Just as this week’s NSSN bulletin was due to go out, Unite announced the fantastic news that the bus workers in Manchester have forced back Go North West’s ‘fire and rehire’ attack. We send our congratulations and solidarity to the workers who have taken 85 days of strike action, and their union Unite. Last year, the attempt to by management to go for Coin Hayden the Unite rep in the garage was defeated by a militant campaign. Months later, bosses unleashed an offensive against the workforce. This shows that union victimisation is always used to try and weaken the union to then go for workers. But the tremendous struggle in Manchester has shown that workers can fight and win. Hopefully this will be an inspiration to the many other workers facing these attacks on hard-won pay, terms & conditions and pensions that victories can be won. Solidarity from the NSSN.
Unite: Huge victory at Manchester Go North West as Unite defeats fire and rehire to end strike (17 May) – Bus drivers at Go North West in Manchester have defeated attempts to fire and rehire them, agreeing a deal which will end one of the country’s longest-running industrial disputes.
The deal was presented to a mass meeting of the drivers, members of the UK’s leading union, Unite, held today (Monday 17 May) at the company’s Queens Road depot. This was followed by a workplace ballot where the union’s members voted overwhelmingly to accept the negotiated agreement bringing to a close the 85 day strike.
Crucially, the company has agreed to Unite’s demand that it will never use fire and rehire in any form, a move that will safeguard pay and conditions for thousands of employees across the Go Ahead Group.
The deal was struck following high-level negotiations led by Unite general secretary Len McCluskey with senior company representatives at Go North West’s parent company, Go Ahead Group. The drivers now no longer stand to lose thousands of pounds in wages every year.
The drivers began all-out, continuous strike action on Sunday 28 February, and lasted a total of 82 days. The strike, which saw the union deploy its expert organising team, drew support from across the North West, including from mayor Andy Burnham and former Coronation Street actor Julie Hesmondhalgh.
Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “This is a tremendous victory by Unite’s members at Go North West who through their dedication, solidarity and commitment have defeated the attempt to fire and rehire them.
“I pay tribute to them, sustaining a strike during the challenge of lockdown, and thank this incredible community for their brilliant support through these long weeks which definitely helped keep heads held high. We’re also delighted to have secured a clear commitment from the Go Ahead Group that fire and rehire will never be used by them, bringing relief to thousands of workers who feared that they were next. Once again, the best defence for working people in this country is their union. This dispute should also send a clear and unequivocal message to all employers that Unite will never accept fire and rehire for our members – that we will do everything in our power to prevent it, and we will win. The government itself has described fire and rehire as a `bully boy practice’ but the only way to guarantee UK workers are protected from this pernicious practice that’s ripping through our workplaces is for the government to follow the lead of other European countries and ban it once and for all. Urgent action is needed to strengthen the UK’s weak laws because it’s simply too easy for employers to make brutal changes to contracts, sometimes taking thousands of pounds from workers’ wages.”
The strike is both the longest in the history of Unite and the longest in recent history for the entire passenger transport sector.
Stop victimisation of union reps
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 solidarity campaign of Moe Muhsin Manir Unite bus rep Email messages of support to Moe: [email protected]
Woolwich Ferry workers overwhelmingly vote to strike over victimised rep – Workers operating the Woolwich Ferry, now run by Transport for London (TfL), will strike for eight days in May and June over the victimisation of a union rep, Unite the union announced today (Friday 30 April). Unite’s 57 members have voted by an overwhelming 97 per cent for strike action which will take place on 14, 24, 28 May and 1, 4, 7, 11, 21 June. The ferry has been so dogged by poor employment relations in recent years – leading to TfL taking over its operation from the discredited Briggs Marine Contractors Ltd – that the latest episode has been dubbed the ‘Groundhog Day’ dispute read more
Sign petition to support Redbridge NEU Rep Keiran Mahon
Victory for NEU at Leaways School in Hackney: Statement posted by NEU Joint General Secretary Kevin Courtney – “Kedleston Group and the National Education Union are pleased to announce that the industrial dispute at Leaways School has been resolved. The school has voluntarily agreed to recognise the NEU and Iain Forsyth, a NEU representative for Leaways School, has been reinstated following due process under the School’s internal procedures.” (See more under NEU in this NSSN bulletin). NSSN sends our congratulations and solidarity to the NEU and Iain his members at Leaways
NSSN Conference 2021: 11am Sunday 20th June online via Zoom Facebook event.
The Zoom details for the conference are:-
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83931358284 Meeting ID: 839 3135 8284
Fight Tory 1% NHS Pay Insult
Fight Tory 1.5% council and school workers pay Insult
Joint statement from GMB, Unite and Unison: “Disappointing” council pay offer ignores huge Covid effort of workforce, say unions (14 May) – Employers should come back with improved offer. Unions representing 750,000 council and school support staff across England, Wales and Northern Ireland today (Friday) criticised the 1.5% pay offer made by the Local Government Association. GMB, Unite and UNISON submitted a joint pay claim to the local government employers in February for a 10% pay rise. This would be payable from 1 April 2021 read more
The Sparks force 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 ‘Electrical Support Operatives’ (ESO) 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, Liverpool and Newcastle, Scotland and Wales and recently there was the first demonstration at Hinkley. Recently, workers walked off the NG Baileys job at Whitby Hospital in North Yorkshire and Sparks blockaded a site in Cardiff. Unite now report that EDF have backed off at Hinkley and Balfours are also moving away from the ESO, which if confirmed represents a great victory. But the fight goes on, particularly targeting NG Baileys until de-skilling is totally off the agenda.
Solidarity to the Sparks!
AWE Burghfield on Wed 26th May.
This will be a peaceful demonstration against contractors on site.
NG Bailey & Balfour Beatty needs to pull away from their deskilling agenda & stop targeting reps and members
For details of Sparks protests, follow NO TO ESO (UNSKILLED LABOUR) Facebook page
National demonstration against Israeli Government’s attacks on Palestinians – 1pm Saturday 22nd May, Victoria Embankment, London details
Mandate Extends Solidarity to Palestinian Day of Action and General Strike (17 May) – Gerry Light, Mandate General Secretary, today extended Mandate union’s heartfelt solidarity on behalf of Mandate members towards the “Palestine for a Day of Action” and General Strike taking place in Palestine on Tuesday, May 18th read more
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]
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 and is now attacking the right to protest through its Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.
