NSSN TUC Rally – 1pm Sunday September 13th Facebook event
The National Shop Stewards Network is holding its annual rally at the time of the TUC Congress, which because of the COVID-19 pandemic has been truncated.
This year’s NSSN event will be virtual but it has never been more important given the threat to workers’ lives and their jobs and income and the fighting programme needed from the TUC and the unions.
There have been countless struggles by workers to make their workplace safe. Now workers are fighting the bosses’ attacks to defend their livelihoods. Already, we’ve seen workers from the NHS and care sectors protesting for a 15% pay rise, to start to claw back what has been stolen by a decade of pay freezes and cuts.
The pandemic has lifted the lid of the class inequalities in this profit-driven society. The anger and frustration, particularly of young people have been shown from the incredible Black Lives Matter movement to the victorious A-levels protests. If thousands of students can force this Tory government into a U-turn, imagine what 6½ million workers organised in the unions can achieve?
We will hear from leaders of fighting unions and there will be an open mic so there will be a platform for members and reps who are involved in struggles to ensure safe workplaces and defend jobs from the growing threat of redundancies and closures.
Help put a fighting programme on the unions’ agenda, to take into the workplaces and on to the streets.
Confirmed speakers so far: Sarah Woolley BFAWU General Secretary, Amy Murphy USDAW President (personal capacity), Mick Lynch RMT Assistant General Secretary, Dave Ward CWU General Secretary
The rally will be on Zoom and will go out live on social media
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Support the NHS pay protests
On August 8th, there were about 40 protests around the country as workers in the NHS and care sector workers demand an immediate 15% pay rise that starts to close the income gap caused by a decade of pay freezes. Please join the protests that are taking place.
On Saturday September 12th there will be demonstrations and rallies in many towns and cities. This Wednesday 26th August there are protests outside many hospitals, including:-
St Thomas’s 5pm and Homerton hospitals 4.30pm in London and Walsgrave Hospital (UHCW) in Coventry at 7pm
Details of some of these events can be found here in the Nurses and Midwives say NO! to Public Sector pay inequality Facebook group and on the Keep Our NHS Public website. Also visit the website of Health Campaigns Together.
We support the call of many health workers for industrial action ballots, co-ordinated across all the health unions and linking up with all other workers in public services. We are confident that this would be supported by workers in the private sector and all those who benefit from health and social care, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic where so many staff put their lives on the line.
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
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.
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 Accord, Advance, AEP, AFA-CWA, ASLEF, BDA, BECTU Sector of Prospect, BFAWU, BOS-TU, College of Podiatry, Community, CSP, EIS, Equity, FBU, FDA, GMB, HCSA, MU, NAHT, NASUWT, National Society for Education in Art and Design (NSEAD), Nautilus International, NEU, NGSU, NUJ, PFA, Prospect, RCM, SoR, TSSA, TUC, UCU, UNISON, Unite, URTU, USDAW, WGGB and the RCN
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.
