We headline this week’s NSSN bulletin with the Unite strike by binworkers in Coventry. The Labour council has disgracefully targeted Pete Randle, one of the senior shop stewards. We call on all our supporters to support Pete and his striking members
Unite solidarity rally – 11am Saturday 26th March at Broadgate Square, Coventry City Centre
Sign petition to Councillor George Duggins – Coventry Council: Reinstate Pete Randle, stop union busting, stop strike breaking and pay the rate
Unite: Coventry bin strikes will run into the summer after huge vote for action (15 Mar) – A “catalogue of failures” and “rank incompetence” on the part of Coventry council means the long-running Coventry bin strike will continue into the summer after HGV drivers voted for further industrial action by a huge margin. 94% of the HGV drivers who took part in the ballot voted to renew the mandate for industrial action. All out strike action will recommence on Monday 28 March. The strikes will run through the spring, including during the local elections in May, when 18 of Coventry’s councillors will be elected. Unite has accused the Labour leader of the council George Duggins, and the other councillors of squandering millions and refusing to attend a single meeting with Unite. The dispute has already cost Coventry council £2.9 million, with costs rising daily, when it would cost just £300,000 to resolve the dispute.
Last week, the council took the outrageous decision to escalate the dispute with Unite by taking the unprecedented step of suspending the union’s shop steward on bogus charges in the middle of the dispute. Peter Randle now faces dismissal but Unite has accused the council of victimisation and has pledged its unwavering support for its shop steward, who has already faced abuse and victimisation during the dispute which has not been addressed by Council managers. In yet another blunder, councillors are refusing to attend any meetings, discussions or negotiations, failing to take responsibility for their actions and leaving everything to unelected officials. The strikes began early this year and the 70 HGV drivers have been on all out strike since 31 January in the dispute over low pay. The workers’ basic rate of pay begins at just £22,183 per annum, which is far below what workers receive in the private sector and well below pay rates of neighbouring councils.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Rank incompetence and a catalogue of failures by Coventry council mean this strike will continue into the summer. “The dispute could have been easily settled with capable council leaders. Instead, George Duggins and the other councillors have scandalously squandered millions and refused to attend a single meeting with Unite. The council have inflamed the situation by suspending our shop steward on bogus grounds and they turned the opportunity we had to settle the dispute at Acas into a farce.”
Unite national lead officer Onay Kasab said: “George Duggins and his councillors have failed the people of Coventry and they have failed the workers. It is time for the council to address the underpayment of the drivers. They need to stop this grotesque waste of money in the middle of a cost of living crisis. It’s time to enter into negotiations to end this dispute.”
BREAKING NEWS!! Refuse collection workers show solidarity with shop steward suspended by Coventry council (15 Mar) – Dozens of Unite activists, representing thousands of refuse workers from across the country, stood shoulder-to-shoulder with shop steward, Peter Randle in Birmingham today. He has been outrageously suspended by Coventry council on bogus charges while his members have been in dispute. The Unite activists are attending a “Combine” meeting in Birmingham today to join forces and plan coordinated action to fight for jobs, pay and conditions in the waste disposal sector. 94% of the HGV drivers employed by Coventry council have voted to renew the mandate for industrial action. All out strike action will recommence on Monday 28 March read more
Coventry council accused of ‘needlessly’ escalating bin dispute as leader George Duggins suspends a Unite shop steward on bogus charges (10 Mar) – Unite has accused Coventry’s Labour run council of rank incompetence following the council’s needless escalation of the bin dispute. Council officials stand accused of ‘changing the goalposts’ during talks with Acas and suspending a Unite shop steward on bogus charges to prevent any appeals. Commenting on the failure of the recent meeting with Acas to deliver a settlement, Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham, said; “Once again the council changed the ‘goalposts’ when they had a chance to reach a reasonable settlement. The meeting with Acas was a farce based on an old, discredited job evaluation system, with council officers calling the shots and yet again George Duggins was not present. The general secretary then went further, accusing council leader George Duggins of gross mismanagement and pledging Unite’s full support for suspended shop steward, Peter Randle read more
Follow @UniteWestMids on twitter. Coventry bin worker’s strike fund – Unity Trust Bank; Name of Account: Unite WM/7116 Branch Coventry Local Government; Account number: 20302665 Sort code: 60-83-01; send messages of solidarity to [email protected]
Protests and march outside Tory Party Spring Conference in Blackpool Friday & Saturday 18-19 March
The TUC has postponed its Britain Needs A Pay Rise march and rally in Blackpool this Saturday but Blackpool Trades Union Council is going ahead in order that there is a trade union and labour movement protest outside the Tory Party Spring Conference.
In its press release about the postponement of its demo, the TUC says that it will be “hosting a national mobilisation in London this summer.” The NSSN welcomes this commitment and calls on the TUC and the unions to name the date so that the biggest possible national demonstration can be built as a platform for the mass co-ordinated industrial action that is needed as workers fight the squeeze on their living standards.
The details about the Blackpool Trades Union Council protests are:-
Friday, 18th March from 10.00am – All day protest in St John’s Square. Blackpool Stalls from any group who want to bring a table Speaker sets from 1.00pm including but not exclusive to (all speakers will be welcomed): Stand up to Racism/ Refugees, Environment/ Anti-Fracking, NHS privatisation/ Opposition to the Health & Care Bill Levelling up/ Mutual unity/ Everything is going up except out incomes.
Saturday 19th March from 11.00am -1.30pm on the Comedy Carpet. March to the Winter Gardens. The march will go ahead from the Comedy Carpet at the Tower and the Tories will be protested in Blackpool, like they should be! 11.00am assembly at The Comedy Carpet When ready, March to the Winter Gardens / St. John’s Square with Samba Band(s) and Morris dancers. Banners and homemade placards welcome.
Workers Deserve A Pay Rise – London March & Rally: 6pm Wednesday 23 March, called by London NEU & UCU – assemble at Westminster Cathedral and march a short distance to an indoor rally in Westminster Facebook event
#ReinstateMax Week of Action March 12th-18th – defend sacked Tesco USDAW rep Max McGee
3 months on from exhausting all appeals, Max McGee is preparing to take Tesco to an Employment Tribunal over his trade union victimisation and sacking. A GoFundMe page has been set up to donate to Max’s reinstatement campaign and trade union comrades are encouraged to raise the campaign at their Trade Union branches and Trades Councils over the coming weeks. Link to the page below:
To keep the pressure on Tesco in the run up to the upcoming Employment Tribunal we will be using the funds raised to produce a run of leaflets drawing attention to his case. We are asking that where comrades can, distribute leaflets outside their nearest Tesco and take photos of themselves holding posters with #ReinstateMax on them in the week of March 12th-18th.
Messages of solidarity and photos can be sent to [email protected]
Stop the war in Ukraine
The NSSN calls for the unity of working-class people across Ukraine, Russia and the whole region against war, militarisation and repression. We support the actions of independent trade unions in Ukraine and Russia in defending workers.
FBU Executive Council Statement – Invasion and War in Ukraine
- We oppose and condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine. We call for an immediate ceasefire and for all Russian armed forces to immediately withdraw from Ukraine.
- The war in Ukraine is an extremely dangerous development. Implicit in the situation is the risk that it may spread and escalate, drawing other countries into a growing international conflict. The working class has nothing to gain from war and will pay the biggest price, both in Russia and Ukraine.
- Despite the terrible situation, we support the building of unity among workers across national boundaries. The workers of Ukraine and Russia have common interests.
- We stand in solidarity with those in Russia who have protested against the invasion, despite police repression. We support the building of a mass anti-war movement, including among Russian troops.
- We support workers in Ukraine acting independently of the Zelensky regime and building their own organisations and taking independent action. This should include attempts to build dialogue and links with rank-and-file troops in the invading Russian forces.
- We condemn any far right or fascist group, on either side of this conflict, seeking to take advantage of the war to build their own organisation and activity by further provoking national and ethnic tensions
- We send our solidarity to Ukrainian firefighters and other emergency service workers, delivering humanitarian service in the most appalling conditions. We will seek to build support and send practical solidarity where possible, including through the relevant trade union where appropriate.