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
BREAKING NEWS!! RMT responds to latest announcements on TFL funding (18 May) – General Secretary Mick Lynch said; “A high quality London transport network is essential for cutting pollution and rebuilding our wider economy and this continued uncertainty and reliance on short term fixes will simply hold back our economic recovery causing lasting damage. “We need the government to stop using London transport as a political football and guarantee it the long term funding it needs as we move out of lockdown. London transport staff have been key worker heroes throughout the pandemic and this continued uncertainty is a disgraceful way treat them…” read more
New figures show the reality of the Great British Rail Rip Off (18 May) – As Ministers prepare to announce rail reforms this week new figures show the reality of the Great British Rail Rip Off as train owning company pays out £46.5 million dividend funded by Government COVID–19 support. Ahead of the government announcing rail reforms this week rail union RMT says that new figures show the reality of the Great British Rail Rip Off as a train owning company pays out a £46.5 million dividend funded by Government COVID–19 support. Eversholt, one of the three Rolling Stock leasing companies who own more than 85% of trains running on Britain’s railways, paid their shareholders a dividend of £46.5 million for the year covering March 2020, to March 2021 read more
RMT calls for zero tolerance of any breach of Covid safety measures (17 May) – As lockdown eases RMT calls for zero tolerance of any breach of transport Covid safety measures or abuse of staff. As lockdown measures ease today and passenger numbers rise, transport union RMT has a issued warning regard to transport staff safety read more
RMT warns of national fight against cuts at Network Rail (17 May) – RMT warns of national fight against cuts at Network Rail and train operators as speculation grows that the Williams Rail Report will finally be issued this week. RAIL UNION RMT warned today of a national industrial fight across the railway network if the Williams Review – widely expected to be published this week – sets it’s sights on the workforce while handing the private train companies gold-plated management contracts and a free ride read more
ScotRail strike action remains solid again today (16 May) – RMT strike action remains solid again today as Abellio Scotrail continue to treat loyal front line staff with complete contempt. RAIL UNION RMT said today’s conductors and examiners strike action remains solid again this morning as Abellio stand accused of treating loyal front line staff with complete contempt rather than meeting with the union to settle the long running disputes over equality and justice in respect of enhanced payments for rest day working. RMT revealed this week that Abellio are using volunteer managers as scab labour to act as a second person on trains who do not have the knowledge, experience and safety competencies required of the job and who are being given food parcels and other treats that the workers who kept services running through COVID could only dream of read more
ScotRail scab managers given packed lunches (14 May) – ScotRail scab managers given packed lunches and luxury working conditions in bid to break conductors and ticket examiners action. RAIL UNION RMT today accused Abellio ScotRail of trying to turn safety-critical operations on their trains into a holiday camp for scab managers as it revealed that those hired in to break the ongoing action are being treated to high-end lunch boxes and luxury working conditions in a bid to break ongoing strike action read more
RMT calls for action to protect seafarers’ mental health (13 May) – MARITIME UNION RMT has called for new action to protect seafarers’ mental health following a survey of its seafaring membership as part of the activities it is undertaking for Mental Health Awareness Week (10th-16th May). The challenges faced by seafarers are compounded by the fact they are isolated from family for weeks or months at a time, in what may become an oppressive environment where isolation abounds read more
RMT uncovers illegal employment practices in the offshore supply chain (13 May) – OFFSHORE UNION RMT today highlighted a case of seafarer pay abuse in the offshore renewable sector which demonstrates that National Minimum Wage law applying to seafarers working on the UK Continental Shelf is being flouted read more
RMT calls for full inquiry into Government’s backroom sweetheart deals (12 May) – As another rail company fleeces the tax and fare payer RMT calls for full inquiry into Government’s backroom sweetheart deals with Train Operators. Britain’s largest rail Union RMT today slammed the Government for conducting backroom deals with Train Operating Companies and allowing them to break their franchise contracts with minimal termination fees following the collapse of the contracts. At the same time the Government is presenting these companies with risk free direct awards which is a “licence to print money” whilst they are preparing to pay out huge dividends to their shareholders read more
RMT to ballot for action in fight for pay justice (12 May) – RMT to ballot for action in fight for pay justice for Balfour Beatty members working on the Central Rail Systems Alliance. RAIL UNION RMT has declared a dispute with Balfour Beatty and is preparing to ballot members for industrial action over its refusal to offer a fair pay award for members working on the Central Rail Systems Alliance (CRSA). The CRSA is an alliance of Network Rail, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and TSO working on UK track renewals read more
RMT accuses the Government of deceiving the British public (11 May) – Transport Union RMT accuses the Government of deceiving the British public in response to Queen’s Speech. TRANSPORT UNION RMT has accused the Government of deceiving the British public and transport workers with a Queen’s Speech that made no mention of their planned cuts agenda across rail and bus sectors read more
RMT to fight Night Tube job cuts plan and attack on conditions (10 May) – RMT ready to fight London Underground plans to cut 200 Night Tube Jobs, and increase weekend and night work for full time drivers. RMT to fight London Underground plans to abolish Night Tube Train Drivers grade. TUBE UNION RMT said today that it will fight plans by London Underground to abolish the Night Tube Train Drivers grade – if necessary through a campaign of industrial action read more
RMT members to take industrial action at Unipart Rail Doncaster – RMT members working at Unipart Rail Doncaster will be taking industrial action next month following a ballot after a derisory pay offer from the company. Unipart Rail’s Doncaster warehouse supplies parts to the rail industry. With effect from 00:01 hours on Friday 2nd April 2021, until further notice, RMT members working at Unipart Rail Doncaster are instructed:-
- Not to work any non-contractual overtime
- Not to work on a rest day read more
Fight job cuts at Queens Park – In January, LU announced a plan to cut train driver jobs at Queen’s Park depot. They’ve refused to back away from that, so our driver members will now ballot for industrial action. The ballot opens on 25/03 and closes on 08/04. Resist the cuts, vote yes! Read more
Please Support RMT Members With No Wages! – RMT London Transport Region Zero Hours & Self-Employed members need our Solidarity Now! Many of our regions self-employed members and those on zero hours have not any had wages for 2 months since March. They have been abandoned by London Underground, TfL, the London Mayor and their agency employers. They MUST NOT be abandoned by us too; their RMT sisters and brothers! The RMT London Transport Regional Council and LU Engineering RMT branch are calling out to all branches, members and friends to dig deep and give meaningful solidarity to our hard pressed members facing poverty and possibly eviction from their homes. To help support by donating to the fund or to ask after support for yourself, please email: [email protected] read more
TSSA Warns Network Rail Over Compulsory Redundancies (12 May) – TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has issued a warning to Network Rail (NR) about the prospect of industrial action related to compulsory redundancies. The move comes after NR made clear they plan to press ahead with a major restructuring programme – known as Project ACE – leading to almost 170 job losses in safety critical roles for those working in Capital Delivery Easter read more
TSSA Members Balloted Over Balfour Beatty Pay Dispute – TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has warned of “looming industrial action” at Balfour Beatty where members of the union are being balloted in a dispute over pay. Union members at Balfour Beatty aren’t being offering any pay increase for 2020 and only a rise of two per cent from this April. This comes at a time when the infrastructure company is paying out nearly £2m in bonuses to senior managers and turning a profit close to £50m read more
Support the indefinite BFAWU-Unite strike at Hovis in Belfast
BFAWU: With the Hovis strike in full swing, the first two days have shown the exceptional comradeship and solidarity that flows through the veins of trade unionists. Both our BFAWU members and that of Unite the Union have also shown how working together really means “Strength in Unity”. To date Hovis management have failed to come back to the negotiating table and get serious about offering our members in Northern Ireland a decent pay rise. Their final offer of 3% was pulled off the table by them when the negotiating committee rejected their “demand” to ballot our members on the offer. The arrogance of the employer towards the workforce after their efforts playing their part this past year and keeping a nation fed through a global pandemic has only strengthened the resolve of all the members holding the picket line. Speaking to the local media, Laura Graham told the PA news agency: “The strike is as a result of the pay offer from the company, which was not to the expectation of the employees to put it lightly” “They’ve been offered what they see as a paltry pay offer after the year that they put in working through a pandemic.” The strike will continue and support will grow, due to the commitment of this workforce. And we hope that the spark that has been ignited by the members of Hovis Belfast will spread like wildfire through the food industry that our union is immensely proud to represent, you take on one of us you take on all of us!
