This week’s NSSN bulletin comes after the brutal murder of Sarah Everard and the outrageous policing of peaceful vigils and protests, which NSSN supporters attended. The NSSN sends our deepest condolences to Sarah’s family. These horrific events have brought centre stage the issue of violence against women.
They have also raised how the Tory government is using Covid rules to attack the right to protest. Before Christmas, police dispersed a workers’ picket at the Unite strike at Optare in Leeds. The union overturned this in the courts.
Two of our officers Linda Taaffe NSSN Secretary and NEU and Katrine Williams NSSN vice-Chair and PCS speak below:-
Linda: “The violent death of Sarah Everard has engendered a great sadness and huge solidarity amongst thousands of trade unionists – both women and men. Safety in the street, on the buses and trains, is a particular issue for all women. There are some measures that could be taken immediately. In the first instance there should be no cuts to guards on the trains, or reduction of station staff especially at night, due to underfunding; or cuts to bus services; no cuts to the lighting of street lampposts due to austerity. There should be an emergency police phone number dedicated to calls from women feeling threatened, and answered by a real person not a machine. In the longer term it’s becoming more and more imperative that we fight for a socialist change to the capitalist system where the morals of all in the community would be to look out for everyone – and nobody is seen as fair game.”
Katrine: “Our trade union movement must stand up together to defend the right to protest. We also have a key role to play in mobilising a mass united response to root out discrimination and harassment in every workplace, school and college. Whilst dressing up the ban on protests as being about safety this is clearly a political decision as the Government have been happy to allow employers to flout safety regs and put workers at risk including in their own departments. As shown by the total disregard for the safety of the DVLA PCS members where over 2,000 are being forced to go into the workplaces and a significant proportion of these workers have contracted Covid-19 as a result of being forced into unsafe, badly ventilated workplaces and delivered a strong yes vote for strike action in the recent ballot over safety.”
Joint TUC union statement: We demand safety. We demand justice. We demand equality (12 Mar)
NEU: Police gross mishandling of vigil for Sarah Everard (14 Mar)
Unite statement on tonight’s actions by the Met Police against peaceful protest in memory of Sarah Everard (13 Mar)
TSSA: We demand safety. We demand justice. We demand equality (12 Mar)
PCS joins condemnation of violence against women (15 Mar)
Come to: Trade Unionists Under Attack, Solidarity Meeting! 7pm – Wednesday March 24th Facebook event
(Hosted by Southampton & South West Hampshire Trades Union Council and Southern & South East Shop Stewards Network)
Speakers include –
Gary Carney, RMT activist and sacked London Underground worker.
Moe Muhsin Manir, Unite activist and sacked London Bus driver.
Declan Clune, RMT activist and sacked Southampton Bus Worker.
More speakers to be confirmed!
Meeting is via zoom and details are here –
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 764 535 2620
In the space of a couple of weeks, two bus driver union reps have been sacked – Declan Clune RMT at Bluestar in Hampshire and Moe Muhsin Manir Unite at Abellio in South London. Both are members of the NSSN steering committee and have both built reputations for fighting for their members, particularly coming to the fore in the fight for workplace safety during the pandemic. Declan’s appeal is this Wednesday and after being dismissed yesterday, Moe is appealing against his. We give our full support to their campaigns for reinstatement up to and including any industrial action taken by their respective memberships.
Donate to the reinstatement campaign of Declan Clune RMT bus driver in Southampton (on behalf of Declan Clune and all RMT Southampton District Bus and Coach Branch members). Email message of support: [email protected]
Donate to Moe’s solidarity campaign Email messages of support to Moe: [email protected]
Stop the dismissal of Kirstie Paton! (Hosted by Greenwich NEU – 6pm Monday 22 March Facebook event
Kirstie Paton teacher and NEU rep is being threatened with dismissal for speaking out over Health and Safety concerns. This rally is to build support and demand United Learning cease their victimisation of Kirstie for carrying out legitimate trade union duties in her capacity as Greenwich Health and Safety Officer
NSSN Enfield forum – Organise to fight back in Enfield. Facebook event (includes Zoom details)
7.30pm Monday 22nd March
Onay Kasab Unite Regional Officer
Arif Bektaş Day Mer (Turkish / Kurdish community organisation)
Lewis Peacock RMT (London Underground)
Strike together against Tory 1% NHS pay insult
A very successful Zoom meeting was held last Thursday against the Tory pay insult, hoisted by Midlands NSSN.
From the meeting, a model motion has been put together. Feel free to use and share and modify if necessary for your own union/trades council:-
This union branch/trades council condemns the Tory Government’s announcement that NHS workers will receive a pay rise of only 1%
This union branch/trades council believes:-
- health workers have played an absolutely key role in treating patients in the most difficult and stressful conditions as well as fighting for workplace safety during COVID to protect both staff and our communities
- that the Tory 1% pay rise is an insult and shows the total contempt the Tories have for health workers, and shows that their support for them during the pandemic is hollow and a sham
This union branch/trades council further believes that:-
- the demand by health unions and NHS workers for a pay rise of up to 15% must be fully supported. This would only begin to make up for a decade of real terms cut in wages.
- this should include all workers in the NHS and outsourced staff should be brought in-house to work directly for the health service on NHS pay, pensions and terms & conditions
- the Tory pay freeze for other public sector workers must be opposed
This union branch/trades council resolves to call on our union to take the lead in approaching all other unions in the NHS to discuss and agree a joint struggle for the pay claim. This should include:-
- calling a national day of action of socially-distanced protests in towns and cities
- co-ordinated strike ballots across the health unions
- approach all public sector unions for a joint fight against the Tory attacks on pay
Health workers pay slashed by £1000s in real terms since 2010, GMB analysis shows
For more information: Nurses and Midwives say NO! to Public Sector pay inequality, Keep Our NHS Public, Health Campaigns Together
The Sparks launch fight that forces bosses back de-skilling at Hinkley Point but struggle continues
Rank and file construction electricians have launched a struggle against what they see as multi-skilling by bosses at the massive site Hinkley Point to build the nuclear power station, estimated to cost £22.5 billion.
It is reported that an agreement to employ about 500 electrical apprentices had been reneged on and instead a training course for ‘Support Operatives’ is being put on. This would mean lower-paid unskilled workers being employed instead of skilled electricians.
The campaign has already seen protests in London, Manchester, Newcastle, Scotland and Wales. Unite now report that the training course at Hinkley has been stopped, which is a great victory. But the fight goes on, particularly targeting NG Baileys and Balfour Beatty, until de-skilling is totally off the agenda.
