The NSSN sends our solidarity to the workers at the GKN Drivelines factory in Erdington Birmingham, who start all out indefinite strike action next Monday to save the plant. Send messages of support and donations to the strike hardship fund to the Unite convenor Frank Duffy [email protected]. The NSSN argues that in order to save and defend communities, plants should be nationalised and taken into public ownership.
Frank explains what’s at stake in this article that he has done for the Guardian (‘We tried to transition to green jobs, but the bosses are closing our car factory down’ Sept 20)
“More than 500 workers, myself included, at the GKN Automotive factory in Birmingham have voted for strike action to save both our plant and British manufacturing. It’s the last thing we ever wanted to do, but we feel we have been left with no choice.
Currently, we manufacture and assemble components for drivelines, the all-important section underneath your car for transferring power from the engine and transmission to the wheels. In 2019, 90% of GKN’s components went into traditional combustion engines, but that may halve by 2025, with electric vehicles (EVs) taking 15% of components, and hybrids about 40%. The move to electric will only continue, as UK factories unveil their new vehicle plans before purely internal combustion engines are banned in 2030.
In order to future-proof our jobs and the British automotive industry, we need to transition to producing components for EVs, including new propulsion systems and e-drives. GKN has developed a new e-drive with UK government funding at its Oxfordshire research facility, but sadly we won’t see this innovation creating new green jobs for British workers. Melrose, the owners of GKN, have decided to close our plant in 2022 and move jobs overseas.
We realised that if we want to see a green future for the UK car industry and save our skilled jobs, we couldn’t leave it to our bosses and had to take matters into our own hands. We put together a 90-page alternative plan detailing how we could reorganise production to save money and make these new components.
Ours is the first transition plan for an automotive plant proposed by union stewards in the UK, and an echo of the 1976 Lucas Plan, when shop stewards at Lucas Aerospace, also in Birmingham, proposed converting their plant to socially useful products.
Now, as then, our alternative plan proposed saving jobs in Birmingham while transitioning the plant into an asset to support the wider UK industry. That’s a win for the workforce, the industry and the environment. If that isn’t what’s meant by the phrase “just transition”, I don’t know what is. However, Melrose declined to take our plan forward.
Melrose, an investment firm that specialises in buying up and reselling manufacturing businesses, acquired GKN after a hostile takeover in 2018. Our union, Unite, was critical of the takeover at the time, arguing that the company’s track record of seeking to restructure companies that it acquires and sell them on after three to five years meant that it was not a suitable long-term owner.
Three years later, our factory is being closed. You can trace GKN’s origin back as far as 1759 and our own site on Chester Road has seen generations of the same family work here since it opened in 1956. Now we’re looking down the barrel of hundreds of skilled manufacturing workers being added to the local unemployment statistics.
Five of the 10 constituencies with the highest jobless rates anywhere in the UK can be found in Birmingham. Erdington, the home of our plant, has an unemployment rate of 12.5%, significantly higher than the national average.
Birmingham has been here before. When the massive Rover factory at Longbridge closed in 2005 the impact was felt for years. Unite’s predecessor union, Amicus, supported research which showed that despite 90% of the workers finding alternative employment, 66% were financially worse off, average incomes fell by more than £6,000 and 25% reported being in debt or being reliant on savings to get by.
Every automotive company in the world is gearing up for the transition. The future can’t be built on outsourced or offshored jobs, where workers in different countries are pitted against each other in a race to the bottom.
If we all want to see British manufacturing transition to new environmentally friendly technologies so that there are employment opportunities in the future, we need to retain jobs and skills like ours to make that happen. Support us. We’re fighting for your future too.”
Unite: GKN Birmingham workers announce all out strike action in battle to prevent factory closure (13 Sept) – Members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, employed at the GKN Drivelines factory in Erdington Birmingham, have announced that they will begin all out continuous strike action later this month, as part of their ongoing battle to keep the factory open. All out continuous strikes will begin on Monday 27 September. In January the parent company Melrose GKN announced that the factory, which makes drivelines for much of the UK’s automotive sector, would close in 2022 with the loss of over 500 jobs, with the work being offshored to Poland and France. Earlier this month Unite announced that its members had recorded a 95 per cent yes vote in favour of strike action. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “GKN’s cynical attempt to close its Erdrington plant is a disgrace. We will not stand by and let this employer offshore British jobs without a fight. We will leave no stone unturned in the ongoing battle to ensure the future of the Birmingham factory and our members.” Read more
From Siteworker: NG Bailey M&E Walkout at AWE Burghfield
M&E Workers Walkout
Over 200 NG Bailey Sparks and Fitters walked off site at AWE Burghfield today (20/09) over suspected Blacklisting and Union busting. The row started on Friday afternoon, when workers were selected for transfer without notice, they had been told by their employer that it was AWE who had requested their removal.
Anger spread through the workforce over the weekend at the treatment of their colleagues, especially as those selected are all Union members, with one being an elected union site safety rep. The workers held a meeting earlier today and sought answers through the management.
One worker who has chosen to remain anonymous has told us:
“AWE could and have removed access to site for workers in the past, we’ve only known it with an investigation and appeals process though, this feels very different”
The NG Baileys workforce requested their reps ask for proof that AWE had made this decision. They were later informed it was Costain that had made the decision, who along with NG Baileys, had previously subscribed to the consulting association Blacklist.
Seeing this as misinformation with no satisfactory answers coming, they walked off site this afternoon, requesting proof off their employer that Costains had in fact chosen the employees to be removed from the project, whilst still starting new workers on the project today.
The firm responded with what workers saw as a lockout threat while also sending official statements saying they would dock any workers taking part in an agreed meeting on site in the morning.
Updates to follow
The NSSN sends our solidarity to these workers, who played a key role in the defeat of de-skilling earlier this year by the Sparks construction electricians
United action against the Tories on public sector pay
Public sector workers, headed by those in the NHS and education, are rightly furious after the Tories finally made their pay announcements.
The 3% to be awarded to NHS staff, who have been on the front line risking their lives during Covid, is nowhere near what has been lost over the last decade. That’s why many health workers have been demanding 15%. But to rub salt in to the wounds, this rise must come out of the existing NHS budget. This means brutal cuts on top of all the Tory austerity we’ve already had.
It’s even worse for teachers, with a pay freeze. Local government workers have already been offered 1.75% and those in higher education 1.5%, further education staff 1% while many civil servants just a paltry £250 for lowest paid members and nothing for the rest.
The NSSN stands in solidarity with these and all public sector workers who are effectively receiving a pay cut as RPI inflation moves over 3%. After years of cuts to their income, the most effective way to get the pay rise they deserve is to fight together.
We support all demonstrations and industrial action that workers take. Workers are stronger when they take action together. The NSSN calls on unions and their members to reject these insulting offers and co-ordinate industrial action ballots so that if the Tories don’t back down, millions of public sector workers can take action together to get the pay rise they deserve.
Follow NHS Workers Say NO to Public Sector pay inequality on Facebook
From Nurses United:-
|At our fortnightly pay meeting on 2nd September, we talked about how people are finding things on the ground and our #ThreeStrikesWereOut action on the 11th September
We’ve also put together some leaflets for people to use during the pay ballots to help convince your colleagues to vote. They cover all 4 major unions that represent nurses and there’s separate leaflets (in colour and black & white) for both Wales and England. Click here to download them all:-
|All 4 major unions for nursing have run running consultative ballots on whether or not their members want to accept or reject the 3% pay deal. It’s really important for you to vote but also to talk to your team to make sure that they’re voting as well and that they understand that they need to take action if the consultative ballots are successful.
50% of all NHS members in a union need to vote and 40% of all NHS members need to vote yes for an industrial action ballot to pass. That’s why these consultative ballots are often called “test ballots” as the unions look to see if they can pass a ballot for industrial action. We need to show that there’s the will within the membership to pass a ballot
Here’s the details of the remaining upcoming ballots:
Unite are running a consultative ballot (accept or reject 3%) to 24th September. Login to MyUnite to make sure your details are up to date.