Unite: Hovis management must deliver pay parity for Northern Ireland workers to avert risk of widening bread shortages (16 May) – Joint Unite-BFAWU picket lines ‘rock solid’ 24-7 as workers stand determined to win equal pay with British colleagues. Hovis bread products increasingly absent from shelves across Northern Ireland stores as production stoppage enters fourth day. Sean McKeever, Regional Officer for Unite called on management at Hovis to see sense and avoid extending the bread shortages already to be witnessed across stores in Northern Ireland. “The stand and determination shown by Hovis workers in both Unite and the Baker’s union has been inspirational to workers across Northern Ireland. Entering the fourth day of this strike action, the socially-distanced picket lines remain rock solid, 24 hours a day. These workers are determined to win their objective of pay parity with Hovis workers in Great Britain – and that means a 10 percent pay increase…” read more
BREAKING NEWS!! Ealing’s Labour council ‘actively helping’ Serco ‘hound’ union rep from civil enforcement job (18 May) – Unite has expressed outrage that Labour-controlled Ealing council is ‘actively helping’ outsourced service provider Serco ‘hound’ a senior union rep on strike over union-busting from his civil enforcement job. A council officer has written to Serco requesting the Unite rep, who has performed his job for two decades, be removed from duties for bringing the council into ‘disrepute’. The officer justified the decision because the Unite rep stated on social media that Ealing council would lose revenue from Parking Charge Notices during ongoing strikes by more than 40 Serco civil enforcement officers. Despite the statement being factually accurate and containing no mention of parking policy motivations, the council is wrongly claiming that the union rep ‘conveys the council as a purely revenue generating authority’. The same union rep, along with a number of his colleagues, was previously offered severance by Serco in order to undermine trade union organisation, which resulted in the ongoing strike action. Unite said it is ‘inconceivable’ that a Labour council would ‘unjustly intervene’ in a dispute over union-busting in favour of an outsourcer, especially when it is party policy to bring services back in-house and all three Ealing MPs have spoken out in support of the striking workers read more
BREAKING NEWS!! Businesses face big stink as Veolia workers ballot for strike action (18 May) – Businesses across the UK could be facing a big stink this summer as members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, employed by waste contractor Veolia, ballot for industrial action in a dispute over a series of pay freezes. The dispute involves workers who undertake Veolia’s commercial bin collection service, which operates from over 25 depots spread across the UK. The dispute is a result of Veolia attempting to impose a pay freeze on the workers for 2021, which follows the company’s decision not to make a pay offer for 2020. It has been calculated that two successive pay freezes will cost the affected workers £20 a week in wages, in real terms. The ballot for industrial action will open on Friday 21 May and will close on Monday 7 June read more
Bosses ‘filmed families’ at protest over Banbury coffee plant’s ‘fire and rehire’ plans, says Unite (18 May) – Bosses at JDE (Jacobs Douwe Egberts) in Banbury, Oxfordshire are accused of carrying out covert surveillance of workers and their families protesting at the company’s ‘fire and rehire plans’ in breach of data protection legislation. Unite the union has called for the company to carry out a full investigation after it was claimed that managers filmed and photographed workers, their partners and children at the third weekend demo on Saturday (15 May) outside the Ruscote Avenue plant. The union is also requesting the films and photographs to be handed over. Unite said today (Tuesday 18 May) it feared individuals were being identified for future ‘blacklisting’ and that GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation to protect privacy) was breached, especially when families with children were in attendance who were not members of the workforce. The union dismissed claims from JDE that the filming was in response to alleged intimidatory behaviour by protesters as ‘spurious and totally unfounded’. The dispute, which has already seen two 24 hour strikes, follows the decision by the Dutch-owned company to issue notice of dismissal and engagement for 291 employees. It is expected that those, who have not signed the new contracts with inferior pay and conditions, will be issued with 12 weeks’ notice of redundancy this week. A 72 hour strike is scheduled to start at 06.00 on Wednesday 26 May and running until 07.00 on Saturday 29 May read more
Supreme Court to hear landmark case for compensation following breach of trade union rights (17 May) – The Supreme Court will tomorrow (Tuesday 18 May) hear a landmark case involving members of Unite owed more than £420,000 in compensation by Rotherham-based automotive component maker, Kostal UK Limited, who it is argued made ‘unlawful inducements’ to undermine a collective agreement. Unite, the UK’s leading union, has taken the six year long battle for justice to the Supreme Court after a Court of Appeal hearing in 2019 overturned the previous decisions of an employment tribunal and employment appeal tribunal to award the workers’ compensation. The case dates back to 2015, when Kostal attempted to bypass union negotiations in the first pay talks since the majority of the company’s workforce voted in favour of Unite being recognised as their trade union read more
Public warned of Covid complacency as restaurants and pubs prepare for indoor service from Monday (14 May) – The public is warned to keep up their guard when eating and drinking inside restaurants, pubs and fast food outlets resumes on Monday (17 May), as a Unite the union survey reveals hospitality staff are worried about social distancing with restrictions easing. Unite, which represents hospitality, catering and hotel staff across the UK, today (Friday 14 May) urged customers not to be complacent from Monday and respect waiting staff, especially as concerns about the Indian variant of Covid-19 grow. Unite is carrying out an ongoing survey of its members at McDonald’s and Domino’s Pizza which shows that lack of social distancing between colleagues and customers, as well as lack of sick pay if forced to self-isolate, remain major concerns read more
Biomedical scientists to strike for three more weeks in June over Lancashire trust’s ‘bad faith’ in reneging over pay upgrade (14 May) – Biomedical scientists in the frontline of Covid-19 testing at a Lancashire NHS trust are ramping up their industrial action with a further three weeks of strikes in June, after bosses reneged on an upgrading pay agreement. Unite the union said its biomedical scientist members, who analyse patient blood samples at the Royal Blackburn Hospital and the Burnley General Teaching Hospital, will strike continuously from 00.01 Monday 31 May until 06.59 Monday 21 June. The 21 biomedical scientists, employed by East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, have been striking during night, weekend and late shifts since 7 May– but the new strike action means that they will be striking all day for three weeks. Unite warned that the new strikes increase pressure on whether the accident and emergency department at the Royal Blackburn Hospital will be able to remain open in June. Unite said that its 21 members were owed back pay of between several hundred pounds to £8,000, as managers had failed to honour an agreement to upgrade them from band 5 to band 6 on the Agenda for Change (AfC) scale. The back pay issue goes back as far as 2010 for some members read more
Essential workers fighting to defend their pay from Thurrock Council bosses resolve to continue strike action (13 May) – Unite members who provided essential services during the height of the pandemic have resolved to continue their strike in a battle to defend their pay from a brutal attack by Thurrock Council bosses. Workers in the waste and recycling department at Thurrock Council have been on strike since the 13 April 2021. Today, their union has given Thurrock Council notice that the strike will continue until the 18 June unless the council ends its brutal and callous attack on the essential workers’ pay and conditions. The proposed cuts mean the workers who were applauded by Thurrock residents for their contribution during the health crisis, face losing between £1200 and £3800 a year which will leave the workers struggling to pay their bills, rent and mortgages read more See Reel News video – Thurrock refuse workers speak out (anonymously)
