Defending jobs

Goldsmiths: open the books!

Using the slogan #OpenTheBooks, Goldsmiths Student Union and UCU (University and College Union) organised a joint demonstration on Monday 11 October, as representatives of Goldsmiths management met Lloyds and NatWest to discuss the College’s loans. The banks demanded job cuts as a condition of a loan, and Goldsmiths pledged to hand over all its assets if the university defaults. It’s a terrible deal and it is one for which staff and students will pay for many years, if we don’t beat these cuts. The UCU and the student union are demanding to know just how much profit the banks are making from...

Negotiations at Barnoldswick

Negotiations between Unite union reps and bosses at the Rolls Royce plant in Barnoldswick, Lancashire, continue, following workers’ rejection of management’s latest proposal for ending the dispute against job cuts. After strikes in 2020 against job cuts and offshoring secured an agreement to retain work at the site, the dispute was sparked back into life this year after management reneged on their commitments. After a small section of the workforce launched new strikes, the rest of the workforce also voted to take industrial action. Union officers say they are cautiously optimistic about the...

UCU victory in Liverpool

Liverpool UCU has announced: “The Liverpool branch of the UCU (University and College Union) representing higher education staff at the University of Liverpool (UoL) last week called off their months-long industrial action, having saved dozens of jobs from compulsory redundancy. “In January, university management announced that 47 staff would be made redundant as part of reorganisation plans in the health and life sciences faculty (through the so-called ‘Project SHAPE’). However, the local UCU branch’s sustained action stopped all compulsory redundancies and won major increases in severance...

Barnoldswick workers reject deal

Workers at the Rolls Royce plant in Barnoldswick have voted overwhelmingly to reject an offer from management aimed at settling the latest phase of a dispute over job losses. The offer does not include a key union demand, for a five-year guarantee of no compulsory redundancies, and workers feel it does not go far enough in terms of concrete guarantees to implement previous commitments around minimum staffing levels. The deal was rejected unanimously by the works section, and by 98.5% by other staff. Unite will now organise meetings of its members to discuss next steps, which could include a...

GKN workers launch all-out strike

Workers at the GKN Drivelines factory in Birmingham, which produces parts for cars, will launch an indefinite strike from 27 September, in an attempt to resist the closure of the plant. The closure, which is slated to take place in 2022, would see the loss of 500 jobs. A Unite statement said: “Due to the ‘just in time’ nature of the automotive industry supply chain, strike action will very quickly affect production at several of the UK’s car plants, primarily Jaguar Land Rover, but Nissan and Toyota will also be heavily affected.” In 1976, workers facing job losses at Lucas Aerospace produced...

Barnoldswick workers to vote

Workers at the Rolls Royce plant in Barnoldswick will vote on a new proposal from management, following further strikes by a section of the workforce in July, and a subsequent vote by the entire workforce for further action. It looks likely that the workers’ union, Unite, will not recommend acceptance of the proposal, as it does not include one of the workers’ key demands, for a five-year no-compulsory-redundancies guarantee. The last phase of the dispute at Barnoldswick began after Rolls Royce announced it was reneging on an agreement, secured following extensive strikes in 2020, to guarantee...

Say No to the "Special Voluntary Severance Scheme": Fight the Job Cuts!

We need to resist the Special Voluntary Severance Scheme (SVSS), currently being offered to Network Rail staff bands 1 to 4, because it spells job cuts on a massive scale across the rail industry. Network Rail is offering this one-off severance package until 20 September. It will almost certainly be...

Barnoldswick votes for strikes

Following two weeks of strikes by a group of 17 specialist engineers at the Rolls Royce plant in Barnoldswick, Lancashire, the rest of the workforce has now voted for strikes, in a ballot which closed on 13 August. Their union, Unite, has delayed calling action. Union officers say “tangible progress” is being made in talks, and that workers are hopeful the dispute can be resolved without the need for further strikes. The latest phase of the dispute began when Rolls Royce bosses reneged on commitments, won by workers via sustained strikes in 2020, including maintaining staffing levels at the...

Barnoldswick strike vote closes 13 August

The Unite union is balloting its members at the Rolls Royce plant in Barnoldswick for strikes, with the vote due to close on 13 August. A group of 17 engineers at the plant have already launched a new strike from 9 August, following a planned shutdown of the plant. Prior to the shutdown, the engineers had struck for two weeks, concluding on 23 July. The first day of the new round of strikes was marked with a protest at the plant. Workers at the plant previously struck in 2020 against Rolls Royce’s plans to offshore work, thereby cutting jobs. The strikes ended with a settlement including a...

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