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
- Kathy Smith Bromley Unite branch secretary
- 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
The NSSN sends our solidarity and congratulations to the rank & file construction electricians, the Sparks. After months of direct action including protests, blockades and walkouts, the attempt to bring in a new Electrical Service Operative (ESO) grade has been defeated.
We have been proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with the Sparks, taking action all over the country, from the first protest on February 24th in London to the blockade of AWE Burghfield on May 26th that finally brought Balfour Beatty and NG Baileys to the negotiating table. This is a victory that ranks alongside the defeat of the BESNA a decade ago, the last main attempt at de-skilling, with the same aim – to cut wages to boost the bosses’ profits. There are other battles to come in the electrical and wider constriction industry, as the Sparks outline in their statement, but with this victory under their belts, they can be taken on with confidence.
Statement from the Unite Electrical and Mechanical Combine:-
“Since January this year, when the EMC discovered that training standards had been developed by the ECITB for containment and cabling, our activists staged a fightback. The resultant actions ensured that the training standards were withdrawn from Hinckley Point, within weeks.
The ESO has been removed and the Electrical Labourer, with no installation duties, is now in its place. This, in itself, is a fantastic achievement that all involved should be proud of.
Assurances were sought from the contractors that these standards and semi-skilled roles were not the start of a wider de-skilling agenda. Our rank and file members held demonstrations, leafletted, took part in the occupations and banner drops every week for the past three months. We salute those who have supported the campaign and those who have helped push back on a deskilling agenda which we believe would have had catastrophic consequences for our members.
That said, we welcome the recent statement by BBB, especially these commitments:-
- The disputed Electrical training standards developed by the ECITB for HPC to create the Electrical Service Operative have been permanently withdrawn by EDF after Unite raised concerns and do not form part of our current and future development plans
- We are committed going forward to working with the Trade Unions and their representatives in accordance with the consultation and governance structures of HPC and the relevant National Agreements which include the SJIB/JIB
- Balfour Beatty Kilpatrick and NG Bailey are committed to a programme that supports the development of fully trained qualified Electricians of the future through the SJIB/JIB Apprentice schemes
We will soon be entering into negotiations where our position is to have a standalone section within the HPC agreement where the JIB/SJIB standards take preference that includes grading, training and apprenticeships.
This has to be our goal. Together we can win this particular battle, but there is much more to gain. Deskilling is rife, with the use of false improvers and mates on the increase. Issues around the use of agency labour, direct employment, blacklisting and bogus self-employment need to be tackled, as well as the wages that are well below our value.”
The NSSN will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with these and all other workers taking action. The big lesson is – if you fight, you can win!
Come and here from the Sparks and many other workers in dispute at NSSN Conference this coming Sunday from 11am
Blacklist Support Group statement: SPARKS VICTORY – massive victory for rank & file militancy
After 15 weeks of rank & file direct action, two of the biggest contractors in the UK, Balfour Beatty and NG Baileys, have completely capitulated and “permanently withdrawn” all their proposals to deskill the electrical contracting sector. The firm’s new training course and proposed ESO grade at Hinkley have been totally taken off the table for the foreseeable future.
The significance of this dispute cannot be underestimated. Big business were attempting to drive through major changes that would have seen huge job losses and pay cuts. Yet despite the anti-union laws, rank and file sparks took the fight to the employers and won. They closed down the UK’s Atomic Weapons Establishment, occupied company offices and blockaded major projects across the UK. This is what rank & file union militancy looks like. All credit to the electricians who organised and participated in the actions. True working class heroes.
There are big attacks looming across the entire UK economy in the near future. The rest of the union movement should learn lessons from this historic victory.
Video of rank & file sparks closing down the UK Atomic Weapons Establishment that brought the employers to the negotiation table – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPxiiQ9zuXc&t=3s
For details of Sparks protests, follow NO TO ESO (UNSKILLED LABOUR) Facebook page
Scrapping of electrician deskilling plans welcomed by Unite (9 June) – Unite, the UK’s construction union, has welcomed the announcement by contractors Balfour Beatty and NG Bailey that they remain committed to the Joint Industry Board (JIB) agreement and the training of fully qualified electricians read more
Unite hails victory in Bromley library ‘late night openings’ row (10 June) – Unite the union has hailed victory in the dispute at Bromley Central Library over late night openings with fewer staff. Talks this week with the employer social enterprise Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) has led to an agreement that, instead of working up to four late nights a fortnight, library staff will work one late night a week. The strike action that the 17 staff, members of Unite, had voted unanimously for and was due to start on 14 June, now won’t go ahead. Unite said that GLL had previously reduced staffing after a restructuring exercise – but then asked staff to work an increased number of late nights at the library. While Unite members had welcomed increased library opening hours, the union had argued that such changes must be properly resourced, so as not to adversely impact on the work/life balance of its members. Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “This is another important win for Bromley’s Unite members. We fully support increased opening hours as we want the maximum access to this vital service for all sections of the community. However, this can only be done with appropriate resourcing and by mutual agreement…I would like to pay tribute to our members and, in particular, to Unite branch secretary Kathy Smith who has once again led her members to victory.” The resolution of this latest dispute follows the eight-month strike by 50 library staff working in the borough’s 14 libraries over such issues as pay progression and staff structuring which ended in January 2020 read more
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
RMT announces further strike dates on East Midlands Railway (14 June) – RAIL UNION RMT confirmed today that it has announced eight further strike dates over the summer on East Midlands Railway. The dispute is over the company issuing inferior contracts to some train guards. EMR Senior Conductor members are instructed not to book on for any shifts that commence between:
- 0001 Hours and 2359 Hours on Sunday 27th June 2021
- 0001 Hours and 2359 Hours on Sunday 4th July 2021
- 0001 Hours and 2359 Hours on Sunday 11th July 2021
- 0001 Hours and 2359 Hours on Sunday 18th July 2021
- 0001 Hours and 2359 Hours on Sunday 25th July 2021
- 0001 Hours and 2359 Hours on Sunday 1st August 2021
- 0001 Hours and 2359 Hours on Sunday 8th August 2021
- 0001 Hours and 2359 Hours on Sunday 15th August 2021 read more
RMT pays tribute to merchant seafarers (14 June) – RMT pays tribute to merchant seafarers’ humanitarian and rescue work. SEAFARER UNION RMT today paid tribute to the humanitarian principles that its members continue to uphold on seas across the world read more
RMT strike on SERCO Caledonian Sleeper goes ahead (14 June) – RMT strike on SERCO Caledonian Sleeper goes ahead tomorrow as company block talks with union. RAIL UNION RMT said today that strike action on SERCO Caledonian sleeper goes ahead for eleven days from tomorrow, Tuesday 15th June to Saturday 26th June, as the company continue to block and frustrate all attempts to get round the table to discuss ending the pay freeze they are imposing on employees. Hardworking staff who have kept the service running throughout the Covid pandemic recently returned a massive 85% vote in favour of strike action over the freeze and are determined to see pay justice. The wholesale cancellation of services for the during of the strike announced by SERCO is entirely down to their intransigence and refusal to recognise the hard work and commitment of their staff. RMT says it is disgraceful that rail workers are being expected to take a major hit to their standards of living when inflation is escalating and there are widespread reports of rising wage increases across other industries and sectors. RMT members are 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 26thJune 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
RMT members standing firm again today (13 June) – RMT members standing firm again today as summer of strike action escalates on Scotland’s railways in a series of disputes over workplace justice. RAIL UNION RMT said that members are standing firm in strike action again today as the union called on the First Minister to end her silence and put pressure on Transport Scotland to demand that Abellio and Transport Scotland negotiate a settlement to the long-running disputes involving Scotrail conductors and ticket examiners. The union warned today that it’s the absence of political leadership that has left Scotland’s railways facing a long hot summer of strike action in a series of fights for workplace justice read more
Union fury as Scottish Government charter union busting ferry company (12 June) – CALMAC Union RMT has written to the Transport Minister, Graeme Dey MSP calling for a ferries summit with the recognised trade unions, following the decision to charter the Pentalina catamaran from union-busting firm Pentland Ferries for work on CalMac’s Clyde and Hebrides routes read more
RMT says action going ahead in four separate disputes on Scotland’s railways (11 June) – RAIL UNION RMT announced today that strike action is set to go ahead in four separate disputes on Scotland’s railways as industrial relations sink to a new low and politicians refuse to intervene.
- This Sunday 13 June Abellio ScotRail conductors and ticket examiners will again take strike action in two separate disputes in their long-running fight for pay justice for all grades on enhancements for rest day working.
- RMT members on the SERCO Caledonian sleeper are preparing for eleven days of strike action – from next Tuesday 15 June to Saturday 26 June – over a pay freeze the company is attempting to impose on employees.
- Fleet Maintenance Staff at the Perth Depot will be taking strike action on Tuesday 15 June and Wednesday 16 June over a breach of the dignity and respect policy read more
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
Thousands of families ‘at risk’ as Stoke council plans to sack health visitors and school nurses, warns Unite (14 June) – Thousands of families in Stoke-on-Trent, which has high levels of child poverty, could be badly hit by city council plans to slash £1 million from the children and young people services’ budget, Unite the union has warned. Unite said about 10 health visitors and school nurses could lose their jobs in Stoke because of a proposed cut to the budget delivered for the authority by the Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (MPFT). Unite said it was a rich irony that in the December 2019 general election Stoke elected three Conservative MPs on the coat tails of Boris Johnson’s so-called ‘levelling up’ agenda, but now the Tory-controlled council was planning ‘cruel’ cuts which put vital services, such as maternal and child mental health, child protection and domestic abuse, under severe strain read more
Shame of the NHS bosses who refuse talks to resolve Lancashire biomedical scientists’ pay upgrade dispute (11 June) – Hardline NHS bosses at a Lancashire NHS trust have, so far, spurned the offer of any talks, including under the auspices of conciliation service Acas, to resolve the biomedical scientists’ upgrading pay row. As a result, Unite the union said that the 21 biomedical scientists at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust will hold a month of strike action from 21 June to 28 July, following on the current strike action that started on 31 May and ends on 21 June. The crux of the dispute is the ‘bad faith’ that the trust management has shown when it reneged on the 2019 pay upgrade deal that it originally agreed to read more
Strikes at Sunrise Medical in Dudley ‘paused’ for fresh talks (10 June) – Planned strikes to be held at electric wheelchair maker Sunrise Medical based in Dudley, have been postponed to allow for fresh pay talks to take place. The workers, who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, were due to begin strike action next week on Monday 14 June, with a further strike on Friday 18 June. These strikes have now been called off to allow for further talks under the auspices of the conciliation service Acas to take place. If the talks do not lead to a resolution of the dispute then the strikes scheduled for Monday 21 June and Friday 25 June will go ahead read more
Unite protests at Leeds debt charity StepChange over ‘counterproductive’ redundancies (9 June) – Members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, will hold a socially distanced protest tomorrow outside the Leeds debt support charity StepChange over ‘counterproductive’ plans to slash up to 170 jobs read more
Weetabix strikes announced at Northamptonshire sites over company’s disgraceful fire and rehire plans (9 June) – Engineers employed by Weetabix at its factories in Northamptonshire will begin strike action later this month in a dispute over the company’s plans to fire and rehire them resulting in a huge cut in pay. The workers, who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, voted for strike action last week in the dispute where the workers are facing pay cuts of up to £5,000 a year. The workers, based at the company’s factories in Corby and Kettering in Northamptonshire, will begin strike action on Wednesday 23 June and then strike on the Wednesday of each week until mid-September. The strike action will inevitably cause problems in production and will lead to shortages of Weetabix and the company’s other products read more
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
‘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
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 Email messages of support and donate to the hardship fund via [email protected]. Follow #Banbury300 @Banbury3001 on twitter
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
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’
Brilliant DVLA public rally shows strength of support for PCS strikers (11 June) – The support from across the UK labour movement for our DVLA strikers was highlighted in an online public strike rally this lunchtime. Our DVLA Covid safety strike is into its fourth week and the action is causing considerable disruption on the agency’s services, which would have been avoided if a deal being brokered between senior management and PCS hadn’t been pulled at the last minute. This was highlighted in the rally by our general secretary Mark Serwotka who said: “It is transport secretary Grant Shapps and the Conservative government who are responsible for the backlogs at the DVLA and they don’t care about your driving licence, they want to defeat our trade union.” 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
PCS pay mythbuster – government is committed to ending civil service gender pay gap (11 June) – Our latest pay mythbuster explodes the myth that the government is committed to ending the gender pay gap in the civil service. A report commissioned by PCS for the 2020 comprehensive spending review found that the gender pay gap was 12% for annual pay and 10% for hourly pay read more
ISS staff balloted for strike action at BEIS (10 June) – Cleaners, security guards and other support staff could go on strike next month in a row over terms and conditions at the department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). PCS which represents 92 contracted out staff at BEIS is asking workers whether they want to take strike action in July. Members are demanding an end to low pay and improved working conditions, extra bonuses for working through lockdown and getting back annual leave entitlement owed from last year. PCS also has concerns around Covid safety of staff and is calling on ISS and BEIS to agree a return to work protocol with the union. The ballot will open today and closes 29 June read more
Hancock lying to MPs over claims there was no PPE shortage (10 June) – NHS staff even issued with emergency guidance to reuse disposable PPE. Matt Hancock is lying to MP’s when he claims there was no Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) shortage during the pandemic, say GMB Union. The Health Secretary told a committee of MP’s ‘there was never a point at which NHS providers couldn’t get access to PPE’. GMB members across the NHS reported shortages of PPE on numerous occasions and GMB contacted the Department of Health and Social Care on several occasions to raise this. At one stage GMB NHS members were even issued with emergency guidance advising people to reuse disposable PPE read more
PM’s ‘pathetic response’ on fire and hire gives bas bosses carte blanche (9 June) – Government already failing on ‘levelling up’ agenda says GMB Union. GMB, Britain’s general union, says the Prime Minister’s ‘pathetic’ response to fire and rehire gives bad bosses carte blanche to use the ‘cruel’ tactic. Responding to a question in Parliament today on fire and rehire, the PM said “hire and fire should only be used in limited circumstances such as to prevent job losses…when all other options have been exhausted” read more
Extend parental bereavement leave for miscarriages, GMB tells Govt (8 June) – Miscarriage touches the lives of millions – all people who should have proper protection and support. GMB, Britain’s general union, has called on Ministers to extend parental bereavement leave for parents suffering miscarriages before the 24th week of pregnancy read more
GMB union ‘stunned’ at the decision to close Dungness B (8 June) – GMB, the union for energy workers, has called for ‘certainty and security’ for Dungness B workers after EDF’s surprise decision to begin immediate defueling of the nuclear plant. The closure of the site comes after the energy giant highlighted ‘station specific risks’ to move the plant into the defueling stage, seven years ahead of schedule. As a result, EDF has taken a decision not to restart the plant read more
NHS and care staff must have free parking at work, GMB Congress says (8 June) – Matt Hancock cannot ignore needs of health workers forever, says GMB Union. NHS and care staff must have free parking at work after the covid pandemic, GMB’s annual Congress heard 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
‘Attack is the best form of defence’ against cuts and pay freeze (14 June) – Local government workers should be prepared to take the fight to ministers, conference agrees. Anger and disbelief hung in the air as delegate after delegate at the special local government conference condemned the government’s public sector pay freeze. Speakers reacted with dismay at minsters’ ‘divide and rule’ tactic that pitted public sector workers against private sector staff, and manufactured a divide between ‘deserving’ NHS frontline workers and the ‘non-deserving’ who kept schools open, classrooms clean, collected refuse and fought crime throughout the three lockdowns. The service group executive called on the union’s national executive committee (NEC) to launch a campaign to fight the government pay freeze, led by general secretary Christina McAnea and the TUC’s public services committee read more
Care workers who “dread” pay day speak out about “unacceptable” underpayment by care behemoth Lifeways Group (11 June) – Care workers have spoken out against “routine and habitual incorrect payment” by care provider Lifeways Group. Lifeways Group- which is commissioned by North West councils including Lancashire County Council, Bolton Council, Manchester City Council, Wirral Council and Liverpool City Council to deliver care- is the UK’s largest supported living care provider. But Lifeways have come under fire from UNISON- who say that Lifeways’ care workers regularly report being underpaid to the union. As a result, UNISON conducted a payday survey of care workers employed by Lifeways in the North West of England. Shockingly, a massive 72% of respondents reported that they had been paid incorrectly by Lifeways Group in last 6 months, with 26% paid incorrectly every month read more
