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3 February 2021

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Workplace news in brief

Hackney education workers strike

Workers in two separate industrial disputes affecting schools in east London will take three days of strike action in February.

Ten teaching support staff at the Colvestone primary school and the Thomas Fairchild community school, part of the Hackney-based Soaring Skies Federation which educates more than 600 children, will strike over potentially more than 18 jobs being at risk out of about 30-strong teaching support staff.

32 drivers and passenger assistants, who take disabled children to and from school in Hackney also voted unanimously to strike over the failure of their employer, the borough council, to make a one-off 500 Covid-19 payment, and other health and safety issues.

Both strikes will begin on 10 February continuing each day up to 12 February.

Unite regional officer Onay Kasab says: "These two long-running disputes are coming home to roost for the respective employers in Hackney when education is at the top of the political agenda.

"The failures of both sets of employers to engage in constructive talks with Unite has left our members with no option but to reluctantly take strike action over three days in February - hopefully, the dovetailing of these two disputes will concentrate minds.

"Our door for meaningful talks remains open 24/7. However, we cannot stand by while jobs, pay and employment conditions are cut - and our members should not pay the price for the Covid-19 pandemic.

"The health crisis has correctly focused on the importance of education from the prime minister downwards. The teaching assistants at Soaring Skies Federation are still working during the current school closures - in many cases, attending school sites to supervise children of key workers, while remote learning takes place.

"The same dedication is also true of the drivers and passenger assistants working for Hackney council. They are continuing to take the children of key workers and vulnerable children to school during the pandemic. We are now asking for a one-off lump-sum payment in recognition of this work."

Unite is liaising with the other unions concerned about the plans in the Soaring Skies Federation dispute - GMB, National Education Union (NEU) and Unison.


Sage care strike

photo UVW/Twitter

photo UVW/Twitter   (Click to enlarge)

Care workers from Sage Nursing Home in Golders Green, north London, are to strike again from 4 to 8 February. They are striking for parity with their counterparts in the NHS - a pay rise to 12 an hour and the same level of sick pay and annual leave.

They staged a three-day strike in January. The workers are members of the trade union United Voices of the World (UVW).

Although the employer has said that it is unable to meet the strikers' demands, Sage can easily afford to pay up.

In February 2020, Sage boasted that its income had risen to 3.3 million, with another 3.2 million reserves.


Passport walkout

Passport control staff at Heathrow Airport have voted for strike action in a dispute over new rosters.

Members of the PCS union backed industrial action by more than nine to one in a ballot.

The union said new "unworkable" rosters are being imposed without agreement and that more than 400 of its members are involved in the dispute.

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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.

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In The Socialist 3 February 2021:


Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Launching a political alternative to cuts, poverty and job losses

Why I am attending the TUSC local elections online conference

South Yorks TUSC ready for electoral fight


What we think

Workers' rights and safety: Trade union mobilisation could force more Tory U-turns


News

Socialist Students open letter to Rent Strike network

Children in care: Privatisation is not working

Multimillion-pound rental firm demands thousands from homeless asylum seeker

Covid outbreak at Kent asylum detention centre: Napier is not fit for purpose

New anti-protest law: State forces want more power to crush the protests that are coming


Workplace news

Usdaw conference stripped of democracy by leadership

Usdaw Broad Left rally brings together those campaigning for a fighting union

Strong union lead needed to stop DVLA Covid spread

HMRC: We demand a pay rise without cuts to terms and conditions

Workers fight British Gas 'fire-and-rehire' plans

Vote Steve Hedley for RMT general secretary

The NEU's 'big announcement' - lessons need to be learned

Yorkshire aerospace workers strike against pay disparity

Workplace news in brief


The Communist Manifesto

The Communist Manifesto - A guide to understanding society, and how to change it


Rolls-Royce

1971: Rolls-Royce crisis - when the Tories nationalised in order to secure the interests of British capitalism


Readers' opinion

GameStop: Billionaires hurt at their own game

The Socialist Inbox


International news

Covid 'vaccine wars' underline failure of capitalist nation states to deal with the global pandemic


Campaigns news

New members meeting in the South West - preparing for the battles to come

Why I rejoined the Socialist Party

Help us raise the funds to fuel the working-class fightback

Save our square: we need social housing and public services

Stop Labour council's eviction of Stratford Circus arts centre


 

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Article dated 3 February 2021

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Sparks protest in Cardiff

Sparks' protest in Cardiff; each week the protest has grown. Sparks are protesting nationally against the role of construction electricians being deskilled. Photo by Rachel Barwell

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