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From The Socialist newspaper, 22 May 2013

Workplace news in brief

NUT vice president election

Socialist Party member Martin Powell-Davies is to stand for election as national vice-president of the teachers' union NUT.

Martin is secretary of Lewisham NUT and has been a member of the NUT's national executive for three years.

He has always argued that the response to the government's attacks on teachers' pay, pensions, working conditions and education in general should be well-organised national strike action.

As a practising science teacher, Martin understands the pressures that teachers face but he is convinced that teachers will respond positively to a clear lead and call for action.

Martin has also been backed by the Local Associations National Action Campaign - at a meeting attended by delegates from 26 NUT associations (branches).

Veolia

Refuse workers in the London boroughs of Croydon and Bromley are to ballot for strike action over pay.

The Unite members will start voting on 31 May after Veolia offered a 2% pay rise in Bromley and 1.75% in Croydon.

Veolia is a highly profitable company which effectively wants to see its workforce take a pay cut. Talks are also starting with Veolia in Camden and Unite has said if a fair offer is not made then those workers will be recommended to ballot for action too.

British Library

PCS members at the British Library went on strike on 16-17 May. The strikes were the start of a wave of action across the culture and heritage sector.

This is part of the PCS national campaign against government imposed cuts to pay, pensions, jobs and working conditions.

Up to 300 workers at the British Library's main site in St Pancras, central London, went on strike on 16 May.

Two-thirds of the library's reading rooms were closed and strikers led a protest outside the press launch of the library's new exhibition "Propaganda: Power and persuasion".

On 17 May there was a strike at the British Library in Boston Spa, West Yorkshire. Almost 200 workers supported the strike which caused significant disruption.

Michael Docherty, British Library PCS, personal capacity

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