…in brief

This week’s news in brief

Tube strikes date

Tube staff are to hold two 24-hour strikes over pay – the first planned to
start at 8pm tonight (Tuesday) and the second scheduled in one week’s time.
Thousands of workers are protesting at a 3 per cent pay rise imposed by
employer London Underground. LU has expressed dismay at the prospect of more
strikes and claims it has made a good pay offer.  www.thetube.com

Labour debates PFIs

The use of private companies in the public sector does not work and does not
provide value for money, a Unison report claims. The union, joined by the GMB
and T&G, will call for a halt to Private Finance Initiatives projects at
the Labour Party conference next month. The report cites seven reasons for its
claims, including cost and the profit made by the private firms.  www.unison.org.uk

Employers have say

Employers are to be given a greater say about education and training in a
move to help solve skill shortages. Ivan Lewis, minister for adult learning and
skills, is bringing together employers, unions, education and training
providers to examine how best to tackle individual regions’ skill shortages.
The results will form part of the Government’s spring skills strategy.  www.dfes.gov.uk

Pensions victory

Staff at Caparo Steel Group have won Britain’s first strike in defence of
final salary pensions following an agreement reached last week. The ISTC steel
union said the agreed final salary scheme was "worth just as much" as
the one closed to existing members in June. Caparo had originally tried to
change the pension plan to a less valuable stakeholder scheme.  www.caparo.co.uk

No-strikes ditched

A no-strike deal at car producer Honda has been ditched by Derek Simpson,
leader of the engineering and manufacturing union Amicus. Simpson said the right
to strike is a key human right. The move to abolish no-strike deals is expected
to spread to other manufacturers – including Nissan in Sunderland and Toyota in
Derby. www.honda.co.uk

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