If you’re a member and don’t get a ballot paper please call / email your union and make sure your workplace details are up to date
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]
Sign petition to support Redbridge NEU Rep Keiran Mahon
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]
Scotland falls at first hurdle over ScotRail cuts (21 Sept) – As the Scottish Government debates its plans for becoming a ‘Net Zero Nation’, RMT says SNP and Scottish Greens power sharing agreement will have fallen at first hurdle if it allows ScotRail services to be slashed. As the SNP Scottish Government prepares to debate its plans for a ‘Net Zero Nation’ rail union RMT says that its recently announced power sharing agreement with the Scottish Greens will have fallen at the first hurdle if it allows massive cuts to ScotRail services to go ahead read more
RMT Scotrail members staying strong again (19 Sept) – RMT Scotrail members staying strong again today in Britain’s longest running dispute as unions prepare to take fight to Bute House this week
Additional strikes have been called as follows;
- hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 26th September 2021
- hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 3rd October 2021
- hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 10th October 2021
- hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 17th October 2021
Strike action this weekend and next weekend also remains on and the instruction to RMT Abellio Scotrail Conductor members not to work any Rest Days or undertake any Higher-Grade Duties remains in place until further notice read more
Organisations join together to oppose cuts at LNER (20 Sept) – Coalition of organisations join together to oppose cuts at LNER ticket offices. A coalition of organisations have today joined together to oppose train operator LNER’s proposed cuts to ticket office opening hours at Berwick-upon-Tweed; Darlington; Doncaster; Durham; Edinburgh; Grantham; London King’s Cross; Newark North Gate; Newcastle; Peterborough; Retford; Wakefield Westgate and York train stations. The proposals would see the ticket offices at these major stations open later and close earlier, and in many cases would lead to a significant reduction in opening hours. The organisations have submitted a joint letter in response to the public consultation being held by Transport Focus and London TravelWatch, which closes on Monday 20th September. The letter is signed by the following trade unions, campaign groups and charities: RMT; TSSA; TUC; STUC; We Own It; Friends of the Earth Scotland; National Pensioners Convention; Disabled People Against Cuts and End Violence Against Women Coalition read more
RMT demands “discredited” SWR cuts scrapped (20 Sept) – RMT demands “discredited” South Western Railway cuts consultation is scrapped as thousands of passengers object to proposed railway timetable. RAIL UNION RMT today demanded answers from the Government, Network Rail and South Western Railway (SWR) after the research commissioned by SWR that shaped proposals to cut hundreds of services from South Western Railway’s timetable from December 2022 was cast into serious doubt. The consultation, that formally closed yesterday, used market research of passengers conducted at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic to make projections for future passenger demand across the SWR network read more Sign this petition against the SWR cuts
Action solidly supported again today on East Midlands Railways (19 Sept) – RAIL UNION RMT said that action by Senior Conductors and Train Managers on East Midlands Railways in two separate disputes remains solidly supported again today in on-going fights for workplace justice and safety. RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said; “I want to pay tribute to our members who are standing firm again today on East Midlands Railways in the two on-going disputes as the company gambles on passenger safety instead of getting round the table for serious talks…” read more
East Midlands Railway Train Managers are instructed to not book on for any shifts that commence between:
- 0001 hours and 2359 hours on Sunday 26th September 2021
Furthermore, you and your colleagues are instructed to take part in the following strike action in the form of:
- Not to work 12 car trains alone from 0001 Hours on Saturday 7th August 2021 until further notice.
Please Note: The above industrial strike action, is suspended during the Sunday strike action dates above, but will commence again immediately at 0001 hours on the Monday, following the Sunday strike action, and will be suspended again at 2359 on each Saturday, on the eve of the Sunday action read more
- 00.01 Hours and 23.59 Hours on Sunday 26th September 2021
- 00.01 Hours and 23.59 Hours on Sunday 3rd October 2021
- 00.01 Hours and 23.59 Hours on Sunday 10th October 2021
RMT calls for action from Transport For Wales (17 Sept) – RMT calls for action from Transport For Wales over toilet facilities on new trains on Core Valley Lines. RAIL UNION RMT has called for urgent action over a lack of toilets on the new Stadler City Link Trains due to be introduced on TFW Core Valley Lines next year. The union has raised serious concerns about the impact on those with disabilities and the risk of abusive and anti-social behaviour both on trains and at unstaffed stations unless services are improved read more
RMT Edinburgh Rail Gourmet members solid (17 Sept) – RMT Edinburgh Rail Gourmet members solidly supporting strike action again today in fight for justice. RAIL UNION RMT said that Rail Gourmet staff at Edinburgh Waverley are soildly supporting a new phase of strike action today in an on-going fight for respect and justice in the workplace as the company escalate their abuse and bullying of their staff. This latest phase of action – which will take the strikes into their twelth day tomorrow – follows on from previous rock solid strikes and instead of recognising the strength of the genuine grievances the company have chosen instead to ramp up their attacks on RMT members read more
RMT Swietelsky ballot opens today (17 Sept) – RMT ballot opens today in fight for pay justice for Network Rail track contractors. RAIL UNION RMT is launching an industrial action ballot at Network Rail track renewal subcontractor Swietelsky following a derisory pay and conditions offer that amounts to a de facto pay cut for a key group of essential rail staff. The ballot opens today after attempts by RMT negotiators to secure a fair offer through negotiations resulted in a “final” offer of a pathetic 1% with the company even trying to bully staff into acceptance by cutting the normal negotiating procedure short. The company pleas of poverty are clearly nonsense with boardroom pay for some directors rising by up to 29%. Accounts recently published at Companies House show a year-on-year increase on profits from £1.18M to £1.95M, proving the company can clearly afford a decent increase read more
RMT members vote for action on Stagecoach Buses (16 Sept) – RMT members vote by around nine to one for industrial action in three more Stagecoach areas as part of national bus workers’ pay fight. BUS UNION RMT today announced that members in three more Stagecoach areas have voted by around nine to one for action as part of a national campaign to secure professional pay rates for professional staff, joining RMT members in Mansfield and Worksop who are already involved in industrial action. The results today, covering members in Derbyshire and across the South West will now be considered by RMT’s executive read more
Merseyrail cleaners demonstration (15 Sept) – Merseyrail Safe Travel is Clean Travel – Take cleaning In-House Demonstration Saturday 18th September. RAIL UNION RMT announced today that Merseyrail cleaners will be demonstrating this Saturday 18th September at Liverpool Central Station from 10.30 to 12.30. The demonstration is calling for cleaning to be taken out of the hands of contractors and brought in-house read more
RMT supports MP’s call to protect public-facing staff (15 Sept) – RMT supports MP’s call to protect public-facing staff as union reveals nearly 60% of transport workers have been subjected to workplace violence since the pandemic began. Nearly 60% of rail, bus and ferry workers have been subjected to verbal or physical attack since the start of the Coronavirus according to the results of a new survey released today by maritime and transport union RMT read more
RMT warns of sustained national industrial action (14 Sept) – RMT warns of sustained national industrial action across the transport network as bus and train giant FirstGroup awards £500m to shareholders and Government and bosses continue to attack transport jobs, pay and services. RMT general secretary Mick Lynch today warned of sustained industrial action across regional and national transport network as news of a half billion pay out to shareholders of rail and bus giant FirstGroup emerges. FirstGroup is the parent company of South Western Railway which is currently consulting on slashing 15% of peak and off-peak rail services across its network from December 2022. Speaking at the Trade Union Congress 2021 today Mick Lynch spelled out that RMT would simply not tolerate transport workers paying for the Covid-19 crisis whilst private shareholders continue to make massive profits read more
RMT announces industrial action on Stagecoach East Midlands in national pay fight – BUS UNION RMT today announced industrial action on Stagecoach East Midlands as part of a national campaign to secure professional pay rates for professional drivers which includes RMT members in Yorkshire, the South West and Wessex. Members at the Mansfield and Worksop depots will be taking the following action after a massive yes vote which reflects the anger of this particular group of key transport workers;
Not to undertake overtime and not to undertake rest day working between the following hours:
- 00:01 hours on Friday 17th September 2021 and 23:59 hours on Friday 1st October 2021
- 00:01 hours on Friday 8th ctober 2021 and 23:59 hours on Friday 22nd October 2021
RMT members on Stagecoach Yorkshire, South West and Wessex services are also engaged in the dispute and are at various stages of the balloting process read more
RMT calls new Serco Caledonian Sleeper strike dates – RMT calls new phase of industrial action in Serco Caledonian Sleeper pay fight. RAIL UNION RMT has called a new phase of industrial action in its ongoing dispute over pay justice for Serco Caledonian Sleeper workers. The action has been called after negotiations with Serco, under the auspices of ACAS, failed with the company refusing to offer a revised pay award without a series of “efficiency savings”. RMT members employed on the Serco Caledonian Sleeper have already taken a number of rock-solid days of strike action in their ongoing fight for pay justice, after being subjected to a pay freeze, despite being key workers who have worked throughout the pandemic. The union’s National Executive Committee has taken the decision to call further action as follows:-
With effect from 00:01 hours on Friday 30th July 2021, until further notice, members are be instructed:-
- Not to work any Higher-Grade Duty
Additionally, the instruction to Serco Caledonian Sleeper members not to work any overtime and not to work on rest days remains in place until further notice read more
BREAKING NEWS!! Manchester Metrolink strikes suspended as workers secure improved pay offer (21 Sept) – Planned strikes on the Manchester Metrolink tram system this weekend have been suspended after workers received a greatly improved pay offer. Members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, had overwhelmingly voted for industrial action and strikes were due to take place this weekend (Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 September). This would have significantly disrupted spectators attending the Manchester United vs Aston Villa football match and the Great Manchester Run the following day. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “By taking a stand our members have forced management to return to negotiations and table a greatly improved pay offer. This demonstrates when Unite is wholly dedicated to advancing jobs, pay and conditions we can get a better deal for our members.” Following extensive negotiations yesterday (Monday 20 September) between Unite and senior management at Keolis/Amey, which operates Metrolink, a vastly improved pay offer was agreed. The Unite members at Metrolink will now vote on the offer, which Unite is recommending they accept read more
