Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition Bulletin No.27
Monday 12 December 2011
This will be the last bulletin before Christmas. Have a good break. The first bulletin in the New Year will be out on Monday 9 January 2012.

The turnout on 30 November was magnificent. Public sector workers showed they are determined to resist the austerity plans of this government. Why should they pay more, work longer and get less?
The government wants to divide public sector and private sector workers over pensions, pay and working conditions. But we won’t allow them to pit one against the other in the race to the bottom.
Private sector workers in pension struggle too
Some 2,500 Unilever workers walked out on strike last week in protest at the Anglo-Dutch consumer goods conglomerate’s decision to close its final salary pension scheme, replacing it with a hybrid offering less generous benefits: http://on.ft.com/skJXWG

Bankers cost each one of us £8.40 for every £1 they produce, study shows http://bit.ly/rFHlwq

Profit motive has created corrupt education system, say teachers http://ind.pn/veCWge

Low life reptiles who profit from poverty: http://on.ft.com/sBz5FL

TUSC NEWS

TUSC ELECTION CAMPAIGN CONFERENCE SATURDAY 28 JANUARY 2012 to discuss the platform and practicalities of the 2012 Election Campaign. Further details, including agenda and venue, to follow.
Brighton TUSC campaigns against Green Party Cuts for by-election on 22 December. The Green budget proposals were released on 1st December. In the face of a 33% reduction of funding from central government they are proposing that £35m of cuts are made over the next two years.http://brightontusc.blogspot.com/
We hope to take supporters from London to help the Brighton campaign on Saturday 17 December. If you can come, contact Nick Wrack on 07812 063 409 or nick.wrack@tooks.co.uk

The campaign to stand candidates on the list section of the GLA elections in May 2012 is well under way. If you live or work in London, make sure you sign the petition supporting the call for TUSC anti-cuts candidates: http://bit.ly/uog0Ek It’s easy. One supporter asked 39 pickets on 30 November and 37 signed. Another supporter in the RMT got 35 new signatures at the Neasden RMT branch AGM. Can you beat that?
LU Engineering Branch RMT has pledged £500 to sponsor RMT backed TUSC candidates in the GLA elections. Download copies of the open letter and petition and take them round your workplace to get signatures. http://bit.ly/oZ5hJp
Congratulations to TUSC supporter Daren Ireland, from Merseyside, who has just been elected to the RMT national executive for the North West and North Wales.
Welcome to Croydon & Sutton TUSC, which becomes the latest area to set up a TUSC branch. See their facebook page: http://on.fb.me/vdDeZo - and their website: http://bit.ly/rrLxBm

TUSC Independent Socialist Network Meeting Saturday 14 January, 12 noon 2 Langley Lane, Vauxhall, London SW8 1GB. For independent socialists who are not members of existing socialist groups. http://www.independentsocialistnetwork.org/
For more information contact indsocnet@yahoo.co.uk or phone Will McMahon: 020 8525 6616 or Nick Wrack: 07812 063 409. Follow @TUSCIndependent on twitter.
FROM THE UNIONS

Unions will challenge a High Court ruling that the government was entitled to switch the measure of inflation used to increase pensions. They will seek an expedited appeal against a move they say will cut the value of pensions to millions of private and public sector pensioners http://www.fbu.org.uk/

RMT continues ballot for industrial action on WightLink ferries and prepares for Employment Tribunal as company confirms sacking and victimisation of union rep http://bit.ly/vjyCV7

Labour council sends in agency teachers to break strike
70 NUT members at Langdon School Newham, East London, are in dispute about the all-too common problem of management bullying and excessive workload. Teachers have been on strike for three days a week since the beginning of November. The school is being kept open by agency staff. It is believed that this is the first time agency staff has been used in such numbers and deliberate intent to break a strike. Messages of support and collections to nutlangdon@aol.co.uk