- This war is also a proxy conflict between Russia and NATO prompted by NATO expansion into central and Eastern Europe. We oppose this expansion and any intervention in this conflict by NATO forces.
- We note that economic sanctions will disproportionately hit working people, and will be seen as an aggressive measure by the west and may well strengthen support for Putin.
- We have no trust or confidence in the Johnson government on this or any other matter. They have demonstrated for more than two years their utter disregard for human life through the deliberate mishandling of the pandemic, leading to the loss of more than 150,000 lives in the UK.
- We note the hypocrisy of those in the UK government criticising the state repression of protest in Russia, whilst the police, crime and sentencing bill will serve to create authoritarian restrictions on protest and democracy in the UK.
- We oppose the UK government’s disgraceful restriction on the right of refugees fleeing the war to enter the UK. We call for refugees from this and other conflicts to be welcomed.
- In wartime, as in peace time, we defend the democratic right to speak out, discuss, debate and protest. We condemn the attempts by the leader of the Labour Party to shut down such discussion within the Labour Party and to bully and threaten those with different views.
- Workers in Ukraine and Russia – and across the world – have common interests. Even in this appalling situation, we stand for workers’ unity and internationalism.
Unite executive council – statement on Ukraine crisis
March against racism for UN Anti-Racism Day – Saturday 19 March 2022
BBC Portland place, London, 12noon
Kelvingrove park, Glasgow, 11am read more on Stand Up To Racism website
NSSN Conference 2022 will be on Saturday 2nd July 11am-5pm. Venue to be confirmed
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]
RMT on weekend of action (13 Mar) – RMT says weekend of action across rail and tube shows determination of members to fight for workplace justice. TRANSPORT UNION RMT said today that a wave of action across rail and tube services this weekend shows that members are prepared to make a stand for pay and workplace justice in the teeth of attacks stemming from the cost of living crisis, private profiteering and Government-driven cuts. Cleaner members have been out on strike this weekend on the West Coast and London and south eastern services in a battle against poverty pay, conductors on Trans Pennine Express are striking today in an on-going fight for pay justice and drivers on London Underground have continued their action for progressive employment practices on the Night Tube that address the issue of work life balance read more
Railway cleaners take on greedy multinationals (11 Mar) – Hundreds of railway cleaners take on greedy multinationals in weekend of pay strikes. RMT members working on the West Coast mainline and for major train operators will take strike action on Saturday in a fight for pay justice. Outsourced cleaners working for contractors Atalian Servest Limited, and Churchill are paid the bare minimum while their respective employers rake in profits worth millions. Research by the union showed that last year Atalian Servest paid a dividend to its French parent company of £10.8 million a sum that would pay for more than 300 cleaners to get a pay rise to £11 an hour 12 times over and £15 an hour three times over. And Churchill made £39m profit in 2020 yet has refused to raise cleaners’ wages to £15 an hour from the derisory minimum wage that many are on read more
West Coast train cleaners striking again (9 Mar) – West Coast train cleaners striking again from tomorrow in fight for pay justice. RAIL UNION RMT confirmed today that heroic train cleaners working to keep Avanti West Coast trains clean and safe for passengers will be taking a further 48 hour strike action from tomorrow evening and into the weekend in pursuit of their campaign for fair pay. The cleaners, who have worked throughout the pandemic to keep essential transport services running, are employed by Atalian Servest Limited, a multi-national outsourcing company based in France. The outsourced cleaners are paid £9.68 per hour, less than the Real Living Wage and the London Living Wage of £11.05 and have no company sick pay, meaning that they frequently come into work when sick because they cannot make ends meet. Atalian Servest have refused to make an offer that would raise pay above the Real Living Wage rate of £9.90, with their latest offer amounting to an insulting additional 6p per hour for most staff (especially those outside London). The union has instructed members NOT to book on for any shifts between: 19:30 hours on Thursday 10th March 2022 to 19:29 hours on Saturday 12th March 2022 read more
Churchill cleaning staff to take 48-hour strike action (8 Mar) – Hundreds of key rail cleaning staff to take 48-hour strike action across London and South East this weekend. RMT members working for cleaning contractor Churchill across London and the South East, will take 2 days strike action from Saturday March 12 across trains and stations run by major railways companies. This will be the second bout of strike action in the campaign, and it will affect Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern, Southeastern, Eurostar and HS1 services. Cleaners in London currently earn the National Minimum Wage of £8.91 per hour and are demanding to be paid £15 per hour, the right to company sick pay, and to be made direct employees of the railway. In 2020 cleaning contractor Churchill made £39m profit yet has refused to raise cleaners wages to £15 an hour read more
Donate to RMT Churchill strikers
Carmont Rail accident Report (10 Mar) – RMT calls for urgent safety summit and halt to job cuts to prevent more rail tragedies. In response to the official investigation into the Carmont Rail tragedy RMT has today called for an urgent rail safety summit of the Scottish and UK Government’s, the rail unions, Network Rail, the rail infrastructure companies and operators to prevent another tragedy on our railways. The union also called on Network Rail to halt plans to cut thousands of safety critical rail jobs and for action to protect jobs in the rail infrastructure supply chain read more
RMT on Scottish Government’s statement on the Carmont Rail accident Report (10 Mar)
RMT condemns fire and re-hire proposals at Wabtec Doncaster (9 Mar) – Company plans to make 80 jobs redundant and insist staff re-apply for their jobs on inferior terms and conditions. RMT members in Doncaster have negotiated for the last 12 months to try and find a solution to the financial problems faced by the company. However, Wabtec bosses have shown a complete disregard for serious talks and have now informed the union they are implementing fire and rehire read more
RMT warns of significant threat to railway safety (8 Mar) – Union warns of significant threat to railway safety and services caused by loss of thousands of rail jobs as national protests set for tomorrow. Britain’s largest rail union has warned of a significant threat to rail safety and services cause by plans to axe thousands of rail jobs. The warning came as tomorrow, 9th March, rail workers will gather at stations in London, Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds to warn passengers that despite another huge increase in fares earlier in the month rail companies and the government are intent on cutting thousands of frontline staff making the railways less safe, secure and accessible. Passengers will be paying “more for less.” Rail workers are also furious that despite being praised as key worker heroes during the pandemic the cuts are being made while the rail companies make hundreds of millions in profits read more
Support the Transpennine Express Conductors strike – due to the abject failure of the company to address the issues at the heart of the dispute RMT has today confirmed an additional programme of action through to June as follows:-
TPE Conductor members to take further industrial action. Members are instructed not to book on for any shifts that commence between:-
- hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 13th March 2022
- hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 20th March 2022
- hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 27th March 2022
- hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 3rdApril 2022
- hours on Saturday 16th April 2022 until 23.59 hours on Sunday 17th April 2022
- hours on Saturday 30th April 2022 until 23.59 hours on Sunday 1st May 2022
- hours on Saturday 4th June 2022 until 23.59 hours on Sunday 5th June 2022 read more
Congratulations on rock solid London Underground action (3 Mar) – All RMT London Underground members are congratulated for the rock-solid strike action across the entire network this week. There has been a brilliant show of solidarity and support from you all and you are commended for your commitment to fight against vicious attacks on your jobs and pensions in order to pay for the TfL funding crisis read more
Support the London Night Tube strike: every Friday and Saturday nights on Central and Victoria lines read more
Carmont rail crash report shows systemic failures (10 Mar) – The final report into the fatal train derailment in August 2020 has been released today. In the report the RAIB exonerated the driver and blamed ScotRail and Network Rail for systemic failures. Three people lost their lives in the crash at Carmont, near Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire, so this verdict is serious and damning read more
