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The News Line: News Youth demand a future–no zero hours contracts
A section of the Young Socialists lobby of the TUC Congress in Brighton yesterday
‘YOUTH demand a future! No Zero hour contracts!’ shouted the fifty-strong Young Socialists and Workers Revolutionary Party lobby of the Trades Union Congress in Brighton yesterday morning.

Delegates stopped to talk to YS members who demanded that the TUC call a general strike to bring the government down. The YS lobby kept up chants of ‘No more Grenfells! Kick this government out!’ and ‘No single market! No customs union! Break with the EU now!’

Bright Ephraim a Serco worker and Unite member lobbied delegates calling for all the unions to support their strike at the Bart’s Hospital Trust in east London. He told the Prison Officers Association leader Steve Gillan: ‘We had a strike for one week and for two weeks. Serco tried to cut our pay and cut our sick and holiday pay. We need all the unions to come out and support us. Unison at the hospital are in working while all of us in Unite are outside striking. This is no good. Unison must come out with us on strike so that we can strike together and be stronger.’

Steve Gillan replied: ‘I will be more than happy to come down to your picket next strike and support you. We moved the motion at the TUC for a general strike in 2012. The TUC have done nothing since. We have always been consistent in our call for a general strike. This is going to come up at this conference over coordinated strike action over pay.’

General Secretary of Unison Dave Prentice was walking into the conference when it was raised with him that Unison members are crossing the picket at Bart’s because Unison has not balloted. He claimed: ‘This is the first I have heard of this. I will look into it and do something about it.’

Alec Price from the Fire Brigades Union stopped and said: ‘We have suffered severe cuts, the loss of 11,000 jobs since 2010. We have had ten fire stations shut in London. Cuts and deregulation in general have led to the Grenfell fire disaster. Social housing has been deregulated, fire inspectors have been cut by two thirds. Fire cuts cost lives!’
On the issue of Serco he said: ‘I went on a Serco demonstration through Whitechapel.
We need solidarity in the unions. The Unison members need to be organised to fight their regional and national leaders and d emand that they ballot to join the Serco strike.’

Ian Mitch from the newly formed National Education Union told News Line: ‘Our union began on September 1st. We are permanently in struggle. Our schools are becoming academies which we have had many strikes against. There is the issue of workload for teachers, but it is on the issue of public sector pay which we will be balloting for strike. Pay has been held down for eight years.’

Prospect Secretary Steve Grey said: ‘We are in a struggle over the London Living Wage with mostly young cinema workers who have just reballoted for more strike action. We support the Serco strike and I am going to raise your concerns at the conference.’

Deborah Reay from Aslef said: ‘The closure of the ticket offices in London Underground has had a big affect on the Aslef drivers. ‘If there is an emergency there are no staff to help de-train so that the passengers can be taken to safety. There are passengers wandering around the station not knowing where they are going.’


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