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From The Socialist newspaper, 20 April 2011

Workplace news in brief

POA strike ballot

The national executive of the POA prison officers' union has decided to conduct an indicative ballot against prison privatisation. This ballot, which will include the option of supporting strike action, has been triggered by the government announcement of the privatisation of Birmingham and Featherstone 2 prisons.

Steve Gillan, general secretary of the POA, explained that until the indicative ballot has been concluded, there will be weekly lunchtime protest meetings.

Ballot papers are being sent out as we go to press and the ballot will close on 5 May.

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM)

Unison members working for TfGM are being balloted for strike action over compulsory redundancies. Around 160 workers in the TfGM headquarters are being balloted, which closes on 27 April.

TfGM took over from the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive on 1 April this year, and since then senior management have proposed a restructuring plan which puts jobs at risk.

British Airways

As previously reported in the Socialist, 83% of BA staff have voted to strike over management attacks - including disciplinary action against workers who took strike action last year.

Since then, negotiations have been proceeding between Unite and the company. Under the terms of the latest ballot, strike dates would have to have been declared by 15 April.

But the company has agreed to a 28-day extension to this period.

In a joint statement issued on 14 April, Unite general secretary Len McCluskey and BA chief executive Keith Williams have said they "accept that a lasting peace is essential... to achieve such a peace, it is understood by BA that cabin crew must feel their concerns are being fairly dealt with and it is recognised by the union that the management and acceptance of change is the key to lasting peace."

What is meant by "the acceptance of change" will obviously be the crucial factor in the workforce judging whether any agreement is acceptable.

First Great Western

The RMT, TSSA, Aslef and Unite unions met with First Great Western (FGW) management for pay talks recently. FGW offered members a 5.5% pay rise this year with a 3% or RPI rise, whichever is greater, next year with no strings.

This shows that even in these times of austerity, strong trade unions can win decent pay deals for their members.

With high union density and joint negotiations involving all the unions organising at FGW, the rail unions have shown it pays to be in a union!

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
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In The Socialist 20 April 2011:


Anti-cuts campaigning

How can the Con-Dem coalition be most effectively punished?

Kick big business out of health care

Fight cuts - vote socialist

Fighting anti-cuts programme needed in Scottish elections

Coventry: support for socialists increases

Enthusiasm for ten TUSC candidates across Kent

Vote Against Cuts alliance launched in Leicester

"Lambeth council know the cost of everything and the value of nothing"


Socialist Students

NUS conference fails to act


International socialist news and analysis

Sarkozy instigates ban on veil to boost his political ratings

Libya: Is humanitarian aid providing mission creep for western powers?

War - what is it good for? Arms sales!


Socialist Party workplace news

Construction workers lobby BP

"Staggering scale" of London Ambulance service cuts

Workplace news in brief

NUT teachers' conference

Leeds Fed Housing strike

Enthusiastic support for PCS call centres strike


Socialist Party features

Anniversary: Black Friday 15 April 1921

The Alternative Vote referendum - 5 May


Socialist Party news and analysis

News in brief

Lid blown off Met's kettle


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Newcastle: Socialists won't be intimidated by racists

Gay protest and discrimination

Angry protest at death of Smiley Culture


 

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Related links:

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RMT:

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British Airways:

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