BREAKING NEWS!! TSSA writes to Grant Shapps over plans to close hundreds of railway ticket offices (15 Mar) – TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has written to Grant Shapps asking for details of government plans to close hundreds of railway ticket offices across England. The story, broken by the Sunday Times, has not been denied the Department for Transport. Cortes, in his letter, calls on Shapps, as Transport Secretary, to provide ‘details of these plans, so they can be properly evaluated and scrutinised’ read more
Take all HSTs out of service until we can be certain they’re safe – our message to the Office of Rail Regulator (13 Mar) – TSSA wrote to the Office of the Rail Regulator on Friday (11 March 2022) demanding all ScotRail’s High Speed Trains be taken out of service. The union raised the alarm after the RAIB report found evidence of “significant areas of corrosion” in damaged areas of the train’s carriages, including collision pillars designed to protect passengers and staff in the event of the accident read more
ScotRail must take High Speed Trains out of service after RAIB Carmont report (10 Mar) – RAIB’s final report on Carmont tragedy is published today. Manuel Cortes, TSSA General Secretary, today responded to the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB)’s final report on the Carmont tragedy by calling for ScotRail to take its High-Speed Trains (HSTs) out of service. The tragedy occurred on Wednesday 12th August 2020 when the 06:38 train from Aberdeen to Glasgow Queen Street hit a landslip and derailed causing the deaths of Brett McCullough, Donald Dinnie and Chris Stuchbury. The RAIB’s report shows that several failures in the HSTs contributed to the crash, and particularly to the death of the driver read more
BREAKING NEWS!! Strike fears at the Financial Conduct Authority as staff start formal strike ballot (15 Mar) – Employees working across the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have today (Tuesday 15 March) served notice to begin a ballot on taking industrial action against cuts to their pay and conditions. Unite, the union representing staff at FCA, has today sent legal notification to the regulator of the industrial action ballot to commence in seven days. The union is balloting the workforce because damaging proposals by the regulator will have the effect of driving down performance and threatening the financial watchdog’s operations at a time when it is already struggling due to a staff exodus read more
BREAKING NEWS!! Industrial action set to have a ‘severe impact’ on Lerwick Port (15 Mar) – Unite the union today (15 March) confirmed that its members working at the Lerwick Port Authority have voted in support of industrial action over pay, terms and conditions. For a number of years, despite the prosperity and expansion of the port, skilled and semi-skilled employees have been paid considerably less than nationally agreed rates. Around a dozen key workers voted unanimously in support of strike action and an overtime ban. The industrial action will include engineers, electricians, joiners and general operatives. Unite members will now commence a continuous overtime ban from 28 March at the main port in the Shetland Islands. Due to the significant hours of overtime required to ensure the effective running of operations at the port, Unite has stated that any overtime ban in itself will have a ‘severe impact’ on the cruise liners and oil and gas vessels, as well as the general shipping, which use the harbour read more
BREAKING NEWS!! Wizz Air Luton passengers facing serious disruption amid strike possibility (15 Mar) – Wizz Air passengers at Luton airport will face ‘serious disruption’ if baggage handlers and check-in staff employed by GH London Ground Handling Services vote to strike over pay. Unite, the UK’s leading union, said around 100 of its members are being balloted over GH London’s failure to introduce promised improvements to sick pay for all employees. Workers are also being balloted over wages consistently not being paid on time read more
Northern Ireland council workers, education and housing executive workers announce first week of strike action for pay justice (14 Mar) – Unite calls on employers to move on pay to avert disruption from strike action set to commence next Monday [21 March]. Industrial action set to proceed at nineteen NJC employers after large majorities of Unite members vote for strike action. Unite the union has today (Monday) given notice of pending strike action for a pay increase by its members at all eleven local councils, the Education Authority, the NI Housing Executive, North West Regional College, Belfast Metropolitan College, St Columb’s College, South Eastern Regional College, Lumen Christi College and the Northern Regional College. The strike action occurs after members rejected a pay offer from local government employers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland of just 1.75 percent for the year 2021-22. The pay offer would mean another real terms pay cut and comes after eleven years of pay freezes. The union is seeking localised settlements to deliver improved pay despite the other two signatory unions in the bargaining processes of the ‘Green Book’ NJC having agreed the 1.75% pay offer. Unite is seeking locally-agreed improvements through raising pay grades, reduced working hours, more paid holidays and other benefits read more
Unite welcomes Greater Manchester’s bus franchising announcement as ‘the first step’ towards eradicating low pay (14 Mar) – Unite the union, which represents over 70,000 bus workers, has welcomed the decision of Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham to accelerate his plans to introduce bus franchising in the city region read more
Unite members vote with a 90 percent majority for strike action in demand of improved pay at Spirit Aerosystems (12 Mar) – Strike action likely to proceed at all Spirit sites unless management responds with a pay offer that protects workers from surging price rises. Unite the union, which represents the majority of workers at Spirit Aerosystems in Belfast, confirm that its members have voted overwhelmingly for industrial action in pursuit of a pay claim seeking an increase to protect workers’ living standards at a time of surging inflation. 85 percent of the union’s members voted in the ballot with a majority of 90 percent support for strike action and 95 percent for industrial action short of strike action. The union will now set dates for strike action unless management responds with a pay offer that protects its workforce from the sharp increase in the cost of living read more
Ford facing tipper truck and van shortages as VFS workers in Eastleigh to strike over pay (11 Mar) – Workers employed at the south coast firm VFS Southampton Ltd, who assemble tipper trucks and vans for Ford, have announced extensive strike action in a dispute over pay. The workers, who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, voted overwhelmingly for the action after VFS imposed a pay award which the company claims is worth 3.65 per cent but, with the RPI (retail price index) rate of inflation currently standing at 7.8 per cent and set to rise further, is in reality a pay cut. VFS also assembles large vehicles for Mercedes so the strikes will hit both companies with delays to the delivery of vehicles. Unite’s members will hold a 24-hour strike on Tuesday 29 March with a further six strike periods scheduled for a total of 25 days until mid-June. The workers will be striking on the following dates: 29 March, 1 April, 11-14 April, 25-29 April, 3-6 May, 23-27 May and 6-10 June read more
Statement of solidarity with Svitzer workers on strike at Teesside (10 Mar) – The executive council and general secretary of Unite the union stand in full solidarity with Svitzer tug boat workers in Teesside who are on strike for fair pay. It is disgraceful that Maersk Shipping, which owns Svitzer, is looking at record profits yet seeks to impose a zero per cent pay rise during a cost of living crisis. Unite will stand behind you, our members, every step of the way until Maersk and its subsidiary Svitzer get serious and table a real pay offer. The resources of your union will remain at your disposal to support you in your dispute read more
Striking workers increase the pressure on Chep, a major UK pallet supplier (10 Mar) – Unite will raise the pressure on Chep UK where workers based in Trafford Park have been on strike since December 2021 in a dispute over pay. Unite has accused the company of “failing its workforce in the middle of a cost of living crisis”. The UK’s leading union is staging protests over the coming weeks across the pallet maker’s customer base in Wales and the North West including Unilever, Heinz, DHL, Heineken, Proctor and Gamble and Two Sisters. Chep UK, which is based in Trafford Park, Manchester, repairs and supplies pallets for supporting and transporting goods to a host of prominent companies. The workers have been on strike since December – and recently renewed their mandate for strike action into the spring by a majority of 94 per cent. Chep UK made £70.5 million in profit in 2021. The company would only need to increase its current pay offer by an estimated £67,000 to resolve the dispute read more
Sign this petition to Brambles CEO Graham Chipchase & Vice-President for CHEP UK & Ireland Matt Quinn – CHEP UK – Your Pay Offer is unPALLETable!
