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Bradford protest to save museums and libraries


Activists rallied to save libraries and museums in Bradford, West Yorkshire, on Saturday of last week. Two of the Labour-run council’s four museums, Bradford Industrial Museum and Bolling Hall Museum and Library, are at risk of closure under the plans outlined in the last budget. (Pic: Neil Terry)


Vote for strikes at universal credit office

Workers administering the hated Universal Credit (UC) benefit at an office in Stockport have voted to strike over workload.

The PCS union members voted by 92 percent for strikes on a turnout of 71 percent.

Workers at the UC service centre face understaffing and increasing workloads. They are demanding more workers are taken on to deal with increasing phone calls and caseloads.

The increased volume of work can cause backlogs—causing misery for benefits claimants.

PCS members at UC service centres in Wolverhampton and Walsall were also balloted for strikes. But they failed to meet the 50 percent turnout threshold demanded by Tory anti-union laws.

Meanwhile, a strike ballot at a benefits office in south London was set to end as Socialist Worker went to press.

PCS union members at the Balham office are fighting against the closure of their office, which could see 130 of them lose their jobs.


West Midlands post walkout 

Royal Mail postal workers at a Midlands delivery office struck last Saturday against the unfair dismissal of one of their workmates.

Members of the CWU union picketed outside the delivery office in Shirley, near Birmingham. Royal Mail bosses sacked a worker at the delivery office earlier this year, saying he had spent too much time off work. But strikers says the worker had been medically diagnosed with anxiety and depression, and should not have faced disciplinary measures.


Strikes for safety on the tracks 

Workers on East Midlands Trains are set to strike for the fourth time this Saturday.

The RMT union members are fighting against attacks on their pay and working conditions by bosses at franchiser Stagecoach.

Workers are angry over issues including Sunday working and pensions. Abellio is set to take over the contract on Saturday under the new name East Midlands Railways.

In a separate dispute rail maintenance workers are gearing up for two strikes over pay.

RMT union members at Clarke Chapman Facilities Management are set to walk out for 48 hours from 24 August and for a further 48 hours from 31 August.

Workers carry out contract work for Network Rail.

Meanwhilem, activists from the RMT union were set to hold a series of protests over rising rail fares on Wednesday.

Protests were planned outside over 30 station against the 3.3 percent price rise, which could mean up to £100 more in travel costs.


Protests over new contracts at Asda

Hundreds of Asda supermarket workers were set to protest against new contracts in Leeds on Wednesday.

The GMB union said that workers could be sacked and reemployed if they don’t sign the new contract in early November.

It said that workers would not be paid for any breaks and will have to work weekends and bank holidays.

Justin Bowden, GMB national officer, said, “In the boardroom it may be all about the bottom line.

“But out in the stores this is about real people’s lives being pulled apart with often devastating consequences.”


Karro food strike in Hull 

GMB union members at the Karro food production plant in Hull are continuing to strike every Monday over pay and conditions.

A member of the strike committee explained that the company’s refusal to discuss pay rises unless they were “self-funding” was hard to swallow when it had recently acquired Young’s Seafood for £21 million.

The strike is affecting production and more workers have joined the union.

Wendy Dobbs


Cement event at Harland and Wolff

Around 150 former employees gathered at the gates of Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast last Sunday.

With mixed emotions the “auld hands” lined up to place their palms in trays of setting concrete, celebrating the “hands that built the shipyard”.

The event was part of the ongoing occupation to save jobs at the yard, with administrators continuing to explore bids for the company.

Some 120 workers are currently laid off.


Gatwick workers win over pay

A strike by security guards at London Gatwick airport was called off after bosses put forward an improved offer.

The Unite union members had planned to walk out for a 48-hour strike from Saturday of last week.

Outsourcer ICTS has made a commitment to be the first fully-accredited living wage employer at the airport.


Edinburgh bus workers celebrate

Workers on Lothian Buses in Edinburgh have officially ended their dispute after management agreed to new proposals.

The 1,700 Unite union members were fighting for improvements in the workplace culture. They have won the appointment of an independent officer from Edinburgh council to address management behaviour and other workplace issues.

Ballot at Greenwich university cafes

The United Voices of the World union has announced that it will ballot workers at Greenwich University’s cafes in south London.

They are fighting for the London living wage of £10.55 an hour and union recognition.


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