Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/698/13340
Workplace news in brief
One of chancellor George Osborne's proposals in his 'autumn statement' of attacks on working people, benefit claimants, young people and pensioners, is for regional pay. He wants public sector pay to be determined locally.
But there are already more than 200 different pay negotiating bodies for the civil service alone - leading to big disparities in pay for people doing similar work. Apart from being inefficient - George already moans about trade union reps having facility time - local pay rates will reinforce low pay in the most economically depressed parts of the country. This brilliant idea was on top of the two-year public sector pay freeze being extended with at least another two years of a 1% pay rise cap.
Stagecoach South Yorkshire bus drivers, members of the Unite trade union, took two more days of strike action on 2 and 3 December in pursuit of their claim for £9 an hour pay parity with their Sheffield colleagues.
Management had refused to budge since their first two days of strike action, but pickets at the Rawmarsh depot in Rotherham were determined to win this dispute. The latest action was taken just two days after the N30 public sector strike.
Glenn, one of the shop stewards, told us that he had been outside Barnsley hospital on that day to support his daughter who was on strike there - so much for private sector workers not supporting the public sector, it's our own families.
A mass meeting of the drivers on 4 December voted for further action, on 16 and 17 December and then two more days in January if the bosses don't concede.
Chris Bingham and Alistair Tice
Plodding on regardless
The Metropolitan Police have had to apologise to photographer Jules Mattsson after trying to bar him from taking photographs at a military parade in Romford. A police inspector described Jules' actions as "anti-social behaviour" and that the act of taking photos was "silly" and "gay" and "stupid". The treatment of Jules, who was 15 at the time, was described as "shocking" by his solicitor.
The police have had to pay compensation and costs, as well as apologising to Jules.
In The Socialist 14 December 2011:
Socialist Party feature
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party editorial
Socialist Party reviews
Socialist Party workplace news
International socialist news and analysis