Industrial news in brief

Submitted by Matthew on 11 June, 2014 - 11:51

The Hands Off London Transport (HOLT) campaign, a coalition involving the RMT union, Disabled People Against Cuts activists, student unionists, pensioner activists, and others, plans a Day of Action against Tube cuts on Friday 13 June.

Activists will organising leafleting, demonstrations, and other actions outside local Tube stations including King’s Cross, Walthamstow Central, Leytonstone, Elephant & Castle, and Brixton, to highlight the damaging impact Boris Johnson and London Underground bosses’ cuts plans will have on passengers as well as Tube staff.

Two weeks later, HOLT will join the RMT in demonstrating and lobbying at Boris Johnson’s “State of London” event at the O2 Arena in Greenwich.

For more information, see Hands Off London Transport.

FBU plans more strikes

Firefighters in England and Wales will strike again on Thursday 12 June over attacks on their pensions, after the government said it would implement a new pension scheme without further negotiations with the Fire Brigades Union (FBU).

The strike begins at 9am and lasts for 24 hours, and will be followed by a further day’s strike from 10 am on Saturday 21 June. In between the two strikes, firefighters will not carry out any voluntary overtime or conduct training for scabs. The FBU has also said that in cases where fire authorities lock out or dock additional pay from firefighters, members in other brigades will refuse to provide cross-border fire cover.

The FBU’s executive council decided to organise further strikes last week after further meetings with fire minister Brandon Lewis. On 23 May, the minister opened a “consultation” on their proposals, trying to end discussions with the FBU over the scheme. The government has refused to publish alternative proposals drawn up in March, which may have provided a way forward.

Under the government’s proposals, firefighters who are forced to retire before the age of 60 as a result of ageing will have half of their pension deducted. The government’s own “Williams Report” found that more than half of firefighters would be unable to maintain operational fitness until 60.

The two strikes will be the thirteenth and fourteenth over pensions, in a dispute which began in September last year. They represent a further escalation of strike action in an increasing bitter dispute. This anger should feed and fortify other workers taking action in the next month.

Fight to save jobs continues at Gardens Hall

Outsourced workers at the University of London are continuing their strike against job losses at a halls of residence due for closure.

More than 80 jobs are threatened as a result of the university’s planned closure of the Garden Halls, near King’s Cross. The workers’ union, the IWGB, is demanding a guarantee of no compulsory redundancies and redeployment on equivalent terms and conditions for any workers displaced. The union also wants meaningful negotiations with the university and contractors.

The strike began on Friday 6 June, and continues until Thursday 12 June. The workers picket lines have received solidarity delegations from activists from Unison, the University and College Union, and Tube union RMT.

For more information on the strike, including how to donate to the strike fund, see here.

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