Strikes and lock-outs

Pimlico Academy: near a tipping point

On 8 June, National Education Union (NEU) members at Pimlico Academy (London) held their first strike day. A sunny Tuesday morning saw a strong turnout from members, with the picket line stretching all the way down the road. Workers carried placards with slogans including: “kick racism out of school...

Pimlico Academy: near a tipping point

On 8 June, National Education Union (NEU) members at Pimlico Academy (London) held their first strike day. A sunny Tuesday morning saw a strong turnout from members, with the picket line stretching all the way down the road. Workers carried placards with slogans including: “kick racism out of school”; “kick islamophobia out of school” and “hold the Nashes accountable”. Lord John Nash, Tory peer and former Academies and Free Schools Minister, and Lady Caroline Nash are Future Academies Trustees and the main force behind the Trust. Lady Nash, for instance, is the leading figure in the Trust’s in...

Italian FedEx striker beaten by bosses' thugs

A courier for FedEx in Northern Italy, Abdelhamid Elazab, has been in a coma in hospital after being beaten around the head with a broken pallet by thugs brought in to attack protesting workers on 11 June. Nine other FedEx workers from Piacenza were injured less seriously. The report from the workers’ trade union SI Cobas says they were attacked by men from Zampieri Holdings, the shipping company at whose warehouses in Lodi, thirty miles from Piacenza, the protest took place. The union calls Zampieri a “mafia organisation” and the “armed hand” of FedEx. It says the police stood by and allowed...

Making some ground (John Moloney's column)

PCS annual delegate conference took place digitally on 13-14 June. Workers’ Liberty activists, as part of the Independent Left network, supported various motions to the conference. A motion on full-time officials’ pay, which talked about exploring ways to bring officers’ pay more closely in line with the average pay of members, was defeated, but by a margin which suggests some ground has been made in this debate since last discussed. Similarly, a proposal for the election of all officials was also defeated, but the motion on union structure that was passed included language about exploring...

Caledonian Sleeper Strikes Again

Workers on the Caledonian Sleeper will stage an eleven-day strike from 15 June against the company's threat to impose a pay freeze. With the employer already showing scant regard for staff welfare, the refusal to increase pay during these difficult times adds insult to injury. It is little wonder...

DVLA bosses pull back from deal

Our members in the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) complex in Swansea struck again on 2-6 June, in their ongoing dispute to win improved workplace safety, and a greater say for workers in determining those measures. Immediately prior to the last strike, the local branch felt that an acceptable deal had been on the table. But at the eleventh hour, two elements of that deal — additional cash payments and additional annual leave compensation for workers who’ve been compelled to work at the physical workplace during the pandemic — were unilaterally withdrawn. We don’t know where the...

Go North West: gains and concessions

As we reported in Solidarity 591 (5 May 2021), sustained strikes by bus drivers at Manchester’s Go North West succeeded in forcing bosses to back down from their plans to use “fire and rehire” tactics to impose new contracts. The dispute has now been formally settled, with drivers voting by a 79% majority to accept a deal that sees the “fire and rehire” plan scrapped. The strike ran to 12 weeks in total, the longest bus workers’ strike in British history. Two workers sacked during the course of the dispute have been reinstated, with disciplinary charges against 37 more dropped. An above...

Goodlord: 13 weeks on strike

Workers at Goodlord, a tech company providing tenant referencing services to letting agents, have been striking against attempts by their employer to impose worse contracts. Goodlord has now dismissed the workers who were continuing to resist the imposition of the contracts, using “fire and rehire” tactics. Their union, Unite, says the workers have effectively been sacked for going on strike, and that it will pursue legal action. Athena Parnell, a former Goodlord worker involved in the strikes, spoke to Solidarity about the dispute. The fight began at the end of October 2020 when our employer...

Resisting parks job cuts

Following a meeting with the United Voices of the World union (UVW), we’ll be issuing a letter to the outsourced contractor which employs cleaners in the Royal Parks. Currently workers are assigned to specific parks, but the contractor wants to move to a mobile workforce model. UVW estimates that this could lead to job cuts of up to 25%. In particular, all existing women workers can’t drive, so they’d be particularly at risk as workers would now be expected to drive between parks as part of the mobile workforce model. Our letter will make a series of demands. The key one is that they commit to...

A strike against bullying

Maintenance workers at housing charity St. Mungo’s have been on indefinite strike since 22 April. They are striking against management bullying and the suspension of a union rep. Unite union officer Steve O’Donnell spoke to Solidarity. The company is refusing to agree to an independent investigation into bullying in the workplace, and our rep remains suspended, so the strike continues. The management culture in the company is intimidating and overbearing. Workers report being given unrealistic deadlines and unmanageable workloads. One worker, who has breast cancer, missed a chemotherapy...

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