Reports and Campaigns
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Workplace News in brief
Following a report from reps indicating scope for serious negotiations, a One Housing Group members' meeting agreed to postpone strike action planned for later this week.
Unite reps argued that management had given an indication of willingness to negotiate improvements in the package for support staff and it therefore made sense to postpone action while negotiations take place.
After a detailed discussion members accepted this position on condition that notice of future strike action is given simultaneously.
In the event that management does not behave reasonably industrial action and the wider campaign will be stepped up. Management continue to reject referral to Acas for conciliation.
All speakers agreed that the last three-day strike had been hugely successful. Many managers had expressed their support to pickets stating that the executive's position was incomprehensible given the surpluses generated by One Support services.
Members were delighted by the support they received more widely from passersby, from other unions, from councillors and even from the police.
For example, one police officer commented that they faced similar problems and said: "we should have a proper union, we should be doing what you are doing".
In this light, complaints from management about picket line behaviour were seen as a transparent attempt to intimidate members.
The Communication Workers Union (CWU) has rejected Royal Mail's pay offer of 8.6% over three years, because of the many strings attached to it.
In the recent ballot over pay and privatisation, 99% of postal workers voted for an above-inflation pay rise.
But Royal Mail has come back with an offer which the union believes does not protect working conditions, pensions or jobs. "If we can't get the assurance we want over our members' future then industrial conflict is inevitable", warned the CWU.
On 26 June the GMB members at VIP Polymers in Huntingdon took a second day of united strike action against a 10% cut in wages and cuts in leave, sick pay, benefits and pensions.
Ten years ago the main company GB Cables split into three. Two are thriving but VIP is struggling.
A lot of the workers have been working for 30-35 years here but they have been joined by Polish and other workers from around the world who enthusiastically supported the strike.
The workers have the support of the Socialist Party, the local trades council and TUSC in Huntingdon.
According to Alan Costello, the local GMB organiser, not one GMB member went into work on the evening shift.