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Workplace news in brief
Construction workers protest
NSSN members and other trade unionists joined construction workers on a day of action on 23 May. This national day of action was against the increasing attempts by large construction companies to refuse to employ workers directly. Workers are being forced to go through 'umbrella' companies and are expected to pay large sums just to get their wages processed.
On the same day a further protest took place in Northampton against blacklisting in the construction industry. The headquarters of the Danish owned employment agency Atlanco Rimec was occupied. This agency has been exposed on Danish TV as operating a blacklist.
Local government ballot
Local government trade unions are currently balloting for strike action after the National Joint Council for Local Government Services' refusal to negotiate over its 1% final pay offer. The unions are fighting for a £1.20 an hour increase on all pay points.
The Unison ballot closes on 23 June, with the Unite and GMB ballots running over a similar timescale. If the ballots are in favour of action the strike is likely to be coordinated for 10 July.
Transport union RMT branch secretary Mark Harding appeared in court on 23 May on trumped up charges arising from the London Underground dispute over ticket office closures. Outrageously, Mark is facing imprisonment under the anti-trade union laws and is waiting for a verdict on 2 June. Mark was held in custody for 13 hours after his arrest. Draconian bail conditions were only dropped when the union's lawyers intervened.
A group of MPs and trade union leaders have backed the call for a fair trial and for the anti-trade union laws to be abolished.
RMT members working on the Heathrow Express are striking on 23 and 24 May and 26 and 27 May. This is in response to multi-million pound cuts which threaten pay, jobs and safety. 201 jobs are under threat as a result of the company attempting to pass Civil Aviation Authority cuts to the Heathrow Airport budget directly onto the workforce.
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