Donate to strike hardship fund – Unite 1/1152, sort code 60-83-01, accpunt number 20216557
Norwich City Council workers set strike dates over broken promises (13 May) – Workers who carry out vital services for Norwich City Council will take strike action beginning on 26 May after attempts by the unions to resolve the dispute were rejected by management. Unite members working for arms-length company Norwich City Services Ltd (NCSL) will take action from 26 May to 2 June and UNISON will take strike action on 26, 27, 28 May and 1, 2 June. In the Unite ballot 83% of the workers backed industrial action on a 90 per cent turnout and UNISON members voted 81 per cent in favour of strike action on a turnout of 84 per cent. After the workers overwhelmingly voted for action last week, the unions gave the council an opportunity to negotiate a new set of proposals but the council rejected their efforts, leaving Unite and UNISON no choice but to set strike dates. Both parties have now agreed to meet conciliation service ACAS today (Thursday 13 May) for talks read more
Electric wheelchair warning as Dudley firm ballots for strike action (13 May) – Unite, the UK’s leading union, is warning of impending industrial action if workers at Sunrise Medical in Brierley Hill, Dudley, vote for strike action in a dispute over pay. The workers who have worked hard in recent years to support Sunrise Medical through major organisational change, the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit are seeking at least a three per cent increase in pay and an additional day of holiday for Christmas Eve. Due to the management’s unsatisfactory response and a breakdown in the pay talks, workers feel they have no option but to ballot for industrial action read more
BMW using Covid semiconductor shortages to attack conditions as workers threatened with being unpaid (12 May) – Workers at BMW’s plant in Oxford, which produces the Mini, are being threatened with being unpaid as a result of the company’s refusal to use the furlough scheme to cover wages during the ongoing COVID-related semiconductor stoppages. The problem is a result of the global shortage in semiconductors, which are a critical element in the production of new vehicles. Due to the shortages BMW, like most major car manufacturers, has on occasion been forced to temporarily halt production of the Mini. However, although the semiconductor shortage is directly related to the Covid-19 pandemic, BMW has decided that it will not use the government’s job retention scheme to furlough workers and ensure they are paid during such stoppage read more
Cheshire Encirc strikes back on after workers reject latest offer (12 May) – Strikes at glass manufacturing and logistics firm Encirc Ltd, based in Elton, Cheshire, over working patterns and contracts of employment are back on after staff rejected an offer from the company, Unite said today (Wednesday 12 May). The dispute involves more than 170 workers in Encirc’s glass manufacturing section, who believe that they are being treated in a less favourable manner compared to the company’s other departments. Unite said the introduction of flexible working practices has resulted in an insufficient pay uplift for members, as well as the loss of flexibility when annual leave can be taken and a reduction in staffing levels, giving rise to health and safety concerns. A 48-hour strike will begin tomorrow (Thursday 13 May) and be followed by two four-day stoppages beginning on Wednesday 19 May and Wednesday 26 May read more
Metroline’s refusal to jettison ‘remote sign-on’ in London leads to five days of strike action (12 May) – London bus operator Metroline’s decision not to permanently drop its controversial ‘remote sign-on’ policy will lead to five days of strike action that will cause serious disruption to services in the north and west of the capital. Unite the union announced today (Wednesday 12 May) 48 hours of strike action by more than 4,000 bus drivers on Tuesday 25 May and Wednesday 26 May, to be followed by a 72 hour strike on Monday 7 June, Tuesday 8 June and Wednesday 9 June. Unite gave Metroline bosses nearly three weeks’ warning to drop its policy because of health & safety concerns regarding its members and the travelling public – or face industrial action. Unite regional officer Mary Summers said: “Unite wrote to Metroline’s managing director Stephen Harris last month to give a generous and reasonable timeframe for the company to reconsider its position prior to the union issuing notice for industrial action. “However, we warned Metroline that if we didn’t hear from the company by 10 May that it was jettisoning this misguided policy, we would be announcing strikes dates which we have now done…” read more
Engineers at Leicestershire’s Brush Electrical strike over fire and rehire cuts of up to £15,000 (11 May) – Engineers employed by Brush Electrical Machines, owned by venture capitalists Melrose and based in Ashby de-la Zouch, will stage summer strikes in response to ‘fire and rehire’ pay cuts of up to £15,000, Unite said today (Tuesday 11 May 2021). Unite, the UK’s leading union, said the 30 engineers, who service generators around the world, voted overwhelmingly in favour of striking and will stage industrial action every day from 25 May to 16 August. The proposed contracts include reductions to overtime rates, allowances, holidays and other terms and conditions that would result in a pay cut of between £10,000 and £15,000 a year. The engineers’ jobs have been threatened if they do not sign the new contracts, which will leave them on pay rates ‘well below the industry standard’. The union said the strikes will ‘cause havoc to the firm’s worldwide servicing schedule and serious inconvenience to its international clients’. Parent company Melrose has a reputation for targeting workers and viable operations to boost short-term profits read more
Woolwich Ferry workers overwhelmingly vote to strike over victimised rep – Workers operating the Woolwich Ferry, now run by Transport for London (TfL), will strike for eight days in May and June over the victimisation of a union rep, Unite the union announced today (Friday 30 April). Unite’s 57 members have voted by an overwhelming 97 per cent for strike action which will take place on 14, 24, 28 May and 1, 4, 7, 11, 21 June. The ferry has been so dogged by poor employment relations in recent years – leading to TfL taking over its operation from the discredited Briggs Marine Contractors Ltd – that the latest episode has been dubbed the ‘Groundhog Day’ dispute. Besides the victimisation issue, the staff are angry at the failure to agree a new pay and reward scheme; the excessive use of agency staff; and the failure to provide adequate health and safety training to new employees. Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “It is a sad indictment of the TfL bosses that they seem to be following the same course as Briggs Marine Contractors which meted out some appalling employment practices to the workforce in the recent past. Our members have returned an overwhelming mandate for strike action at the Woolwich Ferry in support of their victimised shop steward and over a myriad of other employment issues…” read more
Chivas Brothers workers across Scotland vote for strike action – Unite Scotland has today (10 May) confirmed that its membership at Chivas Brothers across Scotland have voted ‘emphatically’ for strike action by 82% on a 62% turnout. The industrial action ballot follows the rejection of an offer, equivalent to a pay freeze, by Unite’s hundreds of members at the company’s Kilmalid, Strathclyde Grain Distillery, Southern Operations and Northern Operations. Strike action is now set to begin from the end of May unless Chivas Brothers return to the negotiating table with an improved offer. Chivas Brothers employs around 1,600 workers in Scotland read more
