NSSN 491: Organise for the fight of our lives – NSSN Conference

The NSSN Conference as always, is a vital forum for trade unionists to come together to discuss our experiences during these crisis-ridden times and forge a strategy that protects our safety in the workplace and defends our jobs and income.


It’s never been more important for trade union members and reps to come together to discuss the strategy we need to fight for a future that secures our safety, jobs, income and pensions. The economic and health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic is showing on a daily basis that fighting union organisation is a necessity for workers.

Come and take part in the biggest annual event that brings together rank and file union members with fighting unions alongside campaigners such as the parents who have organised with education workers against the Tories’ reckless re-opening of schools and the anti-racist protesters who have exploded into action after the killing of George Floyd in the USA. Coronavirus has revealed all the class inequalities that we know exists but in a brutal fashion.

The NSSN national steering committee is determined that this year’s conference must go ahead, despite the restrictions on public meetings due to COVID-19. Therefore, it is a virtual event on the Zoom platform, from 11am this Saturday

The link to join the NSSN Conference on Zoom –


Meeting ID: 853 8673 1306
Password: 246838

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10am registration opens

11am-1pm Main Session – Zoom link here

Will include an appeal for finance and affiliations and for new steering committee members


Break for 15-30 minutes


Workshops (each one has its own Zoom log-in details):-

Fighting closures and redundancies


Meeting ID: 872 3531 2046

Password: 210635


Discriminating conditions of BAME workers exposed by Corona and Black Lives Matter, How to defend and fight back for our rights


Meeting ID: 872 9219 1003

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Young workers – organising and fighting in the workplace


Meeting ID: 820 4044 0656

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The NHS – reversing privatisation and cuts

Meeting ID: 817 2876 3520

Password: 678028


Unionising social care


Meeting ID: 892 1738 3364

Password: 408721


Education on the frontline

Meeting ID: 912 3665 5330
Password: 863930


Unionised workplaces, safe workplaces


Meeting ID: 830 1106 4257


Housing in crisis


Meeting ID: 812 2694 4016

Password: 801464


Facing further austerity – fighting cuts in the councils and on transport


Meeting ID: 890 5737 4428

Password: 146432



Join the protests against the killing of George Floyd in the USA

The NSSN sends our deepest sympathy to the family of George Floyd, who was killed by police in Minneapolis on May 25th. We also send our solidarity to those who have protested in the USA and around the world. NSSN supporters have been at many of the protests that have taken place all around the country. We think trade unions are vital to build workers’ unity at this time.

There are other protests being organised. To find out about others, follow #MarchforFloyd #KneekforFloyd #GeorgeFloyd and #BlackLivesMatter on social media.



The NSSN is continuing to report on how workers are organising during the coronavirus pandemic

The NSSN is opening up our weekly email bulletin, website and social media platforms of Facebook and twitter to provide a public forum for workers during the Coronavirus/COVID-19 crisis. We want to be a place where we can all share queries and experiences that workers are facing in their workplaces. These include reports of action taken by workers to defend themselves from their employers.

You can read about many of these actions in our weekly bulletin and out social media groups, especially our Facebook group: NSSN – defend workers’ rights under Coronavirus.

You can also send the NSSN your reports and queries via our website, twitter – @NSSN_AntiCuts and email – [email protected]


We welcome the information being sent to union members concerning the spread of coronavirus, including the TUC, Unison, Prospect, Unite, RMT, PCS, ASLEF, TSSA, CWU, EIS, UCU, Mandate, NUJ, NIPSA, FBU, POA, NEU, NASUWT, BFAWU, RCN and the GMB.

But it is absolutely vital that unions retain their ability to organise and act independently in defence of their members and workers generally. This includes the right of unions to take industrial action. We are already aware of workers being forced to take unofficial action on health and safety grounds. We also believe that unions should have oversight of any government bans on protests and picketing. This is the same Tory government that tabled more new anti-union laws in December’s Queens Speech last December and cannot be trusted.

We believe that it is essential that workers are protected during this worrying period and are not impacted, whether in terms of their safety as well as their pay and employment rights. The Tory government have announced measures that if implemented would include some workers receive 80% of their wages. However, we believe that no worker should pay the price for any spread of the virus. Any worker who is required not to attend work or is unable to do so because of childcare or transport closures should receive full pay and not be forced to take annual leave. But unions have to remain vigilant that any government payments actually happen and also covers all workers, including those in precarious employment such as zero-hour contracts and in the gig economy.

We have drafted this model motion which we’ve made into a bulletin that can be downloaded and printed off to be distributed. Feel free to use in your union and trades council, in totality or partially to highlight the issues that need to be addressed.


Keep an eye out for other Facebook and social media groups and pages that are being created. The Coronavirus Support Group for Workers has been set up on Facebook and is a useful forum.

Follow how unions are facing up to coronavirus globally via LabourStart and ReelNews

USA: Sign Fight for $15 petition: Tell McDonald’s: Give your workers paid sick leave NOW

Sign Waltham Forest Trades Union Council petition to Barts NHS Trust: for adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) for all NHS staff particularly at Whipps Cross hospital.


Sign petition: To Welsh Government – For an immediate 10% pay rise for health, care and key workers. Sponsored by Cardiff County Trades Union Council, Swansea Trades Council, Caerphilly Trades Council


Union Coronavirus resources

Most TUC-affiliated unions have dedicated sections or pages of their websites to coronavirus/Covid-19 advice. Here are those where such information is available without entering special member portals. We will keep updating them













BECTU Sector of Prospect






College of Podiatry
























National Society for Education in Art and Design (NSEAD)


Nautilus International
































Fight victimisation of union reps

Since the New Year, a whole number of union reps and members have been sacked, suspended or disciplined. This is becoming a pattern. So much for ‘all being in this together’ during the coronavirus pandemic”. This comes on the back of the Tories’ planned new anti-union laws.

The NSSN will continue to highlight every such case and build support and solidarity so that these workers and others get their jobs back. Please send a message of support to those being attacked and invite them to your union branch and trades council. Keep letting us know about any other acts of union victimisation and we’ll publicise.

