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From: The Socialist issue 679, 13 July 2011: Take over Murdoch's press

Search site for keywords: CWU - Leeds - NSSN - Strike - College - Elections - Fire - Union - FBU - Firefighters

Workplace news in brief

Leeds college strike

University and College Union (UCU) members at the Leeds College of Building (LCB) mounted a picket outside on 6 July, striking against jobs cuts, demotions and pay cuts.

Michael Howley, the college's UCU branch secretary said: "We're on strike today because the college has decided to impose a restructuring programme to fund a new college building.

"Yet the four college directors who earn almost 400,000 between them don't face any cut. The college has over 10 million in reserves with almost 7.3 million in cash!"

The college is aiming to impose the changes in September. Unfortunately, despite Unison union members at the college facing similar attacks, they have not yet been balloted.

Iain Dalton, Hyde Park and Headingley Socialist Party

Fire service job cuts

Over 1,000 firefighters' jobs have been axed in 12 months, with another one in ten to face the chop in the next three years. The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has said fire and rescue budgets are being cut by 25% over four years.

Meanwhile AssetCo, the company that owns all London and Lincolnshire fire engines, is in talks with a Bahraini banking firm Arcapita to avoid going bankrupt. AssetCo used scabs to try to break the London firefighters' strike in October-November 2010.

The FBU has warned that creditors could seize fire engines and other equipment to recover AssetCo debts.

Staffordshire NSSN

An excellent public meeting organised by Staffordshire Shop Stewards Network (SSSN) took place on 11 July in Hanley. The meeting discussed building for a 24-hour public sector general strike over pensions in the autumn.

The meeting was attended by union reps and members of CWU, PCS, NUT, FBU, GMB, Unison and NUS.

Speakers included Liat Norris from Youth Fight for Jobs, who explained about the 2011 Jarrow march. Marchers would be visiting Stoke-on-Trent on 19 October to highlight the city's 22% youth unemployment rate.

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