Union News 12 December 2022

Tens of thousands rally outside Parliament to support strikers

• Tens of thousands of postal workers demonstrated in Parliament Square, London, on Friday over pay and conditions.

• The Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) said that “17,500 CWU members came to London”—one in six of those on strike.

• The CWU members were joined by politicians and other trade union leaders in solidarity.

Royal Mail workers across the country formed picket lines and more action is planned for the rest of the week.

• CWU acting deputy general secretary Andy Furey spoke to the rally, saying that their demands are not going away and that unity will win in the end.

Christmas is cancelled for many disabled and carers

• One in five families who care for a disabled relative are planning to cancel their Christmas celebrations this year due to soaring prices, according to research by disability charity Sense.

• A survey of 1,007 families found that more than half said they were in debt and over a third were skipping meals to save money. With energy bills soaring as temperatures drop below 0 across the country, over a third (38 per cent) said they will not buy Christmas presents, and a fifth (22 per cent) said they will cancel celebrations altogether.

• The government has pledged to increase benefits in-line with inflation in April next year, but Sense warns that the delay to the uplift will leave “millions” of disabled families struggling to afford food and energy this winter. People with disabilities typically have higher living costs which makes them more vulnerable to soaring prices.

Jacob’s strike ends following settlement

• The Jacob’s cream cracker factory strike in Aintree, Liverpool has been called off after eleven weeks.

• Strikers voted in favour of a pay offer put forward by management, but over a third wanted to keep fighting.

• The deal includes a 6.5 percent pay rise this year backdated to January with a £300 one-off payment, followed by 3 percent increase next year with a £250 one-off payment – far less than the RPI rate of inflation which has soared to 14.2 percent.

• GMB union members were initially demanding a minimum pay rise of 8.5 percent but accepted 6.5% for first year and 2% for second year.

Shelter workers start two week strike

• Around 600 workers at housing charity Shelter began two weeks of strikes last Monday in the fight for a pay rise that at least matches inflation.

• Strikers are out at Shelter’s offices in Old Street and Hackney in London, Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Birmingham, Blackburn, Bristol, Bournemouth, Manchester, Newcastle , Norwich , Liverpool , Plymouth , and Sheffield .

• On the picket line in Old Street , strikers chanted , “ Three percent won ’ t pay the rent ” while car horns beeped in support—and at the “ Honk if you’re not paid enough ” sign .

• The strikers are using their campaigning skills to run the picket—with a book swap group , tactics meetings teach – outs. A rally took place on Friday from where the strikers marched to the CWU union rally.

Episode Notes

Our music is provided by Tim Bragg. Tim is a multi-instrumentalist & singer-songwriter. You can hear his songs here: – or any streaming service or on YouTube.

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