BREAKING NEWS!! Workers at Wolverhampton lock makers Henry Squire to strike over pay (21 Sept) – Workers at the historic lock makers Henry Squire and Sons, based in Featherstone, Wolverhampton, will begin strike action next month in a dispute over pay, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Tuesday 21 September). The workers, who are members of Unite, were due to receive a pay increase in January but management refused to make an offer. Instead they have offered a 2.5 per cent increase for the period from July to December, which in real terms is worth just 1.25 per cent for the entire year. The derisory offer is a significant real terms pay cut with the RPI inflation rate currently standing at 4.8 per cent. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Workers at Henry Squire are long due a decent pay rise. The current July to December offer for 2021, is a pay cut in real terms. Understandably that has not been accepted by union members. It’s simple Henry Squire can avoid industrial action by Unite members. How? By making a decent wages offer.” The first week long strike action will begin on Monday 4 October and there are similar week long periods of industrial actions scheduled to begin on Monday 25 October, 15 November and 6 December read more
BREAKING NEWS!! New health bill is ‘a smokescreen’ for more NHS privatisation, warns Unite (21 Sept) – The government has been accused using the pandemic as ‘a smokescreen’ to push through the Health and Care Bill that will open the floodgates for more NHS privatisation, Unite the union warned today (Tuesday 21 September). Unite, which has 100,000 members working in the health sector, said the bill that has its Third Reading in The Commons in mid- October is a recipe for more privatisation and cronyism in England with an adverse impact for patients as waiting lists for treatments continue to soar read more
Chesterfield bus passengers face serious disruption if pay strikes at ‘penny pinching’ Stagecoach go ahead (20 Sept) – Chesterfield bus passengers face serious disruption this autumn and winter if Stagecoach bus drivers and cleaners vote for strike action over a pay dispute, Unite said today (Monday 20 September). Unite, the UK’s leading union, said Stagecoach, which operates as the Yorkshire Traction Company in Chesterfield, is citing the pandemic for refusing to offer the workers, who are based at the Stonegravels depot, a reasonable pay rise. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Bosses at Stagecoach’s Yorkshire Traction Company should know that Unite is ready for a relentless campaign if our Chesterfield members vote for strike action” read more
Weetabix strikes to begin this week at Northamptonshire factories over fire and rehire plans (20 Sept) – Engineers employed by Weetabix, the UK’s favourite breakfast cereal, will begin strike action tomorrow (Tuesday September 21) as a result of the company’s plans to carry out an extensive “Fire and Rehire’ programme with the workforce. If workers accept the new terms many will lose up to £5,000 a year in wages. The workers, members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, are based at the company’s factories at Burton Latimer and Corby in Northamptonshire. Both sites will have picket lines in place. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Unite’s members at Weetabix will not accept being fired and rehired. Unite will fight to defend our members affected by this disgraceful practice. It is abhorrent that it is legal for companies, like Weetabix, to issue ‘Fire and Rehire’ ultimatums to their staff. This is a totally unjustifiable assault on workers’ wages and conditions. Last year Weetabix’s profits went up by almost 20% to more than £81 million”. The strike on Tuesday will last for 48 hours and there will a further 48 hour strike beginning Tuesday throughout the autumn, with the final strike scheduled to begin on Tuesday 30 November.
Where: Weetabix Mills, Burton Latimer, Kettering Northamptonshire, NN15 5JR
When: Tuesday 21 September from 06:45
The picket lines at Corby factory (Earlstrees Industrial estate, Earlstrees Road, Corby, Northamptonshire NN17 4AZ) will be in place from 06:00 read more
Unite warns ‘law-breaking’ reckless fresh extension of lorry drivers’ hours brings danger to roads (20 Sept) – Unite, the UK’s leading union, has warned that the government’s plans to continue to relax the maximum driving timing for lorry drivers, is dangerous, reckless and potentially illegal. Unite has learned that the government is currently undertaking a technical consultation on continuing the relaxation on driving hours from Monday 4 October until Sunday 23 January. There is a concern that the government could be acting illegally. The existing regulations allow for a ‘temporary relaxation’ in driving hours. It could be argued that a six month period of extended hours and the other recent period of relaxation, is not ‘temporary’ but is in reality a permanent change. Unite is seeking legal advice on this matter read more
Energy unions issue call for nuclear funding plan to be brought forward (20 Sept) – Prospect, Unite and the GMB have joined forces to demand government bring forward a long-promised funding solution for new nuclear read more
Tesco faces empty shelves this winter as workers reject meagre pay offer (17 Sept) – Lorry drivers and warehouse workers at four Tesco distribution centres have rejected a below inflation pay offer. If members vote for strike action, Tesco’s shelves will quickly become empty this winter, potentially affecting the Christmas period, Unite, the UK’s leading union, has warned. Following a consultative ballot, workers overwhelmingly rejected Tesco’s ‘full and final pay offer’ of a 2.5 per cent pay increase. This is a substantial real terms pay cut with the RPI inflation rate currently running at 4.8 per cent read more
Unite responds to First Minister statement that the Scottish Government is in talks with the military over ambulance service ‘crisis’ (16 Sept) – Unite Scotland today (16 September) responded to the announcement by the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, that the Scottish Government is in discussions with the military in an effort to alleviate the ‘unprecedented pressures’ on the Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) stating there are ‘no quick fixes’. Last week in a Daily Record Exclusive, Unite called for a ‘major incident’ status to be declared at all hospitals with Accident and Emergency Units, where turnaround times exceed 30 minutes read more
Unite demo outside chancellor’s Yorkshire constituency office tomorrow over decision to axe Universal Credit £20-a-week uplift (16 Sept) – Members of Unite Community will be staging a protest outside the chancellor Rishi Sunak’s constituency office in North Yorkshire tomorrow (Friday 17 September) over the decision to scrap the £20-a-week uplift in Universal Credit (UC) next month. Unite said the wealthy chancellor, MP for Richmond in north Yorkshire, will be known as ‘the architect of callousness’ if he does not reverse the decision to end the uplift on 6 October, as this will mean even greater hardship for the millions of families relying on Universal Credit to put food on the table and keep their homes heated this winter as inflation soars to 3.2 per cent read more
Fire and rescue workers on the Clyde Naval bases set to start overtime ban (16 Sept) – Unite members working for Capita at Her Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde will start a continuous overtime from today (Thursday 16 September) in a dispute over cuts to fire and rescue crew levels, and a lack of consultation. Capita management reduced the specialist fire safety crew by eight positions at Coulport and Faslane, which represents a cut of 15% at the nation’s nuclear naval bases on the Clyde. Capita won the contract in 2020 for fire response services from the Ministry of Defence (MoD). Unite members at Capita have supported taking action short of a strike by 100%, while 78% supported taking strike action in a ballot turnout of 91.1% read more
Unite ballots Petrofac members in offshore contract dispute (15 Sept) – Unite the union today (15 September) confirmed that around 70 members working on the Canadian Natural Resources (CNR) contract for offshore contractor Petrofac will be balloted for industrial action. The Unite members involved the ballot are employed on the Ninian Central, Ninian South and Tiffany platforms. The ballot will close on 18 October. The contract dispute relates to Petrofac in 2020 reducing wages by 10 per cent, and the company introducing one week ‘clawback’ on the workforce, which is a week extra worked without any increase in wages. The offshore contractor blamed the cuts due to the downturn in oil and gas prices, but stated the decision would be reviewed in the future. Unite is now demanding the 10 per cent wage cut be reversed, and that the ‘clawback’ is cancelled due to the increase in oil and gas prices. The average price of one barrel of Brent crude oil (in US dollars per barrel) has risen from $18.38 in April 2020 to $70.75 in August 2021. Unite held a consultative ballot of its Petrofac membership which closed last week. This confirmed that 93 per cent of the workers were willing to take industrial action to reverse the wage cut, and the detrimental changes in contract. In May 2021, Unite also carried out a survey of its Petrofac CNR members, which revealed that 100 per cent wanted the 10 per cent cut to be reversed, and 97 per cent wanted the ‘clawback’ cancelled. If the ballot for industrial action is successful then strike action, and action short of a strike including an overtime ban, is expected to take place from early November 2021 to late January 2022 read more
Unite launches national day of action to end Fire and Rehire (15 Sept) – The UK’s leading trade union, Unite, is today (Wednesday 15 September) holding a national day of action as part of its campaign to end fire and rehire. The union’s general secretary, Sharon Graham, called the practice, in which employers sack their workers only to rehire them on lower pay and worse conditions, “an abhorrence” and “one of the scandals of our age” read more
Birmingham council supports Right to Food campaign, as Tories abstain (15 Sept) – Birmingham City Council’s decision to sign up to the Right to Food campaign has been hailed ‘a morale boost’ by Unite the union for the thousands in the city who rely on food banks read more
Unite Members stage Senedd Protest at Universal Credit Cut (14 Sept) – Universal Credit claimants, members of Unite Community, will stage a protest outside the Senedd on Wednesday 15 September from 12:00pm to support fellow members demonstrating in Westminster urging Tory MPs to back Labour’s push to cancel the £20 a week cut to Universal Credit, due on the 5 October read more
Unite secures breakthrough access to Europe’s biggest construction site, HS2 (14 Sept) – Unite, the UK’s construction union, has secured a significant agreement to ensure that workers on a key part of the HS2 development can freely meet with union officials. The access agreement has been signed between the union and the joint venture company Align which comprises, Bouygues, Travaux Publics, Sir Robert McAlpine and Volker Fitzpatrick. The Align joint venture is responsible for the tunnelling and track laying on the section of HS2 from the north of London and through the Chiltern hills read more
Unite repeats its opposition to the mandatory Covid vaccinations for NHS and social care staff (14 Sept) – Unite the union today (Tuesday 14 September) strongly reiterated its opposition to any health and social care worker being forced to have the Covid vaccine or risk losing their job. Unite, which has 100,000 members in the health service, said that it would be making a robust submission in response to the government’s six week consultation, which started on 9 September, into the mandatory vaccination for frontline health and care staff. Unite’s reinforcement of its position, first outlined in January this year, comes as the government today announces its anti-Covid measures for the autumn and winter read more