RMT: SUSPENSION OF RMT REPRESENTATIVES, FRATTON – SOUTH WESTERN RAILWAY – Following my previous Circular (IR/171/20) dated 14th May 2020, as you are aware, two of our representatives, Mark Gamble and Brian Perren, were suspended from duty using unscrupulous charges. South Western Railway’s actions throughout this dispute have been appalling. The company have clearly targeted our members as they are hardworking and effective representatives. The callous action of South Western Railway has been abhorrent from the very start of this dispute. Our members recently had their disciplinary hearings and after successful representation Brother Brian Perren has been reinstated to his substantive role. However, Mark has been left in limbo by the company and still faces these ridiculous charges. This means that the ballot that was due to close today (4th June) has been cancelled. As one of our members has been reinstated, this changes the basis of the original ballot. Unfortunately, because of the anti-trade union laws we would not have been able to use any mandate we received from this ballot. Therefore, we have to run a fresh ballot and this will be to continue to defend our suspended Brother Mark Gamble. The National Executive Committee has considered this matter and has congratulated our members and all those who assisted Brian in proving his innocence and ensuring he is reinstated to his substantive role. The NEC has also instructed me to run a fresh ballot in defense of our Brother Mark Gamble who still remains suspended. It is incredibly disappointing that the company has failed to see sense and instead have chosen to drag on an unnecessary dispute. It is disgraceful that Mark remains suspended and we have no choice but to stand shoulder to shoulder and defy SWR’s callous and distasteful decision. I have written to the company today to advise them of this union’s position and they have been left in no doubt that we will not allow them to pursue outrageous charges against our from democratically elected representatives (from RMT general secretary Mick Cash)

Clara Paillard PCS victoryWe are delighted to announce that the threat of dismissal has been lifted and Clara, PCS president in the Culture sector, is ‘back at work’ (although from home during the current pandemic).

Reinstate Percy Yunganina UVW union – Percy is a cleaner at King’s college with 5 years on the job, and a UVW executive committee member, who’s just been sacked after a disciplinary hearing he refused to attend due to observing the government’s social distancing guidelines but which King’s College proceeded with anyway in his absence without even letting him know or inviting him to attend via phone. The hearing would have had 8 people cramped together in a small room in complete disregard of the government’s instructions about social distancing. Percy has explained the reaons for not attending and asked for the decision to be overturned and the hearing to be reconvened via phone or in person after Lockdown. However, King’s have scandalously refused this request and have insisted on upholding his dismissal which now leaves Percy out of work and out of pocket in the middle of a pandemic! He will formally appeal but it could take months to hear and deliver an outcome. We will also take King’s to tribunal but that could take over a year. This is utterly shameless conduct by King’s HR team, led by Nigel Smith, the Head of People Services. They need to be held to account. Everyone deserves the right to a fair hearing and should not have that right denied them for respecting the government’s public health guidelines about social distancing. Please repost this and write to Nigel Smith at the following address telling him to reinstate Percy – [email protected]

Sign the petition: Reinstate Ezra Christian RMTWe, the undersigned, are appalled at the treatment and summary dismissal of our Bakerloo Line colleague Ezra Christian. Ezra has been treated very harshly and does not deserve to be sacked. We call on London Underground to do the right thing in this case and Reinstate Ezra back into London Underground Employment immediately

Reinstate Clive Walder Unite: the campaign continuesUnfortunately, we have to inform you that the appeal by Unite against Clive’s dismissal by National Express in Birmingham was unsuccessful. In the hearing on 5 March, the company downgraded his offence from gross misconduct to misconduct and altered the penalty from summary dismissal to dismissal with four weeks’ notice. We believe dismissal is totally disproportionate and Clive should be reinstated. Clive and his union Unite the union will shortly decide the next steps in his campaign against his sacking. Clive would like to thank all those who have expressed solidarity with him, including supporters of the National Shop Stewards Network who took part in the protest leafleting of his workplace before the appeal hearing. It was successful enough for National Express to report it to the Unite full time official. Please continue to send protest emails to [email protected]. The NSSN has produced a flyer which can be downloaded and printed off to give to National Express employees and customers in support of Clive. We are appealing to our supporters to take photos of any solidarity protests and post on social media

Support Danyal Aziz Unite Daniel was a Unite rep at London City Airport, who was recently sacked. Labour MP Sam Tarry has tabled a Parliamentary Early Day Motion in support of Danyal. Email your local MP to get them to sign the EDM

Defend Paul Williams PCS Stop the victimisation of senior PCS rep Paul Williams – Paul Williams has a long and proud history of defending his colleagues at the Department for Transport, and predecessor departments, for nearly 40 years but as a result of his union activities is facing compulsory redundancy even though there are vacancies at his grade read more

Support Tony Smith Unison Tony Smith one of the leaders of the successful FCC dispute which won sick pay for nearly 2,500 workers is being victimised. charged with gross misconduct over health and safety charges, his hearing is on Thursday. Please send messages of support to Hull Trades Council c/o [email protected]

Sign the petition: Reinstate UNISON rep Peter Moorhead and stop victimising trade unionists at Alternative Futures Group (AFG)

Support the ASDA workers and reinstate Michael Hunnum – 12,000 workers faced being sacked before Christmas by scrooge bosses ASDA, who are now owned by US superstore giant Walmart. This threat hanging over them was unless they agree to the new ‘Contract 6’ which will see them lose all their paid breaks and forced to work bank holidays. The same employer is sacking North East GMB member Michael Hunnam. Michael’s fight is part of the same struggle to resist the offensive of the ASDA bosses. Michael’s supporters believe that his determined opposition to Contract 6 is what has put him in the ASDA firing line. Support the ASDA workers and reinstate Michael!

Defend Moe Unite – support Moe Muhsin Manir, a hardworking Unite rep on London buses, working for Abellio. We are delighted to report that Moe is back at work. We will keep everyone up to date on any developments. Moe would like to thank everyone who sent support and solidarity.