Solidarity to the Sparks!
See Reel News video of last week’s protests
Read latest Siteworker bulletins of the Rank & File:-
Monday 8th Deadline set for NG Bailey & Balfour Beatty
Unite Electrical & Mechanical Combine Statement
Unite statement: Hinkley Point C and Threatened Deskilling of Electricians
Hinkley Point C Deskilling Training Documents Revealed
Support the NSSN
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]
Watch the NSSN pre-TUC Rally from last September and follow us on twitter via @NSSN_AntiCuts and Facebook
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 include some workers receiving 80% of their wages. This furlough scheme was due to end but has now been extended because of the 2nd lockdown.
However, we believe that no worker should pay the price for any spread of the virus. We say: work or full pay. Any worker who is required not to attend work or is unable to do so because of COVID, 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 and you can catch up on disputes at Strike Map UK
RMT calls for radical action following publication of new DfT Bus Strategy (15 Mar) – Commenting following the full publication of ‘Bus Back Better – National Bus Strategy for England’ which commits the Government to a review of the ban on local authorities setting up new municipal bus companies, RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: “The Government has now published its full National Bus Strategy, which commits to a review of the ban on local authorities in England setting up new municipal, publicly owned, bus companies. RMT questions why this was not referenced in the Government’s initial announcement…” read more
RMT statement on publication of new DfT Bus Strategy (15 Mar) – Commenting on the publication of the DfT’s bus strategy, RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: “RMT has long called for the creation of a National Bus Strategy to address the massive decline in the bus industry since it was deregulated in the 1980s and we welcome the Government’s acceptance that this is necessary for local bus services to play a key role in connecting communities and meeting our climate change targets…” read more
RMT response to Merseyrail Kirby derailment this evening (13 Mar) – General Secretary Mick Cash said; “RMT is aware of this incident and we will ensure that we are fully engaged in the investigation currently underway by the relevant bodies. It is essential that the full facts are established and in the meantime the union will be providing full support to our Merseyrail members.” Read more
RMT demand action to end pandemic pay betrayal for CalMac key workers (12 Mar) – SCOTTISH FERRIES UNION RMT today wrote to the Minister for Islands, Energy and Connectivity, Paul Wheelhouse MSP demanding that he meet the union to correct a pay injustice for key workers at public sector ferry company CalMac. RMT is in dispute with CalMac over a 0.5% pay offer for 2020-21. This scandalous below inflation pay increase for CalMac workers’ dedication and commitment over the pandemic has again been highlighted this week by the Scottish Government’s 2% settlement for 2021-22 for other public sector workers in Scotland read more
RMT set to declare dispute with Rail Gourmet (12 Mar) – RMT set to declare dispute with Rail Gourmet as Edinburgh workers ill with Covid-19 are pursued for raising health and safety concerns. RAIL UNION RMT has today condemned catering firm Rail Gourmet for pursuing members at their Edinburgh depot who have tested positive for Covid-19 to attend disciplinary hearings for raising related health and safety concerns while they are in isolation and suffering significantly from the effects of the illness. The issue has emerged following an outbreak of Covid-19 at the depot which has resulted in 12 members of staff testing positive for the disease, with the Edinburgh depot closed until further notice. One of the employees under investigation for raising Covid related concerns is an RMT industrial representative read more
Government must use powers to prevent Go-Ahead paying dividend (11 Mar) – Government must use powers to prevent transport giant GO–AHEAD paying pandemic profiteering dividend says RMT. As rail giant GO-AHEAD has announced its intention to pay a dividend, RMT is writing to the government to say it should use its powers to prevent such pandemic profiteering read more RMT responds to Go-Ahead half year profits and dividends
RMT slams Board of Trade report for total failure to support shipping jobs (10 Mar) – SEAFARERS UNION RMT today responded to the UK Board of Trade report, ‘Global Britain, Local Jobs’ which makes a series of recommendations on Britain’s trading future but contains no reference at all to creating local jobs in the key transport link in international trade – shipping read more
Sign this petition: RMT steps up campaign for TfL funding
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
Thomas Cook Redundancy Payout Victory Welcomed (16 Mar) – TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has hailed an employment tribunal judgment which has found against Thomas Cook over the travel firm’s failure to consult before making redundancies, meaning up to 1,500 former employees could claim as much as £4,200 from the Insolvency Service in what has been described as 2the best possible outcome2. Thomas Cook went into liquidation on 23 September 2019 with around 1,500 London, Manchester and Peterborough Head Office employees made redundant without any prior warning or consultation read more
Rail Covid Profits ‘A Total Scandal’ Blasts TSSA (11 Mar) – Transport union TSSA has today blasted profits at rail and bus group Go-Ahead as “a total scandal” and called for dividend payments to be scrapped. Go-Ahead’s results reveal a rail operating profit of £6.5 million pounds for the six months to 2nd January this year read more
TSSA Backs Calls For ‘Vital’ Belly Mujinga Inquest (9 Mar) – TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has said his union is backing calls for a ‘vital’ coroner’s inquest into the death of Belly Mujinga, because ‘a number of important questions remain unanswered’. North London Coroner – Andrew Walker – is deciding whether to hold an inquest into the death of the 47-year-old transport worker who was a TSSA member. Belly died on 5th April last year just two weeks after it was reported she was coughed on by a customer at London’s Victoria station (21st March). A Panorama investigation subsequently raised serious questions about the inquiries into her death carried out by her employer, GTR (Govia Thameslink Railway) and the police. In a letter to the coroner, Cortes, writes that ‘it’s now vital we have an inquest into Belly’s death, to establish the facts’ read more
Support the indefinite bus strike in Manchester and the industrial action at RATP in London
Go North West using taxpayers’ money to wrongly furlough workers and undermine Manchester bus strike (12 Mar) – Go North West, which is part of the multi-billion pound Go Ahead Group, has been accused of using taxpayers’ money to furlough workers caught up in the current strike. Over 400 bus drivers are taking industrial action as a result of the company’s attempts to fire and rehire the workforce. Rather than seek a settlement to the dispute, Go North West has launched a ‘rogue bus service’ and has moved its operations from its Queens Road depot to a separate location in the city. The company is using non-unionised bus companies and bringing in drivers from outside the area to operate the ‘rogue service’. As a consequence of the decision to relocate its depot, the company has decided to furlough several workers usually based at the Queens Road depot rather than require them to work at the separate depot. The affected workers include shunters, re-fuellers and cleaners read more
