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

Official report damns fracking

Published on: Wed, 30/10/2019 - 11:00
Author

Misha Zubrowski

On 23 October, the National Audit Office (NAO) has released a damning report into the future of fracking in the UK, showing that even in the terms it has been justified by, it will fall short.

NAO is an independent Parliamentary body which scrutinises spending and policy of other government departments and bodies.

Fracking, short for Hydraulic Fracturing, refers to particular methods of extracting natural gas.

High pressure fracking fluid — a mixture of chemicals dissolved in water — is pumped through a well and into rock to fracture it. This is generally done to shale, and it creates and

GMB rules hamper democracy

Published on: Wed, 23/10/2019 - 08:35
Author

Dale Street

Ballot papers have been sent out to GMB members in the union’s General Secretary election, a choice between the incumbent Tim Roache and the union’s European Officer, Kathleen Walker-Shaw.

That an election is taking place at all is an achievement.

In previous elections only 30 nominations were needed to get onto the ballot paper. But last year’s GMB conference agreed to increase the number of nominations by two thirds, raising the number to 50.

The GMB’s rules also make it notoriously difficult, and deliberately so, for anyone who is not already a union full-timer – such as an incumbent

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 25/09/2019 - 08:24
Author

Gerry Bates

Strikes in Bristol, Nottingham, Colchester, Newcastle and South London have continued the campaign by Deliveroo riders and the IWGB union, for better pay and conditions.

The Nottingham riders demands included reverting the fee change back to the previous minimum of £3.90 for cyclists and £4.15 for motorised vehicles and removing the vehicle priority which has seen cars and motorbikes get priority over bicycles.

In Bristol an ongoing issue is the safety of riders, particularly moped drivers who have found themselves attacked and victims of robbery while they go about their work.

In Brixton,

Letters

Published on: Wed, 18/09/2019 - 11:38

I would like to add a couple of comments to Barrie Hardy’s review “Sweden in the 1930s: a shithole country”.

Barrie mentions the strikes in Adalen in the 1930s. The Swedish director Bo Widerburg made an interesting film featuring these events: Adalen 31 (1969). I haven’t seen it for a long time but if you can find a DVD check it out. Widerburg also directed a film about Joe Hill in 1971.

Barrie mentions the Native American Party, noting that they were “appropriately dubbed the Know Nothings”.
No doubt they were as thick as planks but their name, as far as I am aware, doesn’t originate in their

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 18/09/2019 - 09:01
Author

Ollie Moore and Will Sefton

Tube vote for action on noise

Driver members of the RMT union on London Underground’s Victoria, Central, Jubilee, and Northern Lines have voted to take industrial action short of strikes over excessive noise.

Drivers are demanding a permanent engineering solution to the problem of excessive noise in trains. The issue is caused by noise cancelling technology fitted to tracks to avoid excessive noise at street level, which has the effect of forcing the noise into the cabs, where it becomes unbearably loud for both drivers and passengers.

The action, which has yet to be formally named by the RMT,

Bridgend: fight the closure!

Published on: Wed, 12/06/2019 - 08:52

On 6 June, Ford said it would close its Bridgend engine plant in 2020. Steve Turner, assistant general secretary of the Unite trade union, declared: “Unite representatives across all of Ford’s UK sites have previously stated if any plant in the UK is faced with closure or compulsory redundancies that they would all move to a ballot for industrial action.

“Ford bosses should be in no doubt. Unite will not stand back and let Ford turn its back on its loyal UK workforce and allow our members’ livelihoods to be shredded because they are cheaper and easier to fire than their counterparts elsewhere

The GMB and the “Zionist plot” story

Published on: Mon, 11/03/2019 - 09:23
Author

Dale Street

Above: Gregson with Rabbi Aharon Cohen of Neturei Karta, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish group which is vehemently anti-Israel and argues that Jews "deserved" the Holocaust

Shop steward Peter Gregson’s appeal against expulsion from the GMB trade union was rejected last Wednesday (6 March).

Last year a GMB disciplinary hearing had concluded that Gregson had:

• Written and promoted antisemitic materials which were racist in nature, including claims that Israel “exaggerated” the Holocaust.

• Made “utterly unacceptable and frankly sinister attacks” on GMB organiser Rhea Wolfson, describing her as “a

Mock-workerism and the Scottish Labour Party

Published on: Sun, 03/03/2019 - 23:07
Author

Ann Field

GMB Scottish Regional Secretary Gary Smith was accorded front page coverage in the 3 March 2019 “Herald on Sunday”.

Billed as an “Exclusive”, the article in fact consisted of some extracts from an interview with Smith conducted by one of the pro-independence paper’s resident right-wing journalists, Paul Hutcheon.

Hutcheon is still remembered for his notorious witch-hunting ‘articles’ about the Falkirk Labour selection contest and Grangemouth Ineos dispute of 2013 (although he has written no shortage of articles in a similar vein since then).

Smith used the interview with Hutcheon as an

Labour revolt in Birmingham

Published on: Wed, 27/02/2019 - 10:10
Author

Jim Denham

Backbench Labour councillors in Birmingham have condemned their own leaders in a letter demanding that the council leaders “step back” from confrontation with two unions. The protesting councillors include several senior figures such as former council leader Albert Bore.

The letter adds to pressure on present council leader Ian Ward and his deputy Brigid Jones. Three days previously, the Regional Labour Party Board voted overwhelmingly in favour of a motion calling for Labour’s National Executive to investigate their conduct of the council leaders' continuing disputes with Unite and Unison.

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