St Paul's protesters plan action during Lord Mayor’s Show
02 Nov 2011 The Occupy London activists hope to make themselves heard across the capital and for several more months, by setting up more demonstrations and by getting hold of sturdier tents.
But they are also in constructive talks both with the governing Chapter of St Paul’s and the City of London Corporation to weed out troublemakers and minimise disruption to local businesses, now that the authorities have suspended legal action to evict them.
After the turmoil of the past two weeks that has seen the resignation of two leading clergymen, the longest closure of the City landmark since the Blitz and the anger of leading politicians at the encampment, there is now a growing acceptance that it is not going away quickly.
The protesters, whose demands for a fairer society have largely been silenced by the crisis they triggered in the Church of England, are now planning a series of actions to coincide with some of the biggest events in the Square Mile’s calendar.
On Saturday 12th November they are intending to carry out a “provocative but peaceful” protest to coincide with the Lord Mayor’s Show, said to be the oldest civic procession in the world. www.telegraph.co.uk
21 October 2011 St Paul's Closes Due To Occupy London Stock Exchange protesters The anti-global finance protest camp set up next to St Paul's cathedral a week ago has been asked to leave by cathedral officials who said they were being forced to shut the building for safety reasons.
In a statement, the dean of St Paul's, the Right Reverend Graeme Knowles, said the decision to close the cathedral – one of London's most celebrated tourist attractions – was "unprecedented in modern times", but added that there was no choice........guardian.co.uk
16th October 2011
Anti-bank Protesters Camp Out At St Paul's Cathedral
Occupy London protesters are set for a long haul camping outside St Paul's Cathedral London as the global action against financial institutions gains momentum throughout the world;
Far from requesting that the 300-strong crowd be removed from the cathedral steps on Sunday , the Rev Dr Giles Fraser, canon chancellor of St Paul's, requested that the police themselves move on as the Occupy London Stock Exchange protest entered its second day.
A line of officers had taken up position at the top of the steps to "protect" the building. "Which was very good of them," explained the canon. But then he had asked them if they would leave, "because I didn't feel that it needed that sort of protection".
And so those attending Sunday mass found themselves picking a path through the makeshift camp of around 100 tents erected at the foot of the cathedral's steps after Saturday's global day of action inspired by the US's Occupy Wall Street movement.
10th October 2011
Thousands to Occupy London's Stock Exchange on October 15
Protesters inspired by the growing 'Occupy Wall Street' movement in the U.S are planning to establish a tent city in London's financial district next weekend
A Facebook page titled 'Occupy London's Stock Exchange' has already amassed over 3,000 people who have agreed to attend the event on October 15 while 'Occupy London' on Twitter has over 1,000 followers.
The group, who were behind a protest that saw Westminster Bridge closed today posted on the social networking site that they are 'part of a global popular movement'.
9th October 2011
Protesters against NHS reforms occupy Westminster Bridge
More than 2,000 people staged a sit-down protest on Westminster Bridge from 1pm on Sunday to highlight the health and social care bill, which is due to go before the House of Lords this week.
The bridge, normally one of London's busiest, links St Thomas's hospital on the southern bank with the Houses of Parliament.
As Big Ben struck 1pm protesters unfurled banners and sat down, blocking the bridge in both directions as hundreds of police looked on.
UK Uncut, the anti-cuts group which organised the Block the Bridge, Block the Bill demonstration, said: "Today has brought together doctors, nurses, parents, students, unions, pensioners and children together in an unprecedented act of mass civil disobedience.
"We are occupying the bridge because the bill would be bad for the NHS, bad for patients and bad for society."
5th October 2011
500 Electricians Protest in London's Oxford Street
Several hundred electricians protested outside the Tommy Clarke building site in London's busy Oxford Street where some minor scuffles with the police took place.
The background to the dispute is that the largest electrical contractors in the UK: Bailey Building Services, Balfour Beatty Engineering Services, Tommy Clarke, Crown House Technologies, Gratte Brothers, SES and SPIE Matthew Hall have all decided to withdraw from the nationally negotiated electrical agreement [JIB]
Electricians are currently paid £16.25 per hour - the proposed new contracts cut this to £10 per hour for the vast majority of the work. In addition the new contract would allow non-qualified staff to carry out electrical work. Dismissal Notices have already been sent out to thousands of electrical workers - the new contracts will be imposed on 7th December 2011.
The building site in Oxford Street is a Tommy Clarke site - one of the rogue electrical contractors
It has been reported that major clients fear that the dispute will escalate and impact upon projects across the UK - some tendering processes have been halted because of the negative publicity around the electrical firms involved.
5th October 2011
Thousands of teachers in Wales on strike over pension changes
Thousands of teachers in Wales will walk out today in a dispute over pensions.
