Unions Pledge to Fight For Dundee Michelin Jobs

by Ken Ferguson

The news that tyre company Michelin are to close their Dundee plant with the loss of 850 jobs is a tremendous blow offsetting much of the optimistic economic talk around the recent opening of the V and A in the city

Commenting on the announcement STUC General Secretary Grahame Smith said:

‘This announcement is a devastating blow to the workforce and to Dundee. However, they have faced this situation before and overcome it due to their commitment and resilience.”

“We will give the workforce and their union Unite every possible support to do so again and to ensure that Michelin continues to operate in Dundee”.

“The company needs to meet its obligation to explore with the union every avenue to retain activity and jobs at the plant and both the Scottish and UK Governments and their agencies need to work all out with the union to put in place an alternative plan that will retain Michelin in Dundee and secure the jobs at risk.

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Richie Venton: Resounding Victory in USDAW National Executive Contest

By Ken Ferguson

Union activist, shop steward and workplace convenor Richie Venton has won a resounding victory in a hard fought contest for two Scottish seats on the UK executive of the retail and distribution union USDAW.

Richie fought the contest on a platform of progressive left demands including an immediate wage of £10 an hour and guarantees of 16 hours work to replace zero hours contracts and greater autonomy on Scottish affairs.

His second place with 17.2% in an eight way contest for two places clearly indicates the growing support for change.

Commenting on the result Richie, who is also the SSP’s workplace organiser, said:

“I argued for hard hitting socialist measures to radically redistribute wealth away from the multinationals and multimillionaires to the working class millions who produce society’s wealth.”

“The foundation of my positive result is many years of organising and representing grass roots members at work which has taken the union’s membership in my workplace from 15 to 70% alongside growing support for a fighting stance on issues such as jobs and pay.”

“USDAW is the fourth biggest union in the UK and the retail and distribution sector organised by it includes shops,

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Birmingham Bin Strike: An acid test for Labour

by Richie Venton

In an important victory for all workers fighting austerity, the High Court has ruled (on 20 September) in favour of Unite the union and ordered Birmingham Labour city council to withdraw the compulsory redundancy notices they’d issued to 113 safety critical refuse collection workers.

As part of the legal ruling, the union has agreed to suspend industrial action until a full Court hearing. This is, at the very least, a temporary victory for workers who faced the options of the sack or a £5,000 pay cut within weeks – from a Labour council, yes, a LABOUR council!

The battle of the Birmingham bin workers is an acid test of the readiness of trade union leaders to lead decisive action against the slaughter of jobs,

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KILL THE BILL: stop Tory wipe-out of workers’ rights!

richieby Richie Venton

Even before the election of the Tories – by a mere 24% of registered UK voters – Britain boasted the reprehensible record of having some of the most repressive anti-worker, anti-union laws in the western world. Now David Cameron and his Business Secretary, Sajid Javid, have declared a war on workers’ rights that exceeds even the worst assaults the hated Maggie Thatcher dared impose.

Their Trade Union Bill – and three accompanying so-called ‘consultations’ designed to add an additional dose of repression to existing laws without having to pass primary legislation – are potentially the biggest threat to rights at work in at least 50 years, and possibly since the infamous Taff Vale Act of 1901.

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