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From The Socialist newspaper, 17 April 2013

In Brief

Len McCluskey re-elected as Unite general secretary

Len McCluskey has been re-elected as general secretary of Unite, with 64% of the vote (144,570). Jerry Hicks received 79,819 votes (35%). The turnout was 15.2%.

More in the next issue.


Home office

PCS members in the Home Office have started a week of strike action. Every day a different set of workers will be taking action.

This is part of the national dispute across the civil service over attacks to jobs, pay and conditions.

Strikes were held on 5 and 8 April but in the Home Office the employers decided to deduct a whole day's pay for the half-day strikes. PCS has therefore escalated the action in this department.


Blacklisting

Following a damning interim report from the Scottish Affairs Select Committee's investigation into blacklisting in employment, the fight to expose blacklisting by the big construction companies goes on.

Unite have organised a campaign of high-profile protests.The select committee are very critical of some large contractors.

Of Balfour Beatty, for example, they say: "It is hard to see how workers who have been systematically and illegally denied employment will understand that the perpetrators are still in their jobs. We do not accept the defence that people were only obeying orders."

The protests will further embarrass those companies and help to take the battle against blacklisting forward.


Yorkshire ambulance

Ambulance workers in Yorkshire could take more strike action in a battle over downgrading and union derecognition. 450 Unite members were on strike on 2 April against the plans to send emergency care assistants to 999 calls instead of paramedics.

Since the strike the trust has refused to negotiate with Unite which is holding workplace meetings to decide on further action.

Caroline and Alan had come off night shift to picket from 6am at Doncaster station on 2 April. Caroline said that she felt: "De-banded, de-skilled and demoralised" by these cuts which Alan said would cost staff 2,000 to 4,000 a year in pay.


Trainpeople

The rail union RMT members who have been sacked from London Underground's Trainpeople contract protested outside the Transport for London HQ on 15 April.

London Underground terminated the contract with Trainpeople, leaving those workers without a job, after they got organised and began a battle for equal rights with permanent staff.

RMT are discussing how to continue the battle.


Crown Post Offices

Crown Post Office workers will be striking against closures, and to defend job security and pay on 19 April.

Up to 4,000 workers are likely to be involved. 76 Crown offices are threatened with closure or franchising out and staff have not had a pay rise since April 2011.

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In The Socialist 17 April 2013:


Socialist Party news and analysis

NUS conference votes against free education and EMA

Class survey diverts focus away from power of working class to change society

Widespread caste discrimination ignored in the UK


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Doncaster: fighting for a working class mayor on a workers' wage

Maltby pit closure: TUSC councillor speaks out

Ineffectual Ed visits South West

Warrington council rebel builds fight against cuts

Meeting and exhibition marking 30 years since the election of Liverpool's socialist council

Letters to The Socialist


Socialist Party feature

We can beat bedroom tax


Thatcher funeral

Thatcher's funeral costs: Insulting the lives she ruined

Thatcher... and us

Support the paper that beat Thatcher - twice!


Socialist Party NHS campaign

NHS cost-cutting is damaging patient care

New phase of campaign against Dewsbury NHS cuts

Welsh NHS cuts - no change of heart from Labour


Socialist Party workplace feature

Time to name the day for a 24-hour general strike

We say to the TUC: Time to fight back


International socialist news and analysis

Brutal Saudi regime supported by UK government


Socialist Party workplace news

Unison health conference: Time to fight back against attacks

Unison elections: Vote for Socialist Party and Reclaim the Union candidates

Thera workers on strike

In Brief


 

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