PCS news digest 3 August

3 August 2012

This weekly news digest is a summary of news, campaign articles, media releases and reports from the past week

3 August

Defend those who defend you – PCS

PCS members have a chance to tell the government about the vital role trade unions play in civil service workplaces and the benefits of supporting trade union representatives to carry out their duties.

RMT members on strike today over Olympic working conditions – Union-News

RMT members working directly for Transport for London are today taking strike action over Olympic working conditions, reported the Union-News website.

Walkout at Swansea DVLA – ITV News Wales

About 2,000 workers are expected to walk out of the DVLA offices in Swansea today in protest against planned office closures and disputes over pay, reported ITV News Wales.

Half a million disabled people may lose benefits under reforms – Independent

Charities reacted with horror as the Government announced that Atos and another private company, Capita, had won three contracts to run a new work-capability check for disabled people being brought in next year, reported the Independent.


2 August

Next steps on pensions, pay and jobs – PCS

Dialogue is continuing with other unions to build for co-ordinated action over pensions and pay in the autumn, reported the PCS website.

A big day for the Robin Hood tax – Robin Hood Tax campaign

The 0.2% financial transaction tax has been introduced in France and is expected to raise half a billion euros in the first year, with a pledge from President Hollande that a part of the revenue will go towards combating AIDS.


1 August

Worked to death: 32 disability benefit claimants die after being forced into jobs – Daily Mirror

Over the last three years 32 people have passed away while challenging decisions to take away their entitlements, reported the Daily Mirror.

Union campaign saves jobs at Defra – PCS

About 15 PCS activists protested this afternoon outside the head office of their employer - the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) in central London.


31 July

Chris Grayling ‘Tried to censor’ video aimed at helping claimants to appeal benefit decision – Guardian

Emails complain of ‘tone’ and ‘negative comments’ in official advice to people appealing against having benefit taken away, reported the Guardian.

Government’s market-led approach will undermine localism agenda – TUC

A new report published by unions and voluntary sector groups highlights potential flaws in the government's localism agenda, as outlined in the Localism Act, reported the TUC.

Strike vote over pay at Olympics sponsor Atos – PCS

Staff working for an Olympics sponsor at the centre of the government's controversial cuts to disability benefits have voted for strikes over poverty pay.


30 July

Disabled or faking it? – BBC Panorama

Panorama investigated the government's plans to end the so-called 'sick note culture' and attempts to get millions of people off disability benefits and into work.

Britain on the sick – Channel 4 Dispatches

Using undercover filming for Dispatches, reporter Jackie Long investigated the controversial processes used to assess whether sickness and disability benefit claimants should be declared fit for work.


29 July

It’s time for £250bn rescue – Sunday Mirror

George Osborne faces calls to hold an emergency budget to pump £250 billion into the struggling economy, reported the Sunday Mirror.

Blacklisted builders launch mass legal action against Sir Robert McAlpine – Observer

Workers branded 'troublemakers' on shadowy industry database make multimillion pound claim against construction giant, reported the Observer.


28 July

The neoliberal games: who are the real winners from London 2012? – Red Pepper

Far from embodying some timeless ‘Olympic spirit’, the 2012 Games reflect the injustice and inequality of the current economic system, writes David Renton for Red Pepper magazine.

Walkout closes Carlisle’s DVLA office – News and Star

A staff walkout forced the early closure of Carlisle’s DVLA office, reported the News and Star.

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