Solidarity 320, 9 April 2014

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 09/04/2014 - 11:35

Cinema workers at the Ritzy cinema in Brixton have announced 11 April as the date for the first strike in their dispute over pay.

Members of BECTU at the cinema have conducted a long-running campaign to win the London Living Wage of £8.80 an hour. The typical hourly rate at the Ritzy is currently £7.24.

Workers voted to strike by an 85% majority.

Sparks win contract fight

Electricians working at a Network Rail construction site in Three Bridges, Sussex won new contracts following a wildcat strike on 4 April.

Following attempts by the agency through with they were employed to worsen their

Local government pay fight

Published on: Wed, 09/04/2014 - 11:25

Unite, Unison and GMB have initiated a ballot for Local Government workers with the recommendation to reject the derisory 1% pay increase offered by the Local Government Employers.

The offer is in contrast to the current RPI rate of inflation of 2.8%. The cost of living for many of the lowest paid makes the offer unacceptable and pushes more workers further into poverty.

All three unions have called for rejection of the offer and indicated this will be the beginning of strike action. A serious campaign must be fought to ensure a strong turnout to reject the offer is coupled with

Tube workers gear up for further strikes

Published on: Wed, 09/04/2014 - 11:12

The negotiations forced on London Underground bosses by Tube workers’ strike of 4-6 February will conclude on 14 April.

Activists in the RMT union say the talks have been useful for learning more about the scale of bosses’ cuts plans, but that little progress has been made, management remain intransigent and workers must be prepared to strike again.

The talks have revealed that LU bosses want to increase managerial staff by 370%, while reducing frontline staff by 753 posts. While they propose to close every ticket office on the network, they have admitted that they only plan to install 150 new

Students, support the marking boycott!

Published on: Wed, 09/04/2014 - 11:02

Members of the University and College Union (UCU) will begin a boycott of marking on 28 April unless Higher Education bosses make concessions on pay.

Higher Education workers have already struck six times against a 1% pay offer for 2013-2014.

The boycott will be of all formal assessments.

Talks between the unions representing workers in higher education and the Employers Association were held on 26 March; those talks were over 2014-15 pay claim (which is being presented by the union as a continuation of the current dispute). However no offer was made. Further talks will be held on 15 April.


Teachers need a clear set of demands

Published on: Wed, 09/04/2014 - 10:47

Delegates to the conference of the National Union of Teachers will meet in Brighton from 18-22 April just weeks after our national strike.

Top of the agenda will be the national dispute with Michael Gove and, specifically, the next steps in the campaign of industrial action and public agitation. As at previous conferences the debate on the dispute will be shaped by a priority motion from the National Executive and amendments from delegates.

There are at least three major issues to resolve.

First what is the action plan for the months ahead? The Executive motion recommends a further one day

Ugandan anti-gay law passes

Published on: Wed, 09/04/2014 - 10:28

On 31st March, Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni was guest of honour at an inter-religious, ‘national thanksgiving rally’, held at the Kololo Independence Grounds in Kampala, to ‘celebrate’ the passing of the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2014. Other guest ‘celebrants’ at the event included Rebecca Kadaga, the speaker of the Ugandan Parliament; Stanley Ntagali, the Anglican Archbishop of Uganda; invited Catholic, Muslim, and Pentecostal religious leaders; sheikhs, senior pastors, bishops, and civil society leaders.

The five hours of celebrations, attended by thousands of Ugandans, commenced with a

10,000 in Montreal against cuts

Published on: Wed, 09/04/2014 - 10:24

On 3 April, students in Montreal held a 10,000-strong “national protest against austerity measures and for a more egalitarian budget.”

Students are concerned about the ruling Parti Quebecois's cuts to public services, education and health while hiking the cost of hydro electricity.

The demonstration was called by the Association pour une solidarité syndicale étudiante (ASSÉ), the militant student organisation which organised widespread student strikes in Quebec in 2012.

Six minutes before it was due to begin, Montreal police declared the march illegal under the city's controversial municipal

Cops’ “targets”: make more stop-and-searches, record fewer crimes

Published on: Wed, 09/04/2014 - 10:22

A report on “target culture” in the police by the Metropolitan Police Federation has exposed the extent to the use of target-setting is failing victims of sexual violence and has inflated the use of racist stop and search powers.

The report speaks of “culture of fear” in the police, with one unnamed officer complaining that: “Every month we are named and shamed with a league table by our supervisors...”

It also warns that “unhealthy and arguably unethical behaviour has become the norm in several boroughs... as the end is used to justify the means when it comes to meeting performance targets.

Tories plan for water cannon

Published on: Wed, 09/04/2014 - 10:17

The Home Secretary Theresa May in considering letting police forces in England and Wales use water cannons against protestors.

In January, Boris Johnson wrote to May in his capacity as the Mayor of London saying that he was “broadly convinced of the value of having water cannon available” in the capital.

The Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) thinks “ongoing and potential future austerity measures” is an argument for arming police with water cannons.

Though they have been used with impunity in Northern Ireland since 1969, water cannons have not been seen elsewhere.

Two prototypes

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