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Workplace news in brief
Tesco's pittance wage increase
Tesco workers are getting a 1.4% pay increase - 11p an hour! Despite talk of a crisis in the retail industry, Tesco is still an expanding business, making around £3 billion in profit over the last year.
Usdaw's national forum rejected the initial offer. But when Tesco came back again with the same offer, it appears our leadership blinked first, and although not recommending the offer, have allowed Tesco to impose it.
This is the reality of partnership agreements- a dictatorship where Tesco says 'jump' and Usdaw leaders end up asking 'how high?'
During negotiations a campaign was being waged separate from the union to force the Tesco AGM to support paying staff a living wage. Why couldn't Usdaw have linked up with this?
Usdaw's leadership believes that retail workers will not strike. This is justified on the basis that workers can't afford to lose pay for striking. Well, we can't afford low pay!
We need a fighting union. In upcoming union elections, Tesco rep Amy Murphy will be standing for president and re-election to the executive alongside other candidates prepared to take on Tesco, including Activist supporter Scott Jones.
Brighton college victory
UCU and Unison members at Brighton and Hove City College have won a partial, but significant, victory against compulsory redundancies as a result of two demonstrations and a one-day strike.
Ferry workers get crumbs
The RMT is organising protests against Condor Ferries hiring people below the minimum wage.
Condor continue to recruit Ukrainian seafarers on pay as low as £2.35 an hour for ships to the Channel Islands from Portsmouth, Poole and Weymouth. Condor's latest accounts show a staggering 275% increase in pre-tax profits, entirely built on seafarers' exploited labour.
Protests will take place at Portsmouth Continental Ferry Port, Wharf Road PO2 8RU on Tuesday 15 July at midday and Saturday 26 July at 7am.
Reject BT pay deal
BT workers in the CWU union are about to be balloted on a three-year pay offer. The first year will see a 2% pay increase plus a consolidated £200 lump sum. The second and third years will see a 2.5% increase with a proviso to reopen talks if RPI inflation is below 2% or above 3%.
BT made £2.3 billion profit last year. The offer has already drawn angry reactions from members on BT discussion forums. Some people have threatened to leave the union with others calling for a change of leadership.
The right wing led telecoms executive is beginning to undermine its base of support among ordinary members. If the offer is accepted it will likely be by a much smaller margin than in recent years.
CWU members should decisively reject this deal.
Clive Walder, CWU Birmingham, Black Country and Worcester branch
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