Guardian: Ricky Tomlinson’s criminal convictions to be re-examined

Appeal court to look again at case of Royle Family actor after claims he may have been unjustly jailed (26 May)

The criminal convictions of actor Ricky Tomlinson, who starred in the TV comedy the Royle Family, are to be re-examined by appeal court judges after an official body suggested he may have been unjustly jailed. Tomlinson and other trade unionists have been campaigning for years to clear their names after they were jailed during a strike in the 1970s. On Tuesday, the Criminal Cases Review Commission, the public body that scrutinises alleged miscarriages of justice, announced it had asked the court of appeal to review the cases of Tomlinson and others. Tomlinson, 80, said it was “good news” and an opportunity to prove that he and 23 other men were prosecuted in what amounted to a politically motivated attack on the trade union movement by the government, police and managers read more in Guardian


Blacklist Support Group financial appeal: the Blacklist support group is desperately short of funds, to continue the incredible work we need more finance, would you please consider making a donation, raise it at your branches and trade councils. Please make cheques payable to Joint sites committee and send to 70 Darnay Rise Chelmsford Essex CM1 4XA. Please forward onto your contacts many thanks Steve Kelly (JSC Treasurer)

Blacklisted t-shirts available at: https://shop.hopenothate.org.uk/component/hikashop/product/78-blacklisted-t-shirt

Book: http://newint.org/books/politics/blacklisted-secret-war/

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNcgrNs6pB8

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/groups/blacklistSG/

Blog: www.hazards.org/blacklistblog




NSSN news

Get your trade union branch or trades council to affiliate to the NSSN – it only costs £50. Already affiliated? Please think about renewing it. Also, many of our supporters pay a few pounds a month. You can set up a similar standing order to ‘National Shop Stewards Network’, HSBC – sort code 40-06-41, account number 90143790. Our address is NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE. Feel free to use this affiliation letter

Date for your diary: 2020 NSSN Conference: via Zoom 11am-2pm on Saturday July 4th 

Facebook event

Email [email protected] to register in advance


And if you can, come to one of our regional Conferences. If there is not one in your area, get in touch to either assist in organising or have a speaker at one of your meetings or events. Contact Rob or Linda on [email protected]

Follow us on twitter via @NSSN_AntiCuts and Facebook

Watch NSSN TUC Rally video





Union News


Probation Services to be brought back into public ownership – On 11th June Secretary of State for Justice Robert Buckland MP has formally announced that all probation services will be brought back into public ownership. This includes unpaid work and programmes. For many of you this good news could not come soon enough and after 7 years hard slog right from the foundations of TR, our relentless campaign has finally won over the government. Clearly Napo still has a long way to go to ensure that all staff are fully protected in the transition and that full terms and conditions of the transfer will be subject to agreement. However, we are hopeful that the Ministry of Justice, HMPPS and the NPS will fully engage with unions to ensure a smooth transition and to try to relieve the anxieties that many staff will have at the prospect of yet more change. Napo would like to thank each and every member for their hard work, both in the campaign and in trying to deliver probation services (at times in the most difficult of situations and environments). Your dedication to your work and loyalty to your union has been exceptional and we would not be here today without it. We still have a long way to go to ensure that we have a fully functioning and effective probation service that enables probation professionals to carry out the work to the standards they want. Now we need to focus on rebuilding the service for the future. Napo will continue to campaign for the demands of our members that Probation must be:

  • In the public sector and never for profit, but out of the civil service and released from prison.
  • Built on evidence based practice.
  • Rooted in the local community and partnering with local specialist providers.

Napo will develop a national campaign to push on these demands. In the meantime, members can celebrate this astonishing achievement that has been so long in the waiting read more



RMT says new Transport for London Commissioner must give Underground cleaners the same free travel pass he is entitled to (29 June) – On the day that new Transport for London Commissioner Andy Byford starts work [Monday 29 June], RMT called on him to put a stop to a shameful injustice by giving London’s heroic Underground cleaners the same TfL travel pass that he and the Mayor are entitled to. In addition to his base salary of £355,000, as a TfL employee Mr Byford, like the Mayor, is entitled to a TfL travel pass allowing free travel across the TfL network. The unsung cleaning heroes who have risked their lives to clean Underground stations and trains throughout the coronavirus epidemic do not get this benefit because they have been outsourced to a US company called ABM read more

Sign petition: to The Mayor of London and the London Assembly – End the privatisation of cleaning at Transport for London

RMT on announcement that LNER will remain in public ownership (26 June) – RAIL UNION RMT responded to the announcement today that London North Eastern Railway (LNER) will remain in public ownership after being given a three year extension by calling on the Government to commit to permanent public ownership of the East Coast Mainline and for the immediate abandonment of the other Emergency Measures Agreement negotiations that are ongoing across all other privately run rail franchises read more

On International Day of the Seafarer RMT demands an end to UK ferry jobs massacre (25 June) – SEAFARERS’ Union RMT today launched an appeal to increase UK Ratings’ jobs and restore power to national shipping registers as part of the International Maritime Organisation’s annual Day of the Seafarer read more

RMT calls for rail to be taken into public ownership as delay repay claims soar by 17% (25 June) – Commenting on figures released today by the Office of Rail and Road, which show that passenger delay repay claims closed by train companies increased by 17% to 6.3 million last year read more

RMT responds to Transport Secretary’s comments on P&O redundancies (24 June) – SEAFARER Union RMT today responded to the Secretary of State for Transport’s remarks in response to Transport Select Committee member Grahame Morris MP’s questions over P&O’s plan to make 1,100 redundancies mainly amongst seafarers in Dover and Hull whilst retaining Filipino agency crew on £4.50 per hour read more

Please Support RMT Members With No Wages! – RMT London Transport Region Zero Hours & Self-Employed members need our Solidarity Now! Many of our regions self-employed members and those on zero hours have not any had wages for 2 months since March. They have been abandoned by London Underground, TfL, the London Mayor and their agency employers. They MUST NOT be abandoned by us too; their RMT sisters and brothers! The RMT London Transport Regional Council and LU Engineering RMT branch are calling out to all branches, members and friends to dig deep and give meaningful solidarity to our hard pressed members facing poverty and possibly eviction from their homes. To help support by donating to the fund or to ask after support for yourself, please email: [email protected]  read more