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
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
BREAKING NEWS!! RMT responds to latest jobs assault on key Channel Islands’ ferries (25 Aug) – Senior Assistant General Secretary Mick Lynch said; “The rhetoric around seafarers being key workers needs to mean something. These are jobs on lifeline freight and passenger ferries registered on Flags of Convenience that were subject to exploitative pay before the pandemic and cannot be allowed to be permanently lost to UK seafarers. Condor has consistently refused to access UK Government support for their seafarer and docker staff in the UK during the pandemic and have made large scale redundancies – they are now threatening to cut into muscle and bone…” read more
RMT calls on wealthy Britannia Hotel Group owner to reinstate redundant jobs at Liverpool’s world famous Adelphi Hotel (24 Aug) – RMT today called on the owner of the Brittannia Adelphi Hotel in Liverpool to reinstate 83 jobs that have been made redundant under the cloak of the COVID-19 crisis. Throughout the statutory consultation the employer refused to offer enhanced redundancy terms, or to use the Government furlough scheme to it’s maximum extent until the end of October 20, to protect employment read more
RMT call to oppose job cuts at Trump Turnberry (21 Aug) – Trump Turnberry Union RMT is today calling on the Scottish Government to intervene and condemn the Trump Organisation’s savage cuts to jobs and terms and conditions at its Turnberry resort in Ayrshire. The company is planning to bulldoze through over 80 redundancies alongside damaging cuts to sick, pay, working hours, pay enhancements, staff benefits and working conditions. Formal consultation on the plans is now over and despite strong RMT representations the Trump operation has shown no sign of backing down and has in fact ratcheted up the cuts read more
Sign petition: to The Mayor of London and the London Assembly – End the privatisation of cleaning at Transport for London
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
Stonehaven Derailment – Minute’s Silence (18 Aug) – At 09:43 on Wednesday 19th August, one week after the tragic accident near Stonehaven, we will lay a wreath for our fallen comrade Brett McCullough and join a minutes silence across the railway to pay respect to Brett, conductor Donald Dinnie and passenger Christopher Stuchbury. For those looking to donate to help the families of those that sadly passed, you can donate to the joint family fund which we have set up with the RMT. Full details can be found here read more
TSSA Questions For Rail Accident Investigation Branch Over Stonehaven (24 Aug) – TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has written to the Rail Accident Investigation Branch to “raise questions” relating to the fatal derailment of a ScotRail passenger train near Carmont, west of Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire on Wednesday 12th August read more
TSSA Calls For Rail Fares Freeze After RPI Figures Published (19 Aug) – TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has called on the Government to ensure there’s no rise in rail fares after publication today of July’s Retail Price Index (RPI) figure showing inflation at 1.6 per cent read more
Amey members win homeworker backpay deal! (19 Aug) – Thanks to the actions of our members, Amey have agreed to pay homeworkers backpay to 1 March 2019! View a pdf circular via https://bit.ly/2DY7xxy or download here Amey members win homeworker backpay deal! Last week we advised TSSA members at Amey to raise individual grievances to force the company to honour the agreement to backdate homeworker allowance payments to March 2019. Thanks to those of you who challenged the company through the grievance procedure, 80 staff, who Amey previously tried to exclude from the deal, will each receive £555 spread over five payments to the end of this year. We have received an agreement setting out the arrangements, available here: https://bit.ly/2FEXMon
BREAKING NEWS!! London warned of bus chaos as angry drivers poised for strike action (25 Aug) – London commuters should be braced for potential major travel disruption this autumn, Unite, the UK’s leading union, has warned. The union is in the process of preparing to formally ballot all its bus drivers employed by Singapore-owned Metroline in a dispute over ‘remote signing on’, which Unite describes as a huge `experiment with the capital’s vital transport system’ and designed for profits not passengers. Affected workers have described the proposals as a massive ‘slap in the face’ to a group of workers which is still recovering from the pandemic where 29 drivers died and many more are still unable to return to work due to the debilitating effects of the illness read more
BREAKING NEWS!! Appledore shipyard purchase great news for Devon and for workers (25 Aug) – The announcement today (Tuesday 25 August) that InfraStrata, the owners of the Harland and Wolff in Belfast, has bought the historic Appledore shipyard in North Devon has been hailed as great news by Unite, the UK’s leading union read more
