already collected their redundancy pay unless the cuts are resisted!
South Yorkshire Unison member
Tube workers vote for action
London Underground fleet maintenance staff have voted for industrial action short of a strike by an 88% vote in favour.
This is over safety-critical cuts to maintenance schedules. Tube bosses are trying to cut corners on maintenance, lengthening the period between inspections, and worse.
Only a few days ago the entire District Line fleet had to be taken out of service after key parts were found to have cracked.
Transport union RMT has also shown pictures of dangerously worn down brake blocks on trains on the Bakerloo and District lines.
On 18 October some passengers were trapped underground for hours after a power failure in the Baker Street area.
And on 19 October, a lack of functioning trains caused chaos on the Metropolitan and Victoria lines.
The RMT is calling for these cuts to be immediately reversed. The action will start on 26 October and the RMT calculate that it will have a major impact on the tube network.
In The Socialist 20 October 2010:
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party reviews