Privatisation

Lively pickets at FCO

Published on: Wed, 19/02/2020 - 08:55
Author

John Moloney

The strike at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is rock solid. The strike will continue through to the end of February over our demand for union recognition.

There have been lively pickets every day, and we’ve had good support from those from other unions. The strike has become a significant feature on the labour movement map of London. Strikers from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office also attended the “Trade Union Bloc” on the 14 February youth climate strike, which was organised by our branch at the Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Interserve, the outsourced

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

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 05/02/2020 - 09:10
Author

Ollie Moore and Darren Bedford

University staff represented by the University and Colleges Union (UCU) are set to strike again in disputes over pensions, pay, equalities and casualisation with a series of walk-outs scheduled over fourteen days beginning Thursday 20 February.

A further fourteen institutions are joining the sixty who struck in the autumn after reballots got them over the 50% threshold. In Scotland members of EIS (another, Scotland-only, union) have also rejected the employers’ offer, bringing the total number of mandates for action to seventy-six.

Despite eight days of strike action last term the employers

FCO strike

Published on: Wed, 05/02/2020 - 09:05
Author

John Moloney

Our outsourced worker members at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office started a month-long strike on Monday 3 February.

There’ll be picket lines every day of that strike, which was a specific decision that the strikers themselves made. That’s not about engaging in some sort of PR exercise, it’s about the strikers understanding that effective strike action needs visible and effective picketing.

We’re appealing to the wider labour movement to actively support those picket lines and attend with flags and banners.

We’ve had good support so far, with John McDonnell and others visiting the picket

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

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 29/01/2020 - 08:33
Author

Ollie Moore and Darren Bedford

Although the action is yet to be announced, the next round of the university and college union (UCU) dispute appears set for the second half of February.

Where strike ballots exist, they are either related to action defending the USS pension scheme, or over casualisation, pay, workloads and equalities (the “four fights”), however in most universities live ballots exist for both disputes simultaneously. A further 37 branches are currently being re-balloted, which alongside the live 98, would significantly enhance the strike’s impact, which in November and December saw thousands of UCU members

Preparing a counter-offensive

Published on: Wed, 08/01/2020 - 09:14
Author

John Moloney

The key thing the union must consider now, in light of the general election, is how we prepare against a likely onslaught against both unions in general, and our members specifically as government workers.

Dominic Cummings has talked about a “radical reshaping” of the civil service. Whatever the precise detail of that reshaping will be, it’s inevitable that it will impact on our members.

It’s common under new governments that some departments will merge, and new ones may form; that’s normal practice, but a restructure in the hands of a government like this, and led by someone like Cummings,

St Mary's porters make gains

Published on: Wed, 04/12/2019 - 15:47
Author

Ollie Moore

Outsourced hospital porters at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, members of the United Voices of the World (UVW) union, made significant progress on 27 November, their ninth day of strikes.

A UVW statement said: “Cleaners, caterers, porters, and doctors disrupted Imperial NHS Trust’s board meeting, forcing the CEO and the board to provide an early 2020 deadline for a decision on making all currently outsourced workers NHS employees.

“These are the first strikes in NHS history to demand workers be brought in house. [Board members] Tim Orchard, Kevin Croft, and Janice Sigsworth were forced to

Housing should be a right!

Published on: Wed, 06/11/2019 - 09:24

More than half of the 1,900 ultra-luxury apartments built in London in 2017 failed to sell, so overcrowded London has dozens of “posh ghost towers”.

Meanwhile, some 320,000 people are homeless across Britain (on the streets or in temporary accommodation). On-the-streets homelessness has doubled since 2010. Millions more are stuck sharing with parents or friends because they can find nowhere affordable.

Other millions are in insecure, often expensive, often squalid privately-rented accommodation. The private rented sector has increased from 2.6 million households in 2007 to 4.7 million on the

Strikes at Virgin, West Midlands, South Western Railway

Published on: Wed, 06/11/2019 - 07:39
Author

Ollie Moore and Jay Dawkey

Rail union RMT has called strikes on Virgin Trains, West Midlands Trains, and South Western Railway (SWR).

On the latter, the union has named a calendar of strikes throughout November and December, which will see walkouts on 16, 23, and 30 November, and 7, 14, 21, and 28 December. West Midlands Trains is the latest Train Operating Company to see its workers plan industrial action over the imposition of Driver Only Operation (DOO).

On Virgin Trains, train managers, a grade of customer-facing train crew, on the West Coast franchise will strike on 19 November to demand the reinstatement of an

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