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Workplace news in brief
Scrooge Northern Rail bosses in Christmas pay pantomime
Rail union RMT have slammed Northern Rail for issuing deliberately misleading statements over Christmas working arrangements. They are trying to claim that there is an agreement that forces staff to work the additional public holidays on 27 and 28 December at a flat rate with no enhancements.
Craig Johnston, Manchester and North-West RMT council of executives member, told The Socialist: "Northern Rail have turned negotiations into a Christmas pantomime in which they are happy to play the part of Scrooge.
"We don't want a strike, we want to do everything we can to avoid any disruption. However, the company needs to accept that we are only asking for an enhanced rate of pay for coming to work on the compensation days for the Christmas holidays.
"We are asking for fairness at a time when this company is making millions in profits, paying out millions in shareholder dividends and giving mega bucks to faceless directors.
"We are frontline staff who provide the service. We deserve better.
"Northern Rail already pays some of the lowest wages for conductors across the whole of Britain's rail network. The issue of low pay in this company and excessive profits is a national disgrace."
- A ballot for strike action will close on 20 December.
- Please send messages of support to Ian at email@example.com
Heinz workers take action over pay
Heinz workers in Wigan are striking for 24 hours from 15 December for an improved pay offer. The 1,200-strong workforce is demanding a real-terms pay rise from this highly profitable company.
In the industrial action ballot, workers voted by 9:1 for strike action. If management can afford big bonuses for themselves then they can afford to pay their workers better.
Unite convenor Ian Wright told me: "Heinz is a great brand, and it's a great brand because our workers have made it that. The greatest asset of the company is the workers, not the machinery."
Hugh Caffrey, North west Socialist Party
Drivers strike at London Midland
Train drivers working for London Midland have voted 410 to 62 in favour of strike action in a dispute over harmonisation of pay and conditions from the two previous franchises, Silverlink and Central Trains.
Some drivers are being paid £1,200 less per year than others for doing the same job.
The company have been informed that drivers' union Aslef members will not book on for duty between 00.01 and 23.59 on 23 December 2010.
Further dates are to be advised.
In The Socialist 15 December 2010:
Socialist Party feature
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party youth and students