Unite comes out fighting for members over criticism of the armoured vehicle programme at General Dynamics, Merthyr Tydfil (14 Sept) – Unite Wales is concerned with the tone and content of recent criticism regarding the Armoured Vehicle programme being delivered by our members employed by General Dynamics Land Systems at Merthyr Tydfil. Bryan Godsell, regional co-ordinating officer responsible for the Unite membership at General Dynamics commented: “Our members can and will deliver the programme on quality, on cost and on time, provided they are given the ability and resources to do so. No stone should remained unturned in ensuring the delivery of this world class defence system read more
Unite demands ‘serious offer’ at Abellio Scotrail pay talks as industrial action set to bring the rail network to a ‘standstill’ (14 Sept) – Unite the union has warned Abellio Scotrail bosses to make a ‘serious offer’ at pay talks set for Wednesday (15 September), or the nation’s rail network will be brought to a ‘standstill’. Unite confirmed that talks are set for Wednesday with Abellio Scotrail bosses following Scottish Parliamentary pressure and interventions by MSPs, the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, and the Transport Minister, Graeme Day. Unite representatives also virtually met with the Transport Minister, and Bill Reeves, Transport Scotland Director on 9 September. Minister Dey stated that he felt, “Unite members deserved a pay rise” and would encourage Abellio Scotrail to re-engage in talks at the meeting. However, Unite has warned that continuous industrial action short of a strike involving its engineering members is set to begin at 00:01am on Friday, 24 September, if there is no progress in the pay talks read more
Manchester faces severe disruption as tram drivers vote for strikes over pitiful pay offer – Greater Manchester is facing severe traffic disruption beginning later this month after Metrolink tram drivers voted overwhelmingly for strike action in a dispute over pay. The 300-plus drivers and supervisors, who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, recorded a 97 per cent yes vote in favour of industrial action after being told of a ‘pitiful’ one per cent pay award, a real terms cut given that inflation is running at nearly four times that figure. The first strike days will be Saturday 25 September and Sunday 26 September. These coincide with the match between Manchester United and Aston Villa at Old Trafford on the Saturday, and the Great Manchester Run the following day when all competitors and spectators have been advised to use public transport due to extensive road closures in the centre of Manchester. The tram drivers will also take strike action on Sunday 10 October, the day of the Manchester marathon when the advice again is to use public transport. A further strikes have been called for Sunday 24 October when Manchester United and Liverpool are due to play read more
Weetabix workers in Northamptonshire announce autumn walkouts over £5,000 fire and rehire wage cuts – Production of some of the nation’s favourite breakfast cereals will be hit when engineers employed by Weetabix at its Northamptonshire factories begin walk outs this month in opposition to the company’s plans to fire and rehire them on vastly inferior contracts. The workers, members of the UK’s leading union, Unite, based at the company’s factories in Kettering and Corby, face changes to their shift and working patterns which would result in some workers being up to £5,000 a year worse off. Unite will begin a series of 48 hour strikes on Tuesday 21 September followed by strikes on the same day every week throughout the autumn with the final strike scheduled to begin on Tuesday 30 November. The strikes will cause widespread delays to production and lead to shortages of Weetabix and other popular products made at the factories including Alpen, Weetos and Oatibix. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “The idea of ‘fire and rehire’ is abhorrent to me. If Weetabix decide to go down this route and they overstep the line then I will absolutely defend our members” read more
Delivery disruption to 1,500 convenience stores in London and south east on cards as Thamesmead drivers vote to strike – The threat of severe disruption to deliveries to more than 1,500 convenience stores in London and the south east has moved a step closer after 40 drivers, employed by Booker Retail Partners at its Thamesmead site, voted unanimously for strike action. Unite the union is poised to issue notice to the employer for strike action, but wants to allow time for crunch talks with the bosses on 21-23 September – and the union warned that any industrial action will deepen the supply shortage crisis hitting many parts of the UK economy because of the lack of HGV drivers. The Thamesmead drivers deliver to independent retailers under the Budgens and Londis brands. The crux of the dispute is that the company, part of the Tesco ‘empire’, put in place a temporary £5 an hour pay uplift for about 40 drivers at its Hemel Hempstead depot because of the HGV driver shortage, but then refused to implement a similar uplift for the 40 drivers at the Thamesmead site read more
Lancashire biomedical scientists set to strike until November in pay upgrade dispute – Biomedical scientists at a Lancashire NHS trust will strike until the middle of November in an upgrading pay row, as the bosses drag their feet over holding constructive talks, Unite the union said today (Friday 13 August). The 21 biomedical scientists at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust were on strike between 31 May and 28 July – and are set to resume strike action on Friday 20 August which will then run through until Thursday 11 November. At five-and-half months this would be one of the longest-running industrial disputes currently in the UK. Unite said that it had asked for a meeting with the trust by 30 July, but these talks will now take place on Thursday 9 September which the union said was clear evidence of the management’s lack of interest in resolving this dispute. Unite said that the trust management was more intent on spending tens of thousands of pounds on breaking the dispute than honouring the 2019 pay upgrade deal that they originally agreed to. Unite said the trust’s actions were at the expense of patients needing speedy and efficient analysis of blood examples during the continuing pandemic at the Royal Blackburn Hospital and the Burnley General Teaching Hospital. Unite regional officer Keith Hutson said: “Our members have voted to strike until November as they have been met by a dogmatic management intent on wastefully racking up thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money to break this strike, rather than do the honourable thing and stick to the 2019 agreement to pay the upgrade that was promised. This is the worst example of macho-management and unworthy of the ethos underpinning the NHS…” read more
Talks in Woolwich Ferry rep victimisation dispute break down due to TfL’s ‘bad faith’, says Unite – Crunch talks to resolve the long-running Woolwich Ferry rep victimisation dispute yesterday (Tuesday 10 August) between Transport for London (TfL) bosses and Unite the union broke down with the union accusing TfL of ‘bad faith’. Unite, which represents 57 ferry workers, had suspended industrial action as a goodwill gesture in the run-up to the talks – but its members were back on strike today (Wednesday 11 August) and will be striking on Friday (13 August). Prior to today, there has already been 24 days of strike action. Besides the victimisation of the two Unite reps, there has also been a 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 – these are issues which have arisen since TfL took back control from the discredited Briggs Marine Contractors Ltd in January this year. Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “We were making good progress with the union agreeing to a proposal from TfL to meet through workshops to discuss a new collective agreement. However, the employers made their pay offer which was worse than the last offer – and they then refused to budge. “Our members had suspended strike action as a goodwill gesture, but feel that they have been badly let down by another abject example of TfL’s bad faith and, as a result, they are back on strike today. The management is game playing, which we feared would happen…” read more
Rolls Royce Barnoldswick protest to be held as strikes over site’s future resume – A protest at the historic Rolls Royce Barnoldswick plant will be held on Monday (9 August) as strikes resume over the company’s lack of concrete commitments to the site’s future. A group of 17 engineers began strike action in July after Rolls Royce bosses refused to provide tangible commitments to new work or to suspend work being sent elsewhere, which is taking place at an accelerated rate. A ballot for the site’s entire workforce to join the dispute closes next Friday (13 August). In January, Rolls Royce reached an agreement with Unite that guaranteed the future of the factory, including retaining a minimum of 350 workers and creating a training centre. The agreement was reached after workers and the local community mounted a huge campaign to save the factory, after the aerospace giant revealed plans to scale back production that would have spelled the plant’s closure. Following a meeting in May this year, however, Unite was forced to issue a failure to agree notice with Rolls Royce after local managers indicated that staff headcount could drop below 350 and orders would continue to be completed abroad. Unite has been attempting to resolve the matter and seek reassurances about Barnoldswick’s long-term future, which have so far failed to materialise. Unite regional officer Ross Quinn said: “This dispute could be put to bed very quickly if Rolls Royce’s leadership demonstrate to the workers that the agreement signed in January is still valid read more
Email messages of support via [email protected] and send donations online to: account name, Barnoldswick workers mutual society, sort code, 05 02 22 account number 36192613
DfI Roads workers at Woodburn depot to strike over inaction on management bullying – After 90.9 percent strike vote, workforce pickets to be deployed at Woodburn DfI Roads in Derry/Londonderry during twenty-four strike, which starts midnight on Thursday, July 22rd. Road Service workers’ union Unite warns first twenty-four hour stoppage at Woodburn likely to escalate in absence of Ministerial intervention read more
Reading hospital security guards renew strikes in July, as Unite calls on NHS bosses to take them back ‘in-house’ – NHS bosses should take the security staff at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading back ‘in house’, after the guards announced new strike dates for July against their outsourced employer Kingdom Services Group Ltd. Unite the union said the new strike dates would run from 07.00 Monday 12 July until 24.00 Saturday 31 July, after the 20 security guards voted by 84 per cent for strike action. The guards, who provide security for the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, have been locked in a ‘David and Goliath’ pay and conditions battle with their employer, resulting in a wave of strikes since December last year. Because of the way that Kingdom Services has treated its staff, Unite is urging the trust to take the security guards back ‘in house’ under NHS management when the current three-year contract ends on 31 December this year. As the NHS celebrates its 73rd birthday on Monday (5 July), campaigners wishing to keep it out of the hands of profit-hungry companies, such as Kingdom, will be staging a march and rally in Reading on Saturday (3 July), starting at 12.00 from Royal Berkshire Hospital to Forbury Gardens in the town centre where there will be speeches 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
Fight for equality of terms and conditions at Royal Parks ramps up (16 Sept) – Outsourced Royal Parks cleaners and playground attendants employed by Just Ask Estate Services Ltd are to go on strike for the whole of October. The month-long strike follows 16 solidly supported days of strike action since 31 July. The members classed as “key workers” because of the pandemic are demanding:
- No job cuts and a job security agreement
- An occupational sick pay scheme equal to that provided to their directly employed colleagues
- Employment contracts that reflect the actual hours that they work
- That PCS is recognised for collective bargaining
Show your support:-
- Send a message of support to [email protected]
- Donate to the strike fund. The Royal Parks Crowdfunder closes in two days. Members have raised £8,572 and agreed to try and get this up to £9,000 by the deadline.
