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Workplace news in brief
On 10 February after visiting a junior doctors' picket line I got off the train in Bromsgrove, Birmingham to see the road blocked by taxis. Drivers explained that the council closed their rank without discussion the day before.
A new station is being built and the council's move has sparked anger. A joke homemade sign pointed to the next nearest rank a mile away. A message went round the previous night to strike and blockade the road. The word was that the Tory council was panicking and a councillor was on his way. The mood was solid and they were planning to stay all day.
The councillor turned up to negotiate and gave in! He promised strikers that the rank would be restored. One driver said: "look at the different nationalities here, people go on about 'foreign workers' but without these lads - all of us in fact - acting together, we wouldn't have got this result."
Kevin Greenway, Birmingham Central Socialist Party
Coventry refuse workers based at Whitley Depot downed tools on 9 February in response to the suspension of a Unite shop steward amid allegations of ongoing bullying by management. In a show of strength and solidarity over 30 workers descended on Coventry Council House to protest and support their colleague, as union representatives talked with management.
Determined to show their support, workers remained outside the building all morning and early afternoon. It is vital that Unite nationally throws its support behind the rep and this group of workers.
Coventry Socialist Party
The Communication Workers' Union (CWU) has been in talks with BT Openreach over the treatment of their members employed as engineers. This has gone on for years with the company using the process to dismiss and discipline members. Many colleagues believe it's used to get rid of older workers and replace them with cheaper labour.
Performance management has been a problem for BT workers with regular reference to the issue at annual conference. Talks have finished and the CWU is giving BT a matter of weeks to improve their approach or a ballot for industrial action will be invoked.
A BT engineer
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