Sunday, April 27, 2008
The other story relates to and confirms the widening gulf in our so called ’free society’.
While all this is going on the ordinary working person is seeing an increase in the cost of living that is beginning to become intolerable.
Now is a better time than any to look at alternatives to the current bankrupt system. That alternative can only be a socialist alternative based on a party of organised labour.
The two stories once and for all confirm to the so called New Labour ‘progressives’ that we do live in a class society and that there is a class struggle.
(Hat tip to Charlie Marks for the Printers story)
For all those out there who are stupidly considering voting BNP at the locals should think again. This is the type of thug that infests the new nazi party!!!
Saturday, April 26, 2008
~ Workers Memorial Day ~
~ Victoria Park ~ Portsmouth ~
~ Noon till 1pm ~ 28th April ~
Speakers invited include Simon Jones Campaign ~ National and Regional TU Officers ~ City MP’s Leading Lay members ~ Hampshire Asbestos Support and Awareness Group ~
Everyone welcome so please come along. In a Union, bring a friend and your Union banner
The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions state
“A worker somewhere in the world is either, Killed, Injured and / or is Exposed to Toxic Substances every 15 seconds”.
Tony Woodley addressed the workers yesterday. The entire union movement needs to support the action by these brave workers who are not just fighting for their pensions but for the pensions of future Ineos workers. This is a very unselfish act.
Friday, April 25, 2008
'The greed of the oil companies knows no bounds as an offshore worker I have watched my pay and conditions deteriorate relative to onshore workers over the last 10 years as my earnings having grown at about half the rate of onshore earnings.I say good luck to the Grangemouth workers at least they are in a position to fight where as we who are offshore are not.No doubt the managements pensions will not be affected by their proposed changes.'
'When is it acceptable to shut down a refinery?When hauliers and farmers mount a blockade to protect their livelihood, in protest at fuel taxes. When is not acceptable to shut down a refinery?When union members go on strike to protect their pensions.The stench of hypocrisy blows across the land.'
'A pension entitlement is merely deferred salary. To reduce pension entitlement is to steal money from people for the years of service they have given. Future generations also should have the opportunity to retire comfortably after a lifetime of work - not just in the petrochemical industry but in all jobs. Gordon Brown boasts that the UK has created lots of employment but most of the jobs are little better than minimum wage modern day slavery. Disgraceful behavior from the management.'
'I'm bewildered by all of these people expressing shock that the strikers are being allowed to damage the UK's economy... That damage and disruption is precisely the point of a strike. If striking didn't cause any loss in profit, there would be no reason for it whatsoever. Disruptive it may be, but it is an essential right as it is the only real power workers have over their employers' abuses. And the employees of this refinery certainly have valid concerns! Should they just ignore them?'
'What alot of people don't realise is that the changes do affect us and the company have only at the last min tried to backtrack and change it to just future employees now. Also the union has been trying to negotiate with management since last September! Tom Crotty that you see on the news never turned up to one meeting until 2 weeks ago! And how anyone can assume a 6% wage cut is for us affordable it's shocking. Do we not have mortgages aswel to pay which depend on our take home wage?!'
'Also i'm disapointed in some peoples lack of support over this, why should we feel guilty for fighting to keep what is simply in our contract? I won't for one second be made to feel guilty and give in just as it seems like a great many others have. And we do contribute to our pension scheme as ours is deffered wages, so when negotiating a wage increase and say 4% is wanted the company would for example agree to a 2.5% increase and put another 1-1.5% extra into our pensions.
'As an ineos worker its clear to see far too many people on here just simply don't know the facts so here they are: The grangemouth site makes £1.1million per DAY and Jim Ratcliff has stated it can make a shed load more once more investment is given. Our pension scheme costs the company £3.8million per YEAR. Would you not invest in the site anyway and leave the pensions alone? If he invests and doesnt touch pensions by 2012 the site will make over 2mill a day easily.'
Spot the Ineos workers!!
A lot of comments on the BBC 'have your say' function have been from the usual 'Tory/New Labour -Key -Board- Warrior' hacks. The above demonstrate the reality and honesty of the genuine people supporting and involved in the dispute.
Gordon. These natural supporters of Labour are going against your philosophy, and that of your fellow ministers. Should'nt you be refusing the money they give you through political donations?
The local elections are on May 1st.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
'Ineos reduction in workforce pensions House of Commons - Early Day Motion
23 Apr 2008
Unite the union is asking its members to contact their MP and urge them to support the Ineos workers.
Members of Parliament are being asked to sign up to an Early Day Motion (EDM) to give their support to the 1,200 workers at the Ineos plant in Grangemouth who are preparing to strike to defend their pensions.
