We headline this week’s NSSN bulletin with further national rail strikes in the Train Operating Companies and industrial action by the RMT and ASLEF, in a year-long dispute. We give our full support and solidarity to these unions and their members and all others taking action in the growing strike wave.
The RMT are striking on successive Saturdays August 26th and September 2nd, while ASLEF are on strike on Friday 1st September and will have an overtime ban on Saturday 2nd September. In addition, RMT members on CrossCountry trains will take four consecutive Saturday strikes in a dispute over working conditions – August 19th, 26th and September 2nd, 9th.
The RMT have also called a demonstration in London on 31st August against the Tories’ plans to close 1,000 ticket offices.
Save Our Ticket Offices March – Thursday, 31 August at 5pm Department for Transport, 33 Horseferry Road, London, SW1P 4DR Facebook event
But the response of the Tories is yet more anti-union legislation. The Minimum Service Level Act (MSL) was passed into law before the Parliamentary summer recess. This means that striking unions can face massive fines and their members can be under threat of dismissal at any time.
The NSSN agrees with fighting unions that are calling for action to ensure that no union is left isolated. The NSSN believes that if workers take action together, the crisis-ridden Tories and their anti-union offensive can be defeated.
NSSN pre-TUC Congress Rally in Liverpool on Sunday September 10th: Fight the Tory anti-union attack – from 1pm at Premier Meetings, Liverpool Albert Dock L3 4AD
The NSSN is delighted to announce the first confirmed speakers at the rally that we have again called at TUC Congress in Liverpool on Sunday September 10th – Union General Secretaries Sharon Graham Unite, Sarah Woolley BFAWU & Steve Gillan POA. We’ll announce others when they are confirmed. We will also give a platform to the many strikes that are taking place.
The annual NSSN Conference on 24th June debated the model motion (now updated below) and unanimously voted to agree it, including supporting the NSSN rally and lobby of TUC Congress. We encourage all union branches and trades councils to discuss the motion and hopefully agree it.
The NSSN agrees with fighting unions that are calling for action to ensure that no union is left isolated against the Tory anti-union laws. The NSSN believes that if workers take action together, the crisis-ridden Tories and their anti-union offensive can be defeated.
The FBU has called for “mass opposition” and for unions to “act together to build a movement to defy and defeat this law.” At its recent AGM, the RMT passed a motion calling for a national demonstration against the MSL and co-ordinated strike action. And Unite at its July Policy Conference, passed a motion to “call on the TUC to co-ordinate action, in the form of a 24-hour general strike.
Watch videos of NSSN Conference – Opening Chair’s remarks with brief highlights of the rally and interviews
To go on the bus from Hull & Leeds – click here
To go on the bus from London – email [email protected]
West Midlands coach:
Coventry pick-up – 8:30am, outside the old swimming baths, Fairfax St, Coventry City Centre CV1 5RQ. Returning approximately 7pm
Birmingham pick-up – 9am, outside the Alexandra Theatre, Suffolk St Queensway, Birmingham City Centre B5 4DS. Returning approximately 6:30pm
For more info/to book a space call/text Nick on 0797 449 3525 or Max on 07413 641450 or email [email protected]
The following are supporting lobbying the TUC. Send us details if your union also agrees to support and we’ll include in this list:-
Nottinghamshire, Nottingham & Mansfield Trades Council, RMT Piccadilly and District West, Hounslow Unison, Hounslow TUC, Ealing TUC, RMT LU Engineering, Southwark Trades Council, Waltham Forest Trades Council, Unite LE/1228 Waltham Forest Council Branch, Unite Housing Workers LE1111, Free Our Unions, Liverpool Trades Council, Unite NW /540 Howden supply division Runcorn, Scotland CWU No2 branch, CWU Highland Amal, BFAWU Kernow, Surrey County Unison, Unite Community Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire branch, Southampton and South West Hampshire TUC, Cardiff Trades Council, Cardiff General Unite branch WA/1048, Unite WM/6050 Tom Mann branch, Birmingham TUC, Coventry TUC, Unite NW 127404 Branch, Unite WM/6030 South Birmingham branch, Coventry CWU Telecoms, Walsall TUC, Birmingham UCU, Hull Trades Council, Sheffield RMT, Sheffield TUC, Swansea Trades Council, Southern East Kent Trades Union Council, Bristol Trades Union Council, Leeds Trades Union Council, Stevenage & District TUC, Carmarthenshire Unison Local Government Branch, Basildon Unison Local Government Branch, Unison NCA Health, Knowsley Unison Local Government Branch, Caerphilly Trades Council, Wakefield Trades Council, Unison Mid Yorkshire Health Branch, Unite Merseyside Area Activist Committee, Unite Notts Area Activist Committee, Unite EM/NG32 Nottinghamshire Health Branch, Brighton Trades Council, Portsmouth Trades Council, Carlisle TUC, Winchester & Andover TUC, Hampshire County Associations of TUCs, Hackney Unison Local Government Branch, Hackney Trades Council
Model Motion on Tory Minimum Service Levels Act
This conference/union/branch/trades council recognises the ‘Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Act’ is a major attack on trade union rights. Sunak’s Conservative government are attempting draconian, undemocratic measures to curtail the right to strike.
Coming on the back of four decades of brutal Tory anti-union legislation, from that of Thatcher and Major through to Cameron, Johnson and now Sunak, it is clearly designed to cut across the strike wave across all sectors, rather than tackle the causes of the cost-of-living crisis. This is another crude attempt to shift the blame for inflation onto the working class whereas every worker knows it is the bosses and their class’s profiteering, which has created the crisis.
The Act allows employers to issue a notice to unions setting out who is required to work during a strike. This potentially leaves unions who refuse to comply open to serious financial penalties through sequestration of funds and removes workers’ protection from being dismissed for undertaking lawful industrial action.
We believe no individual union or member should be left isolated and the whole of the trade union movement must mobilise – collectively – in defence of workers’ rights.
1. All unions and the TUC urgently call a national Saturday demonstration against the new law;
2. Keir Starmer pledges an incoming Labour government to reverse fines and other measures taken against any union under the terms of the Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Act;
3. All employers refuse to use the provisions of the Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Act and that a lead in such non-compliance be given by any government, council, fire authority or other employer led by the Labour Party;
4. If any union is taken to court or worker threatened with dismissal, an emergency demonstration is called and an immediate meeting of the TUC General Council be convened to organise mass co-ordinated strike action, including a 24-hour general strike;
5. The repeal of all anti-union legislation.
We support the NSSN rally to be held at TUC Congress in Liverpool on Sunday 10 September lobbying for this programme of action.
Get your trade union branch or trades council to affiliate to the NSSN – it only costs £50. Already affiliated? Please think about renewing it and/or making an additional donation to help our work. Also, many of our supporters pay a few pounds a month via a standing order.
You can either pay online to ‘National Shop Stewards Network’, HSBC – sort code 40-06-41, account number 90143790.
Or you can pay by cheque to ‘National Shop Stewards Network’ and post to NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE.
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 Katrine on [email protected]
The NSSN is developing a campaign pack for social care, which we hope to make available in the not-too-distant future for supporters to use in their localities. As part of this, communications officer Dave Gorton is keen to hear from supporters who:
(1) work in social care (either local authority, private or independently provided)
(2) represent social care workers for a trade union
(3) are in need of social care provision themselves or act as an (unpaid/underpaid) carer for a family member
Dave can be contacted in the first instance via [email protected]
Cardiff Youth Fight for Jobs Public Meeting: ‘Angry at Work? Get Organised!’ – Wednesday 23rd August, 4pm-6pm, Cardiff Quaker Meeting House 43 Charles Street, Cardiff CF10 2GB. Email [email protected], phone 07597771627
You can receive this bulletin via email or you can choose to unsubscribe and stop receiving them. Like everyone else, the NSSN has to adhere to new data protection regulations. Therefore you must click here to subscribe/unsubscribe. Reports from unions do not necessarily reflect NSSN’s views.
