The Socialist 28 October 2020 |
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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.
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.