This week’s NSSN bulletin leads with yet another group of workers taking brave and determined action against ‘fire and rehire’ to impose huge cuts to their income. The Unite members at Jacobs Douwe Egberts in Banbury need the support of the whole union movement as management issue dismissal notices. Solidarity!
Email messages of support and donate to the hardship fund via [email protected].
Follow #Banbury300 @Banbury3001 on twitter
Dismissal notices for Banbury coffee workers over ‘fire and rehire’ plans branded as ‘corporate gangsterism’ by Unite – The decision by JDE (Jacobs Douwe Egberts) in Banbury to issue dismissal notices today (Wednesday 2 June) to workers refusing to sign new contracts, which could mean some of them losing up to £12,000 a year, has been branded ‘corporate gangsterism’ by Unite the union. Unite said that it would be escalating industrial action with four new strike days at the Ruscote Avenue site after the company said those employees, who didn’t sign up by 17 May to the new contracts, will be issued with 12 weeks’ notice, effective from 7 June. The new strikes will run from 07.00 on Saturday (5 June) until 07.00 Sunday (6 June); from 06:00 Thursday 10 June until 07:00 Friday 11 June; from 07:00 Sunday 13 June until 07:00 Monday 14 June; and from 06:00 on Wednesday 16 June until 07:00 Thursday 17 June. Unite national officer for the food industry Joe Clarke said: “The company has today announced its notice to dismiss the entire workforce by using unscrupulous ‘fire and rehire’ tactics read more
BREAKING NEWS!! Re-heated watchdog proposals fail to address biggest issue facing UK workers – fire and rehire, says Unite (8 June) – The Conservative government has failed to address the single biggest threat to workers’ rights in the UK – the plague of fire and rehire currently ripping through workplaces – the country’s leading union, Unite, said today (Tuesday 8 June). The union was responding to the announcement by business minister Paul Scully of a new watchdog to tackle abuses in the workplace, such as enforcing the minimum wage and protecting agency workers. But Unite says the failure to announce any measures to address fire and rehire confirms that the government is not serious about stopping the widespread assault on the wages of tens of thousands of workers by big business employers. The union is running a campaign to press the government to outlaw fire and rehire to give UK workers the same protections as those in competitor nations. Sainsbury’s, JDE and Weetabix are all currently seeking to drive down their employees’ wages via fire and rehire read more
Come to NSSN Conference 2021 – 11am Sunday 20 June
Come to this year’s annual conference of the National Shop Stewards Network, which this year will be online on Zoom.
Take part in the discussion with other trade union reps, activists and members.
This will include how we keep our workplaces safe and how we fight the Tory and bosses offensive: fire and rehire, the public sector pay freeze and Johnson’s attack on our right to protest, strike and picket, as well as stopping union victimisation.
If you are in dispute or want to discuss how to fight back – come to NSSN ’21
Confirmed speakers so far:-
- Dave Smith Blacklist Support Group
- Tony Davis Unite branch secretary Thurrock who led bin strike
- Mark Macpherson Unite Rep Woolwich Ferry
The Zoom details for the conference are:-
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83931358284 Meeting ID: 839 3135 8284
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
NSSN sends our solidarity and congratulations to Kirstie Paton, her members in John Roan School and the NEU in Greenwich and nationally after successfully defending her job – watch Reel News video: NEU rep Kirstie Paton wins dismissal case: School safety matters..
