Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/512/3465
Defend Eddie Fleming
On 22 November, Eddie Fleming was sacked on trumped-up charges. Eddie is the branch chair of the PCS branch at the Child Support Agency (CSA) in Hastings. His real 'crime' is to continue to represent his branch members in spite of management's bullying pressure.
His PCS branch and the national leadership of the union are fully behind Eddie. Please send messages of support to: firstname.lastname@example.org with copies to email@example.com. Protest to CSA chief executive: Stephen.firstname.lastname@example.org.
There will be a march and rally in Hastings on 8 December.
Airport strike ballot
Workers at the seven airports run by BAA are being balloted for strike action over pensions. Over 5,000 members of Unite will be balloting from 29 November, as BAA's parent company closes the final salary pension scheme to new entrants.
Crucial firefighting, security and maintenance staff are affected at Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Southampton, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen.
The ballot closes on 20 December, with the earliest date for strike action being in the holiday rush on 27 December.
Midlands Shop Stewards Network
Steve Bostock, a member of the National Executive Committee of the Prison Officers Association (POA) gave an inspiring and amusing description of the strike action by prison officers that caught the attention of many workers recently.
Steve was addressing the first Midlands meeting of the National Shop Stewards Network, in Birmingham on 24 November.
The audience of 28 workers from a range of industries including rail, cars, local government, education and health heard how the POA has changed from being perceived as a haven for racists to a union fighting to defend and improve conditions for members. Steve emphasised that the fight for full trade union rights for prison officers will not go away.
Dave Chapple, chair of the NSSN explained the need for the network and commented on some of the issues the network will try to address. There was discussion of the recent postal dispute and the need for those opposed to the Royal Mail deal to continue campaigning whatever the outcome of the ballot.
Other issues touched on were the single status battle at Birmingham city council, sacked Unison activist Karen Reissman, and the ongoing witch-hunt in Unison.
A steering group was formed and a meeting of this will be held in January to start to broaden and deepen the support for and activity of the NSSN in the Midlands.
In The Socialist 29 November 2007:
Environment and socialism
What we think
Socialist Party NHS campaign
Socialist Party news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Marxist analysis: history
Workplace news and analysis