Greedy Go-Ahead: Paying shareholders dividends while cutting bus drivers’ wages (11 Mar) – The multi-million pound Go-Ahead transport group has been accused of sheer greed following the publication of its half yearly results. The results show that the company made £12.3 million profit on its local bus service, while its London and international bus service recorded a profit of £37.3 million read more
London braced for fresh bus strikes as talks fail to progress (10 Mar) – Bus passengers across London should be aware that they face fresh disruption throughout March, due to a series of strikes over pay and conditions, Unite the union has warned. The ongoing industrial action, which involves French bus company RATP and its three subsidiaries in the capital; London United, London Sovereign and Quality Line, began last month. RATP’s attempts to divide and rule each workforce, mean each of the three strikes involve different issues…future industrial action across the three subsidiaries will be co-ordinated, with strikes scheduled for successive Wednesdays on 17, 24 and 31 March read more
Government bus strategy won’t reverse cuts and could see on-road competition chaos (15 Mar) – Unite, the UK’s leading union, representing over 70,000 bus workers, has warned that the government’s new national bus strategy, published today (Monday 15 March) will not reverse more than a decade of service cuts that have left communities isolated. Further, it could also unleash more employment instability across the industry. While the union said that the bus strategy is a welcome admission that the 30-plus year deregulation experiment where the free market dictated bus routes has been an unmitigated failure, it said that the solutions proposed may not significantly improve services read more
Royal and SunAlliance staff ballot for possible strike action (16 Mar) – Unite the union has today (Tuesday 16 March) started a ballot of the workforce at Royal and SunAlliance (RSA) over a threatened pay freeze in 2021. The union has called on RSA to reverse its deplorable decision to impose a pay freeze for its outstanding workforce who have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to ensure the maintenance and survival of the business. Any industrial action will impact customers of MORE THAN insurance read more
Unite members set to take industrial action at SAICA Packaging sites in Edinburgh and Milngavie (15 Mar) – Unite members at SAICA Packaging UK based at Edinburgh and Milngavie will begin an official overtime ban tomorrow (Sunday 14 March) with 24-hour stoppages to follow each Wednesday from 17 March 2021. The industrial action follows a decision by the company to detrimentally vary the contracts of Unite members as they relocate to the new Livingston site in 2022. SAICA are extending the working week and introducing a banked hour’s agreement. The substantive terms and conditions are currently contained within a national agreement that Unite holds with the Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI) that SAICA was a signatory to for all its UK Corrugated sites up until last month when they served 6 months’ notice. The changes being proposed in Scotland are outside the national agreement and could undermine the terms and conditions across other UK sites read more
Banbury coffee workers vote for strike ballot over ‘fire and rehire’ plans (15 Mar) – Workers at the JDE (Jacobs Douwe Egberts) site in Banbury, Oxfordshire have voted to proceed to an industrial action ballot over plans to ‘fire and rehire’ nearly 300 workers at the coffee factory. Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, said today (Monday 15 March) its members had voted by 96 per cent in a consultative ballot to hold a full-scale industrial action ballot, with the option to strike, in response to the Dutch-owned company issuing notice of dismissal and engagement for 291 employees read more
Victory as Frimley NHS trust suspends tax-avoiding wholly owned subsidiary plan, says Unite (12 Mar) – A victory against the increasing break-up of NHS services has been chalked up as bosses at Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust have suspended plans to transfer workers to a wholly owned subsidiary (WOS) designed to avoid paying tax. Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, said today (Friday 12 March) that the trust’s decision was the culmination of a two-year campaign by staff, including industrial action, against increasing NHS fragmentation. About 1,000 estates’ management, equipment maintenance, catering, portering, procurement and security staff at Frimley Park Hospital, Camberley; Wexham Park Hospital, Slough; and Heatherwood Hospital, Ascot would have been affected read more
Unite calls on Babcock Marine to step ‘back from the brink’ as Clyde nuclear naval base workers strike (12 Mar) – Hundreds of Unite the union members based at the Coulport and Faslane nuclear naval bases on the Clyde are set to take part in rolling industrial action today (12 March) from 10 a.m. The strike action follows the ‘overwhelming’ support from its 1000-strong membership where Unite members voted by 95% in support of strike action on a 65% turnout. The rolling strike action will also be held in conjunction with a continuous call out ban and ban on all overtime read more
Babcock ‘suitability as an MoD contractor’ in question following RAF Leeming and Clyde strikes (10 Mar) – Defence giant Babcock’s suitability as a Ministry of Defence (MoD) contractor is being called into question following a breakdown in industrial relations with staff at a number of military bases, Unite, said today (Wednesday 10 March). Strike action by Babcock staff is currently occurring at RAF Leeming, in North Yorkshire, while strikes are due to begin this week at the Coulport and Faslane naval bases on the Clyde. Unite raised concerns that the disputes have all begun within the first six months of Babcock CEO David Lockwood taking up the role and called on him to personally intervene to resolve them. More than 50 Babcock workers, who provide operational and engineering services for aircraft at RAF Leeming, including the Hawk trainer aircraft, have been on strike since January over a £5,000 shift pay disparity read more
Donations can be made as follows:
Bank Transfer to: Sort Code: 60 83 01 Account No: 20173962
Account Name: Unite North East Region 1% Fund
Reference: Babcock Aerospace Ltd and your branch number
Alternatively, By Cheque made payable to “Unite the Union” and forwarded to the Leeds Regional Office, Unite the Union, 55 Call Lane, Leeds, LS1 7BW marked for the attention of the Regional Secretary (Babcock Aerospace Dispute). For messages of support please email raf100sqnbabcockstrik[email protected]
Unite deeply concerned at scale of proposed redundancies at Aston Martin, St Athan (10 Mar) – Unite Wales has reacted with deep concern at proposals to axe over 200 jobs at the landmark Aston Martin automotive site in the Vale of Glamorgan. The scale of the proposed job losses is extremely concerning and raises serious questions regarding Aston Martins employment practices and its wider commitment to South Wales. The announcement has come from both Aston Martin themselves and their contingent workforce provider Millbank (Priory Design Services Ltd). Aston Martin are proposing the loss of 95 jobs whilst Millbank is proposing a further 100 plus read more
Communisis bank workers vote for strike action over pay and pensions dispute (10 Mar) – Unite bank workers based at Communisis in Edinburgh have voted for strike action in a dispute over pay and the closure of a pension scheme. Around two dozen bank workers voted for strike action by 75% on a turnout of 91%. The former Scottish Widows’ workers based at Fountainbridge are contracted to manage in-bound imaging and mail processing services for Lloyds Banking Group. Strike action will now take place on the 6th, 12th and 19th April. The dispute is over the proposed closure by Communisis of a non-contributory pension scheme which the workers used to have with Scottish Widows and the erosion other terms and conditions since their transfer in 2014. The company have also imposed a pay freeze for 2021 read more