BREAKING NEWS!! Unite Scotland welcomes 2 Sisters Coupar Angus agreement to pay wages in full (25 Aug) – Unite Scotland has today (25 August) welcomed the move by 2 Sisters Coupar Angus to pay all workers full pay for the current 14-day self-isolation period following constructive talks with the trade union. Yesterday (24 August) the Scottish Government confirmed that the number of positive Covid-19 cases linked to the food processing plant has risen to 152. A total of 134 employees at the 2 Sisters factory have tested positive, plus 18 of their contacts, an increase of 42 from Sunday. The factory at Coupar Angus closed on 17 August following people connected to the factory testing positive for Covid-19. Unite remains disappointed on the lack of opportunity to take part in the decision-making process and lost the opportunity to discuss the financial implications prior to the suspension of process operations. Unite reiterates our support to close the factory on health and safety grounds but believe that the workers deserved better than to be left waiting for over seven days to find out if they would receive wages at an already stressful time read more
BREAKING NEWS!! Unite response to Co-operative Bank job losses and branch closures (25 Aug) – Unite has expressed disappointment at the announcement by The Co-operative Bank to make job losses, close bank branches and halt all recruitment. The bank has today (Tuesday 25 August) told its workforce that 350 jobs will be lost across the bank and 18 branches will be closed read more
BREAKING NEWS!! ESS Group accused of using Covid-19 to ‘steal’ working weeks and pay from MoD workers (25 Aug) – ESS, which is part of the multi-million pound Compass Group, has been accused of using the Covid-19 pandemic to ‘steal’ the working weeks and cut the pay of outsourced workers on Ministry of Defence contracts. Workers employed by ESS from throughout the UK have been contacting Unite about plans to reduce their working weeks from the normal 52 weeks in a year to just 50 or even 49 weeks. In some cases workers are also having their hours reduced. Some of the predominantly low paid workers have estimated that they will be around £800 a year worse off from the ‘theft’ of their working weeks alone, while others fear the attack on pay will affect the value of their pension read more
HSE must end rumours and publish initial findings into East London crane accident (24 Aug) – The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) must end the delay in publishing its initial findings into the causes of the fatal crane accident that occurred in Bow East London in July, which led to one death. Unite, the UK’s construction union, wrote to the HSE last month urging it to not to delay publication of the initial findings into what caused the accident in order to lift the cloud of suspicion which currently hangs over the crane operators involved, the company itself, Wolffkran Ltd. With the removal of the crane likely to take six months, Unite is arguing that the local community need to have the reassurance that the site and all involved with it are safe read more
BA staff overwhelmingly reaffirm that the fight goes on with call for strike action (20 Aug) – British Airways ground staff and cabin crew were among those today (Thursday) who have given overwhelmingly called for strike action to fight their employer `all the way’ in the defence of their jobs, wages and redundancy pay. At a socially-distanced gathering of over 1000 BA cabin crew, ground and other staff held today (Thursday) near Heathrow airport, furious workers instructed their union, Unite, to proceed to widespread industrial and legal action against their employer. Crew, ground staff and other workers across the airline are furious that while they are losing their jobs and potentially 43 per cent of their earnings, management is untouched by the attacks on pay and conditions. Workers have also been told that should they be offered a place with the company going forward, they will find themselves on zero hours-type contracts that give them no stability or security 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
ADL branded ‘disgraceful and deceptive’ over Guildford production closure and Falkirk and Scarborough redundancies (20 Aug) – Alexander Dennis (ADL), the UK’s largest bus and coach builder, has been blasted for its ‘disgraceful and deceptive’ behaviour by Unite following the shock announcement that it will close production at its site in Guildford, Surrey, with the loss of 200 jobs, as well as making swingeing redundancies at its plants in Falkirk and Scarborough read more
