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From The Socialist newspaper, 28 October 2020

Workplace news in brief

UCU members vote to strike to defend jobs

University and College Union (UCU) members at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh have voted in favour of strike action to protect 130 jobs currently under threat. In total, 77% of those who voted backed strike action on a turnout of 66%. The branch activists are meeting to determine the next actions for the dispute. The ballot result gives confidence to other UCU branches entering into local disputes over both jobs and safety in UK universities and colleges, as well as other workers seeking to fight job losses imposed by management.

Bea Gardner

Unite union protests Walsall engineering firm's pay cuts

Unite the Union organised a demonstration outside Chamberlin and Hill Castings, an engineering firm in Walsall, on 22 October.

The company is proposing huge pay cuts which could result in some workers losing 200 a week when the government's Job Retention Scheme ends on 31 October. The workers are rightly very angry, and Unite is in the process of organising an industrial action ballot.

The callousness of the company is shown by its point-blank refusal to accept Unite's counter proposals, which would achieve the same level of savings.

The demonstration was supported by Walsall Trades Union Council, Walsall Unite Community branch and the Socialist Party. The local paper also covered the event.

One of the workers speaking at the end of the demo promised much larger protests if the company doesn't back down.

Clive Walder, Birmingham socialist party

Three weeks of strike action at Rolls-Royce

Workers at the Rolls-Royce factory at Barnoldswick in Lancashire are set to take three weeks of strike action beginning in November, as part of the campaign led by Unite.

In August, Rolls-Royce announced that it was intent on offshoring the production of its Trent Engine blades, which are made at Barnoldswick to a factory in Singapore, with the loss of 350 workers.

Earlier in October, members of Unite returned a 94% 'yes' vote in favour of industrial action.

Unite has delayed issuing strike dates to give Rolls-Royce a final chance to cancel its offshoring proposals or ensure that Barnoldswick remains viable by introducing similar work and employment levels, and to settle the dispute over compulsory redundancies.

But with no such commitments forthcoming, strike action has been called.

The strike action will begin on Friday 6 November and end on Friday 27 November.

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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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In The Socialist 28 October 2020:

What we think

Tories' school meals outrage

Coronavirus News

Don't let Tories starve our kids

Tory 'Starve a Kid to Save a Quid' scheme

Boots launches 120, 12-minute Covid test

Under the microscope

Workplace News

Backing Hugo Pierre for Unison general secretary

Royal Mail: No more behind closed doors talks

Fight Leeds Labour council's massive cuts

Workplace news in brief


NHS England's 1bn winter shortfall: we need union action, not platitudes!

BAME Covid deaths due to capitalist inequality, confirms government

Mayor and government compete to attack London transport: fight for no cuts!

Grenfell watch: landlord's 800,000 saving

Food Standards

Food and a capitalist Brexit: No trust in Tory Deals!

International News

Nigeria protests shake regime

"We need a leadership that comes from the movement"

Bolivia elections: Crushing defeat for the right as MAS secures landslide victory

US presidential election


Online youth rally says: We won't pay with our futures

Birmingham: 'Refund our fees' protests

Solidarity with the movement in Nigeria

Evicted students can fight back and win

Waltham Forest Save Our Square:

Why I joined the Socialist Party - "I'm 15, and already I've lived through two global recessions and a pandemic"

Bristol jobs protest: We want 100% pay

Readers' Opinion

One rule for them, and another for us

Books that inspired me: Germinal

The Socialist Inbox


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