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From The Socialist newspaper, 8 May 2013

Workplace news in brief

Airport strike

Cleaners at Manchester Airport took solid strike action on 3 May against a drastic worsening of their conditions.

Members of the Unite union mounted ten-hour pickets outside each of the three terminals.

Their employer, Mitie, is trying to halve their current lunchbreak. Cleaners are already working harder than ever before, after 27 redundancies last month were not replaced with new staff.

A cut in lunchbreak is a cut in paid hours, equating to a loss of £69.50 every month. On top of that, a £20 attendance bonus which staff could try to win in the past, is being withdrawn.

Mitie took over the contract from Initial. Initial staff were on better terms and conditions. Now Mitie wants to drive down everyone's pay and conditions.

The strike sends a solid signal to Mitie that any further attacks will be met with action.


Unite the union held a very successful protest outside the Scottish Parliament on 2 May. About 50 activists gathered in a vibrant, colourful and vocal expression of their disgust at blacklisting.

Later, activists entered the public gallery to listen to the debate about blacklisting which was led by Neil Findlay MSP of the Labour Campaign for Socialism group, who is also a member of Unite.

The SNP refused to commit to the call for the Scottish Parliament to launch its own enquiry into blacklisting, saying it was 'open minded' to the suggestion.

Luke Ivory

East Manchester

Unite members protested at the Manchester City construction site. The main company on the job, BAM, has been involved in the illegal blacklisting of construction workers including many Unite members.

The protest featured the giant inflatable rat, symbolising the employers' orchestrated "ratting" on trade unionists.

This and many other protests are the first part of Unite's new "leverage strategy" against blacklisting companies such as CrossRail in London. There will be many more.

Hugh Caffrey

Northern Rail

Rail union RMT members working for Northern rail are being balloted for strike action over casualisation and the use of agencies.

In spite of negotiations, Northern Rail are continuing to use firms like Trainpeople and G4S while the RMT's policy is for those workers to be brought in-house. The ballot started on 7 May.

Crown PO

Communication Workers Union members in Crown post offices were on strike for the fourth time on 7 May, over office closures and pay.

The proposed closures and franchising of 20% of the Crown network affects 800 jobs and the workers have had no pay rise since April 2011.

The pay offer which has been made is conditional on accepting 76 office closures and the second and third payments are attached to unachievable targets.

The workers voted nine to one to strike and 4,000 staff are likely to have been involved in this latest round of action.

National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN)

The 7th annual conference of the NSSN

29 June 2013 11am - 5pm in the Camden Centre, Judd Street, London WC1H 9JE

Speakers include union general secretaries

Mark Serwotka, PCS, Billy Hayes, CWU and Steve Gillan, POA•PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE

Sacked tubeworkers protest

The 33 sacked tubeworkers, previously employed by Trainpeople, who were sacked when London Underground (LU) ended the contract a year early, continued their protest outside Edgeware Road tube station on 3 May.

The workers, backed by their union RMT, are campaigning to be re-employed on proper LU contracts.

See Justice for the 33 for details of hardship fund

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In The Socialist 8 May 2013:

Socialist Party news and analysis

Tax bankers not bedrooms!

NHS WARNING! Privatisation puts patients at risk

Teachers demand action

Big business threatens bees

One in five borrow to buy food

Food banks and fighting austerity

Them & Us

Socialist Party election analysis

Capitalist parties rejected: Time for a new mass workers' party

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Salford - two-faced attack on mental health

Defend Liverpool's jobs and services - then and now

Socialist Party workplace news

Usdaw ADM - fightback begins

Trade unions recommend more cuts in Neath/Port Talbot

CWU supports 24-hour general strike

Workplace news in brief

International socialist news and analysis

Portugal: Government in disarray... Left must seize the opportunity

The Palestinian struggle - How can a state be realised?

May Day - fighting capitalist oppression internationally

Greece: Challenging the Golden Dawn


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