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From The Socialist newspaper, 25 January 2012

Workplace news in brief

Victory for POA

The European Court of Human Rights have accepted the prison officers' union application for restoration of trade union rights. Successive governments have enforced legislation prohibiting prison officers from taking legitimate industrial action. Steve Gillan, POA general secretary, said: "I am pleased that this issue is moving forward to right a wrong on a basic human fundamental right that is denied to my membership. This obviously is the first of many hurdles but at least our application has been successful by being accepted".

Jobs under threat

About 400 TV licensing employees in Bristol, which is now operated by private company Capita, have been in a pay dispute over the last few months. Their latest one day strike was timed to coincide with the N30 public sector pensions strike. Now Capita are considering closing down the office in Bristol and relocating, probably to the North West, with a potential massive loss of jobs as a consequence.

This brutal response to a modest pay claim shows what the bosses are capable of and requires a firm response by the unions and maximum solidarity.

Domenico Hill

Victory over victimisation

Trade unionists have been quick to respond to the victimisation of three activists in the University and College Union (UCU). Craig Lewis, a member of the UCU national executive, Peter Jones, vice-chair of UCU Wales, and Ray Williams, a UCU rep were all suspended and threatened with disciplinary action by Coleg Harlech principal. The college covers campuses across north-west Wales.

The suspension followed UCU members raising multiple grievances, including management's decision to leave tutors out of pocket for travel expenses between the college's teaching sites - two of which are 90 miles apart.

But UCU and Unite members, National Shop Stewards Network supporters and Socialist Party members from across Britain flooded the principal's email box with so many messages of solidarity and support for the three that it shut down. Four days from the announcement of the suspensions, college management capitulated, lifted the suspensions, withdrew the threat of disciplinary action and promised to pay money owed for holiday work.

Edmund Schluessel Cardiff University UCU, personal capacity

BBC strike

100 Bectu members held a rally in Birmingham on 19 January to mark the end of a 24-hour strike against plans to effectively mothball the majority of BBC Birmingham's studios. The BBC wants to move programmes currently produced there to Bristol. The move would mean state of the art studios, the lease for which still has several years to run, being closed. Then the inferior facilities at Bristol would be expanded at a cost of millions. As one steward commented: "Staff are really angry that no explanation has been given for this decision, which won't save money or lead to more creativity".

Nick Hart

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In The Socialist 25 January 2012:

Anti-cuts campaign

Hard Times - but not for the 1%

Socialist Party editorial

The trade unions and Labour

Add your name to the TUSC petition

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition election conference

Socialist Party news and analysis

Public sector pensions: 'Coalition of the willing' gathering strength

Financial vultures kill Peacocks

Con-Demned to unemployment

Fight the Tories' Welfare Reform Bill

Victory against Dorries' abstinence education bill

Keep the racist EDL out of Leicester

Them & Us


Haringey parents say: No to academies!

NUS calls national student walkout

Socialist Party feature

Balfour Beatty re-ballot: Vote to strike again

Sweetheart stitch-ups in the electrical industry: A spark's history of the Joint Industry Board

Exposed - the dirty world of the construction blacklist

International socialist news and analysis

Egypt - A year of revolution and counter-revolution

Socialist Party workplace news

Stepping up the action to defend pensions at Unilever

Defend Len Hockey: Outrageous attack on Whipps Cross hospital workers

Pontefract hospital: Army withdrawn - now kick out PFI!

Save Vine services

Llanelli: Save Prince Philip's A&E

Stop the Salford day centre closures

Kirklees parents say 'save our children's centres!'

Greenwich Unite members oppose cuts, privatisation and racism

Workplace news in brief


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