Living wage

Strikes at Virgin, West Midlands, South Western Railway

Published on: Wed, 06/11/2019 - 07:39
Author

Ollie Moore and Jay Dawkey

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

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 30/10/2019 - 08:48
Author

Darren Bedford, Ollie Moore and Jay Dawkey

Postal workers are discussing the timing of potential strikes, likely aimed at disrupting “Black Friday” retail deliveries on Friday 29 November, and/or Christmas post, after the Communication Workers Union (CWU) strike ballot returned a 97% majority for action on a 76% turnout.

The CWU’s Head of Communications Chris Webb, in an article for Tribune magazine discussing the successful ballot result, wrote: “Most crucial of all were our 1,250 workplace meetings.

“The explosive combination of the workplace meetings being posted on social media created a competitive feeling in our membership

“Worker status” for couriers!

Published on: Wed, 18/09/2019 - 09:08
Author

Zack, Deliveroo courier activist, Bristol Couriers’ Network — IWGB

The California state legislature has passed a landmark “AB5” bill to tighten legislation in the so-called “gig economy”, extending basic workers’ rights to many who had been deprived them.

In the USA, as in the UK, companies such as Uber or Deliveroo falsely categorise most of their workers as “independent contractors”. This deprives us of basic workers’ rights such as minimum wage, holiday pay, a pension, and collective bargaining rights. The number of workers with such jobs has more than doubled in the last three years, to around one in ten working-age adults.

Companies, when attempting to

Lessons from McStrike

Published on: Wed, 11/09/2019 - 08:36
Author

Justine Canady

Last year the “McStrike” campaign got an enthusiastic response from many labour movement left and labour movement activists.

But now, for a long time, there haven’t been any local branch meetings for fast food workers, any meetings for workers in the “McStrike” campaign, or meetings with organisers about the direction of the campaign. What went wrong?

Over the last year or so I’ve worked in Wetherspoons, and before that in Brixton McDonalds. Another worker previously involved in cinema worker organising was already working at Brixton when I started there.

From the start we were told by the

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 11/09/2019 - 07:39
Author

Ollie Moore, Jay Dawkey, Cath Fletcher and David Pendletone

UCU ballot opens

University staff belonging to UCU are being balloted for strike action this autumn over pay equality, job security, workload and pay deflation.

Working conditions in higher education have been deteriorating. The gender pay gap is over 15%; over 100,000 staff across the sector are on fixed-term contracts; academic staff work over 50 hours in a typical week; and in the past ten years pay has declined by 20% in real terms.

In 2018 an impressive strike forced pre-92 universities to back down on massive pension cuts, but since then employers have refused to compromise and now they

All out strike at BEIS

Published on: Wed, 17/07/2019 - 07:00
Author

John Moloney, PCS Assistant General Secretary (in a personal capacity)

Cleaners and catering staff at the Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) began an all-out, indefinite strike on 15 July.

This is extremely significant. It’s the first all out strike in a Whitehall government department for decades. The demands include the London living wage, sick pay, and direct employment.

The union is paying full strike pay. We won’t let these members be starved back to work. Fundraising for the strike funds is one of the best things activists in the wider labour movement can do to help these workers win.

On Thursday 18, there’ll be a joint march of

TDL couriers turn tide

Published on: Thu, 20/06/2019 - 08:29
Author

Alex Marshall, TDL courier and IWGB rep

Twelve months of negotiating. The IWGB’s “Rise of the precarious workers” demonstration descending on TDL’s headquarters doorstep. Demonstrating outside the company Christmas party they weren’t invited to. A two day strike that included a motorbike procession to prestigious clients in the Harley Street area and temporary occupation of the company loading bay. Amazing speakers on the picket line including Owen Jones, Dave “Blacklist” Smith and Dr Louise Irvine and support from clients, entrepreneurs and heavyweights like the ITF. And finally on Friday a breakthrough for the unionised medical

PCS left focus on living wage

Published on: Wed, 06/02/2019 - 09:26
Author

Mike Chester

The civil service union PCS has just completed a membership consultation on the 2019 civil service pay claim and campaign plan.

A February meeting of the union’s National Executive (NEC) will “press the button” for a new civil service pay ballot. At a December NEC, general secretary Mark Serwotka and the leadership proposed a pay claim of 8-10%. Phil Dickens, a member of the PCS Independent Left, the organisation where Workers’ Liberty activists organise in within the union, proposed the following alternative claim: •A living wage of £10/hour (£11.55 in London) for the lowest grades • Pay at

Workers against Brexit

Published on: Wed, 30/01/2019 - 11:01
Author

Caroline Jeffries

On 27 January, an initiative called Spoons Workers Against Brexit was launched, calling on the Wetherspoons pub chain to remove the in-store propaganda for a no deal Brexit.

“We refuse to propagandise for politics that will only do us harm if enacted. Studies have consistently refuted claims that immigration is linked to low wages. Migrants don’t drive down wages; but wealthy, exploitative bosses like [Spoons chief and ultra-Brexiter] Tim Martin do.”

The workers also demand to be paid a Living Wage and trade union recognition of the Bakers’, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU). BFAWU

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 16/01/2019 - 09:24
Author

Ollie Moore, Darren Bedford and Jay Dawkey

Deliveroo riders in Bristol will strike on Friday 18 January, demanding higher pay and other demands which managers have repeatedly ignored. This follows a national courier strike on October 4, and a spontaneous strike in Bristol on December 11, which brought Bristol Deliveroo to a standstill.

Riders are only paid per delivery, not guaranteed a minimum wage per hour or any workers rights. Hourly and weekly pay have steadily reduced. They plan repeated and escalating strikes until they win their demands. Many struggle financially to participate. They're planning to build a strike fund —

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