Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/722/14696
Workplace news in brief
PCS political ballot
Members of the Public and Commercial Services union have started voting in a ballot on the union's political campaigning strategy. This includes the proposal to stand or support candidates in national elections, where this will help to defend members' jobs and protect public services. This ballot follows a motion carried at the union's conference in 2009, and two branch consultation exercises have been carried out. The ballot closes on 29 June.
Across Merseyside PCS members employed in jobcentres took strike action between 6-8 June. I visited one picket line where Fran Heathcote, DWP president, explained why her members were on strike to stop staff and office cuts. Steve Bramwell, PCS branch secretary said: "Management want to reduce staffing levels in jobcentres and in an area like Toxteth with high unemployment levels this will affect service provision and add to members' working conditions". PCS members across Merseyside are solid.
Rachel Potter Merseyside Socialist Party
The GMB union has produced a new report for its conference this week, which investigates the blacklisting of mainly construction workers by employers like Carillion. It was revealed earlier this year in an industrial tribunal that Carillion have blacklisted 224 workers all over the country. Among other demands the GMB and the Blacklist Support Group are calling on blacklisting companies to be removed from approved contractors lists for publicly funded projects. The report is available on the GMB website: www.gmb.org.uk
On 12 June, Dave Smith, the worker involved in the tribunal, is giving evidence to a parliamentary investigation into blacklisting.
"Today there's not a single train running on Tyne and Wear Metro", one of the striking workers told us on 7 June as Metro workers from the RMT, Aslef and Unite staged a 24-hour strike over pay. A further strike is planned for 21 June. Also, Tyne and Wear Metro cleaners working for Churchill's began a 48 hour strike on 10 June. This is in support of a victimised worker and a 0% pay offer.
Vote Steve Hedley
Steve Hedley, the London regional organiser of the transport union RMT, is standing for assistant general secretary of the RMT. The ballot opened on 28 May, lasting about six weeks. Any RMT member wanting to help Steve's campaign should contact him on 07545 530526.
In The Socialist 13 June 2012:
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party youth and students
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Socialist Party workplace news