Talks tomorrow in Banbury coffee workers’ ‘fire and rehire’ row, as Unite announces new strike dates (6 May) – Crunch talks are being held tomorrow (Friday 7 May) in a bid to resolve the ‘fire and rehire’ dispute involving nearly 300 workers at JDE (Jacobs Douwe Egberts) in Banbury, Oxfordshire. Talks between Unite the union and the management, under the auspices of the conciliation service Acas, come as the union plans to ramp up strike action later this month, following the decision by the Dutch-owned company to issue notice of dismissal and engagement for 291 employees. An already announced 24 hour strike will be held between 07:00 on Saturday (8 May) and 07.00 on Sunday (9 May). This will be followed by newly announced dates for a 24 hour strike on 15 May starting at 07.00 and ending at 07.00 on 16 May; and then a 72 hour strike starting at 06:00 on 26 May and running until 07.00 on 29 May. A continuous overtime ban also started on 1 May. Other developments include another demo, following strict Covid-19 protocols, outside JDE’s Ruscote Avenue site, Banbury OX16 2QU from 10.30 on Saturday (8 May) – this follows on from the successful protest last week which was well supported by the local community read more
Devonport naval base faces 96 hours of strike action by tugboat crew in rota row – Devonport naval base faces 96 hours of disruption next week when tugboat crews strike in the continuing rostering dispute, Unite the union said today (Wednesday 5 May). About 40 tractor tug crew members employed by Serco Marine at the naval base will strike from 07:00 on Saturday 15 May until 06:59 on Wednesday 19 May. This follows two well-supported 24 hour strikes last month. The long-running dispute centres on the imposition of a new three weeks ‘on’ and three weeks ‘off’ roster introduced in December, which Unite has repeatedly warned poses serious health & safety risks for its members, including excessive tiredness. It also has adverse implications for their annual leave entitlement. Unite members are currently being balloted to extend the mandate which will ensure that they will be covered by the full 12 week period of immunity from being dismissed for taking part in lawful industrial action, which will now cover all action until early July. The ballot closes on Wednesday 19 May read more
Serco civil enforcement strikes set to bring Ealing ‘election day parking chaos’ – Strikes by Serco civil enforcement officers over union busting on 6 May are set to bring ‘election day parking chaos’, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Friday 30 April). More than 40 civil enforcement officers will strike after the company offered severance to elected Unite representatives and activists in order to undermine trade union organisation. Unite called on Ealing Council to force Serco to resolve the dispute and prevent parking disruption during the mayoral election and three by-elections being held on 6 May. The dispute is linked to a botched and unjustified restructuring and redundancy programme that Serco tried to instigate in late 2019, with minimal consultation with Unite. Serco is also refusing to negotiate a new absence management policy for employees working on the Ealing contract. Unite believes the present policy is being used to unfairly dismiss employees and should be renegotiated. The civil enforcement officers will take part in two 72-hour strikes, with the first beginning on 5 May and ending on 7 May, and the second beginning on 12 May and ending on 14 May read more
Security guards at Reading hospital to be balloted again for strike action in ‘David and Goliath’ pay battle read more
Support striking Reading hospital security guards – 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
Life Residential and Featherstone Leigh estate agents ‘facing further pain’ with fresh Goodlord strike ballot – London estate agents using services from Goodlord are ‘facing further pain’ after striking workers from the lettings software provider were balloted for fresh industrial action over £6,000 pay cuts. More than 20 members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, employed in Goodlord’s referencing department have been on strike since 22 February over fire and rehire plans that would see their pay plummet from £24,000 to £18,000. Goodlord provides services for a number of estate agents in London, including Life Residential, Best Estate Agents, Andrews and Featherstone Leigh. The ballot for another round of strike action takes into account not just the pay cuts, but the dismissal and hostile targeting of union members while on strike, as well as Goodlord’s use of agency labour during the industrial action. It opens on 14 April and closes on 26 April read more See Reel News video of Goodlord strike 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
St Mungo’s maintenance strikes called as concern at charity’s ‘bullying and anti-union culture’ grows – Maintenance workers at the St Mungo’s housing charity will begin indefinite strike action from Thursday 22 April in response to ‘appalling treatment’ by senior management, Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, said today (Thursday 8 April). The all-out strike follows a warning in March by Unite, which has more than 500 members at St Mungo’s, that a ‘bullying and anti-union culture’ amongst the management at the London-based charity needed to be addressed. St Mungo’s staff staged walk-outs last year, in part due to the charity’s unbalanced and unfair use of disciplinary procedures. Unite pointed to the targeting of the 44 per cent of workplace reps at the charity, who are currently engaged in formal processes concerning their own employment, as evidence of an anti-union bias by management. Staff relations have become so bad within St Mungo’s property services department that 12 Unite members will begin indefinite strike action on 22 April. The strike was called after a number of staff grievances against property services senior management were dismissed read more
St Mungos management escalate dispute by suspending Unite rep – Orwellian move at St Mungos: management suspend Unite rep for grievance about bullying. In an Orwellian escalation of the crisis at St Mungo’s, management have suspended a union rep who had raised a grievance concerning bullying management. The grounds include that senior managers were distressed by the suggestion of a bullying management style. Astounding 44% of reps already facing formal processes regarding own employment. This twist follows a vote for strike action by this team following a failure to adequately investigate bullying management! Read more
Donate to strike hardship fund – Unite LE/1111, sort code 60-83-01, account number 204183
Read document by Unite Community Cumbria branch: ‘Covid and the Tories – a world beating catastrophe’
No need for return to offices (18 May) – More staff and customers are being asked to return to jobcentres for face to face interviews despite working successfully from home for a year. PCS has opposed DWP’s plans to extend services in jobcentres as we do not believe it is safe due to Covid or that the necessary risk assessments and safety measures have been put in place. Many jobcentre staff have been successfully working from home for a year now and PCS members have been telling us that they are not convinced by DWP’s arguments that a return to offices, and face to face interviews, is necessary now or safe read more
Facebook Live event to commemorate murder of George Floyd (17 May) – The PCS national black members’ committee is holding the event on 26 May from 6.30pm to 7.30pm. It is open to all PCS members read more
Mass return to work in jobcentres to be imposed from 17 May (14 May) – The previous extension to face to face services, from 12 April, led to increased office closures and our consultative ballot on safety. From 12 April, despite PCS’s opposition on health and safety grounds, DWP extended face to face services in jobcentres, asking more staff to go into work…We are currently balloting members who work in jobcentres over safety in a consultative ballot. The ballot closes on 21 May. We have also set up an e-action asking the Secretary of State for DWP to support safe working in jobcentres read more
Cease Israeli government violence against civilians in Palestine (14 May) – PCS extends solidarity to #Nakba73 National Day of Action tomorrow (15 May) in solidarity with the Palestinian people, organised by Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Stop The War, Muslim Association of Britain, Friends of Al Aqsa and Palestinian Forum in Britain read more
