Workers shut the museum to most of the public (Picture: Guy Smallman)

British Museum workers plan to strike from Tuesday to Sunday of next week as part of the PCS union’s ongoing targeted national strike strategy that began in November of last year.

The workers are demanding fair pay and protections to pensions and job security. And despite the government recommending all employers pay staff a £1,500 lump sum, the British Museum has refused to match even this rubbish offer.

Many of the museum’s front of house staff are currently receiving wages well below the London living wage, say PCS.

PCS reps were set to meet with museum bosses for Thursday to discuss a potential new pay offer.

Meanwhile, PCS workers are building a campaign to reject Civil Servants 4.5 percent plus 0.5 percent pay deal with a further one off £1,500 payment.

With no lead for rejection of the deal coming from the top, rank and file workers have organised themselves to build networks of opposition to a settlement that would mean big real‑terms cuts in pay.

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Workers out to slam ISS

Cleaners and caterers employed by ISS at South London and Maudsley (Slam) NHS Trust struck for seven days last week as part of their fight for better pay and conditions‑—and an end to outsourcing.

Scores of strikers also joined a march to Downing Street last Wednesday to demand pay rises that have been withheld for several years.

The seven-day strike follows the failure of talks at the Acas conciliation service and six days of strikes already taken.

Multinational giant ISS that infects the NHS is refusing to budge on pay.

The GMB union is putting pressure on the Trust not to renew its contract in the coming negotiations.

The GMB demands that instead of privatisation, all workers should be brought back in-house.

Firefighters’ union backs refugees’ safety

The Fire Brigades Union has attacked government proposals to strip back fire risk assessment rules for asylum seekers’ accommodation.

Ministers plan to exempt accommodation provided on behalf the Home Office for asylum seekers from needing an HMO licence.

The HMO licencing process gives local authorities a duty to check that adequate safety measures and equipment are in place.

Ben Selby, the union’s assistant general secretary, said, “This policy could have tragic consequences with the loss of life and injury.

“The government is taking a callous and reckless approach to the wellbeing of asylum seekers.

“The government is effectively stating that the lives of asylum seekers are somehow of less value.”

Amazon shuts warehouse in bid to escape union drive

Amazon bosses are doing everything in their power to try and stop the spread of strikes and other forms of industrial action at their “fulfilment centres” across Britain.

The company announced last week that they would close the warehouse centre in Rugeley, Staffordshire, where workers are currently balloting for strikes.

Workers there had walked out on unofficial strike last year. Since then they have voted by 98 percent in favour of escalation of their dispute in an indicative ballot.

Coventry Amazon striker and GMB union member Darren Westwood told Socialist Worker, “This is a union-busting action. We knew that Amazon would be building a new fulfilment centre in Sutton Coldfield, which is around 20 miles away from Rugeley.

“But they never said they would try and move people over. This action is nothing short of disgusting.”

Amazon has the money and power to shut down fulfilment centres to try and stop strikes from spreading. This means that there needs to be an even stronger response from workers.

Workers in Rugeley should vote yes to strikes and take to the picket lines as soon as possible. GMB members at the BHx4 fulfilment centre in Coventry are planning to strike again from 11 to 13 July.

The only way for workers to win is to keep striking while pushing for workers at other warehouses to come out with them.

They do a vital job and want to bin their low pay

Bin workers outsourced to the Suez firm in South Gloucestershire have ramped their strike up.

The 150 Unite union members walked out from 12 to 18 June. Then they walked out from 26 June and originally planned to continue the action until 9 July.

Now they are set to strike everyday until September.

Strikers decided to escalate after Suez and the council ignored requests to engage in talks, let alone to improve their pay offer.

They had voted to strike by 89 percent after bosses offered an 8 percent pay rise. The loaders currently get £11.53 an hour.

Meanwhile bin workers employed by Suez in Somerset are set to walk out for 12 days over pay.

The 200 Unite union members were offered a pay rise of just 5.8 percent. The strikes are planned for Wednesday to Friday of each week starting on Wednesday of next week until 4 August.

Workers will also be on an overtime ban for that entire period.

The workers operate on an outsourced contract tendered by Somerset Waste Partnerships, which is run by the council. Loaders are on just £10.68 an hour with HGV drivers on £13.63.

And 200 refuse workers employed by Bristol Waste are set to strike from Monday of next week for seven days, followed by 14 days from 24 July.

The workers are paid only just over the minimum wage to collect bins, clean the streets and operate household waste and recycling centres.

Bosses offered them a 17-month pay deal of 7 percent or £2,000 depending on which is greater. It’s well below inflation.

Workers are right to fight the desperately low pay rates.

 Trelleborg bosses told to take a walk

More than 100 workers at the Leicester-based Trelleborg factory began an indefinite strike last Thursday.

The Unite union members at the component manufacturers rejected a one-year deal of 4 percent, plus a £700 lump sum.

Strikes at Trelleborg factories in Tewkesbury and Bridgwater came to an end recently after workers accepted a deal of 8 percent in the first year and 3 percent in the second.

Bosses originally offered them 5.2 percent.

Workers in Wales want equality

Agricultural feed workers in Wales in the GMB union are demanding that the bosses pay them as much as their counterparts in England.

Workers at company Forfarmers in Carmarthen, which sells a wide range of animal feed products, are paid up to 30 percent less than those that work across the border.

Now workers have voted 85 percent in favour of strikes.

Shatter this poor pay deal

Workers at glass cord manufacturer NGF Europe in St Helens, Merseyside, want to shatter a lousy pay offer.

Bosses offered workers what they termed a “final offer” of just a 5.56 percent pay rise and an £850 non-consolidated payment.

Workers rejected that and voted to strike. They took to picket lines on Monday and plan to strike again next Saturday, Sunday, and on the 10, 13, and 14 July.

Sandwell bin workers have paused strike

Refuse workers in Sandwell in the West Midlands have called off their strikes to allow for negotiations.

Rubbish had started to pile up after workers downed tools for almost four weeks.

The strikes held firm with cleaning teams, tip workers and those who drive and load bin lorries all gathering on picket lines and blocking roads.

But workers should not have paused the strikes for negotiations. They should keep striking until they win.

What about our security?

Angry workers at UCL university in London are protesting against the bosses’ attempts to fire and rehire them. University bosses and subcontractor Bidvest Noonan have told security workers that many of them will be made redundant.

Those that still have a job will have to face worse conditions and hours than they did. Bosses have also warned they will cut workers’ hours.

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