RMT to march on Parliament to save ticket offices (19 Aug) – Railway workers will take the fight for the future of ticket offices to the doorstep of 10 Downing Street on 31 August. The mass rally will see RMT members, trades unionists and supporters from across the political landscape tell the government in no uncertain terms that ticket offices must be saved. A consultation on the future of ticket offices which has received nearly 400,000 responses will close on September 1st and the union is encouraging everyone to take part. Current plans will see up to 1000 ticket offices closed and 2,300 station staff jobs are in jeopardy. RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “The public response to the government wanting to shut every ticket office in Britain has been very encouraging…” read more
Save Our Ticket Offices March – Thursday, 31 August at 5pm Department for Transport, 33 Horseferry Road, London, SW1P 4DR Facebook event
CrossCountry rail staff take strike action (17 Aug) – Workers on CrossCountry trains will take four consecutive Saturday strikes in a dispute over working conditions. Management proposals for staff in Edinburgh would see members becoming poorer, after CrossCountry withdrew an earlier financial offer. There is also no commitment to ensure that members currently with flexible working arrangements will continue to keep their existing agreements in their entirety. CrossCountry informed the RMT that all despatch duties will cease, and that the despatch element of our members current role ‘does not meet their business model’. RMT believes this is the thin end of the wedge. Attempts to resolve the issue through dialogue have so far failed and the union has been appalled at the attitude displayed by management who have focused on circulating propaganda to staff attempting to divide the workforce rather than come to a settlement… Strike dates are as follows:-
- 0001 Hours and 2359 Hours on Saturday 19th August 2023
- 0001 Hours and 2359 Hours on Saturday 26th August 2023
- 0001 Hours and 2359 Hours on Saturday 2nd September 2023
- 0001 Hours and 2359 Hours on Saturday 9th September 2023 read more
Rail Gourmet caterers to take 48 hours strike action on TransPennine Express (16 Aug) – Contracted out caterers will take 2 days of strike action from Thursday over poor pay, pensions and sick pay. RMT members working for Rail Gourmet on TransPennine Express services get lower pay and poorer terms and conditions than colleagues directly employed by the train operator. Rail Gourmet made £1.4 million in profit last year but has refused to make a decent offer. There have been reports that TPE have been training up workers to break the strike, paying them a reported £25 an hour – far more than Rail Gourmet staff on TPE earn read more
Rail workers to take further strike action on 14 train operating companies in national dispute (11 Aug) – 20,000 RMT members working on every grade of the train operating companies will take further strike action in the national dispute over working conditions, pay and job security. All members involved in the dispute are to take strike action and NOT BOOK ON for any shifts between:-
- 0001 and 2359 hrs on Saturday 26th August 2023
- 0001 and 2359 hrs on Saturday 2nd September 2023
The union has been left with little choice but to take further action as the union has seen no improved or revised offer from the Rail Delivery Group. RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “The mood among our members remains solid and determined in our national dispute over pay, job security and working conditions. We have had to call further strike action as we have received no improved or revised offer from the Rail Delivery Group. The reason for this is the government has not allowed them a fresh mandate on which discussions could be held…” read more
ASLEF: Train drivers’ union announces new industrial action (18 Aug) – ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, has today [Friday] announced another one day strike – on Friday 1 September – and an overtime ban across the UK rail network on Saturday 2 September. The strike will force companies to cancel all services in this country and the ban on overtime will seriously disrupt the network as none of the privatised train operating companies employs enough drivers to provide a proper service without drivers working on their days off. The 16 companies affected include: Avanti West Coast; Chiltern Railways; c2c; CrossCountry; East Midlands Railway; Greater Anglia; GTR Great Northern Thameslink; Great Western Railway; Island Line; LNER; Northern Trains; Southeastern; Southern/Gatwick Express; South Western Railway; TransPennine Express; and West Midlands Trains read more
TSSA warning – Tories’ Ticket Offices policy means Glasgow Central and Edinburgh Waverley closures (18 Aug) – TSSA today warned Scottish rail passengers that plans to close almost every ticket office in England will also affect ticket offices in Glasgow Central and Edinburgh Waverley. The Conservative government in Westminster is pressuring rail companies funded through the Department for Transport to close their ticket offices to save costs. These closures will include the ticket office run by LNER at Edinburgh Waverley, and the Avanti ticket office at Glasgow Central, even though they primarily serve Scottish passengers. The closure plans have been fiercely opposed by TSSA and other trade unions, as well as pensioner and disability rights groups read more
TSSA calls for rail fares freeze (16 Aug) – Rail union TSSA has called on the government to implement a freeze on regulated rail fares in 2024 in order to help commuters with the cost of living crisis and encourage more people back onto the county’s railways. The move comes after Ministers announced they would not raise fares above the July 9 per cent of RPI inflation – the measure which normally sets fare for 2024. However, the government has not yet said how much fares will rise by read more
Drivers at Greater Manchester Accessible Transport forced to strike over ‘poverty pay’ (22 Aug) – Drivers at Greater Manchester Accessible Transport forced to strike over ‘poverty pay’. Industrial action to take place over failure of company to improve pay offer or sign up to Good Employment Charter. Bus drivers in Greater Manchester who transport the elderly and disabled have been forced to take strike action over the low pay by Greater Manchester Accessible Transport (GMAT). Members of Unite, the country’s leading trade union, are paid just minimum wage to do a physically and mentally demanding job. They provide an invaluable service, transporting the elderly, infirm or disabled from their homes across Greater Manchester to vital medical appointments, for essential shopping or for leisure and entertainment. GMAT pays the lowest wages of all bus companies in the region and the registered charity has not signed up to the Greater Manchester Good Employment Charter, despite being run by Transport for Greater Manchester and owned by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), both of whom are members of the charter. The charter aims to raise employment standards across Greater Manchester through factors like security of work and fair pay  – including a commitment to the real living wage. Around 7000 users depend on the service and Unite has encouraged the employer to come back to the negotiating table with improved terms above the below-inflation offer made to-date. Currently drivers receive just £10.42 per hour. Following a successful industrial ballot, members will be taking strike action in the coming months with dates to be announced in due course read more
Greggs packaging crisis deepens as Cepac printers in Darlington extend strike action in pay dispute (22 Aug) – The packaging crisis affecting many of the UK’s most popular food and drink companies, including bakers Greggs and sandwich chain, Pret A Manger is set to deepen after workers announced a further two weeks of strike action. The 90 plus workers, who are members of Unite, the UK’s largest union, and employed by Cepac in Darlington began four weeks of strike action last week (Monday 14 August). Due to the company’s failure to engage in any meaningful negotiations, Unite has given notice of a further two weeks of strike action, meaning industrial action will now run continuously until Monday 25 September. The dispute is a result of Cepac only being prepared to offer an eight per cent pay increase, which is below the true inflation rate (RPI) of nine per cent. Additionally, the offer is subject to the workers accepting substantially worse conditions including longer hours, lower overtime rates and a change in shift patterns. The offer is in effect, a significant pay cut read more
Shock rise in bogus self-employment in construction (22 Aug) – A Freedom of Information (FoI) request by Unite, the UK’s construction union, has revealed that 1,206 million construction workers were paid via the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) during 2022/23. This was a 15 per cent increase on the figure for 2021/21 when 1,047 workers were paid via the scheme, a 7.5 per cent increase on the previous year read more
Akzo Nobel workers in Gateshead announce further strikes over pay (18 Aug) – Paint workers at International Paints (parent company Akzo Nobel) in Gateshead have announced additional strike days over pay. Shortages of paints will hit industry and consumers as over 200 workers, who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, have voted for additional strike action after rejecting a pay offer of 4.8 per cent. This is a substantial, real terms, pay cut with the true inflation rate (RPI) currently standing at 9 per cent and which has been as high as 11.3 per cent during the dispute. International Paints has failed to come to the negotiating table in good faith with an improved offer and, in addition, has also threatened to call the police on lawful picket line protests outside its building. The workers, who are based at the Stoneygate Lane factory, produce specialist paints, which are used on ships and offshore facilities, as well as producing the polymer that is used in most Akzo Nobel’s paint brands, including Dulux…Strike action had already begun on Thursday 27 July and has been taking place on every Monday and Thursday for a four-week period. New strike dates have now been announced for Thursday 31 August and then every Monday and Thursday until the final scheduled action on 21 September. In addition, there is a total ban on overtime from 25 August until 22 September. The workers who are taking strike action include production and distribution workers, engineering and technical support, some office and admin support and personnel in research and development read more
Unite secures bonus payment for all Fawley construction workers (18 Aug) – Unite, the UK’s construction union, has secured an agreement that ensures that all construction workers operating at the Fawley oil refinery in Hampshire will receive bonus payments. From 1 September just over 300 Unite members, covered by the National Agreement for the Engineering Construction Industry (NAECI) will receive a £1.63 hourly bonus payment. This was awarded after Unite members, alongside colleagues from the GMB, staged a series of strikes at Fawley late last year. In order to maintain harmony and prevent division on the site, Unite has also secured the same £1.63 an hour bonus payment to be paid to over 100 workers operating under the civils engineering agreement at the refinery. This will also be paid from 1 September. In addition, a further eight workers who are not part of either agreement will get the payment read more
Hundreds of Mossmorran refinery workers down tools over safety concerns as Unite calls on HSE intervention (17 Aug) – Unite claims ExxonMobil and contractors failing in ‘legal duty’ to protect and pay workers. Unite the union can confirm today (17 August) that around 200 members have withdrawn their labour over health and safety concerns at ExxonMobil’s petrochemical plant in Mossmorran. Unite can reveal that workers downed tools on Tuesday (15 August) over health and safety warning signals and procedures not being in full working operation across the plant and the workforce not being informed of this, or any procedures put in place to protect them. The trade union has received reports from workers citing repeated examples over a year that alarm systems are not working in areas at the petrochemical plant and workers not being notified. This is legally required in the event of any leakages, blasts or exposure to hazardous materials and chemicals at the plant. Unite’s members have accordingly withdrawn their labour under the terms of UK legislation, Employment Rights Act 1996 Section 44 and 100. The legislation states that workers have the ‘right’ to withdraw from, and to refuse to return to a workplace that is unsafe, without being subject to any detriment including the loss of wages. ExxonMobil and the contractors are to date, refusing to pay the workers following the withdrawal of labour under the legislation’s terms read more
North-east England faces bus chaos as workers ballot for strikes over pay (17 Aug) – 1,300 members at Go North East buses balloted following below-inflation pay offers – action would bring bus services to a standstill. Unite, Britain’s leading trade union, warned today (Thursday 17 August) that over 1,300 members could come out on strike and bring bus services in north-east England to a halt as its members are balloted for industrial action over pay. Go North East drivers and engineers have been offered a derisory, below-inflation, pay offer that included cuts to terms and conditions. Administrative and clerical staff have not had any pay offer at all. Go North East can easily afford to increase pay offers given the latest accounts of its parent company, the Go-Ahead Group show bus group profits of nearly £85 million. Depots that are being balloted and would be affected by any industrial action are: Consett, Gateshead, Hexham, Percy Main (North Shields), Sunderland and Washington. The ballot opens today and will run until Tuesday 12 September. If industrial action is voted for, strikes will likely take place from mid-September read more