RAIL UNION RMT has suspended strike action on South Western Railway in good faith to allow further talks to take place read more

Donate to the RMT strike fund on South Western Railway – The NSSN is appealing for financial support and solidarity for the RMT and their members on SWR, who have just voted to renew their mandate to take mote strike action. Send messages of support and requests for speakers for your union branch and/or trades council to RMT NEC member and SWR guard Geoff Kite – [email protected]

To make a donation to the hardship funds set up for RMT members striking against Driver Only Operation:-

National Dispute Fund:
Transfers can be made directly into the account using the details below:
Account name: RMT Head Office National Dispute Fund
Account no: 20113524
Sort Code: 60-83-01
Alternatively, you can send cheques to the Finance Department at Head Office – Unity House 39 Chalton Street London NW11JD



Avanti Coronavirus Update (30 June) – TSSA representatives continue to be in discussions with Avanti management regarding a stepping up of services following the easing of lockdown by the government. Much of the regulations and guidelines for this return to ‘the new normal’ are governed by high-level talks at the Railway Industry Coronavirus Forum (RICF) and it would be appropriate to detail some of the most important, all of which have been agreed by Avanti read more

TSSA ‘Extremely Concerned’ After London Mayor Calls For Urgent Government Support To Avoid Cuts (26 June) – TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has said he is extremely concerned after London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, announced that the Greater London Authority Group (GLA) would look to make savings of up to £500m unless Ministers step in to offer urgent support. Khan has today published his Budget Guidance, which provides a breakdown of the savings that will be required across the GLA Group over the next two years if Ministers fail to act read more

TSSA National Strike Warning Over Social Distancing Relaxation (25 June) – TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has warned of a national strike of the union’s members in public transport unless the Government gives unequivocal assurances that the social distancing rules across the transport network will remain at two metres. Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has signalled a move towards one metre plus in some business and leisure settings from 4th July in England. However, he also made it clear that where possible the distance should remain at two metres read more

Belly Mujinga, two months on Today (Friday 5th June) marks two months since Belly Mujinga died of coronavirus. Belly was a Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) ticket office clerk at London’s Victoria Station and a member of our TSSA family. She left behind her husband and 11 year old daughter. Her story has touched many, with more than a million people signing a petition seeking Justice for Belly. On the two month anniversary of Belly’s death, we are asking people to take a moment to think of all the transport and key workers who have lost their lives to coronavirus while bravely working through the pandemic to keep our country moving.

Please take action:



Good news about the east coast main line (27 June) – ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, has welcomed news that East Coast main line services will continue to be run by the state for up to five more years. The government has announced that London North Eastern Railway, the publicly-owned train operator, will run services on the line between London and Edinburgh until June 2023, with an option to extend until 2025. Mick Whelan, ASLEF’s general secretary, said: ‘We welcome this announcement, which is a sensible decision, and which offers clarity and security in the short-term to both passengers and staff. We now know where we are. ‘But we think the government should announce that this line will stay in public ownership permanently read more



Construction workers urged not to risk health due to dusk mask shortage (29 June) – Unite, the UK’s construction union, is urging workers not to risk their health if they are not supplied with the correct PPE. The union’s warning follows the revelation that many contractors are struggling to purchase the appropriate dusk masks. The shortage is understood to be a result of the vastly increased demand for face masks due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Unite national officer Jerry Swain said: “Workers must not place their health at risk.  “If PPE is required and the correct masks are not available then work has to be delayed until they can be sourced. Workers must not feel pressurised into taking shortcuts with their safety. If a worker is at all uncertain about whether they require PPE they must request to see an appropriate risk assessment. If they still believe it is unsafe, an employee legally has a right to remove themselves from a dangerous situation. Unite will fully support a member who declines to work due to safety concerns…” read more

Wilson James announce plans for 54 redundancies among Belfast international airport security staff (June 29) – Unite blasts move since three-quarters of workforce facing jobs threat could easily remain on furlough. Aviation rescue strategy to safeguard future of both Belfast airports needed from Stormont. George Brash, Unite Regional Officer for security workers employed by Wilson James at Belfast International Airport blasted management plans for 54 redundancies – many of which were entirely unnecessary read more

ONS report on Covid-19 worker deaths increases concerns about inequality and working practices (26 June) – Unite, the UK’s leading union Unite, is calling for an urgent ‘warts and all’ public inquiry into the death rates of workers from Covid-19 during the pandemic. The union made its call following the publication today (Friday 27 June) of the Office of National Statistics latest report into deaths by occupation up to 25 May 2020. Although the ONS found that nearly two thirds of Covid-19 deaths were of male workers,  Unite has urged that due attention must also be paid to the high level of deaths among women workers in sectors including retail, health and social care where there has been a total of 377 women worker deaths compared to 270 men read more

Stormont must act on manufacturing threat after latest announcement of job losses by Sensata (June 26) – Decision to make redundant 160 workers in Antrim comes only months after plans to close Sensata Carrickfergus was announced. Stormont must establish a Manufacturing Taskforce to roll-out a proactive Industrial programme to secure jobs, skills and a future for industry read more

Danger of ‘second spike’ if no action on public transport to enforce face coverings and social distancing (26 June) – Unite, which represents workers throughout public transport including over 80,000 bus workers, is warning that a ‘second spike in Covid-19 infections is becoming ever more likely due to increasing non-compliance with face covering and social distancing rules on public transport. Unite issued its warning today (Friday 26 June) after transport secretary Grant Shapps announced that bus and rail timetables will return to 85 per cent of normal services in early July. However, Unite is increasingly concerned that the rules on wearing masks/face coverings and maintaining social distancing on public transport are frequently being ignored, which dramatically increases the risk of infection read more

