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From: The Socialist issue 1029, 13 February 2019: Universal Credit out - Tories out

Search site for keywords: Union - Strike - Pay - Workers - Unite - Unison - Nurses - Racism - Glasgow - Hackney - Cuts - Ireland - Drivers - Woolwich - Care workers - Bradford - GMB - Scotland - Dublin - Buses - Birmingham - Camden

Workplace and union news in brief

Victory confirmed in Glasgow pay strike

Glasgow women on strike for equal pay, photo Public Services International/CC

Glasgow women on strike for equal pay, photo Public Services International/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Glasgow council workers in unions Unison and GMB gathered outside the City Chambers on 7 February to celebrate the signing of a 500 million settlement.

A 48-hour strike, in reality a working-class uprising, by 8,000 workers has brought an end to over a decade of equal pay injustice.

Brian Smith, Glasgow Unison branch secretary and Socialist Party Scotland member, said this represents "a huge transfer of wealth to working-class families" and "a seminal victory for the workforce."


Bradford bus victimisation beaten

Bradford bus drivers in Unite had agreed to ballot for strike action against victimisation. But a former driver said on Facebook: "Solidarity works.

"Let me share the good news with you all. Shafi and Taj Salam, who were suspended last year in April, have won their appeals."


Hackney union action against cuts and racism

School bus pay

Drivers and escorts on school buses have voted to strike over pay. They want to be compensated for working split shifts.

They lost these allowances when 'single status' pay deregulation was introduced. The Socialist Party warned this would mean cuts.

Angry about racism? Get the sack

The Unite branch equalities officer, Natasha Johnson, has been sacked. Natasha correctly raised concerns about racism at the council's housing call centre.

In response, the council has dismissed Natasha on the basis that by making the accusation, Natasha has harassed the managers accused of racism!

There is no basis whatsoever for the allegations against Natasha, so the union is preparing a consultative ballot of members across Hackney council.

Traffic wardens strike

Traffic wardens are balloting for strike action so their pay can rise above the London Living Wage of 10.55 an hour.

In Camden, the two-week strike of parking attendants in Unison was boosted by a protest on 9 February.


Tanker pilots strike

Pilots who guide huge oil tankers through Milford Haven Waterway in Wales will strike on 19 February against the imposition of less secure, less generous two-tier pensions. So far, Unite has implemented an overtime ban, already impacting ships.


Irish nurses march

45,000 people marched through Dublin on 9 February in support of nurses and midwives, according to their union INMO.

Nurses in Ireland are striking for a 12% pay rise (see 'Historic strike of nurses in Ireland').

As we go to press, strike action has been halted while nursing unions consider recommendations from the Labour Court.


Home care doorstep

Unison-organised home care workers in Birmingham, striking against vicious pay cuts by the Blairite council, went door knocking in the Shard End ward of council leader Ian Ward.

They delivered leaflets on 9 February and asked voters to sign a letter to Ward protesting against the council's attacks on home care workers.


Woolwich Ferry forced to strike again

31 Woolwich Ferry workers are balloting for strike action, from 14 February to 6 March, over pay, health and safety, and lack of staffing.

The employers have refused to grant the workers a 6% pay increase, imposed new duties, failed to deal with safety concerns, and the service lacks the adequate number of staff to operate.

In 2017, the same workers were on strike over bullying and health and safety.

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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.
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  • 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.
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