Privatisation

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

Not just a Labour vote

Published on: Wed, 06/11/2019 - 07:34
Author

John Moloney, PCS Assistant General Secretary (in a personal capacity)

PCS members at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office will strike again on 7, 8, 11, and 12 November. These are members working in facilities management, employed by outsourced contractor Interserve.

We want Interserve to meet certain demands, including recognising the union; guaranteeing company sick pay; and reversing cuts in hours, but ultimately we want these workers to be employed directly on the same terms and conditions as all other civil servants.

We are also working closely with the United Voices of the World union, which has members in the Ministry of Justice and Royal Parks, which are

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 30/10/2019 - 08:48
Author

Darren Bedford, Ollie Moore and Jay Dawkey

Postal workers are discussing the timing of potential strikes, likely aimed at disrupting “Black Friday” retail deliveries on Friday 29 November, and/or Christmas post, after the Communication Workers Union (CWU) strike ballot returned a 97% majority for action on a 76% turnout.

The CWU’s Head of Communications Chris Webb, in an article for Tribune magazine discussing the successful ballot result, wrote: “Most crucial of all were our 1,250 workplace meetings.

“The explosive combination of the workplace meetings being posted on social media created a competitive feeling in our membership

Pay claim for Brexit work

Published on: Wed, 30/10/2019 - 08:45
Author

John Moloney, PCS Assistant General Secretary (in a personal capacity)

The ongoing chaos around Brexit is having many detrimental impacts on PCS members’ working lives.

In Stratford DWP, hundreds of workers have been temporarily reallocated to Brexit-related work on behalf of the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (Defra). Members have said they want to ballot over this.

The concern is that DWP is looking to move work outside of London, where they don’t have to pay London weighting, so workers are worried that they might not get their DWP work back after the Defra project is finished.

The union will be submitting a pay claim to the government

Second victory at BEIS

Published on: Wed, 23/10/2019 - 08:32
Author

John Moloney, PCS Assistant General Secretary (in a personal capacity)

On 21 October our members working for the contractor ISS at BEIS (the Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy) won a complete victory in their dispute.

This follows a victory for catering staff at BEIS, employed by another contractor, Aramark, on 4 October.

Now porters, security, post room, cleaners and receptionist staff have also won the London Living Wage, improved sick pay, and a number of other conditions.

The victories can be put down to one factor: all-out indefinite strike action, which isn’t that common these days.

At FCO (the Foreign and Commonwealth Office) we’ve

Post workers target late November

Published on: Wed, 23/10/2019 - 08:29
Author

Gerry Bates

Postal workers are talking about strikes around the big online shopping days of “Black Friday” (29 November), “Cyber Monday” (2 December), and in the run-up to Christmas.

The aim is to time the action for maximum impact. A strike which included 29 November would also have the boost of coinciding with the next big student climate strike, when a number of workplaces will take action too.

The talk is not of one-day strikes. A Doncaster postal worker told Solidarity: “The general feeling in my office is we can handle a week or so of lost wages. We’ve had ample notice, and I know a few posties who

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 23/10/2019 - 07:41
Author

Charlie George and Tom Saff

USDAW, the shopworkers union, is facing a financial shortfall due to large numbers of its members being made redundant.

This is particularly felt at Tesco, which is the largest employer for the union’s members, but also where the union has refused to put up any resistance to the loss of around 9,000 jobs this last year.

Instead of launching a massive recruitment campaign or fighting back against the bosses, the union is instead considering getting rid of the part-time rate for new members, at its next annual conference, presumably a prelude to getting rid of it all together.

This would double

Building for a new pay ballot

Published on: Wed, 16/10/2019 - 07:49
Author

John Moloney, PCS Assistant General Secretary (in a personal capacity)

We are building towards a renewed dispute over pay and pensions for directly-employed civil servants in 2020.

Our 2019 conference voted for that, and some recent developments have given additional impetus. The government has told the union nationally that the civil service pension scheme is overfunded, meaning there’s more money coming in than going out.

This means it could absorb a 2% reduction in employee contributions, effectively a 2% pay rise. But the government has said they can’t do this, as they need the spare cash to pay for the fallout from the Fire Brigades Union’s victory in their

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