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From The Socialist newspaper, 11 May 2016

Workplace news in brief

UCU strikers on a picket line in Swansea on 10 May 2012 public sector workers' strike, photo Socialist Party Wales

UCU strikers on a picket line in Swansea on 10 May 2012 public sector workers' strike, photo Socialist Party Wales   (Click to enlarge)

UCU uni strike

Members of lecturers' union UCU in higher education will walk out for two days on 25 and 26 May over pay.

Staff will also begin working to contract from 25 May, which means they will refuse to work overtime, set additional work or undertake any voluntary duties like covering timetabled classes for absent colleagues. If no agreement is reached in the coming weeks, members have agreed to target further strike action in June and July, and are considering additional action in August to coincide with the release of A-level results.

The union is also beginning preparations for a boycott of the setting and marking of students' work, to begin in the autumn if an acceptable offer has still not been made. The dispute has arisen following a pay offer of 1.1% from the employer body, the Universities and Colleges Employers' Association (UCEA), which the union has described as 'an insult'.

UCU said universities could afford to pay more and that the latest offer does little to address the real terms pay cut of 14.5% suffered by higher education staff since 2009. The squeeze on staff salaries comes at a time when pay and benefits for university leaders have increased, on average, by 3%, with the average pay and pensions package for vice-chancellors standing at over 270,000.


Topshop trouble

The United Voices of the World (UVW), who mainly organise low-paid cleaners, many of them migrant workers, have been running a campaign in Topshop for the living wage. Two members have been sacked in the process. As a result, the union has called a national day of protest on 14 May.

The centrepiece will be a protest outside the flagship Oxford Street, London store from 5pm. The two Topshop cleaners have also been subjected to gross acts of bullying and victimisation for having merely joined a union and led the campaign for a living wage.

To top it off Topshop boss Philip Green has just made 600 million on the back of robbing 20,000 BHS workers of their pensions, and making 11,000 workers redundant. Join the protest on Oxford Street and look out for protests organised at other stores around the country.

See www.facebook.com/events/1322096334470799 for more

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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.

  • 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.
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  • 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 11 May 2016:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Tories retreat: now drive them out!

No to the bosses' EU, yes to international solidarity

Teachers force Tory academies u-turn

TUSC announces '20-city tour': the socialist case against the EU

Independent inquiry into Orgreave now!

Blair played matchmaker between Saudi oil barons and Chinese dictators

What we saw

Them & Us


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

John Mann's Israel hypocrisy

Council estate exhibition shows the full picture

Film review: Eddie the Eagle

The Socialist postbag


Elections 2016

Elections showed anger and fragmentation

TUSC election campaigns show opposition to cuts

Over 1,700 votes for TUSC in Warrington

Scotland: SNP wins but new openings for socialist alternative emerge

Wales: no change and all change

Northern Ireland elections: positive moves against sectarian politics

Over 1,800 votes for TUSC candidate in Bristol

Third anti-cuts councillor elected in Southampton

TUSC increases vote in Coventry by 25%

Fourth place for TUSC in Liverpool


Workplace news and analysis

Blacklisted workers win millions in legal victory

Government blinks first in junior doctors' dispute

Trade Union Bill becomes law

Prison officers walk out over health and safety

Potential new steel bosses refuse to take on pensions

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Let kids be kids: children 'strike' against Sats tests

What way forward for Tamil rights?

Save Paignton Hospital campaign launched

May Day demo says: no cuts to childrens' centres!

Support for junior doctors at campaign stalls


International socialist news and analysis

Greek general strike: more needed to defeat austerity

How to trump Donald


 

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