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From The Socialist newspaper, 1 December 2010

Workplace news in brief

Bucks hospitals strike

Workers employed by Medirest in the Wycombe and Amersham hospitals have voted by 90% to strike in a row over pay. The hospital trust and Medirest have failed to increase pay and conditions to the level required by the Agenda for Change agreement.

The last Labour government agreed that all staff, including those working for private companies, should be paid at these rates and it put the money into hospital budgets.

Over the last four years of negotiations, Medirest and the local hospital trust have been stalling and saying that they do not have the money.

This is despite Medirest's parent company increasing its profits last year by over 100 million to over 800 million.

Messages of solidarity for this low paid multi-cultural workforce would be great as would donations to Bucks Health Unison hardship fund.


Newsquest strike

On 7-8 December, NUJ members at the Southern Daily Echo will strike again over a pay freeze which has lasted since July 2008. This is in spite of healthy profits being made by Newsquest.

They were on strike for two days on 9-10 November.

Staff at another Newsquest paper - the Brighton Argus - will also be out at the same time as the possibility of a wider strike of Newsquest workers grows.


Isle of Man ferries protest

On 23 November, 50 demonstrators gathered at the Pierhead in Liverpool to protest about the German-owned Manx-based Kohle company, which is undercutting the Isle of Man Steampacket services and endangering the supply of goods to the Island.

Already, Tescos and other suppliers have switched to Mezzaron, which is operating two freight-only ships on behalf of Kohle. They are exploiting the eastern European workers by paying seafarers 3.78 an hour and cooks 2.90 an hour - well below the national minimum wage.

The demonstration was organised by the RMT and supported by the northwest TUC.


Fightback in Greenwich

Over 50 people attended a meeting on 24 November to set up a campaign to save services in Greenwich, south east London. The council is making compulsory redundancies and is trying to force every council worker to accept poorer terms and conditions. They are also attacking the Unite branch secretary, in an attempt to silence one of the unions fighting the cuts.

The meeting called for unity of all local unions in organising the fightback, including the local branch of Unison which is being run by regional officials, as a result of the witch-hunt against Socialist Party members in the union.

A lobby of the council is being organised in December and a demonstration in the new year.

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In The Socialist 1 December 2010:


Youth Fight for Education

Young people lead fight against cuts

We can win: student struggle must escalate


Socialist Party editorial

Unity - but not unity of the graveyard

How can an anti-cuts movement be built? Coalition of Resistance conference report


Anti-cuts campaign

Defend jobs and services

Riot police called to Lewisham town hall lobby

Irish working class in huge show of defiance

Fight against cuts continues to grow

Coventry council - stop job cuts

NHS walk-in centre saved, but campaign continues

News in brief


Anti-racism

Nuneaton protest against racist EDL


The Socialist Interview

Len McCluskey speaks to The Socialist: Building workers' confidence


Socialist Party workplace news

PCS: Vote 'yes' for action against cuts

London Underground strike most solid so far

Wales TUC leadership tries to stifle action to stop the cuts

A united battle for pensions

Workplace news in brief


International socialist news and analysis

North Korean artillery attack raises tensions

Portugal: 'Biggest strike action ever'


Climate change

Climate change: Socialist planning needed to avert a global catastrophe


Readers' comments

Our health - A market for big business

Bankers: The new untouchables?


 

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