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From The Socialist newspaper, 9 October 2019

Birmingham HS2 protest against bosses' attacks on trade union organisation

HS2 workers protest in Birmingham 7 October 2019, photo Lenny Shail

HS2 workers protest in Birmingham 7 October 2019, photo Lenny Shail   (Click to enlarge)

Kristian O'Sullivan, Birmingham North Socialist Party

Unite the Union organised a protest outside the regional headquarters of HS2 in Birmingham on 7 October.

This was because the two main sub-contractors of HS2 in the West Midlands - Skanska and Balfour - went back on a trade union agreement to ensure that the 55 billion rail project allowed facility time for union activity and reps being free and able to speak to their membership about workplace issues and collective bargaining.

HS2 and its subcontractors have not kept to this agreement and are now actively preventing union reps from speaking to their membership and HS2 workers, whether it be in the canteens or anywhere on site. There is a real culture of fear and bullying.

Unite has already had to step in to ensure workers receive the correct holidays and that critical accident and death benefits are paid. And there is the recurring issue of workers losing up to 100 a week of overtime payments due to payroll faults that have become synonymous with these type of dodgy umbrella companies!

Birmingham Socialist Party members and National Shop Stewards Network activists were greeted warmly by the protesters who were Unite members and officials.

We brought solidarity and helped hand out leaflets with lots of support from the general public and affected workers.

We say that if these issues are not addressed by the employers quickly, then Unite should look to a more militant industrial strategy and begin the process of membership balloting for strike action.

The Socialist Party demands the renationalisation of the entire rail service under democratic control and management by workers and service users, to kick out all vulture profiteers and to end the race to bottom culture that is this for-profit capitalist system.

Victory to HS2 workers!

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In The Socialist 9 October 2019:


What we think

Brexit theatrics continue

Syria: Trump gives green light to Turkey to attack Kurds


News

Cutting, lying Tories - kick them out!

Asda workers protest callous bosses

Cynical Tories' domestic violence bill not enough


Labour and workers' rights

Corbyn promises 'power in the hands of workers' - how can Labour do it?

Labour and the fight for a shorter working week


Obituary

Tony Mulhearn 1939-2019


Workplace news

BEIS: Outsourced caterers' indefinite strike victory

Vote yes to Royal Mail strike action to take on the bullying bosses

Birmingham HS2 protest against bosses' attacks on trade union organisation

Attacks on Caerphilly waste management workers

Equity manifesto lays out anti-austerity model for arts

Vote for socialist fighter Jared Wood in RMT elections

Sainsbury's strikers win

Unison's retired members reflect growing anger

Lincolnshire health visitors strike


Chinese revolution

Chinese revolution of 1944-49: 'The second greatest event in human history'


International socialist news and analysis

Trump, impeachment and the need for an independent workers' party


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Socialism: The alternative to capitalist austerity, low pay and crisis

Best way to fight back? Join the Socialist Party

Socialism 2019: why I'm going... and why you should too!

Waltham Forest: mobilisation needed to defend abortion rights

Huge opposition to Barry rehab ward closure

'The little people can win' - Leeds tenants push back demolition

Selling the Socialist

York freshers success


Reviews

Book review: She Said - Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement

Film review: Joker - Sympathising with a monster created by today's incendiary conditions


 

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