Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/782/17513
The Socialist 2 October 2013 |
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Unite members at the Grangemouth oil refinery in Scotland have voted overwhelmingly to strike over the unfair treatment of union convenor Stevie Deans. Stevie is also chair of Falkirk Labour Party. He was suspended from the party after the Labour leadership falsely accused Unite of interfering in the selection of a new parliamentary candidate.
The Grangemouth management then used this as an excuse to suspend him. He was reinstated after a walkout by the workforce but has been under 'investigation' since.
Now 81.4% of the Unite membership has voted to strike in his defence, on a 86% turnout.
Unite is calling on refinery owners Ineos and Petrochina to "step back from the brink" and has also contacted BP who own the Forties pipeline, which Grangemouth powers and which provides 30% of the UK's North Sea oil.
Communication Workers Union (CWU) members are balloting for strike action over pay, pensions and privatisation. The result is due on 16 October. But the government is attempting to push ahead with privatisation by publishing a prospectus and likely share prices. Trading is due to begin on 11 October. The earliest strike date is 23 October.
Crown Post Offices
CWU members working in the 372 Crown Post Offices were on strike on 30 September and 1 October over closures, jobs and pay. 1,500 jobs are under threat and the workforce has not had a pay rise since April 2011. Senior managers have enjoyed a bonus pot of £15.4 million and the Post Office posted profits of £94 million in August this year.
Members of the University and College Union working in Higher Education are balloting for industrial action over pay. The ballot closes on 10 October. After four years of effective pay cuts, their pay has dropped by 13% since 2009. Unison and Unite members are also voting over the same issue.
Three suspended NUT members at Uplands Junior School, Leicester have been reinstated following a heroic struggle including strike action. The headteacher has been suspended.
NUT members had taken strike action opposing plans to axe several teaching assistants' jobs before the summer holidays. There were also concerns about the behavior of the headteacher and governing body at the school.
It has emerged that the now suspended and discredited head Tim Luckcock (yes I have spelt his name correctly) and the governing body spent over £48,000 on legal fees in the last year - a phenomenal amount for a school. This would have paid for the classroom teachers they sacked in the school reorganisation.
Unfortunately three teaching assistants have been made redundant. Unison and GMB members have vowed to continue the struggle with a new appeal.