Welsh teaching union UCAC is holding a day of industrial action after approval from members.
The union balloted around 3,500 eligible teachers this summer on the back of the coalition Government’s proposed changes to public sector pensions.
And at a meeting of the union’s national council in Aberystwyth, UCAC reported an overwhelming 89% majority in favour of strike action.
Elaine Edwards, UCAC general secretary, said the planned pension changes were unfair and members saw the proposals as an “attack on their futures”.
14th September 2011
UK Unions Call 30th November Day of Industrial Action
Trade unions have called a collective day of strike action on 30 November, warning the government that Britain faces the "biggest mobilisation in a generation" unless ministers rethink "hugely damaging" changes to public sector pension schemes.
Up to 3 million public sector workers, including nurses, teachers and careworkers, are expected to take part in industrial action, with at least 14 unions committed to strikes over government pension reforms.
The TUC general secretary, Brendan Barber, said: "The intention will be to take the call for pensions justice for both public and private sector workers to every corner of the land on that day in the biggest trade union mobilisation in a generation."
23rd August 2011
David Cameron's Oxfordshire Youth workers strike over cuts
He may not have mentioned cuts to youth services, but local youth workers weren't going to let the opportunity pass. On Tuesday they went on strike to protest against changes that they say could have a "huge impact" on young people's lives.
Standing outside the Bridge Bar, a youth centre, which is due to be replaced on 1 September by an "early intervention hub", one worker described the anger at the prime minister's decision to make the speech on 15 August at the youth centre in Witney.
"To go to Base 33 and give that speech and not even mention the youth services he was cutting was very, very hypocritical," she said. Like many protesting she did not want to give her name for fear of jeopardising future job prospects.
3rd August 2011
Southampton Social Care Workers Join Industrial Action
UnionNews reports from Southampton as social care workers join the continuing wave of industrial action in response to plans from the Tory-led council of Royston Smith to impose a 5% pay cut on staff as well as attacks on public services in the city on top of sweeping changes to contracts and conditions. The unity, spirit and determination of public service workers across Southampton is an example to the whole union movement.
1st August 2011
BBC 24-hour News Strike Starts Today
The BBC is facing another day of disruption to its news programmes on Monday with many of its journalists due to go on a 24-hour strike before beginning an "indefinite" work to rule.
The industrial action by the National Union of Journalists is taking place in protest over compulsory redundancies. It follows a 24-hour stoppage on 15 July which led to BBC1's Breakfast and BBC2's Newsnight being taken off air.
29th July 2011
UK Autumn of Strikes Over Public Sector Pension Hikes
Condems plans to raise public-sector pension contributions by as much as 6% in leaked documents given to the Daily Telegraph yesterday, sparked Unions to threaten more strikes in the autumn larger than last month's one-day stoppages. Top public sector earners will pay £3,000 a year more in contributions but some will pay no extra.
Professor Philip Booth, of the Institute of Economic Affairs, said: ‘In varying contributions with earnings, the Government is lowering the take-home pay of better-paid relative to poorly-paid employees in an arbitrary way.
Dave Prentis, general secretary of the union Unison, said: ‘We entered into talks on public sector pensions in good faith and we genuinely believe we are making progress, albeit slowly. But these talks are being put in jeopardy by the crude and naive tactics of Government ministers who don’t seem to understand the word negotiate.
14th July 2011
BBC 24-hour Strike Starts 15th July 12am
The NUJ - National Union of Journalists has accused BBC top management of wilfully avoiding talks to head off the 24-hour nation-wide strike by thousands of BBC journalists which begins at midnight tonight.
NUJ General Secretary Michelle Stanistreet will join the picket line at BBC Television Centre, London W12, at midnight as journalists walk out to begin their industrial action. NUJ members at BBC national, regional and local centres across the UK will be on strike until midnight tomorrow night.
NUJ General Secretary Michelle Stanistreet said: “Union representatives have tried hard to resolve this serious dispute through negotiation. “We have even agreed to use the Acas conciliation service to try to find a way forward. But BBC senior management has shown no real interest in negotiations. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that BBC management wants thousands of its journalists to go on strike tomorrow, rather than settle the dispute.
UK Police Rally Against Cuts Wednesday 13th July 2011
Off-duty officers hold 'day of action' in London in protest against 20% cut to police budgets
More than 2,000 off-duty police officers from across England and Wales are to stage a mass rally in the heart of Westminster in protest at policing cuts.
Wednesday's "day of action" has been organised by the Police Federation to highlight the impact of a 20% cut in Whitehall grants to forces and fundamental reforms of police pay and pensions.