Unite reaction to Sellafield bullying concerns (10 Mar) – Unite, the UK’s leading union, which represents hundreds of workers at Sellafield, is committed to ensuring that a ‘toxic and bullying culture’ at the re-processing plant is eradicated. Unite made the commitment after a number of whistleblowers highlighted concerns about how some workers have been treated at Sellafield read more
Unite Scotland statutory recognition bid at offshore contractor Altrad (9 Mar) – Unite Scotland has today (9 March) announced that it is moving forward with a statutory trade union recognition effort at offshore contractor Altrad. Unite has decided to make the move after a month of fruitless discussions with Altrad. The offshore contractor which employs around 200 offshore workers has refused voluntary union recognition and to be a signatory to the new Energy Services Agreement (ESA), which is designed to ensure offshore workers’ terms and conditions are covered by a collective bargaining agreement read more
Leicester SPS staff strike over proposed ‘penury-inducing’ fire and rehire cuts of up to £3,000 (9 Mar) – Leicester workers at aerospace parts firm SPS Technologies will strike over ‘penury-inducing’ fire and rehire cuts that will cost staff up to £3,000 a year, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Tuesday 9 March). Around 200 Unite members at SPS’s Barkby Road site will strike over fire and rehire proposals that would result in reductions to overtime pay, sick pay, paid breaks, shift premiums and other terms and conditions. The termination of the current contracts and rehiring onto new ones would see staff lose between £2,500 and £3,000 from their annual salaries and force many into financial difficulties. Unite said the discontinuous 24-hour strikes, which will take place on 12, 19, 22 and 26 March, as well as a separate overtime ban, will result in ‘serious disruption’ to SPS’s operations. The workers will be holding socially distanced picket lines outside the Barkby Road site during the strikes read more
Statement from the National Trade Union Steel Coordinating Committee (9 Mar) – The news that Greensill has filed for administration, and the speculation about what this means for Liberty Steel, is extremely concerning to the unions and the workforce. This morning the steel unions –Unite, Community and GMB – met with Sanjeev Gupta to seek assurances on behalf of our members, and to request full transparency on the challenges facing Liberty Steel read more
Living Wage Foundation urged to end Goodlord accreditation over ‘brutal’ London pay cuts as indefinite strikes begin – The Living Wage Foundation has been urged to end its accreditation of London-based lettings software provider Goodlord over ‘brutal’ £6,000 pay cuts that have forced staff to begin indefinite strike action, Unite said today (Tuesday 2 March). Around 20 Unite members employed in Goodlord’s London-based referencing department, which provides tenant checks for estate agents, had been on discontinuous strike since 22 February. On March 1, however, the workers escalated their industrial action to an indefinite strike, meaning they will not return to work until the dispute is resolved. The dispute centres on fire and rehire plans that would see the pay of Goodlord’s referencing staff plummet from £24,000 to £18,000. Goodlord is accredited as a Living Wage Foundation employer. However, the cuts would see Goodlord’s referencing staff earn less than the foundation’s London living wage of £21,157. Referencing staff are the only workers employed by the company to have been singled out for fire and rehire attacks read more
Messages of support to [email protected]
- Email complaints to [email protected]; tweet complaints to @sogoodlord
- Strike fund donations to Unite LE/7098L London ITC Branch, sort code 60-83-01, account 20303680, reference Goodlord
Sainsbury’s faces South East Easter shortages as DHL strikes over ‘union busting’ loom – Sainsbury’s is facing Easter shortages at its stores across the South East, including parts of London, after DHL staff at its Dartford regional distribution centre voted for strike action over ‘union busting’, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Friday 12 February). The Dartford strike ballot was called after a Unite steward, who was providing support to a member of staff during an investigation hearing, was suspended for challenging a DHL managers’ version of events. The reason given for the suspension by the manager was that the Unite steward was being aggressive – an accusation flatly contradicted by a neutral member of staff who was present at the meeting as a third party. After the vote in favour of strike action, more than 350 DHL staff are now poised to stage walk out’s throughout March, April and May read more
NHS bosses probed on profit margins of £755,000 contract for Reading hospital security guards – NHS bosses are being quizzed on the profit margins of the outsourced contract for the security guards at Reading hospital, who are currently locked in a ‘David and Goliath’ pay battle. Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust is paying Kingdom Service Group Ltd a total of £755,763-a-year to provide security for the trust. The security guards are currently on strike until early March over the Kingdom management’s failure to make a decent pay offer for 2020. Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, is now questioning whether the contract is ‘value for money’ and how big the profits margins are for Kingdom Service Group – a major corporate service provider with a £100 million plus turnover. Unite wants to know if it would not be better value for the taxpayer if the contract was brought back in-house which would then eradicate the hefty built-in profit margins that the outsourced company now enjoys…The 20 security guards have been taking strike action since mid-December and the third wave of strike action will run from 19.00 on Friday 12 February and ending at 19.00 on Sunday 7 March. This follows on from already announced strikes from 07:00 today (Monday 8 February) until 19.00 on Friday 12 February read more Text solidarity messages via Jessica 07718668497 and donate to strike fund: Acc. No.: 20173991 Sort Code: 60-83-01. Sign petition to Mark Wallace , Kingdom Service Group Managing Director: Pay Royal Berkshire Hospital security staff a wage they can live on
Scunthorpe scaffolders step up strike action at British Steel site – The British Steel plant in Scunthorpe faces further disruption this month as scaffolders based at the site, announced a further six days of strike action in a dispute over pay. The workers have already taken four days of strike action and will mount a further 48 hour strike beginning at 05:30 on Monday 8 February. Unite has now announced a 48 hour strike to begin at 05:30 on Monday 15 February, a 24 hour hours strike beginning at 05:30 on Thursday 18 February, then a further 48 hour strike beginning at 05:30 on Monday 22 February and finally a 24 hour strike from 05:30 on Thursday 25 February. The 50 plus scaffolders, involved in the strike action are employed by contractor Brand Energy to undertake maintenance on over 500 scaffolding structures that are on the British Steel site read more
Read document by Unite Community Cumbria branch: ‘Covid and the Tories – a world beating catastrophe’
PCS members vote for industrial action at DVLA (11 Mar) – PCS members working at the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA) have voted for industrial action over continuing Covid health and safety concerns. The ballot returned a 71.6% vote for strike action and 76.9% for action short of a strike, on a turnout of 50.3%. The DVLA office in Swansea suffered the worst Covid workplace outbreak in the UK but over 2,000 staff have been going into the workplace every day. The union has repeatedly called for a huge reduction in footfall at DVLA, pointing out that during the first lockdown, only 250 people were in the workplace carrying out essential duties. PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “This result is a damning indictment on DVLA management in their abject failure to keep staff safe…” read more
