Further Action at Staythorpe

Published on: Fri, 13/03/2009 - 08:50

Engineering construction: Workers demonstrated outside the Staythorpe power station construction site, in Nottinghamshire, again on Wednesday 11 March. But Unite union officials seem to be quietly encouraging a winding-down of the action.

Most of the workers currently on the site are Spanish workers, reportedly non-union and walled off from access by trade unionists, employed by two Spanish sub-contractors. The demonstrations are for labour for future phases of the contract to be hired locally under the national union agreement for engineering construction.

The numbers on the demonstrations —

Dispute/Discussion: Nationalist strike - an inconvenient truth

Published on: Thu, 12/03/2009 - 14:05

Mark Sandell

Solidarity’s approach to the recent construction strikes was very poor. While they were a national news issue and a major focus for everyone interested in how the British working class respond to the crisis, we wobbled and ended up downplaying the massive threat of nationalism to our class.

We did not heed Trotsky’s advice in the Transitional Programme:

“To face reality squarely; not to seek the line of least resistance; to call things by their right names; to speak the truth to the masses, no matter how bitter it may be.”

The key reason these strikes spread was because they touched a

TGWU Broad Left and Amicus Unity Gazette unite

Published on: Wed, 25/02/2009 - 12:36

David Kirk

At a meeting in Birmingham on 21 February, the TGWU Broad Left and Amicus Unity Gazette merged into a left grouping for the Unite union into which TGWU and Amicus are merging.

There were 150-200 there, though very few young people. The event was mainly speeches from the platform and an endorsement of the merger of the TGWU Broad Left and Amicus Unity Gazette.

CPB, SWP and SP were heavily present, but the only political discussion was after the speech from John McDonnell in which he pushed the "People's Charter" originating from the CPB. CPers tried to bounce the meeting into supporting the

In brief: short industrial reports

Published on: Sat, 21/02/2009 - 14:27

St Paul's Way school; Chemilines; Tube cleaners; Amicus-Unite election.

TEACHERS: On a turn out of 88 percent, 81 percent of National Union of Teachers members at St Paul’s Way Community School in Tower Hamlets, East London, have voted for discontinuous strike action to defend their sacked rep Adrian Swain.

Adrian, a trade union and revolutionary militant of many years and member of the Permanent Revolution group, was sacked for failing to comply with a new dress code by wearing trainers. Although this vote is purely indicative, it is a big boost to the campaign for his reinstatement.

Amicus-Unite election

Published on: Thu, 15/01/2009 - 16:05

Nominations have closed in the election for general secretary of Amicus/joint general secretary of Unite. The choices are not inspiring:

• Incumbent Derek Simpson, who has been a mainstay of support for New Labour, selling out his members and witch-hunting left activists. But Simpson has received only 40 percent of the nominations from branches and workplace reps.

• The even more right-wing Kevin Coyne, the current North West Region regional secretary, who is second in terms of nominations.

• Laurence Faircloth, the South West regional secretary, who is officially backed by the Unity Gazette

Rumpole of the Amicus?

Published on: Sun, 23/11/2008 - 10:09

Dale Street

Jerry Hicks is one of the three Amicus members — apart from the current General Secretary, Derek Simpson —seeking nominations to contest an election to be held next year for the post of General Secretary of the Amicus section of Unite. In the last issue of Solidarity we interviewed Hicks about his candidacy. We cover the other candidates, Kevin Coyne and Laurence Faircloth, in the next issue. Here Dale Street gives a critical response to Hicks’s platform.

Hicks was union convenor at the Rolls Royce Bristol plant until his victimisation in 2005. Of the four potential candidates for next year’s

Jerry Hicks: where I stand

Published on: Mon, 03/11/2008 - 10:55

Jerry Hicks, speaking to David Kirk

Unite, formed by the merger of the unions Amicus and TGWU, has put the merger on hold and called an Amicus general secretary election rather than, as planned, having Derek Simpson go straight through to 2010 as Amicus general secretary and Joint General Secretary of Unite. Jerry Hicks, who is contesting the general secretary election, spoke to David Kirk from Solidarity. We invite readers to contribute to a discussion on the issues raised by Jerry.

Q: Why are you standing against Derek Simpson for Amicus general secretary?

A: I made the judgement that it was wrong and illegal to have a General

Ructions in Unite

Published on: Tue, 30/09/2008 - 16:30

A Unite member

According to reports from a delegate to the Executive of Unite (the union formed by merger of Amicus and TGWU), and other well-placed sources, the union's "joint general secretaries", Tony Woodley (TGWU) and Derek Simpson (Amicus) are presently engaged in "all out war".

It's so bad that the further integration of the two previous unions may now be at risk.

The reasons seem to have much more to do with personalities that any serious points of political or even organisational difference. Simpson has become more and more authoritarian and intolerant of any form of dissent - especially from former

Public pay strikes in Scotland

Published on: Mon, 25/08/2008 - 19:41

As we go to press (20 August 2008) a 24-hour strike action by local government workers, members of UNISON, UNITE, and the GMB is taking place.

The same day PCS members employed by the Scottish Government and Registers of Scotland, are staging a follow-up 24-hour strike.

Both strikes are about below-inflation pay offers for workers in the public sector.

The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities has offered local authority workers a three-year pay-deal, with pay going up by just 2.5% each year.

Scottish Ministers have offered for Scottish government employees just 2%.

These pay offers

Grangemouth Pension Dispute Continues

Published on: Fri, 16/05/2008 - 13:15

A fortnight after the Grangemouth oil refinery was shut down by strike action, talks continue between refinery owners (INEOS) and UNITE.

The strike by the 1,200 union members was in defence of the refinery’s final salary pension scheme, inherited by INEOS from the refinery’s previous owners (BP).

INEOS wanted to close the scheme to new staff, force existing employees to pay 6% of their salaries into the scheme, and financially penalise workers who opted for early retirement.

Calculated on an hourly basis, the strike was the costliest industrial action in British history. Despite its relatively

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.