Industrial News #2

15 April 2021

Some of the latest industrial news from around the country.

British Gas workers (GMB members)

British Gas went ahead on Wednesday (April 14) with the mass sacking of striking gas engineers who refused to submit to corporate bullying and accept a 15% cut in pay rates and other imposed changes in terms and conditions.

GMB members at British Gas have already taken 42 days of strike action against the imposition of the 15% cuts in pay rates and other changes via “fire and rehire” notices.

In addition, a national official “lockout” dispute between British Gas and GMB will become effective from 14 April and will include further strike action and action short of a strike.

The strikes have led to a backlog of millions of customers waiting for planned service visits and hundreds of thousands having to wait for emergency repairs.

British Gas has suspended sale of the standard boiler service insurance.

DVLA workers (PCS members)

PCS members are taking four days’ strike action following the failure of DVLA to address the lack of Covid safety measures.

PCS members took their first day of strike action yesterday (6) following the failure of DVLA to address the lack of Covid safety measures at the Swansea site. Over 1,400 staff working in unsafe conditions at the Swansea site walked out on the first day, with the strike continuing until Friday 9 April.

The BBC reported that ten buses had turned up at the end of the day to collect staff, and only five staff members got on, showing the huge number of DVLA staff who had refused to come in to work over their health and safety concerns.

One DVLA rep said:

“messages of support and solidarity coming in daily have lit up our days”.

You can send your messages of support to dvla@pcs.org.uk.

PCS will host a second public strike rally on Friday 9 April at 12 noon to round off the week’s action. You can sign up for this rally on Eventbrite.

Please also sign and share the PCS e-action to tell Grant Shapps to intervene in the DVLA dispute.

Rank and File escalating dispute against Balfour Beatty (Unite members)

Reel News reports: Sparks invaded a Balfour Beatty job in Canary Wharf this morning (14 April) as the campaign against deskilling continues to escalate.

Workers gave the rank and file electricians a warm reception as they roamed throughout the site, plastering stickers on every surface and explaining the attacks to every worker they met.

Notice was also served that if notorious blacklisters Balfour Beatty and NG Baileys don’t drop their dangerous deskilling plans, UNITE rank and file now have a list of all their jobs and contracts – and in the coming weeks, expect sites to be shut down.

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Coffee processing jobs’ loss plan rescinded for further talks (Unite members)

The decision to sack and reemploy 300 workers at a coffee processing plant in Banbury, Oxfordshire has been rescinded so further talks on the future of the site can take place.

Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, said today (Thursday 12 March) that JD Egberts Kenco had retracted its proposal so that ‘meaningful negotiations’ can be held between now and October.

Goodlord workers battle for living wage (Unite members)

Unite members at @sogoodlord are back on the picket line. It’s been 8 weeks of strike action but the employer still refuses to pay a living wage.

Abroad: Amazon workers at Bessemer (RWDSU members)

Amazon workers in Alabama may have failed in their latest attempt to gain union recognition but the struggle goes on. Workers in Chicago walked out on 7 April over the ‘Amazon Megacycle’ which is

Amazon’s 10-and-a-half-hour graveyard shift, that runs from roughly 1:20am to 11:50am.

If you would like Anti*Capitalist Resistance to cover your industrial dispute, support your campaign against the employers or offer solidarity in other ways please do get in touch.

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