In brief

PCS strike ballot over pay

Balloting over a national civil service-wide strike over pay will run from 24 September to 17 October. 270,000 PCS members will be voting on a strike, followed by a rolling programme of targeted industrial action going into 2009.

Already low-paid civil servants are angry that 40% of workers in the DWP will get no pay rise at all this year, whilst 30% of those in the Identity and Passport service are in the same situation.

The union will be working to co-ordinate action with other public-sector unions where possible.

Trade unions demonstrate at Labour Party conference

Unite members working in local government are demonstrating over pay on Sunday 21 September, assembling at 11.30am at Castlefield Arena in Manchester and marching to the city centre.

CWU members working in Royal Mail are demonstrating over closures and privatisation, including threats to mail centres and post offices. Monday 22 September, at the same times and using the same route.

Union recognition victory

Journalists in south Wales have won trade union recognition after an 18-month long battle, in the teeth of hefty opposition from management. The NUJ members at the South Wales Evening Post, Carmarthen Journal and Llanelli Star, voted for union recognition against the Northcliffe-owned South Wales Media.

Sacked for exposing management’s plans

A GMB member has been sacked by Marks and Spencer for making public the company’s plans to reduce redundancy payments by up to 25%. The union has concluded the company is planning job cuts, in the face of falling profits.

The cuts to workers’ redundancy payments contrast with those enjoyed by management – like the £500,000 given to the former director of food, who left in July.