Defending jobs

Say No to the "Special Voluntary Severance Scheme": Fight the Job Cuts!

We need to resist the Special Voluntary Severance Scheme (SVSS), currently being offered to Network Rail staff bands 1 to 4, because it spells job cuts on a massive scale across the rail industry. Network Rail is offering this one-off severance package until 20 September. It will almost certainly be...

Barnoldswick votes for strikes

Following two weeks of strikes by a group of 17 specialist engineers at the Rolls Royce plant in Barnoldswick, Lancashire, the rest of the workforce has now voted for strikes, in a ballot which closed on 13 August. Their union, Unite, has delayed calling action. Union officers say “tangible progress” is being made in talks, and that workers are hopeful the dispute can be resolved without the need for further strikes. The latest phase of the dispute began when Rolls Royce bosses reneged on commitments, won by workers via sustained strikes in 2020, including maintaining staffing levels at the...

Barnoldswick strike vote closes 13 August

The Unite union is balloting its members at the Rolls Royce plant in Barnoldswick for strikes, with the vote due to close on 13 August. A group of 17 engineers at the plant have already launched a new strike from 9 August, following a planned shutdown of the plant. Prior to the shutdown, the engineers had struck for two weeks, concluding on 23 July. The first day of the new round of strikes was marked with a protest at the plant. Workers at the plant previously struck in 2020 against Rolls Royce’s plans to offshore work, thereby cutting jobs. The strikes ended with a settlement including a...

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...

BT: take the dispute off hold

The Communications Workers Union’s (CWU’s) ballot for industrial action in the telecoms sector is currently paused. The CWU previously stated its intention to ballot all its members who work for BT group (BT, EE and Openreach) in response to job cuts and site closures and the breaking of long standing agreements with the union. At the heart of the dispute is whether the company’s future strategy will include job security and consultation with the union or not. BT group remains a highly profitable firm in a growing sector. Employees have the right to expect job security and assurances about the...

Reject "catch up" blather: fight school cuts!

On 2 June the government announced a £1.4bn “Covid Catch-up” programme for pupils and students, to cover up to six million sets of 15-hour tutoring courses for disadvantaged pupils and expansion of an existing fund for helping 16- to 19-year-olds with subjects such as English and maths. Kevan Collins, the government’s “Catch-up tsar” resigned after the announcement. According to the Financial Times, he and education secretary Gavin Williamson wanted to pay teachers to extend the school day by 30 minutes, and that was vetoed by chancellor Rishi Sunak on grounds of cost. Sunak spent £0.84...

Steel jobs under threat from Gupta sale

Sanjeev Gupta, the owner of Liberty Steel, has announced he intends to sell-off the steelworks at Stocksbridge, South Yorkshire, which were taken over by Liberty, part of the Gupta Family Group (GFG), from Tata Steel in 2017. GFG, currently under investigation by the Serious Fraud Squad following the collapse of the finance company Greensill (for whom David Cameron lobbied), is using the livelihoods of the 750 steelworkers at Stocksbridge as a financial pawn to pay off Gupta’s £1 billion debt to Credit Suisse, inherited when Greensill collapsed in March. Liberty Steel has sites elsewhere...

McVitie's factory: more strategy needed

Around 250 people turned up on 22 May for a rally protesting the proposed closure of the McVitie’s biscuit factory in the East End of Glasgow. The focus of the campaign against closure is a cross-party alliance to demand intervention by the Scottish Government to guarantee the factory’s future. Having the local Tory councillor denounce Pladis (owners of McVitie’s) for treating the workforce with contempt probably helps build confidence (“everyone is on our side”). But, for obvious reasons, it also lacks credibility. Demanding intervention by the Scottish Government also makes sense. Some 700...

Disputes in DVLA, DWP, Parks (John Moloney's column)

Negotiations with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) over safety arrangements at the Swansea complex continue. A strike of contact centre workers there is planned for Wednesday 2 June. There’ll be a members’ meeting on 1 June which will discuss the dispute. Wales has a high vaccination rate, and bosses want to increase the numbers of people working on the site. We’re insisting that the union has a say in those decisions, and they’re not simply unilaterally imposed by management. Our consultative ballots for potential action over workplace safety in the Department for Work and...

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...

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.