Warwickshire facing extended bus strikes as Stagecoach drivers announce walk out over pay (17 Aug) – Warwickshire is facing extended bus strikes next month as 300 bus drivers employed by Stagecoach announced that they will be taking all-out strike action from Tuesday 5 September in a pay dispute. The drivers who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, have rejected a pay offer of 7.8 per cent for the first year and 4.5 per cent plus £100 for the second year. This year’s pay rise was due to come into effect on 1 July when the real inflation rate (RPI) was 11.3 per cent, making the proposed offer a substantial real terms pay cut. The drivers who are paid just £14 an hour, operate from depots in Nuneaton, Leamington and Stratford-upon-Avon. Stagecoach controls 87 per cent of the bus network in Warwickshire, with routes also extending into Coventry read more
Gatwick strike action suspended as Red Handling workers receive improved offer (17 Aug) – Strike action by workers employed by ground handling company Red Handling, at Gatwick Airport, which was due to begin tomorrow morning (Friday 18 August), has been called off after workers received a significantly improved pay offer. The workers who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, received the revised offer late yesterday (Wednesday 16 August) and will now be balloted on the proposed deal. As an act of good faith this week’s strike action has been suspended. If the workers reject the offer, then the strike action planned from Friday 25 August until Monday 28 August will go ahead as scheduled read more
Luton Airport facing massive disorder as Wizz Air ground handler workers announce strikes (16 Aug) – Passengers flying with Wizz Air have been warned to brace themselves for substantial delays and disruption after workers employed by its ground handler GH London Ground Handling Services Ltd, announced strike action following a complete collapse in industrial relations. The dispute is a result of GH London continually targeting and threatening a Unite rep with disciplinary action; the use of CCTV and audio recording of workers in break rooms without agreement; the company’s failure to follow its own disciplinary and grievance process; the disproportionate use of discipline against ethnic minority employees; and its failure to pay wages in full and on time. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “GH London’s conduct is appalling; workers deserve to be treated with dignity and respect in the workplace and the company’s behaviour falls far below that standard. “Unite always puts the jobs, pay and conditions of its members first and the workers at GH London will be receiving the union’s unflinching support.” Unite has been attempting to resolve these problems, which are longstanding, through negotiations but GH London has failed to heed the union’s concerns. Over 80 members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, will stage three initial days of strike action. The first 24-hour strike will take place on Wednesday 30 August followed by further walk outs on 6 September and 13 September read more
Strike action targets penny-pinching Porsche and Audi deliveries firm (16 Aug) – A miserable 3.2 per cent is to blame for months of strikes. Deliveries of VW vehicles including, Audi, Porsche and Skoda models will face significant delays for months to come unless the profitable GBA Group improves its miserable pay offer of just 3.2%. The strike will mean new VW car deliveries in the Southeast, London and beyond face significant delays as workers at Sheerness Docks prepare to strike for two weeks, beginning the 17 August and then in September and October read more
Inflation: Unite boss says “Workers won’t be fooled” as cost-of-living crisis continues (16 Aug) – Despite triumphant claims in some quarters that the cost-of-living crisis is coming to an end, the truth is that inflation (RPI) is still outstripping wage growth. As people continue to be hammered by food and energy greedflation, they now face huge rises in rent and mortgage costs thanks to Bank of England interest rate rises. Meanwhile, corporations continue to profit. The big four banks have published combined profits of over £29 billion for the first six months of 2023, up 77% on last year. Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham said: “The government, the Bank of England, and profiteering corporations will try to use today’s inflation figures to tell people the crisis is over, but workers won’t be fooled while they see prices and profits continue to rise faster than wages…” read more
Latest statistics confirm workers’ pay in Northern Ireland falling behind both inflation and increase across rest of UK (15 Aug) – The latest monthly statistics released by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) confirm that while overall pay for workers in the region has risen, it has fallen behind the rising cost of living, and the increases elsewhere in the UK read more
Travel turmoil looms as bus strikes could hit Brighton (15 Aug) – Bus strikes could take place across the Go Ahead/Metrobus network in the Brighton & Hove and Crawley areas after union members rejected the latest low-pay offer, Unite, Britain’s leading trade union, announced today. Around 1000 members including bus drivers, cleaners, engineers and other vital roles are being balloted over prospective industrial action. They rejected the last pay offer of just seven per cent back dated to early July and 10 per cent from this weekend. Following a pay survey, workers are demanding increased pay rates and an increase in sick pay. They also want an increase in holiday as those with less than six years’ service get just 20 days. The Brighton and Hove bus company can afford to an improved pay as its latest accounts show a profit of over £11million while its parent company, the Go-Ahead group also posted bus group profits of nearly £85million. Brighton and Hove bus company carries the highest number of passengers, outside of London, in the whole of the UK and is the only bus service in Brighton & Hove serving all the estates and universities. The company covers from Tunbridge Wells to the east, through to Shoreham and Lancing to the west. Metrobus (part of the Go-Ahead group) covers Crawley, including Gatwick Airport. The ballot opens tomorrow (16 August) and closes on 12 September. If successful, strike action will likely begin at the end of September read more
Unite demands Berry BPI ‘intervention’ ahead of Scottish Government crisis meeting (15 Aug) – Greenock based packaging manufacturer faces closure by Christmas. Unite the union has demanded ‘immediate intervention’ by the Scottish Government over the potential loss of 68 job at the Greenock based Berry BPI factory. Ahead of a crisis meeting with Neil Gray MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Wellbeing Economy, Fair Work and Energy this afternoon (15 August at 4.45pm), Unite said that ‘no stone will be left unturned’ in a bid to save the jobs. The workforce manufactures a range of products for the construction, industrial packaging and healthcare sectors read more
Tesco facing dirty Didcot depot as Atalian Servest caterers and cleaners strike over pay (14 Aug) – Workers based at Tesco’s depot in Didcot have been warned to be braced for a dirty depot and canteen closures as workers employed by Atalian Servest have announced strike action over pay. The dispute involves cleaning and catering staff employed on an outsourced contract and is a result of Atalian Servest refusing to even negotiate over a pay increase. The cleaners are on pay rates of as little as £11 an hour, which includes weekend and bank holiday work at no additional rate, they operate in the main Tesco warehouse which is only heated to one degree. Meanwhile the catering staff are paid the minimum wage of £10.42 an hour. The workers who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, have announced two initial 24 hour strikes beginning on Friday 1 September and Thursday 7 September, followed by a three day strike beginning on Friday 15 September and a further three day strike beginning on Thursday 21 September. Atalian Servest is very financially healthy; its latest accounts for 2021 reveal that it made gross profits of £84 million read more
Travel chaos predicted as 1,500 Manchester bus drivers strike over pay and conditions (11 Aug) – Drivers from both First Manchester and Stagecoach Manchester are to strike for nine days over August and September over ‘derisory’ pay offers Unite, the UK’s leading trade union, announced today (Friday 11 August). Industrial action by around 1,500 drivers is predicted to bring chaos to the city as it coincides with a Manchester United home game at Old Trafford, a concert by Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds at Whythenshawe Park, Pride weekend and the return of schools. Strikes will be taking place on the following dates:-
- August Bank Holiday Weekend: 25, 26, 27, 28 August 2023
- September: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 September 2023
Stagecoach drivers are taking action over a failure to backdate a pay offer. While an improved offer of around 14.3 per cent was made – taking the hourly rate to £16 an hour – the deal would have been implemented from September rather than June, the agreed anniversary date for pay rises. Instead, a £750 one-off payment in lieu of full back pay was offered. Stagecoach’s latest financial report showed its adjusted profit before tax increased 98 per cent to £36.4 million in the six months to 29 October 2022. For the 2021/2022 financial year, Stagecoach reported revenues of almost £1.2 billion with adjusted profits of £72.7 million. Industrial action is already underway by Stagecoach drivers beginning today and lasting four days read more
Solent braced for bank holiday weekend bus strikes as First South workers walk out (11 Aug) – The Solent area has been warned to expect significant disruption over the August bank holiday weekend as bus workers employed by First South take strike action over pay. The dispute is a result of the company refusing to make a reasonable cost of living payment to its workers, who are struggling to make ends meet on low wages. Drivers are paid just £12 an hour, while the lowest earners at the company receive just £11.03 an hour. The company has refused to negotiate on the issue. The four days of strike action which will involve 185 members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, will begin at 03:00 on Friday 25 August and end at 03:00 on Tuesday 29 August… Strike action will affect bus routes across the entire Solent area including Portsmouth, Southampton as well as Cosham, Fareham, Gosport and Paulsgrove. The strike will also coincide with the Victorious music festival in Southsea read more
A.G. Barr workers strike to hit Irn-Bru supplies (10 Aug) – Soft drinks company offering real terms pay cut despite £52.9m chilling in the bank. Unite the union confirmed today (10 August) strike action will go ahead tomorrow at A.G. Barr’s production and distribution centre in Cumbernauld. Unite represents trucker and shunter drivers who are essential to the supply of the company’s world-renowned products including Irn-Bru – one of the nation’s most popular soft drinks. There will be pickets outside the main entrance to the Cumbernauld centre at 5.30 am until 8am, and thereafter at 1pm until 3pm. The 24-hour stoppage is the first of nine with the final stoppage ending on 6 October. A continuous ban on overtime also came into effect this week read more
St Mungo’s should hang its head in shame (9 Aug) – Homelessness workers on strike for decent pay while CEO pay rises to £189,000. A solidarity rally will take place on 10 August outside St Mungo’s London headquarters from midday on St Thomas More Square E1W. Unite is calling on St Mungo’s to focus on solving the strike rather than wasting money on strike breaking – it won’t work. As of 10 August, hostile employers will be stopped from recruiting agency staff to undermine legal strike action. Up to now, St Mungo’s has been using a number of agencies to try to break the strike. Now management is tying itself in knots, wasting money in a desperate attempt to transfer agency workers on to short term contracts. Instead of solving the dispute St Mungo’s is allowing the ongoing strike action to cause major disruption. The charity’s actions are creating an expensive and administrative nightmare. Meanwhile Unite has recruited 350 new members since the start of the dispute. Workers are not believing the misinformation being peddled by the employer read more strike fund More info on Unite Housing Workers website
Refuse workers to hold demonstration as Cumberland council seeks to prolong strikes (8 Aug) – Refuse workers in the Workington area of Cumbria will hold a demonstration this week on 10th August, after discovering that Cumberland council has made moves to further to prolong the industrial action, rather than resolving the long running dispute concerning low pay. The workers have been on all-out strike since 16 May in the dispute over low pay. They are employed by Allerdale Waste Services (AWS) which is a company 100 per cent owned by Cumberland Council. The demonstration coincides with the date when employers can no longer legally use agency workers to undermine lawful strike action. However, rather than resolve the dispute, AWS, in conjunction with Cumberland council, is seeking to circumvent the new rules by moving workers from agency working to being directly employed on short term contracts read more