Hundreds of staff at Heathrow set to take industrial action (11 Mar) – Staff working in passport control at Heathrow have served notice for industrial action over the imposition of new ‘unworkable’ rosters. A month of action short of a strike, to include a work to rule and overtime ban, and involvies nearly 450 members, will take place from 24 March to 21 April. PCS has made it clear we will escalate the action if there is no progress. The industrial action notice follows an overwhelming ballot result in January, where 96.4% of those who voted said ‘yes’ to strike action on a 68% turnout 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 the GMB strike against ‘fire and rehire at British Gas – send a message of support and donate to the GMB British Gas ‘Fire and Rehire’ Strike Fund
GMB announces 12 more British Gas strike dates as company refuses to drop fire and rehire (10 Mar) – Engineers will walk out on March 12 to 15, 19 to 22 and 26 to 29 taking the number of strike days in the dispute to 42. GMB has announced 12 more British Gas strike days in March as the company refuses to drop its fire and rehire plan. Engineers will walk out on March 12 to 15, 19 to 22 and 26 to 29 after they overwhelmingly rejected a revised offer from the company at ACAS. The new industrial action will bring the total number of strike days in the ongoing dispute to 42. GMB says fire and rehire remains the main obstacle to members accepting a deal read more
Health workers pay slashed by £1000s in real terms since 2010, GMB analysis shows (12 Mar) – Nurses, call handlers and ambulance workers among hardest hit as GMB calls for end to pay progression element of pay rise. Health workers have had their pay slashed by thousands of pounds in real terms since 2010, according to GMB analysis. The figures emerge as the Conservatives attempts to cut their NHS staff pay yet again with a ‘miserly’ below inflation position of just 1% read more
Ikea could be stripped of living wage employer status after refusing to honour rate (12 Mar) – Why should Ikea be allowed to flaunt Living Wage status while being too tight fisted to pay a paltry 20 extra pence an hour? Ikea faces being stripped of its Living Wage Employer status after refusing to honour new Real Living Wage (RLW) rate of £9.50 an hour. The Living Wage Foundation said that there will be a crunch meeting this month, and that if the new rates are not implemented then ‘IKEA will not be recognised by us as a Living Wage Employer.’ The home furnishings giant says it will not match the 20 pence per hour increase announced by the Living Wage Foundation (LWF) in November 2020 read more
GMB celebrate huge victory as long campaign to stop privatisation at Frimley NHS ends in success (12 Mar) – “The NHS should not be privatised, not now. Not ever. Full stop”, say GMB Union. GMB, the union at Frimley NHS Foundation Trust, are delighted at news that the Trust has finally confirmed an end to their proposed Wholly Owned Subsidiary (WOS) privatisation plan. The Trust has today held meetings with facility staff to confirm that the long-term threat to privatise services through the creation of the WOS have been stopped read more
‘Massive GMB win for workers’: Tomahawk repays loans taken from low paid staff (10 Mar) – Let’s hope this abuse of the furlough scheme is over and not repeated elsewhere, says GMB Union. Tomahawk restaurants has begun repaying the low-paid, furloughed workers it borrowed money from in a ‘massive win for workers’. The steakhouse chain had ‘bullied’ staff into lending them the money to pay employers National Insurance and pension contributions out of their pay packets read more
Yodel faces £250,000 bill as GMB workers take delivery giant to court (9 Mar) – GMB Union has evidence underpayments go back 20 years – it’s ridiculous Yodel has not settled and would rather take its chances at a tribunal. Yodel could face a bill of up to £250,000 as GMB drivers take the company to court. Up to 500 workers for the logistics giant could have been underpaid for their night shift, some of them to the tune of £1,000 each. Initially, a group of 18 night workers found their pay packets short because their overtime allowances were missing. They contacted their union – GMB – who launched a grievance on behalf of the Yodel workers. The company refused to honour its debts, so GMB has enlisted legal firm Pattinson and Brewer to take Yodel to the Employment Tribunal. It is now thought up to 500 workers could be owed £250,000 between them after being underpaid for up to twenty years read more
GMB set to enter last ditch talks with ACAS and Reigate & Banstead Council to avoid refuse collector strike action (9 Mar) – We can’t see a way forward unless the Council is prepared to spend some of its spare income, say GMB Union. GMB, the union for workers at Reigate and Banstead Council, are set to meet with ACAS and senior management in the hope the Council will revise their derisory pay offer of 1.3% to staff. Many staff have already suffered a 3 year pay freeze and see this offer as a further slap in the face after working flat out during the pandemic, risking their own health and safety and that of their families. The largest group of staff will be the waste collection/recycling along with the Parks and Gardens department. GMB is however expecting other staff who work in the Town Hall and other areas of the Council to more than likely join the picket lines as staff become hugely frustrated with their employer read more
Public shows support for NHS staff over pay, says UNISON (12 Mar) – Thousands join slow hand clap against government’s proposed 1% rise for NHS staff. Thousands of households have demonstrated their support for health workers this evening (Thursday) by taking part in a nationwide slow handclap protest against the government’s stance on NHS pay, says UNISON. UNISON, alongside other health unions and the TUC, organised the event so the public could show the chancellor and prime minister they back a fair deal for NHS staff read more
Recruitment pledges must be backed by decent wage rise if NHS is to thrive (11 Mar) – Many workers are yearning for a reason to stay in the jobs they love. Paying staff properly is a vital part of building the NHS for the future, says UNISON as it calls on the public to protest this evening (Thursday) about the government’s “pitiful” wage offer read more
North Cumbria NHS Trust, HMC and Mitie under political pressure as Cumberland Infirmary workers announce second strike (11 Mar) – More than 150 porters, cleaners, switchboard and catering staff employed by Mitie at Cumberland Infirmary took strike action on Friday (26 Feb) and Monday (1 March) over missing payments for working unsocial hours. The hospital workers have today (Thursday) announced that they plan to take a further three days of strike action, beginning on Friday 26 March. And now North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Trust (NCIC), Health Management Carlisle (HMC) and Mitie have come under political pressure for their role in the ongoing row over pay. Cumbria County Council Leader Stewart Young has waded into the debate to call for a resolution to the dispute read more
Unison: Support the Birmingham NHS Heartlands Porters Dispute – UNSION members who are Heartlands Hospital Porters are currently taking strike action about the proposed imposition of a new rota. This will result in them working detrimental rotating 8 shifts pattern. The proposed rota impacts on our members health and well being; their caring responsibilities; their work/life balance and results in a significant cut in wages for many read more on Facebook page.
