Industrial news in brief

Submitted by Matthew on 21 November, 2012 - 12:46

Engineering and maintenance workers employed by Tube Lines on London Underground will strike on Friday 23 November, in an ongoing battle to win pensions and travel pass equality with the rest of Transport for London staff.

Tube Lines is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Transport for London; the RMT says its refusal to equalise its staff’s pensions and travel pass rights is “inexcusable”.

The Tube Lines workers’ strike committee has discussed plans for an ongoing programme of action, targeting key engineering projects over the coming months.

Members of train drivers’ union ASLEF employed by Tube Lines are also striking on Friday 23 November as part of a separate dispute over management bullying, increasing the pressure on Tube Lines bosses.

Wildcats at Crown Paint

Workers at three Crown Paint factories have taken wildcat strike action after bosses announced plans to cut workers’ pensions.

Shop stewards at the factory in Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, convened a mass meeting after bosses announced they were reducing early retirement payments for members of the final-salary pension scheme. Union representatives were informed of the attack at 10am on Monday 19 November, and were told that the cut had come into effect from 9am that day!

Following the meeting, workers walked off the job. According to a report from the National Shop Stewards Network, the walkout included many younger workers who are not even able to join the final-salary scheme, as it was closed to new starters two years ago, and even some junior managers.

There are also reports of wildcats at Crown plants in Gateshead and Liverpool, and a brief sit-down strike in the staff canteen at a plant in Neath.

QMU strike

Lecturers at Queen Mary University of London will strike on Thursday 22 November, in protest at restructuring and job losses.

A statement from the University and College Union (UCU) said: “Queen Mary managers have restructured 17 departments and schools,, resulting in large-scale redundancies in Biological and Chemical Sciences and Medicine and Dentistry.

“[Management’s new performance assessment system also] seeks to frighten staff into working even harder than they currently do by using crude metrics to assess them.”

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