Crossrail Costain/Skanska decision: Workers must not suffer and lessons must be learned (25 June) – Unite, the UK’s construction union, is demanding that workers must not lose out financially after it was announced that Crossrail and the Costain/Skanska joint venture have terminated the contract to build the new Bond Street station with immediate effect. Workers and contractors were informed that work would cease yesterday (Wednesday 24 June) throwing them into limbo read more

Royal Mail’s axing of 2,000 managerial job losses is ‘devastating’, says Unite (25 June) – Poor decision-making in the past by the Royal Mail’s top bosses has led to today’s (Thursday 25 June) announcement of 2,000 managerial job losses, Unite said. Unite said that the Royal Mail had failed to recognise the pace of change in the industry, exacerbated by the pandemic, and was now axing the very managers tasked with creating a viable business future. Unite, which represents more than 6,000 managers at the Royal Mail privatised under the coalition government, said it would fight any compulsory redundancies amongst its members read more

Cadbury workers’ ‘growing resentment’ at being denied Covid-19 bonuses paid to US and EU colleagues (25 June) – There is ‘growing resentment’ amongst Cadbury workers denied bonuses for working through the coronavirus pandemic that have been paid to US and EU staff employed by the chocolate maker’s parent company Mondelez, Unite said today (Thursday 25 June).  Unite is consulting with more than 1,200 members at Cadbury sites in Bourneville near Birmingham, Chirk in Wales and Marlbrook in Hereford, over how to respond to the issue. The union called on Mondelez to follow the example of other major international food manufacturers, including Kraft Heinz, Nestle and Coca Cola, that have provided extra payments for UK staff who have worked during the lockdown read more

Strike ballot as Suffolk company ‘uses Covid-19 as a smokescreen’ to shut down depot, says Unite (24 June) – A leading haulage company has been accused of using Covid-19 as ‘a smokescreen’ to close a depot in Suffolk and attack the terms and conditions of more than 100 drivers by Unite. Unite will now ballot its nearly 60 members, working for Goldstar Transport, based at Elmswell Road, Woolpit, near Bury St Edmunds, for strike action from Tuesday 30 June. The ballot closes on Tuesday 14 July. Unite said that within days of requesting trade union recognition earlier this month, the management announced to the 107 drivers by email that it was ceasing haulage operations from Woolpit. The union understands that 12 drivers will be made redundant with 10 remaining on site and the other 85 drivers are being offered transfers to its Felixstowe headquarters 33 miles away read more

Breakdown of Unite talks with Rowan Foods Puts Workers & General Public At Risk (24 June) – Talks between Unite and Rowan foods regarding health and safety issues and the payment of staff self-isolating due to the Covid19 outbreak on site, have broken down. Unite has been seeking assurances around improved health and safety measures on site to prevent further outbreaks of coronavirus amongst the workforce. It has also been seeking full pay for staff who are being required to self-isolate though Covid19 read more

Stop the BA Betrayal! – This groundswell has been mobilised by reps and the campaign #BAbetrayal – a ‘crisis leverage campaign, which is part of Unite’s Leverage strategy. ‘Crisis leverage’ applies many of the same principles and takes a similarly robust, muscular approach but in a much more streamlined, nimble way. In a crisis like the current coronavirus pandemic, with a company behaving like British Airways, we have to move fast and to scale. Find out more and support the #BAbetrayal campaign by Joining the #BAbetrayal Facebook campaign and follow the @BAbetrayal campaign on Twitter. Sign the petition today

Sign this petition: Reinstatement of Blue Handling employees laid off due to COVID-19 and placed on Furlough

Sign this petition: Please sign and share: Extend the bereaved family payment to UK bus workers now – every bus worker who loses their life because of coronavirus deserves to get the £60,000 life assurance cover alongside NHS and social care staff. Dozens have tragically lost their lives. They are going above and beyond the call of duty. It is only right that their families are given the same financial protections. Help support bus workers and their families. Extend and increase the bereaved family payment now read more

MTVHA – Stop the Sackings! Sign petition: To: Geeta Nanda, Chief Executive Officer, Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing Association – Please cease all compulsory redundancies during the recruitment freeze caused by Coronavirus restrictions which would make it impossible for anyone to find alternative employment read more from Unite Housing Workers branch

Support Westex Carpets staff strike – The strike began on November 20th after workers rejected a minimal pay rise which was then withdrawn by the company, which has since refused further dialogue read more    Westex Carpets ‘won’t win battle of wills’ as strikes head into ninth week after talks collapse (22 Jan)

To make a donation to the hardship fund:-

Account name – TGWU

Account number – 20175407

Sort code – 60/83/01




PCS survey highlights staff fears of jobcentres reopening (30 June) – The prospect of some jobcentres reopening to the public this week has led to PCS members expressing their fears that they won’t be safe at work, our survey reveals. Last week we warned that reopening jobcentres as early as this week could create a perfect storm as staff and customers were faced with lack of social distancing, inadequate personal protective equipment and the real risk of Covid-19 being brought into workplaces read more

PCS warns reopening jobcentres to public is perfect storm (26 June) – PCS is warning that reopening jobcentres as early as next week could create a perfect storm as staff and customers are faced with lack of social distancing, inadequate personal protective equipment and the real risk of Covid-19 being brought into workplaces. Added to this is the fact that benefit sanctions, suspended during the pandemic, are set to be reinstated on Wednesday (1 July) and that around 2.5 million new claimants, many of whom received Universal Credit payments when their livelihoods were affected by the pandemic, will be navigating a system that few of them have experience of read more

Royals should intervene to bail out Royal Collection Trust (25 June) – PCS is demanding the government and royal family step in to bail out the Royal Collection Trust which has announced a plan to make significant job cuts by slashing its wage bill by 20% and also plans to cut its pensions contributions from 15% to 8% read more

Government and wealthy institutions should lead bailout as Tate plans 200 redundancies (25 June) – PCS is calling on the government and wealthy cultural institutions to act to fully fund culture as Tate Enterprise announces its intention to make more than 200 staff redundant across its sites. The government’s failure to provide meaningful assistance to the culture sector sees the first round of mass redundancies at our national institutions, with many of the lowest paid staff facing redundancy read more