Early Day Motion 1391 - Ineos Reduction in Workforce Pensions Tue, 22 April 08
SummaryEDM 1391 was first put down on 22nd April 2008 by Michael Connarty
That this House is alarmed by the proposal of INEOS to reduce the pension rights of the workforce at the former BP oil refinery and chemicals complex at Grangemouth, Scotland, from that which had been part of the terms and conditions of employment of the workforce when INEOS bought the BP site; acknowledges that the INEOS proposal is to create a two-tier workforce with all new employees being denied a final salary pension; notes that as a result of the new proposal 97 per cent of trade union members in an 86 per cent ballot return voted for strike action after exhaustive negotiations; expresses concern at the aggressive tactics of INEOS senior management in undermining the agreed consultative processes; and supports the efforts of the INEOS workforce and their trade union UNITE to sustain existing pension arrangements on this very profitable complex for the benefit of all current and future employees.
On 22 April 2008 it was signed by:
Mr Brian H. Donohoe
Dr Doug Naysmith
Mr Edward O'Hara
Mr David Hamilton
Mrs Ann Cryer
Mr David Drew
Mr Andrew Love
Mr David Anderson
Mr Jim Hood
Mr Gordon Marsden
Mr Jim Devine
Mr Dai Havard
Dr Ian Gibson
Ms Diane Abbott
Mr Frank Field
Mr Robert Marshall-Andrews
Mrs Betty Williams
Ms Katy Clark
Mr Kevan Jones
Mr Denis Murphy
In addition, the Scottish Parliament has also had a motion submitted
New S3M-1760 - INEOS Reduction in Workforce Pensions Tue, 22 April 2008 Scottish Parliament - Motion Lodged
SummaryThe following motion on INEOS Reduction in Workforce Pensions was lodged in the Scottish Parliament by Cathy Peattie on 22nd April 2008.
Contents*S3M-1760# Cathy Peattie: INEOS Reduction in Workforce Pensions-That the Parliament notes the proposal by INEOS to reduce the pension rights of the workforce at the former BP oil refinery and chemicals complex at Grangemouth from those which had been part of the terms and conditions of employment of the workforce when INEOS bought the BP site; further notes that the INEOS proposal is to create a two-tier workforce with all new employees being denied a final salary pension and resulted in 97% of trade union members in an 86% ballot return voting for strike action after exhaustive negotiations; expresses concern at the aggressive tactics of INEOS senior management in undermining the agreed consultative processes, and supports the efforts of the INEOS workforce and its trade union, Unite, to sustain existing pension arrangements on this very profitable complex for the benefit of all current and future employees
Contact your MP now.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Brilliant example here of a Union organising around an issue that concerns a large section of unorganised, mainly young , mainly migrant workforce.
Restaurant workers work bloody hard for their money and tips are a welcome part of the job. Many restaurant goers acknowledge and appreciate this hard work and tip accordingly. Some smart alec scrooge employers see this as a method to cut down on already low wages or to fiddle the minimum wage they have to legally pay workers.
Campaigns should be taken up in every city to address this issue.
Well done Unite.
Well done as well to this worker who bravely stood up for his mates to expose this abuse. I hope he can get his job back.
Living in a dream world, Ed obviously feels that ministers who are, quite rightly, kicking up against the government 10p tax shafting of the poorest paid, will lose Labour votes.
Hey Ed, the government are doing quite a good job at loosing votes anyway. A few dissident ministers wont make the slightest difference. Hundreds of thousands have already deserted Labour over the last 10 years.
Roll on May 2nd and the left can rightly say that it is New Labour policies that lose elections and together with acknowledging the increasing wealth gap and the afects of the credit crunch more left wing solutions will need to be put forward to win us back votes.
Inside Housing laid to rest the reactionary argument used by the Sun, Mail, BNP, Margaret Hodge etc etc that immigrants get priority in housing. This is the kind of info that needs to be circulated in the elections in London to counter the lies that the BNP peddle. It will be ignorance that will give these idiots votes in the Mayoral elections.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Even if the Union and Ineos strike a deal the process of starting a shut down will cost millions.This is really hitting the bosses where it hurts and together with unrest in the public sector this week disputes will be very much on the agenda again.
Good luck Unite!http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/...al/7356235.stm
The employers sob storyhttp://www.ineos.com/new_item.php?id_press=206
Teachers are out as well next week with further dispute unfolding in a period where workers are beginning to feel more confident in confronting their employers. As the credit crunch turns into recession the whole political agenda will be influenced by what happens on the Industrial Front.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
(At time of posting it seems the OFT website is down. Maybe its my PC thats the problem. I'll check later.)
Saturday, April 12, 2008
I recently found reference to a blacklist that could indirectly be used to victimise trade unionists. http://www.hicom.co.uk/BusinessSolutions/literature/nsdr_datasheet.pdf
or this here
This is very worrying. Considering that the balance of proof to dismiss an employee is practically nil, kicking out a shop steward on trumped up charges of say theft could easily place said workplace rep on a blacklist. Maybe as a threat to the 'financial security of the company'.