Council workers in Scotland vote for strike action in pay dispute (7 Aug) – Unite confirms education and early years services in 10 councils set to face targeted action. Unite the union can confirm today (7 August) that its council membership in education and early years services across 10 councils have voted for industrial action. Thousands of key council workers are now set to take targeted industrial action when schools resume after the summer break. This includes janitors, cleaners, caterers, classroom assistants and administrative staff. The 10 councils set to be impacted by industrial action are as follows: Argyll and Bute, Clackmannanshire, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar , Dundee, East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, Fife, Glasgow City, Inverclyde and Orkney read more
Council workers across England and Wales vote yes to pay strikes – with more to come (28 Jul) – Coordinated industrial action across nations inevitable as rising prices and a decade of falling wages bite. Nearly 3,000 workers at 16 councils across England and Wales have voted for strike action over pay, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Friday). Further ballots are also to set to close in the coming weeks, with even more council workers voting for strike action over a pay offer of just £1,925 – equating to an increase of between 4 per cent and 9 per cent depending on individual grades. In reality, this is a real terms pay cut for all workers. Council workers have seen their wages decline by over a quarter in real terms since 2010 due to wage freezes and below inflation pay increases. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Over the last decade, local government workers have seen their pay plummet in real terms. Rising prices have pushed many to the brink – they need a proper pay rise now. Unite will never stop fighting to defend and improve workers’ jobs, pay and conditions and our local government members have their union’s unwavering support.” Unite has balloted thousands of local authority members, with workers providing council services in Bath and North East Somerset, Cardiff, Chesterfield, Cornwall, Coventry, Cumberland, Cynon Valley, Darlington, Derby and North Tyneside, Gwynedd, Ispwich, Plymouth, Sefton, Warrington, Wigan and Wrexham the first to vote for strike action. Next week, senior Unite reps from councils across England and Wales will meet to decide a plan of action regarding the strike votes read more
Kings Lynn and West Norfolk’s largest social housing provider hit by pay strikes (4 Aug) – Freebridge Community Housing paying poverty wages despite £3.6m surplus. Nearly 60 Freebridge Community Housing workers will strike over poverty pay, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Friday). Many of the workers, who perform a variety of roles, including in cleaning and maintenance, are paid little more than the national minimum wage and many are struggling to pay their bills. They are angry that Freebridge has offered them a five per cent increase and a £500 non-consolidated payment, despite the association’s robust financial health. This is a significant, real terms pay cut when the real rate of inflation, RPI, stands at 10.7 per cent. Freebridge had a total turnover of £32 million and a surplus of £3.57 million in 2022 and increased its rents by seven per cent this year…The workers will strike on 21, 29, 30 and 31 August and on 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 September. The strike action will severely impact Freebridge’s cleaning and maintenance services and will intensify if the dispute is not resolved read more
Luton Airport passengers facing “toilet hell” as cleaners strike over pay (3 Aug) – Cleaners working at Luton Airport will take strike action this month over low pay. The 30 plus workers who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, are employed by Sasse Ltd on an outsourced contract. The workers, who are currently paid just £10.90 an hour, have rejected a pay increase of five per cent for day workers and seven per cent for night workers. With the real inflation rate (RPI) currently standing at 10.7 per cent this amounts to a substantial real terms pay cut. The workers have announced two initial 24-hour strikes beginning at 06:30 on Friday 11 August, with the second strike taking place form the same time on Wednesday 30 August read more
Real terms pay cut provokes strike action at Luton Airport (19 Jul) – The strike will mean disruption when accessing the airport and the terminal. A real terms pay cut has prompted workers at Luton Airport to announce two days of strike action on Friday 28 July and Tuesday 1 August 2023. The workers who are employed by APCOA Parking UK are calling on the company to enter into pay negotiations rather than imposing a below inflation 6 per cent pay deal which amounts to a real terms pay cut. The strike will inevitably mean delays for passengers and staff who use the car parks and terminal at Luton Airport. The workers taking action include valet parking workers and bus drivers transporting passengers and staff from car parks to the airport terminal. Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham said: “Workers at Luton Airport won’t accept a pay cut dressed up as a pay rise. At a time when prices are going through the roof APCOA need to negotiate with Unite rather than imposing a real terms pay cut. The workers have Unite’s solid support.” Workers will take strike action between 06:30am on Friday 28 July until Saturday 29 July at 06:29am. And again at 06:30am hours on Tuesday 1 August until Wednesday 2 August at 06:29am read more
Norwich hospital and health centres across Norfolk facing significant disruption as Norse maintenance workers strike over pay (3 Aug) – Hospitals and health centres across Norwich and Norfolk are facing significant disruption impacting on patients, as workers employed by Norse Commercial Services prepare to take strike action in a dispute over pay. The workers, who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, undertake critical maintenance duties for all Norfolk Community and Health Care Trusts’ hospitals and health centres. The workers have rejected a four per cent pay increase which is a substantial real terms pay cut with the current true inflation rate (RPI) standing at 10.7 per cent. Industrial relations have further deteriorated as Norse has imposed the four per cent increase and blamed the hospital trust for not being prepared to increase payments on the contract. The workers will take strike action from 08:00 Thursday 17 August until 07:59 on Tuesday 22 August. During this time the hospital trust will have no maintenance support, including emergency callouts. Further strikes are likely unless the dispute is swiftly resolved read more
Retained firefighters in Tipperary and Waterford to commence two days of strike action tomorrow (2 Aug) – Unite leader Susan Fitzgerald will pay solidarity visit to Carrick-on-Suir picket line. Union warns LGMA that they don’t get to choose the trade union which represents their workforce. Unite the union members working as retained firefighters in Counties Tipperary and Waterford are set to take a further two days strike action starting tomorrow [Thursday 3rd August] and continuing on Friday [4th August]. The two day strike represents an escalation of an industrial dispute which has arisen due to the continued refusal of the Local Government Management Association (LGMA), which represents the local authorities, to engage with Unite over workforce concerns. Retained firefighters, who form the backbone of Ireland’s firefighting service, have seen retainers and call-out fees frozen for years while the location requirements make it difficult or impossible for workers to supplement their low earnings with other employment. Retained firefighters are also seeking structured and predictable ‘off-call’ times, rather than – as is currently the reality – operating on a 24/7 basis. Ahead of the strike action Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham expressed her support for the striking firefighters: “Retained firefighters perform a vital role for the whole community and face considerable risks in the performance of their duties. These are frontline and essential workers but they have been taken for granted for too long…” read more
Glasgow Parking wardens and Emirates Arena workers strike over poor pay (2 Aug) – Disruption set to impact Cycling World Championships and traffic enforcement across Scotland’s largest city. Around 70 Unite members employed by Glasgow Life at the Emirates Arena and City Parking are set to take strike action tomorrow (Thursday 3 August). Unite members will walk out across both organisations at 7.30am to begin 48-hour strike action over the current local government pay offer. There will be pickets held outside the Emirates Arena and Cadogan Square Car Park to coincide with the strike action. A rally involving both groups of workers is also being held at midday at the Donald Dewar statue on Buchanan Street read more
Kings Lynn Cooper Roller Bearings workers to strike over pay (2 Aug) – Profitable company offering strings attached deal that amounts to ‘pay cut’. More than 100 workers employed by Cooper Roller Bearings in Kings Lynn are to strike over pay, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Wednesday 2 August). The workers have rejected a 5.5 per cent pay offer. With the true rate of inflation, RPI, standing at 10.7 per cent, this is a real terms pay cut. The offer also comes with a ‘strings attached’ performance related bonus of up to six per cent. Cooper Roller Bearings made a profit before tax of more than £7 million in the year ending 31 December 2022…The workers will strike for one day on 21 August. After that a continuous overtime ban will commence, with strike days doubling every week until the dispute is resolved read more
Irish Water: Lack of engagement by employer representatives’ forces dispute escalation (1 Aug) – Unite the union seeks engagement with LGMA over shortcomings in proposed Framework. Pickets set for eight local authorities from 00.01 Wednesday [2nd August] to 23.59 Friday [4th August]. Unite members working in water delivery services for eight local authorities around the country will escalate their industrial action this week with a further three days of stoppages. Water workers will take strike action at Carlow County Council, Cork City Council, Cork County Council, Fingal County Council, Kerry County Council, South Dublin County Council, Tipperary County Council and Waterford County Council. The action is due to the continued refusal of local authorities and its representative body, the Local Government Management Agency (LGMA) to meaningfully engage with the union over its members’ concerns regarding shortcomings to the ‘Framework for the Future Delivery of Water Services’ document put forward by the Workplace Relations Commission last year. The Framework document was rejected overwhelmingly by Unite members employed in water services delivery as essential workers, as it failed to address their concerns read more
Selby bin strike intensifies as North Yorkshire council ‘missing in action’ (31 Jul) – Urbaser refuse workers will begin week-long strikes on black bin days from August. Pay strikes by outsourced refuse workers in Selby, employed by waste company Urbaser on behalf of the North Yorkshire unitary authority, are to intensify from this week. The dispute is a result of the workers rejecting an eight per cent pay offer plus a bonus because they are on some of the lowest rates in the country for their roles. Bin loaders and grounds workers are paid just £10.64 an hour and refuse lorry drivers, who require an HGV license, are paid just £12.51 an hour. The offer is a real terms pay cut as the real rate of inflation, RPI, stands at 10.7 per cent. Strikes will intensify from individual days to four day strikes, impacting weeks when non-recyclable household waste is collected…The workers will strike from 1 August to 4 August, 15 August to 18 August, 29 August to 1 September, 12 September to 15 September and 26 September to 29 September. Strike action will intensify if the dispute is not resolved. In an attempt to undermine the strike and the union, Ubraser has implemented the rejected pay deal for workers not taking industrial action. It is also disregarding a collective grievance Unite members have submitted regarding this by holding one-to-one meetings with striking workers rather than honouring the agreed collective bargaining process read more
Choppy waters as Scotland’s lighthouse workers resume second wave of strike action (27 Jul) – Sea vessels anchored in long-running pay dispute. Unite the union confirmed that its Northern Lighthouse Board (NLB) members will resume 24-hour strike action in a long-running dispute over pay. Around 40 Unite members including able seamen, base assistants, cooks and technicians will take 24-hour strike action beginning at noon on Thursday (27 July). The action ends the following day at noon. The latest strike action follows a previous 24-hour stoppage over 26 to 27 June. The workers maintain and operate Scotland’s lighthouses, beacons and buoys at sea ensuring that vessels and ships have safe passage through Scottish waters read more
East London NHS Foundation Trust workers vote for pay and safe staffing strikes (26 Jul) – Unite members across the NHS continue to fight for health service’s future. Nearly 400 East London NHS Foundation Trust workers have voted to strike over pay and safe staffing levels, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Wednesday). The workers, from a wide number of professions and roles and based across numerous East London NHS Foundation Trust sites, will join 800 of their colleagues at Guys and St Thomas’ in industrial action to save the health service. Over 1,000 workers employed at Barts Health NHS Trust are also currently being balloted for industrial action, with the result due on 22 August. All of the workers are suffering the effects of the worst staffing crisis in NHS history. Overstretched and underpaid, they are calling on the government to address the chronic shortages blighting their hospitals read more
