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Workplace news in brief
Migrant workers protest
The chant of "hands off our workmates, no one is illegal!" echoed outside the London office of contract cleaning company Initial Rentokil on Saturday 25 September.
Workers had gathered in an action organised by the London region of the transport union RMT in response to Initial Rentokil using the immigration police to intimidate migrant workers who were seeking to get organised.
One worker who had complained to management after not receiving his back pay, a common occurrence according to workers at the company, was reported to the immigration authorities by management and subsequently arrested.
As London RMT regional organiser Steve Hedley pointed out at the protest, Initial Rentokil was well aware of the immigration status of these workers when they hired them.
Glenroy Watson, secretary of RMT Finsbury Park branch, told the protest that the RMT would not allow its members to be intimidated by a union busting company. He warned that bigger and louder protests were planned outside Rentokil's office until it ends its bullying behaviour.
Neil Cafferky, London Socialist Party
Defend the Four
The four Socialist Party members who were banned from holding office in Unison for between two and three years following a witch-hunt are presently putting their case at a second Employment Tribunal. They are challenging the charges that the Unison bureaucracy imposed on them and which the four believe were unjustified.
A report of the proceedings and outcome of the Tribunal will be announced once the result is known.
The London RMT and TSSA 24-hour strike planned to start at 6.30pm on Sunday 3 October is going ahead. The unions and employer went to ACAS. The union representatives said that if the employer was prepared to enter meaningful talks and suspend all job cuts, new rosters and all attacks the unions would suspend strike action. Management refused, demonstrating their scant regard for the safety of the public. So reluctantly, tube workers are continuing the industrial action to defend jobs, services and the safety of staff and passengers.
The dispute so far has been a resounding success. On the last strike day, two thirds of trains did not run and over 100 stations were closed. TSSA members took strike action in London for the first time since 1926. The overtime ban in between strikes has also been successful - stations have had to close, and the action taken by engineers has lost millions of pounds in cancelled work.
Management have a plan, "Operation Horizon", in which they aim for a complete restructuring. The government spending review on 20 October also looms, threatening a further 20-40% cut in London transport.