Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/795/18021
Workplace news in brief
Bus drivers' strike
About 60 drivers, members of Unite, at First Hampshire and Dorset were on strike for 24 hours on 20 January in a dispute which has seen their pay fall dramatically behind their regional counterparts.
The drivers are currently on £8.30 an hour, compared with drivers on Yellow Buses in Bournemouth who earn £10 an hour.
The management has offered 1.5% for April 2013 - April 2014 which would take the pay to £8.50 an hour - however, the company wants to claw back that rise by eroding terms and conditions, such as reducing sick pay.
I visited the 14-strong Bridport picket line. I spoke to one driver who said that their demand is not only parity with drivers in other parts of the company, but to reduce their driving time.
They're now on a work to rule, with a further strike on 29 January, market day in Dorchester and Bridport.
Unite said that the deal offered no back pay and management also wanted to start the pay year on 1 July which was 'moving the goalposts' by three months.
The drivers are fighting for £9 an hour, with no strings attached.
Members of the University and College Union (UCU), working in higher education will start a series of two-hour strikes on 23 January.
These are part of the pay dispute, exacerbated by the revelations of six figure pay packets being given to some university heads, while staff have only been offered 1%.
The other two strikes will be on 23 January from 11am to 1pm and 28 January from 2pm to 4pm. There will be joint strike action by Unison, UCU and the EIS in Scotland on 6 February.
Workers at the University of London are to strike from 27 to 29 January. These cleaners and other ancillary workers, members of the Independent Workers of Great Britain are employed by Balfour Beatty and have been fighting for a living wage and better conditions for some time, with significant victories.
Their '3 Cosas', the theme of the current battle, are sick pay, holidays and pensions.
South Africa solidarity
The AGM of the Communication Workers Union Broad Left has agreed to donate £100 to the South African Workers and Socialist Party (WASP) election fund.
For more information see: http://workerssocialistparty.co.za/
Clive Walder, CWU Birmingham, Black Country and Worcester Branch
In The Socialist 22 January 2014:
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