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From The Socialist newspaper, 20 February 2013

Workplace news in brief

Education dept strike

PCS members at the Department for Education have voted to strike over a threat to 1,000 jobs and six offices. In a ballot of 1,800 workers, 63.3% of those who voted supported strike action and nearly 90% in favour of other industrial action. Education minister Gove is clearly using his own department as a test bed for severe cuts in the civil service and increased privatisation.

BBC action

Pickets were out early in Southampton on 18 February as part of a national strike at the BBC over compulsory redundancies.

Nationally 30 jobs are under threat by the end of March. Over 2,000 jobs are being cut across the BBC as part of the euphemistically titled Deliver Quality First programme.

Tom Hepworth, FOC NUJ BBC South, said: "Locally four have been given notice of redundancy. Experienced journalists are being put on the scrapheap when plenty of posts are unfilled and the BBC is advertising externally.

"The cuts planned, if they go ahead, will make the BBC unrecognisable. You can't get quality journalism on the cheap".

Dominic Blake, FOC NUJ BBC South, commented: "The BBC is wasting vast sums in redundancy payouts by forcing people out of their jobs whilst advertising other vacancies. It is a callous way to treat loyal staff, and a cavalier use of public money".

Union members are determined to defend their jobs, pay and conditions as part of defending quality journalism at the BBC.

Nick Chaffey

Halesowen college

Striking lecturers at Halesowen college in the west midlands marked Valentine's day with a giant card, featuring the message "No Love Lost" and the names of 12,000 supporters who have so far signed the petition against the victimisation and sacking of four maths lecturers for trade union activity.

College management have used results and targets as an excuse to bully lecturers. One of the four, UCU branch secretary Dave Muritu, spoke to the Socialist:

"I'm really heartwarmed to see the branch standing up to bullying management. If these sackings go unchallenged, no teacher is safe"

Nick Hart

Whipps Cross Hospital

Hospital workers rally against attack on pay and hours

Contractor Initial is trying to cut the pay and hours of 36 domestic staff at Whipps Cross hospital, east London. On 18 February a large number of hospital staff and other trade unionists protested against this at the hospital gates. Unison branch secretary Len Hockey said: "domestic staff play a vital role in keeping the hospital free from infection. They barely have enough time at the moment to get the job done."

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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.

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In The Socialist 20 February 2013:

Socialist Party news and analysis

Toxic Tories - Time to fight their cuts and lies

Government on the back foot after workfare ruling

Stop social cleansing: Cap rents, not benefits

Food adulteration - government cutbacks and capitalist profits

Self-regulation: 'Like having the burglars install your locks'

Bosses take tax liberties

Action needed to end caste discrimination

Free trade agreement means NHS privatisation

Them & Us

Southampton feature

Fighting for a real alternative to cuts

Councillors' contempt exposed

International socialist news and analysis

South Africa: Democratic Socialist Movement conference

Kazakhstan: Vadim Kuramshin faces 12-year jail sentence after appeal denied

Socialist Party workplace news

PCS branch supports 24-hour general strike call

Prison officers protest outside parliament

No pay cuts at Thera!

Tyne & Wear metro cleaners up the ante

Workplace news in brief

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Mid Staffs hospital scandal: Cuts, PFI and big business to blame

Coventry: 'We need to fight now to save our services'

Getting organised can change things for low-paid workers

Caerphilly says 'bring back our A&E!'

Save our Services demo in Newcastle attracts 3,000

Carlisle: Demands to 'tax the rich' hit a nerve

London NHS

Socialist Students holds first North West conference

Nepal: The forgotten revolution

Socialist Party campaigning news

Socialist Party review

Review: "It's time to take over the banks"


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