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From The Socialist newspaper, 5 December 2012

Workplace news in brief

All-out Christmas strike

After taking over 30 days of strike action over the summer, 20+ re-cycling workers, working at Sheffield's five Dump-it sites, thought they had secured an agreement to restore their working hours.

The GMB trade union members had their hours slashed by the Labour council, Veolia and Sova.

Peter Davies, of the GMB union said: "The agreement reached has been broken. We had a deal for Sova to handle a contract to recycle bulky waste which would have provided extra work.

"Staff would have been close to full-time hours over winter but it has been delayed and we do not know when the extra work will start.

"Our members' hours have been cut to 27 per week, which is not enough to live on.

"Sova have broken the agreement so we do not need to ballot to go on strike again."

So the workers have announced that they will start indefinite strike action from 22 December.

Coventry cuts

Workers at Coventry city council have been hit by a sledgehammer blow with news that an extra 600 jobs are going to be cut over the next three years.

The Labour administration gave unions just 45 minutes notice that the email announcing the cuts was going out.

The council say they have no choice. But the choice is simple - which side are you on? The Con-Dems, or your own workforce and the people of Coventry.

If they refused to implement the cuts they would get massive support from across the city and further afield.

They could set a budget that meets the needs of the people of Coventry, as part of mass campaign involving unions, service users, all Coventry people, to demand more money from central government.

Linking up with other local authorities, the government could be forced in to granting more resources to the city.

Locally the unions, Unison, GMB, and Unite, with the teaching unions, need to co-ordinate to discuss 'battle plans', and a firm response to these attacks.

If the council refuse to back down then the unions need to prepare for a programme of industrial action. This is looking increasingly like what it will come to.

A Unison steward

PCS protests

Members of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) protested outside their workplaces on 30 November, against the government's attacks on their working conditions.

At the same time there was a 24-hour strike by the 8,000 PCS members in the Department for Transport against cuts and privatisation.

Unison witch-hunt

In light of their previous climb-down on the witch-hunt, Unison have now agreed to drop a second disciplinary case they have had pending for a year and a half against Glenn Kelly.

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In The Socialist 5 December 2012:


 

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