Scots pub chain MacMerry Covent Garden venue hit by protest as campaign against ‘appalling’ staff treatment grows (9 Mar) – Protestors demonstrated outside Scottish pub chain MacMerry’s flagship central London pub today (Wednesday 9 March), as the campaign against the company’s ‘appalling’ treatment of staff intensified. Members from Unite, the UK’s leading union, were joined by a Los Angeles delegation from the US Unite Here union to demonstrate outside the Abandon Ship pub in Covent Garden (pictures available on request). The protest was over a litany of grievances by staff at MacMerry and Abandon Ship venues in Glasgow and Dundee, including managers ignoring sexual misconduct allegations and serious health and safety concerns. Staff have also accused the company of pay irregularities and victimising individuals because they are trade union members read more
XPO workers secure significant pay increase as strikes called off (9 Mar) – Workers employed by XPO Transport Solutions have secured a significant pay increase after members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, voted to take strike action over low pay. The Unite members, including warehouse workers, cross-dock operatives and HGV drivers, had voted for industrial action because their rates of pay were significantly below those of the company’s competitors. Following the yes vote for strike action fresh negotiations were held and new rates of pay were agreed ending the dispute. The warehouse and cross dock operatives will receive an increase of approximately 15 per cent increase in hourly rates while HGV drivers will see pay rates increase by approximately 27 per cent read more
Workers at five London universities balloted for strike action over ‘abysmal’ pay deal (8 Mar) – Workers at five London universities are being balloted for strike action over an ‘abysmal’ pay deal, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Tuesday 8 March). Professional support staff, including technicians, administrators and estate staff, are being balloted at City, University of London, King’s College, the Royal College of Art, Royal Holloway and Bedford New College and University College London. The ballot, which opened yesterday and closes on 8 April, is over the University and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) 1.5 per cent pay deal for 2021/22. The deal was imposed last August and is the focus of a long-running dispute between Unite members and the London teaching institutions read more
London facing bus strikes due to Arriva’s ‘pathetic’ pay offer (8 Mar) – Bus services across London face severe disruption later this month, as bus drivers employed by Arriva announce strike action due to the company’s failure to make an acceptable pay offer. The 1,000 drivers who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, are employed at depots in Brixton, Croydon, Norwood and Thornton Heath. They operate routes across south and central London. The first 24 hour strike will take place on Monday 21 March and a further 48 hour strike is scheduled for 28 March. If there is no breakthrough in the dispute then further industrial action will be announced read more
GE Steam Rugby buyer EDF warned it’s ‘inheriting industrial unrest’ as first strike in 45 years continues – EDF’s plans to buy Rugby’s historic turbine factory could result in the French energy giant inheriting industrial unrest unless pay strikes against the current owner GE Steam Power are resolved, Unite has warned. The first strike in 45 years will continue at the 120-year-old factory tomorrow (Friday 4 March) and Monday (7 March) at Newbold Road, Rugby, CV21 2NH. The dispute is over GE Steam Power’s refusal to negotiate over flexible working payments and the expectation that workers will take on new roles without extra pay. More than 75 Unite members, comprising nearly the entirety of the factory’s workforce, are taking a further eight days of strike action between 18 March and 2 May. Since GE Steam Power’s acquisition of the Rugby site 11 years ago, the relationship between the workers and management has been become increasingly strained over pay, redundancies, attacks on pensions and cuts to death in service benefits read more
Huge vote for industrial action as Unite calls on MAHLE Engine Systems to think again on further cuts – Unite the union has today (Tuesday, 1 March) confirmed that its membership at MAHLE Engine Systems based in Kilmarnock have voted for industrial action in a dispute over pay, terms and conditions. The ballot involved around 130 workers at the plant’s materials unit. 89 per cent of Unite’s members supported strike action in a ballot turnout of 82.4 per cent. Over 95 per cent of the workers also supported taking action short of a strike including an overtime ban. The workers will take part in three 7-day periods of strike action starting at 7.30am on 14 to 21 March, 28 March to 4 April, and 11 to 18 April. There will also be a continuous ban on overtime starting at 07:30am on 14 March. The workers are contesting the current holiday entitlement provisions and contractual clauses which can shut the plant down for two weeks at any given period. The plant makes high-quality components for motorsport engines, combustion engines and electric vehicles read more
Unite to stage targeted industrial action as council workers express disgust at 1.75% pay offer – Unite’s local government members will stage targeted industrial action at councils in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in March, after rejecting a 1.75 per cent pay offer in a ballot of more than 300 local authorities. More than 80 per cent of Unite’s 70,000 members, who voted in nearly 400 separate ballots, were in favour of industrial action over the 1.75 per cent offer made by the Local Government Association (with 2.75 per cent for those on the bottom pay point) for 2021/22. Council workers from Belfast to Bath to Ipswich have said loud and clear: ‘We are worth more’. The union said that the employers’ offer was and remains ‘completely unacceptable’, given that the RPI rate of inflation has raced ahead to 7.8 per cent. (A list of councils, where the legal threshold for industrial action has been met and where action will be taken, will be unveiled soon) read more
Envases Liverpool Ltd printers to strike over dismissal of Unite rep – Members of Unite employed as printers by Envases Liverpool Ltd will take 12 days of strike action next month following the dismissal of the union’s rep. Unite believes that its rep John Williams was dismissed on the false charges as a direct consequence of him standing up for the Unite members at the factory. Envases had sought to use misleading information and a false statement to try to drive a wedge between Unite and another union at the factory. After Mr Williams exposed the company’s actions he was dismissed read more
GE Aviation workers in Gloucester to strike over pay – Workers employed by GE Aviation Systems Limited’s subsidiary Dowty Propellers are to begin strike action next week in a dispute over pay. The 90-plus workers, who are based at the company’s factory in Hurricane Road, Gloucester, are taking industrial action after rejecting a two year pay offer worth just 4.5 per cent, even though the real level of inflation (RPI) currently stands at 7.8 per cent. The first strike will take place on Friday 4 March, with further strikes scheduled for every Friday until 20 May read more
Stagecoach bus drivers in Gloucestershire and Wiltshire to strike during Cheltenham Festival in low pay dispute – Over 380 bus drivers employed by Stagecoach West and based throughout Gloucestershire and Wiltshire have announced a month long strike in a dispute over chronic low pay. Strike action, which was backed overwhelmingly by the drivers who are members of Unite the union, will begin on Thursday 10 March and continue until Saturday 9 April coinciding with the Cheltenham Festival. The strike is set to cause considerable disruption to the event as Stagecoach has the contract to take festival goers to and from the racecourse. With many drivers paid under £11 per hour, Unite has been pressing for an increase in line with real inflation, currently at 7.8 per cent. However, Stagecoach has tabled offers that are in effect pay cuts. It is the first time ever that the drivers have voted for industrial action read more
Support the Scunthorpe Scaffolders: Follow @UniteNEYH & @UnitedScaffs on twitter
Donate to strike fund:-
Either via bank transfer – sort code: 60-83-01 account number: 20173962, account name: Unite North East Region 1% Fund, reference: Actavo Limited and your branch number
Or by cheque made payable to ‘Unite the Union’ and forwarded to the Leeds Regional Office, Unite the Union, 55 Call Lane, Leeds LS1 7BW marked for the attention of the Regional Secretary (Actavo Limited Dispute). Letters of support can be sent to the Regional Office
Economic forecasters to strike in a row over inflation – Economists and researchers at the world famous NIESR (National Institute of Economic and Social Research) will stage a two week strike in a row over two years of below inflation pay offers. The strike begins on Friday 21st January and ends on Friday 4 February. The action means that there is a very real possibility that the forthcoming forecasts for the UK and global economies, which have been published quarterly since the 1980s, will not go ahead. NIESR staff will be unable to deliver on project work for external partners and funders, and will be unable to participate in events and other dissemination activities. The RPI reached 7.1 per cent at the end of 2021 but NIESR bosses are sticking to their decision to give staff 0% for 2020-21 and just 2% for 2021-22. The pay offer fails to keep up with the rising cost of living and represents a significant pay cut in real terms read more
Strike action set to hit Dalkeith based FLB print firm – Unite the union has today (10 January) confirmed that around 110 workers at print and publishing firm FLB Group in Dalkeith, which owns the Filofax and Letts brands, will take strike action this week in a dispute over pay. The strike action will take place on Wednesday (12 January) at 6am and conclude at 05:59am on Thursday. It is the first of a series of 24 hour stoppages commencing every Wednesday into Thursday until 31 March. Some 95.7 per cent of the eligible workforce previously voted in support of strike action in late November on an 84.4 per cent turnout. The pay dispute originates from early 2021 when Unite’s members were informed by FLB that there would be no pay rise. Due to pressure from Unite, the company made several unsatisfactory offers that ended with a below inflation two-year offer of 2.75 per cent. Unite is demanding a six per cent pay increase at a time when the cost of living is at a ten-year high. The Retail Prices Index stood at 7.1 per cent in November 2021 read more