- Check the PCS website and @pcs_union twitter account for activities you can support throughout the strike in October. Read more
Watch Reel News video: Royal Parks key workers demand equality and respect – On August bank holiday Monday, cleaners and attendants working in the Royal Parks of London completed a two week strike with a rally and march through Hyde Park and Kensington Park
Defra 2021 Pay Award (16 Sept) – PCS has rejected the pay offer published on 13 September. During the discussions which the unions had with Defra this year the only item on the table for negotiation was the non-consolidated element of the pay award as consolidated pay rises were rigidly set out in the Treasury Pay Guidance. The non-consolidated element of any pay award is variable and therefore cannot be defined until Treasury Pay Guidance is published and performance markings for the year are known. How the non-consolidated pot of money is distributed is decided by Defra’s Remunerations Committee read more
Ballot result brings NATS management back to the table (16 Sept) – 83% of members who voted in the recent ballot said they were willing to take strike action over the current dispute. The ballot result has strengthened PCS’s position with management and NATS have confirmed that they will accept our proposals, setting out a plan to renegotiate the terms of the redeployment and redundancy agreement (RRA). Negotiations are to start immediately on a new RRA and the company will reinstate the RRA for PCS grades until 31 December 2022 read more
Specialist pay proposal for interim arrangement for legal advisers (16 Sept) – PCS has met with the HMCTS pay team to discuss specialist pay. The meeting focussed on Saturday and bank holiday ‘occasional’ courts and legal adviser pay. HMCTS has advised that the proposal outlined to PCS is an interim arrangement. The interim arrangement will last until such a time that the full specialist pay review has concluded read more
MOJ specialist pay and allowances review (14 Sept) – Following the overwhelming acceptance of the MOJ 3 year pay offer, the employer has confirmed that we will start negotiations on the review of specialist pay, recruitment and retention allowance and other allowances read more
Support the DVLA workers – How you can help:-
- Donate to the strike fund. This fund supports members financially when they are striking and therefore not being paid by their employer. The details are: account name: Fighting Fund Levy. account number: 20331490 sort code: 60-83-01, reference: DVLA
- Sign the e-action. PCS has an e-action which asks transport secretary Grant Shapps to intervene to keep members safe.
Messages of solidarity. Write a message of support for striking DVLA workers by emailing [email protected]
BT’s ‘Reasonable Adjustments Process’ under the spotlight (20 Sept) – Real-life examples are being sought of good, bad and indifferent experiences of BT’s ‘Reasonable Adjustments Process’ to inform the union’s position in discussions on a joint review of the procedure that is just getting underway. Intended to ensure that those with special needs under the Equalities Act are provided with the practical help they need to remain fulfillingly and productively employed, for many years the CWU has been highlighting individual instances where the process has fallen short, with examples sparking heated debate on a perennial basis at CWU Annual Conference read more
Grading review secured for BT Supply Chain drivers (17 Sept) – Longstanding CWU demands for a review of the grading of HGV drivers in BT Supply Chain have finally been given the green light amid mounting management concerns that the company will struggle to retain experienced drivers in the face of a deepening driver shortage read more
Royal Mail members: Watch out for important pensions info next week (17 Sept) – From Monday morning, pensions consultation packs will start landing on Royal Mail employees’ doormats, as the final statutory step towards the establishment of the groundbreaking new scheme. Since the Pension Schemes Act 2021 received Royal Assent back in February, the CWU and the company have been working though plans to introduce the new Royal Mail Collective Pension Plan. And the mailouts to members represent another significant milestone in this process, the statutory 60-day consultation – which is a legal requirement before new pension schemes can be launched read more
GMB members reject NHS pay deal – strike ballot to follow (20 Sept) – More than 9 out of 10 GMB members in the NHS have rejected the Government’s pay ‘insult’. The union will now move to a strike ballot after 93% of members opposed the settlement and urges Health Secretary Sajid Javid to meet with NHS members to avoid industrial action. GMB has been campaigning for a restorative increase of 15%, or £2 per hour (whichever is highest) to replace what has been lost from NHS pay packets over the last decade. GMB was the only union to reject the last NHS pay deal in 2018.
Rachel Harrison, GMB National Officer, said: “GMB members across the NHS have overwhelmingly rejected the offer. We now have no alternative as a union but to trigger industrial action ballots” read more
Travel changes welcome but up to 30,000 aviation jobs at risk (17 Sept) – GMB, the union for Aviation workers, says today’s changes to international travel are welcome, but up to 30,000 aviation jobs are still at risk without sector specific support. Nadine Houghton, GMB National Officer, said: “Today’s changes are welcome – and will ease the pressure on a sector that’s been hit harder than almost any other. But they’re not enough. More than half of the UK’s 300,000 aviation workers remain on furlough. Government policy is killing the industry; they need to respond. We need urgent sector specific support as we head in to Winter. Without it we risk up to 30,000 lost jobs and the death of the aviation industry as we know it.” Read more
GMB secures deal to unionise 5,000 HS2 workers (17 Sept) – GMB, the union for construction workers has secured a deal to unionise 5,000 HS2 workers. The union has signed a second access agreement on HS2 – this time with the ALIGN JV which consists of Bouygues, Travaux Publics, Sir Robert McAlpine and Volker Fitzpatrick. The deal means GMB organisers will have access to staff working on any of ALIGN’s subcontracted works read more
GMB University Cleaners to strike for fair pay in South London (15 Sept) – The cleaners have long asked for the most basic of things – equal treatment with directly employed staff. It’s time they got it, say GMB Union. GMB members at the University of Arts in London will be on strike for five days starting 27th September. The cleaning is contracted out to Bouygues and staff are on less pay than they would be on the University’s payroll. They also have inferior terms and conditions, sick pay, holiday entitlement and other protections. They are based in the University’s campuses across London, mainly at Elephant and Castle, Chelsea and Camberwell, and picket lines will be organised outside each site on the following dates. There is also a solidarity protest this Saturday 25th September 11am (details tbc):-
- Monday 27th September, LCC Elephant and Castle.
- Tuesday 28th September, Chelsea College of Arts.
- Wednesday 29th September, Camberwell College of Arts.
- Thursday 30th September, Chelsea College of Arts.