Hull and East Riding Citizens Advice workers to strike for first time (25 Jul) – Workers angry with wealthy charity for refusing to implement national pay deal despite years of doing so. Over 60 Hull and East Riding Citizens Advice workers are to strike for the first time, Unite, the UK’s leading union, announced today (Tuesday). The workers voted for strike action after the charity refused to increase pay in line with National Joint Council (NJC) scales operated by local authorities, as has been the norm for the last 20 years. The NJC has recommended a consolidated payment of £1,925 for all grades for 2022. Citizens Advice in Hull and East Riding can afford to implement the payment and had cash reserves of £1,076,156 as of 31 March 2022. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “For two decades, Citizens Advice’s workers in Hull and East Riding have dutifully accepted the NJC’s pay recommendation, despite it resulting in years of real terms pay cuts. But now, the charity is reneging on that agreement because they say the offer is too high. This is totally unacceptable and duplicitous behaviour by an organisation that can afford to pay. Our members, who are struggling with rising costs and are being treated appallingly by their employer, are right to strike. Our members’ jobs, pay and conditions are this union’s top priority and Citizens Advice’s workforce will receive Unite’s total support.” Over the last 10 years, NJC pay awards have resulted in real terms pay cuts of 27 per cent for Citizens Advice advisors and have reduced the pay for admin staff from £5,000 above national minimum wage in 2014 to just 40p above the minimum wage today. The workers will strike on 31 July followed by one day strikes on 7 August, 9 August and 11 August. If the dispute is not resolved more strike action will be scheduled. Citizens Advice Hull and East Riding services will not be available during the strikes read more
Further two days of strike action confirmed as dispute at Vista Therm escalates following union-busting response of management (19 Jul) – Elected workplace rep suspended and union members at the factory have been threatened with disciplinary and legal action. Union challenges Managing Director Philip Corrigan to intervene to avoid further escalation. Members of Unite the union employed at Vista Therm, a glass manufacturer based at Silverwood in Craigavon, have been subject to extreme union-busting tactics following last Friday’s one-day strike. The strike followed a unanimous (100%) ballot for industrial action, up to and including strike, which was taken in response to the company’s refusal to engage in pay negotiations. Management claim that they no longer recognise Unite the union despite a collective bargaining agreement existing at the workplace since 2007. On Friday, representatives of Vista Therm came out to the picket to note the names of workers and police were called out. Since returning to work, union members have been subject to an extreme campaign of union-busting – including the suspension of an elected workplace representative and numerous trade union members being threatened with disciplinary action. The workforce, which is overwhelmingly Polish speaking, report exclusively English-language warnings being issued questioning their absence from work and management adopting tactics of repeatedly shifting trade unionists around the factory. Last week, Unite lodged notice of a further two days of strike action on Thursday and Friday coming (20th/21st July). The union warned that the strike action was likely to escalate with a more extensive stoppage in the coming period. Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham challenged Vista Therm management on their union-busting actions read more
Pay and understaffing provokes strike ballot at Barts NHS Trust (11 Jul) – Workers transferred to the NHS from Serco demand pay justice and safe staffing. Unite accuses Barts of short changing some of the lowest paid workers in the trust. Over 1,000 NHS workers at Barts Health NHS Trust will begin voting on industrial action today (Tuesday 11 July) in a dispute over low pay and understaffing. Last year a tireless campaign by Unite activists and union reps, which included strike action, paved the way for the workers to be transferred to NHS employment. The cleaners, caterers, porters, security guards, ward hosts and domestic staff had previously been employed by Serco. But over 1000 workers who transferred onto NHS terms after 31 March 2023 are absolutely furious that Barts is refusing to pay them a £1,655 lump sum which is part of the NHS pay deal. A significant number of workers are also losing money due to the way the NHS disregarded their length of service while employed by Serco and attempts by the Trust to pay workers inferior overtime rates. The workforce are also suffering the effects of the worst staffing crisis in NHS history. Over stretched and overworked, they are calling on Barts and the UK Government to address the chronic shortages blighting their hospitals…The ballot opens today (Tuesday 11 July) and closes on Tuesday 22 August read more
Unite announces fresh NHS strikes in London and Yorkshire in pay and safe staffing dispute (7 Jul) – Unite members at Guys and St Thomas’ hospital in London and at the Yorkshire Ambulance Service will take strike action next week in the long running dispute over pay and safe staffing. The workers at Guys and St Thomas’ will hold a 24 hour strike from 07:00 on Thursday 13 July, while the union’s members at Yorkshire Ambulance Service will strike on Friday 14 July, between 15:00 and 22:00. The industrial action in both cases will coincide with the latest strike action being taken by junior doctors who are members of the British Medical Association. The strikes are the latest development in the union’s long running pay dispute. Unite rejected the government’s pay offer this spring, as it failed to address the recruitment and retention crisis that has engulfed the NHS. Unite is also taking action due to increasing concerns about safe staffing in the NHS. A recent survey of Unite’s NHS workers found that in the past year 48 per cent of members had regularly witnessed staffing shortages that had compromised patient care. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “The NHS’ recruitment and retention crisis is worsening by the day. Until the government addresses the chronic low pay of NHS workers, the problems currently being experienced will only become more severe. Unite’s focus on the jobs, pay and conditions of its members, means that our workers taking industrial action in the NHS will enjoy the union’s complete support.” Unite national lead officer Onay Kasab said: “Our members are determined to take a stand and highlight how the government’s real terms pay cuts are undermining the NHS and risking patients’ lives.” Unite is currently balloting/re-balloting a substantial number of its members at NHS Trusts throughout England to expand its industrial action mandate read more
Darchem Teesside pay strikes intensify with shut downs across July and August (6 Jul) – Formula One, Rolls Royce, BAE, Hinkley Point impacted after ‘hugely profitable’ firm offers ‘pay cut’. Pay strikes by nearly 300 workers employed by engineering firm Darchem in Stillington, Stockton-on-Tees, will intensify over the summer, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Thursday). The workers have already taken seven days of strike action over pay, with a further 15 days now scheduled to take place during July and August. This week, the workers rejected in a ballot by 92 per cent an offer of six per cent backdated to February, with a further four per cent in October. The offer removed a condition that the pay anniversary date be changed from February to October, which would have resulted in a 20-month pay deal being imposed. However, the workers believe that a split pay deal is still unreasonable given the company’s huge profits. Darchem, owned by the US-based TransDigm Group, is an extremely profitable company that makes a range of products for the automotive, aerospace, energy and shipbuilding industries. The company’s latest financial returns show it had a turnover of over £108 million in 2021. During the same year, operating profits increased by 53.3 per cent to £25.3 million…The strikes, which also involve members of the GMB union, will shut down Darchem’s Stillington factory. This will impact production for Darchem’s clients, including BAE, Formula One racing companies, Hinkley Point and Rolls Royce aerospace. The fresh strikes will take place from 18 to 21 July, 25 to 28 July, 1 to 4 August, 8 to 11 August and 15 to 18 August read more
Roads Service workers strike in dispute over productivity-based pay system (4 Jul) – Workers concerned that productivity unit bonus leaves workers subject to management victimisation and undermines health and safety. Strike action commenced at roads service depots in west yesterday [Monday 3rd July] and due at depots in east from Thursday 6th July. Roads Service workers in Unite the union have recommenced strike action in their industrial campaign to end pay being subject to manager’s discretion read more
Leicester aerospace engine bolt maker Howmet hit by pay strikes (27 Jun) – Highly profitable firm offers low paid workers inadequate ‘strings attached’ pay deal. More than 50 Leicester factory workers employed by aerospace engine bolt manufacturer Howmet are to strike later this month, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Tuesday). The workers, who earn as little as £11 per hour and an average of £12.50 an hour, have rejected a four per cent offer, plus purported pay incentives, that has more ‘strings attached than a grand piano’. Howmet Fastenings’ latest financial report shows it made UK profits of over £4 million for the year ending December 2021. US-based parent company Howmet Aerospace, meanwhile, reported that international revenue in the first quarter of 2023 increased by 21 per cent to $1.6 billion, with profits of $360 million. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Howmet may proclaim that it has put forward a generous pay offer but it is smoke and mirrors – the deal has more strings attached than a grand piano. Howmet’s workers are low paid and struggling with rising living costs, while the company brings in millions. Unite’s top priority is our members’ jobs, pay and conditions and these striking workers will receive the union’s full support until Howmet puts forward an acceptable pay offer.” Howmet’s Leicester factory supplies parts to Rolls Royce, Pratt and Whitney. The first day of strike action will take place on Thursday 29 June, followed by a continuous overtime ban and work to rule after the strike ends. If the dispute is not resolved further strike dates will be scheduled read more
St Helens NGF glass cord engineers strike over pay (23 Jun) – NGF workers angry pay offer less than colleagues received at sister company Pilkingtons sites. St Helen’s engineering and maintenance workers employed by NGF, which produces glass cord used in rubber and plastic products, will strike over pay. Unite, the UK’s leading union, said the workers are angry at being offered a 5.65 per cent pay rise plus an £800 bonus that is lower than offers received by their colleagues at nearby sites. NGF is a sister company to Pilkingtons UK, whose workers at a number of sites in the surrounding region have received pay rises 6.75 per cent plus £750 and 7.5 per cent. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Our members are rightly angry they are being treated as second class employees compared to their colleagues at nearby Pilkingtons. Unite is now completely focused on protecting and improving our members’ jobs, pay and conditions and these workers will receive their union’s total support.” The workers will stage two 48 hours strikes on 2 July and 14 July. If the dispute is not resolved strike action will escalate. The dispute also involved members of the GMB union read more
Post Office chiefs ‘must not get away with it’ insists CWU (17 Aug) – Union demands ‘real change’ after publication of review into bosses’ bonuses. Yesterday’s release of an Independent Report into the Post Office’s Remuneration Committee has sparked renewed calls for heads to roll at the top of the organisation. The review had been ordered by the Government’s Business & Trade (formerly Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy) Department in response to controversy over the criteria – linked to the Horizon Scandal Inquiry – used for large bonus payouts made to senior executives and the recording of those criteria in the Post Office’s Annual Report earlier this year read more
CWU wins grading boost for BT Openreach Polers (15 Aug) – Union negotiates higher rate for Gang Leads in successful role-sizing process. Some 125 Openreach engineers who lead hard-working teams of telegraph pole installers around the UK will see their base pay rates set at a minimum £33,500 thanks to the persistent and determined efforts of CWU negotiators. The agreed rate, which will be enhanced by a bonus scheme with an ‘on-target’ rate of 10 per cent, is at the company’s TMNE3 grade, which is significantly higher than the TMNE2 rate base pay of £31,911 that the business first set out when the talks began read more
You can show your support to the strikes by PCS members by:
- Making donations to the PCS Fighting Fund Levy account, sort code: 60-83-01, account no. 20331490
- Sending solidarity messages to [email protected]
- Signing our petition to tell prime minister Rishi Sunak to intervene and hold meaningful talks to end the strikes.