Unite hails victory as University of Sheffield drops plan ‘to sack and rehire’ 8,000 staff on inferior pay (20 Aug) – The decision by the University of Sheffield to drop its plans to sack and reengage over 8,000 of its employees in a bid to cut costs has been hailed as ‘a victory for common sense’ by Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, today (Thursday 20 August). Unite, which represents university employees in key technical and professional roles, spearheaded the campaign, with other higher education unions, to protect jobs when the proposals were unveiled last month. Unite said that the University’s bosses panicked when they claimed they needed to make £100 million in savings over fears about a shortfall in students in the coming academic year, including the much valued students from China, as a result of the pandemic read more
Cranswick: latest Covid-19 cluster highlights ongoing failure to address issues in meat sector (Aug 20) – Unite urgently seeking clarification and assurances from management “If workers are not safe, nobody is safe”. Unite, which has members working at the Cranswick meat processing plant in Cullybackey, which has shut down following a Covid-19 cluster, is seeking urgent clarification from management regarding the extent of the cluster and the company’s plans to ensure the facility is safe when it re-opens. Unite is also seeking assurances that workers sent home to self-isolate will not suffer any loss of pay read more
Road Safety Authority flunks Covid-safety test (Aug 20) – Unite says Driving Instructors locked out of hand hygiene. August 20th: Unite, which represents Driving Instructors throughout Ireland, has accused the Road Safety Authority of locking instructors out of hand hygiene since the resumption of driving tests. Pointing out that, during the Covid-19 pandemic, driving instructors have been prohibited from entering the test centre buildings to wash their hands, use toilet facilities or shelter from the elements, Unite Regional Officer Jean O’Dowd today (Thursday) accused the RSA of “flunking the Covid-safety test” read more
Stansted and Southend airport protests following ‘cruel’ easyJet base closure (19 Aug) – Campaigners and workers at easyJet will hold protests tomorrow (Thursday 20 August) at Stansted and Southend airports following this week’s announcement that the company is closing its bases at both airports read more
Bombardier: Latest job losses highlight need for NI rescue strategy (Aug 18) – Unite warns that further drop in output and household spending will impede post-Covid recovery. Regional Secretary Jackie Pollock says union will not tolerate “stealth shedding” of jobs read more
Sign this petition: Extend furlough scheme for the UK Aviation sector to help stop redundancies
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
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
Reference – WESTEX STRIKE FUND
Threat of outsourcing and redundancies at HMCTS (24 Aug) – The Courts Service plans to outsource criminal and enforcement work at a huge public cost and personal cost to the members of staff involved. HMCTS plans to outsource criminal and enforcement work and compliance to two contractors, Marston’s Holdings Limited (MHL) and JBW. The transfer is due to take effect on 1 September 2020 read more
PCS calls for no job loss guarantee in government comms restructure (21 Aug) – PCS is to write to the Cabinet Office to call for a guarantee that no jobs are lost as Downing Street presses ahead with plans to centralise government communications roles. The centralisation of communications will hand unprecedented control to No 10, could lead to mass job losses, if plans are not change, and could see government departments left with a maximum of just 30 communications professionals each putting thousands of staff at risk read more
Support the Tate strike, which in now indefinite. Tate advertises for new staff while making over 300 redundancies (20 Aug) – PCS members have expressed their anger and disgust after seeing job adverts for outsourced front of house roles at the Tate. Members working for Tate Enterprises in the galleries’ shops began strike action this week following the announcement that 313 jobs are to go. On the first day of the walkout, Tate Enterprises asked catering and café staff, hundreds of whom are also being made redundant, to work in Tate shops to cover for members who were on strike. Now PCS has discovered, through job adverts, that the Tate is seeking to recruit additional permanent visitor assistant jobs through its outsourced Securitas contract read more
What you can do
- Come along to our socially distanced pickets from 9.30am and protests (bring a face mask)
- Donate to our strike fund
- Send messages of support to [email protected]
PCS to launch ballot as Southbank Centre confirms cuts to redundancy pay for hundreds of staff read more
Unite and PCS members will hold a mass protest this Saturday against planned redundancies in Southbank Centre – 10am Royal Festival Hall
Push PCS pay petition to 60k by 31 August (19 Aug) – We need all PCS members and supporters to help push our petition for fair pay for UK government workers to over 60,000 signatures by the end of the month. The petition currently has more than 44,000 signatures following an incredible response since its launch last month. We would like to thank everyone who has signed and shared it but we need to keep the momentum going to force the government into a parliamentary debate once it hits 100,000 signatures read more