PCS DVLA strike action suspended (12 May) – PCS has agreed to suspend our planned strike action at the DVLA, which was due to take place from 17-21 May, following progress made in talks with the employer towards reaching agreement. Though progress has been made, an agreement is not yet finalised and PCS negotiators will use the week of suspended action to meet with DVLA and DfT management in intensive talks with a view to reach agreement. The PCS DVLA Branch Executive Committee met this afternoon and agreed to suspend next week’s planned strike. PCS is clear, as it has been throughout this dispute, that any deal must address members’ fears about health and safety on sites, issues caused by Covid and long-Covid, and ensure that lessons are learned and members are kept safe, should future pandemics or waves of Covid occur read more
Croydon Tram Incident: GMB repeats call for independent investigation into safety culture and practices at TfL as inquest opens (17 May) – Clear choice between increased safety and increased profit margins and transport users deserve to be better protected, says GMB Southern Region. GMB Southern Region is calling on Mayor of London Sadiq Khan to open a full independent investigation into safety practices employed by transport operators working within the Transport for London (TfL) network. In addition to the inquest being carried out this week into the specifics of the Croydon Tram incident, GMB Southern Region is calling on the Mayor to widen the scope of this investigation and look at safety practices more generally. The incident in 2016 cost the lives of seven people, including one GMB member read more
XPO Shareholders Reject Executive Pay Plan (11 May) – The vote follows revelations from unions that XPO took millions for furlough payments while boosting executive pay. Unions have welcomed the decision of shareholders at XPO Logistics to reject a highly controversial executive pay proposal read more
Social care propped up by ‘unpaid hours and poverty pay’ (11 May) – Social care union GMB criticises lack of ‘political will’ in Queen’s Speech to fix a ‘failing and fundamentally broken system’. GMB Union, the union for social care workers, has criticised the lack of action on social care in the Queen’s Speech read more
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
Higher education staff reject 1.5% pay offer (17 May) – The pay offer keeps up with inflation, but does not catch up with pay lost to HE staff over the past ten years. UNISON’s higher education service group executive have met and rejected the final pay offer made by HE national employers UCEA. Earlier this year, UNISON joined other education unions to submit a claim for a £2,500 increase, and a minimum wage of £10 per hour, or £10.85 for people in London. The final pay offer made by UCEA is a 1.5% increase for the majority of HE staff. HE staff on lower pay points have been offered higher percentage increases on a sliding scale, between 1.54% and 3.6%. The pay offer would mean that the lowest pay point would be equivalent to the current foundation living wage rate of £9.50, and only for those working a 35-hour week. It fell far short of the claim for a £2,500 increase and was silent on seeking a 35-hour working week for all, on a Scottish sub-committee and on tackling outsourcing read more
Unions call on schools and colleges to retain masks (17 May) – UNISON joins other education unions in England to put the case for continuing use of face coverings by staff and children read more
UNISON responds to the situation in East Jerusalem and Gaza (12 May) – UNISON has been following the situation in Sheikh Jarrah closely since a delegation from the NEC international committee and regions visited the home of the Al-Kurd family in 2016 read more
It’s “never been clearer” that Mitie can afford to pay, as Cumberland Infirmary workers begin third round of strike action – More than 150 porters, cleaners, switchboard and catering staff employed by Mitie at Cumberland Infirmary are set to begin a further three days of strike action tomorrow (Friday) over missing payments for working unsocial hours. The hospital workers have already taken four days of strike action in recent months. While the strike action escalates, trade union UNISON says that it has “never been clearer” that Mitie can afford to pay NHS rates to the Infirmary workers it employs 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
BT strike ballot scheduled for early June if no agreement reached (May 12) – Andy Kerr gives the company three weeks’ notice to halt its attack on the workforce, or face the prospect of a nationwide strike…The first UK-wide industrial action in BT since 1987 will be on the cards unless company bosses “see sense,” warned CWU deputy general secretary Andy Kerr this morning, as he and CWU president Karen Rose headed into talks requested by the company in response to the groundswell of outrage from angry members across the country. Both Andy and Karen stressed their thanks and praise for the “fantastic support” from the membership for the union’s vigorous ‘Count Me In’ campaign, which has, they insisted, been the key factor in forcing the business to seek negotiations. And, in return for the company agreeing to pause its redundancy programme, the union has agreed to pause triggering the statutory industrial action ballot process. “This is a small victory,” said Andy, in a live broadcast earlier. “We’re around the table now and we will work 24/7 over the next three weeks to make sure we get the right deal for all of you.” But Andy assured the thousands of members watching that, unless sufficient progress is made in these talks, the union will “push the button” on a statutory national industrial action ballot of some 40,000 members working for BT, Openreach and EE at the beginning of June. “We want a negotiated settlement, but if that fails, we will ballot in early June for industrial action,” he vowed read more
NIPSA Members Reject NICS Pay Offer and NIPSA to Seek a Meeting With Minister (17 May) – NICS Pay: The Civil Service Group Executive Committee met this morning to consider the outcome of the branch consultation exercise on the pay offer as outlined in an article dated 20 April 2021. It was clear from that consultation that members rejected the pay offer and members were particularly angry at the non-consolidated element of the pay offer. On foot of the rejection by the members, NIPSA has sought a meeting with the Finance Minister. In addition, given NIPSA understands the two year pay offer was sanctioned by the NI Executive, NIPSA has written to the Party Leaders/Ministers on the issue of NICS Pay to seek to have improvements made to the current offer. NIPSA is also encouraging members to raise the issue of their pay with their MLAs and a separate letter will be issued later which members will be asked to issue to their MLAs. Following the meeting with the Finance Minister a further article will be issued read more
QUB Crèche – Dispute Intensifies – On International Workers Memorial Day our members in QUB Crèche have intensified their industrial action campaign in pursuit of protection of their terms and conditions of employment. As previously advised QUB Crèche Workers commenced industrial action on 8 March 2021, International Women’s Day. Unfortunately to date the dispute has not been resolved and in an effort to bring the employers back to the negotiating table our brave QUB Crèche members have unanimously agreed to take 4 half day strikes on the following dates:-
28 April (afternoon), 6 May (morning), 14 May (afternoon), 19 May (morning). The morning strikes will run until 1pm with the afternoon strikes commencing at 1pm read more
Education Welfare Officers to Commence Industrial Action – Education Welfare Officers employed by the Education Authority will commence a period of industrial action from Tuesday 4 May 2021. This will commence with various actions short of strike action which is in furtherance of a long dispute in relation to their pay. While a lunchtime protest will be held on Tuesday 4 May 2021 this will be for Education Welfare Staff only to ensure that we comply with Covid 19 restrictions. However, I am asking that Branches consider sending solidarity messages to the 100 plus members who will be engaged in this action. The solidarity messages should be sent by email to Alan Law and Alan will arrange for these to be forwarded to the members read more
Update on Leaways School in Hackney from NEU Joint General Secretary Kevin Courtney:
Really pleased to say our members have unanimously agreed to withdraw all future action and end the dispute – following a very positive set of talks with management after many days of strike action and political campaigning.
