GMB

Green New Deal, not airport expansion!

Published on: Wed, 04/03/2020 - 11:43
Author

Misha Zubrowski

Existing plans for Heathrow airport to be expanded with a new third runway have been ruled unlawful by the Court of Appeal, in the latest move in a battle stretching back the best part of two decades.

On 27 February the court ruled that in June 2018 Chris Grayling, then the transport secretary, was acting unlawfully by not taking into account the government's commitment - under the Paris agreements - to tackle the climate crisis. The Government said it would not appeal, though Heathrow airport itself will.

Air travel is extremely emissions-intensive, releasing a much higher quantity of

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 26/02/2020 - 08:42
Author

Ollie Moore and Katy Dollar

UVW at St George's

Outsourced security workers in the United Voices of the World union (UVW) at St. George’s University in Tooting, south London, are continuing their campaign for equality.

UVW members and supporters recently occupied the lobby of the main St. George’s building during a university open day, holding an impromptu rally addressed by St. George’s strikers, UVW reps from victorious anti-outsourcing campaigns at LSE and St. Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, and an RMT activist.

UVW is also preparing what it describes as a “landmark legal case” to challenging outsourcing in court. The

More rail yes, HS2 maybe not

Published on: Wed, 19/02/2020 - 10:15
Author

Simon Nelson

More railway lines? Yes. HS2 in particular? Not really.

There are higher priorities: electrification of the railways, many of which are still running diesel trains; increasing capacity on intercity services; improving existing connections; reinvestment in branch lines; newer trains.

A well-staffed and free or cheap integrated rail and bus network is the sort of large-scale infrastructure project that should come before HS2.

Some of the arguments used against HS2 are weak. But there is also good reason to question the arguments made for HS2 as a way to create good jobs, as a way to help the

Tower Hamlets backs down

Published on: Wed, 19/02/2020 - 09:13
Author

Patrick Murphy

The National Education Union (NEU) in Tower Hamlets, East London, won an important success on 13 February.

Under pressure from the NEU and the wider labour movement, the local council withdrew a legal challenge aimed at derailing a strike ballot.

On 22 January NEU launched a formal strike ballot in opposition to plans by the council to impose detrimental changes to terms and conditions without consultation with the union. Unison are also planning to ballot. The changes would significantly reduce redundancy payments for teachers and impose new contracts on support staff.

The NEU conducted an

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 19/02/2020 - 09:02
Author

Ed Whitby

Council pay: unions must move now

The local government unions (Unison, GMB and Unite) have rejected a 2% offer in response to their claim for 10% and £10 per hour starting salary (as well as an extra day’s leave, a two-hour reduction in the working week, and action on workplace stress).

The unions’ claim is based on recognition that local government workers have lost 22% on real wages since 2009. The GMB on its website helpfully explains that since 2009, teaching assistants have lost £4000 a year on average, nursery workers £5900, refuse collectors £4800, social workers £9,800.

But the claim

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 12/02/2020 - 09:13
Author

Hugh Workman, Ollie Moore, Ed Whitby, Daniel Randall and David Pendletone

Sixth form colleges strike

The NEU’s (National Education Union’s) last strike day in sixth form colleges over funding and pay was 20 November last year. The next is 12 February.

In December the union executive and many NEU activists were, I think, hoping that an imminent Labour government would resolve the dispute in our favour.

The reason for the delay being around a month after most colleges came back is to build up momentum again after the election and Xmas break.

The upcoming three days (12 and 27 Feb, 10 March) are within the six month “shelf-life” of the first ballot, but at the same

FCO dispute renewed

Published on: Wed, 29/01/2020 - 08:53
Author

John Moloney

Our members at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, who are employed by Interserve, are striking for a month, throughout February.

This is an ongoing dispute; the workers are striking to win living wages, union recognition, and greater equality. Ultimately the demand is for direct employment, they should be employed by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on civil service terms and conditions.

We want to build maximum support for the strike. There will be picket lines every day, and we’re trying to persuade the TUC to launch the “I Heart Unions” month, which runs throughout February, from the

Getting hold of the union

Published on: Wed, 08/01/2020 - 10:33
Author

Emma Rickman

During my first week at the plant I found GMB dispute letters laid out all over the control room desks. The letters summarised the national sickness absence dispute with Veolia and the proposed ballot for strike/action short of a strike taking place that month.

The Unite rep, R, stood on a step in front of the pit window, and everyone in the control room stopped work to listen to him.

“Me and the other union reps have discussed it. We’re not happy with Veolia’s national sickness policy — specifically the ability of HR to overrule the opinions of local line managers. There’s no flexibility;

Blaming Labour's defeat on opposition to fracking

Published on: Tue, 07/01/2020 - 20:56
Author

Ann Field

“I would like to wish you and your loved ones a Happy Christmas and healthy and prosperous New Year,” wrote GMB Scottish Regional Secretary Gary Smith in his end-of-the-year message to GMB activists in Scotland.

But Gary’s thumbnail sketch of why Labour lost the general election would suggest that not everyone was on his list for season’s greetings:

“It is a source of personal frustration that the party of Labour were not in touch with the real-world experiences of working-class Scotland. Those who orchestrated the Labour Party’s abject defeat should own it – they were well warned by GMB

Ballot for action against Npower job cuts!

Published on: Wed, 04/12/2019 - 15:53
Author

A Npower worker

On 29 November, the energy firm Npower announced plans to cut 4,500 jobs. We heard about the cuts on the news, on the way into work.

We were then summoned to a “briefing” by managers. The company says the unions were “consulted”.

That is untrue. Telling the senior stewards late the previous day and embargoing them from discussing with others is not any form of meaningful consultation.

The cuts are on a huge scale, 4,500 jobs out of a total workforce of 5,700. Effectively Npower is being closed down. There will also likely be cuts to outsourced workers, such as caterers and cleaners, agency

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