Strike action by Turners of Soham logistic drivers set to impact major aviation companies – Logistic drivers working for Turners of Soham based out of Grangemouth are set to begin strike action tomorrow (6 January) in a dispute over pay. The logistic drivers work on the Q8 Aviation Deliveries contract which provides fuel services for a number of major aviation companies. The strike action follows 100% of Unite members voting to take strike action, on a turnout of 100% at the end of December 2021, following a lack of progress after months of negotiations with the company. The current wave of strike action ends on 14 January at 24:00 hours with further dates to be planned in the coming weeks. Unite’s members based at Grangemouth have been offered an 8.7% increase, despite the same company awarding its drivers in the North West of England 17.5% in October of last year read more
Transport for London bosses ‘declare war’ as seven workers suspended at crisis-hit Woolwich Ferry – Transport for London (TfL) bosses were today (Tuesday 21 December) accused of ‘declaring war’ on the Woolwich Ferry’s workforce by Unite the union, as seven workers were suspended with no reason given. Unite also said that there needs to be an urgent investigation into so-called ‘technical issues’ that mean the troubled ferry operation will be out of action until the New Year. The union has, therefore, called off planned strike action in the first fortnight of January, due to start on Monday 3 January. Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “We are also demanding an investigation into the on-going technical difficulties with the ferry which means there will be no ferry service until sometime in the New Year. As a result, we will be suspending at least the first two weeks of our industrial action in January. The strikes, once they commence, are due to run until the end of March…” read more
East Lancashire NHS Trust intransigence forces new period of strike action by biomedical scientists – East Lancashire NHS Trust intransigence forces new period of strike action by biomedical scientists. Bosses at East Lancashire NHS Trust must shoulder the blame for a new 12 week strike which starts today (15 December). Blackburn and Burnley biomedical scientists will re-start strike action today (Wednesday 15 December) in a dispute over unpaid wages. Union negotiators met with the Trust on Tuesday (7 December) last week in an attempt to identify a solution to the dispute. It was an opportunity to avoid further strike action and to re-establish union / Trust relations. On the eve of the strike, the Trust had still failed to take up the opportunity to end the dispute read more
Evonik workers at historic Manchester chemicals site strike over pay – Evonik workers at a 130-year-old Manchester chemicals site are to strike over pay, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Wednesday 13 October). Around 25 production and warehouse operatives at Evonik’s Clayton site, which has been a chemical plant since 1892, are taking industrial action after rejecting a 1.5 per cent pay offer read more
PCS 2022 pay claims in departments and national ballot – see here for HM Land Registry, DCMS, Cabinet Office, Scottish Sector, BEIS, Home Office, Department of Health and Social Care, DWP, MOJ, Attorney General’s Office, Department for Education, DfT, Welsh Government and Senedd Commission, Defra, Ministry of Defence, Met Police, Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, HMRC
Last push needed on ballot (11 Mar) – We are getting close to the 50% turnout required but every vote is crucial and we need your help to achieve it. Our consultative ballot over pay, pensions and the cost of living crisis closes on 21 March so there are only 10 days left to vote. Our calculations tell us that we are getting close to the 50% turnout threshold, based on responses we have received from phoning and texting members, and feedback from reps. Getting a 50%+ turnout will be a massive game changer for all of our members and strengthen our negotiating position with the government read more
PCS withdraws from Cabinet Office’s flawed respect and inclusion review (11 Mar) – PCS has confirmed to the Cabinet Office that we will no longer take part in its respect and inclusion review into racism and other discrimination in the department. The Cabinet Office launched the review into respect and inclusion last year following pressure from PCS amid accusations of racism, as well as unfairness towards disabled staff. The CO has the worst record for bullying and harassment in the civil service. This is even more shocking since the department is supposed to be the exemplar and standard setter for other government departments read more
Strike action called at British Council (10 Mar) – PCS has served notice of industrial action at the British Council today (10 March) in a dispute over redundancies, restructuring and outsourcing. Following a decisive statutory ballot result, PCS wrote to Scott McDonald, CEO of the British Council, to request an urgent meeting. Unfortunately, he declined to meet with PCS directly, instead delegating the meeting to HR officials. Both he and Stevie Spring, the chair of the board of trustees, have refused to meet with PCS, despite the seriousness of the dispute and the strong views from British Council workers. In the meantime, management is ploughing ahead with its restructuring and given notice of more than 100 redundancies in the next few months. Members will strike on 24 and 25 March, with ongoing short of strike action in the form withdrawal of goodwill starting from the same date. There will be picket lines at the UK based offices in Edinburgh, Belfast, Cardiff, Manchester and London. Members based overseas, from Bogota to Bhagdad, will be participating in the industrial action read more
Members’ meeting and clarification on HMCI message (10 Mar) – Members are invited to a zoom meeting on 10 March at 5pm to discuss the upcoming ballot, opening 15 March. We were disappointed with the misleading nature of the message sent to staff by Amanda Spielman, on 9 March. In response, we would like to offer our members the following clarifications. PCS is balloting APT members as a last resort, as Ofsted failed to consult the trade union side (TUS) on the 60% return to offices requirement. Furthermore, they refused to pause the implementation of the policy to allow for discussions to take place read more
Legal Ombudsman in disarray amid escalating crisis (9 Mar) – The Legal Ombudsman, which resolves complaints about legal services, is refusing to acknowledge serious and fundamental concerns facing the organisation which PCS has raised read more
Atos members to take industrial action on 28 February – The members working for Atos IT Services will take a day’s strike action followed by an overtime ban. PCS members working for Atos IT Services on the National Savings & Investment, PiP, BBC and Tax Free Child Care contracts are to start industrial action on 28 February. Atos have not made an improved offer since our members overwhelmingly rejected the 1.5% pay offer. Our claim is for 5% or £1300 underpin plus a £600 one off payment in recognition of the contribution our members made throughout the pandemic. The industrial action is twofold with a strike on 28 February followed by action short of a strike, which will include an overtime ban across all the accounts. If we do not receive a significantly improved offer we will be continuing the action short of a strike and also moving to all out selective strike action read more
Fujitsu members vote for strike action over pay – PCS members in Fujitsu have voted strongly in favour of industrial action. PCS members who work for Fujitsu Services have voted by 77.1% to take strike action and by 90.7% to take action short of a strike on a turnout of 80.4%. Members are furious at being offered 1.5% after a pay freeze last year and due to the current cost of living crisis spiralling out of control. This is in effect a 0.75% pay offer per year and goes no way near to meeting our very reasonable and justified pay claim of a consolidated 4% increase or a £1500 underpin whichever is greater. PCS has written to Fujitsu to inform them of the result and ask them if they want to reopen the pay negotiations. We have made it clear that only a significantly increased offer will prevent the union moving to industrial action read more
GMB to ballot Hailsham and Uckfield Biffa waste and recycling operatives and drivers for strike action (14 Mar) – GMB, the union for the refuse and recycling sector, have commenced a strike ballot over pay for members at Biffa’s East Sussex Joint Waste Partnership depots at their Hailsham and Uckfield regional sites. Biffa provides refuse and recycling services across the Wealden district for around 70,000 homes, all of which could see severe disruption if GMB members vote for strike action in their fight to gain a lifestyle improving pay rise. GMB members are demanding pay rises across the service which would see loaders on £12.50 per hr LGV drivers on £14.50 per hr and HGV drivers on £17.50 per hr. The ballot which closes on Fri 25th March could, if supported by members, see the GMB Union issue strike notices for mid-April if Biffa management continues to refuse engagement and negotiations with GMB read more
GMB calls for Wiltshire Council Chief to visit Hills depot during strike over safety concern (14 Mar) – Visit the picket line and see for yourself says GMB in a letter to cabinet lead for waste management . No one ever has a right to drive a truck into a pedestrian. GMB, the union for refuse and recycling workers in Wiltshire, has written to the Wiltshire Council cabinet lead for waste management offering to accompany him to the picket lines so he can see for himself the public safety dangers of trucks hitting pedestrians. GMB members working for Hills in Wiltshire are currently taking part in a 2 week strike over pay read more
£80 million Hills family firm must open books on £105 million Wiltshire County Council waste contract says GMB (11 Mar) – GMB, the trade union for the striking refuse and recycling workers across Wiltshire, calls on the Hills family to open up the books on their council waste contract. Hills, which employs the refuse workers currently engaged in a two-week strike across Wiltshire, has a contract worth £105m over nine years with Wiltshire County Council. GMB says it is essential that the Hills family firm provide the union and its members access to the line-by-line management accounts. The latest company accounts for the Hills group show a massive income, which has provided a dividend of over £9.8 million over the past five years to the Hills family, who make up the majority of the board of directors and shareholders. Shareholder funds during the same period are £80 million read more
GMB and Evri in ‘breakthrough’ pension deal for couriers (11 Mar) – GMB and Evri (formerly Hermes UK) have announced a breakthrough pension deal for couriers. Under the new agreement, all 20,000 self-employed plus (SE+) couriers will be auto-enrolled into a pension by the end of this year. The company will also give couriers the right to maternity and paternity leave from March 2022 in attempt to encourage more parents to further a career as couriers read more
Solihull bin strike dates announced; 86,000 face five days of action (11 Mar) – GMB Union has announced dates for the forthcoming Solihull bin strike. Almost 100 refuse workers will walk out for five days from 28 March. Amey Services Limited who employ the workers, have offered an ‘insulting’ pay rise which will increase some workers to the Real Living Wage, with others seeing no increase at all. Refuse and recycling services for Solihull Metropolitan Council – including Bickenhill waste tip and recycling centre, local cemeteries, street cleansing, parks and more than 86,000 households will be affected read more
Northampton bin strike vote dates announced (10 Mar) – GMB Union has announced the dates of Northampton town’s bin strike ballot. Voting will begin on Wednesday 16 March and the ballot will close three weeks later, on 6 April. The earliest date of any industrial action – which could affect 94,000 homes – would be 20 April. Northampton’s refuse collectors – employed by Veolia – are angry after turning down a pay offer of just 2.5 per cent – despite inflation running at a 7.8 per cent. The council, ultimately responsible for bin collections, has increased Veolia’s funding by 5.5 per cent, but the company are refusing to pass that on to workers read more
Croydon Hospital workers to hold post box rally as they gear up for strike action (10 Mar) – GMB members who work as porters and cleaners at Croydon Hospital are holding a post box rally this Friday afternoon in the main entrance of the hospital. The workers, who are employed by outsourcing giant G4S, are currently being balloted for industrial action over pay and are demanding the real London Living Wage and an occupational sick pay scheme read more
Barrow bin strike tomorrow as three quarters of workers walk out (8 Mar) – A Barrow bin strike will take place tomorrow [9 March 2022] as more than three quarters of the work force down tools. Refuse collectors working for FCC Environment voted unanimously to walk out over the real terms pay cut offered by bosses. The strikes will take place on six days from 9 to 11 March and then 16 to 18 affecting more than 33,000 households read more
Refuse workers vote for bin strike in North Somerset (7 Mar) – North Somerset residents are facing piling bins after refuse staff voted for industrial action. Almost 100 workers at recycling centres and refuse collection services run by North Somerset Environment Company are set to walk out. The strike could affect 88,000 homes. Workers are angry after North Somerset Council, who set up the company last year, have only provided funding for a 4.5 per cent pay award over two years. With inflation running at 7.8 per cent and expected to get even higher, this amounts to a big real-terms pay cut read more
MP meet striking workers at Fox’s Glacier Mints factory (4 Mar) – York MP Rachael Maskell met with workers at Valeo, manufacturer of Fox’s Glacier Mints, Mint Humbugs and Poppets, ahead of their strike action. Dozens of GMB members voted to walk out after Valeo bosses offered below inflation pay rise, excluded the lowest paid workers from a one-off payment and took two days holiday off others. Industrial action is set to start on 21 March read more
Adur and Worthing bin strike dates announced – GMB Union has announced the Adur and Worthing bin strike will begin on Monday 14 March. Industrial action – set to last at least 14 days – will continue until March 27. The council’s Chief Executive and Director for Digital, Sustainability and Resources now have three weeks to avoid disruption to 82,000 homes, the union says. More than 60 refuse, streets and recycling operatives and drivers will walk out after their demands for a pay increase, increased rates for overtime and shift patterns, plus a review of operating and management practices were ignored by management read more
Glasgow branch overwhelmingly votes to back new strike action (7 Mar) – The long running dispute around equal pay and has continued even after the members were awarded a £500m settlement in 2019. UNISON members at Glasgow City Council have voted in favour of strike action in an ongoing equal pay dispute. In a ballot of just under 9,000 workers, with 52.5% of members voting, 96% of UNISON members voted to take further industrial action. The branch will now be seeking authorisation from the union’s NEC before moving forward with industrial action. The ballot comes as part of a long-running legal dispute with Glasgow City council around equal pay. In 2019, a £500m settlement was agreed with staff which settled pay claims up until March 2018 and included a new pay and grading system to rectify issues of unequal pay, primarily of women. Since then, around 5,500 new claims have been lodged for the period prior to March 2018, with nearly 20,000 claimants waiting on settlements for the period after that. The current dispute centres around whether the new claimants receive the terms of the 2019 agreement, while the council has recently said that it may not be able to finally settle its debt to these women until 2024, with no progress has been made on the issue of interim payments read more
Pay and pensions issues prompt higher education strike – Decent wage offer needed and pensions preserved. Staff are striking at 11 universities and higher education institutions from today (Monday 21 Feb) over a range of issues including pay and pensions, UNISON says. Action will take place on several days over the next fortnight at Birkbeck, SOAS, City, King’s College London, Goldsmiths (all University of London), Trinity Laban, Brighton University, Edinburgh Napier University, Gloucestershire University, Leeds University and Queen Margaret University read more
Further industrial action at Sandwell Leisure Trust – UNISON members set to take to the picket lines for a sixth time in continued fight against their employer’s fire and rehire tactics. Workers at Portway Lifestyle Centre and Tipton Leisure Centre in the West Midlands will take strike action on Thursday 24 February. This follows last month’s strike on 28 January, which received widespread support read more
Working Time Directive Sleep-in Cases: Legal Update (11 Mar) – I wish to acknowledge the understandable concerns of members with regards to the ongoing delays around progressing these cases and having sought the advices of our Legal Advisers I have been advised as follows
NIPSA Members employed as Education Welfare Officers announce 72 Hour stoppage – NIPSA, the largest union from the non-teaching workforce in Education, announces that members employed as Education Welfare Officers will embark on 3 full days of strike action commencing 2nd March read more
Union to Telefonica/VM02: ‘If you’re busting inflation with your prices, you can match inflation on wages’ (11 Mar) – CWU national officer Tracey Fussey slams ‘hypocrisy’ of telecoms giant for increasing customer bills by a staggering 11.7 per cent, while offering a paltry 3 per cent pay rise to its VM02 workers. “We’re scheduling a branch forum and full members’ meetings as soon as practicable and we’re also taking this matter to our industrial executive,” Tracey told CWU News this afternoon, as news broke that Telefonica bosses plan to impose a sub-inflation pay increase…” read more
FBU agrees pension memorandum of understanding with government (14 Mar) – The Fire Brigades Union and the government have agreed a memorandum of understanding that will allow retained firefighters to receive their pension entitlement going back to earlier in their careers, with their pension based on their modified scheme1. Previously, only employment dating back to the introduction of the Part Time Worker Regulations, on 1 July 2000, was counted for the purposes of retained – on-call, or part-time – firefighters’ pension entitlements. However, in a similar case involving a Judge’s employment (O’Brien v Ministry of Justice, November 2018) it was ruled that a scheme similar to this one discriminated against older workers, who would be more affected by this limitation. As a result of this case retained firefighters will now have the opportunity for their employment to be made pensionable much earlier in their careers. The ruling also included retained firefighters who have transferred to wholetime read more
Fire Brigades Union says key Grenfell witness “must be held responsible” for his actions (9 Mar) – Ken Knight’s testimony before the Grenfell Tower Inquiry must mark a sea-change in holding key government advisers to account for the fire, the Fire Brigades Union has said. The union has demanded he is held responsible for his actions. His testimony is due to start at 2pm on Wednesday 9 March read more
GDST strikes are suspended because of ACAS talks
Support these strikes:-
|Bobby Moore Academy / Newham
(Terms & Conditions)
|16-17 March||[email protected]
|South Chingford Foundation School / Waltham Forest
|15-17 March||[email protected]|
0.2% increase to Scottish pay offer is an insult (10 Mar) – The NASUWT – The Teachers’ Union has today rejected the latest pay offer from employers’ body COSLA. The offer was a measly 0.2% increase to the previous offer and, with inflation currently at 7.8% RPI and 5.5% CPI it represents an enormous real-terms pay cut for teachers. The pay award has been rejected by the NASUWT as it fails to address the rising cost of living, represents yet a further continuation of the real-terms erosion of teachers’ salaries and fails to adequately recognise the significant contribution teachers have made and are continuing to make every day during the ongoing pandemic read more
Northumberland teachers take strike action over workload and working practices (7 Mar) – Members of NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union at Bedlington Academy in Northumberland will take the first of fifteen planned days of strike action tomorrow (Tuesday) over adverse management practices which are negatively impacting on members’ health and welfare. Members at the school are facing excessive and unacceptable workload burdens, along with a failure by management to put in place effective measures to manage pupil behaviour read more
Ipswich teachers strike to protect pensions – Members of NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union at Ipswich School are taking the first of six days of planned strike action tomorrow (1 Mar) after being threatened with dismissal from their jobs unless they agree to new contracts that would leave them with worse pensions and working conditions. The Employer is seeking to withdraw from the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS) and impose inferior pension arrangements on teachers which would adversely affect their future financial security read more
London teachers strike over attack on pensions – Members of NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union at Forest School in North East London are starting the first of six planned days of strike action tomorrow (Wednesday 22 Feb), over adverse plans for their pensions, all of which have the potential to leave teachers worse off in future read more
Norwich teachers strike over pensions – Members of NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union at Norwich High School for Girls, are starting the first of six days of planned strike action tomorrow (10 February) in protest at plans to downgrade their pensions, which would leave them significantly worse off in retirement. The Girls Day School Trust (GDST), which runs the school, is planning to withdraw from the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS) and impose an inferior scheme on its teachers. Staff have been threatened with dismissal from their jobs if they refuse to sign up to new contracts which include the downgraded pension entitlement. The NASUWT does not believe there is any financial justification for GDST to seek these cuts to teachers’ pension entitlements. GDST has enough funds to offer teachers fair pensions. The Trust’s finances are in a healthy condition with total funds of £461.9 million and available reserves of £43.1 million as of August 2020 read more
EIS-FELA Opens Statutory Industrial Action Ballot over Lecturers’ Pay (10 Mar) – The EIS-FELA has opened a statutory ballot for strike action and action short of strike (ASOS), in pursuit of a fair pay deal for college lecturers in Scotland. The decision to conduct a statutory ballot has come following an emphatic rejection of the current pay offer, from the Employers’ side of the National Joint Negotiating Committee (NJNC), by the EIS-FELA membership in a survey and a clear and strong backing, for both strike action and ASOS, in a recent consultative ballot. Negotiations, over pay, have been protracted and the Employers’ have failed to increase the current offer, despite the clear views of the EIS-FELA membership and two formal dispute meetings at the NJNC read more
EIS opens consultative strike ballot over Dundee faculty plans (4 Mar) – The Dundee Local Association of the EIS has opened a consultative strike ballot over Dundee Council’s proposals to move to a faculty structure in its secondary schools. The ballot will run until 21 March and the EIS is urging all of its members in Dundee secondary schools to use their vote to support strike action in protest at the council’s plans read more
Staff at Staffordshire University set to walk out over two-tier workforce threat (14 Mar) – Staffordshire University will see strike action on Monday 28 March unless it drops plans to employ new staff via a wholly owned subsidiary company, said UCU. The announcement comes after Staffordshire University staff voted to strike over management’s introduction of a two-tier workforce. 70% of staff who voted in the ballot voted yes to strike action. 80% of those who voted also voted yes to action short of strike. This could include working strictly to contract, refusing to cover for colleagues and refusing to undertake voluntary activities. The turnout beat the Tory anti trade union threshold of 50% and UCU has notified the university that staff will walkout on Monday 28 March. Staff also have a mandate to take further industrial action read more
College granting staff access to campus foodbanks ‘indictment’ of entire sector (11 Mar) – UCU told college employers to lift staff pay by 10% in the next pay round to help staff get through the cost of living crisis as it emerged one college granted struggling staff access to campus foodbanks. In an email sent by Abingdon & Witney College’s head of human resources, staff were told that the college could not make any immediate improvement to staff pay to help with the rising cost of living, but that campus foodbanks have been made available for staff to use as well as students, and that donated items would be moved to a ‘more confidential space’. This week UCU launched consultative industrial action ballots for a 10% pay rise at 183 English colleges read more
Staff at Sheffield International College vote for strike action over pay and working conditions (10 Mar) – Staff at the University of Sheffield International College (USIC), which is run by the private company Study Group, have voted overwhelmingly to take strike action following the refusal of employers to increase staff pay or holiday allowance. The result saw 79% of UCU members votes yes in a ballot with a turnout of 86%. Strike action could now start as soon as 29 March read more
UK universities to face new ballots for further industrial action (8 Mar) – UCU has has announced today that it will open new industrial action ballots over cuts to pensions and deteriorating pay and conditions, paving the way for action to continue throughout the remainder of 2022. The new ballots will open at 149 universities on Wednesday 16 March and will run until Friday 8 April. The new ballots, which will be for strike action and action short of strike (ASOS), are being run in both of the union’s two ongoing disputes: pensions, and pay and working conditions. UCU originally balloted universities in October 2021, and the mandates to take industrial action will end on Tuesday 3 May at many universities. Successful reballots will allow staff to continue taking action through this calendar year. Over 50k university staff at 68 universities are set to begin five more days of strike action this month, after recently taking up to 10 days of strike action over three weeks, from Monday 14 February to Wednesday 2 March. In total 149 universities will face new ballots. Staff at 65 universities in the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) will be balloted over pension cuts, and staff at 143 universities will be balloted over pay and working conditions. Some universities will face ballots in both disputes, others just one. Successful ballots could see action short of strike such as a marking and assessment boycott beginning next term. This could stop hundreds of thousands of students from graduating read more
UK universities to face five more days of strike action before Easter (4 Mar) – UCU today said that 68 universities across the UK will face a further five days of strike action beginning this month unless vice chancellors revoke pension cuts and meet staff demands over pay and working conditions. Over 50,000 staff are taking five further days of strike action over two weeks in both the USS pension dispute and the pay and working conditions dispute. In the first week 39 universities will take five days of action from Monday 21 March to Friday 25 March. In the second week of action 29 universities will take five days of action from Monday 28 March to Friday 1 April. Well over a million students will be impacted. As part of the ongoing dispute, all branches will also be reballoted soon in preparation for potential industrial action next term. Due to the nature of its teaching model, staff at the Open University will be taking seven days of strike action. Staff at the 68 universities just finished taking up to 10 days of strike action this week but after employers forced through pension cuts and refused to negotiate meaningfully over pay and working conditions, further action has now been called…Full list of striking institutions and dates here read more
Dispute ‘far from over’ says UCU as employers force through pension cuts (22 Feb) – UCU has told university employers to expect more industrial action, including a marking and assessment boycott, as UUK’s proposals that would lead to devastating cuts to USS pensions were ratified at a meeting of the JNC today read more
Strike warning over low pay in North West colleges (25 Feb) – The University and College Union (UCU) today warned the leaders of colleges in the North West that strike action is on the cards unless staff pay demands are met. Over 1,000 UCU members at Hopwood Hall, Bury, Burnley, Oldham, The Manchester, and City of Liverpool colleges were asked in a consultative ballot whether they were willing to take strike action in support of an ‘inflation plus’ pay claim. They overwhelmingly turned out to vote yes. A consultative ballot is the first step on the path to industrial action. UCU will move to a statutory industrial action ballot, and potential strike action, unless its demands are met. If strikes were to take place over 40k students could be impacted. UCU is demanding that the colleges increase pay by at least the level of inflation for 2021/22. This would mean pay increases of at least 8.5%. Since 2009 pay in further education has fallen by 35% in real terms and the gap between school and college teachers stands at around £9k read more
Strikes begin today at Goldsmiths in jobs row – Industrial action by University and College Union (UCU) members will begin today (Monday 7 Feb) at Goldmiths University as part of an ongoing dispute over plans to sack 46 members of staff. Goldsmiths wants to make the cuts as part of a ‘recovery plan’ after years of financial mismanagement have left the university with a £12.7m deficit. The union says the ‘recovery plan’ is a deal struck with Lloyds and Natwest banks to use redundancies to improve the university’s finances. Following a failure by the university last week to reduce the number of compulsory redundancies staff have been left with no option but to take industrial action in defence of jobs. Staff will walk out today (Monday 7 February) and tomorrow, and follow this up with strike action alongside that taking place as part of UCU’s national pay and pension disputes later this month. The full dates that Goldsmiths staff will be on strike over this dispute are – Week 1 Mon 7 & 8 Feb; Week 2 Wed 16 – Fri 18 Feb; Week 3 Mon 28 Feb – Fri 4 March
The university has already been hit with a global boycott which means UCU is asking its members, other trade unions, labour movement organisations and the international academic community to support its members at Goldsmiths in any way possible read more Follow @GoldsmithsUCU on twitter
UCU fighting fund: the link is here and donations to the fund are spent on supporting members involved in important disputes.
Newsquest “bonus scheme” places unprecedented pressure on staff (11 Mar) – Findings from the NUJ reveal staff are struggling to meet high targets and cope with increasing pressure from Newsquest. The NUJ is increasingly concerned about Newsquest’s use of bonus schemes accompanied by unrealistic digital targets, that lead to damaging impacts on the mental health and wellbeing of staff. Reporters working with large workloads, limited editorial resources and tight deadlines, now also face highly pressured newsrooms where a race to half a million views, may undermine journalistic standards and place quality journalism at risk read more
NUJ backs call for Government rethink on Judicial Review and Courts Bill (11 Mar) – Current bill proposals will significantly restrict media knowledge and pose a serious risk to open justice. The NUJ has backed a call from crime and court reporters across the country for the government to think again about damaging provisions within the Judicial Review and Courts Bill read more
Prospect achieves recognition with Loganair (10 Mar) – Prospect has today entered into a Voluntary Recognition Agreement with Loganair, the UK’s largest regional airline, covering its Engineering and Maintenance teams read more
Sign the petition to save Stratford Circus! https://www.change.org/p/save-stratford-circus
UVW GOSH strike protest: Thursday 18th March – 12.00pm Facebook event
Support the six-week GOSH security guards strike
📍Meeting point: North end of Queen Square, London WC1N 3AU
There are some restrictions within 50 metres of the hospital which we will clarify to anyone joining us. 🚫
See this map of where we’re meeting and the rough area where the restrictions apply. 🗺️
UVW stewards will be on hand to answer any questions.
Let’s make sure the wealthy GOSH trustees see us and hear us! 🎺 We won’t give up the fight for equality! ✊🏾
Women security guards at Great Ormond Street Hospital, on their strike for equality (11 Mar) – Erica Rasheed, UVW member and security officer at Great Ormond Street Hospital on strike: “The security industry needs more women.There are plenty of industries where men still dominate the workforce. And security is one of them…” read more
VICTORY! Hospital cleaners call off strike after winning full nhs parity from 1 April 2022 – “We are all so happy. Our lives are going to change so much because now we know we are fully GOSH employees and it’s permanent. No more humiliation and bullying for us. Thumbs up to UVW. We had nothing until UVW came to help us, so thank you UVW for all you’ve done for us. Greatest union ever.” Memuna Kabia, cleaner for GOSH and UVW member. Hundreds of cleaners and United Voices of the World (UVW) members at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), who were set to strike mid March over continuing inequality, have finally obtained full NHS contracts from 1 April 2022. The hospital was dragging its feet over bringing the cleaner’s contracts in line with the rest of their NHS colleagues, as promised when they were in-housed last summer. The cleaners and their union UVW forced the hand of the hospital by calling for a two-day strike mid March, which was averted after last minute concessions by bosses at GOSH read more
Write to London Bridge Hospital: End poverty pay & poor treatment of cleaners! Use this quick tool to back the workers by writing to the London Bridge Hospital bosses at HCA Healthcare and Compass Group read more
Write to Stuart Delivery, JustEat: END THE STRIKE, PAY RISE NOW!
SIPTU members seek review of Public Service Agreement over rise in living costs (11 Mar) – SIPTU members want the review clause of the Public Service Agreement, Building Momentum, invoked due to the spike in the rate of inflation and the associated rise in the cost of living, according to SIPTU Deputy General Secretary, John King read more
Fight blacklisting and 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]
Support GARY CARNEY, TRAIN OPERATOR – LONDON UNDERGROUND
Defend Adrian Mitchell RMT driver on London Underground
Donate to solidarity campaign of Moe Muhsin Manir Unite bus rep Email messages of support to Moe: [email protected]
Trade union rep victimisation at Woolwich Ferry reaches ‘obscene levels’, says Unite
Unite: Ealing’s Labour council ‘actively helping’ Serco ‘hound’ union rep from civil enforcement job
St Mungos management escalate dispute by suspending Unite rep – sign petition: End the culture of fear at St Mungo’s – model motion
St Mungo’s: Unite will not tolerate victimisation and bullying
Sign petition: Reinstate Gary Bolister sacked GMB rep at Islington Council
Watch Reel News video: Victimised union reps: Act like it’s you and fight back
Reinstate John Boken Shropshire NEU rep – For more details and send solidarity messages, email [email protected]
Sign petition to support Redbridge NEU Rep Keiran Mahon
Watch Reel News video: Huddersfield teachers strike to defend Louise Lewis
Victimised Tesco warehouse rep Max McGee fighting for reinstatement read more. There is now a GoFundMe to support the campaign (https://www.gofundme.com/f/reinstate-max-usdaw-rep-socialist) and Max can be invited to speak at Usdaw and other union branches plus trades councils ([email protected])
Blacklisting Investigation – 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
Keep up with developments and read and watch campaigners’ statements on the Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance (COPS) and Undercover Policing Inquiry websites and spycops info Facebook group
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
Defend three female Iranian activists
The National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) calls for the immediate unconditional release from prison of the Iranian writer and activist Sepideh Qoliyan and no recall to prison of the trade unionists Nasrin Javadi and Nahid Khodajou. Sepideh Qoliyan was arrested, alongside Esmail Bakhshi and a number of other workers’ leaders, in November 2018 when she was reporting on and supporting the long, ongoing struggle of workers at the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro Industrial Company. These workers were battling over wage and payment issues and for the renationalisation of the privatised company under workers’ control. While now the company has been renationalised workers are still struggling to establish workers’ control over the company’s functioning. Since then she has been in and out of prison. Currently it is reported that she has caught Covid but the regime refuses to move her to a hospital.
Ms. Nasrin Javadi, a member of Free Trade Union of Iranian Workers and a retired medical equipment worker, was arrested on the May 1st 2019 at a protest outside the Parliament and sentenced to 7 years imprisonment and 74 lashes. At present she is free, but the regime wants to send the 64 years old Nasrin Javadi back to prison.
Ms. Nahid Khodajou is retired worker and leadership member of Free Trade Union of Iranian Workers. She was also arrested at the May 1st 2019 protest outside the Parliament in protest. After 33 days of imprisonment she was free after a bail payment. Later she was sentenced to six years in prison and 74 lashes and now, like with Nasrin, the regime wants to send her back to prison.
We request that urgent messages be sent to the Iranian Embassy, [email protected], demanding Sepideh Qoliyan’s release from jail and that neither Nasrin Javadi nor Nahid Khodajou are returned to prison.
Copies of protests should be sent to:
Free Trade Union of Iranian Workers: [email protected]
Haft Tappeh workers union: [email protected]
The Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company: [email protected] and Telegram: @vahedsyndica.
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
19 Blackpool Trades Union Council demonstration – Britain Needs A Pay Rise: March and rally in Blackpool
2 NSSN Conference 2022 11am-5pm. Venue to be confirmed
PHONE 07952 283 558
EMAIL mailto:[email protected]
TWITTER – https://twitter.com/NSSN_AntiCuts
FACEBOOK NSSN GROUP or STOP The CUTS Likes page
ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE