IWGB

Deliveroo workers strike again

Deliveroo workers in the IWGB union in Sheffield have voted to take two days of industrial action on 14-15 October, as they continue to push Deliveroo nationally on pay and unfair sackings. Following several weeks of boycotts and organising in Sheffield, the union is continuing to grow. And now, workers from nearby towns have reached out to the Sheffield union branch. A group of drivers in Barnsley have been in contact and report that they are now discussing action on parking fines and low pay. In neighbouring Penistone, food couriers have taken inspiration from the fight in Sheffield, and are...

Food couriers organise nationwide

In York and Sheffield, food delivery couriers are continuing an ongoing campaign of boycotts, strikes and demonstrations. Their aim is to civilise a wild-west industry that relies on Victorian-style super-exploitation, painted up as the modern “gig economy”. Deliveroo, UberEats and other operators have used the coronavirus crisis as cover to slash pay and over-recruit – all the while noisily lauding their exploited workforce as “heroes”. In Sheffield, much attention has been drawn to the plight of workers who fall foul of Deliveroo’s seemingly-arbitrary sacking policy. One union member has...

Covid-19 sample couriers vote on strike

Picture from a strike at The Doctors Laboratory before Covid-19 crisis. Medical couriers transporting Covid-19 samples on behalf of NHS pathology contractor The Doctors Laboratory (TDL) will vote on strike action, in response to the company’s decision to make redundancies during the pandemic, and its failure to address health and safety concerns. The IWGB union — who represent a majority of the 140 medical couriers — issued a notice of strike ballot on 6 May, following TDL’s 1 May announcement of a 30-day consultation aiming to make ten couriers redundant. The strike ballot will run from 13 to...

Industrial news in brief

CWU ballots until 17 March By Ollie Moore As Solidarity went to press on 3 March, Royal Mail workers were beginning a new ballot for industrial action, after a successful ballot last year was injuncted by the High Court. The ballot will close on 17 March. It is about action to prevent a restructure that could see the postal and parcel delivery aspects of Royal Mail’s business separated into distinct companies, a move which the Communication Workers Union (CWU) says could threaten up to 20,000 jobs. The CWU is also demanding that Royal Mail honour an agreement reached in 2018 which included a...

Industrial news in brief

Lewisham members of the National Education Union (NEU) in primary schools are to take part in an indicative ballot over boycotting high stakes testing. The ballot will run from 6 January for two weeks. There will be two questions on the ballot, one about “action short of strike” (i.e. the question about the boycott) and a second asking members if they will strike in the event of victimisation of members who take part. The ballot information summarises the boycott as follows: “Leadership and teacher members will refuse to administer the year 2 SATs, the year 6 SATs, the phonics test and the...

Outsourced and directly employed workers unite at UCL

4 December will see a mass strike at University College London, as outsourced workers in the Independent Workers’ union of Great Britain (IWGB) strike to demand direct employment and equality, alongside directly-employed workers in UCU, striking as part of the national dispute. The two unions have worked well together locally, with UCU supporting the IWGB’s campaign, including a recent demonstration and its previous strike on 19 November. This unity is a model for elsewhere, with unions organising outsourced and directly-employed workers working together to coordinate action. The ultimate aim...

Industrial news in brief

“Driver Only” dispute spreads The announcement by rail union RMT of a sustained programme of strikes on West Midlands Trains and South Western Railway represents a significant escalation and expansion of the union’s protracted and hard-fought war against the imposition of “Driver Only Operation”. On West Midlands Trains, guards struck on 16 November, with further strikes planned every Saturday up to 28 December. The strikes on West Midlands Trains are especially significant as this is first new Train Operating Company (TOC) to join the DOO strikes since they were spread to Arriva Rail North...

Industrial news thumbnail reports

UCL, LouLou’s, St Mary’s Outsourced workers at University College London struck on 19 November, after voting for industrial action by a 98% majority. The workers, who include cleaners, porters, and security guards, are members of the Independent Workers’ union of Great Britain (IWGB), and are striking to demand equality with directly-employed staff. IWGB members at “LouLou’s”, the exclusive celebrity members’ club in Mayfair, have also voted to strike. Their threat of industrial action has already secured two of their three demands – the reversal of outsourcing and the London living wage...

Working with the “micro-unions”

PCS has been making efforts to develop links with United Voices of the World (UVW) and the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB), small unions not affiliated to the TUC which organise mainly precarious and migrant workers. Unlike some other TUC unions, we are not hostile to UVW and IWGB. We see them as an inspiration, and allies, rather a threat. They’ve done something the “mainstream” labour movement should have done, but hasn’t: organise precarious and outsourced workers and empower them to take direct action. We fully support their disputes, and have been promoting them to PCS...

Strikes at Virgin, West Midlands, South Western Railway

Rail union RMT has called strikes on Virgin Trains, West Midlands Trains, and South Western Railway (SWR). On the latter, the union has named a calendar of strikes throughout November and December, which will see walkouts on 16, 23, and 30 November, and 7, 14, 21, and 28 December. West Midlands Trains is the latest Train Operating Company to see its workers plan industrial action over the imposition of Driver Only Operation (DOO). On Virgin Trains, train managers, a grade of customer-facing train crew, on the West Coast franchise will strike on 19 November to demand the reinstatement of an...

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