Email message of support to [email protected]
Donate to hardship fund: Unison University Hospitals Birmingham Branch 22536, Unity Trust Bank, Ac: 20403849 Sort Code: 60 83 01
Sign petition: We call upon the Chair of the Trust Jacqui Smith and the Chief Executive David Rosser to halt the imposition of the rota and to not ‘fire and rehire’ their Heartlands Hospital Porters on the 1st Feb. We urge them to ask the senior management to work with UNISON to implement a jointly agreed rota which is based upon a ‘fixed’ shift basis
CWU Announce Industrial Action Ballot across BT, Openreach, and EE (11 Mar) – The prospect of the first BT-wide strike action in 34 years has moved significantly closer following last night’s announcement that the CWU is moving towards a national industrial action ballot over an unprecedented and sustained assault on job security and hard won terms & conditions. Barring a dramatic eleventh-hour about-turn by a belligerent new senior management team which has now spent more than a year pursuing a brutal and needlessly confrontational agenda – despite incessant union appeals for meaningful talks to avert a full-scale industrial relations meltdown – that ballot will cover every part of BT, Openreach and EE where the CWU is recognised for collectively bargaining purposes read more
Five more strike days announced in Openreach – A further five days of strike action have been announced in Openreach amid mounting workforce exasperation at the refusal of bosses to engage with the union over the legitimate concerns of repayment project engineers (RPEs) about the imposed re-grading of their role. Today (Wednesday) the small but fiercely loyal group of CWU members are commencing their second previously announced stint of industrial action, with three consecutive strike days that will run until midnight on Friday following on from the two consecutive days of action they took on Wednesday and Thursday last week…CWU national officer for Openreach, Davie Bowman: “These strike days will take place between 00:01 on Thursday March 18 and 23:59 on Friday March 19, and then a further three days between 00.01 on Monday March 22 and 23.59 on Wednesday March 24 – bringing the total number of strike days announced to date to 10” read more
Sign petition: Keep BT desk based sites open in London and the South East
NIPSA Health Panel Rejects 1% (15 Mar) – The NIPSA Health Panel met on 11 March 2021 to discuss the Government’s proposed 1% pay increase to the NHS Pay Review Body for Health Workers. The Panel was unanimous in the view that this is an insult to health workers who have carried the fight against Covid-19 over the last year and we now need to move into a campaign to challenge this attack on our members. The NIPSA claim is for 15%, justified by the historic pay freezes and below inflation pay rises given within the NHS over the last 10 years, and a 1% rise, coming on the back of a huge outpouring of political and public support is insulting. The likelihood is that we will end up in a pay dispute and wider Health and Local Branch campaigning will begin to inform and prepare members for the potential of Industrial Action if this decision is not changed. NIPSA’s aim is to work collectively with the other Health Unions and there are plans for joint activity on 1st April 2021 which are currently being discussed and further information will follow on after these talks have concluded read more
QUB Creche Workers Commence Industrial Action (8 Mar) – Sixteen NIPSA members employed in QUB Crèche commence industrial action today in defence of their terms, conditions and employment. It is ironic on International Women’s Day low paid women workers’ have been forced to take industrial action. Despite being engaged in conciliation via the Labour Relations Agency unfortunately that process did not deliver anything that would have allowed the action to be called off. The action today commences with Action Short of Strike Action – but messages of support to these brave NIPSA members will be passed on read more
HMIP Report on Race Equality in probation – Napo Statement (16 Mar) – Many of you will be aware of a HMIP report published this morning Race Equality in probation: the experience of black, Asian and minority ethnic probation service users and staff. The thematic inspection highlights very worrying issues facing service users and staff alike. The report shows that Transforming Rehabilitation has led to many specialist services being cut and has led to a significant backward step for the organisation read more
Sign ‘War on Want’ petition: END SEXUAL HARASSMENT AT MCDONALD’S – McDonald’s has a sexual harassment problem. Women from across the world are joining together and speaking out about the harassment they have faced whilst working at the company. Workers in the USA have even been on strike about it. But still McDonald’s is refusing to take the action needed to end sexual harassment in its restaurants. The evidence is clear: a formal complaint submitted by workers in May 2020 shows at least seven countries where McDonald’s has failed to properly address harassment complaints, and the company’s global CEO even had to resign because of inappropriate relationships with employees. Please email McDonald’s UK CEO today and demand that the company listens to its workers and takes steps to end sexual harassment
Support these NEU strikes:-
Shrewsbury College/Shrewsbury (Victimisation of Rep): Tuesday-Thursday 16-18 March. Email support to [email protected]
Wycliffe College & Prep School/Gloucester: (Withdrawal of TPS)
Thursday 18 March. Email support to [email protected]
Little Ilford Newham: Wednesday-Thursday 17-18 March. Email support to [email protected]
Harlesden and Byron Court Primary Schools Brent: Thursday 18 March. Email support to [email protected]
The Mall School Richmond: Thursday 18 March. Email support to [email protected]
Leaways School Hackney: Wednesday-Thursday 17-18 March. Email support to [email protected]
Sign petition and support the strikes to Reinstate Sharon Morgan LONDON DESIGN AND ENGINEERING UTC Newham – At the start of this term, teacher and NEU rep Sharon Morgan was summarily dismissed from her job by London Design and Engineering UTC. Sharon was sacked without due process, with no formal investigation or a hearing where she could put her case. At an employment tribunal the judge described LDE’s behaviour as “morally reprehensible” and LDE subsequently agreed to reinstate Sharon. But the next day LDE changed their mind and refused to reinstate her. In reality, Sharon was sacked for helping NEU members stand up for better working conditions for staff, in the interests of the whole school community. This is trade union victimisation and it’s unacceptable. The sacking of Sharon is an attack on all trade unionists at LDE, in Newham, and everywhere.