UK Strike Thursday 30th June 2011
The strike went off relatively peacefully with only a handful of arrest and few injuries. Major inconvenience caused to parents whose children's schools were closed for the day and the emergency services telephone operators were manned by the Police due to a 90% walk out. Airports and sea ports experienced delays due to customs officers striking and London gridlocked due to closed roads.
The strike is probably just one of many stoppages unless both sides can come to a mutually satisfactory agreement.
29th June 2011
The strikes are already on at airports as some UK Border Agency staff due to start shifts at 6pm have apparently failed to show up to work. Heathrow Aiport issued the following statement, which is mirrored by messages on other airport websites:
Due to strike action by UK Border Agency staff at all UK airports, passengers arriving at Heathrow are likely to experience a longer wait time at passport control. We are working with UK Border Agency to minimise delays to passengers and flights. This website will be updated with the latest information for passengers if the situation changes.
The 7,852 English schools affected by teachers strikes: how your local authority is affected CLICK HERE
Government civil servants from the Public and Commercial Services Union - PCS are to join teachers, lecturers and students for the Thursday 30th June strike over cuts to pensions, jobs, pay and tuition fees.
Most other UK Union members are also expected to support the strike action which will leave most of the UK public buildings and services closed for that day.
- VIDEO: PM appeals for schools to stay open bbc.co.uk
- VIDEO: Teachers to strike in Wales over pensions bbc.co.uk
- VIDEO: Union talks over strike threat walesonline.co.uk
- VIDEO: UK Pension talks fail to prevent strike threat euronews.net
- VIDEO: Cameron appeals to strikers over 'fair' pension bbc.co.uk
- VIDEO: Maude: Strike action totally irresponsible bbc.co.uk
- VIDEO: GMB on pension levels and industrial bbc.co.uk
A quarter of a million civil servants are expected to join striking teachers for a mass walkout on 30th June, bringing schools, colleges, universities, courts, ports and job centres to a halt.
Up to 750,000 state employees are expected to take part in the strike, over the government's pension reforms, after members of the Public and Commercial Services Union - PCS voted by 61.1% in favour of strikes, and by 83.6% for other forms of industrial action, on a turnout of 32.4%.
Members of four trade unions will walk out for 24 hours on Thursday, closing thousands of schools in England and Wales and disrupting Government departments, courts, driving tests and job centres.
In a joint statement after this afternoon's meeting, Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude and Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander insisted the talks had been "constructive".
Air passengers warned of disruption and the UK Border Agency says people should try to avoid flying on Thursday, with letter to airlines warning of 'delays at the border'
Airline passengers are being urged to rethink their travel plans after the UK Border Agency said strikes due on Thursday could cause huge disruption to the immigration system.
Airports are preparing for massive queues at passport control at ports and terminals in England as UK Border Agency staff walk out in the escalating row over public sector pensions.
Ministers and union leaders in talks on the three central issues on public sector pensions, paying more, working longer and getting less, are unlikely to avert the strike action this Thursday as neither side is willing to compromise.
Education Secretary Michael Gove said the strike would harm the teaching profession's reputation and encouraged parents to keep schools open.
Kevin Courtney, deputy general secretary of the NUT and one of those representing teaching unions at Monday's meeting at the Cabinet Office, said the government needed to back down over changes to public sector pensions.
VIDEO Unite the Resistance - Kevin Courtney
VIDEO Unite the Resistance - Mark Serwotka
Lord Norman Tebbit of Chingford writes...The trade union bosses compare David Cameron with Margaret Thatcher – and they see weakness. The leaders of the public sector unions seem to be getting very excited at the prospect of getting back to the good old days of strikes against the government. After all, it is 85 years since the General Strike, 37 years since they toppled Heath and 32 since the Callaghan Winter of Discontent.
But back in the 1980s, Prime Minister Thatcher had a secure Tory majority and no reputation for making U-turns. Unhappily that is not true of Mr Cameron’s government. Weakness, even perceived weakness, not strength, provokes aggression, and the Coalition lacks a reputation for a steely sense of purpose.
Shadow chancellor Ed Balls warned trade unions not to fall into chancellor George Osborne's "trap" by striking. The chancellor was hoping for the unions to embark on industrial action, Balls said, so that he could blame any weak economic recovery on walkouts."
His party colleague Lord Hutton disagreed with Balls, telling BBC1's Politics Show: "There are still negotiations going on and those negotiations should continue.
Mark Serwotka said: "The problem with what Ed is saying is this: if he's me, representing people, many of whom are on £15,000 per year – they work hard, they're on poverty pay, they don't look forward to a very big pension. If all of that's being taken away and you work longer, pay more and get less, what frankly are we supposed to do? Are we supposed to sit back, say it's unfair and do nothing?"
