Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/647/10635
Workplace news in brief
NUJ members mounted a successful picket at the Daily Echo offices in Southampton last week as part of their fight for decent pay. As journalists struggle with a pay freeze since July 2008, a director at 'hardpressed' Newsquest awarded himself a massive 21.5% pay rise.
Barry Fitzpatrick, national NUJ officer and Sally Churchward, Echo MOC, said support for the strike had been very strong with large numbers of members supporting the pickets from early in the morning. "Membership has increased to over 80%." A further two day strike planned for 16 and 17 November has been suspended pending negotiations.
NUJ members on the Brighton Argus will be striking on 18 and 19 November, after Newsquest announced plans to move production to Southampton.
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Wales rail strike
Train drivers' union Aslef members employed by Arriva Trains Wales are to strike on 26 and 27 November in a dispute over pay. 92% of those voting in a turnout of 80% voted for strike action. Aslef says its members will not be penalised for working in Wales, where driver pay rates are lower than the rest of the UK.
The RMT is also balloting its members at Arriva Trains Wales over the same issues, their ballot will close on 30 November.
The RMT is balloting staff on Merseyrail, excluding guards and drivers. Two pay offers have been rejected by the workers. The ballot runs from 15 to 30 November.
Socialist Party member Lewis Peacock is standing for election to the RMT's council of executives. Lewis has been an RMT member for 21 years, working on London Underground. He is standing on a programme of defending jobs and fighting the cuts, building on the union's fighting policies. He is also calling for the development of a new workers' party, to provide a political alternative to the establishment parties. Voting is continuing until mid December.
The national executive of the teachers' union NUT agreed unanimously at its November meeting to ballot for strike action over pensions. This will take place in the spring.
Government plans so far show an attempt to make teachers pay more and work longer for a lower pension. The exact timetable for the ballot will be agreed in December.
NUJ members at the BBC suspended their strike action planned for 15 and 16 November, pending negotiations. This is after a very successful two-day strike on 5 and 6 November. The dispute is over threats to pensions.
In The Socialist 17 November 2010:
Socialist Party youth and students
War and occupation
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party news and analysis
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party review