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
Fight Tory 1% NHS Pay Insult
Saturday June 5th – Scottish march for NHS fair pay: 11.30am Edinburgh Castle Esplanade
Saturday July 3rd – NHS Anniversary events read more
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
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
Action solid on Scotrail again today (6 June) – Action solid on Scotrail again today as RMT warns of summer of disruption to major events due to total inaction by Government and Transport Scotland. RAIL UNION RMT said that the latest phase of action by conductors and ticket examiners on Scotrail is being solidly supported across Scotland again today in the long-running fight for pay justice for all grades on enhancements for rest day working. The union has warned that industrial relations have collapsed to all time low as alongside the current disputes Scotrail have still not received any permission from Transport Scotland to commence any discussion with the unions over the 2021 pay submission. RMT has also warned that the total lack of any political leadership as we gradually move out of lockdown casts a shadow over a wide range of planned events including the Euros, Edinburgh Festival and COP26 as those in control risk a long summer of industrial disruption read more
RMT confirms Serco Caledonian Sleeper strike dates – RAIL UNION RMT confirmed today that strikes will go ahead from the 15th June after a ballot of members on the Serco Caledonian Sleeper returned a massive 85% vote in favour of strike action over pay. The ballot took place after the company attempted to impose a pay freeze on hardworking staff who have kept the service running throughout the Covid pandemic. The union’s National Executive Committee has now had the opportunity to consider the ballot result in favour of taking industrial action and has taken the decision to call on all RMT members to take the following strike action by not booking on for any shifts that commence between:- 11:59 hours on Tuesday 15th June 2021 to 11:59 hours on Saturday 26th June 2021
Furthermore, with effect from 12:00 hours on Saturday 26th June 2021, until further notice, members are instructed:- Not to work any overtime; Not to work on your rest day read more. The union also announced the following dates for additional action for ticket examiners;
- 00.01 hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 13th June 2021
- 00.01 hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 20th June 2021
- 00.01 hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 27th June 2021
- 00.01 hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 4th July 2021
- 00.01 hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 11th July 2021
- 00.01 hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 18th July 2021
RMT to ballot over dismissal of train rep with 20 years unblemished service – DISMISSAL, GARY CARNEY, TRAIN OPERATOR – LONDON UNDERGROUND. I am writing to members regarding a travesty of justice that has seen our Brother Gary Carney dismissed by London Underground for allegedly avoiding an unannounced D&A test. Members across the Central Line had earlier been balloted for strike action in defence of Brother Carney. The industrial action that had been planned for Thursday 6th May 2021 was suspended in good faith to allow talks to take place at the highest level between RMT and LUL. Unfortunately, the outcome has been that LUL have upheld the dismissal of Brother Carney read more
Senior Conductors strike on East Midlands Railway – next strike dates- Sunday 6th June, Sunday 13th June, Sunday 20th June
Portugal travel chaos looms as support needed for agents says TSSA (3 June) – TSSA today (Thursday) warned of travel chaos ahead and lambasted the government for failing to support “struggling” travel agencies as Portugal comes off the green list. TSSA General Secretary Manuel Cortes said “We were all hoping to see more holiday destinations moving into the green list and none more so than the High Street travel agencies who have suffered the hardest 16 months in living memory thanks to this Covid-19 pandemic read more
Sparks force bosses to talk after blockading AWE to stop de-skilling
Rank and file construction electricians in Unite have forced NG Baileys and Balfour Beatty to the negotiating table after stepping up their fight against de-skilling. On Wednesday 26 March, they converged from all areas of the country to AWE Burghfield, which assembles nuclear warheads. NG Baileys who have a contract there is the main company pushing the Electrical Service Operator (ESO) grade. This would mean opening up 70% of the work of time-served skilled construction electricians to cheaper unskilled labour. As with the BESNA a decade ago, their motivation is to slash the Sparks’ wages and look to spread this version of ‘fire and hire’ through the construction industry.
The Sparks blockaded the main gate at AWE, pushing past the area that the police would ‘allow’. The staff cars were then diverted to the other gate where they met another group of protesting workers. Sparks on the Baileys contracts, were emboldened by the protests and drove round in a cavalcade, beeping their horns. Along with the Sparks’ blockade, this helped cause a massive tailback of traffic.
This was the 14th week of this struggle but it represents a step change in the fight against de-skilling. The Sparks have made it clear that this and other Baileys sites are being targeted, and the full range of tactics should be used – official Unite strike ballots, protests and unofficial action. That was the strategy that defeated the BESNA. In the aftermath of the AWE blockade, Baileys and Balfours contacted the Rank and File for talks. The Sparks have postponed this week’s protests to allow these talks to take place.
But the Sparks have made it clear that they aren’t going away until the ESO is well and truly off the table. Balfours had already indicated that they were abandoning the ESO weeks ago but seemed to reverse this when Baileys still stood out. So the Sparks won’t be fooled. The protests may have been suspended but they’ll be back on if the talks go nowhere.
