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From The Socialist newspaper, 30 May 2012

Workplace news in brief

Power station walkout

600 construction workers walked out of Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station on 29 May in protest against the suspension of Unite health and safety rep Jason Poulter. Those walking out included electricians, pipe fitters, welders and scaffolders. As we go to press, night-shift workers are also due to down tools.

The walkout was planned by a recent national meeting of rank and file sparks, and was supported by members of the National Shop Stewards Network and the Socialist Party. Also at the protest was expelled Ucatt member Mick Dooley.

Jason was suspended by management six weeks ago for carrying out trade union duties, an action that workers believe was taken in revenge for their success in defeating the Building Engineering Services National Agreement (Besna) which would have reduced pay and attacked terms and conditions.

Rob Williams, NSSN chair

Dump the cuts!

Around 40 GMB members at five "Dump It" recycling centres in Sheffield took three days strike action, from 26 to 28 May, against the Labour council's drastic cuts to recycling services.

The 500,000 'savings' are in addition to ending free collection of green waste and cutting general waste collections to fortnightly.

Waste services, privatised ten years ago by a Lib Dem council, are run by Veolia. Veolia have now sub-contracted the centres to SOVA Recycling Ltd, a supposed 'charity'.

GMB found out that SOVA's original contract bid was 1 million, but they were 'advised' to cut their bid to 600,000.

However, Veolia still received 941,000 from the council, pocketing over 300,000 in the process. The GMB also calculates that the private operators 'make' a further 900,000 a year from selling on recycled materials.

Seven workers still face redundancy while everyone else faces cuts in hours, bonuses and pay. While one recycling centre would stay open seven days a week, the other four face weekday closures. All will have reduced opening hours.

With these cuts due from 4 June, further prolonged strike action from this weekend is planned.

Alistair Tice

TfL Olympic ballot

An RMT ballot for industrial action is underway in Transport for London. This concerns management's failure to offer any Olympics recognition to 'core' staff, and their derisory offer to 'non-core' staff when 'volunteering' for special Olympics duties.

A TfL worker

Vote Steve Hedley

Steve Hedley, the London regional organiser of the transport union RMT, is standing for assistant general secretary of the RMT.

The ballot opened on 28 May, lasting about six weeks. Any RMT member wanting to help Steve's campaign should contact him on 07545 530526.

See issue 719 of the Socialist for more.

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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.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

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In The Socialist 30 May 2012:

Socialist Party features

Needed: a socialist plan for the environment

Monarchy - not just a 'harmless relic'

Socialist Party news and analysis

Fight back against austerity - Come to NSSN conference!

Dismal prospects for Britain's economy

Leveson inquiry - the offer the 'Godfather' couldn't refuse?

Rajapaksa visit to UK

Them & Us

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

NHS under the Con-Dem cosh

Keep the profiteers off our schools

Socialist Party workplace news

Fight the bosses' Beecroft report

PCS shows real unity for fighting the cuts

Wales TUC conference censures Unison's critics

Workplace news in brief


Home   |   The Socialist 30 May 2012   |   Join the Socialist Party

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