- Friday 1st October, LCC Elephant and Castle read more
Social care jab ‘fudge’ too late for tens of thousands sick with worry (15 Sept) – The Governments social care vaccine ‘fudge’ has caused unnecessary stress and worry for tens of thousands of carers, says GMB Union read more
GMB responds to Gavin Williamson’s sacking (15 Sept) – GMB Union has responded to education secretary Gavin Williamson losing his position in the cabinet reshuffle. Rehana Azam, GMB National Secretary, said: “We’ve had nothing but failing Education Secretaries under this Government. Our kids deserve one that invests in children’s education and future” read more
Hundreds of Yodel drivers vote to strike (15 Sept) – Yodel faces a complete delivery shutdown after hundreds of drivers voted to strike over pay and conditions. More than 250 drivers – delivering to Marks and Spencer, Aldi, Very and others – voted to walk out over pay and conditions. A massive 98 per cent of drivers voted to take industrial action, on an 84% turnout. The delivery giant started this dispute by trying to impose unworkable driver schedules, they tried to rob drivers of annual leave by not adhering to long held agreements and offering agency drivers enhancements whilst not offering the same to the loyal directly employed workforce. Now the company is dragging its heels over offering drivers the pay increase they need at a time of acute driver shortages read more
Decade high inflation taking food from workers’ mouths (15 Sept) – GMB Union says today’s rocketing inflation figures show the Government is taking food from the mouths of carers, NHS workers, school staff and council workers. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that the Retail Prices Index (RPI) was 4.8 per cent in August – the highest rate since December 2011 read more
100,000 carers trapped on Universal Credit as £20 cut looms (14 Sept) – At least 100,000 carers in the UK are trapped on universal credit, GMB research shows. New GMB analysis of the latest official data reveals one in ten care workers are in receipt of in-work benefits. Care workers were paid just £8.72 an hour on average in England last year – with a third of care workers on zero hours contracts, rising to half in London read more
Sandwell Council leader Rajbir Singh ‘sabotaging’ strike talks at Serco (6 Sept) – Rajbir Singh, the leader of Sandwell Council, was accused today of ‘sabotaging’ an ongoing strike at Serco Sandwell over refuse workers’ safety. Constructive talks continue between Serco Sandwell and GMB Union. The strike, which was suspended on Tuesday after emergency talks between Serco Sandwell and GMB Union, was misrepresented as ‘withdrawn’ in a press statement released by Sandwell Council this morning. Sandwell Council leadership has been scorned by GMB Union for failing to act in support of the strikers, more than 70 of whom attended an energetic strike on Tuesday morning read more. Strikes have been due to take place at the same time on Tuesday 7th, 14th and 21st September. Messages of support can be sent to the members via the Regional Secretary – Joe Morgan, GMB Regional Secretary Birmingham & West Midlands, Will Thorne House, 2 Birmingham Road, Halesowen, Birmingham B63 3HP or email to [email protected]
Manic Monday looms for Merthyr as bus drivers set to strike – GMB Drivers and engineers are set for strike action as the new school term gets underway, unless stagecoach address the pay disparity which sees Merthyr staff paid less than their colleagues in neighbouring Porth. Drivers and engineers based at Stagecoach’s Merthyr Tydfil have announced their first strike date (Monday 6th September), the same date as the new school term begins. The move could see the county borough grind to a halt, as drivers refuse to work on what is traditionally one of the busiest weeks of the year. The strike has been called after GMB Members voted overwhelmingly for strike action at the company’s Merthyr Tydfil depot. Staff are simply asking to be paid the same rate as their stagecoach colleagues based at the Porth depot, only 16 miles away, for doing the same job. Currently they are being paid around a pound an hour less by the company for working in Merthyr Tydfil read more
UNISON health members deliver damning verdict on government’s 3% increase (20 Sept) – Pay will be key topic at UNISON health conference. UNISON says the result of its consultation exercise sends a strong message to ministers that the stability of the NHS is at stake unless the government does more to value the staff who run it. The union will now launch an indicative ballot. This is to see how many health members would be prepared to take the sustained and widespread industrial action it believes is needed to change the government’s decision. Health workers in England – angry that rising costs have already wiped out their recent pay rise – have voted to oppose the government over the 3% increase, says UNISON today (Monday). Publishing the results of a consultation exercise that ran over the summer, UNISON says the overwhelming majority (80%) of health workers are not happy with the pay rise and want to challenge the government. Opposition to the 3% will be the key topic of discussion at UNISON’s virtual health conference, which starts later today… UNISON says the result of its consultation exercise sends a strong message to ministers that the stability of the NHS is at stake unless the government does more to value the staff who run it. The union will now launch an indicative ballot. This is to see how many health members would be prepared to take the sustained and widespread industrial action it believes is needed to change the government’s decision read more
Dundee University members appeal for strike hardship donations (16 Sept) – UNISON members at Dundee University appeal for solidarity donations ahead of strike action. UNISON members at Dundee University who are part of, or are eligible to be part of, the university’s superannuation scheme are taking strike action later this month over the employer’s plans to close and replace the defined benefit CARE scheme with a defined contribution scheme next year. Affecting around 900 staff on grades one to six, the proposals are set to leave many members in pension poverty and will see some losing up to 40% of their pension. Those on grades higher than six fall under a different, nationally negotiated, scheme. The university needs to make payments toward the deficit and wants to move all future financial pension risks to members, leaving their financial future uncertain. Action is initially planned, with 300 members striking, for five days across the start of the new academic year, with pickets each morning as well a rally in Dundee’s City Square at noon on the first day, 29 September read more
Sodexo agrees to pay NHS 3% rise at South Yorkshire trust (16 Sept) – UNISON welcomes move, which will boost staff transferred to the company in 2018. UNISON has today welcomed the news that private company Sodexo, working within the Doncaster & Bassetlaw hospital sites, has agreed to implement and honour the NHS 3% pay deal for 2021 for Sodexo staff that were TUPE transferred over to them from the Doncaster & Bassetlaw Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in 2018 read more
Blog: Why the Health and Care Bill is so important (15 Sept) – There is currently an opportunity to drive out the principles of privatisation, stop the fragmentation and improve how our NHS is run read more
Huge vacancy rates across care sector adding to staff mental health crisis (15 Sept) – The government’s failure to deal with the growing staffing crisis in social care risks worsening the mounting mental health toll on workers, says UNISON. The government’s failure to deal with the growing staffing crisis in social care risks worsening the mounting mental health toll on workers, says UNISON today (Wednesday). Figures from a recent UNISON survey show a substantial proportion of care workers have suffered problems during the pandemic including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), with more than two thirds (68%) saying their mental health has declined read more
Sandwell leisure staff strike again over ‘fire and rehire’ tactics – Leisure trust that is set to run the aquatic centre for next year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham is targeting staff while having millions in the bank. Swimming instructors, lifeguards, receptionists and other staff at the Sandwell Leisure Trust in the West Midlands took to the picket line at the Portway Lifestyle Centre this morning as they took further industrial action over changes to their contracts. The one-day strike on 23 Aug is the third this year by employees of the trust, in response to new agreements affecting the pay of around 280 read more
Tower Hamlets Unison: #BuildTheBallot for Further Action • Opens Thursday 24 June – By a thumping majority, our members rejected management’s most recent proposal to end the Trade Dispute on Tower Rewards. Shamefully, those terms were imposed on us last summer at the height of the pandemic, by our Labour council using “Sack and Re-engage” measures that have been widely condemned and that Kier Starmer says he will outlaw read more VOTE NOW! We made it on national news
NHS pay deal consultation: vast majority of RCN members who voted say 3% is unacceptable (15 Sept) – Members working for the NHS in England and Wales have had their say to inform our next steps. Eligible RCN members in England and Wales have voted in our consultative ballot on the 3% pay award for NHS Agenda for Change staff. A significant number of members took part in the consultative ballot, with 91.7% of those who voted in England saying they think the pay award is unacceptable, and 8.3% saying they think it is acceptable. In Wales, 93.9% of members who voted said they think the pay award is unacceptable, with 6.1% saying they think it is acceptable. Of those eligible to take part in the consultation in England, 25.4% turned out to vote. In Wales the turnout was 29.3%. The turnout in England is up by a third compared to the turnout in the NHS pay consultation in 2018 and is the RCN’s highest ever consultative ballot turnout read more
RCN launches ‘summer of action’ in protest against below-inflation NHS pay award – Events will be held across the UK as we prepare to consult members on next steps. Our fight for fair pay is picking up pace as a series of member events takes place this summer ahead of our biggest ever member consultation on NHS pay. The UK government finally announced the NHS pay award for England last week after months of delays. But with inflation, the 3% award is a real-terms pay cut and leaves experienced nursing staff £200 a year worse off. The government has since admitted that the money would be found from existing budgets, further upsetting the nursing profession as this funding will already be committed for patient care. Today we’ve launched an interactive map of events for nursing staff to protest against the 3% NHS pay award announced for England and Wales and discuss what action they want to take in response read more
Public Consultation on Review of Injury Benefit Scheme (20 Sept) – Following the release of a public consultation by the Department of Finance on 7 June 2021, NIPSA submitted the attached response on 8 September 2021. NIPSA will be engaging with other trade unions to oppose any changes proposed following the consultation read more
NIPSA launches Bullying and Harassment Survey within Mid and East Antrim Borough Council (20 Sept) – NIPSA, representing almost 300 members in Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, has launched a survey into Bullying and Harassment in Council read more
NIPSA calls for clarity on contact tracing in schools (20 Sept) – NIPSA the largest Public Sector Union in Northern Ireland, representing almost 8,000 members across the Education workforce calls for clarity on contact tracing in schools read more
Wrack tells MPs that “governments for decades” at fault on fire safety (16 Sept) – Fire Brigades Union general secretary Matt Wrack has told a cross-party committee of MPs that “governments for decades” have been responsible for reducing emphasis on fire safety, in a session on post-Grenfell building rule changes yesterday. He said “I lived through a decade where the endless mantra, and I have to say it here, from… government ministers, of both parties… had been that fire is a declining risk and therefore we can afford to reduce our emphasis on fire safety. That was very clearly a theme we heard for more than a decade” read more
SPO Forum (17 Sept) – Our Chief Probation Officer, Sonia Flynn, is attending the next Napo SPO Forum on Wednesday 29th September at 1pm, where she will discuss the role of the SPO and answer your questions. This is a real opportunity to have your voice heard so please do try and attend read more
Education unions respond jointly to STRB (14 Sept) – Education unions respond have jointly to School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB), criticising pay freeze imposed by Government. Teachers and school leaders have made an immense contribution to the country’s pandemic response read more
Please support the following NEU action:
|Nottingham Primary Academy / Nottingham City
|Wednesday 22 September
Thursday 23 September
Support the action to stop bullying and union victimisation at Oaks Park High School in Redbridge – Protest Rally 2pm Saturday 2nd October outside Redbridge Town hall, Ilford
Suspend Academisation of Moulsecoomb Primary – On Tuesday 6th July, members of NEU, GMB and UNISON will be taking strike action and calling on The Pioneer Academy to withdraw as the sponsor. On the same day, parents, staff and members of the community have hired a bus to visit the DFE to deliver a petition. We want to show Gavin Williamson that staff across Brighton and Hove schools and services want the academization suspended. Please respond to the three questions here so we can add your name to the petition
Long Covid should be recognised as a disability (14 Sept) – NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, is calling on the Scottish Parliament to campaign for Long Covid to be legally recognised as a disability under the Equality Act of 2010. It is estimated at least 81,000 people in Scotland are now living with Long Covid, with teachers and education support staff the second most likely profession to be affected, only just behind healthcare workers. The debilitating condition includes symptoms of the virus, lasting organ damage, impairment of mental processing, extreme fatigue and shortness of breath, leading to exhaustion after even minor activity. Many report their daily activities severely impeded and are left unable to work. The NASUWT is calling on the Scottish Government to press an entitlement to reasonable adjustments, flexible working, access to ill-health retirement and financial compensation for teachers left unable to teach as a result of contracting Covid at work. Such compensation already exists for NHS workers whose careers have been prematurely ended by Long Covid read more
Return of school inspections is out of touch and a retrograde step (17 Sept) – The EIS has today (Friday) criticised the planned return of ‘scrutiny activity’ inspections, the detail of which was published on the Education Scotland website yesterday. School inspections were paused last year as a consequence of the Covid pandemic, to enable a greater focus in schools on supporting education recovery read more
Strikes set to begin this month at 13 colleges in pay row (15 Sept) – UCU members at 13 colleges across England are walking out from Tuesday 28 September for up to 10 days as union warns of further strikes. Employer body offered just 1% pay rise to staff. Pay gap between college and school teachers at £9,000. Up to 10 days of strike action at 13 further education colleges will begin this month after college management refused to meet UCU pay demands. Five colleges are taking 10 days of strike action whilst eight colleges will initially walk out for three days. UCU members have a mandate for further action and the union said more waves of strikes are on the cards if employers refuse to meet its demands. The dispute has arisen following a pay offer of just 1% from employer body, the Association of Colleges, in December 2020. The offer was condemned by UCU, Unite the Union, Unison, GMB and the National Education Union. Staff at all affected institutions are taking action over pay, but at City & Islington College, Westminster Kingsway College and the College of North East London the dispute also includes other issues such as working conditions. An overwhelming 89% of members who voted backed strike action, on an average turnout of over 62% (62.6%) UCU said the turnout and vote for action reflected the anger staff feel over having their pay held down for so long. The pay gap between college and school teachers currently stands at £9,000 as staff working in further education have suffered real term pay cuts of over 30% in the past decade. UCU is demanding a pay increase of greater than 5% in an effort to close the school-college pay gap, and after more than a decade of below inflation further education pay increases. UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: ‘College staff are angry at having had their pay held down whilst workloads increase. They have now had their pay cut by over 30 per cent in real terms over the past decade and this derisory 1% pay offer is another real term cut. It is completely unacceptable and is especially insulting after staff have worked so hard throughout the Covid pandemic. College leaders urgently need to come to the negotiating table if they want to avoid facing sustained strike action and severe disruption over the next few months’ read more
|Capital City College Group:
City & Islington College
College of North East London
Westminster Kingsway College
|City of Bristol College||28 September
|City of Liverpool College||28 September
|Croydon College||28/29 September
|Lambeth College||28/29 September
|New College Swindon||28 September
|South Thames College Group:
Wandsworth & Tooting College
|Weymouth College||28 September
Gavin Williamson will be remembered as disastrous Secretary of State for Education (15 Sept) – Gavin Williamson has been sacked as Secretary of State for Education after mishandling education throughout the Covid-19 pandemic 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.
Read BFAWU Food Worker Summer 2021 here
The UK energy market faces a crisis that could get even worse during the winter months (20 Sept) – Recent days have seen wholesale gas prices shooting up and the UK Business Secretary in crisis talks with energy companies about keeping the lights on read more
Energy unions issue call for nuclear funding plan to be brought forward (20 Sept) – Prospect, Unite and the GMB have joined forces to demand government bring forward a long-promised funding solution for new nuclear read more
Over half of Equity’s members surveyed say they will experience financial hardship if government cuts £20 Universal Credit uplift (21 Sept) – 53% of Equity members responding to a new survey say they will experience financial hardship if the government cuts the £20-a-week Universal Credit uplift. The proposed cut is due to take place officially on 6 October, although in effect many will receive their last payment with the uplift in September. It will be a devastating blow to many in a sector that has been hit badly by the pandemic read more
Join Equity’s call for the Government to maintain the £20 Universal Credit uplift (21 Sept) – Equity has written to the Government urging Ministers to abandon the planned £20-a-week cut to Universal Credit, which is due at the end of the month, and reverse the reintroduction of the Minimum Income Floor. To add your voice and put additional pressure on the Government, email your local MP using our template letter. The letter includes new statistics based on our recent survey of members that evidences the devastating impact of these changes on creative workers read more
Equity puts forward radical plan for the arts at the 153rd TUC Congress (17 Sept) – Last week (12 – 14 September) Equity and other trade unions across the country came together for the 153rd TUC Congress. The events took place online and over three days a range of motions were passed setting out the TUC’s agenda for the year. As the largest UK trade union in the arts and entertainment industry, the TUC Congress provided a forum for Equity to debate the key issues facing working people. This ranged from the climate emergency to the Government’s damaging plans to cut the £20 uplift in Universal Credit. We also passed two important motions as part of our efforts to fight for our members and protect our industry read more
Equity responds to Government consultation on the privatisation of Channel 4 (16 Sept) – Equity recently submitted written evidence to the Government’s consultation on the proposed privatisation of Channel 4. We have also responded to a separate inquiry taking place in the House of Lords, which is currently scrutinising the Government’s plans. In both submissions we argued that:
- Privatising Channel 4 makes no economic sense and represents a divisive act of cultural vandalism.
- Its publisher-broadcaster model and unique public service broadcaster remit has been integral to the success of the British TV and film industry.
- If Channel 4 was privatised, its focus would be on delivering profits, rather than diverse and distinctive content for audiences. What’s more, privatisation will remove Channel 4’s legislative responsibilities to nurture new talent, to reflect cultural diversity, to show alternative viewpoints and to invest in UK film.
- New independent research evidenced hugely damaging consequences for Channel 4’s supply chain, which could result in thousands of job losses.
