Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/557/6636
The well-supported strike at Appledore shipyard is currently suspended pending negotiations currently taking place between the unions and Babcock Marine.
The suspension has come at the same time as an announcement by the company of record profits of £50 million in the first half of the year, up 30%.
This is the same company that continues to make threats of closure and losing contracts in response to the reasonable request by Appledore workers that they earn the same as other Babcock workers in equivalent jobs.
At the moment, they earn around £60-80 per week less than their counterparts at Devonport dockyard. The company have tried to claim that this was due to the higher cost of living in Plymouth.
In reality, they have tried to take advantage of the fact that North Devon is a low-wage area.
We still need messages of support for the workers. Contact North Devon Socialist Party at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01271 328235.
Jim Lowe, North Devon Socialist Party
Laid off at Fiddler's Ferry power station
Steve Acheson, an electrician at the Fiddler's Ferry power station, Merseyside reports: "The electricians are pawns caught up in a bigger struggle. The big companies haven't paid the smaller companies, so now we're being laid off. These are false redundancies because the work's there! The solidarity has been brilliant, there's only about 12 people working on a site of 700-800 workers, all the other trades are supporting us."
More next week
Usdaw divisional conference
The divisional conference for the Eastern region of shopworkers' union Usdaw took place over the weekend. It was another success for the Robbie Segal campaign.
Both general secretary John Hannett and Tony McNulty MP faced a barrage of awkward and revealing questions from the angry shop worker delegates on the economy, fuel prices, Iraq and the Labour Party.
Hannett was clearly shaken by the 40% Robbie achieved in the general secretary election.
"Why is Brown pledging £500 billion to a bunch of bankers rather than increasing the minimum wage and pensions?" "Why doesn't he impose a windfall tax and nationalise the utility companies?" "Why do we always get told that it's about the needs of the business whenever we ask for something from our employer Tesco?" were just some of the questions.
Twelve copies of The Socialist were sold, four new people signed up to the activist Socialist Party network and £11 was collected.
If you want more information on Robbie's campaign for election as president of Usdaw, check www.robbiesegal.org. To help distribute leaflets or get involved contact email@example.com.
In The Socialist 19 November 2008:
No Job Cuts
Post office closures
Socialist Party workplace news
International socialist news and analysis