Defending jobs

UEL strikes 22-23 February

University of East London UCU (University and College Union) held a 230-strong solidarity strike rally on Monday 22 February, the first day of a two day strike, with staff, students and other union activists speaking. The strike is over four compulsory redundancies, including the UCU branch chair (a clear example of victimisation). UCU is also fighting rising workload, drastically increased since September 2020, when 82 jobs were cut. Speakers talked about the effects of the cuts to date, in terms of insufficient services and overwork. Many called for national action by UCU over this and a...

University battles over job cuts

As rent strikes continue around the UK, other fronts of struggle in higher education are opening up. Leicester and Liverpool Universities have recently announced redundancies of academic staff. A strike planned for 8 February at Brighton University over cuts in the IT services was called off after management made some concessions but the fight continues. Action Short of Strike by UCU members at Goldsmiths continues with no sight of management backing down on long-threatened redundancies, despite no drop in student numbers. Many university managements are using the pandemic as an opportunity to...

Barnoldswick strike saves jobs

Sustained strikes by Rolls Royce workers at the company’s Barnoldswick plant have secured a settlement that will save jobs at the site, which Rolls Royce had planned to cut. Workers voted to accept the company’s proposal, following the suspension of their latest strikes, due to run from 4-22 January. The settlement includes: • A 10-year manufacturing guarantee for the site • A guaranteed minimum headcount of 350 workers • The creation of a “centre of excellence”, supporting the development and manufacture of zero-carbon technologies • A two-year no compulsory redundancies agreement The...

Towards telecoms strike in BT?

In December, BT Group workers in the Communication Workers Union (CWU) voted by a 97.9% majority for industrial action to defend job security and conditions, in a consultative ballot. A BT Group worker and CWU activist explains the background to the dispute and other struggles in BT. The national consultative ballot against job cuts and compulsory redundancies across BT is the logical result of the failure of industrial leadership by the CWU Telecoms Executive for over a decade, and also of the disastrous outcome of the 2019 general election for communication workers. The current faction in...

Barnoldswick workers consider offer

Workers at Rolls Royce’s plant in Barnoldswick are considering a proposal from their employer which could end a weeks-long strike at the factory. Unite suspended its latest strikes, which began on 4 January and were due to continue until 22 January, when the offer was received. The union has described the offer as a “landmark deal”. 350 jobs at the Barnoldswick site were threatened by Rolls Royce’s plan to offshore the factory’s work to countries including Singapore. The cuts are part of a wider tranche of job cuts planned by Rolls Royce, totalling 9,000. Unite says the employer’s offer would...

Industrial reports: DHL; British Airways; Sage; Rolls-Royce

DHL workers strike for better pay Workers at DHL Supply Chain, a distribution company based in Liverpool which distributes Burton biscuits to shops in the north west, struck on 19-23, 29, and 31 December, and 3-4 January, demanding a 50p/hour pay increase. From April 2021, pay rates will be just 2.5p/hour above the minimum wage. The low pay is despite DHL’s profits increasing by nearly 20% in the second quarter of 2020. Police were called over 10 times as bosses attempted to disrupt successful picketing at the depot. Nine days’ strike at British Airways Cargo workers employed by British...

Barnoldswick workers resist lockout

Workers at Rolls Royce’s plant in Barnoldswick in Lancashire have been striking since 6 November to prevent the offshoring of 350 jobs. Facing strikes through until Christmas, the company has now locked the workers out. Ross Quinn, a Unite organiser involved in the dispute, spoke to Daniel Randall from Solidarity. The targeted action we’ve taken has put the company under huge pressure. The majority of workers were still coming into work, but nothing was moving, and nothing was getting done. The employer couldn’t use the government furlough scheme, because the impact on work wasn’t to do with...

BT workers ballot

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) is conducting a consultative ballot of its members in the telecom giant BT, which could presage a formal ballot for action to resist what the union calls “a vicious programme of compulsory redundancies, site closures, and attacks on pay, terms and conditions”. The consultative ballot closes on Thursday 10 December, and CWU reps and activists say they are confident of a huge vote in favour of action. Almost 50,000 workers are being balloted. The CWU has also criticised BT management’s “newfound disregard for longstanding agreements with the union that have...

Fight job cuts in retail

Arcadia, the owner of Topshop, Burton, and Dorothy Perkins, has gone into administration, putting 13,000 jobs at risk. In retail, 85% of Arcadia employees are women, while at head office 71% are women. It is also a young workforce. 75% of the retail workforce is under 35 while at head office 63% of the workforce is under 35. The company said the pandemic had had “a material impact on trading across our businesses”, and in fact it was already in difficulties due to a chunk of its traffic moving to competitors more adroit about going online. Hospitality and retail are the foremost sectors for...

Barnoldswick workers face lockout

Striking Rolls-Royce workers at the company’s Barnoldswick plant face a lock-out, after bosses closed the site from 27 November. Strikes against plans to cut 350 jobs at the factory were scheduled through to 23-24 December. Rolls-Royce has said it will immediately transfer work currently being undertaken at the site to Japan, Singapore, and Spain. Unite officer Ross Quinn said: “We have consistently called on Rolls-Royce to work with us to find the resolution that the members who have given their working lives to Rolls-Royce deserve. “However the company has shown absolutely no appetite to...

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.