20 April 2012
The government has embarked on a frenzy of changes intended to help businesses by reducing the obligations they owe their workers. Most will significantly weaken working people’s rights in favour of employers.
More than half of all school children living in poverty – 1.2 million – are missing out on free school meals, reveals shocking new research by The Children’s Society.
The government plans to close 36 of the 54 remaining Remploy sites with compulsory redundancies for 1,752 people. Unite is organising save Remploy rallies in London and Sheffield on 20 April.
Protesters include Adam Lotun, 49, a father of baby twin girls, has been severely affected by the government cuts after his Disability Living Allowance was taken from him after six years, reported the Guardian.
George Osborne’s budget announcement that the government is seeking to support regional and localised public sector pay risks institutionalising the region as an area of low pay and widening inequalities, argues Stephen Crossley in a blog for the Northern TUC.
Two major unions have announced spring strike plans that would cause a wave of disruption, reported the Daily Mirror.
The union's national executive has unanimously agreed a programme of ongoing action, starting with national strikes over pensions co-ordinated with other unions on 10 May and at the end of June.
A blog on the False Economy website looks at the next phase of opposition to NHS reform.
The Guardian reported that the country narrowly avoided a double-dip recession and will struggle for the rest of the year, a forecasting group has warned.
The Financial Times reported that companies could increase employees’ pension pots by as much as 40 per cent without any additional contributions, giving employers greater flexibility to manage staff in the run-up to retirement, according to a report out this week.
The Union-News website spoke to workers made redundant at Visteon on the three-year campaign to recoup their pensions – and how pictures & cartoons can make life safer for foreign-language building workers.
The Observer reported that Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister, was due to face charities enraged at plans to cap tax breaks on charitable donations, at an event billed as a celebration of philanthropy but slammed by critics as a "damage limitation" exercise.
Alex Nunns reported from Athens for Red Pepper magazine on the human consequences of the austerity measures, and how they are being resisted.
The government is under increasing pressure to reopen the inquiry into the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence, with the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, joining demands for police corruption to be examined afresh, reported the Independent.