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From: The Socialist issue 862, 1 July 2015: Reject EU austerity!

Search site for keywords: Union - Workers - Pay - Unite - Sussex - Teachers - Strike - London - JCB - National Gallery - Liverpool - PCS - Privatisation - Legal aid - West London - Drivers - College - Dundee - GMB - Hospital - Jobs

Workplace news in brief

Stop press

Striking hospital porters in Dundee have won a major victory.

Details and analysis to follow - see www.socialistpartyscotland.org.uk/.

Digger cameras

Workers at building equipment firm JCB returned to work on 26 May to find CCTV cameras on the shop floor. Management installed them without consulting staff or their union, GMB - which is against the law.

Angry workers demanded bosses take the cameras down. The union made clear at several meetings that it would ballot for action if not.

Even the threat of a ballot was enough to force management's hand. The cameras were removed on 25 June.

A JCB worker

Bus pay win

Bus drivers in south-west London have forced bosses to honour part of a pay agreement. Passenger firm Abellio tried to go back on the second half of a two-year deal. Members of general union Unite voted overwhelmingly for industrial action, and management made concessions.

A bus driver in Unite

Lawyers 'strike'

As we go to press, lawyers across the country are considering wildcat 'strikes' against cuts to legal aid. Lawyers in Liverpool are already refusing new cases. If other cities follow, courts could grind to a halt.

Gallery debate

MPs debated the National Gallery's privatisation plans on 25 June, in the middle of workers' latest ten-day strike. Public sector union PCS has called a string of actions against partial sell-off.

The central London institution's trustees want to hand all visitor services to a private firm. Victimised union rep Candy Udwin recently won interim relief - forcing bosses to pay her.

Languages cut

Teachers in Sussex struck on 25 June against cuts to jobs, hours and courses. The National Union of Teachers branch says Sussex Downs College will lose all modern language provision. The union plans further action on 2 and 7 July.

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Finance appeal

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.
  • 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.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

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