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From The Socialist newspaper, 25 April 2012

Workplace news in brief

Tube strike

A 72-hour strike by London tube workers employed by Tubelines started at 4pm on 24 April. The transport union RMT members are fighting to be allowed to join Transport for London's (TfL) pension scheme and to benefit from the same travel concessions as other TfL workers.

There was a four-to-one vote for strike action by the workers, who are responsible for both maintenance and upgrade work on the Jubilee line, Northern line and Piccadilly line. They also provide a number of services across the network including the Emergency Response Unit.

Bus victory

More than 100 Belfast bus drivers, members of Unite, have forced their bosses to reinstate a driver after an unofficial walkout. When the workers heard over their internal radios that a fellow driver had been suspended for allegedly damaging the handle of a ramp for disabled passengers, they drove their buses to city hall in protest, where they were joined by GMB members.

After assurances from management that the driver had been removed from suspension, they resumed the service, after scoring an important and quick victory.

Greenwich libraries

Unite members working in libraries in Greenwich, south east London, are striking for four days from 27 April. A further strike is planned for 11 May. The workers are protesting at plans to transfer the libraries to Greenwich Leisure Limited, with a consequent threat to the pay, jobs and working conditions of the library staff.

Teachers strike

Two dozen teachers at Swinton Comprehensive School, near Rotherham, members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) took one day strike action on 17 April, to oppose compulsory redundancies arising from a 800,000 deficit. The new Head's "robust recovery plan" included the potential for eight teachers to lose their jobs.

Seven teachers have avoided redundancy, but the Head still wants to get rid of the Special Educational Needs Coordinator.

So the NUT members voted by 93% in favour of strike action.

BT pay

The three-year pay agreement signed by BT and the Communication Workers Union (CWU) in 2010 provided for talks to be re-opened if the inflation rate in November 2011 was higher than 3.2%. BT has offered a one-off 250 unconsolidated payment which the CWU leadership couldn't accept quickly enough. There will be no membership ballot so there is no opportunity for members to register any opposition.

Industrial action was never considered. Socialist Party members and others on the left were in favour of threatening to disrupt TV coverage of the Olympic Games which can't happen without BT engineers.

A new leadership is urgently needed in the CWU telecoms section.

Clive Walder, CWU Birmingham, Black Country and Worcester branch, personal capacity

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In The Socialist 25 April 2012:

Fighting the government's attacks

We're striking back on 10 May

Socialist Party news and analysis

NHS faces more cuts

The ugly truth behind the latest unemployment figures

Brighton: Mass protest counters racist EDL

Them & Us

Socialist Party feature

Interview: 'get organised to support workers in struggle'

Socialist Party May Day Greetings

May Day Greetings in The Socialist newspaper

Socialist Party workplace news

Workers' Memorial Day 28 April

Jobs threat at CSC

Claps and cheers greet Remploy marchers in Sheffield

Workplace news in brief

Vote TUSC in May

Vote for a socialist alternative

Build a socialist alternative to austerity

Hundreds of Liverpool Sure Start parents demonstrate against cuts

Labour - no friend of trade unions

Gateshead campaigners told to 'move house' if they don't like waste-site plans

TUSC campaigns round-up

International socialist news and analysis

Argentina: Nationalisation provokes wrath of imperialism

France: Left Front vote shows potential for new workers' party


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