Welcome to Union News which reports on the labour and trade union movement in the UK. In this podcast Fire Brigades Union calls for mass campaign to resist UK government’s ‘draconian’ anti-strike legislation, Workers at London’s largest sixth form college vote for 30 days of strikes, Junior doctors in England to hold longest strike in NHS history over pay dispute, National Express bus drivers continue indefinite strike in West Midlands, while balloting on new pay offer and Join the Active Minority and Help Build Union News: Donate Today! Music in this podcast is by Tim Bragg.
Fire Brigades Union calls for mass campaign to resist UK government’s ‘draconian’ anti-strike legislation
The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has called for a mass campaign of resistance against the UK government’s Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill, which is currently at committee stage in the House of Lords. The proposed legislation would allow bosses and ministers to sack workers who refuse to cross picket lines and provide a minimum service level during walkouts in six key sectors. The FBU’s general secretary, Matt Wrack, described the bill as the “most draconian attack on the rights of working people in decades” and called for a mass movement of non-cooperation and non-compliance to defeat it. The Trades Union Congress has also condemned the bill and is being urged to organise an emergency congress and a sustained campaign of resistance.
Workers at London’s largest sixth form college vote for 30 days of strikes
NEU union members at NewVic, the largest sixth form college in London, have unanimously voted for 30 days of strikes in a dispute over management attacks on their working conditions and students’ education. The strikes will take place three days a week for ten weeks from the beginning of the summer term in April. This is the third dispute in the past 12 months at NewVic, and workers have grown stronger and more experienced through their previous struggles. Workers have cited a lack of concern for education and a focus on money from management, and delivered a vote of no-confidence in the principal in January. The first strike day will also see a mass meeting, with NEU joint general secretaries invited to attend along with other trade unionists, local councillors, and supporters.
Junior doctors in England to hold longest strike in NHS history over pay dispute
Junior doctors in England are planning to hold a four-day strike from Tuesday, 11 April, in the longest such action so far over the health service pay dispute. The doctors, represented by the British Medical Association, are calling for their pay to be restored to 2013 levels, which would represent a 26% increase. The action is expected to force the cancellation of thousands of operations and the closure of outpatient services. The union leadership has accused the government of failing to make any credible offer in negotiations. Other health unions are recommending that their members accept a pay deal that the BMA deems inadequate.
National Express bus drivers continue indefinite strike in West Midlands, while balloting on new pay offer
Over 3,100 National Express bus drivers in the West Midlands continue their indefinite strike as they ballot on a new pay offer. The Unite union members walked out in several cities on Monday, impacting the number of buses running in the entire West Midlands area. The new offer includes a 16.2 percent increase on all current driver pay rates, formalizing existing interim overtime rates, and accident pay to be paid at 12-week average pay. However, the 16.2 percent pay offer still would not take drivers up to the £18 an hour rate. Workers have been balloting on the offer.
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