Support the ISS HMRC strike – The month long strike by PCS members who clean HMRC’s Merseyside offices is going strong, with members in Birmingham set to join in on week four. Members are in dispute with their employer ISS over low pay and poor working conditions. PCS is demanding a real living wage, equity over conditions with in-house civil servants, including sick pay, and guarantees on job security should their offices close in line with HMRC plans. The month long strike was called in response to HMRC refusing to fund a settlement despite ISS saying they were willing to settle if the money was provided. HMRC chief executive Jim Harra has said the department will not pay cleaners a living wage as it doesn’t even provide it for all of its own staff. Cleaners in Birmingham joined the long running campaign with two days of strike action in March before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. They are now taking a further week from 24 August in order to see out the month with their fellow workers in Merseyside. Solidarity has been strong during the strike, with messages of support from across the country and lots of donations to the strike fund, including some union branches pledging as much as £400 and £500. The strikers extend their thanks for all the support they have received. Read more in Justice for HMRC Cleaners Facebook page
How you can support the campaign
- Write to HMRC chief executive Jim Harra using the e-action
- Donate to the strike fund: account name: PCS Liverpool/Bootle Campaign Account, sort code: 60-83-01, account number: 20415772
- Send messages of support to [email protected]
PCS consultative ballot of jobcentre and Universal Credit workers read more
Please sign this PCS petition to Save Ealing Tax Office – 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 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:
- Sign and publicise the E-action
- Donate to the PCS fighting fund
- Send messages of support to [email protected]
- Visit the picket line at Whitehall/King Charles Street, London, SW1A 2AH. Read more
Department of Finance Consultation: Public Service Pension Schemes: Changes to Transitional Arrangements to the 2015 Schemes (19 Aug) – Members will be aware that the Fire Bridge Union (FBU) successfully challenged the UK Government on the transitional protection arrangements which came about following the introduction of the public sector pension schemes in April 2015. Today the Department of Finance has launched a formal consultation on the proposals to remedy the age discrimination in NI devolved schemes since 1 April 2015. This consultation will provide proposed remedies for affected individuals with a retrospective choice to have their pension entitlements for the period 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2022 (the remedy period) calculated under either their reformed or legacy (pre-1 April 2015) scheme rules. This effectively provides a choice as to which arrangement provides the most appropriate benefit package for their remedy period service, as if the discrimination had not occurred. Allowing members the choice between legacy and reformed scheme benefits will be necessary as not all members would benefit from returning to the legacy schemes and many members are better off in the reformed schemes read more
BREAKING NEWS!! Appledore shipyard to reopen following £7 million sale (25 Aug) – This is a huge boost for the whole community in North Devon. Infrastrata plc, which recently acquired Belfast’s Harland and Wolff, have bought the Devon yard for £7 million. The 200-year-old yard will be renamed H&W (Appledore) read more
BREAKING NEWS!! England must follow Wales in giving full coronavirus sick pay for care workers (25 Aug) – Many carers just can’t afford to take time off if all they get is £95 a week Statutory Sick Pay says GMB Union read more
GMB members ballot for strike action at Northern Gas Networks (20 Aug) – 98% of GMB Union members have voted to go to an official Industrial action ballot over pay. Northern Gas Networks (NGN) have made a derisory offer to GMB members which has been overwhelmingly rejected. Whilst the COVID 19 crisis had interrupted pay talks which begun before the lockdown, the initial offer from the company was rejected with Union officials asking the company to come back with an improved offer. However the company have now come back with a worse offer than before, blaming the COVID 19 crisis. Pay and terms and conditions have been under attack by NGN for several years with workers’ pay packets stagnating whilst living costs rise read more
Strike action looms at British Gas after 95% vote over ‘fire and rehire’ threat (19 Aug) – Betrayed GMB Union members deliver massive vote in Centrica consultative ballot paving the way for autumn strike action. Members at the largest union in British Gas have voted in favour of strike action in a consultative ballot after the company issued ‘fire and hire’ threats to its workforce. In the consultative ballot of 10,000 GMB Union members at Centrica-owned British Gas and PH Jones, 95% voted in favour of industrial action on a turnout of 67.5%. The backlash from the workforce paves the way for a formal strike ballot in the Autumn read more
