Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/550/6458
Workplace news in brief
Swansea train strike
Swansea train cleaners employed by ISS and contracted to clean First Great Western (FGW) trains have staged a second 24-hour strike over poor pay and conditions.
Alec Thraves spoke to RMT pickets at Swansea's High Street station.
"We were initially offered 0% by ISS who are blaming FGW for not paying them enough. There is now a small offer on the table but given the current cost of living it is still a huge pay cut in real terms. Our members are stuck in the middle of these two huge 'cash rich' companies and are being treated abysmally. Most of our members are on the minimum wage with no shift pay, no sick pay, no enhancement for overtime and some cannot even get uniforms and safety footwear. ISS staff at Swansea are getting at least 40% less wages than FGW pay their own staff for doing the same work".
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NSSN - North West
The North West regional committee of the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) met on 27 September in Manchester.
The committee, which was elected in April this year, discussed the looming industrial action in the public sector against the government's 2% pay cap. The regional network will give full and active support to this action. It was also agreed to arrange meetings in Liverpool, Manchester and Preston around the issue of low pay and the cost of living.
It was agreed that the regional network will have speakers on the platform of a Public Service Not Private Profit Meeting in Manchester and at the launch of the Merseyside Public Sector Alliance. Both meetings will take place on 9 October.
It was further agreed that the regional network should set up a Facebook page, which may be an effective way of raising the profile of the network amongst young workers. The committee will next meet on 15 November in Liverpool.
Dave Lunn, assistant secretary, NSSN North West regional committee, personal capacity
Shop Stewards Network - Shropshire
On 25 September, Shropshire NSSN held its first public meeting on justice in the workplace and trade union freedom.
The meeting was addressed by Pete McNally, an Aslef steward and Mike Abbott, a representative of the Justice for Shrewsbury 24 Campaign.
Young workers at the meeting asked how they could organise trade unions in their own workplace. The trades council and Shropshire NSSN will sponsor a course on this. The meeting also agreed to organise a much bigger meeting with Shropshire trades council on Justice for the Shrewsbury Pickets.
The representatives from the trades council also suggested that they may stand a candidate in a general election in the future.
Peter Grue, Telford UCU chair, personal capacity
In The Socialist 2 October 2008:
Socialist Party editorial
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party campaigns
Socialist Party review