PCS seeks to protect members’ interests as Mitie buys Interserve facilities management (25 June) – PCS is making all necessary representations to protect our members’ interests following the announcement outsourcing company Mitie is to buy the facilities management part of fellow privateer Interserve read more

7pm 2 July PCS Facebook live pay event – Join the next PCS Facebook live event at 7pm on 2 July which will focus on our pay campaign. The event, chaired by PCS President Fran Heathcote, will hear an update on the PCS pay campaign from our general secretary Mark Serwotka. So send in your questions and tune into our Facebook page on the night read more

Please sign this PCS petition to Save Ealing Tax OfficeDuring this time of national crisis the reliance on hard working, front line, civil servants has increased immeasurably. Government departments have had to act quickly, protect staff and ensure that services can still be provided whilst encouraging staff to work from home where possible. In HMRC over 51,000 members of staff are now working from home with IT equipment enabling them to provide effective advice and services to those affected by Covid-19 as well as continuing to perform the day to day duties of the department. Unfortunately our members based at Ealing Tax Office, although providing vital support and expertise during these difficult times, are facing an increasingly uncertain future with redundancy notices likely to be announced in June as part of HMRC’s controversial ‘Building our Future’ programme. These hard working and dedicated members are fighting to retain their jobs and secure the future of their office, entering into an official dispute with the department, taking part in numerous periods of strike action in recent months. The department have refused to acknowledge the vital role played by this office, the likely impact of losing this community employer as well as the long term impact the loss of over 4000 years of collective experience will have on the functionality of HMRC. During these unprecedented times when the reliance on the civil service has grown substantially, it seems unnecessary that HMRC should continue with its office closure programme and planned redundancies. Now, more than ever, an effective and efficient civil service is needed and our members are showing that, across Government, they can work flexibly at home, outside of the office environment, and continue to provide a high standard of service to the British public. We ask that you sign this eaction to the Chancellor calling on him to intervene urgently, to halt the office closures and redundancies, and consult fully with the union and work to retain the experience and vital knowledge contained within Ealing Tax Office. Support our call to SAVE JOBS, SAVE SERVICES and STOP THE CLOSURES

Support HMRC cleaners who have been on strike for Living Wage – Contracted out cleaners at HMRC have recently been on strike in a dispute over the Living Wage. ISS staff who are employed to clean tax offices at Bootle and Liverpool will take 14 days action with colleagues in Birmingham taking 2 days. Workers are angry at ISS over poor pay and conditions and the refusal of ministers at HMRC to take the cleaning contract back in-house.  The real Living Wage is £10.75 in London and £9.30 for the rest of the UK is based on the cost of living and is voluntarily paid by nearly 6,000 UK employers who believe a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay. The strike received a 97% yes vote on a 90% turnout read more

Show your support

Support Interserve strikers – Interserve workers at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, were on strike for the whole of February. You can support the workers in the following ways:



Update: DfC Members and Reps (26 June) – I wanted to provide you with a brief update on a number of matters Departmental Trade Union Side are working on at the moment. Office Risk Assessments: Tranche 2 of the risk assessments of buildings is taking place this week and we are looking at tranche 3 for next week. I wanted to thank all those reps and seconded officers who have stepped up to ensure that all workers are as safe as they can be if they are required to attend work. Once assessments are complete, a copy of the agreed risk assessment should be shared with all staff. We have also reinforced our position that members are safer when they work from home and no staff member should be asked to attend the office if they have the IT and can complete their duties at home. We accept this is not possible for everyone to work from home but if you can, you should. Screens: Safety screens are being installed in to some offices in preparation for offices re-opening. The decision about how and when offices re-open lies with the Minister and we have written asking to engage with the Minister before this decision is made. Each office will be further risk assessed when a decision is made by the Minister to open the offices to ensure they are safe for staff and the public read more



‘Gruesome’ ONS figures show keyworkers need urgent protection (26 June) –  New ONS figures on covid-19 related deaths show keyworkers need urgent protections to be put in place, GMB Union has said. The data show that workers in care, security, professional driving, nursing and other occupations are the most likely to die from the killer virus read more

Tata Steel rescue deal ‘welcome’ (24 June) –  GMB, the union for steelworkers, has commented on reports a rescue deal for Tata Steel is set to be agreed with the Government within days, helping preserve about 8,000 jobs read more



SUPPORT TOWER HAMLETS STRIKE 3, 6 & 7 JULY • SHAME ON TOWER HAMLETS COUNCIL – The long running contract dispute known as ‘Tower Rewards’ is coming to a head with UNISON members working for Tower Hamlets Council set to take strike action on Friday 3, Monday 6 and Tuesday 7 of July, with a view to further dates being announced. Industrial action will impact on all Council services. UNISON hoped to avoid industrial action by involving ACAS. But all hope was dashed last week when council bosses announced that they were determined to sack 4000 council staff on Monday, July 6th and re-engage them on the controversial new contract no matter what. The council’s unwillingness to defer the change so further talks could take place, and more distance could be put between the peak of the pandemic and any potential confrontation, has left staff with no choice but to set dates for strike action in early July read more in Tower Hamlets UNISON Facebook page

Meat workers put at risk by safety check failures, says UNISON (29 June) – Proper on-site risk assessments needed for food processing staff. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has failed to carry out basic on-site Covid-19 safety assessments, which put ​hundreds of workers at risk of coronavirus infection in the meat slaughter and processing industry in England and Wales, says UNISON ​today (Monday). The union has written about its concerns to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which is now investigating whether there have been breaches of safety regulations over the failure to carry out proper workplace risk assessments read more

UNISON sets out to recruit more safety reps amid COVID crisis (29 June) – ‘A workplace without a safety rep potentially puts the safety of our members at risk’. Be on the safe side caption with heather and safety graphics. UNISON is launching a new campaign, Be on the safe side, to recruit more safety reps in workplaces across the UK – as the need for them becomes greater than ever. The union has campaigned tirelessly on health and safety issues to protect its members at work during the COVID-19 pandemic read more

Serendipity Care Home in Urmston closes, with more than 70 ‘heroic’ care workers set to lose their jobs (29 June) – Serendipity Care Home in Urmston has closed down unexpectedly, leaving open the possibility that more than 70 local care workers will lose their jobs imminently. Care home residents have to be urgently moved out of the home by the end of this month. The care home, which is registered to support up to 45 residents with dementia care, elderly care and physical disability care is owned by Premum Care Ltd- a company which only runs one care home read more

Care staff death rate a national scandal, says UNISON (26 June) – Social care needs top-to-toe reform. Commenting on new figures from the Office for National Statistics published today (Friday) showing higher Covid-19 death rates for care workers read more


Support teachers and schools staff fighting Tory unsafe re-opening 

The NSSN sends our support and solidarity to education workers, their unions and an increasing number of parents as they look to resist the Tory government’s plans to move to a much wider opening of schools in England from June 1st.

We believe that this reckless plan is clearly connected to Boris Johnson’s intention to lift the lockdown and get people back to work, before the government get the COVID-19 pandemic under control. They are putting bosses’ profits before the safety of workers, children and their families.

At our very successful 2nd NSSN Zoom public meeting on May 17th, teachers and parents set out a united fighting strategy. The NSSN supports this fight for safety along with the many other struggles that are taking place to ensure that the workplace is safe. We argue that we need trade union, workers’ control of workplace safety as we can’t trust the Tory government and their big business backers.

We are happy for teachers, schools staff and parents to use the banner of the NSSN to organise meetings and action against this unsafe re-opening. Email us on [email protected] for more information.


NEU: 5 Tests for Government before schools can re-open – NEU has launched 5 tests for Government before schools can re-open. We believe that these test must be capable of being passed in order to create the necessary confidence amongst parents and staff read more

NEU: Coronavirus – Plans to scrap social distancing in schools

NASUWT comments on school reopening reports

Deputy First Minister Statement on Return to Schools – EIS Response

GMB: Nearly 8,000 jobs lost last year in schools

GMB: Joint statement on schools in Wales

UNISON urges co-operation over reopening schools

Latest government support package fails to put students and staff at the centre of recovery plans, says UCU




Horizon scandal: CWU keeps up pressure for judge-led inquiry (29 June) – Andy Furey has repeated his appeal for members and branches to write to their MPs urging them to sign EDM 593 demanding a full, judge-led Inquiry into the Horizon scandal. As of Monday, the EDM had 71 signatures from across all the main political parties. The renewed call from the union follows the rejection by Government Minister Paul Scully of the formal request from the Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Select Committee of MPs for a full, statutory investigation into what has been described as “the worst miscarriage of justice for many years.” Read more

Tension rises in Technology amid management stonewalling on redeployment (June 29) – The seriousness of potential job threats stemming from BT Technology’s ongoing transformation programme – amplified by the massive site rationalisation programme – have been laid bare to branch activists attending a special online branch forum read more

ISS pay discussions yield a deal (June 25) – Negotiations with ISS on the 2020 pay review, covering all ISS employees in the BT Workplace Team, have now concluded. Under the company’s final offer, those members of staff on the Real Living Wage will see their pay rise from £9 per hour to £9.30  –  in line with the recommendation of the  Living Wage Foundation – with the rise being back-dated to June 1. Meanwhile, hourly paid team members earning above the previous Real Living Wage rate of £9.00 will receive a 2.5% increase applied to their current hourly rate, with a minimum pay rate of £9.30 backdated to 1st June read more

Royal Mail must work with us for growth, insists Terry Pullinger (June 25) – Our DGSP Terry Pullinger publicly challenged Royal Mail to focus on building and growing the business going forward this morning, as he expressed regret at the news of 2,000 management job cuts within the company. Speaking to Ian King on Sky News, Terry explained that management grades in the company are represented by the Unite union, but commented that “it’s always sad to hear of job losses” and expressed sympathy with those affected read more

Post Office leave bonus – union ensures equality for all (June 25) – Formal Joint Statements ensuring every Post Office workers will benefit from the ‘bonus day’ during the summer have been welcomed by the CWU, although the union remains ‘disappointed’ that the formal proposal for a cash sum was rebuffed by Nick Read, CEO on the grounds of affordability read more



FBU condemns “unthinkable” £25m cut to London Fire Brigade (26 June) – The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has vowed to fight “unthinkable” proposals to cut the budget for the London Fire Brigade by £25m over two years, as part of the Mayor of London’s £500m saving plans. Sadiq Khan has called on the government to step in and provide financial support after the coronavirus pandemic left his administration with a budget shortfall of £493m. The London Fire Brigade is being asked to make savings of £10m in 2020-21 and £15m in 2021-22. The FBU has condemned the plans and has called on Sadiq Khan to live up to his promise to protect frontline services. Central government have so far refused to bail out the GLA’s budget shortfall accrued during the pandemic. As Mayor of London, Boris Johnson delivered the biggest cuts in history to the London Fire Brigade. The FBU says any further cuts to services would be dangerous to the public read more

Government plans to fund just 12 new fire inspectors after Grenfell in “gross underestimate” of building safety crisis (25 June) – The revelations have prompted calls from the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) for ministers to establish a permanent statutory advisory body for the fire and rescue service, allowing the voices of frontline firefighters and inspectors to influence the “dangerously short-termist thinking” of Whitehall and to provide a ‘reality check’ before final votes take place in the Fire Safety Bill read more



Sign petition: To: Paul Pomroy, McDonald’s, Alasdair Murdoch, Burger King, Jorge Torres, Taco Bell, Paula MacKenzie, KFC

Tell fast food CEOs: Listen to your workers, Black Lives Matter

Campaign created by

BFAWU McStrike BAME Committee


It is not enough for fast food companies to pay lip service to the Black Lives Matter movement on social media. You must take steps to ensure your Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) workers are protected against individual and systemic racial abuse

BFAWU members at Wetherspoons have written to the company in light of plans to open up pubs. The union demands commitments that include staff security, sick pay and social distancing read more. The union is launching a recruitment campaign



