Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/527/3970
Teachers vote to strike
Teachers' union NUT members have voted 3:1 to strike on 24 April over pay. The government are trying to force through a below-inflation pay rise, angering thousands of teachers.
More next week.
Sheffield hospital workers strike
A dozen bulk stores staff at Sheffield's Northern General Hospital (NGH) have voted to take indefinite strike action from Monday 7 April.
This action is in protest at the Trust management imposing 20% pay cuts through withdrawing long-established bonus payments from already low-paid workers. These workers have already taken ten days of strike action between August and November last year.
Since then, a time and motion study and talks have got nowhere so all-out action is the last resort. Support from other ancillary staff should be strong because only three weeks ago the Trust brought in private cleaning contractors who were forced out after only one week.
New Labour gives me a headache!
At a launch meeting of the National Shop Stewards Network in Newcastle on 29 March, Elaine Brunskill spoke to Shirley Winter, of the Magnet Women's Support Group. (This dispute started in 1996 when 320 workers were sacked from the Magnet kitchens factory. They were sacked for striking for a pay rise after a four-year pay freeze.)
"After more than a decade of a New Labour government - I've got a headache! A big headache trying to work out how they say they are trying to tackle poverty and why Thatcher's anti-trade union laws haven't been repealed. Also the war in Iraq - I can't believe a Labour government could support such horrific action.
"Basically I'm sick of New Labour sucking up to big business and forgetting their roots, no wonder so many people have resigned from the Labour Party.
"Now I can't see New Labour ever changing. We've got to fight for a new workers' party that understands the needs of ordinary people, and are willing to tackle the problems that face working-class people."
Campaign for a New Workers Party conference. Sunday 29 June, 10am-5pm. South Camden Community school, Charrington Street, London NW1.
A number of well-attended meetings of Birmingham City council workers have rejected the latest proposals from management under the single status agreement.
Although the council have offered some concessions, the scheme still involves pay cuts, performance-related pay and other attacks on pay and conditions.
The meetings have urged a return to industrial action and it is believed that the next strike days could be as early as mid April.
More next week
In The Socialist 2 April 2008:
Socialist Party campaigns
Workplace news and analysis
Marxist analysis: history
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party review