School staff must be allowed to wear face coverings for safe reopening, says UNISON (23 Aug) – Chief UK medical officers’ views show staff need face coverings. Responding to a joint statement by UK chief medical officers about school reopening, UNISON head of education Jon Richards said today read more
UNISON wins Access to Work victory (19 Aug) – Union pressure sees government make changes to scheme to help disabled people working from home in the pandemic. UNISON has won a major victory for disabled workers, after the Department for Work and Pensions announced that new help will be available to disabled people who are working at home, with Access to Work extended to include support for specialist equipment, travel costs and mental health read more
Firefighters welcome Surrey celeb’s petition against ‘deadly’ fire cuts (20 Aug) – Surrey firefighters have welcomed a new petition campaigning against cuts to their fire and rescue service. More than 2,300 people have signed a petition from writer and actor Emma Kennedy calling for a reversal of cuts to Surrey Fire and Rescue Service. The author and Surrey resident has called fire cuts “terrifying for us local residents”, warning that it’s “madness” to close fire stations and that Surrey County Council “has its priorities all wrong” read more
CWU North West Region hits the streets and social media to promote union’s ‘Count Me In’ campaign (24 Aug) – Hot on the heels of last Thursday’s highly successful online National Day of Support for BT Technology Workers, the CWU’s North West Region is today (Monday) going all out to promote the CWU’s fightback against multiple threats to members in BT Group read more
Thousands protest on social media at BT Technology’s epic staff betrayal (21 Aug) – Outrage at the way in which BT Technology is pressing ahead with compulsory redundancies – despite rock solid evidence provided by the CWU that the 187 sought for job cuts could be achieved voluntarily – promoted an outpouring of anger and raw emotion on social media yesterday read more
European Working Time Directive isn’t an ‘optional extra’, Openreach reminded, as COT anger mounts (21 Aug) – Outrageous instances of some Openreach managers leaning on Service Delivery (SD) engineers to sign away their legal right to not be forced to work for more than 48 hours a week have prompted a furious response from the CWU. Pointing out that the European Working Time Directive (EWTD) still applies in UK law – despite Brexit – CWU assistant secretary Davie Bowman has hit out at the fact that the CWU is even having to remind a major blue chip company about this fundamental point of employment law read more
Belated pay offer for Capita O2 & Tesco Mobile members out to ballot (19 Aug) – Following months of uncertainty and many hours of difficult talks, the CWU has finally extracted an offer from Capita that the national negotiating team feels able to place before members. A full eight months after the relevant January 1 pay date came and went – followed by months of stonewalling by company negotiators who repeatedly cancelled and deferred meetings pending direction from Capita Group-level management – the company’s ‘final offer’ delivers minimum increases of 2% over 15 months for the vast majority of those working on the O2 and Tesco Mobile contracts read more
Justice for Greencore Northampton Workers Sign petition: To: Patrick Coveney, CEO of Greencore
The Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union calls on Greencore to pay 100% sick pay to all 2,100 Greencore employees in Northampton who have been sent home to self-isolate in the Covid19 crisis. The company, Europe’s leading sandwich maker, supplier to M&S, has put staff on furlough. So the government is paying 80% of the salary bill. The company has refused to provide the 20% top-up. This despite posting £56.4 million pre-tax profits last year. 292 of the Northampton workforce tested positive for Covid-19 last week, resulting in the factory’s temporary closure. Employees were furloughed and sent home to self-isolate for 14 days. They’re carrying the burden of the Covid-19 outbreak read more
#FairGrade2021 Petition Update (Aug 21) – NEU petition calling for action on fixing exams system reaches 25,000 signatures in its first 24 hours. In a demonstration of the anger and frustration generated by the Government’s catastrophic mishandling of this year’s A-Level and GCSE grading process, over 25,000 people have already signed our petition to the Prime Minister which launched on Wednesday night read more
NEU Cymru launches petition calling for exam fairness in 2021 (Aug 20) – NEU Cymru has today (20th August) launched a petition with the Welsh Parliament, asking for fairness for students taking exams in 2021 read more
