Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/750/16054
Workplace news in brief
Members of the PCS civil service union working in the Ministry of Justice are walking out on 31 January.
The staff who administer and collect court fines are protesting against plans to privatise their work.
This would put a lot of the work into the hands of private bailiff companies who are already often the subject of claims about harassment received by agencies such as the Citizens Advice Bureau.
There was a 75% vote for action in the strike ballot.
Lecturers' union UCU members at Birmingham university are balloting for strike action against cuts and redundancies.
Almost 1,000 members are being balloted for strike action to start on 28 February with a series of half-day strikes followed by a two-day strike.
The university want to make 17 posts redundant in one department and seven in another. But UCU members suspect that this may be the thin end of the wedge.
UCU branch president said: "This university has consistently made a large surplus for many years and we do not believe that the proposed job cuts are necessary.
"Making redundancies in this way is bad for staff and also bad for the quality of education that our university can deliver."
The ballot ends on 14 February.
On 26 January 300 trade unionists marched against the victimisation of lecturers' union UCU activists at Halesowen college, west midlands.
Branch secretary Dave Muritu and three other maths lecturers were sacked in the run up to Christmas for supposedly failing to meet targets for student results - itself a result of cutbacks by college management.
Howdens jobs battle
On 3 January DHL announced that the Widnes transport depot for the Howdens joinery contract would be closing and moved to Yorkshire. This puts over 50 jobs at risk and Unite are organising an industrial action ballot.
But because of the shortage of time the workers have been organising protests, notably outside Howdens' major shareholders in central London.
The workers believe this attack by DHL is to do with the company's tough reputation and the well-organised Widnes workplace.
The GMB union has launched a campaign against Prospect Housing and Support Services after more than half of all care staff received notice of dismissal because they would not agree to drastic cuts to their pay and conditions.
On 4 January, the staff received letters stating that their employment would be terminated unless they accepted massive cuts of up to £16,000 a year to their salaries and further reductions to their terms and conditions. 268 staff are employed by Prospect across Surrey, of which more than half are GMB members.
In The Socialist 30 January 2013:
Socialist Party NHS news & campaigning
Socialist Party news and analysis
Fighting the cuts
Workplace news and events
Socialist Party review
Socialist Party reports and campaigns