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From The Socialist newspaper, 2 May 2012

Workplace news in brief

Pension privatisation

Hundreds of pension staff were forced out of the public sector on 1 May. The government agency that administers pensions of 1.5 million working and retired civil servants became the first 'mutual' in the civil service. The 500 'My Civil Service Pension' staff had this move thrust upon them without consultation. PCS members have been taking industrial action against the transfer.

Tanker drivers

Following eight days of Acas talks, Unite is recommending that tanker drivers reject the latest proposals. 2,000 drivers are being balloted across seven oil distribution firms and the consultative ballot closes on 11 May. Unite is reballoting the 530 drivers working for Hoyer after the original ballot was challenged.

Unite says the employers have given some concessions on health and safety and training but issues around standards, security, pensions and sub-contracting still have not been resolved.

Train drivers

Drivers working for East Midlands Trains are engaged in a series of one-day strikes throughout May. The 450 Aslef members are striking because the company wants to reduce pensions contributions from July, saving them 2.1 million. The company says this will not affect pensions benefits but the union says these calculations are unreliable, particularly since the company may not even be running the franchise in a couple of years.

Sunderland College

Staff at Sunderland College are being balloted for strike action over 10,000 pay cuts. UCU members are angry because the college wants to cut the salaries of 150 lecturers and downgrade 70% of its workforce. Lecturers would be paid 8,000 a year less than the UK average for full-time lecturers. The ballot closes on 18 May.

Important NUT meeting

After the decision of the NUT national executive not to call action in June (see our editorial) an important meeting of NUT branches (Associations) has been called.

For more information:

Tube ballot

The transport union RMT is balloting cleaners employed by ISS and Initial for strike action and action short of a strike. The workers on London Underground are fighting for a pay increase, an Olympic bonus in line with other tube staff, a sick pay scheme, free travel passes and improvements to their pension scheme.

The Tubelines staff working on maintenance and other projects recently went on a 72-hour strike to gain parity with other tube workers over travel concessions and pensions.

The RMT is engaged in a battle to claw back the cuts to wages, services and conditions which damaging attempts to privatise the tube have brought about.

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

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.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 2 May 2012:

Fighting the government attacks

Kick out the Con-Dems and end austerity

A strategy to stop austerity and bring down the government of the super-rich

Fight privatisation: Save our libraries

National Shop Stewards Network 6th annual conference

Socialist Party news and analysis

Rich list: The good times roll for the 0.00001%

Leveson exposes links between Tories and Murdoch

Them & Us

Socialist Students

NUS conference Support for left and for action

Housing crisis

Social dumping won't solve the housing crisis

Socialist Party feature

Don't accept the misery of austerity

Socialist Party workplace news

Unison leadership 'woefully inadequate' in face of cuts

Rotherham teachers stand up to bullying

Bilborough College Nottingham strike Action over five-term years

UCU joins 10 May strike - student solidarity needed

Workplace news in brief

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition feature

TUSC: the electoral alternative to the parties of the rich

Socialist Party campaigns

Thug attack won't stop anti-racist work

Socialist MEP discusses way forward for Tamils struggle

Sheffield marches against sexism and cuts

International socialist news and analysis

Capitalist crisis: 'Up to half of all Icelandic families are bankrupt'

Kazakhstan: Socialists jailed by regime

Environment and socialism

The government's fractured energy policy

Planning for the Planet


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