We have agreed the following statement with the Kedleston Group.
“Kedleston Group and the National Education Union are pleased to announce that the industrial dispute at Leaways School has been resolved. The school has voluntarily agreed to recognise the NEU and Iain Forsyth, a NEU representative for Leaways School, has been reinstated following due process under the School’s internal procedures.
Both Kedleston Group and NEU are committed to working in partnership to build and maintain positive industrial relations at the school.
We are pleased that we have also come to agreements on the following:
Introduction of Pay scales from Sept 2021 which will mirror the national main and upper pay scales for Teachers and the national NJC pay scales for support staff
Introduction of pay progression policy for teachers to provide career and pay progression
Amendment of the Sick Pay policy with effect from Sept 2021, which will include an increase from 7 to 10 days per 12 month rolling period
Both parties are confident they can work together to meet the needs of all the school community”
Very many congratulations to our members and reps at the school and to our officers in Hackney – Dave Davis and others.
And also thanks to Diane Abbott MP, Cllr. Anntoinette Bramble, Cllr. Caroline Woodley for their support
Support these NEU strikes:-
|The John Roan School / Greenwich (Victimisation of Rep)||Tuesday 18 May
Wednesday 19 May
Thursday 20 May
|Capital City College/Islington
(Terms & Conditions)
|Tuesday 18 May
Thursday 20 May
|Tuesday 18 May
Thursday 20 May
|Parkwood Primary / Hackney
|Tuesday 18 May
Wednesday 19 May
Thursday 20 May
|Harris Academy Tottenham / Haringey
|Thursday 20 May||[email protected]|
Covid inquiry must focus on education (12 May) – Responding to the announcement by the Prime Minister of a public inquiry to be held in the spring of 2022, Dr Patrick Roach, NASUWT General Secretary, said: “The Prime Minister’s promise of an inquiry into the Government’s handling of the pandemic is something the NASUWT has repeatedly called for…” read more
EIS suspends strike action at Forth Valley College in act of good faith (11 May) – The EIS has suspended its programme of strike action at Forth Valley college to allow for a review of the dispute in the context of a national agreement struck two weeks ago. Lecturers at Forth Valley College have been taking strike action in protest at the downgrading of a number of lecturing posts to lower-graded, and lesser paid, positions read more
UCU slams government free speech plans as Trojan horse for increasing power over staff & students (12 May) – Responding to the UK government’s Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill, UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: ‘There are serious threats to freedom of speech and academic freedom on campus, but they come from the government and university managers, not staff and students. If this authoritarian government is serious about strengthening freedom of speech, then why is it cracking down on the right to protest freely via the policing and crime bill?…’ read more
Two-day strike begins at 49 prisons (10 May) – Unprecedented strike action is set to begin in prisons in England. Around 600 UCU members working in prison education are set to walk out of 49 prison and young offender institutions* across England on Tuesday 11 and Wednesday 12 May. The walkouts have been called after over 68% of UCU members who voted in an industrial action ballot said they were prepared to take strike action over Covid health and safety concerns read more
Three-weeks of strikes announced at the University of Liverpool (10 May) – The University of Liverpool will be hit with three weeks of strikes, as nearly 1300 University and College Union (UCU) members are expected to down tools from Monday 24 May to Friday 11 June, unless the university halts planned job cuts. Staff will be on strike every working day during the following weeks:
- Monday 24 May – Friday 28 May
- Tuesday 1 June – Friday 4 June
- Monday 7 June – Friday 11 June read more
The strikes are set to go ahead during the crucial end of year examination period, meaning disruption for the university will be especially severe. Action short of strike also begins today, which includes only working to contracted hours and boycotting all voluntary activities. The action comes after 84% of members who voted in a ballot last month backed strike action to fight the university’s plans to slash teaching and research jobs in the faculty of health and life sciences. The university originally intended to sack up to 47 staff. This has now been revised down to 32 after UCU threatened industrial action read more
Global boycott of University of Leicester begins – UCU has announced a global boycott of the University of Leicester as the union hit the institution with the ultimate sanction of being greylisted. The announcement comes as Leicester staff also begin a marking and assessment boycott. The greylisting sanction is part of a long running dispute over redundancies at the university. The sanction means UCU is asking its members, other trade unions, labour movement organisations and the international academic community to support its members at Leicester in any way possible 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.