Support Newham Little Ilford School strikes against unsafe expansion – NEU members have been taking strike action at the enormous comprehensive in Manor Park, east London, which already teaches 1,470 students. Labour-run Newham Council wants it to take 1,800. Sign petition: Newham Council is trying to force Little Ilford School to expand to 1800 pupils. But expanding will mean an overcrowded school and an overwhelming environment for all staff and pupils. It will undermine the quality of education and care that can be provided to pupils. And the expansion is opposed by virtually the entire staff body
Strict compliance with guidance required as Welsh pupils return (10 Mar) – As schools in Wales prepare for wider re-opening on Monday 15 March, NASUWT – The Teachers’ Union has raised concerns with the Welsh Government about lack of compliance by some local authorities and schools to the Operational Guidance following further advice from the Welsh Government to local authorities read more
EIS Launches Manifesto for Education-Led Recovery from COVID (5 Mar) – The EIS has launched its education manifesto ahead of May’s Scottish Parliament elections. The Manifesto, entitled For an Education Led Recovery outlines EIS policy in key areas including Early Years education, Primary and Secondary schools, Additional Support Needs, Instrumental Music, the impact of poverty and tackling inequality, valuing teachers, Further & Higher Education, and social justice read more
Updates on latest UCU disputes
Petition calling for fair funding and online learning
Universities flouting government guidelines over return to in-person teaching (8 Mar) – UCU said the universities of Oxford, Manchester Metropolitan and Edge Hill were breaching government guidelines over a return to in-person teaching. The guidelines state that in-person teaching should only resume today if subjects are practical or practice-based and require specialist equipment and facilities, and ‘providers should not ask students to return if their course can reasonably be continued online read more
‘UCU fighting fund: the link is here and donations to the fund are spent on supporting members involved in important disputes. As always, members are asked to contribute whatever their circumstances allow. A donation in solidarity of any amount will be gratefully received by members taking action.
NUJ condemns reporting ban on Bloody Sunday murder hearing (15 Mar) – The NUJ has condemned a judge’s decision to ban the media from reporting the opening statements and all witness statements in the case of Solider F. At a preliminary hearing today, as well as confirming that the anonymity put in place last year would continue, District Judge Ted Magill placed a ban on the reporting of statements by the prosecution and defence, and the testimony of witnesses due to give evidence at the hearing read more
NUJ welcomes the launch of a national action plan to protect journalists (9 Mar) – The union said the National Committee for the Safety of Journalists’ plan was an important step towards ensuring journalists can carry out their work free from harassment and attack. It was launched with cross-party support read more
Focus must be on defence jobs (16 Mar) – Prospect, a union representing thousands of defence workers in both the public and private sectors has responded to the announcement of the UK government’s Integrated Review of security, defence, development and foreign policy read more
Workers increase industrial action at HIAL over Remote Towers (15 Mar) – Prospect, which represents air traffic control staff and other in Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd, has today notified HIAL that workers in Air Traffic Control will be escalating their industrial action over the Remote Towers project. Unless HIAL changes tack nearly 50 staff will be made redundant with HIAL needing to recruit a similar number in Inverness at very significant expense to the taxpayer read more
These are disturbing reports of bullying at Sellafield – no-one should be subject to racism or discrimination at work (10 Mar) – It has been reported today (10 March) that there have been instances of workplace bullying, harassment and racism against workers in Sellafield read more
The show can’t go on: Equity demands basic income guarantee for creative workers (16 Mar) – On the anniversary of the closure of live performance venues, Equity is calling for the government to introduce a basic income guarantee for creative workers. 16 March 2021 marks a year since the Covid-19 pandemic forced the nationwide closure of theatres, pubs, clubs and other venues. These 12 months without live performance have highlighted the long-standing structural issues and pandemic of precarity across the creative sectors. More than one in five Equity members have taken on debt or additional debt since March 2020 read more
Equity secures minimum fees and protections for minors in New Cinema Film Agreement (9 Mar) – Equity and PACT have concluded negotiations on a new version of the Cinema Film Agreement (CFA), with updates including minimum fees and protections for minors, a 2% annual increase on Performance Salary and improvements to policies on Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Dignity at Work. The new version of the CFA will take effect for all films commencing principal photography on or after 6 April 2021 read more
8 in 10 shopworkers say abuse has worsened during the pandemic – Usdaw calls on the Government to protect staff (10 Mar) – Retail trade union Usdaw has renewed a call for legislation to protect retail staff after they today (10 March) released new statistics showing that 79% of shopworkers say abuse was worse last year read more
Proposed closure of the Arla Trevarrian creamery a devastating blow for the workforce and local economy says USDAW (8 Mar) – Arla Foods has today announced proposals that could lead to the closure of its Trevarrian cheese making facility in Cornwall. Usdaw to enter into consultation talks read more
Ex Debenhams workers receive domestic and international trade union and civil society support on International Women’s Day 2021 as they mark 333 days on strike (8 Mar) – Ex Debenhams workers, who have been on strike for 333 days today (March 8th), have received messages of support from international and domestic trade unions and civil society groups on International Women’s Day 2021. On April 9th last year Debenhams workers, the vast majority of whom are women, received an email from their employer informing them they had lost their jobs and they would not be receiving their agreed redundancy package. Since then, the workers have been on strike demanding justice and that government implement legislation to protect all workers in liquidation scenarios read more
Support striking Debenhams Workers: Email messages of support to the strikers via [email protected] and Mandate through [email protected]. Also, follow Stand with Debenhams Workers Facebook page
SIPTU welcomes withdrawal of redundancy notices by OCS Ltd. at Cork Airport (12 Mar) – SIPTU representatives have welcomed the decision by OCS Ltd to withdraw notices of compulsory redundancy served on three union members at Cork Airport read more
Key workers at a North London care home take legal action against their employer for breach of human rights – Staff at a North London care home have begun a series of legal proceedings against their employer it can be revealed today. According to trade union United Voices of the World (UVW), 14 care workers, cleaners and maintenance workers at Sage Nursing Home in Golders Green North London, a privately run care home for elderly and vulnerable Jewish residents, are bringing two separate legal claims against their employer for trade union victimisation. The care home is currently at the centre of an industrial dispute and recently saw dozens of its staff walk out in two separate strikes lasting for 4 and 3 days in January and February of this year. It is understood workers are demanding a £12 per hour “living wage”, full pay sick pay and annual leave in line with NHS rates, trade union recognition and an end to what they have called “victimisation” and “discrimination” at the home read more
