JANUARY BITS AND PIECES
STRIKES ENGULF BRITAIN AS WORKER DISCONTENT RISES
About 100,000 civil servants in the UK are set to strike next month, affecting services around the country. Workers for 124 government departments and agencies will walk out on February. 1, impacting a range of public services including driving tests, passport applications and welfare payments, the Public and Commercial Services Union said in a statement. If the strike takes place, the government workers will join the thousands of rail workers, transport workers National Health Service workers and others already on strike in a series of labor actions the UK has not seen in years as workers protest cuts in pay.
Bloomberg, 1/11; also see Rail Strike Bloomberg, 1/11
BOOK LAUNCH PARTY
“Management has been very uninterested in bargaining with us over our proposals,” said Laura Harshberger, union chairperson and senior production editor for HarperCollins Children’s Books. “I don’t know why the company has been so antagonistic to us this time around … My only understanding of it is that they don’t believe that HarperCollins should have a union, and they’re trying to union-bust, but we’re not letting them.”
The company has hired temporary editors as strikebreakers but many of its authors have refused to work with them and have honored the picket lines.
Publishers Weekly, Jan. 13, Jan. 18; Portside,Jan. 19
LATEST WORKRS TO ORGANIZE
Among the latest group of workers to vote for union representation are; employees at Peet’s coffee chain in North Davis, California, who voted 14-to-1 to be represented by the Service Employees International Union Local 1021. In their petition for representation, they wrote, “We are overworked, understaffed, and underpaid.” They were assisted in their organizing drive by the Starbucks United union organizers.
Council 5 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Workers. were voted to be the union representing then 250 workers at the Science Museum of Minnesota. The union says it represents about 35,000 workers in cultural institutions nationwide.