- Support us on social media with the hashtags: #PCSonStrike #BlameTheGovt
- New E-action in support of PCS national pay and pensions campaign – The E-action calls on MPs to support our demands over pay, pensions, redundancy terms and job security read more
PCS to launch national ballot on next stage in our campaign (12 Jul) – The NEC met today and discussed the next steps in our national campaign. The NEC received over 160 responses from branches to our consultation and based on that feedback agreed to run an online consultative ballot from 3 to 31 August. The ballot will ask members in the civil service and related areas to endorse the strategy proposed by the National Executive Committee (NEC) for the next stage in our national campaign read more
Pensions Regulator staff to strike over pay (21 Aug) – The staff have been offered only a 3% pay increase despite the improved civil service pay remit of 4.5-5%. Over 1,000 PCS members working for The Pensions Regular (TPR) in Brighton, who protect workplace pensions in the UK, will take strike action from 5-18 September after being offered just a 3% pay rise read more
37-hour contracts in MOD (18 Aug) – Compensation was paid by MOD DE&S and SDA for errors in pay system. Emails and phone calls are coming into DSG regarding the payments made to 37-hour staff that had undertaken overtime between 2016 and May 2022. The department issued FAQs on this in July 2023, setting out the MOD’s position. PCS did not agree that the payments should be limited to 28 months as our 37-hour members were not getting all the money they were owed, but once again legal precedent prevented us taking legal action read more
Important UK Civil Service Pensions Scheme update (17 Aug) – Around 400,000 scheme members are affected by the McCloud Judgement Remedy. Are you one of them? In 2015 the UK government introduced new reformed pensions schemes where existing members had to switch unless they were “protected”. Following legal action by trade unions including PCS, the court ruled in 2018 that the protections amount to unlawful age discrimination and must be remedied. This is known as the McCloud Judgement Remedy. This means that the pension scheme must roll back pension accounts to legacy pension benefits for all service to the 31 March 2022, calculated under both Alpha and legacy terms read more
Prospect members at the CAA to be balloted on industrial action (26 Jul) – Prospect members at the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) are to be balloted on industrial action over the employer’s refusal to provide a fair and affordable 2023/24 salary increase. This is the first time a ballot on industrial action has taken place at the CAA. CAA staff have been facing a cost-of-living crisis after more than ten years of pay degradation, with pay having fallen in real terms by 37.2% since 2011 read more
FDA achieves major breakthrough on Fast Stream pay (16 Aug) – Following a long period of negotiations after the union’s successful ballot for industrial action earlier this year, the FDA has reached an agreement with the Cabinet Office on a significant new pay offer for the civil service Fast Stream. The deal will see 68% percent of FDA Fast Stream members receive close to or over 10% in the first year, and 75% see close to or over 10% in the second year of the deal read more
GMB condemns plans by Swindon Borough Council to unlawfully employ agency strike breakers (21 Aug) – The council has confirmed to GMB in a meeting they plan to use agency workers during the strike and the union’s legal advice says this is illegal. GMB the union for social workers at Swindon Borough Council has today written to the recruitment agency Team Matrix, who provides agency social workers to the council, warning that it is a criminal offence to supply agency workers to cover for strikers. The union has called a 14-day strike from Thursday 31 August which will completely shut the Emergency Duty Service, which provides out of hours specialist support for vulnerable children and adults. The strike is opposing the removal of a 20 per cent unsocial hours payment, meaning each social worker will lose around £700 per month from 1 September read more
Swindon social workers confirm two week strike (18 Aug) – GMB, the union for public services, has announced that social workers within Swindon Borough Council will be taking two weeks of strike action, commencing Thursday 31 August. The dispute centres around protecting the Emergency Duty Service, the out of hours service providing 24-hour emergency care to vulnerable people, and preventing a pay cut. The council has announced that these staff will lose around £700 per month from Friday 1 September, following a recent pay and regrading review, due to the removal of a 20 per cent unsocial hours payment. Talks with Swindon Borough Council took place on Thursday 27 July to seek to avoid industrial action, with council officers agreeing to respond with new proposals by Friday 11 August to GMB, but have failed to do so, leaving GMB with no choice other than to call strike action. The union is further warning that such a huge pay cut will see workers forced to leave for similar roles in other authorities or with other employers, which will jeopardise the viability of the service read more
Wilko update after administrators meeting (18 Aug) – GMB Union has issued an update on Wilko after meeting administrators read more
Huge oil refinery cancels ‘shutdown’ over strike fears (18 Aug) – One of the UK’s biggest oil refineries has cancelled an essential maintenance ‘shutdown’ over fears the facility would be dismantled, then industrial action would begin before the plant is reassembled. Stanlow Oil refinery, in Ellsemere Port, was due to close for ‘a package of maintenance activities on processing units’ this year – but has now shifted the work to 2024. Up to 1,000 workers were due to work on the shutdown – who are currently in dispute with their employer. A majority of 92 per cent of GMB members involved in the project, who are covered by the National Agreement for the Engineering Construction Industry (NAECI) voted to turn down a pay deal 8.5 per cent for 2024 and 3.5 per cent for 2025. Bosses have refused to meet with GMB until 21 September – so the union is progressing with a strike vote, which begins next month read more
Nottingham Goose Fair faces tram strike disruption (18 Aug) – GMB Union has announced workers on Nottingham’s tram network have began balloting for strike action. The vote comes after Nottingham’s tram operator, Keolis, offered a real terms pay cut to staff. Around 300 drivers, mechanics, control room and ticket office staff will join the ballot with a result expected late August read more
Scotland school staff to walk out for two days (17 Aug) – Parents and pupils have been warned of disruption after GMB Scotland announced essential staff in schools and early years will strike for two days next month. The industrial action will affect almost a third of councils across Scotland and comes after local authority workers overwhelmingly rejected a pay offer. GMB members in Scotland’s councils voted to support industrial action after Cosla, representing local authorities, refused to revise the offer or ask the Scottish Government for support. The union, which represents more than 21,000 workers across Scotland’s 32 councils, today served notice on ten local authorities telling them staff in schools and early years working across catering, cleaning, pupil support, administration and janitorial services will strike next month. Industrial action involving the staff but not including teachers will take place on Wednesday 13 September and the following day, in Aberdeen, Clackmannanshire, Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar, Dundee, East Dunbartonshire, Falkirk, Glasgow, Orkney, Renfrewshire and South Ayrshire. Sister unions are also likely to call strikes in schools and early years in September with the members of one already voting for industrial action while another is currently balloting members. The ballot came after 94 per cent of the GMB Scotland’s members rejected the councils’ offer of 5.5% in April branding it unacceptable when inflation has surged triggering a cost-of-living crisis. The union said the Cosla offer would mean a rise for the lowest-paid workers in Scotland’s councils £700 less this year than that offered to colleagues in England and Wales read more
GMB comments on ‘cordial’ ACAS meeting with Canenco (15 Aug) – A meeting took place this morning between GMB and Canenco, the Canterbury waste contractor, chaired by ACAS
GMB, the union for refuse and recycling, has described this morning’s meeting with Canenco brokered by ACAS as ‘cordial.’ The union is in dispute with the employer, with members having been on strike since Wednesday 5 July. Both the union and employer were able to put forward their position, with further talks having been tentatively suggested for early next week read more
Amazon faces biggest day of industrial disruption in its history (27 Jul) – GMB Union has today [Thursday] announced strike dates at Amazon’s Coventry and Rugeley fulfilment centres. The strike dates come on the anniversary of the first historic walkouts at Amazon in the UK, after workers were offered a pay rise of just 35p. Workers will down tools in Rugeley on 3 and 4 August, with the Coventry fulfilment centre seeing strike action on 4 and 5 August. This will bring the total days lost to strike action at Amazon this year to 26 read more
Second Amazon warehouse joins strike (17 Jul) – Amazon workers will walk out at a second warehouse after GMB union today [Monday] announced the outcome of a strike ballot at the company’s Rugeley fulfilment centre. More than 100 workers at the West Midlands site are now set to walk out after 86 per cent of those who voted backed the strike. The news comes as GMB reached 1,000 members at the Coventry fulfilment centre after twenty two days of strike action in the dispute over pay and union rights. GMB members will now plan strike dates at what will be only the second Amazon site in the UK where workers have taken industrial action read more Donate to GMB Amazon strike fund
Durham sealant factory faces 6th strike day (25 Jul) – Durham workers making parts for the aviation industry are set for their sixth day of strike action on Friday [28 July]] in their fight for fair pay. Dozens of GMB members at Nicholson’s Sealing Technologies, in Stanley, will are set to walk out a further nine times across July and August after rejecting the company’s pay offer of 6.7 per cent and a one off payment. Meanwhile Nicholson’s paid out £985,000 in dividends last year , an increase of £140,000 – more than 16 per cent – on the year before read more
Welsh farm feed workers strike (24 Jul) – Dozens of agricultural feed workers in Camarthen are preparing for a 2 day stoppage on 27 and 28 July in a dispute to get the same pay as their English counterparts. A majority of 85 per cent of GMB Members at Forfarmers voted to take strike action after the company failed to make an offer that would see them put on an equal footing with their colleagues at sites in England. GMB members took strike action on Monday 3 of July and are looking at future dates unless the company fails to make a fair offer that negates the shortfall. Workers providing the same role as their counterparts in England are paid up to 30 per cent more by the company read more
Industrial action to hit social housing giant slammed for ‘poverty pay’ (20 Jul) – GMB Union have today announced industrial action at Grand Union Housing, provider of 13,000 social homes across Northamptonshire, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, and Buckinghamshire. The industrial action will see maintenance staff work to rule for three months, meaning overtime and extra duties will be refused in the maintenance department across the company’s housing stock. The action comes after the company refused to negotiate on a pay offer to staff of just 2.1% read more
Strike at missile depot threatens MoD supplies (16 Jul) – A strike at a Ministry of Defence missile depot will threaten munitions supplies, GMB Union warned. More than 50 workers at the Defence Equipment & Support (DES) munitions depot in Beith, Scotland walked out tomorrow [Monday]. A majority of 93 per cent of GMB members at the depot voted for strike action over a dispute on retention bonuses. Managers and craft workers are in receipt of bonuses whilst non-craft workers do not, meaning non-craft workers get less than many supermarket workers. DES is an arm’s length body of the Ministry of Defence which delivers equipment and support services to the UK armed forces read more
Durham sewage and water tank workers strike (10 Jul) – Sewage and water treatment tank workers in Durham have begun a week-long strike over pay. GMB members at Premier Tech, in Peterlee, will down tools from Monday [10 July] to Friday [14 July] after a unanimous vote for industrial action. Workers want £12.50 per hour, which amounts to a 12 per cent pay increase. The company has only offered 7.9 per cent, with potential real terms pay cuts in subsequent years read more
Three weeks of refuse chaos as workers down tools in Leicestershire’s ‘low pay capital’ (7 Jul) – GMB Union has today announced a three-week strike action of refuse workers at Blaby District Council. Fifty refuse staff at the authority are anticipated to join the strike action after council top brass ignored union attempts to initiate negotiations in the dispute. Strike action will see as many at 50,000 households go without refuse collections on Tuesday 1st to Friday 18th August read more
Dartford bin workers vote for strike action (7 Jul) – GMB union members have voted to reject Urbaser’s pay offer, with action to take place at the end of the month. GMB, the union for refuse and recycling, can announce that Dartford will be the next local authority to be hit with a bin strike. Members of the union have voted to take action over pay and will be walking out at the end of July. The members are employed by Urbaser, Dartford Borough Council’s waste contractor as drivers, loaders and street sweepers read more
Croydon housing and homeless department workers strike over cuts (27 Jun) – Slashing jobs in this service raises severe concerns around safeguarding, provision and remaining legally compliant, says GMB
Croydon Housing and Homelessness Department workers have voted to strike over the current restructure plans. GMB members at the authority will walk out on 28 and 29 June after a 94 per cent majority voted to walk out. Workers are worried and angry over a restructure across this vital department. Croydon Council declared bankruptcy for the third time in November 2022 read more
Donate to support striking workers – As UNISON members continue to take strike action, the union is asking for donations to its strike fund
Environment Agency staff set for out-of-hours ban (18 Aug) – Workers will refuse to volunteer for on-call cover outside contracted hours from this weekend until 19 September, in continuing action over pay. Thousands of Environment Agency (EA) workers in England will stop out-of-hours attendance at incidents such as floods, water pollution, spills, waste fires and fly-tipping this weekend, in their ongoing pay dispute. The industrial action, which starts at 9am tomorrow (Saturday), is set to continue for a month, with workers refusing to volunteer for on-call cover outside of contracted hours until 19 September. Officers will step in where there is a threat to life, from incidents such as a major flood, as emergency life and limb cover has been agreed by the union. This new wave of industrial action follows months of industrial action seeking an improved pay offer from the agency. Members have been taking last resort industrial action since December 2022, after the organisation failed to offer a fair pay rise in the face of soaring household bills and inflation. Staff have seen pay fall below inflation and incomes squeezed since 2011, meaning that staff effectively work one day a week for free read more
NHS staff at Merseyside hospitals vote to strike after years of being underpaid (11 Aug) – Hundreds of staff are underpaid for clinical tasks. More than 400 health staff at Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (WUTH) have voted for strike action over pay, says UNISON today (Friday). An overwhelming majority (99%) of clinical support workers voted to strike in a recent UNISON ballot. Industrial action is now imminent unless the trust makes an improved offer to staff, says the union. Clinical support workers (CSWs) deliver essential care alongside nursing staff on the wards. They’re employed across the trust’s sites at Arrowe Park and Clatterbridge hospitals on the Wirral. UNISON says these employees should be paid at least £2,000 more a year because they are performing duties and tasks well above their pay grade read more
Autumn term strikes set to go ahead at 13 universities (4 Aug) – HE members have suffered a real-terms pay cut of around 25% over the last 14 years, due to year on year rises that were below inflation. The results are in for the higher education strike ballot that ran from 31 May to 31 July – and 13 higher education institutions have met the threshold for action. The current offer from the University and Colleges Employers’ Association (UCEA), a 5-8% pay rise depending on salary spinal point, equates to a real-terms pay cut given inflation was over 10% this year. Although some money was backdated to earlier this year, it’s still not enough for staff to live on with the ongoing cost of living crisis. HE members have suffered a real-terms pay cut of around 25% over the last 14 years, due to year on year uplifts that were below inflation. The 13 universities that have met the threshold for action are: University of Dundee, University of Gloucestershire, University of the West of England, Leeds Trinity University, University of Brighton, Glasgow School of Art, Solent University, Plymouth Marjon University, Arts University Bournemouth, University of Glasgow, City University, Glasgow Caledonian University and University of Chichester. Further details on strike action will be announced in due course read more
Support striking Camden traffic wardens, taking indefinite action over pay – The Big NSL Strike: (3 Aug) – After the best ever ballot result, 73.11% turnout and 100% YES vote for strike, Camden traffic wardens started on Monday 24 July, an indefinite (also known as continuous) strike action. Everyone attended their base picket line since (including many who were meant to be on a rest day), sending a really clear message to NSL that we’re organised and determined and can win! Read more
Messages of solidarity can be sent to [email protected]. More than 100 traffic wardens working in the London borough of Camden will walk out from Monday in a row over pay, says UNISON today (Friday). This follows a 4.5% pay offer from their employer, which amounts to an increase of just 57p an hour, the union says. The workers, mainly low-paid Black staff, are employed by private company NSL on a contract from Camden Council. The staff – formally called civil enforcement officers – will be taking part in continuous strike action until the employer improves its offer, says the union read more
South Gloucestershire workers continue strike dispute (31 May) – Social workers and occupational therapists are taking their fourth and fifth days of strike action this week. Social workers and occupational therapists (OTs) working for South Gloucestershire council are to strike twice this week. Staff will walk out for two days of action, today (Tuesday) and again on Thursday (1 June) after voting overwhelmingly for industrial action in a dispute over pay. UNISON has been in dispute with the local authority since last summer. The new dates follow three days of strike action in April read more
Sign petition: Stop the closure of the Peak District National Park visitor centres! – The Peak District National Park Authority are considering closing all four of its visitor centres, making the staff redundant. Councillors will be asked to endorse the chief executive’s ill-thought out ‘money-saving plan’ which will not only affect staff but could very much harm the local economy. The visitor centres are not just shops. They are a key contributor to visitors being able to experience a safe and enjoyable time in the Peak District. This is especially the case with first-time or infrequent visitors. Far from being underused, the centres deal with around 400,000 visitors a year. Unless there is a public outcry, we will lose these centres from our national park, at a time when other national parks have rejected such ideas. Decisions will be taken from as early as May. Help Derbyshire UNISON stop them!