Teachers not feeling prepared to return to their school or college (24 Aug) – The majority (58%) of teachers across Northern Ireland do not feel prepared to return to their school or college as it reopens to all pupils, a survey by the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, has found. An overwhelming number of teachers (89%) feel stressed and anxious about returning to their school, with the majority (77%) of teachers responding to the NASUWT survey also stating they don’t feel, or they are not sure, it is safe for pupils to return to their school read more
Face Coverings and Physical Distancing in Schools – EIS Comment (24 Aug) – The EIS, has responded to the First Minister’s comments on potential use of face-coverings in schools. In her daily briefing this afternoon, Ms Sturgeon indicated that a change in policy on use of face-coverings in some areas of schools may be imminent. Commenting following the First Minister’s statement, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said: “The EIS continues to believe that effective physical distancing is the best means of reducing the risk of COVID-19 spread in schools read more
EIS Makes Direct Plea to First Minister: “Do More on School Safety” (20 Aug) – The EIS has made a direct plea to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, urging her to do more to make schools safe from the risk of COVID-19. In an unusual step, the EIS has written directly to the First Minister pointing out clear inconsistencies in COVID safety policy outwith and within schools, and urging the Scottish Government to do more to protect pupils, staff and school communities from the risk of COVID infection read more
UCU response to BTEC and GCSE results chaos (20 Aug) – Reacting to this year’s GCSE results and the postponement of BTEC grades, UCU said that the chaos has harmed students, and that we now need to see a big increase in funding for further education, as well as an end to privatisation, so colleges can play a big role in our national recovery and make sure no student is left behind read more
Education unions set out concerns to Gavin Williamson after exam results fiasco (18 Aug) – The government must step in to support students who have missed out on their first-choice courses and provide financial protections for the higher education sector to protect jobs, UCU and NUS said today. UCU and NUS have written to Secretary of State for Education Gavin Williamson today to set out the concerns of students and staff in schools, further education colleges and universities, following the government’s dramatic U-turn yesterday confirming that centre-assessed grades would be used for A-levels and GCSEs read more
Midlands newspaper journalists on strike today (25 Aug) – NUJ members working for Bullivant Media Limited begin strike action today and tomorrow in response to the company’s redundancy plans, new working practices, and after months of journalists being underpaid. The company runs weekly free newspapers and websites with titles including the Coventry Observer, Leamington Observer, Rugby Observer, Stratford Observer, Solihull Observer, Redditch Standard, Bromsgrove Standard, Worcester Observer and Evesham Observer. The dispute also concerns non-editorial staff taking on journalistic work from outside the editorial department and the NUJ is concerned this could have a negative impact on journalistic quality and standards. Things you can do to support the strike –
- The NUJ is urging media workers, branches, chapels and other trade unionists to send messages of support and solidarity to the chapel via email: [email protected]
- The union is also calling for financial support for the strikers as many of those involved are paid just over the national minimum wage. Supporters can donate to the strike hardship fund:
Sort code – 60-83-01 Account number – 20049274 Account name: NUJ Manchester. Please label the donation as ‘Bullivant strike’
HIAL demonstrating contempt for Islands legislation (21 Aug) – The approach HIAL are taking to their controversial Remote Towers project demonstrate ‘contempt’ for the Islands Act and renders the legislation ‘essentially worthless’ for workers Prospect union has warned read more
Abuse of shopworkers petition crosses the first hurdle of 10K signatures in one day – Usdaw urges the Government to respond positively (20 Aug) – Shop workers’ trade union leader Paddy Lillis yesterday launched a petition to protect retail staff from violence, threats and abuse. It is now the fastest growing petition on the parliamentary website, having passed 10,000 signatures in one day. This means the Government now has to respond to the petition. The petition now has over 22,000 signatures and can be signed at https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/328621. Usdaw continues to campaign for 100,000 signatures that should trigger a parliamentary debate. The petition is backed by the UK’s largest convenience store retailer Co-op Food, along with the industry’s leading trade bodies the British Retail Consortium and the Association of Convenience Stores read more
Support striking Debenhams Workers: Email messages of support to Mandate via [email protected]