For more information you can read our submission, as well as a recent article in the Morning Star by General Secretary Paul W Fleming read more
Poundland to close all stores on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day again – Usdaw urges more retailers to follow suit (17 Sept) – Retail trade union Usdaw has welcomed Poundland thanking its 18,000 staff by again deciding to close stores on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. The bargain retailer is the latest chain to announce festive closures and joins: Sainsbury’s, Argos, Habitat, Aldi, Morrisons, Waitrose, Home Bargains, Pets at Home and Marks & Spencer read more
Usdaw welcomes the introduction of a protection of public-facing workers bill and urges the Government to back it (15 Sept) – Retail trade union Usdaw has welcomed the launch of the Abuse of Public-Facing Workers (Offences) Bill by Olivia Blake MP (Labour, Sheffield Hallam). The Bill was introduced in the House of Commons today under the 10-minute rule and is scheduled for a second reading on Friday 28 January 2022 read more
BCM Fareva, Nottingham: Usdaw members to take further industrial action as company continues to refuse to talk – Members of Usdaw at BCM Fareva will begin a further stoppage on Monday 30 August, which will continue into Tuesday. The strike follows four previous stoppages in July and August. The Nottingham based manufacturer of consumer pharma and beauty products for leading brands including Boots and The Body Shop continues to press ahead with threats of ‘fire and rehire’ if employees do not accept significant cuts to their terms and conditions read more
Support striking Usdaw members at DHL/M&S Long Eaton – Members of the retail logistics trade union Usdaw will begin a third 24-hour stoppage at the Long Eaton DHL / Marks and Spencer distribution centre at 5.15am on Thursday 1 July. Alex Norris MP (Labour/Co-op, Nottingham North) and Paddy Lillis (Usdaw General Secretary) will join protesters supporting the picket line at 12 noon. Lilian Greenwood MP (Labour, Nottingham South) has also pledged her support. The continuing industrial action affects a Marks & Spencer third-party logistics contract, operated by DHL at Long Eaton in Derbyshire. Usdaw members voted by over 90% in favour of strike 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
Cleaners ballot to strike in ongoing dispute for equal work rights at Great Ormond Street Hospital (14 Sept) – More than a hundreds cleaners who won an in-housing agreement at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) after launching a hard fought campaign against outsourcing to private contractors have vowed to return to the picket line after accusing GOSH of failing to keep their promises. The recently in-housed cleaning staff accuse the NHS Trust bosses of failing on their pledge to give full parity with the other NHS workers. While terms and conditions have improved for the workers, GOSH has denied them annual leave, maternity/paternity, and redundancy read more
Support the joint PCS-UVW Royal Parks strike – On Friday 30th July migrant park attendants across London’s Royal Parks who are dual carding with UVW and PCS will be kicking off a summer of strikes in a bid to end outsourcing and be treated as equals. They will need all the solidarity they can get and donating to their strike fund is a great way to show that solidarity. So if you can, please donate
From UVW Facebook page: Royal Parks workers are on lower wages and fewer benefits than others directly employed by Royal Parks. TODAY they start 14 days of strike action – because they deserve better. Help them fight for equal:
- sick pay ✔
- maternity pay ✔
- annual leave ✔
- pension entitlement ✔
United Voices of the World the union and PCS Union fighting together for dignity, justice and equality
9 in 10 couriers harassed at work, with BAME workers hardest hit – IWGB survey (20 Sept) – a survey of 100 couriers conducted by the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) highlights endemic harassment and abuse of gig workers. 9 in 10 couriers said they have endured harassment at work, with almost two thirds reporting physical assault. Almost half (44 percent) of respondents say they are harassed or verbally abused at least once every week. The survey also found that BAME, women and non-binary workers are disproportionately affected. Of the BAME respondents, 6 in 10 report being subjected to verbal abuse at least once a week and physical violence at least once a month. The survey remains open to all couriers in the UK, who are invited to participate. Responding to the data, the IWGB is calling on all so-called ‘gig economy’ corporations to take responsibility for workers’ safety. 30 percent of respondents reported incidents to the app they were working for at the time and were universally critical about the corporations’ response. Most say their reports were ignored or promises to investigate subsequently broken. Since IWGB Deliveroo riders led strike action in April they have continued to demand that the corporation take action on harassment and discrimination, offer rider support and allow couriers to refuse unsafe work without penalty. At present most apps – including Deliveroo – impose automatic penalties on couriers who refuse a job, even if it is to deliver to a business where they have been assaulted or abused in the past read more
Food delivery couriers boycott Dalston McDonald’s over parking (17 Sept) – On 17th September at 5PM, food delivery couriers are rejecting all orders from Kingsland High Street McDonald’s after being declined the use of McDonald’s Abbot Street car park. Hackney Council are forcing workers from their current location to a new area further away with no shelter or toilet facilities. The courier app assigns jobs based on workers’ proximity to the restaurant. Further distance from the premises can result in fewer jobs for workers. IWGB food delivery couriers using Ashwin street, just off Kingsland High Street, are being forced to move by Hackney council to Bentley Road Car Park with the support of McDonald’s. The new location is currently being used as a Covid-19 testing centre. It is frequently full, further away from key collection points and offers no shelter or toilet facilities read more
Support the Ocado workers – We are currently campaigning against Ocado to end the horrific treatment of their delivery drivers, key workers who have put their lives on the line during the pandemic to get food to the vulnerable whilst barely making enough to support their families. We are pleased to say just 3 days after launching: Ocado are rattled! There is still a way to go before Ocado meet our workers’ demands, and we need all hands on deck to push them into treating these people fairly and justly! Our workers are demanding:
- Ocado bring allcouriers in-house on limb b worker contracts
- IWGB Trade Union recognition
- Pay of £16 per hour (plus costs) guaranteed with bonuses during busy periods
- Workers to either work shifts or free log in
- Fair and clear process for the handling of grievances and disciplinaries (complaints and terminations)
- Clear and regular communication from the company regarding any changes made to working conditions
- Support for people who become pregnant
- Properly functioning app (e.g. phone ringing when a job come through)
- Fair Job distribution
- Proper job weight monitoring
- Break times to ensure safe working conditions
- Access to osteopath/health care for job related injuries
- Designated parking and charge points for workers
- Communal area for eating/prayers/rest breaks
- Fully manned rider support for all working hours
There is strength in numbers: that’s why we need everyone to come together and force Ocado to meet our demands. Here’s what you can do:
- Fill out our email campaign and tell Ocado that they need to meet IWGB’s demands.Click here to start.
- Tweet Ocado and tell them they need to in-house all workers immediately and meet IWGB’s demands for fair pay, just working conditions, and no job cuts. Suggested tweet: Hey, @Ocado @OcadoZoom! Whistleblowers exposing poverty pay threatened with the prospect of job losses? It’s time to bring your key workers in-house and give them the pay and conditions they deserve! #ShameOnOcado
- Donate to our strike fund.
Youth Fight for Jobs March for jobs and a future for young people on October 9th! – If you’re a young person or trade unionist, and you want to get involved or support any of the marches below in your local area, visit www.youthfightforjobs.com/get-involved
- Birmingham: Victoria Square 1pm (West Mids regional demo)
- Leeds: Millenium Square, 12pm (Yorkshire regional demo)
- London: Assemble outside Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), 1pm
- Liverpool: Top of Church Street (by Bold Street), 12pm
- Leicester: Meet at the Clocktower, 2pm
- North East Midlands, Mansfield: Westgate (near Market Place), NG18 1JA, 1pm
- Bristol: Outside McDonald’s, 101/105 the Horsefair, BS1 3JR, 1pm
- Plymouth: Meet at the Sundial Fountain, 1pm
- Cardiff: Outside the Capitol Centre, Queen Street, 12pm
- Swansea: Castle Square, 2pm
- Brighton: Meet at the middle circle of the Level, 1pm
- Southampton: The Bargate, 1pm
- Reading: Assemble at Reading Council Offices, RG1 2LU, 1pm
- Portsmouth: Guildhall Square, 12pm
Ella Baker School in conversation with Jane Holgate, discussing her book: ‘Arise. Power, Strategy and Union Resurgence – 7pm on Zoom October 12th read more. Ella Baker School of Organising is delighted to announce that we will be in conversation with Jane Holgate, top-class scholar, union educator and activist discussing her book: ‘Arise. Power, Strategy and Union Resurgence
28th September, Westminster – Join the DPAC #AudioRiot protest for #20MoreForAll, on the streets and online (plus local actions on 25th September). DPAC hasn’t gone away you know! We’re back doing what we do best – And this time we’re going to be louder than ever. The government isn’t listening to what people are saying when we say Stop The Cuts to Universal Credit and give #20MoreForAll. So we need to start an #AudioRiot to make them hear us. On Tuesday 28th September 11:30am Westminster Central Hall, Storeys Gate SW1H 9NH
Join our #AudioRiot and make some noise about the devastating changes to benefits which will have a huge impact on millions of people’s lives, including disabled people. Bring everything you can that makes noise read more
‘Boris Out!’ – an evening of socialist comedy and entertainment. 3pm Sunday 14th November, Tyneside Irish Centre – 43 Gallowgate, Newcastle NE1 4SG
Racism, privatisation of the NHS, the gig economy, our youth being charged exorbitant rents, Governmental corruption and total incompetence.
We are delighted to announce a 3pm show for Boris Out! – a feast of socialist comedy and entertainment.
The 7pm show has SOLD OUT. Tickets for the 3pm show are strictly limited to 130. Tickets (only £10) from: www.borisout.eventbrite.com. Contact Ed (0191) 4550608
Please note: If you are a Tory, racist or a supporter of the royal family this is definitely not for you.
Fight blacklisting and victimisation of union reps
Blacklisting Investigation (9 Aug) – Unite the Union has commissioned an independent investigation into alleged involvement of any past of present union officers or officials in the operation of blacklists in the construction industry. The independent investigation will be conducted by Jane McNeill QC in accordance with the attached Terms of Reference. Evidence for the investigation is now being compiled by Thompsons Solicitors LLP. Any documentary evidence which any individual wishes to provide should be submitted to Thompsons either by email to [email protected] or by post to Unite Blacklisting Inquiry, Thompsons Solicitors LLP, Congress House, 23-28 Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LW, reference L213003/RH. All evidence to be considered for the purpose of the independent report must be received by Thompsons by 9 November 2021 read more
#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
Finland: Helsinki tram and metro drivers’ strike against incorporation read more
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 the Queens Speech in December 2019 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 finish but has now been extended because of the 2nd lockdown. But it’s clear that the Tories are looking to end it asap.
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
Saturday October 3rd – 12pm People’s Assembly ‘Protest the Tory Party Conference’ national demo in Manchester. Assemble Oxford Road near Whitworth Park, M14 4PW read more
PHONE 07952 283 558
EMAIL mailto:[email protected]
TWITTER – https://twitter.com/NSSN_AntiCuts
ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE