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Workplace news in brief
On 14 January, prison officers' union the POA held a special delegate conference in Daventry called for by the Wormwood Scrubs branch, as reported in issue 883 of the Socialist. The conference was asked to debate the impact of "efficiency benchmarking", associated cuts in staffing and the subsequent increase in violence on POA members. And also to instruct the employer that unless staffing levels were increased the POA would ballot it's members for industrial action up to and including strike action.
There was a passionate debate with the unanimous feeling that competition benchmarking and the associated cuts were unacceptable. The POA executive committee appealed to conference stating that, although they felt this cause was principled and the sentiment was correct, the legalities and complexities involved in balloting prison officers for strike action would make the motion unachievable The motion was narrowly rejected by way of card vote and by a majority of 3%. Although the motion was rejected it clearly brings this topic firmly back on the POA's agenda.
A POA member
Kick out blacklisting
Socialist Party members joined a blacklisted Liverpool football fans protest against Carillion at the televised Liverpool v Man Utd match on 17 January. Fans who have been blacklisted by construction companies for being members of a trade union or raising concerns about safety on building sites protested against the use of Carillion to build the new stand at Anfield. Blacklist Support Group linked up with the Hillsborough Justice Campaign and the Merseyside Construction Committee. Undercover police have conspired to infiltrate both trade unions and the grieving Hillsborough families and their campaigns.
Steps toward setting up Trade Union Momentum
PCS's executive has endorsed continued discussions about Trade Union Momentum and in an article on the Socialist Party website, John McInally, the PCS vice-president (personal capacity) writes: "The key strategic aim for Trade Union Momentum is to build an anti-austerity force capable of defeating cuts and privatisation." Read the full article at: www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/21970
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