Research on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) POA members (14 May) – Many members will be aware that stress and anxiety amongst staff has become an ever more pressing issue for the POA. It was for this reason the union has commissioned and supported Stress and Wellbeing surveys, which produced significant Parliamentary interest in the matter. The POA have commissioned various pieces of work from a variety of professionals read more
Gaza: UN security council must act (17 May) – The International Federation of Journalists has called on the UN Security Council, to take urgent action to stop the deliberate and systematic targeting of journalists in Gaza. The call after a third building housing media, including The Associated Press and Al Jazeera, was destroyed by Israeli bombs. The IFJ strongly condemned the attack. More than 30 journalists have also been attacked or detained. Internet services have been blocked. In the wake of the attacks the IFJ has written to the Israeli authorities and to the UN secretary general and all Security Council members demanding an end to the deliberate and systematic targeting of media and journalists and a clear attempt to silence those reporting from on the ground in Gaza read more
DM Week (15 May) – Join the 5PM Talk-ins, a tribute to Lyra McKee and a comedy night with Mark Thomas and friends read more
NUJ to publish protocol with private security workers (14 May) – The union is working with the International Professional Security Association (IPSA) to launch guidance and a campaign to increase understanding between journalists and private security officers read more
Oxford Mail and Times use fire-and-rehire tactic to end bank holiday working payments (11 May) – The union has condemned a move to terminate the contracts of journalists working at the Oxford Mail and The Oxford Times, with re-employment being conditional on accepting worse terms and conditions. Newsquest, the company that publishes the Oxford titles, issued the termination notices after the National Union of Journalists at the Oxford Mail and The Oxford Times rejected a proposal to end ‘time-and-a-half’ pay for working on bank holidays (excluding Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day). The proposal would affect around 15 journalists at the company, with the greatest impact falling on the newsdesk, the sports reporter, and sole remaining sub, who are most likely to be called on to work on a bank holiday. Reporters routinely work many hours overtime to cover for redundancies and unfilled vacancies. According to Newsquest’s own figures, the ending of bank holiday working payments would save “under £200 per bank holiday”. The notices of contract terminations were sent out without adhering to the disputes procedure laid out in the recognition agreement between the NUJ and Newsquest read more
Tribunal claim success for Ministry of Defence member (13 May) – Prospect member Paul Hollands, an operations manager for the Ministry of Defence, has been awarded a five-figure sum after successfully settling his tribunal claim of disability discrimination. Paul has complex musculoskeletal conditions and required modified equipment and auxiliary aids to continue with his job, not all of which his employer agreed to provide read more
Why supporting the mental health of workers is vital and 10 steps you can take now (13 May) – What does the law say about mental health and freelancers? Read more
We stand in solidarity with Ace Ruele (14 May) – As Equity activists and members of the Race Equality Committee (REC) we stand in solidarity with our fellow professional, Ace Ruele, currently facing deportation from the UK to Jamaica. Ace has fallen foul of the UK’s draconian, racist immigration system. His case bears all of the hallmarks of yet another scandalous decision towards descendants of the Windrush era generation. Despite early setbacks in his life, Ruele has gone to build a strong, professional career and works on a voluntary basis, including with the Metropolitan Police, to engage with young people to help them avoid criminality and social exclusion. The risk of deportation threatens to destroy the life that Ruele has made in the UK with his partner and three young children. Ace cannot be deported to Jamaica as he has no citizenship rights there, as he was born and raised in the UK. We demand that the Home Office reviews its decision, and call on Equity members, activists and branches to send messages of support to Ace to help prove that he is one of us, and has the right to live and work in the UK read more
Open letter to the BBC condemning the axing of the 15 minute drama on Radio 4 (11 May) – Equity’s Audio Committee, together with General Secretary Paul W Fleming and President Maureen Beattie, have sent an open letter to the BBC condemning its axing of the 15-minute drama on Radio 4. The letter to BBC director general Tim Davie argues that this decision will not only pierce the heart of a vital art form, but also undermines the long-term foundation of the UK’s booming audio industry. The letter urges Mr Davie to announce improved sustainable funding for an ambitious radio drama strategy read more
Debenhams closures: Usdaw asks how many more major high street brands do we have to lose before the Government acts to Save our Shops? (14 May) – Retail trade union Usdaw renews the call for an urgent retail recovery plan, as high streets across the UK are devastated by tomorrow’s closure of the last remaining Debenhams stores read more
Mandate condemns treatment of ex-Debenhams workers on Parnell Street – Mandate Trade Union has condemned the heavy-handed tactics of Gardai last night (Apr 22) on Parnell Street, Dublin where ex-Debenhams workers were forcefully removed from picket line at the request of KPMG, the Debenhams liquidator. Mandate General Secretary Gerry Light said the incident was entirely unnecessary and preventable. “This incident should never have happened. The workers had decided to ballot for a potential resolution to this dispute at 4:30pm yesterday and then we see these traumatic videos last night where female retail workers, who were treated abysmally by their employer and left without their agreed redundancy packages, are being manhandled and dragged away from their picket line.” He added, “We need legislation to prevent this from ever happening again, and we need it now. This government have been dwelling on this long enough. We know what needs to change, and they need to change it, immediately” read more
SIPTU expresses condolences on death of young worker at Dublin Port (17 May) – SIPTU members have expressed their deepest condolences to the family of nineteen-year old, Matthew Grimes, who died while working at Dublin Port on Saturday, 16th May. SIPTU Transport Division Organiser, Karan O Loughlin said: “Our members wish to offer our deepest condolences to the family of Mr Grimes. Unfortunately, a tragic death like this is not an uncommon occurrence. Five workers have died, and others have been seriously injured, in various ports around Ireland, including in Dublin Port, since 2018…” read more
UVW launches call for evidence against protest bill (12 May) – United Voices of the World (UVW) has called on all members to submit evidence in another step to “Kill the bill”, the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill. The call for evidence will inform UVW’s response to the Joint Committee on Human Rights, JCHR, recent call for evidence. The JCHR consists of twelve members, appointed from both the House of Commons and the House of Lords, to examine matters relating to human rights within the United Kingdom, as well as scrutinising every Government Bill for its compatibility with human rights read more
Townsend Theatre Productions
One Man Magic Lantern show of the classic book The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell
Actor Neil Gore brings this humorous and absorbing book to life in his one-man magic lantern show. Based on the 1914 novel by Robert Tressell, it’s story is set in the building trades of Edwardian England where painters and decorators struggle to maintain themselves and their families, poverty and the constant fear of unemployment notwithstanding, while renovating a large townhouse for the local mayor. With projected animation & fantastic story telling there’s something for all the family here, not least the chance to become acquainted with this timeless story of socialism and political awakening read more plus tour dates June 9-12 & Nov 4
“Farewell Leicester Square” – A play written by Neil Gore based on a poem by Abe Gibson. ‘Farewell Leicester Square’ tells the story of Bedford’s own Joe Clough, Britain’s first black bus driver. Directed by Louise Townsend with original artwork by Scarlett Rickard and new music by Tayo Akinbode read more
Fight blacklisting and victimisation of union reps
#SPYCops Inquiry exposes state surveillance of workers movement
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
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
Unison: British and Irish trade unions condemn Colombian state violence. Letter notes human rights abuses on a ‘massive scale’, with up to 37 people reported killed read more
Sunday June 20 – NSSN Conference 2021: 11am June online via Zoom Facebook event
Saturday June 26 – People’s Assembly – National Demonstration. Assemble 12 Noon – Portland Place. March to Parliament Square read more
Saturday July 3rd – NHS Anniversary events read more
PHONE 07952 283 558
EMAIL mailto:[email protected]
TWITTER – https://twitter.com/NSSN_AntiCuts
ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE