Unite, Unison, GMB rally, Glasgow Unite, Unison, GMB rally, Glasgow. Photo: @ScottishTUC / Twitter

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A poor pay deal for Parking Wardens and Emirates Arena staff threatens to disrupt 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships in Glasgow. Workers have come out on a 48-hour strike against the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities’ (Cosla) weak 5.5% increase offer.

Workers in the service, which is already understaffed and overstretched, are refusing to accept a below-inflation offer, while profits and investment flows in for international events. The action may see parked cars blocking some of the competition routes through the city and into the velodrome.

A strike rally on Thursday, bringing together workers from GMB, Unite, and Unison, also drew attention to the disgraceful state of Glasgow’s roads, with much of the cycling route having to be resurfaced especially for the Championships.

Bearings factory: workers refuse to roll over

100 engineering workers, members of the Unite union have given their management notice: if Cooper Roller Bearings don’t improve the 5.1% pay deal on offer, they will strike for the day on Monday August 21; they will then double the strike days each week after, until management talk turkey. As one union member put it, “With inflation at 10%, a 5% pay deal is a real terms cut. The firm made a pre-tax profit of £7m last year, so they can’t plead poverty.”

The workforce have already imposed an overtime ban, and pickets will be at the Wisbech Road gate to the plant on strike days.

The return of mass solidarity

This Saturday, hundreds of trade unionists and activists are set to descend on Coventry to deliver mass solidarity with the Amazon strikers. Watch the video below narrated by Amazon striker Darren Westwood about their struggle and why you should join the mass rally. There are still some seats available on coaches coming from around the country, find your nearest one and book here.

Grave concerns about pay in Rotherham

Unison members in Yorkshire has kick-started a pay dispute with Glendale Grounds Maintenance with a decisive 82% mandate for strike action. The workers are seeking a 10% pay increase.

Unison’s Dan Wood says:

“These Unison members are seeking an increase of 10% on their basic pay, overtime and allowances. They are not asking for anything they do not deserve.

“Even a rise of this scale would barely be sufficient to re-establish pay parity, after a decade of lagging behind, with the lowest paid [Rotherham Council] employees.”

The first set of action will begin on 8 September.

Miserly Menzies are a grey cloud over holiday plans

Refuelling drivers employed by Menzies Aviation at Birmingham Airport have voted to strike if the company doesn’t improve its “miserly” 9% pay offer. The tanker drivers are essential for aircraft refuelling at the airport, and their action will hit major airlines, including TUI, Easyjet, Wizz Air, Emirates and Lufthansa.

A Unite spokesperson said that they had no wish to disrupt people’s holiday plans, but that the company’s current offer did not even match inflation, currently at 10.7%, and therefore amounted to “a real terms pay cut during a cost-of-living crisis and comes on top of the company imposing a 6% rise last year, when inflation roared to 15%.”

He pointed out that, with revenues of over a billion pounds last year, and pre-tax profits of £60.4M, the company had the capacity to offer a proper rise.

The drivers will no doubt have had their confidence boosted by the recent 13.5% pay rise won by security officers and terminal technicians at the airport, whose own strike was due to start this week, until the improved offer came in.

Higher Education skirmish: Unison picket lines ahead

Thirteen more branches have reached the strike threshold, report Counterfire Unison members

Angry transport workers put a Barr on bosses’ profits

Truck and shunter drivers at AG Barr’s Cumbernauld distribution centre in Dunbartonshire are due to stage 9 24-hour strikes between August and October. The first stoppage is due to take place next week, on August 11, and there is an overtime ban in place from August 8. AG Barr makes soft drinks, its most famous product being Irn-Bru.

The action has been called following the Unite members’ unanimous rejection of a 5% pay offer, described by management as ‘competitive’ and by the workforce as ‘insulting’. The action could see Scotland’s totemic soft drink disappear from retail outlets at the height of summer.

Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham said that there was “no reason why Irn-Bru should disappear from retailers’ chiller cabinets whilst AG Barr has £52m chilling in the bank”.

PCS: court security staff balloting for strike action over poverty pay

Security staff employed by private contractor OCS are being reballoted for industrial action, which could close courts across England and Wales.

PCS have notified OCS that security officers working in 144 courts across England and Wales will be balloted for industrial action over pay and other issues. The ballot opens on Monday, 7 August and closes at 12 noon on Thursday, 31 August 2023.

PCS’s Mark Serwotka says:

“It is scandalous that many of our members working for OCS are the recipients of poverty pay. Security officers have recently been offered a pay rise by OCS that is just 38p an hour above the national minimum wage. 

“To add insult to injury, OCS has fought tooth and nail to prevent these ballots from taking place in the first place.”

The OCS Group’s most recent declared profits were £44 million. News from the Frontline doesn’t just want decent pity for these workers, it wants shot of the whole outsourcing racket.

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