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Saturday, 20 February 2010

All Out...Oh no you don't!

When i heard that the bosses at Milford Havern Port were trying to seek an injunction against the pilot and launch crews from striking last week, it didn't surprise me one bit when they succeeded. What did surprise me, was an article in the Morning Star (http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/index.php/news/content/view/full/86978) that suggested that this was the 13th example of a court ruling in favour of the bosses in a case of industrial action in the last year!!

These workers were annoyed. Their pensions were being attacked, and they decided to make a stand. A ballot was held on whether or not to down tools in protest, and indeed, it came down in favour of strike action. However, much like the BA dispute over Christmas, the anti Trade Union Laws brought in in 1992 have been used to undermine a democratic decision - see article. They were forced back to work at the risk of being fired for not doing so.

This is yet another example of why these regressive laws need to be reversed, as was set out in Tony Blair's Labour manifesto before he ascended into power.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Civil Servants to Strike?

Civil Servants union PCS has recently begun balloting members to strike over attacks to the compensation scheme.

The government has, in the last few months presented plans to drastically cut the payoff given to civil servants (that include Job Centre Staff, Revenue and Customs Officals, National Statistics workers and regional/national government members to name but a few) when presnted with redundancy. At a time when politicians are vying with one another as to how they plan to cut jobs and therefore, the national debt, this is a serious risk to those workers, who, if the plans are finalised, will find themselves easier to get rid of!

Not only that, but the Tories have indicated that up to a quarter of staff could be offloaded into the private sector, thus further increasing the likelyhood of workers being exploited or their terms and conditions damaged

http://www.pcs.org.uk/en/campaigns/cscs/

Sunday, 31 January 2010

Trade Unions and Politics

As I understand it, PCS (Public and Commercial Sector Trade Union) are considering standing candidates in future elections as a result of the attacks on the public sector by the new Labour government. What do people think of this possibility?

My initial thoughts are that this is good, and that it could offer a new alternative to the policy of concessions shown by the main three unions (Unite, Unison and GMB) that have backed Labour since its re election in 1997. Although I acknowledge some of the good things done since '97, the Labour Party seems to have drifted further to the right and is barely distinguishable from the Tories in some areas.

In my opinion, action by PCS, along with the RMT (Rail, Maritime and Transport Union) and FBU (Fire Brigade Union) amongst others can only be a good thing, but that if and when they stand candidates, they should only stand against those Labour politicians who have shown themselves unwilling to stand up for the interests of working people and their families i.e. those that have advocated privatisiation, war, trident renewal, ID cards and anti terror legislation.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Good news everyone - the recession is over!

Although the latest stats are telling us that the British economy is now out of recession, the reality for British workers and their families is somewhat less optimistic. As we approach the elections, all 3 of the main parties are talking about how to overcome the massive debt that has been raked up in bailing out the banks, and all 3 seem to be in agreement that spending less on public services is the best way. This decision would be catastrophic for us. In order to save money, Labour, the Tories and the Lib Dems would slash jobs, freeze pay and attack existing conditions in areas such as local/regional government, job centres, tax centres etc which will result in pay cuts at best and the dole queue at worst!

As well increasing pay in line with inflation for the public sector, I believe we should look at cutting money in renewing the Trident missile system (which is in effect under the control of the USA anyway), withdraw military personel from the middle east, scrap the highly unpopular ID cards scheme and tax the rich - after all, in a nut shell, it is there insatiable greed that has got us into this position, therefore they should be made to pay!

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Tories...

I was surprised to read today about many Tory councils across the nation of Britain turning around to people and just saying, "Look we're sorry but you wont be getting a pay rise this year" to some of the most important workers within local communities.

These people would be people like, bin-men, cleaners and carers. People seem to think that their jobs are easy and that anyone can do them, whilst it may not be the most skilled job, all of the above are so very important to our communities. A prime example would be bin-men, without them our streets would be filthy, and ridden with rats and other filth covered animals.

So the whole idea of giving those who do so much, but will receive so little, makes very little sense to me. Doesn't seem that fair to me if I'm honest with you.