Checking this out it is quite understandable that the Tories are supporting the Government on there not being an inquiry.They could be implicated in huge corruption charges.Remember the deal was struck in 1985 and any inquiry could I suppose lead to the then government members being investigated. The excuse that an inquiry would be a national security risk and lead to deaths of UK servicemen is hollow. It seems that if you shout national security over the inquiry it can be filed away and forgotton forever. The inquiry would reveal several things. Firstly, if bribery happened (and they http://www.caat.org.uk/campaigns/controlBAE/bae-agm-2008.phpseem to think it does) and secondly , the government dealings and relationship with a totalitarian feudal regime such as Saudi Arabia.
It seems the Government is protecting its allies at all costs. In this case the Tories and their friends in the Saudi Government.
Friday, April 11, 2008
We know how the police threatened demonstrators on Sunday with arrest under anti terror laws. Poole Council have got in on the act.
Is this what Trade Unions donate millions to the Labour Party for?
How can so called centre-left Trade Unionists who celebrated the success of 137 odd Labour MPs pushing the Agency Workers bill defend 'our' Labour governments tactics in Europe?
Yet the CBI, who regularly go for' champagne and caviar in well lit rooms' lunches with the government are listened to.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Sunday, April 6, 2008
The letter to the FT in full here
The puzzle of PM's wage standFinancial Times Thursday April 3rd
By Chris Giles Published:
The reaction of economists to Gordon Brown's continued insistence that public pay restraint is vital to keep inflation low tends to be a collective scratching of heads. The link between public sector pay rises and inflation is generally thought to be weak. No self-respecting economist would argue that public sector pay does not matter, but they believe that the effect is generally felt in the cost and quality of public services, not in inflation.
The main reason public sector pay is only weakly linked to inflation relates to the financing of public services, which tend to be free at the point of use. Schools, hospitals, the police force, the army and even refuse collection are financed from taxation, not from direct charges to users. So there is no direct mechanism for higher nurses' pay, for example, to be passed on to higher charges for healthcare services.
In fact, the inflation index is comprised of goods and services that are almost entirely provided by the private sector. Stephen Nickell, head of Nuffield College, Oxford, told the Financial Times in January that public sector pay rises "have nothing to do with inflation". Mr Brown's emphasis on public sector pay can therefore relate only to indirect effects of public-sector pay, either on private-sector wages or on demand in the economy.
But economists are sceptical, since employment in the private sector dwarfs that in the public sector by roughly four to one.Martin Weale, director of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research said recently: "What I really can't believe is that, when private sector pay rises are 4 per cent, a rise of 2.5 per cent for the public sector is inflationary."Even Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England, played down the link in his inflation report press conference in February when he was generally stressing the need to combat inflation.Public sector pay settlements "affect the tone of the labour market as a whole and will have an effect on the likely path of private-sector settlements in due course", he said."But that's a matter for government. We have never set out to say either for an individual company or a sector what the pay settlements should be or what pay growth should be."
This kind of information needs to be publicised amongst the wider membership of public sector TUs.There has been so much Brown propoganda to the contrary of this article that some of the mud can stick.
Saturday, April 5, 2008
No shit Sherlock. I notice Brown calling it Global. Major called the recession in the 90s part of a global downturn I seem to remember.
If the Labour leadership had held their breath for a second during the last 10 years and contemplated the amount of credit being chucked around they would have realised it would end in tears.
The point is that the far left had been warning about this happening for years. Just get on the archives for the CWI (Socialist Party)or the IMT (Socialist Appeal) and you will find clear warnings given in their perspectives quite a few years back.
Interestingly easy credit suited New Labour. While workers were getting deeper in debt, they were not asking for above inflation pay rises. Include in that an out of control housing market which permitted 100% mortgages over 25-30 years (rumour has it higher than that!! Cant confirm that though) and the writing is on the wall.
Mervyn King recently gave a depressing outlook of financial turmoil and industrial depression. My thoughts are that what we are facing is going to be far worse than what Major faced in the early 90s or the Thatcher recession of the 80s.
So much for an end in 'Boom and Bust'!!
Anyway more depression, doom and gloom,'talking our way into recession' (that one always makes me laugh) here
Friday, April 4, 2008
Kids! Dontcha just love' em!
This caught my eye today.
Skint-flint hotel /hospitality bosses rip off their workforce. Hutton seems to be taking the issue seriously. The GMB, rightly so, have complained about it. I expect the CBI to moan about any measures the Government takes.
NUJ are moving into action against Express and Star.
About time this reactionary company got a punch in the face.
Jeremy Dear, NUJ Gen Sec outlines the case for a fighting back NUJ.
The race to the bottom in wages and conditions is happening before our very eyes.
It seems only our government is blind to what is facing workers in industry.The Olympics in 2012 in London could face a huge amount of Industrial unrest if this is allowed to happen in the UK.
Reading (and the UK) only major brewer is moving
350 jobs at stake! Still I expect that there are plenty of new retail companies like B&Q and Tesco's that can employ these workers in Berkshire.
Isnt that what New Labour said when Rover at Longbridge closed?