Covid-19 press conferences must continue, says NUJ (24 June) – NUJ statement on the government’s decision to end the daily Covid-19 press conferences. Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said: “At a time when the government is easing the lockdown rules, with the messages becoming more nuanced and the practicalities more complicated, it is an extraordinary decision to end the daily press conferences. For the safety of the country, people need to know how the new rule changes will work, and what impact these changes have on infection rates. We need to hear the reaction of the scientists to the difficult decisions politicians are making while attempting to open up the economy when the virus remains a deadly threat. It is also vital that the government remains under scrutiny read more

Government must plug BBC’s funding gap, says NUJ (23 June) – The BBC has announced that more than 150 jobs are to go In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Before the Covid-19 crisis, the BBC said 450 jobs would go in News, as part of planned cuts of £800million. The job losses were put on hold as the corporation moved to cope with covering the pandemic. The corporation has also deferred the ending of free TV licence to the over-75s, at a cost of £40 million a month. The BBC now says the Covid-19 crisis alone has cost it £125million read more



Jet2 pilot jobs on the line as industry continues to struggle in the face of government indifference (June 24) – The Leeds-based airline Jet2 has informed its pilots and BALPA, who represent them, that they intend to make 102 pilot redundancies. Jet2 which has bases at Leeds/Bradford, Belfast International, Birmingham, East Midlands, Stansted, Newcastle, Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow, is the latest airline to issue formal notice of redundancy and start a consultation process read more



Prospect welcomes significant victory for parliamentary staff (23 June) – MPs have voted to approve a new independent process for assessing bullying and harassment cases against MPs, following a long running campaign from staff, unions and others. In a significant win, MPs also voted to prevent debates on the cases being held in the House of Commons, after worries had been raised that such a debate would give a platform to abusers and discourage victims from coming forward read more



Legislation to protect shopworkers from violence and abuse called for by Usdaw and the Co-op (26 June) – Shopworkers trade union Usdaw and convenience store giant the Co-op have both challenged Government inertia on first anniversary of the closure of their call for evidence on violence against staff. In the last year store crime has rocketed by 140% year on year and abuse is on the rise despite key worker classification read more

Stay cool as temperatures rise – workers need extra protection from the hot weather says USDAW (25 June) – As the mercury rises on the hottest day of the year so far, retail trade union Usdaw is calling for a legal maximum workplace temperature to protect workers’ health and safety. Employers must also take care to protect staff and take account of new working practices because of the Coronavirus emergency read more

‘Nobody should be penalised for doing the right thing’ says the PM – so pay SSP at average earnings responds USDAW (24 June) – Usdaw has called on the Prime Minister to back up his words with actions by improving Statutory Sick Pay so that it reflects the average earnings and doesn’t penalise those taking necessary time off to prevent the spread of Covid-19 read more

Sunday trading: Usdaw survey finds 92% of shopworkers oppose longer hours, with two-thirds pressured to work on Sundays – Shopworkers’ trade union Usdaw has surveyed over 11,000 retail staff in England and Wales following reports that the Government is planning to deregulate trading hours allowing large stores to open all day on Sundays.

The online survey conducted over the last week found that:

  • 92% opposed large shops opening for more than 6 hours on a Sunday.
  • 66% feel they are pressured to work on Sundays.
  • 51% want fewer hours on Sunday with only 3% wanting more.

Usdaw is opposing any changes to the existing regulations and is working as part of a Keep Sunday Special coalition read more

Sign the USDAW petition



Debenhams Workers Protest Bank of Ireland Locations (26 June) – Debenhams workers from across the Republic of Ireland are protesting today (Friday, 26th June 2020) outside a number of Bank of Ireland locations between 12noon and 2pm as part of their campaign to win redundancy pay for more than 1,000 workers (protest locations are listed below). Debenhams management notified workers in the Republic of Ireland by email in April stating they would have no jobs to return to after the COVID19 pandemic had passed. The company transferred valuable assets out of the country before they sought liquidation, severely limiting the chance of workers obtaining redundancy payments from the company read more. Email messages of support to Mandate via [email protected]

Return to Work Safely Protocol and the Phased Re-opening of Public Bars – Message From John Douglas Mandate General Secretary (25 June) – Dear Member: As you are aware, the lock-down restrictions have had a devastating impact on the licensed bar sector, but there is now some light emerging as the Government eases up on restrictions and brings forward re-opening phases to various sectors of the economy. The number one consideration of any easing of restrictions must be the safety of staff and the general public and we must all be guided by the medical advice of the day read more



IWGB fights discriminatory minicab congestion charge at Court of Appeal (30 June) – The Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) is taking a legal battle against Mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s decision to introduce a congestion charge on minicab drivers to the Court of Appeal, on the grounds that it discriminates against the sector’s overwhelmingly BAME workforce. The case will be heard on 30 June and 1 July read more




Other news

OUR NHS DESERVES BETTER: 72 anniversary weekend 4/5 July

This 72nd NHS anniversary, share our ‘2020 vision’ for better health care

This NHS anniversary weekend Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th July, Keep Our NHS Public, Health Campaigns TogetherThe People’s Assembly Against Austerity and We Own It, are calling for nationwide local events and a national online rally on Sunday 5th July at 3:30 PM to say, ‘Our NHS deserves better’

Sunday 5th July is the 72nd anniversary of the NHS. It was created in the aftermath of World War II, (a conflict that saw 67,100 British civilians killed) to create something better for us all read more


Trade unionists and artists stand with Maxine Peake (An open letter for publication in the press, drafted by individual members of Equity in a personal capacity. To contact the organisers, James and Doug, email [email protected])

Trades unionists, artists, and campaigners, including fellow members of Equity, the union for performing arts professionals, are outraged at the completely false smears aimed at our colleague, the actor Maxine Peake. We stand in full solidarity with her read more




Czech Republic: Stop union busting at Ryanair read more

Brazil: Tell Santander to stop sacking workers during the pandemic read more

India: Workers’ rights under attack read more






July 4 – NSSN Conference from 11am via Zoom

September 13 – NSSN TUC Rally 1pm



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