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Workplace news in brief
A strike ballot among workers covered by the National Joint Council for local government will run from 23 May to 23 June. This is after the rejection of a 1% pay offer. Action is likely to start in July but Socialist Party members within the union are arguing for the coordination of any strikes with action in other sectors with disputes, such as NHS and higher education. Linking action with other unions like NUT would obviously make any action more effective.
An agreement giving up to a 7.3% pay increase for Crown Post Office workers has been struck. After several days of strike action the three-year deal starts with 3.9% from 1 April 2014. Communication Workers Union members will be voting on the deal shortly.
EDF Energy have just spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on rebranding their vans with the image of their mascot "Zingy". But this is fast turning into a public relations disaster. Drivers have pointed out that the new colour resembles baby poo. Some drivers have been instructed not to park under direct sunlight for fear of damaging this glorious piece of artwork!
This company, which has increased energy bills for customers by 10%, has been refusing to pay out on an agreement it made with the unions in 2012, because it says it got its sums wrong and cannot afford to honour the deal.
For 2013, the company offered a below inflation proposal of 2% plus £200 as a one-off payment, which Unite members in London, South East, South Western and Eastern regions have rejected. These members, following a 77% majority yes vote in a strike ballot will be taking strike action on 6 and 8 May.
Messages of support please via email@example.com Please also look out for details of picket lines to be announced in the next few days.
Eleven occupational therapists, all employed at Greenwich Council, are currently being balloted for strike action in protest at a prolonged campaign of management bullying.
Grievance complaints have their place in the armoury of a trade union. But ultimately, taking collective action will allow for real change in workplaces, especially on issues such as bullying. Too often workers, even with the full support of good local reps, can feel that they are fighting alone.
The ballot for strike action runs until 7 May.
Messages of support via firstname.lastname@example.org
'I'm Bryan' housing protest
Housing workers Unison LE 1111 branch of Unite the union organised a big turnout of trade unionists when Bryan Kennedy faced a disciplinary hearing from his employers One Housing group on 23 April.
Noisy Unite members aimed to show this wage-cutting, anti-union boss that they will fight back against all attacks, barracking one of the bosses as he went to get a lunch at Sainsbury's, and preparing to build united action if and when it becomes necessary.
The bosses could not go ahead with disciplinary action on the day but trade unionists were determined to keep supporting the I'm Bryan campaign.
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