For details of Sparks protests, follow NO TO ESO (UNSKILLED LABOUR) Facebook page
BREAKING NEWS!! Royal London hospital patients facing ‘food chaos’ as Serco workers to strike in bullying and roster clash (8 June) – Patients at the Royal London hospital in Whitechapel, East London, are facing the prospect of ‘food chaos’ later this month, after workers employed by troubled outsourcing giant Serco voted for strike action. The workers, who are members of Unite the union, are based in the hospital’s back of house catering department. They play a key role in ensuring that meals are prepared and delivered to patients on the wards. The dispute is a result of bullying from management and the introduction of a disastrous new roster system that has severely impacted the workforce’s personal lives. Unite has been seeking to resolve these matters since July 2020. The workers overwhelmingly voted for strike action in April. Since then Unite has been seeking to avoid industrial action, but negotiations with Serco have stalled and an initial five days of strike beginning on Monday 21 June have been called. Further strike dates are likely if the dispute is not resolved. The bullying by management concerns the aggressive use of sickness absence triggers and the abuse of power in the allocation of shifts and holidays, which has left members at breaking point, during the pandemic read more
BREAKING NEWS!! ‘Exhausted’ north west ambulance staff to consider industrial action over excessive mileage, says Unite (8 June) – North West ambulance staff are to hold a consultative ballot over whether to proceed to an industrial action ballot about a new system that is leaving them exhausted because of excessive mileage. Unite the union, the GMB and Unison have called on bosses at the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) NHS Trust to change the procedure that can see ambulance workers called anywhere across the region with up to 40 minutes driving time. The Royal College of Nursing has also expressed ‘deep concern’. The three unions will now hold a consultative ballot of their members in the next month to see if they then wish to have a full-scale industrial action ballot, including the option to strike – after accusing the trust management of ‘failing both patients and staff’ read more
Outsourcing closes the final chapter on centuries-old Oxford printing heritage, says Unite (7 June) – Centuries of printing history is ending due to the ‘short-sighted and disloyal’ decision by Oxford University Press (OUP) to close its subsidiary Oxuniprint in August, with the loss of 20 jobs. Unite the union blamed the OUP’s increasing use of outsourcing abroad and its failure to take up the government’s furlough scheme as greatly contributing to the closure of the Kidlington site on 27 August. For the first time in its history, none of the output of OUP, which stretches back to the 1660s, will be printed in Oxford read more
GE workers strike ballot on the cards over swingeing cuts to their retirement incomes (7 June) – Bosses at global conglomerate GE have been accused of using the pandemic to slash the retirement incomes of about 2,600 employees to the tune of thousands of pounds a year. Unite the union said that the American-owned multinational’s proposals to switch the pension scheme from final salary (defined benefit) to a defined contribution one, which is at the mercy of fluctuations in world stock markets, was ‘a savage kick in the teeth’ for the workers. Unite said that such was the rising tide of anger amongst its members, many of whom had given decades of loyal service, that a ballot for industrial action, including strike action, this summer was very much on the cards. The loss of pension income depends on an individual’s circumstances, but could, in certain cases, be more than £11,000 a year, if the changes are allowed to be imposed from 1 January 2022. The sites that could be affected by possible strike action include GE sites in Cardiff, Cheltenham, GE Caledonian (Prestwick) and Rugby, as well as Dowty Propellers in Gloucestershire. There are also Unite members who are service engineers with a national remit read more
The pomp of G7 summit is ‘an ugly contrast’ to poverty-wage Cornwall, says Unite (7 June) – The lavish pomp of this weekend’s G7 summit in Cornwall is a sharp contrast in a county where homelessness and food bank use are soaring, making the need for a ‘levelling-up’ package more urgent than ever. Unite the union said today (Monday 7 June) was a good time to make the case for UK politicians to commit to a blueprint for Cornwall’s economic renaissance, while the world’s media was focussed on the scenic Carbis Bay summit. Unite said it was an ugly contrast, that while world leaders, including US president Joe Biden, quaff vintage wines and savour gourmet meals, Cornwall had 17 of the most deprived wards in the country at the start of the pandemic. Unite called on summit host, prime minister Boris Johnson to make good on his ‘levelling up’ promise by committing to a five-year programme to revive the tourist-dependent, Covid-ravaged Cornish economy read more
MTVHA: Members Fear Culture of Racism – We (Unite LE/1111 Housing Workers branch) reported previously on the case of an MTVHA member, Andrew Bindi, whose redundancy following a restructure is to go ahead despite the change in the jobs market, and despite government guidance on job retention (see here). We asked for members to sign and share a petition and received a fantastic 470 responses. Our heartfelt thanks to everyone who participated. Shockingly, we were subsequently approached by another MTVHA member who has similarly been issued with notice of redundancy. Like Andrew – our member is black and male. This news, on top of other worrying reports of a toxic culture within the association, has led some members to conclude that restructuring is being used to expel those whose faces don’t fit within MTVHA. The Branch has been forced to intervene once again to defend the member individually but also to survey the full membership…The Branch will continue its campaign for justice for our members and is interested to hear from you if you work for the employer. Please contact Assistant Branch Secretary Suzanne Muna read more
As hospitality re-opens, workers remain locked out of decent work (6 June) – Service comes with side order of exploitation. Unite survey aims to paint true picture of working conditions. As the public prepares to enjoy outdoor cafes, restaurants and pubs from tomorrow, trade union Unite today (Sunday) said that hospitality workers are preparing once again to face the poor working conditions and low pay which characterise the sector read more
Summer Weetabix shortages expected during Northamptonshire cereal workers’ strike (4 June) – Shops are expected to run out of Weetabix this summer after workers at the company’s Northamptonshire factories voted to strike over ‘fire and rehire’ plans that would see pay slashed. Around 80 engineers who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, at the company’s factories in Kettering and Corby will take part in a series of one day strikes during June, July and August that are still to be scheduled. Weetabix has issued the engineers with new contracts and work patterns, which will result in major cuts in shift allowances. There will also be a move to require more day working than shift working, further contributing to the cut in pay. Some of the affected engineers will lose up to £5,000 a year. There are also major concerns about health and safety of the workers at both plants due to the low number of engineers who will now be on duty at certain times read more
Tackling low wages and zero hours’ contracts key to reviving London’s hospitality sector, says Unite (3 June) – London’s mayor Sadiq Khan needs to tackle the low pay and zero hours culture in the capital’s hospitality sector, if hotels, restaurants and pubs are to thrive post-pandemic, Unite the union said today (Thursday 3 June). Unite, which represents hospitality, catering and hotel staff across the UK, welcomed Sadiq Khan’s pledge to use all the powers at his disposal to deal with the major staffing shortages in the hospitality industry that threaten to undermine London’s economic recovery from Covid-19. Unite said that it was keen to play its part in any task force set up – involving the mayor’s office, the employers and the unions – to jump start the sector, reeling from the thousands of hospitality workers made redundant since March 2020 and the aftermath of Brexit which makes the recruitment of foreign-born staff more difficult read more
Sunrise Medical workers in Dudley to take strike action over pay – Workers at electric wheelchair maker Sunrise Medical based in Dudley have voted for strike action in a dispute over pay. Four separate days of strike action have been called, which will cause widespread disruption to production at the Brierley Hill factory. The strikes will take place on Monday 14 June, Friday 18 June, Monday 21 June and Friday 25 June. The workers are seeking a three per cent pay increase and an additional day of holiday for Christmas Eve. Workers were balloted for strike action as a result of a breakdown in pay talks read more
Blackburn and Burnley patients face test delays as biomedical scientists begin three week strike action in back pay dispute – NHS patients in Blackburn and Burnley are being warned that test results may be delayed and other services affected, as biomedical scientists employed by East Lancashire NHS Trust begin three weeks of strike action today (Monday 31 May), in a dispute over unpaid back pay. The strike, involving 21 biomedical scientists who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, is a result of the trust failing to honour an agreement made in 2019 to upgrade the scientists from band 5 to band 6 on the NHS Agenda for Change pay scale. The affected workers are owed back pay between several hundred pounds to £8,000. The underpayment problem dates back to 2010 for some of the affected scientists. The workers who are based at the Royal Blackburn Hospital but also work at Burnley General Teaching Hospital have been striking during night, weekend and late shifts from 7 May. The scientists have now embarked on three weeks of continuous strike action which began at 00:01 today (Monday 31 May) and will end at 06:59 Monday 21 June read more
Bromley Central Library workers strike over late-night openings with less staff – Bromley Central Library workers will strike over plans by their employer Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) to stage late-night openings with less staff, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Wednesday 26 May 2021). The 17 employees, members of Unite, voted unanimously in favour of strike action over a proposed change to working hours so that staff, instead of working one late night every two weeks, will work four late nights every two weeks. Part time staff, who currently do not work late nights, will now be required to work one late night per week. Unite said that the late nights plan, which only involves employees at Bromley Central Library, come following a reduction in staffing – so it will mean less workers to cover longer opening hours. Beginning on 14 June, Bromley Central Library workers will strike every day from 6pm. The latest dispute follows the eight-month strike by 50 GLL library staff working in the borough’s 14 libraries over such issues as pay progression and employee restructuring which ended in January 2020. Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “GLL’s plan to open Bromley Central Library for longer with less staff is simply not feasible. The workers know it, which is why every single one of our members voted for strike action…” read more
Unite considering all legal options against Goodlord following ‘unfair’ dismissal of striking workers – Unite, the UK’s leading union, is considering all legal option against London property services firm Goodlord following its ‘unfair’ dismissal of striking workers on Wednesday evening (19 May)…More than 20 members of Unite, employed in Goodlord’s referencing department, began strike action on 22 February over fire and rehire contract changes that resulted in annual pay falling from £24,000 to £18,000. The original contracts for around half of the striking workers expired during the strike action. As they refused to sign up to the radically diminished terms and conditions Goodlord was offering, the workers were dismissed read more
- 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
Ealing parking disruption to resume as more Serco civil enforcement strikes set – Ealing residents are being warned to brace for parking disruption in June due to further strikes over union busting by Serco civil enforcement officers, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Thursday 20 May). Following a pledge by Ealing’s new council leader Peter Mason to intervene in the dispute, Unite said it hopes a solution can be found before the two 72-hour strikes, beginning on 1 June and 9 June, go ahead. Mr Mason’s pledge came after Unite condemned a move by Ealing Council to have a Unite Serco rep removed from his duties. 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 the 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 regional officer Clare Keogh said: “Serco has targeted union reps, activists and others with severance offers in order to weaken trade union organisation and undermine negotiations. The company is also using its absence policy to unfairly dismiss employees…Our members will not stand for it and have been left with no other choice but to take strike action…” read more
Norwich City Council workers set strike dates over broken promises – 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
Engineers at Leicestershire’s Brush Electrical strike over fire and rehire cuts of up to £15,000 – 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
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
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’
DVLA action: senior managers observe pickets in 30 minute shifts while post piles up and calls unanswered (7 June) – Disruption to customer services in DVLA continues after ministers scuppered a deal last week. DVLA strike action over Covid safety continues this week (7-12 June) after ministers scuppered a deal last week that could have led to agreement. Disruption to DVLA customer service continues, as a recorded message on the phone line tells customers that calls cannot be answered due to industrial action. The web chat bot says that no one is available. And post items are reportedly piling up at an estimated 60,000 a day, on top of the 800,000 still to be processed. While the backlogs grow, DVLA senior managers have been seen observing the picket lines in half-hour shifts. Members in other areas of DVLA have been exercising the right to work to rule in refusing to take calls instead of their usual duties. Show your support by attending the public rally at noon on Friday (11) – sign up on Eventbrite. Members in DVLA will be paid £40 a day from our strike fund. This fund makes it possible to support members financially when they are striking and therefore not being paid by their employer. If you are able to, please help by donating. Your donation will help DVLA workers to win on Covid safety. The details are: Account Name: Fighting Fund Levy, A/C No: 20331490, Sort Code: 60-83-01, Reference: DVLA. There is more information on the strike fund here. You can set up a direct debit. All money collected in that way will come to the strike fund. Messages of solidarity – If you would like to write in support of striking DVLA workers, please email [email protected] read more
Low Pay Britain: furlough cliff edge will kill off recovery (7 June) – Post pandemic, UK needs stronger and better rights at work and a proper industrial plan for jobs and investment. GMB, Britain’s general union, has responded to the Resolution Foundation’s ‘Low Pay Britain’ report, which shows low-paid workers have been worst affected by the pandemic read more
Revealed: more than 100k redundancies planned so far this year (6 June) – Hundreds of thousands more jobs are under threat if the furlough scheme is wound down too soon, warns GMB Union. More than 100,000 redundancies were planned in the first four months of the year, according to research by GMB Union. The union warned that the true number was higher. The figures, obtained by GMB under the Freedom of Information Act, are being discussed at the union’s annual conference, which starts today read more
Support the GMB workers against ‘fire and rehire at British Gas – send a message of support and donate to the GMB British Gas ‘Fire and Rehire’ Strike Fund
Further strike action avoided as Cumberland Infirmary workers reach agreement with employer – More than 150 porters, cleaners, switchboard and catering staff who work at Cumberland Infirmary have won their long-running trade dispute with their employer Mitie. The infirmary workers had taken seven days of strike action in recent months over payments for working unsocial hours (night, weekend and bank holiday) shifts and were set to go on strike again this month. But last week constructive talks were held between trade unions, the hospital workers’ employer Mitie and North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust. The talks came to a positive conclusion and UNISON members have now accepted an offer from Mitie- marking the end of the industrial dispute. The offer will see the Cumberland Infirmary workers paid the full NHS Agenda for Change levels of pay for all unsocial hours worked from November 2021. In addition, the offer includes provisions to prevent any job losses as a result of unsocial hours pay being introduced. Finally, a commitment has been made that no worker will be treated any differently by their employer as a result of participating in the trade dispute read more
Royal Mail Fleet resourcing agreement – ‘will help us bring work back’ (June 4) – Acting assistant secretary Carl Maden tells CWU News about a positive new deal on technical staffing levels…“When we met with Fleet management to put in place our shorter working week and revision process – in accordance with the national Pathway to Change agreement – we found we didn’t have an accurate measure of the total Fleet workload,” Carl explains. “This was of critical importance, as staffing/headcount, recruitment, training and our overall organisation are all geared towards improving the service Fleet provides to the core Royal Mail operation. And the shorter working week needs to be implemented and deployed with this aspiration front and centre” read more
Don’t betray loyal Bury staff, Capita told (June 4) – Intensive pressure is mounting on Capita to deliver genuine options for loyal employees in Bury following last week’s shock announcement that their call centre is earmarked for closure in September. Last Friday, a hastily convened CWU protest took place outside the former Telefonica O2 site in Radcliffe, which for many years has been one of two centres dealing with the outsourced contact centre services provider’s Tesco Mobile contract, with the later addition of work associated Capita’s TV Licensing contract. While Capita continues to deny the closure of the Bury site constitutes a redundancy exercise, the CWU believes that scores of employees will be inevitably be placed ‘at risk’ under company’s proposals read more
Royal Mail Customer Experience members ‘delighted’ with SWW deal (June 4) – CWU reps in Sunderland and Plymouth report positive feedback from recently concluded national agreement read more
Early meeting with top boss as Virgin Media O2 joint venture launches (June 4) – The first meeting between the CWU and the newly formed telecoms giant that has come about as a result of the effective merger of Virgin Media Ltd and Telefónica UK has gone some way to ease immediate anxieties as to what the move will mean for the union’s Telefónica O2 membership read more
BT strike ballot scheduled for early June if no agreement reached – 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
QUB Creche – Strike and Rally – Friday 11 June 2021 at 1pm – Come and Stand in Solidarity (7 June) – As members have previously been advised a small group of NIPSA members employed by QUB Creche commenced industrial action on International Women’s Day on 8 March 2021. Our brave members have been on industrial action since and have taken a number of half-day strikes over the last few weeks. In response QUB have deducted a full day’s pay when members have taken a half day strike. While there have been negotiations in the last few days it has been decided to hold a further series of action over the coming days. In order to support these brave workers a rally will be held at 11 College Gardens, Belfast at 1pm on Friday 11 June 2021. It is anticipated that supporters from NIPSA and from across the trade union movement will come to support these workers. If you are able to attend please do so and ensure that QUB Management are made fully aware of the support from across the Trade Union Movement and from NIPSA read more
NICS Pay – Minister Set to Impose Rejected Offer (4 June) – Further to article posted on 27 May I am writing to advise that the Minister has written to me advising that following our meeting and his consideration of the points we made at the meeting and taking into account the response from the FDA and the industrial unions GMB and Unite who indicated acceptance of the offer he has decided to impose the pay offer as detailed in the NIPSA Bulletin issued on 20 April 2021. Effectively this will mean, with the exception of the AA and analogous grade (who will receive a 1% increase and a 3% non-consolidated payment), the majority of civil servants will receive a 1% consolidated increase and a 1% non-consolidated payment with effect from 1 August 2020. In addition, a 1% increase will be also be implemented effective from 1 August 2021 with an additional 3% non-consolidated payment for the AA an analogous grade. NIPSA did manage to secure additional scale shortening which was one element of our claim. Therefore, all scales from AA to Grade 6 will be shortened by one point read more
Support Pimilco Academy strike – from the Guardian: Pimlico academy staff in strike talks after head loses confidence vote. School faces staff resignations after student protests and changes to curriculum and policies read more. Stafff are on strike today and are next taking action on June 15-16
Resignation of Sir Kevan Collins (3 June) – Sir Kevan Collins, Education Recovery Commissioner Resignation. Sir Kevan Collins, Education Recovery Commissioner resigned in protest at the lack of Government funding for education recovery plan read more
Reform of SQA and Education Scotland must be more than a cosmetic exercise (3 June) – Commenting on the statement from the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills on plans for education recovery, including the reform of the SQA and Education Scotland, Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, said: It is abundantly clear from the current mess created by the Scottish Government and the SQA over the arrangements for the awarding of this summer qualifications that reform is needed…” read more
Review of SQA and Education Scotland (3 June) – The EIS has welcomed the review, announced today in Parliament, of the SQA and Education Scotland. Reacting to the announcement, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said, “We have for some time been arguing for reform of the SQA and, in particular, the need for a stronger governance model which would see the qualifications authority more accountable to the Education system and the profession, rather than to the Scottish Government or an opaque, Government appointed, Board…” read more
EIS opens statutory industrial action ballot at Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) (28 May) – The EIS has today (Friday) opened a statutory industrial action ballot for members at Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC). The move towards industrial action has been prompted by a pay and grading dispute, and follows an indicative ballot that showed strong support amongst lecturers at SRUC for industrial action read more
BREAKING NEWS!! Three days of strikes begin tomorrow at University of Leicester (8 June) – Staff at the University of Leicester will down tools tomorrow in the first of three continuous days of strike action as they fight against 26 compulsory redundancies. The strikes come after around 70% of staff who voted in an industrial ballot said yes to strike action to stop the sackings. University of Leicester vice-chancellor Nishan Canagarajah has since handed the 26 staff their redundancy notices, and they are set to lose their jobs from Tuesday 3 August. 72 senior Leicester staff and professors have written to University of Leicester’s executive board setting out concerns that some staff have been targeted for redundancy because of the intellectual approaches of their research, which they say is a serious threat to academic freedom. A marking and assessment boycott by university staff has also now entered its second month. The marking boycott and strike action are both taking place during the crucial end of year examination period, meaning disruption for the university will be especially severe. UCU has additionally hit Leicester with the ultimate sanction of a global boycott, meaning the union is asking its members, other trade unions, and the international academic community to boycott the university. This includes not speaking at events, accepting invitations to give lectures, or applying for jobs at Leicester. Since the global boycott began last month at least 19 events have been cancelled, indefinitely postponed or moved elsewhere read more
Wave of strikes at 49 prisons over Covid-19 concerns set to continue (2 June) – Staff in 49 prisons across England are set to go on strike again in a health and safety dispute with employer Novus, UCU confirmed today. Around 600 UCU members working in prison education are set to walk out of 49 prison and young offender institutions across England on Thursday 10 and Wednesday 23 June. The latest set of walkouts have been called because Novus has refused to meaningfully engaged with UCU’s concerns despite staff already taking two days of strike action in May. The dispute centres on Novus’ failure to meaningfully engage with UCU over Covid-19 health and safety concerns of prison educators teaching and supporting learners on the prison estate. Novus has launched complaints and investigations against UCU’s health and safety representatives, making it difficult for staff to raise safety concerns and impossible for any meaningful health and safety discussions to take place read more
Liverpool Deputy VC Louise Kenny set to make millions from sale of mansion whilst laying off dozens of staff – Staff on strike against redundancies at the University of Liverpool have accused the pro vice chancellor of being ‘out of touch’ and ‘drunk on power’ after it was revealed she has been trying to sell a luxury €3.25 million pad in Ireland whilst taking an axe to the jobs of health researchers. Staff are on strike every working day over the next three weeks unless the university halts the cuts. The full strike dates are:
- Monday 24 May – Friday 28 May
- Tuesday 1 June – Friday 4 June
- Monday 7 June – Friday 11 June
The strikes are going ahead during the crucial end of year examination period, meaning disruption for the university will be especially severe. The strikes come 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 since been revised down to 32 after UCU threatened industrial action 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.
Information from Thompsons Solicitors for POA members that have contracted COVID -19 (7 June) – Watch Ged Stilliard from Thompsons Solictors talk about COVID-19 personal injury claims read more
Poplar cladding fire and schools cladding: “government may well face another devastating loss of life” (3 June) – Two pieces of news in one week have highlighted the scale of the fire safety crisis in UK buildings – a crisis which, it is thought, could be endangering millions of lives. On Sunday the Guardian published analysis showing that more than 70 schools are likely to have been cladded in combustible plastic foam insulation, which is banned from use on residential buildings. Then, on Tuesday, the report into the New Providence Wharf fire, which took place in a building with ‘Grenfell-style’ cladding, described building failures as having led to a “potentially life-threatening situation” read more
AFP should reinstate Nasser Abu Bakr (4 June) – The International Federation of Journalists, backed by the NUJ, has called for the urgent reinstatement of Nasser Abu Bakr, the head of the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate following his victimisation by French news agency, AFP read more
Listen to the first episode of the Equity Green Room podcast (3 June) – Listen to our new podcast for candid conversations about the big issues facing performers and creative workers right now. Host Jackie Clune talks to fellow Equity members about their experiences and how, together as a union, we’re fighting to make positive change in the industry. Join us for personal stories, lively chat and a little laughter in the virtual green room. Listen here or you can find us on. Episode 1: Safe Spaces – harassment, bullying and assault in the creative industries read more
A just transition for energy workers: The stakes could not be higher (7 June) – The concept of a ‘Just Transition’ is gaining more traction ahead of COP26, but positive examples of implementation are still scarce, writes Sue Ferns, Prospect senior deputy general secretary read more
Travel advice change risks aviation jobs without extra support (3 June) – The government must provide more financial support to the aviation sector to alleviate the uncertainty causing by shifting travel advice, Prospect has warned read more
Protect shopworkers petition attracts cross-party support – Usdaw urges the Government to respond positively to Monday’s Parliamentary debate (4 June) – Usdaw’s parliamentary petition that seeks to protect retail staff from violence, threats and abuse is being debated in Parliament on Monday 7 June 2021 at 6.15pm. Usdaw has welcomed the support of Matt Vickers MP (Conservative, Stockton South) who will be introducing the debate on behalf of the House of Commons Petitions Committee read more
BCM Fareva staff vote decisively to strike – Usdaw urges the Nottingham based employer to withdraw their ‘fire and rehire’ threat – Usdaw members have voted by over 90% in favour of industrial action at BCM Fareva, the Nottingham based manufacturer of consumer pharma and beauty products for leading brands including Boots. BCM Fareva has proposed slashing members’ terms and conditions, including sick pay and redundancy payment provisions, while pre-emptively threatening to ‘fire and rehire’ staff if agreement cannot be reached on the proposed changes. Usdaw has informed the company of the result and again calls on them to avoid industrial action by removing their threat to ‘fire and rehire’ read more
Usdaw members at a Marks and Spencer’s distribution site to take industrial action – Retail logistics trade union Usdaw has today notified DHL of a 24-hour strike at their Marks and Spencer Long Eaton distribution centre, starting at 9.30pm on Wednesday 9 June 2021. Usdaw members voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action in a dispute about the amount of redundancy pay that long serving staff will receive when the site closes at the end of July. The industrial action affects a Marks & Spencer’s third-party logistics contract, operated by DHL at Long Eaton in Derbyshire read more
The royal parks charity charged with maintaining the Queen’s most famous London parks is set to face judicial review over “discrimination against black African cleaners”, says trade union (6 June) – The Royal Parks, a charity set up by the government to administer some of Londn’s most iconic parks owned by the Queen, is set to find itself in the High Court says trade union United Voices of the World (UVW). The legal claim comes after an outsourced member of cleaning staff at Regent’s Park, one of the 8 parks under the care of the charity, filed a claim in the High Court alleging the decision to contract with her employer on the basis that she would receive inferior terms and conditions to in-house staff was unlawful 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
Turkey: Solidarity with the People of Turkey (SPOT) calls for the immediate release of health care workers 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