Industrial news in brief

Submitted by Matthew on 20 June, 2012 - 10:12

All staff at John Lewis are “partners” who supposedly share “in the benefits and profits of a business that puts them first”.

Not everyone is part of the family. Those who do the dirty work – the cleaners – do not get any of the benefit. They are employed through a contractor – Integrated Management Cleaning. The cleaners, some of whom are at work from 6:00am to 10:00pm, earn a mere £6.08 per hour, which is below the poverty line set by the Greater London Assembly.

They are not paid for all the hours they are available, they do not get proper equipment, and feel like they are second class citizens.

Nearly half the cleaners at John Lewis Oxford Street may be made redundant, whilst others face a 50% cut in their hours (a pay cut!). But they still have to do the same work! The contract was awarded again to this company with the full knowledge it would impose these heartless and unnecessary cuts.

Cleaners at John Lewis are demanding: the London Living Wage (£8.30 per hour), no cuts in jobs and hours, recognition of their union and their rights as workers. They deserve your support. They deserve justice.

Demonstrate to support John Lewis cleaners at John Lewis, 300 Oxford Street, London W1A 1EX, 3pm on Saturday 23 June.

Flying pickets as Kirklees workers plan escalation

Local government workers in Kirklees, West Yorkshire, took three days of strike action from Tuesday 12 June to demand that council bosses withdraw a plan to make compulsory redundancies.

Workers also struck earlier in the month in protest at the job loss plans, which are taking place despite the fact that there are already 50 vacancies at the council.

Many Unite members have refused to the cross picket lines mounted by Unison members, whose union is organising the dispute, and a flying picket of admin workers succeeded in bringing refuse workers at one bin depot out on unofficial strike.

Unison rep Paul Holmes has said the dispute will escalate if the council continues to refuse to negotiation on the redundancies.

Food workers strike

500 workers at food processing plant near Leicester struck for three days against a proposal from management to cut 193 jobs at the factory.

200 jobs were already axed in September 2011, and redundancy payments for the sacked workers were reduced following a change of ownership.

Tony Lewis, an official with the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers’ Union (BFAWU), which is organising the strike, said:

“This is about stopping the race to the bottom by food manufacturers, who in league with the multiples in their quest to maximize profits, are driving workers pay and conditions down.”

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