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From The Socialist newspaper, 16 March 2016

Workplace news in brief

Blacklisting protest

Protesters from the Blacklist Support Group and supporters occupied the lobby at the headquarters of construction firm Skanska for several hours. A High Court trial into the blacklisting is due to start in May and scheduled to finish at the end of July. Skanska is one of eight contractors who have set up the Construction Workers Compensation Scheme to try and settle with victims out of court. The demonstrators including the National Shop Stewards Network unfurled banners in the lobby of Skanska's main office on 14 March before being moved on by the police and continuing their protest outside the building. For more and a video of the occupation see:

Co-op driver strike

Co-op drivers have voted overwhelmingly for industrial action over the proposal to transfer 87 drivers in the Midlands to haulier Eddie Stobart. The ballot was passed with 77% of the 700 Unite members in favour. The members are based at Birtley, Newcastle; Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland; Castlewood, north Derbyshire; Coventry; Inverness; Newhouse, Lanarkshire; Plymouth and Thurrock in Essex. Unite national officer for retail distribution Adrian Jones said: "The ballot result is a strong mandate from our members to continue to fight hard to protect their pay and conditions. In 2012, Unite was embroiled in a long-running dispute when Tesco in Doncaster 'TUPEd' 184 workers to Eddie Stobart. The drivers were then issued with a termination of employment notice with no prospect of re-employment. Many of those drivers are still out of work.

Port workers rally

A fortnight of strikes at the Port of Grangemouth in Scotland kicked off with a rally on the 14 March by Unite members before joining night shift workers on the picket line. The two week strike is over the imposition of shift changes, affecting pay by up to 1,800 a year. Unite regional officer Sandy Smart said: "We are on the verge of a prolonged strike action at Scotland's biggest port because of Forth Ports' draconian approach to employment relations." See for updates.

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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 16 March 2016:

Socialist Party news and analysis

Strike to fight cuts budget

Join the fight against poverty pay and zero-hour contracts!

Angry tenants march in London

Tories cut disabled dignity for tax breaks

Don't give state funds to reactionary Ukip and Tory EU 'outers'

TUSC names first 2016 election challengers

Ukip stands right-wing Tories for Welsh Assembly

NHS Bill - anger over Labour 's lack of support

Them & Us

Low pay feature

Living wage lie: end low pay with 10 an hour now!

Socialist Party workplace news

Unions must back junior doctors

Striking to save sixth form colleges

Doctors out in force for third phase of action

Trading extension defeated

A day in the life of a painter and decorator

May Day greetings in the Socialist

Workplace news in brief

Socialist Party feature

25th anniversary of release of Birmingham Six

International socialist news and analysis

Bernie Sanders' campaign at a crossroads

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Pent Valley student speaks: Save our school

Big boosts at Northern Socialist Party conference

Invigorating and inspiring South West day school

TUSC urges Leeds Council to take action on private rents

Sprint finish for fighting fund in Nottingham as the quarter enters home straight

Socialist Party comments and reviews

Featured letter: Capitalism says blame yourself


Obituary: Max Neill, 1966-2016


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