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From The Socialist newspaper, 11 November 2009

Strikes force concessions

Six days of strike action by 700 South Yorkshire Fire Brigade Union (FBU) members have forced major concessions from the Chief Fire Officer and Labour-controlled fire authority.

Alistair Tice

The threat of mass dismissals has been withdrawn, and the strings previously attached to going to arbitration (ACAS) over proposed shift changes have been dropped. So the FBU has called off further strikes. The union has reiterated its proposal for a change to a ten-hour day and 14-hour night shift system that would have a lot less detrimental impact on parents and carers than the management's 12-hour shifts that they were trying to impose.

A bullying management that sought to impose shift changes by threatening mass sackings and then a lock-out has been forced to retreat by the solidarity of firefighters across South Yorkshire. This was backed by the support of brigades throughout the UK, demonstrated by the 2,000 at the Barnsley rally, and overwhelming public support, despite very biased media reporting.

Similarly, three days of solid strike action by First Bus drivers in Sheffield has forced management at the Olive Grove depot to back down on the five drivers who had unjust disciplinaries against them. Disciplinary action has been overturned, with money owed paid back to them.

Consequently, the Unite union depot committee suspended a planned strike last Saturday, pending more talks on 10 November about outstanding issues, especially the disciplinary procedures. At the time of writing, further strikes on 12 and 15 November will go ahead if talks don't resolve the issues to drivers' satisfaction.

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In The Socialist 11 November 2009:

Fight for real jobs and free education


War and occupation

End the war in Afghanistan: Bring the troops back now!


Socialism 2009

Socialism 2009: An excellent weekend!


Postal workers strike

Postal workers force management back


Defend the four campaign

Unison witch-hunt: Defend the Four campaign gets a boost


Campaign for a New Workers Party

RMT conference on political representation


International socialist news and analysis

20 years after fall of Berlin Wall, capitalist triumphalism turns rotten

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Ireland: 90,000 march against government cuts

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