Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 25/10/2017 - 15:55

Gemma Short, Peggy Carter, Charlotte Zalens and Neil Laker

PCS members at Eastern Avenue Jobcentre in Sheffield started a continuous month long strike on 23 October in opposition to the closure of the site. On the same day it was announced that members at Plymouth Processing Centre, another site marked for closure had voted 76% in favour of strikes to defend that site and would begin their strikes on the 6 November.

Members at Eastern Avenue have already struck for 27 days since the proposal to close the Jobcentre was announces earlier in the year. The closure of both sites is part of the Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) estates

Universal Credit: force Tories to back down!

Published on: Sat, 21/10/2017 - 12:34

Matthew Thompson and Mike Chester

In the end, just one Tory MP, Sarah Wollaston, the Chair of the Health Select Committee who has rebelled on a number of issues in the past, including Europe and Syria, defied the whips and voted with Labour when it came to the motion put down for an Opposition Day debate in the House of Commons calling upon the Government to pause the roll-out across the countryof its controversial new benefit Universal Credit, rather than abstaining as she and her colleagues had been instructed to do by them, but despite ministers pointing out the non-binding nature of the 299-0 result, political problems for

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 18/10/2017 - 13:13

Patrick Murphy and Ollie Moore

On Wednesday the 11, October Jeremy Hunt told the House of Commons that the 1% pay cap will be lifted for NHS staff. After the government buckled under pressure and lifted the public sector pay cap for police and prison officers, the government had shown it was weak and it was only a matter of time before it was forced into lifting the cap for other workers.

Hunt has failed to say if the pay rise will be funded, or whether NHS employers will have to find the money within existing, too tight, budgets. So will NHS employers be left with the ″choice″ of making cuts elsewhere in order to fund pay

Roll back Universal Credit roll-out

Published on: Mon, 16/10/2017 - 08:55

Matthew Thompson

The Government is coming under pressure to halt the roll-out of Universal Credit, the new benefit which is replacing six existing ones: Jobseekers' Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Housing Benefit, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and Income Support.

Created by the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition government as part of the Welfare Reform Act in 2012, Universal Credit was launched in 2013 as a pilot in a single area, the former textile town of Ashton-under-Lyne just to the east of Manchester, and has since been extended across the country, with full implementation for new

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 11/10/2017 - 11:55

Martin Thomas, Gemma Short, Charlotte Zalens, Ralph Peters and Peggy Carter

Workers’ Liberty school workers met on 7 October 2017 to discuss our plans in our workplaces and in the new National Education Union, formed on 1 September by the merger of the National Union of Teachers and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers. The new union is making a recruitment drive, offering membership free to trainees and students, for £1 to newly qualified teachers, and for £10 for the first year to all teachers and all school support staff. The response has been good, with twice as many new recruits to the NEU in September 2017 as there were to the NUT and ATL in September 2016.

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 04/10/2017 - 12:28

Gemma Short, Mark Kent and Ollie Moore

On Saturday 30 September, workers and supporters protested outside the HR Owen car showrooms in London.

HR Owen sells a number of luxury sports cars, including Maserati and Ferrari, some of which sell for over £250,000 each. Last year it made a profit of £400m. Yet it only pays the minimum wage (through an outsourcing company) to its cleaners for the last five years. The inequality between rich and poor could not be clearer.

Workers have been balloted by their union, United Voices of the World (UVW), to strike for the London Living Wage (£9.75 an hour). After the ballot Freddy Lopez and

Eastern Avenue Job Centre strike

Published on: Mon, 05/06/2017 - 15:35

Lotte Jeffries

The first PCS strike day took place at Eastern Avenue Job Centre, Sheffield, on Friday 2nd June. It was a very successful strike and picket line after a colossal 92% vote in favour of strike action in the ballot. The picket was supported by community activists, Momentum and the Labour Party.

The cause of the strike is the planned closure of the Eastern Avenue Centre. All DWP buildings are up for contract renewal in April 2018. The DWP plans to take the opportunity to downsize by closing about 100 offices, 73 of them public facing offices. There will be even more in three years’ time.


Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 31/05/2017 - 11:24

Dale Street and Gemma Short

After one-week strikes in Glasgow and London, PCS members in the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) Cardiff office are on strike 29 May — 2 June. 5-9 June, coinciding with the general election, PCS members will be on strike in the EHRC’s Manchester office.

The successive one-week strikes are part of an ongoing campaign against redundancies imposed by the EHRC. The campaign, involving a succession of targeted strikes, has been underway since October of last year. Employees with disabilities, older and ethnic-minority employees, and trade union activists are disproportionately

PCS conference votes to back freedom of movement

Published on: Tue, 30/05/2017 - 10:33

PCS, the civil service union, held it′s national conference in Brighton 23-25 May.

Workers’ Liberty supporters, organised as part of the left-opposition faction, "Independent Left" within the union were delegates. Going into conference with victories in the NEC and Bargaining Group Executive elections.

The industrial landscape the union finds itself in is dire, and the leadership's response to it has been inadequate, but not surprising for a leadership infected with the broad left strategy of fusing with the bureaucracy we’ve had in PCS for the past 16 years. The union, despite those years of

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 17/05/2017 - 11:12

Gemma Short, Charlotte Zalens and Peggy Carter

Staff at Manchester Metropolitan University will strike against job cuts on 24 and 25 May, against a backdrop of hundreds of jobs at risk across the sector. Manchester University is planning to cut 171 jobs; up to 150 are at risk at Aberystwyth; 139 at the University of Wales Trinity St David; Sunderland, Durham and Plymouth are all looking for voluntary redundancies.

Publicly, universities have been blaming Brexit’s impact on international student recruitment and research funding. But Manchester Met has £400m reserves, while Manchester Uni is planning to hire an extra 100 junior researchers

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