UNISON calls on North West secondary schools to reintroduce face coverings for pupils to tackle worrying rise in COVID cases (10 June) – Public sector trade union UNISON North West is calling for schools in the North West of England to strongly recommend that secondary school pupils wear face coverings to tackle the worrying rise in COVID cases in the region. COVID-19 case numbers are now increasing in almost all parts of north-west England read more
UNISON Response to Liverpool City Council Best Value Inspection Report (10 June) – UNISON has prepared a detailed response to the report of the Best Value Inspection of Liverpool City Council read more
High level support for beleaguered Bury Capita workers (June 11) – Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has visited Capita’s Bury contact centre this morning (Friday) to support a campaign by CWU members to save jobs in the town. The Labour Metro Mayor joined employees, trade unionists and residents opposed to the closure of the Radcliffe site at the second high profile day of protest organised by the CWU to highlight the devastating impact of the move on staff and the wider community alike. The centre, which serves as a call centre for Tesco Mobile, has existed for over two decades and is a vital local employer. However, it was announced last month that the site will be permanently closing its doors in September read more
Horizon Judicial Inquiry Hearings to commence ‘early 2022’ (June 11) – Sir Wyn Williams expands legal team and prepares for full legal investigation, following Government’s statutory instruction…Legal proceedings in the Horizon scandal kicked up a gear this week, with the Government’s official publication of the Statement of Approach, that sets out formal Terms of Reference and a Judicial Timetable under Section 15 of the Inquiries Act 2005 read more
Businesslike pay talks deliver 2.5% across-the-board offer from CBRE (June 11) – Pay negotiations with CBRE have delivered a ‘final’ offer that, if accepted, will see members in the company’s BT Workplace Team receive a fully consolidated 2.5% increase. The proposed settlement, which covers around 500 buildings and grounds maintenance employees, will be strongly recommended for acceptance by the union’s National Team in an electronic consultative ballot that is currently in the process of being arranged. Set against a relevant RPI inflation rate of 1.5% in March, the CWU-brokered deal that is on the table represents a real term increase for members in CBRE, most of whom transferred from BT Facilities Services in 2019 under the disputed outsourcing read more
Post Office Service & Support – restructure complete & members protected (June 10) – No compulsory redundancies and almost all redeployed staff get their first preference, thanks to agreement achieved by CWU, which is designed to improve postmaster support going forward…A reorganisation of support services, including the auditing team who have responsibility for our approximately 11,500 sub-post offices, was announced several months ago and the associated preference exercise got underway in March read more
Rivus Fleet members urged to accept across-the-board 2% pay offer (June 9) – Pay negotiations with Rivus Fleet Solutions have delivered a ‘final’ offer that, if accepted, will see members receive a fully consolidated 2% increase. The proposed settlement is being strongly recommended for acceptance by the union’s National Team in an electronic consultative ballot that commenced last week. Set against a relevant RPI inflation rate of 1.5% in March, the CWU-brokered deal that is on the table represents a real term increase for Rivus members employed in the former BT Fleet workshops which were sold by BT in 2019 to private equity asset management company Aurelius 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
Support these strikes:-
|Pimlico Academy / Westminster
(Unacceptable Management Style)
|Tuesday 15 June
Wednesday 16 June
|Oaks Park High / Redbridge
(Victimisation of NEU Rep & Members)
|Tuesday 15 June
|Shrewsbury College / Shrewsbury (Victimisation of NEU Rep)
|Tuesday 15 June
Wednesday 16 June
Thursday 17 June
NEU Cymru disappointed with IWPRB pay award for teachers (14 June) – We are disappointed to read that Jeremy Miles is minded to accept the recommendation of a pay award for teachers across the board of only 1.75% with effect from 1 September 2021 read more
Reintroduce face coverings (8 June) – Government must reintroduce face coverings to minimise Covid disruption in schools, say education unions. Four education unions representing teachers and support staff are today (Tuesday) calling on the government to reinstate face coverings in schools to limit coronavirus spread. With infections on the rise once more, the unions have issued a joint statement demanding a range of safety measures to keep education on track and reduce the risk of further closures. The unions that have signed are UNISON, GMB, Unite and NEU read more
Bromley teachers take strike action to protect pensions (14 June) – Members of NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union at Bishop Challoner School in Bromley are taking the first of six planned days of strike action tomorrow (Tuesday) over plans by their employer to withdraw from the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS). The employer is seeking to downgrade the pension benefits of members which would affect their future financial security. The employer has not responded to the approach from the NASUWT to resolve this dispute and has ignored the concerns raised by teachers during the consultation process read more
Strike action at Loughborough school over attacks on pensions (9 June) – Members of NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union at Loughborough Grammar School have taken the first of six planned days of strike action over moves by their employer to withdraw from the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS). Teachers at the school have been threatened with dismissal if they do not accept the proposed withdrawal from the TPS and downgrading of their pension benefits 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
Strike ballots open today at colleges across England (14 June) – Employer body offered just 1% pay rise to staff. Strikes at eleven colleges in England could be on the cards as industrial action ballots opened today for members of UCU. Ten ballots are over pay. A separate ballot at Capital City College Group is over pay, working conditions, and compulsory redundancies. The ballots close on Wednesday 14 July. The dispute is over college bosses’ refusal to make a decent pay offer to staff. The pay gap between college and school teachers currently stands at £9,000 as staff working in further education have suffered real terms pay cuts of over 30% in the past decade read more
HEPI’s student loan proposals are regressive and would hit the least affluent (10 June) – Responding to HEPI’s modelling on proposed student loan repayment changes, UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: ‘Offering students a choice between paying their loans back for longer or reducing the salary threshold at which they begin repaying them is no choice at all. Both maintain the stranglehold of student debt and lowering the threshold to £20,000 is particularly regressive, hitting the least affluent hardest. Ministers, and those in think tanks, would do well to remember that even lower earning graduates already spend most of their 30s and 40s paying effective tax rates of over 40%*. A threshold reduction to well below the average workers’ salary would make that a reality for many graduates fresh out of university too, making it harder for them to plan and save for the future…” read more
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 – 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
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.
Mitie Care & Custody ICE & OCC staff pay ballot 2021 (10 June) – The POA recently conducted a pay ballot for Mitie Care & Custody ICE & OCC staff that are part of the bargaining unit under the POA/Mitie Care & Custody recognition agreement. Following collective bargaining between the POA and Mitie Care & Custody a proposed one year pay award of 2.2% with no strings attached was put to ballot. The pay award was accepted by 94% of members that responded to the ballot. The POA have therefore today informed Mitie Care & Custody that the pay award has been accepted and the employer have an ambition to implement the pay rise and the back pay into the June 2021 pay run read more
Four years on – fighting the building safety crisis (14 June) – The Fire Brigades Union is marking the fourth anniversary of the Grenfell Tower disaster by laying a wreath at Grenfell Tower, and attending the annual silent walk which marks the disaster. Firefighters will form a guard of honour for the bereaved, survivors and residents of Grenfell at the walk. The union has also produced a video which marks the anniversary and urges the government to end the building safety crisis. It can be viewed here read more
Commons committee agrees Treasury should pay for pensions mistake (11 June) – The Commons Pubic Accounts Committee has published a report today into public sector pensions with one of the key findings being that the Treasury should meet the cost of a£17bn pensions remedy, not scheme members read more
Unions call for any MP being investigated for sexual misconduct to be barred from the parliamentary estate (9 June) – Unions representing staff in parliament have called for any MP who is being investigated for sexual misconduct, by the police, their parties or by parliament itself, to be barred from the parliamentary estate until any investigation is concluded read more
A 24-hour stoppage at the Long Eaton DHL/M&S distribution centre ends today – Usdaw calls another strike for next Wednesday (10 June) – Retail logistics trade union Usdaw will today conclude a 24-hour strike at the DHL / Marks and Spencer Long Eaton distribution centre at 9.30pm tonight. The union has notified the company of a second 24-hour stoppage starting at 10pm on Wednesday 16 June 2021. The continuing industrial action affects a Marks & Spencer third-party logistics contract, operated by DHL at Long Eaton in Derbyshire. 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 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
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
Brazil: End the anti-union attacks on health 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