Catholic school cleaners to strike for 40 days and 40 nights in “righteous indignation” about “wage theft”, “poverty pay” & “institutional racism” – Starting on 16th March a group of cleaners at the prestigious South London Roman Catholic Girls’ School, La Retraite, are set to take the first strike in the school’s 140 year history pledging to walk out for 40 days and 40 nights in “righteous indignation” about “unlawful wage deductions”, “poverty pay” and “institutional racism”. If all the planned strike days are taken, it will make it the longest school cleaners strike in UK history. The dispute centres around the fact that the cleaners are outsourced to a private contractor Ecocleen which results in the receiving inferior pay rates and terms and conditions to those enjoyed by La Retraite staff, including only getting Statutory Sick Pay, whilst everyone else gets full pay sick pay read more
Support the North London SAGE strike – Watch ReelNews video of strike
They’ve made it clear to Sage’s trustees that dignity in the workplace is non-negotiable. They deserve a living wage of £12 per hour, full pay sick pay and trade union recognition; and they won’t stop until they get it! If you want to support these workers in getting the respect and dignity they are long overdue, here’s what you can do:
1) Use our new letter writing tool to contact your MP calling on them to support the strike here
2) Use our new letter writing tool to send a message directly to Sage’s trustees calling on them to meet the workers’ demands here
3) Donate to the workers’ strike fund details here
More than one hundred couriers take on delivery company Stuart in workers’ rights claim (10 Mar) – The number of couriers taking on delivery company Stuart has surged to 154 as members of Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) join the fight for workers’ rights. Stuart, a delivery company providing services for businesses such as Pizza Hut, Nespresso and Ocado, describes its couriers as ‘independent riders’ and does not provide them with workers’ rights such as holiday pay and the National Minimum wage. The IWGB has joined forces with law firm Leigh Day arguing that, because of the way the company operates, couriers should be classed as workers read more
Minicab drivers strike over safety concerns following murder of London Bolt driver (3 Mar) – Private hire drivers will go on strike today against multiple operators including Bolt, Uber, Free Now and Ola. Drivers will switch off all apps 17.00-19.00 and in small groups park their cars, light candles and place placards on their vehicles. They are demanding improved safety protections and commemorating Gabriel Bringye, a member of the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain’s (IWGB) United Private Hire Drivers branch, who was stabbed to death while working for Bolt on 17 February in Tottenham read more
Fight blacklisting and victimisation of union reps
#SPYCops Inquiry exposes state surveillance of workers movement
The NSSN sends our solidarity and support to all those taking part in the Undercover Policing Inquiry who have suffered from state surveillance into the labour and trade union movement and a whole number of campaigns from anti-racism to environmentalism.
Watch video: ‘You’re Muted’ – What’s Up at the #SpyCopsInquiry? – Five minutes of highlights from the ‘Public’ Inquiry hearing evidence in secret about undercover policing in England and Wales since 1968
Keep up with developments and read and watch campaigners’ statements on the Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance (COPS) and Undercover Policing Inquiry websites and spycops info Facebook group
Blacklist Support Group opening statement to the public inquiry – Dave Smith posted this message on the BSG Facebook page:-
“I’d like to publicly thank everyone from around the globe who has sent messages of support after our opening statement at the undercover policing public inquiry. I was proud to deliver the speech on behalf of the Blacklist Support Group; but this is a collective endeavour. We got to this point by blacklisted union members working together with investigative journalists, campaigning lawyers, world class researchers, MPs, unions, anti-racist campaigns and rank & file activists. We stand shoulder to shoulder with all the non-state, non-police core participants in the public inquiry, especially our sister campaigns; Police Spies Out of Lives, Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance and the family justice campaigns. This is what solidarity looks like”.
Full text of the BSG opening statement is now online via the Hazards magazine website: https://www.hazards.org/blacklistblog/2020/11/17/blacklist-support-group-opening-statement-for-ucpi-dave-smith/
It can be watched via this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JegrwaVKRfs&feature=youtu.be
Some of the media coverage:
To support the ongoing campaign for justice, please share some of the press articles on social media
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 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VZ-QMA1FMg
Blacklist Support Group
Sign petition: St Mungo’s brutal treatment of BAME worker opposed by Unite – Without income for twenty-one weeks. Female worker comes to the end of a period of sickness during the pandemic. Health conditions put her at raised risk. She is also older and from a BAME background. Her normal job would expose her to further increased risk. Rather than furlough her or find her alternative work the employer simply stops her pay without going through any personnel procedure. Management reject appeals to senior levels from Unite leaving the worker without income and desperate for twenty-one weeks
Sign petition and support the strikes to Reinstate Sharon Morgan LONDON DESIGN AND ENGINEERING UTC – At the start of this term, teacher and NEU rep Sharon Morgan was summarily dismissed from her job by London Design and Engineering UTC. Sharon was sacked without due process, with no formal investigation or a hearing where she could put her case. At an employment tribunal the judge described LDE’s behaviour as “morally reprehensible” and LDE subsequently agreed to reinstate Sharon. But the next day LDE changed their mind and refused to reinstate her. In reality, Sharon was sacked for helping NEU members stand up for better working conditions for staff, in the interests of the whole school community. This is trade union victimisation and it’s unacceptable. The sacking of Sharon is an attack on all trade unionists at LDE, in Newham, and everywhere
Security guard seeks ‘groundbreaking’ injunction to stop his ‘unlawful’ sacking in what his union UVW describes as the first case of its kind for a low paid worker (23 Nov) – A security guard at the Francis Crick Institute in London is set to face off against his employer Wilson James in an injunction hearing in what his trade union, United Voices of the World (UVW), has described as an “unprecedented legal showdown”. On 11th November after only 3 weeks in his new job Cetin Avsar, the security guard from Turkey bringing the legal action, received a letter inviting him to a probationary review hearing stating “[his] conduct has not reached the required standards” citing only his membership of his trade union, his previously having participated in a strike and his views, shard by his union, that outsourcing is ‘discriminatory’. The letter warned him that he might be dismissed after the hearing read more
FCC dismiss Tony Smith Hull Unison Activist
Trade Unionists and activists will be outraged to hear that Unison activist Tony Smith’s dismissal has been upheld by FCC. As previously reported, Tony’s dismissal on trumped up charges was because of his trade union activities. It took nearly five weeks from the appeal to the outcome for FCC to confirm the sacking. Tony has faced the mental torture of not knowing whether he has a job or not, but the time taken reflected that dismissing him was not a simple issue because of the high profile that Tony has in the local Labour movement. Unison will be seeking compensation and the campaign focuses on Hull City Council to end its contract with FCC. Mick 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 defence 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
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
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!
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
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