Reports and Campaigns
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Workplace news in brief
Protesters from the Blacklist Support Group and supporters occupied the lobby at the headquarters of construction firm Skanska for several hours. A High Court trial into the blacklisting is due to start in May and scheduled to finish at the end of July. Skanska is one of eight contractors who have set up the Construction Workers Compensation Scheme to try and settle with victims out of court. The demonstrators including the National Shop Stewards Network unfurled banners in the lobby of Skanska's main office on 14 March before being moved on by the police and continuing their protest outside the building. For more and a video of the occupation see: https://youtu.be/SEGngBmHKaA
Co-op driver strike
Co-op drivers have voted overwhelmingly for industrial action over the proposal to transfer 87 drivers in the Midlands to haulier Eddie Stobart. The ballot was passed with 77% of the 700 Unite members in favour. The members are based at Birtley, Newcastle; Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland; Castlewood, north Derbyshire; Coventry; Inverness; Newhouse, Lanarkshire; Plymouth and Thurrock in Essex. Unite national officer for retail distribution Adrian Jones said: "The ballot result is a strong mandate from our members to continue to fight hard to protect their pay and conditions. In 2012, Unite was embroiled in a long-running dispute when Tesco in Doncaster 'TUPEd' 184 workers to Eddie Stobart. The drivers were then issued with a termination of employment notice with no prospect of re-employment. Many of those drivers are still out of work.
Port workers rally
A fortnight of strikes at the Port of Grangemouth in Scotland kicked off with a rally on the 14 March by Unite members before joining night shift workers on the picket line. The two week strike is over the imposition of shift changes, affecting pay by up to £1,800 a year. Unite regional officer Sandy Smart said: "We are on the verge of a prolonged strike action at Scotland's biggest port because of Forth Ports' draconian approach to employment relations." See http://socialistpartyscotland.org.uk/ for updates.