“Well if they can do it, I can do it”: An interview with Filmmaker Hazel Falck (19 Aug) – Hazel Falck is the director of the ground breaking Guardian documentary covering the St. Mary’s campaign that saw UVW members go on longest strikes in the NHS’ history. Read about her journey with us and what it felt like to capture people organising themselves and winning. You can watch United Voices here
Victory as the UK’s ‘largest independent wholesaler of fruit and veg’ ordered by a judge to reinstate a warehouse worker found to have been sacked for complaining about the lack of PPE (19 Aug) – The trade union United Voices of the World (UVW) celebrated a victory yesterday after one of its members, Mr Alejandro Morales, a warehouse worker in New Covent Covent Market in Vauxhall was granted ‘interim relief’ by an Employment Tribunal after having been found by a judge to have been unlawfully dismissed during the pandemic for complaining about a lack of PPE and social distancing and an attempt to cut his pay by 25%. The decision saw Mr Morales reinstated with a full back payment of his wages and a guarantee of a 100% of his wages moving forward rather than the 75% the company Chairman, Jason Tanner, had tried to cut him down to prior to dismissing him, despite declaring in a meeting that he still had millions of pounds in the bank read more
Housing campaigners vow “We’ll be back when courts reopen!” (Aug 23) – campaigners from various housing pressure groups, tenants, residents, and housing workers assembled in front of the iconic Royal Courts of Justice to protest on Sunday 23rd August, originally planned as the final day of the eviction ban. Their anti-eviction protest went ahead despite an eleventh-hour extension of the eviction ban – a stay of execution of just four weeks. The government policy change also provided a longer process of eviction for tenants in England. The changes were announced on Friday 21st August and marked a victory for those who have campaigned against courts reopening to process possession orders. However, instead of taking the heat out of the campaign, the extra time will be used to build an even broader coalition read more on website of Social Housing Action Campaign (SHAC)
Join the Black Lives Matter protests against the shootings 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 and now those of Jacob Blake who was shot on August 23rd. 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 #KneelforFloyd #GeorgeFloyd #JacobBlake and #BlackLivesMatter on social media
Fight blacklisting and victimisation of union reps
Builders Crack: The Movie
In the current situation, this long lost film from the 1990s about rank and file union organising in the construction industry is intended to lift the spirits, but also to spark a debate in our movement. Hope the youngsters in this film put a smile on your face.
Watch – Share – Discuss
Blacklist Support Group
Defend Tony Smith Unison Hull – Trade Unionists will be outraged at the dismissal of Tony Smith by an FCC disciplinary hearing. Tony a UNISON activist has been sacked for gross misconduct but in reality he has been victimised for Trade Union activities. All of Tony’s fellow drivers at the FCC waste disposal plant at Willmington agreed that Tony made a correct Health and safety call but this was ignored in a blatant stitch up by management. Tony led the successful strike two years ago which won sick pay rights for 2,500 FCC workers up and down the country. Hull Trades Council will be protesting outside the site and we will be trying to organise more extensive action to coincide with Tony’s appeal. Please send messages of support to Tony Smith C/O Hull City UNISON, Town Hall Chambers 39, Alfred Gelder Street, Hull HU1 2AG or email via [email protected]
Mike Whale Chair Hull Trades Council
PCS: Trade unionists asked to send solidarity to PCS rep dismissed after blowing the whistle (25 July) – Trade unionists are being urged to send solidarity messages to a PCS rep dismissed after whistleblowing at the Department of Work and Pensions. Enrico La Rocca, who had worked for the DWP for more than 27 years, lost his job in May after highlighting serious concerns with management over a number of years. His complaints resulted in questions being asked about the department’s handling of Carer’s Allowance overpayments by the National Audit Office (NAO) and raised by in a Work and Pensions Select Committee report read more from Union News
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 victory – We 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 RMT – We, 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 continues – Unfortunately, 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
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
UNI joins U.S. postal workers’ demands to #SaveThePostOffice read more
September 13 – NSSN TUC Rally 1pm Facebook event
PHONE 07952 283 558
EMAIL mailto:[email protected]
TWITTER – https://twitter.com/NSSN_AntiCuts
ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE