Wednesday, September 25, 2013

London news round-up

RMT cleaners refuse to be ignored by ITV

RMT MEMBERS working for the cleaning company ISS noisily occupied ITV offices in Kings Cross, London, to demand coverage for their strike action.
The striking cleaners held a protest last week at Kings Cross station as part of their strike action in support of the Living Wage. According to the union:
“RMT has been campaigning for the ISS cleaners on the East Coast to receive the Living Wage and for improvements to their working conditions and pensions that match the important job they do maintaining the environment on the busy, high profile East Coast Mainline.
“However, despite efforts by RMT to force the issue, including rounds of previous rock-solid action, the company remain entrenched and have chosen to adopt an aggressively hostile attitude that has led to this weekend’s action.”
Also present on the picket line in support were RMT general secretary Bob Crow, Assistant General Secretary Steve Hedley, President Peter Pinkney and London Regional Secretary John Reid. NSSN chair Rob Williams addressed the protest with a message of solidarity.
The protest then marched to the nearby offices of ITV. A request was made for ITV to send down a reporter to interview the strikers.
When no reporter emerged from the building to speak to RMT members the strikers then occupied the building and held a noisy protest.
Faced with the determination of the strikers to be heard, ITV eventually relented and sent a camera and reporter to interview the pickets.

Met ‘heavy handed’

LAWYERS representing many of the 300 arrested at demonstrations in East London a week ago have criticised “heavy-handed” tactics used by police after they.
Solicitors at Hodge Jones and Allen which is resenting many of those arrested during protests against Islamophobic group the English Defence League, said bail conditions imposed by police raise “fundamental questions about the right to free speech.”
“The conditions appear to be a standard set, which have been imposed irrespective of personal circumstances or evidence in an individual case,” the firm added in a statement.
Many of those arrested in the Whitechapel area on Saturday are prevented from demonstrating anywhere in London while on bail until October.
Partner Raj Chada, who specialises in public order cases, said he had never seen so many arrests at a protest – and pledged to “scrutinise” the conditions imposed.
Scotland Yard confirmed the “vast majority” of the 286 people arrested for public order offences were anti-fascists who, they said, had breached conditions imposed on Saturday’s marches.
A spokesperson said the Met took a “balanced approach” to reducing violence and disorder and would consider legal representations on bail conditions upon receipt.

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