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From The Socialist newspaper, 9 May 2012

Workplace news in brief

Strike ballot

Transport union RMT is balloting its members working for Churchills as cleaners on the Tyne and Wear Metro.

The ballot is for strike action and action short of a strike in a dispute over pay and conditions. Churchills have decided to offer no increase in basic pay whatsoever to the workers, many of whom are only being paid the minimum wage. The company is only offering a minimal and conditional increase in conditions of service.

The ballot will close on 22 May.

Unison and pensions

At the recent South West TUC AGM, Unison regional officer Joanna Kaye was defeated by Richard Capps of PCS in a three-way fight for the position of regional chair for the coming year and again when she stood for vice-chair. This reflected the huge anger and bitterness among, especially public sector workers, at the role that the Unison leadership has played in the battle to defend pensions in the public sector.

The mood of anger was reflected from the conference floor. This was not so much in attacks on any particular union, but in calls to drive forward our fight to defend workers against the Tory attacks on trade unions and the working class in general.

A motion on localised [or regional] pay saw a mood to arrange an immediate meeting to organise a coordinated campaign on this most important of issues.

Roger Thomas

Ello, ello, ello

600 police from South Wales will be among those demanding an end to government cuts to their pay and conditions, when they march through London on 10 May. Picking the same day for their demo when thousands of public sector workers in PCS, RMT, UCU, Unite and Nipsa are striking seems like that at least some police officers identify with other public sector workers fighting cuts. The Police Federation is also balloting its members to gauge support for fighting for trade union rights, including the right to strike.

Ben Golightly

MoD firefighters

Nearly 700 firefighters working for the defence ministry at about 35 military bases will be on strike over pensions and cuts on 10 May. Military flights are expected to be disrupted.

The members of Unite will be joining the thousands of fellow Unite members in government departments and other public sector workers on the picket lines.

Rail strike

East Midlands train drivers will be on strike on 8, 10, 15 and 17 May. The action is over plans to reduce pension fund contributions for both workers and the firm from July.

The driver's union Aslef are arguing to maintain the current contributions, so as not to "cheapen" the fund.

The train company are claiming that the change would not affect pension benefits.

There were strikes over this issue on 1 and 3 May. Negotiations are due to take place on 10 May.

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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 9 May 2012:

Socialist Party election analysis

Legitimacy of Cameron and Clegg further shattered

Election results: How did TUSC do?

Con-Dems battered in Scottish local elections

Labour's best Wales result in 21 years will not stop cuts

London elections - TUSC: A marker for future struggles

Coventry: Socialist campaigner Dave Nellist narrowly loses

4,792 mayoral vote for Liverpool 47 candidate

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition local election reports

Unison attacks TUSC candidate

International socialist news and analysis

France: A weekend that shocked Europe

Greece: Political earthquake sees pro-austerity parties' support collapse

Socialist Party news and analysis

Water waste of money!

MPs find Murdoch "not fit" to run media empire

Them & Us

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Good result for Socialist Students candidates in NUS elections

Health services at risk in Cardiff and Vale

Privatisation pushes up transport costs in Yorkshire

Care home closures in Sheffield

Police restrict anti-racist protesters in Luton

Socialist Party workplace news

Come to the NSSN conference!

Greenwich libraries - fighting back can win

Exposed: the dirty world of NHS privatisation

Duncan Smith throws insults at Remploy workers

Workplace news in brief

Reviews and comments

Film review: 'Cocaine Unwrapped'

Turning anger into action


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