Solidarity 526, 27 November 2019

Labour must back UCU strike!

Published on: Wed, 27/11/2019 - 18:29
Author

Ollie Moore

Above: UCU picket lines in Nottingham. At centre-right, holding the “four fights” placard, is, with supporters, including Nadia Whittome, Labour’s Nottingham East Parliamentary candidate. All Labour candidates near any of the 60 striking universities should join the pickets.

Higher Education workers in the University and College Union (UCU) are striking from 25 November to 4 December, in a national dispute over workload, pay, and pensions. A striker in Cambridge spoke to Solidarity:

“This was my first day on a picket as a striking worker. I’ve previously only picketed in solidarity. Although I

Sheffield Hallam strikes on workload

Published on: Wed, 27/11/2019 - 18:29
Author

Camila Bassi

Members of the University and College Union (UCU) at Sheffield Hallam University (SHU) are striking in a local dispute, for six days from 25 November, in parallel with national strikes. UCU activist Camila Bassi spoke to Solidarity about the dispute.

Q: What’s the background to the local dispute at SHU? What are the issues, what are the workers’ demands?

A: Our dispute is over unpaid work and stress. Specifically, changes to our academic work planning and the restructuring of our professional services have led to an unprecedented intensification of workloads and a crisis point in academic

Students back uni strikes

Published on: Wed, 27/11/2019 - 18:29
Author

Maisie Sanders

Student-worker solidarity campaigns have been set up at almost every striking university, and many student unions have voted to support the strikes, including several who did not support them in 2018.

Lancaster UCU said they had bigger numbers on the first day of this year’s strike than their biggest day in 2018. They also had a visit from Hong Kong students in solidarity with the democracy movement. Sussex students and UCU members held a demo after the picket, with a dragon, fire engine and speeches from Jo Grady and Caroline Lucas. Many UCU branches and student groups are co-hosting “teach

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 27/11/2019 - 18:29
Author

Ollie Moore, Jay Dawkey

“Driver Only” dispute spreads

The announcement by rail union RMT of a sustained programme of strikes on West Midlands Trains and South Western Railway represents a significant escalation and expansion of the union’s protracted and hard-fought war against the imposition of “Driver Only Operation”.

On West Midlands Trains, guards struck on 16 November, with further strikes planned every Saturday up to 28 December. The strikes on West Midlands Trains are especially significant as this is first new Train Operating Company (TOC) to join the DOO strikes since they were spread to Arriva Rail North

Postal workers still set for strike

Published on: Wed, 27/11/2019 - 18:29
Author

A London postal worker

People on the shop floor aren’t happy. Lots of people were looking forward to the strike, it was a chance to really stick it to our incompetent managers, which obviously now won’t happen as soon as we’d hoped.

The conversations I’ve had have ranged from feelings of hopelessness or powerlessness — “what’s the point of balloting if the courts will stop us anyway?” — to anger with Royal Mail for going to court in the first place.

Online, I’ve encountered a very small amount of people blaming the CWU union’s social media campaign (“why did they have to make those videos of offices posting ballots?

PCS and the election

Published on: Wed, 27/11/2019 - 14:51
Author

John Moloney

John Moloney is assistant general secretary of PCS, writing here in a personal capacity.

PCS has produced a pamphlet making the case for voting Labour in England and Wales, which has been distributed to members. We don’t want the “vote Labour” position to be passive; the union is using its resources to mobilise members to get out and campaign. We’re targeting 40 seats in particular, either ones which have a large concentration of PCS members living in them, and/or where the Labour candidate has a particular connection to the union, for example two seats where the candidates are former PCS

This website uses cookies, you can find out more and set your preferences here.
By continuing to use this website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions.