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From The Socialist newspaper, 8 October 2008

Workplace news in brief

London bus strike

Eleven London bus garages will be affected by a strike on 10 and 22 October. 2,500 Unite members working for Metroline voted over 88% in favour of strike action. Workers at Arriva South and North and East London and East Thames buses are being balloted and are likely to join the strike on 22 October.

Unite members at other bus companies will be balloted soon in the battle to win 30,000 a year and a 38-hour week for all bus workers in London.

Tube workers ballot

Tube infrastructure workers are being balloted for industrial action over the breakdown of industrial relations with Metronet. This follows the victimisation of Andy Littlechild, an RMT safety rep, the company's dangerous plans to reduce signals maintenance and attempts to impose new rosters.

Surrey car protest

Workers at Surrey county council are planning a protest at the council headquarters on 14 October. They are organising a car convoy as part of their claim for fair mileage expenses. At the moment they are getting around 300 a year less than the national agreement. They are subsidising the council when they use their cars for work.

A packed Unison mass meeting on 24 September agreed this and other action to force the council to pay up.

It's not Labour's fault!

On 2 October, Shropshire trades council invited the Telford New Labour MP David Wright to a meeting. He attempted to re- grovel some favour with the local trades union movement after the tumultuous economic events of last week.

A UCU delegate Mike Edwards questioned him on why over the last eleven years New Labour had done nothing to improve our trade union freedoms and why workers in this country have the worst labour relations laws in Europe?

He asked the MP if he would put his name to an early day motion to repeal some of the anti-trades union legislation.

David Wright replied he had not seen the motion, therefore he could not commit himself. The motion was then passed to him. After reading it, he said he liked some names on the list, so he agreed to sign!

Wright attempted to wash the government's hands of all responsibility for the economic crisis. He blamed maverick financial traders.

We asked Wright if he would stand on a manifesto to implement a windfall tax on the huge profits made by private energy companies. He agreed with a windfall tax but expressed concerns that these companies would pass on the cost to the consumer.

Looks like the trades council may have to stand its own candidate after all!

Peter Grue, UCU delegate, Shropshire trades council

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In The Socialist 8 October 2008:

Credit crunch

Where is the bailout for us?

Editorial: Casino capitalism's crisis continues

Lessons of the 1990s recession in Japan

House building hits new low

Responsibility for the 'age of irresponsibility'

Tories grasp at popularity

Socialist Students

Campaign to defeat fees!

Students look for socialist ideas


University workers fight pension attacks

NUT strike ballot: Action on pay can win

Socialist Party campaigns

A day in the life of a care worker

The sacking of Blair, London's police chief

Socialist meeting blocked by councillor

No to incinerators, give us a real say!

Keep the Metro public!

International socialist news and analysis

Mbeki dismissed by ANC as South Africa's president

Socialist Party workplace news

"Telling the boss: You can't do that"

Fight against the Unison witch-hunt

Frustration with union leadership

Another victory in Greenwich

Workplace news in brief


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Related links:

Tube workers:

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triangleLondon Underground: RMT wins victory

triangleTube workers' strike shuts Piccadilly Line

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triangleSchools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now

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Bus workers:

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triangleBus safety: we won't be distracted from public ownership

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