Solidarity 467, 25 April 2018

Support the May Day McStrike!

Published on: Wed, 25/04/2018 - 12:52

a McDonalds worker

Workers at five McDonalds restaurants (in Crayford, Cambridge, Manchester, and two in Watford) will strike on Tuesday 1 May. Richard, a Bakers’ Food and Allied Workers’ Union (BFAWU) activist from Watford, spoke to Solidarity.

I first got involved through one of our organisers, Gareth. I’ve been a member of the union since before the September strike but we didn’t have the numbers in Watford at that point to ballot, but I attended the strike committee meeting in Crayford. I helped build up the campaign with workers from the other stores.

I joined the BFAWU online when I started working at

CWU conference debates free movement

Published on: Wed, 25/04/2018 - 12:50

a CWU member

The Communication Workers′ Union (CWU) conference met on 22-23 April, with sector conferences following.

At the general conference one of the big issues debated was the Windrush scandal, and the union overwhelmingly expressed its solidarity with Windrush migrants and their families.

Unfortunately this compassion from migrants did not last into the same afternoon when a motion calling for the CWU to affiliate to the Labour Campaign for Free Movement fell heavily. The union made sure it was tailing the Labour leadership′s position on the response to Brexit and free movement. General Secretary

Shoddy and divisive pay offer

Published on: Wed, 25/04/2018 - 12:49

a delegate

The main discussion at the Unison Health conference (16-18 April) was the current pay offer.

24 hours before delegates debated the issue, the ballot was sent out to members with a recommendation from the leadership for acceptance. After this undemocratic move the debate was fairly meaningless, but anyway, a 65:35 majority stuck with the position of the executive.

The basics of the deal are a three-year, below-inflation, pay ″rise″, with additional increases for some through abolition of band 1 and a reduction of increments, alongside a step towards performance related pay. It’s a shoddy and

End UoL outsourcing!

Published on: Wed, 25/04/2018 - 12:47

Gemma Short

Cleaners, porters, security officers, receptionists, gardeners, post room and audio-visual staff at the University of London will strike on 25-26 April.

The workers, organised by the IWGB union, are employed by a range of outsourcing companies that have contracts with the university. They are fighting to be directly employed by the university and for parity of terms and conditions with currently directly-employed workers. Outsourced workers currently receive inferior pensions, and less holiday, sick, maternity and paternity pay.

A series of strikes and protests has already forced the

Luton airport workers balloting over pay

Published on: Wed, 25/04/2018 - 12:45

Simon Marks

Workers at London Luton Airport have given management notice of an imminent strike ballot in protest over a paltry pay offer, despite sky-high pay increases for the bosses and record passenger numbers.

The latest financial statements showed that Luton Airport’s directors’ remuneration increased 59% and the highest paid director received a pay increase of 48%.

Despite months of negotiations the company have offered to increase workers’ pay by just 2.15%, at a time when the Retail Price Index (RPI) is 3.6%. In a consultative ballot, workers solidly rejected the company’s offer and backed an

UCU: new network launches

Published on: Wed, 25/04/2018 - 12:41

Ollie Moore

Planned strikes by members of the University and College Union (UCU) in pre-1992 university, aimed to stop cuts to the University Superannuation Scheme for academic workers’ pensions, have been suspended after union members voted to accept an employers’ offer.

UCU members voted by 64% to 36%, on a turnout of over 60%, to accept an offer from bosses’ organisation Universities UK which proposed to set up a joint “expert panel” to review pension reform. However, many UCU activists argued that the deal, which did not contain any firm guarantees to abandon plans to reform pensions, or any long-term

Far right in local elections

Published on: Wed, 25/04/2018 - 12:36

Luke Hardy

On 3 May UKIP and groups to its right are likely to face a well-deserved drubbing in the local elections.

UKIP will be standing in only a fraction of the seats they stood for in 2014, the last time most of the same council wards were up for election. In 2014 UKIP got 16% of the vote and won hundreds of new councillors. This time round UKIP’s support is likely to continue to drop, as it did in the 2017 general election, when it got under 2% of the vote. Since then they have been through two more leaders and have shown little sign of revival. 

The newly energised Labour Party, organising and

Why Greece’s “left government” failed

Published on: Wed, 25/04/2018 - 12:32

Dora Polenta

The Syriza election was a reflection of the hard, militant class struggle by the working class and neighbourhood community movements against the attacks of the “Black Block” Memorandum governments of the years 2010 to 2012.

Syriza gave political substance to this movement, and it carried all of this movement’s political contradictions.
The movement had only a vague idea of what it expected of the Syriza government. It expected some form of relief, to get rid of the Memorandum laws and privatisation, to restore wages and pensions and collective bargaining, to give some right to housing. These

“We’ve all got just one thing on our mind, and that’s the win!”

Published on: Wed, 25/04/2018 - 12:07

Keith Road

Workers’ Liberty supporters and friends recently spent a number of days in France to learn from, and take part in, the movement in opposition to President Macron’s reforms.

We spoke to French socialists, trade unionists and student activists. During our stay we visited occupied universities, attended workplace and student general assemblies, and took part in a number of smaller and large demonstrations.
The background to the current unrest is the push by President Macron to reform the university application system; open the way to privatising the SNCF, French state railway company; and make

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