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From The Socialist newspaper, 16 April 2014

Workplace news in brief

Pay victory

Low-paid hospital workers in west London have scored an important victory. 150 GMB members working as domestic, catering, portering and other staff working for Medicrest, part of Compass, were on 6.31 an hour.

After eleven days of well-supported strike action they have won an increase to 7.31 an hour from 1 April and two additional days leave.

From April 2015 pay rates will be harmonised across the health trust so the workers should be on 9.10 to 9.30 an hour - the same rates as NHS staff and those transferred from the NHS to Compass under the TUPE agreement.

Site deaths scandal

There has been a significant rise in construction industry deaths. This is happening in London particularly as the amount of building activity increases. Baroness Donaghy, former government advisor on the sector, has pointed out that this increase in deaths and injuries is at the same time as the Health and Safety Executive has had a 35% cut in funding. Only 10% of construction workers are trade union members and the industry has relied on casual workers to maximise profits.

The urgent need to campaign to organise sites, eradicate the blacklist and fight for proper health and safety provision was underlined by a death in central London on 14 April. A building worker was killed when a floor collapsed under him at the former US Navy site in Grosvenor Square. Another worker was injured.

This comes at the same time as construction workers are having to fight attempts by the big construction companies to take advantage of a change in tax legislation to worsen workers' pay and conditions. But workers have been walking off sites in the battle to be employed directly an PAYE terms - a tactic which has proved successful in many cases so far.

PCS

As well as the elections for national officers and the national executive of the PCS, there are elections for the union's group executives. The Department for Work and Pensions is the biggest group in the union and the Left Unity slate, of which the Socialist Party is a part is available on www.leftunity.org.uk

Ballot papers should be distributed by 29 April and must be returned by 9 May.

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In The Socialist 16 April 2014:


Socialist Party election campaigning

Help TUSC offer a no-cuts alternative on 22 May

Election appeal: help us make history

More cuts and another resignation in Southampton


Socialist Party news and analysis

Profit vultures out of NHS

Ending MPs' expenses scandal requires socialist change

Con-Dems escalate housing crisis

Tamiflu scandal exposes bloodsucking big pharma

Pit closures: Final act of Tory vandalism

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

40 years of the Committee for a Workers' International

India: massive election process could end in turmoil


Socialist Party workplace news

Gains for left on NUT executive

Stop the education catastrophe!

Health workers vote to fight government pay cuts

Strikers shut cinema in battle for living wage

Let down by Welsh Labour

RMT: Put the tube strike back on and escalate

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Beating Bedroom Tax evictions

NUS conference: sip tea or put up a serious fight?

Goldthorpe: Anger at Thatcher's destruction of mining

Anti-austerity demonstration called in Salford

May Day greetings with the Socialist


Readers' comments

Hard loads - and a fightback - on the bins

Working on zero-hour contracts

Disgusted at politicians' big business links


 

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