80% vote for strike in ballot at West of Scotland Signaling Centre Rail union RMT has confirmed that members have voted by almost eight to two in favour of strike action and industrial action short of a strike involving staff working at the Signaling Centre http://bit.ly/tARlvP

Damning report reveals real picture of council cuts
UNISON is calling for the Government to refocus on local government services and finances, in light of a damning report on council cuts by the Audit Commission and Local Government Association (LGA). The report shows that councils across England have already made 145,000 job cuts and the number is set to spiral. This will have a devastating impact on the lives of local government workers and communities relying on the vital services they provide http://bit.ly/vrsrel

Sparks defy courts for massive day of strike action across the country The biggest of the 'Dirty 7' big contractors Balfour Beatty (BBES) may have outlawed the strike by their electricians, but 7 December saw protests, stoppages and walkouts all over the country. Unite's strike was won by a 81% margin yet the bosses can run to the courts and use the Tory anti-union laws to stop a just and legitimate strike against imposed new contracts on electricians which will result in them losing up to 35% in pay. http://bit.ly/s4JAmc
Nestle is at it again
The world's largest food manufacturer is showing complete disregard for the human rights of its employees in Pakistan, where -- according the IUF -- contract workers face mass dismissals, jail, beatings and blackmail

Leaders of the teachers' union in Bahrain arrested and sentenced to long jail terms following a series of peaceful protests earlier this year. Their appeal is about to come before the courts. The Education International, representing some thirty million unionised teachers around the world, has called for a major online campaign to press the Bahraini government to drop the charges. http://bit.ly/vJWELn

Workers at Philippines Airlines locked out for over two months. The International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) is urging support for an online petition and boycott of the airline http://bit.ly/uPAtrh

DIARY OF EVENTS

Lobby Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service Full Authority Meeting Wednesday 14 December 2011, 10:00am Behind Aylesbury Fire Station, Unit 7, Stocklake, Aylesbury, Bucks, HP20 1BD The purpose of the Lobby is to protest against cuts to the fire & rescue service in Aylesbury including the closure of the Aylesbury Command & control room with the loss of over 20 firefighter jobs http://bit.ly/trKdEF

Save Our Railways, No to McNulty: RMT Nationwide Campaigning Day of Action, Thursday 15 December As part of the ongoing campaign against the McNulty Report the RMT is organising a campaigning day of action to distribute campaign postcards during the morning rush hour to passenger at stations throughout the country. McNulty recommends further rail privatization, lower pay, longer working hours, further fare rises and cuts to services http://bit.ly/vh0l1

TUC LGBT Forum 15 December 2011 The TUC LGBT Forum will be held on 15 December 2011 at the Regional TUC office in Leeds 2 -4pm. http://bit.ly/ufvJsv

Sure Start National One Day Conference Saturday 7 January 2012, 9:30am. Friends Meeting House (Behind Central Library), Manchester M60 2LA Unite the Union NW & Save Manchester Sure Start Campaign have jointly organised this Conference because the Con Dem Coalition Government will be pushing for even more cuts in 2012 http://bit.ly/unyYvn
Information Burst

This might appeal if you have a secret Santa present to buy this year, or are short on ideas for distant relatives... http://bit.ly/vJj28C

UK signature missing from key convention on violence against women
Please help petition Lynne Featherstone to commit the UK to sign the Council of Europe's convention on violence against women. The UK holds the Council chair and is claiming to use it to focus on human rights, but its refusal to sign is sending the wrong signal to countries where this protection is badly needed. http://bit.ly/uHsIUz
RMT has written to lawyers for News International demanding to know which journalists were involved in instructing an undercover surveillance operation against General Secretary Bob Crow by former policeman and MI5-trained Derek Webb. RMT is calling for full disclosure of information relating to the News International surveillance, and to any blagging and hacking operation against the union and its General Secretary http://bit.ly/sQ9huy
Unpaid overtime gives a £29bn boost to the UK economy http://bit.ly/tNpwPn