Danny Alexander MP - Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch & Strathspey said the government was "absolutely not" trying to provoke a battle with unions.
Public sector pensions: Work longer and pay more, says Danny Alexander MP - Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch & Strathspey Chief secretary to Treasury to confirm that pension age for public servants will rise to match state pension age, which is increasing to 66
The TUC general secretary, Brendan Barber, said: "At such a critical time in complex negotiations, this is a deeply inflammatory public intervention with a clumsy mix of announcements, apparently designed to pre-empt the talks, coupled with crude threats that even worse terms might be imposed if unions refuse to acquiesce to this assault on their pensions.
"Many of the detailed proposals set out by Danny Alexander have not even been put to the TUC negotiators, and the government has yet to give a response to specific proposals tabled by the trade union side.
CBI Confederation of British Industry criticises Cameron for backing down over public service reforms
In a scathing speech, the CBI's deputy director general, Neil Bentley, warned that the government had allowed urgently needed reform to be derailed by "forces of inertia", adding that the coalition gave the impression of "having lost its way, uneasy about reforms and unsure about how to present them".
The minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude, said: "We have been doing everything we can to protect public service jobs and front line services by cutting government's overhead costs. "Doing nothing, as the Public and Commercial Services Union - PCS leadership advocates, is unfortunately not an option.
"The reality is that action on pay and pensions is what will protect jobs in the public sector," he added.
The Public and Commercial Services Union - PCS general secretary, Mark Serwotka, argued that 110,000 civil servants' jobs were likely to be cut in the next few years, as well as the remaining employees facing pay freezes and cuts to their pension entitlements.
"We're facing hundreds of thousands of job cuts, we're facing communities that will see despair and decay in their public services
Prime Minister Cameron's official spokesman said that the Government wanted "an open and constructive dialogue" with unions.
The spokesman added: "We are reforming public sector pensions responding to Lord Hutton's recommendations. Once we have finished reforming public sector pensions, they will remain amongst the very best available.
"We are freezing pay for two years for people on more than £21,000 in the public sector and that will help us preserve jobs in the public sector.
"I note that only one in five Public and Commercial Services Union - PCS members voted for strike action."
"The NUT : National Union of Teachers will continue to take part in the Trades Union Congress - TUC-led negotiations with Government on pensions. So far there is no evidence that the Government is taking those talks seriously. We hope that our action and that of the ATL. Association of Teachers and Lecturers will persuade the Government to change its attitude."
The number of people employed in the public sector decreased by 24,000 in the first three months of this year, half of those in education, as schools and colleges shed staff at the rate of 1,000 a week.
The coalition has overseen a 143,000 reduction in the number of state employees over the past year in total. In the first quarter of 2011 there was a 27,000 reduction in local government staff, as councils rushed to implement tight new budgets in the new financial year in April.
Dave Prentis, general secretary of UNISON | The public service trade union, said: "The figures show that government's cuts have led to another 24,000 public sector workers losing their jobs. Economic inactivity has gone up and the private sector is still weak. It is no position to create the number of jobs needed to stop thousands more public sector workers joining the dole queues.
"The government must stop cutting hard and deep and look at stimulating the economy, creating jobs and keeping the public services that people rely on."
Other groups, including direct action campaigner UK Uncut, and the National Union of Students are also planning protests on 30 June to coincide with the strike.
The Prison Officers Association said every prison and secure hospital POA branch in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will also hold protest meetings on the same day.
The Public and Commercial Services Union - PCS general secretary, Mark Serwotka warned that if the Government did not change course, the huge numbers striking this month would grow to "three to four million" by October.
Ministers say the low turnout in the strike ballot shows that the union's members do not support such action.
Hundreds of thousands of Teachers will bring school chaos after 'overwhelming' vote to strike over Pensions rights, which will mean that teachers will pay more, work longer and receive less.
One of the countries largest unions the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), which has never taken national strike action before in its 127-year history, said that 78,342 members were eligible to vote in the ballot.
Of the 27,563 who voted (35 per cent), 83 per cent - 22,840 - voted to strike and 4,653 voted against.
08 Jun 2011
More than 2,000 police officers will hold a demonstration against cuts next month at Central Hall in Westminster, London on July 13, their biggest protest in the capital for over three years.
“We should be out there trying to catch criminals and locking them up but we seem to be more concerned about the police, not the criminals.”
Mr McKeever said he expected thousands of frontline officers to leave the force before the two year pay freeze starts in September.
A survey of more than 42,000 police officers published by the Police Federation of England & Wales last month found that a "phenomenal" 98 per cent said morale has fallen owing to planned police budget cuts, the possibility of a reduction in police officer numbers and possible changes to their terms and conditions.