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29 January 2014

Workplace news in brief

Ford ballot

Over 5,000 Ford workers are being balloted for strike action in a dispute over job security and pensions.

The Unite members are mainly on the production lines in Bridgend, Daventry, Halewood, Dunton (Basildon) and Dagenham.

In 2012 Ford cut 1,500 jobs and the union is calling on the company to give some commitments on job security.

The workers are also fighting for improvements to their pension scheme, which is currently calculated on the Consumer Price Index, rather than the Retail Price Index.

Government spying

One of the revelations from the publication of government archives is that civil servants participation in industrial action was monitored - this allowed it to hinder their career prospects and block their promotion.

This was blurted out in letters from then chancellor Nigel Lawson in 1984, when he connived with Margaret Thatcher to break the law in this way.

Discrimination against strikers contravenes the European Convention on Human Rights and UK legislation.

Shrewsbury pickets

The campaign to clear the name of the building workers jailed and punished for participating in a strike is now pushing for the archives concerning this to be published as well.

A 100,000 strong petition was presented to Downing Street in December by one of those jailed, Ricky Tomlinson.


At their recent well attended meeting members of Bracknell Forest National Pensioners Convention expressed their support for RMT and TSSA members in their campaign to keep London Underground ticket offices open.

After being addressed by Ron Douglas, NPC National President and RMT member, those present unanimously showed their opposition to Boris Johnson's plans.

Pensioners are appreciative of the help underground staff provide in helping to understand the zonal system and the wide variety of tickets.

Val Pearce, Chair, Bracknell Forest NPC