Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 23/01/2019 - 11:17

Darren Bedford, Kelly Rogers and Ollie Moore

Care workers employed by charity Alternative Futures Group are balloting for strikes to resist a pay cut announced by their employer in November.

The workers, who are members of Unison, face a cut of up to £40 following AFG bosses’ announcement that they will no longer pay an additional allowance for workers who sleep overnight at service users’ homes as part of their shift.

AFG, whose work primarily comes from contracts tendered by local authorities, says that a July 2018
court ruling, which overturned previous rulings from 2017 and 2016, stipulates that they no longer have to
top up the pay

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 16/01/2019 - 09:24

Ollie Moore, Darren Bedford and Jay Dawkey

Deliveroo riders in Bristol will strike on Friday 18 January, demanding higher pay and other demands which managers have repeatedly ignored. This follows a national courier strike on October 4, and a spontaneous strike in Bristol on December 11, which brought Bristol Deliveroo to a standstill.

Riders are only paid per delivery, not guaranteed a minimum wage per hour or any workers rights. Hourly and weekly pay have steadily reduced. They plan repeated and escalating strikes until they win their demands. Many struggle financially to participate. They're planning to build a strike fund —

PCS AGS election farce

Published on: Wed, 09/01/2019 - 10:45

Mike Chester

Amidst farcical discord in the dominant Left Unity faction of the civil service union PCS, nominations open on 17 January for the union’s Assistant General Secretary. Voting will run from 16 April to 9 May.

The AGS is the only full¬time officer other than the General Secretary elected by members. Months ago, the union’s president Janice Godrich (not a full¬time official as such, but someone seconded long¬term from her civil service job) announced that she would challenge Chris Baugh (the incumbent) for the Left Unity nomination. Both Godrich and Baugh were and remain members of the

Bust up in PCS Left Unity

Published on: Wed, 12/12/2018 - 14:06

A PCS activist

Bust up in PCS Left Unity shows it is time for a new start – Build a rank and file campaign for an AGS on a workers’ wage

Left Unity, the dominant unofficial group within the civil service trade union PCS, has been gripped for six months by the biggest split within its ranks since it took full control of the Union in 2003. The faction fight began as a dispute over who would be Left Unity’ candidate fin the 2019 PCS election for Assistant General Secretary and took a dramatic (but somewhat sad) turn on Sunday 2 December when the candidate selected by LU, Janice Godrich, had to withdraw because

Bust up in PCS Left Unity shows it's time for a new start

Published on: Tue, 11/12/2018 - 10:01

A PCS activist

Click here for longer version of this article.

In November, the PCS Independent Left (PCS IL) selected John Moloney, a genuine rank and file PCS activist with an outstanding campaigning and negotiating record, to contest the 2019 PCS election for Assistant General Secretary (AGS). Nominations open on 17 January, and voting will run from 16 April to 9 May.

PCS’s dominant Left Unity (LU) faction has been divided since May into two warring camps, each backing a different member of the current PCS leadership to be the LU AGS candidate. The Socialist Party (SP) had chosen Chris Baugh, SP member,

Ructions in PCS

Published on: Wed, 05/12/2018 - 10:13

Gerry Bates

The Independent Left group in the PCS civil service workers’ union is standing John Moloney for Assistant General Secretary. Nominations open on 17 January, and balloting will run from 16 April to 9 May. The political platform on which John Moloney is standing is summarised here.

It remains a possibility that the union machine will set the required number of branch nominations so high as to make it impossible for the Independent Left candidate to get on the ballot paper. But who the candidate will be to be favoured by such a restriction is not clear. A right-winger looks unlikely. PCS has

How to beat the threshold

Published on: Fri, 23/11/2018 - 10:23

Now that the Public and Commercial Services union is on course for another national ballot in March 2019, a key question is what we need to do to beat the 50% turnout threshold this time. One option might be a disaggregated ballot.

The civil service is the largest ballot constituency in the trade union movement. Whilst other unions are larger than PCS, their membership is spread across a great many employers in the public and private sector. No other union is likely to need to take such a large number of members into a dispute at once as PCS, and certainly not on any kind of regular basis.


Left challenge to PCS leaders

Published on: Wed, 14/11/2018 - 07:34

By Mike Chester

The leadership faction in the PCS civil service union, “PCS Left Unity”, are in a civil war over whose turn it is to stand for Assistant General Secretary when it comes up for election in 2019 (nominations open 17 January, balloting 16 April to 9 May).

Rogue SP member and current lay President of the union Janice Godrich is challenging incumbent SP loyalist Chris Baugh for the nomination. LU holds its final meeting to decide its nomination later in November. Whether the loser will accept the result and not stand against the LU nominee remains to be seen.

Currently we don’t believe there will

PCS: time to ditch the "broad left" model!

Published on: Wed, 31/10/2018 - 13:10

Phil Dickens

By Phil Dickens. Cross-posted from the PCS Independent Left website.

The fight over who will be the Left Unity candidate for Assistant General Secretary in next year’s elections could hardly be farther removed from the concerns of PCS members in the workplace. Most won’t be even tangentially aware of it, and if they are will view it as irrelevant.

But it does say something about the current position of our union.

Left Unity has dominated PCS’s hierarchy for the better part of two decades. In that time, true believers have stuck to the party line. LU’s socialism, its leading role in the trade

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 31/10/2018 - 11:34

Two train drivers

Two train drivers talked with Solidarity about the latest in the long-running Driver Only Operation dispute, where the RMT union is taking action against threats to guards’ jobs.

As far as we know, the Merseyrail offer is not final. We’re not even sure why it’s been publicly released.

Negotiations are still ongoing. The ACAS process was supposed to be confidential, and this breaches that.

I wouldn’t vote for the offer. It accepts a three-year pay freeze for guards, and makes cleaners redundant (though it promises no compulsory redundancies), in order to finance retaining the guard as a safety

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