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4 September 2013

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Workplace news in brief

Firefighters' strike vote

Firefighters have voted overwhelmingly to strike over government attacks on their pension scheme. 78% of FBU members balloted have voted for national strike action.

This is after two years of fruitless negotiations. If not opposed, the government is likely to attempt to impose the changes.

Under the proposals, firefighters over 50 who fail the fitness standards are likely to be sacked without a proper pension as the previously promised 'redeployment to less physically demanding posts' will not happen.

Firefighters already pay over 12% of their salary in pension contributions, which have steadily increased over the last few years. 25% of firefighters recruited last year have not signed up to the scheme, threatening its financial viability.

Strike dates have not been set.

Postal strike ballot

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) has announced a ballot for strike action against privatisation of the Royal Mail, jobs, pay and pensions.

Royal Mail and Parcelforce workers will start balloting on 20 September, with the result to be announced on 3 October.

There was a 96% vote to oppose Royal Mail privatisation in a consultative ballot in June.

One Housing

Workers at the One Housing Group will be on strike on the 5, 6 and 9 September in their battle against pay cuts.

The workers, who provide support services to vulnerable people, are being hit with pay cuts as OHG try to make their frontline staff pay the price of competing for council care and support contracts.

They even boast of undercutting the NHS by 80%. 200 workers are facing pay cuts of up to 8,000 a year.

Join the picket line at One Housing, 100 Chalk Farm Road and come to a meeting at 10am on Saturday 7 September at Unite, Theobalds Road.

North Sea

The Blacklist Support Group have called upon the Scottish Affairs Select Committee to widen its investigation into blacklisting to cover the NRB system in the North Sea.

Oil rig managers often put Not Required Back (NRB) on a workers' file if they have been raising questions about health and safety or have been trying to recruit to a trade union.

This has come to prominence after the Super Puma crash last week. Workers have been unable to speak publicly about it for fear of losing their livelihoods because of effective blacklisting through NRB.

Breaking news

The PCS civil service union has won its battle to keep the 'check off' system for union subs collection in DCLG government department. For more details see www.pcs.org.uk

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Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.

We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to click here to donate to our Fighting Fund.

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In The Socialist 4 September 2013:

Socialist Party news and analysis

Syria: Cameron defeated; Now defeat Tory cuts!

United strike action against the Con-Dems

Don't fall for the shares-for-rights scam

Them & Us

International socialist news and analysis

When the world economic crisis makes landfall in S Asia

Socialist history

1993: BNP racists forced off Brick Lane

Socialist Party reviews

Police spies and the workers' movement

TV review - MLK: The Assassination Tapes

Socialist Party workplace news

Blacklist defeat - Frank Morris reinstated on Crossrail

Hovis bakers on 7-day strike against massive pay cuts and casualisation

Carers at Future Directions continue their fight

Coventry Unison protest

Workplace news in brief

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Council leader announces 'no bedroom tax evictions this year'

Build partnership in action against austerity

Miliband expected to promise repeal of bedroom tax

NHS: action to improve care

Lift the ban on campaign stalls in Newham, east London

Burston strike school celebrated

London protest against attack on Syria

Bristol TUSC - we're fighting the cuts

Socialism 2013

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RMT picket at Nottingham station - East Midlands Railway dispute - Sunday 13th June, photo by G Freeman

RMT picket at Nottingham station - East Midlands Railway dispute - Sunday 13th June. Photo G Freeman

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