Solidarity 473, 22 June 2018

Tax the rich to pay for the NHS

Published on: Thu, 21/06/2018 - 13:33

Dr Pete Campbell

As the 70th birthday of the NHS approaches the government has tried to distract from its Brexit woes by hijacking the Leave campaign′s transparently fake ″£350 million a week for the NHS after Brexit″ claim.

Theresa May has announced an extra £20 billion a year for the NHS by 2023. The funding increase is not insignificant. Health think-tank The Kings Fund said, ″The Prime Minister has administered a welcome shot in the arm that will get the NHS back on its feet but not provided the long term cure that would restore it to full health″. However, it also said, ″[the increase] falls short of the

Wigan outsourcing strike

Published on: Thu, 21/06/2018 - 13:32

Gemma Short

Workers in Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS foundation trust will strike again for 24 hours beginning at 00.01 on Wednesday 27 June and for five days beginning at 06:00 hours on Thursday 28 June in a dispute over outsourcing plans.

Hospital caterers, cleaners, porters, and other workers, members of Unison, previously struck for 48 hours on Wednesday 23 and Thursday 24 May. As previously reported in Solidarity, Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS foundation trusts plan to outsource workers to a new company called WWL Solutions.

The trusts claim they need to do the outsourcing to save money.

400 meeting at new Unison left

Published on: Thu, 21/06/2018 - 13:30

a conference delegate

Unison conferences met between 17-22 June in Brighton.

There was a Unison Action broad left meeting on Tuesday 19 June, which had about 400 people.

The organisation is relatively new and has little organisation so far, but the large meeting was a good start. We want a movement which can challenge the leadership for NEC positions and build a rank and file base. We don’t have it yet.

The only controversy in the National Delegate Conference so far, as I wrote on 20 June, has been on a motion from the union Executive Committee (NEC) marking the 25th anniversary of the Union which amounted to a

Traffic wardens strike

Published on: Thu, 21/06/2018 - 13:28

Gemma Short

Traffic wardens in Hackney will strike for six days beginning at 00:01 on Monday 9 July.

The traffic wardens, employed by APOCA Parking, are organised by Unite. They previously struck for 48 hours from Monday 14 May. Unite has put in a claim for a cost of living pay increase of five percent. Workers are also fighting back against unfair implementation of sickness procedures, and unfair and potentially discriminatory implementation of the annual holiday allocation. Unite is also arguing for APOCA to agree to yearly pay negotiations, as happen in local government, with the aim of accounting for

Tube drivers in strike ballot

Published on: Thu, 21/06/2018 - 13:27

Ollie Moore

Driver members of the RMT union on London Underground’s Piccadilly Line are currently balloting for industrial action, with the vote due to close on Thursday 21 June.

The dispute has been prompted by what the union calls a complete “breakdown in industrial relations”, with management adopting an increasingly disciplinarian and authoritarian approach, including obstructing union reps from carrying out basic trade union duties. The RMT says that Piccadilly Line management has also failed to honour agreements made in previous disputes.

Driver-only union Aslef is also balloting its Piccadilly Line

DOO dispute at a crossroads

Published on: Thu, 21/06/2018 - 13:24

By a rail worker

There have been some significant developments since we last covered the mainline railway Driver Only Operation disputes.

At Greater Anglia, RMT says the employer has made an “improved offer” good enough to be put to its members in a referendum, so it has suspended strike action there.

At South Western Railway, RMT has also suspended its strikes on Thursday and Saturday because it says its talks with the employer at ACAS are making “adequate progress” and it believes an acceptable settlement can be reached.
At Merseyrail the discussions at ACAS remain ongoing, with nothing whatsoever making its

Students call for left unity

Published on: Thu, 21/06/2018 - 13:19

Workers' Liberty Students

Around seventy students attended the “We Are the University National Student Left Conference”, hosted by the NCAFC in Sheffield on 16-17 June.

Activists from more than 30 different universities, some representing Labour Clubs and free education groups attended. Many became active through the occupations and other action in support of last term’s UCU strike.
There was a sense of excitement about building on the upsurge of campus organising and using the momentum around it to renew the student movement.

In the weeks before the conference over 100 students, sabbatical officers and NUS officers

Grenfell campaigners united

Published on: Thu, 21/06/2018 - 13:09

Clare Horner

Campaigners marked the anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire with public demonstrations and resolute promises to fight for justice.

On Thursday 14 June, at least 12,000 people marched through Ladbroke Grove on the silent walk that has commemorated the victims of the fire every month since the terrible fire, which cost 72 people their lives and directly affected thousands of others. Then on Saturday 16 June, the Justice for Grenfell campaign and the Fire Brigades Union organised a rally outside Downing Street to point the finger of blame where it ultimately belongs — with central government

Momentum should oppose Brexit

Published on: Thu, 21/06/2018 - 13:06

#StopToryBrexit — A Final Say For The Many

We are proud members of Momentum and consistent supporters of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party and of the 2017 election manifesto. We deplore the persistent attacks of the right-wing of the Labour Party and their attempts to weaponise the issue of Brexit against our party leadership.

But we are equally opposed to the Tory Brexit now on offer. It is a disaster for working class people, public services, peace in Ireland, migrants, the environment, human rights, jobs and our children’s futures — the complete opposite of everything a

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