CWU

Industrial news in brief

On 22-23 February, campuses across the country will see the first of 14 days of strikes announced by the University and College Union (UCU). These strikes follow the industrial action ballots results of 22 January, which saw an 88% vote for strike action, based on a turnout of 59% of eligible UCU members. These strikes will hit 61 universities, perhaps even more, with UCU members at seven institutions that failed to meet the 50% turnout requirement now being re-balloted. The strikes are over proposed changes to the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), the main pension scheme for “pre-92”...

Industrial news in brief

Lecturers strike over pensions Staff at 61 universities have voted to strike in a dispute over pensions, beginning on 22 February. University bosses want to remove guaranteed pension provision, in favour of a “defined contribution” scheme where the eventual pay-out is dependent on performance of investments. Staff face losing up to £200,000 over the course of retirement. The ballot achieved a 58% turnout nationwide with an impressive 88% vote for action. The universities involved are primarily the older “pre-92” universities, and the affected workers are academic and academic-related staff...

How “slow burn” worked for the CWU

The Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) in the Royal Mail ballot has set the gold standard for all other major unions in the UK. It was the first nationwide strike ballot since the Trade Union Act 2016, which came fully into force in March 2017, and dictates that lawful strike action now requires a 50% turnout to vote. CWU gained a 89% vote to go ahead on a 74% turnout. The CWU began the mobilisation to gain a strike mandate well over six months ago. It put together a “Four Pillars of Security” campaign, calling for: decent pensions; a shorter working week; extended legal protections, and a...

Lessons of the Postal Strike

Socialist Organiser pamphlet published after 1988 postal dispute: click here to download pdf.

Royal Mail injunction sets precedent?

On Thursday 12 October, the High Court granted an injunction to Royal Mail, stopping a strike organised by the Communication Workers Union (CWU) due to start on Thursday 19 October. In granting the injunction, Mr Justice Supperstone said “I consider the strike call to be unlawful and the defendant is obliged to withdraw its strike call until the external mediation process has been exhausted.” In October 2013, at the time of Royal Mail privatisation, the CWU signed the “Agenda for Growth” agreement with the company. Royal Mail intended this agreement to significantly decrease the number of...

Industrial news in brief

Workers’ Liberty school workers met on 7 October 2017 to discuss our plans in our workplaces and in the new National Education Union, formed on 1 September by the merger of the National Union of Teachers and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers. The new union is making a recruitment drive, offering membership free to trainees and students, for £1 to newly qualified teachers, and for £10 for the first year to all teachers and all school support staff. The response has been good, with twice as many new recruits to the NEU in September 2017 as there were to the NUT and ATL in September 2016...

Royal Mail workers to strike

Workers at Royal Mail have voted by 89.1% for strikes. The dispute has four main demands: an end to the two-tier pension system, and for a decent pension for all; a shorter full-time working week of 35 hours with no loss of pay to mitigate the effects of automation on work; union agreements extended past 2018; no two-tiered workforce in order to achieve Royal Mail′s plan to have 9-5 delivery; a decent pay rise and no introduction of future pay awards linked to the company′s success and efficiency savings that year. Royal Mail made £712 million in operating profit alone in the last year alone...

Industrial news in brief

On Saturday 30 September, workers and supporters protested outside the HR Owen car showrooms in London. HR Owen sells a number of luxury sports cars, including Maserati and Ferrari, some of which sell for over £250,000 each. Last year it made a profit of £400m. Yet it only pays the minimum wage (through an outsourcing company) to its cleaners for the last five years. The inequality between rich and poor could not be clearer. Workers have been balloted by their union, United Voices of the World (UVW), to strike for the London Living Wage (£9.75 an hour). After the ballot Freddy Lopez and...

Royal Mail workers to ballot for secure future

Workers in Royal Mail are being balloted by their union, the CWU, over pensions, pay, and job security. The dispute has four main demands: an end to the two-tier pension system, and for a decent pension for all; a shorter full-time working week of 35 hours with no loss of pay to mitigate the effects of automation on work; union agreements extended longer than 2018; no two-tiered workforce in order to achieve Royal Mail′s plan to have 9-5 delivery; a decent pay rise and no introduction of future pay awards linked to the company′s success and efficiency savings that year. Royal Mail made £712...

Dreaming of a Hot Christmas...

A small wave of strikes is developing in a variety of industries and workplaces. Although not quite perhaps on the scale of the Autonno Caldo, the "Hot Autumn" of Italian factory worker militancy in 1969, these strikes could make for a "hotter" Christmas than Britain has experienced for some time. Rail workers Drivers and guards on the Southern rail franchise are continuing an increasingly bitter struggle to prevent the imposition of "Driver Only Operation". A strike on 14 December led to the cancellation of all Southern services from London Victoria. Further strikes are planned for 16 and 19...

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