Shelly Asquith’s TU-esday round-up: Anti-Racism Day and #SaveHondaSwindon

While Labour’s affiliated unions may disagree on some of the finer details of Brexit, all are agreed that the government’s handling of it in parliament has been chaotic. The current threat to members’ jobs is nothing short of shameful.

The Spring Statement last week was met with resounding disappointment, with unions slamming many of the pledges on housing and jobs as woeful. Unison’s Dave Prentis commented: “The Chancellor’s statement will be swiftly forgotten, but the consequences of inaction will continue to scar communities for generations to come.”

But this weekend saw thousands of trade unionists come together with a positive message: uniting to mark the UN Anti-Racism Day. Activists marched in their thousands in London, Cardiff and Glasgow to show the strength of our opposition to racism and the division of the working class. Speaking at the rally, the CWU’s general secretary Dave Ward said: “It’s been a great day for the anti-racist movement… now we need to keep our unity and step up the fight against the evils of racism and prejudice.”

Updates on industrial action:

  • Unison members at Liverpool Women’s Hospital were back out on strike for a second time last week. The outsourced workers are fighting for a pay rise to bring them up to NHS pay levels: just an extra £1 per hour. Meanwhile, the union is consulting members at the Environment Agency on industrial action over a measly 1.3% pay offer.
  • The TSSA will be staging a protest outside London’s City Hall this Thursday morning, calling on the government to re-instate the operating grant for Transport for London, the service that oversees the Capital’s tube and bus networks and employs thousands of the union’s members.
  • Lorry drivers in Unite, employed by Alpha Flight which supplies airplane food for British Airways at Gatwick Airport, will be on strike next Wednesday and Thursday. The action comes after the employer backed out of a union agreement on market alignment pay.
  • Traffic wardens working for Wandsworth Council were on strike last week and are due out again today. Their union, the GMB, is demanding decent working conditions including sick pay and accident cover.
  • Today Unite members will protest outside Crawley Council offices, as they demand an end to a decade of wage restraint. Workers employed by Mears and Mitie, carrying out housing maintenance work for the council, have endured a 28% real terms pay cut.
  • The Honda car plant in Swindon, the town’s largest employer, is at threat of closure. Thousands of jobs are at risk, and Unite and the local community are demanding the Japanese firm reconsider. Chart-topper Josh Kumra is headlining a rally on March 30th in an effort to save the plant. You can show your support by tweeting #SaveHondaSwindon.

More from LabourList