Industrial news in brief

Submitted by Matthew on 9 May, 2012 - 11:06

Forty-five workers at the Enterprise Distribution Centre, which unloads paper reels from incoming vessels at the Tilbury docks in Essex, struck on Monday 7 May, the first walkout at the docks since 1989.

The workers, who are members of Unite, are striking against the arbitrary imposition of new contracts which could see them lose up to £2,500.

Unite official Jane Jeffery said: “Members are annoyed at the complete lack of negotiation and consultation. Since the ballot for strike action, we have had no formal communication with the company.

“We want to hold meaningful and genuine talks with the management on this issue. This is a 24-hour strike — the first by the dockers in 23 years.

“More strikes could be on the cards, if there is no movement in this dispute.”

Support East London school strike!

Workers at the Central Foundation Girls School in East London are set to strike again on Friday 11 May as they fight job losses, pay cuts and workload increases.

Following a solid strike on 25 April, members of Unison and the National Union of Teachers are gearing up for another walkout.

Negotiations between unions, the school management and the local authority over the budget cuts behind the attacks have been ongoing, and staff will meet on Wednesday to discuss the latest proposals.

• Messages of solidarity should be sent to Unison rep Jean Lane and NUT rep Sheila McGregor.

Class Struggle, the AWL industrial bulletin for education workers in the London borough of Tower Hamlets, can be read and downloaded here.

Remploy workers fight job cuts

Remploy workers will mobilise for national protests and a parliamentary lobby on 9 May as their campaign to save their jobs continues.

The government plans to close 36 of the 54 Remploy sites, leading to nearly 2,000 compulsory job losses.

Remploy was established by the post-war Labour government to provide protected employment for disabled people. Of the 1,752 workers set to lose their jobs in the first wave of closures, over 1,500 are disabled. Trade unions fear that the remaining 18 sites are already earmarked for closure and will follow in a second wave soon after.

Phil Davies, national secretary of the GMB union, said: “This lobby of Parliament and the demonstrations around the country are a measure of the massive public support for continued funding of the Remploy factories.

“It is now clear that this government will use the money that was earmarked to support the direct employment of disabled people to privatise its Employment Services business.

“It is outrageous that the government can take away the jobs of disabled workers ... to carry out an ideologically motivated privatisation.”

• Workers will protest outside Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) offices on Tothill Street (London SW1H 9NA) from 10.30am before assembling for a march in Old Palace Yard, Westminster. A lobby of MPs will be conducted from 2.30-4pm. Labour MP Ian Lavery is sponsoring the lobby.

More action in Tube Lines

Tube Lines workers, who provide maintenance and emergency services across London Underground, will begin an overtime ban on Wednesday 9 May.

The action follows their three-day strike from April 24-27, and is part of a fight to win pensions equality.

Tube Lines workers want their pensions to be raised to the same level of other Transport for London employees. They are also demanding equal travel privileges.

The RMT estimates that up to 50 trains were cancelled as a result of the April strike. Only two trained Emergency Response Unit personnel were on site to attend to a collapsed tunnel on the Bakerloo Line.

The overtime ban is due to continue until 23 May, but union reps will meet on 16 May to discuss extending the action beyond an overtime ban.

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