Tuesday, 21 June 2011

South London journalists strike on June 30

Journalists on the South London Guardian series will stage a four-day strike from Monday to Thursday next week - meaning they wil be taking action on the same days 750,000 other workers on June 30.

Strikers' blog
Report from National Union of Journalists website
Striking journalists could link the private and public sectors - from The Workers United last week

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Striking journalists could link the private and public sectors

This morning I spent some time with pickets outside the South London Guardian office in Sutton.
It was bleak, it was pouring with rain. I was proud of my fellow National Union of Journalists' members battle to save local newspapers from the butchers who own them.
Another round of redundancies had pushed these proud workers over the edge.
The strike was their response - with picket lines in Sutton and Twickenham.
Local papers make money for the corporations that run them - in this case the American-owned Newsquest.
But newspaper bosses have given up trying to provide any sort of service to the communities they milk for cash.
Here's an article I wrote about it in 2005
Journalists at North London and Herts Newspapers, owned by Tindle Newspapers, struck in April because staff numbers had been halved.
Someone else is leaving the Enfiled-based firm. There is no sign of a replacement.
The nine NUJ members left have re-balloted and voted unanimously for more strike action.
So both these chapels - workplace branches - have ballots that would allow them to take lawful strike action on Thursday June 30 when 750,000 other trade unionist are already due to walk out .
The NUJ is a bottom up democracy. These journalists will - rightly - decide their own next move.
But I think it would be brilliant if they joined the June 30 action.
It would strike back at a ruling elite trying to turn private and public sector workers against each other.
It would be a great PR opportunity as the first private sector workers to join the strike.
It would create a massive audience for the campiagn to save local journalism among the members of the other unions already taking part - the National Union of Teachers (NUT), Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), University and College Union (UCU), and Public and Commercial Services union (PCS).
And it would give an opportunity to argue that local media is a vital service, holding acommunities together by publicising and scrutinising the vital work of the other public servants striking on June 30.

UCU members to walk out over attack on national agreement

Lecturers at London South Bank University are to strike against management plans to take them out of the national agreed working conditions for higher education.
Members of the University and College Union (UCU) at the Elephant and Castle campus voted 70 percent in favour of walking out in a secret ballot.
They will strike on Wednesday July 6 - six days after taking part in the June 30 national strike over pensions involving members of UCU, the National Union of Teachers (NUT), the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) and the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS).

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

'If London Transport give him his job back we won't need to go on strike'

Bob Crow was characteristically blunt on BBC London news this evening.

The leader of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) was passionate in his support for sacked tube train driver Arwyn Thomas.

The equation is simple. If Arwyn isn't reinstated there will be a four day underground strike to coincide with the Wimbledon tennis tournament.

The driver has already been given what's called "interim relief" by a judge who said he was dismissed for supporting the union. That's a very rare victory in courts that usually sing along to the employer's tune.

COMMENT: This is a magnificent stand by the RMT for the basic principle that an injury to one is an injury to all.
This high profile action will strengthen the hand of all union reps trying to persuade colleagues to take collective action to defend an individual.
Good employment laws are nice - but decisive action is better.

Facts about the dispute