Privatisation

Workers’ control of PPE!

Published on: Tue, 07/04/2020 - 10:13
Author

An ambulance worker

There is alarm amongst many about the lack of PPE [Personal Protective Equipment] being provided to workers at risk of exposure to Covid-19. Rightly so.

The information regarding protection has been confusing, with different recommendations initially coming from the World Health organisation (WHO) and Public Health England (PHE). Workers in the frontline are being told what to do rather than being involved in the decisions that affect them. We don’t trust our bosses to protect us. Many workers are superseding recommended protection with support of trade unions. For example in my workplace, an

The civil service in the crisis

Published on: Tue, 07/04/2020 - 07:46
Author

John Moloney

We now have a civil-service wide agreement that all outsourced workers will be paid in full if their workplaces shut down, or they have to self isolate.

We are awaiting confirmation they will receive full sick pay as well. The union has to be active in policing the agreement.

There are agency staff in some government departments, doing processing and admin work, and the employer has agreed to furlough them on 80% pay if they have to self isolate etc. That’s better than nothing, as the risk was that their contracts would simply be terminated, but the union is pushing for those workers to be

Industrial news in brief: London Underground, Royal Mail, civil service

Published on: Wed, 18/03/2020 - 07:42
Author

Ollie Moore, John Moloney

Tube drivers vote for strikes, Tube workers make C-19 demands

London Underground drivers in the ASLEF union have voted by a 95.2% majority for strikes to win an improved settlement on pay and conditions, on a 74.5% turnout.

Although ASLEF is a minority union on the Tube overall, it represents a slight majority of drivers. The result is significant, and smashes the arbitrary thresholds of the Tories’ anti-union laws.

ASLEF’s pay claim overlaps substantially with other unions’ claims, including in its demand for a 32-hour, four-day week. It also includes a sectional claim for a driver-specific

Who’s “skilled”, who’s “unskilled”?

Published on: Wed, 11/03/2020 - 07:55
Author

Katy Dollar

Home Secretary Priti Patel has announced the government wants to “encourage people with good talent” and “reduce the number of people coming to the UK with low skills”.

Rightly, this has provoked a flurry of articles and social media content arguing that the government’s characterisation of care work, which is very badly paid, is ignorant and offensive.

Under the proposed point system, people wishing to move to Britain will need 70 points to be eligible. Migrants must have spoken English (10 points) and a job offer from an approved sponsor (20 points) at the skill grade of A-level or above (20

CWU goes for big ballot majority

Published on: Wed, 11/03/2020 - 07:18
Author

A North London postal worker

The campaign around the ballot [closing 17 March] seems more proactive this time.

Our union [CWU] rep is having one-on-one conversations with as many people as possible, directly encouraging them to vote and ensuring they’ve posted their ballot. There are more posters up in the workplace.

We’ve had one gate meeting, which was addressed by a union official I’d never seen before. He gave a good speech, everyone cheered, but there was no discussion. Those meetings are clearly not seen by the union officialdom as somewhere for collective discussion.

We get something called “work time learning”

PCS takes up Covid-19 issues

Published on: Wed, 11/03/2020 - 07:12
Author

John Moloney

On Thursday 12 March, the union will be meeting the Cabinet Office to discuss workers’ rights in the Covid-19 pandemic.

We’ll be putting a number of demands to them, including the right for workers to walk off the job if they feel themselves to be at risk of infection, and that people with underlying health conditions are moved away from public-facing work.

We’re also demanding that the government ensures the companies to which it outsources various work pay full company sick pay from day one of any sickness, and that any outsourced workers who have to self-isolate are fully paid. If the

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 04/03/2020 - 08:31
Author

Ollie Moore

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

Published on: Wed, 26/02/2020 - 08:42
Author

Ollie Moore and Katy Dollar

UVW at St George's

Outsourced security workers in the United Voices of the World union (UVW) at St. George’s University in Tooting, south London, are continuing their campaign for equality.

UVW members and supporters recently occupied the lobby of the main St. George’s building during a university open day, holding an impromptu rally addressed by St. George’s strikers, UVW reps from victorious anti-outsourcing campaigns at LSE and St. Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, and an RMT activist.

UVW is also preparing what it describes as a “landmark legal case” to challenging outsourcing in court. The

Lively pickets at FCO

Published on: Wed, 19/02/2020 - 08:55
Author

John Moloney

The strike at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is rock solid. The strike will continue through to the end of February over our demand for union recognition.

There have been lively pickets every day, and we’ve had good support from those from other unions. The strike has become a significant feature on the labour movement map of London. Strikers from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office also attended the “Trade Union Bloc” on the 14 February youth climate strike, which was organised by our branch at the Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Interserve, the outsourced

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 12/02/2020 - 09:13
Author

Hugh Workman, Ollie Moore, Ed Whitby, Daniel Randall and David Pendletone

Sixth form colleges strike

The NEU’s (National Education Union’s) last strike day in sixth form colleges over funding and pay was 20 November last year. The next is 12 February.

In December the union executive and many NEU activists were, I think, hoping that an imminent Labour government would resolve the dispute in our favour.

The reason for the delay being around a month after most colleges came back is to build up momentum again after the election and Xmas break.

The upcoming three days (12 and 27 Feb, 10 March) are within the six month “shelf-life” of the first ballot, but at the same

This website uses cookies, you can find out more and set your preferences here.
By continuing to use this website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions.