British strike reports

This Reuters video from England says about itself:

June 30 – Dozens of arrests were made at a march in London led by teachers and civil servants in protest at planned pension reforms, launching what could be a long period of labour unrest over austerity measures. Hayley Platt reports.

Hundreds of thousands of public-sector workers the length and breadth of Britain defied slurs and threats today to mount one of the biggest walkouts since the 1926 General Strike.

Hundreds of thousands of public-sector workers … walk out … over government plans to raid their pensions in the name of austerity – a day after new figures revealed that top directors still enjoy retirement pay worth millions of pounds.

Between half a million and 750,000 public sector workers staged a 24-hour strike on Thursday against the coalition government’s attack on their pension scheme: here.

Well over 20,000 striking public-sector workers marched in London today against their pensions being used to pay for the “greed and stupidy of the banking sector”.

70,000 MARCH IN LONDON – GENERAL STRIKE – workers tell News Line what they want: here. And here.

As 750,000 Britons Strike Against Their Government, Federal Employee Strikes Are Illegal Here In The U.S.: here.

Overworked America: The Great Speedup. Monika Bauerlein and Clara Jeffery, Mother Jones: “Pundits across the political spectrum revel in the fact that US productivity (a.k.a. economic output per hour worked) consistently leads the world. Yes, year after year, Americans wring even more value out of each minute on the job than we did the year before. U-S-A! U-S-A! Except what’s good for American business isn’t necessarily good for Americans. We’re not just working smarter, but harder. And harder. And harder, to the point where the driver is no longer American industriousness, but something much more predatory”: here.

2 thoughts on “British strike reports

  1. 48-hour general strike in Greece

    Hundreds of thousands of workers struck for 48 hours this week in opposition to the Greek parliament’s endorsement of a further €28 billion in public spending cuts. It comes on top of the severe austerity measures already implemented on the demands of the International Monetary Fund and the European Union, which have greatly undermined public sector salaries, pensions and other benefits, while raising value-added taxes.

    The social democratic PASOK party carried the measures on Wednesday and went on to agree to a €50 billion fire sale of Greek state assets.

    The public sector union ADEDY and the private sector union GSEE were involved in the action, representing up to two and a half million workers. The strike caused major disruption, particularly to travel, as air traffic controllers staged four four-hour strikes over the two days, leading to flight cancellations and delays.

    Piraius port in Athens, which is to be sold off, was closed, and trains and bus services ran a restricted service, where they were able to run at all.

    There were violent scenes outside the parliament in Athens, where police ran amok against protestors—unleashing a barrage of tear gas and beating people.


    Hungarian transport workers’ unions block lanes, instead of strike

    The Hungarian trade union confederation Liga called off a planned general strike Wednesday, joining a police union’s nationwide demonstration involving the blockade of single lanes on roads instead.

    Liga president Istvan Gasko called a general strike two weeks ago over the ending of early retirement schemes, but called it off on the pretext of negotiations with the government on July 4 in what he described as a “forced gesture to the government”.

    The police-instigated demonstration reportedly covered all the 19 counties, with lanes to be blocked on the main access roads to cities and lasted for 12 hours.

    Transport strike in the Netherlands

    Public transport was hit in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague June 29, due to a strike by bus, tram and metro workers against government cuts.

    The government plans to force the three big cities to put public transport services out to tender by private companies, as well as €120 million spending cuts announced by Transport Minister Melanie Schultz van Haegen that she says can be met through privatisation.


  2. Southampton council workers extend walkout

    Refuse workers in Southampton, England, have extended their strike by a week in a protest over pay cuts.

    A strike by 300 council workers began Tuesday and involves binmen, street cleaners, librarians, toll collectors and parking attendants.

    The Conservative-led council has threatened another 400 job losses if the pay cuts are not accepted. It has already announced 285 redundancies, and is making budget cuts of £25 million, including cuts in hours for all workers earning more than a measly £17,500, 65 percent of staff.

    The Unison and Unite unions have said the council refused to withdraw dismissal notices for staff who would not sign a new contract by July 11, the BBC reports. Street cleaners have voted to extend their strike until July 12. Binmen are working to rule.


    Strikes at Faifax School, West Midlands, England

    Teachers and staff are taking three days of strike action at Faifax School, in Sutton Coldfield.

    The walkout by about 30 teachers began June 29 against plans to turn the school into an academy. It continued yesterday as part of the national protest against the attack on state pensions and today.

    The school was open to pupils for the first two days of the strike, but with activities replacing some lessons.


    Solidarity strike at UK Fujitsu IT plant

    Staff at the Fujitsu IT plant in Crewe voted 52 percent to 48 percent to take industrial action June 30, to oppose the potential dismissal of a work colleague.

    Alan Jenney, who is a union rep, could be dismissed early next month.

    The Unite union said that he had “been singled out and put at risk of redundancy.” The union claimed this was discriminatory, as Fujitsu had “responded to hundreds of job losses elsewhere by supporting staff through redeployment.”

    South London journalists’ strike called off by union deal

    A four-day strike over job losses began by journalists employed by Newsquest South London on June 27 has been called off by the National Union of Journalists (NUJ).

    NUJ chapel members voted to accept an agreement to replace vacancies occurring over the next six months and to retain two extra editorial positions.

    The industrial action by Newsquest journalists arose over opposition to management plans that included axing the whole sports and leisure department, involving eight journalists and making one commercial features writer redundant.

    Staff returned to work at Newsquest offices in Sutton and Twickenham, ending a work to rule and calling off the last two days of a four-day strike.

    NUJ head of publishing Barry Fitzpatrick said, “The outcome of this dispute shows the need for management to work together with the NUJ to tackle the problems of the newspaper industry.”

    It was the second recent strike by the journalists over redundancies. The sports editor, at the news group, and one sports sub-editor have already been made redundant.


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