Exeter postal strike update

A wildcat strike involving 300 workers at Exeter Mail Centre continues after talks between bosses and unions failed to end the unofficial dispute.

The initial trigger for the walkout (previously reported by here) was the disciplining of a union official for his sickness record in a manner workers said violated normal procedures.

LPG - a load of hot air

The Competition Commission has found evidence that huge monopolies dominating a major utility sector are taking advantage of the position - but apparently not enough to warrant action.

A report has found that the Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) market is uncompetitive and could be ripping off vulnerable rural people, but has refused to suggest the breakup of controlling monopolies.

LPG is used to supply heating for housing not covered by the national gas grid, with people living in rural areas having gas periodically delivered and stored at their homes.

Merseyside fire strike continues

Talks start tomorrow between the Fire Brigades Union and Merseyside Fire Authority, as fire fighters continue into the third day of two four day strikes over job losses.

Managers and non-union members have been running a scab service throughout the strike, although there have been no major incidents. Fire fighters will resume the service for two hours on Monday, then start a new four strike immediately afterwards assuming no agreement is reached.

For more information, see our previous article:

The Diggers - Lewis H. Berens

Chapter IV from The Digger Movement In The Days Of The Commonwealth, by Lewis H. Berens.

Three day strike at Whipps Cross Hospital

Whipps Cross

This week there was an escalation in the long running dispute betweeen cleaners, porters and switchboard staff, and their private employers at Whipps Cross Hospital in East London.

By yesterday lunchtime approximately forty workers were on the picket line for the first of three days of strike action involving around 200 members of staff, members of Unison. They are striking to gain "Agenda for Change" levels of wages, agreed three years ago but ignored by Rentokil Initial since they were due to come into force earlier this year.

Chatterton, Dan and his 'Atheistic Communistic Scorcher' - Andrew Whitehead

Dan Chatterton

Communist atheist pamphleteer, bill poster, slum dweller, early birth control advocate, fierce public ranter; Dan Chatterton is one of the most fascinating and undeservably obscure characters of the London radical scene in the second half of the 19th century.

Exeter: Posties wildcat strike

300 workers wildcat at the Exeter Mail Centre, “severely disrupting” postal services.

Staff at the sorting centre walked out in support of a union official being disciplined over his sick leave - workers allege proper procedures have not been followed. The Communication Workers Union (CWU) have fulfilled their statutory obligation to state they are trying to get the workers back to work, while management have been scabbing.

Merseyside firefighters’ strike

Over 1,000 members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) on Merseyside are planning an 8-day walkout over plans to cut over 150 jobs.

Update: the strike is now on

900 strike at South West Trains

900 workers at South West Trains walk out in a row over management scabbing.

The workers at South West Trains (SWT) walked out at midnight for a 24 hour strike over management scabbing during previous industrial action, when managers drove trains. The striking workers are mostly members of Aslef, with some RMT drivers also involved.

University of the Third Age: the unlikely Bakuninists

A massive, unsung, but very anarchistic educational network is spanning the UK. Martyn Everett investigates.

Asked to give examples of how anarchist ideas work in practice most anarchists would probably suggest the collectivisation of industry during the Spanish Revolution. If pressed to give more recent examples then some of the surviving small-scale worker co-operatives set up since the late 1960s, or free schools such as Summerhill might be suggested.