The Socialist

The Socialist 19 March 2014

Smash the pay freeze

The Socialist issue 803

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Workplace news in brief


The report into blacklisting from the Scottish Affairs Select Committee was published on 14 March. The report calls for blacklisting firms to be banned from publicly funded contracts. They also paid tribute to the work of the Blacklist Support Group.

Chair of the Blacklist Support Group, Steve Acheson welcomed the report saying: "Honest hard working men and women have been denied the opportunity to provide for their families because we were members of a trade union or dared to raise concerns about health and safety on a building site."

Steve himself has been blacklisted and won a court case for unlawful refusal of work. But the judge reduced the damages on a technicality.

He then faced having his house repossessed. But the trade union movement rallied round in support and the appeal has just reached its target of 25,000.

Donations came in from trade union branches and other blacklisted workers and the appeal was backed by Bob Crow, Len McCluskey and MP John McDonnell.

Strike at HCA

Unite members at the Homes and Communities Agency have voted to strike over the divisive way the agency allocates pay. 68% voted for action because workers on HCA contracts are being treated differently from those transferred from the old Tenant Services Authority.

The pay offer has already been rejected three times by the staff and the Agency management have refused to go to ACAS. Unite are seeking more talks but the strike will go ahead if the Agency continues its intransigent stance.

Budget Day march

The POA prison officers' union marched against cuts and privatisation in central London on 19 March, to coincide with budget day.

Like much of the public sector, the prison service has been cut and privatised. POA members have been forced to work longer hours while suffering a pay freeze. They are also being forced to work until they are 68.

Lewisham education welfare

On 12 March, Lewisham's education welfare officers, members of Unite, held a successful one-day strike against a 50% staffing cut in their service, which has a good record in combatting school truancy through early intervention.

Pickets were angry at Lewisham's Labour mayor Sir Steve Bullock and his cowardly council, for using their massive Labour majority to carry out, rather than fight, the cuts.

There was growing interest in supporting the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition's local council electoral challenge.

In this issue

Socialist Party news and analysis

Smash the pay freeze

Tony Benn: steadfast in speaking out for socialism

After Bob Crow and Tony Benn: We fight on!

No to bosses' EU - For a socialist Europe

Unite to end racism and cuts

Osborne's more cuts budget

Oxfam report: A tale of capitalist inequality

Them & Us

International socialist news and analysis

Crimea referendum will not deliver peace and stability

South Africa: WASP registers for the 2014 elections

Activists in the US demand $15 Now!

Socialist Party workplace news

Defend education: Solidarity with teachers' strike

Doncaster care workers determined to win

Ealing hospital workers fight miserly Medirest

Workplace news in brief

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Fight for real jobs for young people

Election Appeal: Put your money where the struggle is!

Get your May Day Greetings in

Pensioner jailed for non-payment

TUSC campaigning in Derby

Obituary: Stan Pearce, a Militant miner

Readers' comments and reviews

Review: Call the Midwife

Genetic Modification: A contribution to the debate


Home   |   The Socialist 19 March 2014   |   Join the Socialist Party

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19 March 2014