Brief news of workers’ struggles, including a pay strike at the Environment Agency and redundancies in Hartlepool
Thousands of Environment Agency workers in England planned a four-day strike starting Friday this week over wages. Workers have organized months of occasional walkouts and other actions in which workers have withdrawn from “on call” incident response shifts.
But government ministers have not tried to invite unions into wage negotiations, says the Unison union. The union’s latest action means personnel working on coastal sea defences, tackling water pollution, waste fires and garbage dumps were scheduled to leave from 7:00 p.m. Friday until 7:00 a.m. Monday morning.
The government has refused to allow the Environment Agency to improve the 2 per cent plus £345 pay increase given to staff in the autumn.
12 weeks at Rosyth Docks
Around 100 Kaefer contractors at the Rosyth shipyard in Scotland are scheduled for a 12-week strike from Monday of next week until July 10. The workers are painters, cleaners, scaffolders and support service personnel.
Unite union members supported the action 98 percent after Kaefer failed to make a formal pay offer. The bosses, after the strike vote, offered a 7.2 percent raise that the workers rejected.
A month on the streets of St. Mungo’s
Workers at the St Mungo’s homeless charity are on strike for a month from Monday 24 April.
The bosses have yet to resolve a pay dispute dating back to 2021. The four-week action is scheduled to continue until May 21.
Halt redundancies after Hartlepool wage strike
After a six-day strike earlier this year, Hartlepool metalworkers are facing redundancy.
Workers at the Expanded Metal Company, affiliated with the GMB union, went on strike to demand a wage increase. They won a 7.5 per cent pay rise, a lump sum of £600 and better sick pay.
But not 60 days later, the workers found out that the company was laying off ten of them. The GMB union said it would fight the dismissals. The workers should strike again to save their jobs.
University strikes should inspire a broader fight
Workers at Barnet and Southgate University in north London voted in favor of the strike with 96 percent of a 67 percent turnout.
The union of members of the UCU has already been on strike for three days after the employers offered a salary increase of 1 percent for last year and the previous one. His latest offer is a pathetic 2.5 percent for this academic year.
Last month, workers at Britain’s universities indicated they would be ready to strike in a consultative vote. Union leaders should formally vote on them as soon as possible.
Wage deal reduces power of power grid strike
Pay strikes by some 1,300 power grid workers in London and the south-east and east of England have been called off after a majority voted to accept a pay offer.
Unite union members at UK Power Networks voted for an 18 per cent raise over two years plus a one-time payment of £750. That’s a pay cut in real terms.