News digest 29 October 2012

News digest 29 October 2012

29 October 2012

The digest opens with action by Unite/PCS members at the British Museum. Cleaner and maintenance workers took three hours of action from 7am this morning in a dispute over plans to hand over their work to a private company. The action by the 50 workers – who fear their pay and terms and conditions will be cut – is the start of a series of planned strikes as they fight the outsourcing plans. Unite regional officer Carolyn Simpson summed up the workers’ anger: “We will not stand idly by while our members and this vital museum service is sold off … the museum’s standing as a world class heritage site is in danger.”

And many of the papers also report on the bleak future for many of Britain’s struggling workers after new research from accountants KPMG showed that one in five workers struggle on wages which don’t even give them a basic standard of living. Con-Dem cuts have hit lower paid workers the hardest as the report showed that more than two in five revealed their finances are worse now than they were just one month ago. Unions called for workers to be paid a living wage and Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “Living standards have been squeezed like never before and wages are falling while City fat cats still enjoy bumper bonuses. Units is continuing to call for a £1 an hour increase in the minimum wage as a stepping stone to a full living wage.” It’s unlikely Osborne is listening but without getting more money into working people’s pockets the economy is likely to shudder to a halt, don’t say you weren’t warned.

And talking of the economy, the Express reports that Tory MPs have told Osborne to cut taxes for the middle classes while the Mail says ministers are considering a new tax on motorway users effectively making the roads for the rich only. Former deputy prime minister Michael Heseltine is due to publish his report setting out plans to boost growth across the country with a call for companies to get better access to capital and better management skills. So far so usual, but the Mail and Guardian report that Heseltine is also likely to back tougher limits on foreign takeovers – although don’t expect a full Cadbury law. The report will be published on Wednesday but what is really needed is positive government action of the sort that would put a stop to making it easier for companies to close UK factories like Ford at Southampton and Dagenham.

The only way to get change is to get rid of the Con-Dem shower and the byelection in Corby is hotting up. The latest news is Louise Mensch has denied that she stood down because she thought she would lose. She slapped down the source of leak, but as it came from her husband - who she stood down to spend more time with - it may well be that he’s been sent to sleep on the sofa, did someone say there’s  a storm brewing in America? Could it be that Mensch tags on to the coat tails of that too…

Morning Star

 Daily Mirror




 Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • [Labour] ambush over Europe (p1)
  • Top mandarin [Jeremy Heywood] to lead charge against Scots independence (p8-9)
  • Museum staff on strike (p10) – Unite cited
  • A&E unit faces closure at South London Healthcare trust (p13)
  • Regional pay would be bad for economy (p16)
  • Britain faces long wait for faster growth (p35)
  • Green energy drives runs out of puff (p36)
  • Heseltine report ‘must herald support for mid-size business’ (p41)




 FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Lloyds reform bid to axe incentives (p1/3)
  • Murdoch bid for Penguin books (p1)
  • Osborne faces fund test for big projects (p2)
  • Support grows for new nuclear deterrent (p2)
  • Heathrow/Stansted dual hub explored (p4)
  • CBI calls on focus on aid for midsize companies (p4)
  • TPG enters race for Stansted (p18)
  • Nokia needs Windows 8 (p19)
  • BAE Systems arm ready to protect itself from US military cuts (p20)
  • Foreign carmakers in Brazil tax warning (p20)

 Edited by Mik Sabiers

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