Protest as Hackney Unison chair amongst those handed compulsory redundancies in libraries shake-up – Council staff staged a protest on 17th May after several library staff, including Hackney Unison Branch Chair Brian Debus, have been handed compulsory redundancy notices. Hackney Unison have said it was “registering our disgust that three library workers including Hackney Unison Branch Chair Brian Debus are due to be made compulsorily redundant. This despite there being more than enough posts available in the restructured library service.” Read more on Hackney Citizen website
EA Members: Notification of an Industrial Dispute (18 Aug) – EA Dispute: EA Members please see transcript of letter sent to Chief Executive, Education Authority. Notification of an Industrial Dispute. I wish to formally advise you that NIPSA is registering a dispute with the Education Authority covering the following areas:-
- Erosion of supervisory pay differentials;
- The pay and grading review – failure to complete and implement;
- NJC Pay;
- The impact of cuts to budgets and the impact on the delivery of public services;
Failure to lift the moratorium on Job Evaluation. I will write to you again when we commence our formal balloting process. Alan Law Assistant Secretary read more
NIPSA DfC Sexual Harassment at Work Report (16 Aug) – Equality Domestic and Sexual Violence and Abuse Women in NIPSA. In Autumn of 2022, the Trade Union Side in The Department for Communities (DfC), on the recommendation of the DfC Female Reps Working Group, agreed to survey all the members in DfC on the impact of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace. Preventing & Tackling Sexual Harassment at Work was the theme for the Trade Union Congresses of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales for the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children Campaign (16 Days Campaign) and this survey tied in with this campaign. The survey was totally confidential and anonymous, and received over 500 responses. The results were concerning, and highlighted a need for greater awareness, training and visibility of the need to tackle the issue of sexual harassment at work and of the prevalence that still exists within the workplace for this behaviour read more
HSC Industrial Action Update: The Fight Continues! (26 Jul) – HSC Strike Action: An update to the ongoing Industrial Action Dispute in Health and ongoing Industrial Action around Pay, Safe Staffing and Travel read more
Royal College of Nursing
Latest UCAS figures: acceptances onto UK nursing courses down 13% (17 Aug) – The RCN says the UK government has ‘stumbled at the first hurdle’ in fulfilling student recruitment promises set out in its NHS workforce plan in England read more
CQC ballot: members vote to say pay award is acceptable (15 Aug) – Members employed by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) have voted on their latest 2022-23 pay award, with the majority voting to say it’s acceptable. This means ongoing industrial action at the CQC will end read more
RCN consultative ballot on latest Welsh government pay offer now open (31 Jul) – Members on NHS Agenda for Change contracts in Wales will be able to vote to accept or reject the latest offer between Monday 31 July and Thursday 31 August… The RCN is not making a recommendation on how members should vote in this ballot – members must consider their own personal circumstances and how the offer will affect them. However, this is an offer in principle and it will only be implemented if members accept it read more
Royal College of Nursing members employed by the Care Plus Group vote for industrial strike action (27 Jul) – The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) balloted members employed by the Care Plus Group in July on whether they would be willing to take industrial strike action for better pay and parity with nursing staff employed by the NHS on Agenda for Change terms and conditions of employment. A majority of RCN members who responded to the ballot voted in favour of strike action with 93% of those who voted, voting ‘yes’ read more
Majority of Manx Care nurses vote to strike and reject latest pay offer (23 Jun) – Eighty per-cent (80%) of Royal College of Nursing (RCN) members who responded to the ballot for strike action, have voted in favour read more
RCN opens donations to strike fund in response to public desire to support striking staff – We’ve launched a donation page for people to financially help nursing staff on strike read more
Physios in Northern Ireland to vote on strike action (7 Aug) – The CSP has today opened a ballot for physiotherapy staff working for Health and Social Care Northern Ireland (HSCNI) to vote on industrial action over pay. Members should receive voting papers from Civica during the week of 7 August. This is the first time the CSP has held an industrial action ballot for pay in Northern Ireland. The ballot will be open from 7 August and close on 11 September. Health and social care staff in Northern Ireland remain the lowest paid across the UK. They are yet to be offered a pay uplift for 2023/24 and have received no additional pay award for 2022/23. CSP Council is recommending members Vote Yes in support of strike action and to an additional question, which would give physiotherapy staff a mandate to undertake industrial action short of a strike. Ninety-three per cent of participants who took part in a consultation in June said they were prepared to take industrial action read more
Support the Junior Doctors strike read more
Junior doctors in Scotland accept pay offer (17 Aug) – Total increase of 17.5 per cent over two years and promise to work towards pay restoration. Junior doctors in Scotland have accepted a pay offer that includes a commitment from the devolved government to work towards pay restoration as doctors in Wales move towards an industrial action ballot. The agreement in Scotland is for a 12.4 per cent pay increase for junior doctors in training for 2023-24 together. Following the 4.5 per cent uplift for 2022–23, this equates to a total increase of 17.5 per cent over two years read more
Junior doctors’ rally descends on Downing Street (14 Aug) – Government spin and smears will do nothing to break junior doctors’ resolve in fighting for fairness and restoration of pay, doctors leaders warned at a BMA-organised rally. Doctors will not ‘roll over’ and remain determined to fight in the face of ministers’ refusal to engage with the BMA over full restoration of pay, association JDC co-chair Vivek Trivedi told a packed and defiant crowd of junior doctors gathered outside Downing Street last Friday on (11 August). The rally, which took place on the first day of the fifth round of industrial action by juniors across England, saw more than 100 hundred doctors bearing placards and BMA flags gather just a stone’s throw from No.10. Following a day of picket lines being staged at hospitals up and down the country, those gathered in central London showed no signs of turning or tiring despite prime minister Rishi Sunak and health secretary Steve Barclay’s continued denials over re-opening talks with the association read more
Re-ballot for junior doctor strike action (19 Jul) – Re-ballot now open until noon 31 August. We’re re-balloting junior doctors to extend our mandate for junior doctor strike action. Due to anti-strike laws, we can currently only legally strike until late August read more
BMA consultants announce further strike dates (17 Jul) – Consultants in England, who go on strike on Thursday and Friday, will do the same next month, as the BMA announces new industrial action dates in response to the Government imposing another real-terms pay cut on doctors. Last week, the Government announced a derisory, sub-inflation pay award of less than 6% for consultants, once all elements of pay are considered, following a recommendation for the same from the pay review body, the DDRB. Consultants in England had already announced they will take action on 20 and 21 July unless the Government presented them with an offer than begins to reverse the 35% pay erosion they have experienced, as well as committing to reform the current broken pay review process. With the government announcement roundly failing to do either, and to ensure consultants and trusts are as prepared as possible for further industrial action, the BMA’s consultants committee is announcing further provisional strike dates of 24 and 25 August. The strike will once again be based on Christmas Day levels of cover, meaning emergency care will still be provided read more
Culture of silence and retribution a threat to NHS safety (21 Aug) – HCSA has issued the following press statement on reports that safety concerns raised by hospital doctors were suppressed by managers. HCSA President Dr Naru Narayanan said:“It’s an appalling reminder of a culture which persists today in some parts of our NHS despite the many, many warnings we’ve had over the years. All too often whistle-blowers are treated by bad employers like the problem and find themselves on the receiving end of threats and bullying to remain silent…” read more
HCSA Scotland members have voted to ACCEPT the Scottish Government’s pay offer – Members have cautiously backed the immediate pay award and now expect a timeline for #PayRestoration follow @HCSANews on X
Society of Radiographers
Northern Ireland: SoR to ballot members on strike action over pay (9 Aug) – Members urged to vote yes by 6 September to improve pay and help reduce waiting lists. The SoR is balloting almost 1,000 members in Northern Ireland on strike action in a bid to secure improvements to pay and conditions, increase recruitment and retention of radiography professionals – and thus cut waiting times for patients read more
New pay offer for radiographers in Wales – SoR members asked to vote now (8 Aug) – SoR recommends acceptance of improved offer following earlier strike threat. New pay talks with the Welsh government have resulted in a revised package around non-pay elements of the original offer to radiographers. SoR members in Wales had rejected that offer by an overwhelming number and called for a ballot on strike action. The Welsh government then agreed to re-open talks with the SoR on the proviso that the Society paused balloting. These talks have resulted in a new offer around non-pay elements of the original offer with the aim to improve Terms and Conditions of Service within the NHS in Wales and for radiographers read more
Northern Ireland education budget (17 Aug) – The budget funding gap of over £300m will undoubtedly have a significant impact on education in 2023-24. The Department of Education (NI) launched a public consultation on the equality implications following the announcement by the Secretary of State on the 2023-24 budget allocations. The Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA) sets out the Department’s assessment of the impact of the Budget on services across the whole education sector. In what is the most challenging overall budget in recent history, the Department of Education faces unprecedented funding challenges and cuts in 2023-24 read more
Trade dispute – sixth form colleges (13 Jun) – In ballots of teachers in sixth form colleges, NASUWT – the Teachers’ Union, has today issued notice to the Education Secretary and employers of potential national industrial action, including strike action and action short of strike action across sixth form colleges in England. NASUWT members in 56 sixth form colleges secured ballot mandates with 87.6% of eligible members voting to support strike action and 93.7% voting in support of action short of strike action based on an overall turnout of 64.9% read more
NAHT members in Jersey back industrial action in island’s schools (27 Jun) – Members of school leaders’ union NAHT have voted in favour of industrial action in Jersey. A resounding 86% of members voted in favour of strike action, with 98% supporting action short of strike (ASOS). Turnout was 68%. Following the ballot, NAHT’s Jersey executive has decided members should take action short of strike in the first instance. It will today serve the seven working days notice required, meaning the action will commence on Wednesday, July 5 read more
Teachers’ Unions Come Together to Strengthen Industrial Action Campaign (22 Aug) – The members of the Northern Ireland Teachers’ Council (NITC), the representative body for the teachers’ unions, have come together to ask union members to stand strong on Action Short of Strike instructions. In the absence of any response to the pay claims for members, the NITC remains firm in following the course of action initiated in the last school year. We would ask members to take some time to revisit these actions, and to ensure that they are embedded in their school practice going into the new school year. The NITC members have acted as one throughout this period of action, and this must continue read more
UCU demands employers bring an end to disruption as A-level and BTEC results are published (17 Aug) – UCU congratulated students and their teachers on this year’s A-level and BTEC results, but called on employers to settle the current university dispute so as not to disrupt students even further. UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: ‘Today’s results are a testament to the hard work and dedication of both students and staff, all of whom should be congratulated. Students heading to university should now be looking forward to freshers’ week and the next big milestone in their lives. But those celebrating will have heard that the start of term may be hit with strike action. Vice-chancellors need to settle the dispute, stop the disruption on campus and allow staff to get back to doing what they know and love best. They urgently need to get back round the negotiating table and make staff a fair offer.’ Read more
More strike action to hit universities as employers refuse to negotiate (14 Aug) – UCU has announced it will take more strike action unless employer body UCEA agrees to return to negotiations and end disruption to graduations. The union’s Higher Education Committee met this afternoon and voted to take further strike action before the end of September [NOTE 1] and to begin preparations for a new ballot in order to renew UCU’s industrial mandate in the pay and working conditions dispute, meaning disruption could continue this year and well into 2024. The marking boycott will also continue. It began at 145 universities on Thursday 20 April but UCEA has responded by refusing to improve its offer and employers have punitively docked the pay of staff taking part. UCU has agreed to UCEA’s proposal for a joint review of sector finances read more
Strikes set for Liverpool John Moores University over pay docking (13 Jun) – Staff at Liverpool John Moores University will down tools on Friday in the first of eight days of strike action in response to the university’s enforcement of 50% wage deductions for staff taking part in the marking boycott. Friday’s strike will hit a key university open day, and staff will rally outside Metropolitan Cathedral, next to the university’s John Foster building from 1pm. The full days of strike action are:-
Week 1: Friday 16 June
Week 2: Thursday 17 and Friday 18 August
Week 3: Monday 18, Tuesday 19, Wednesday 20, Thursday 21 and Friday 22 September.
Management at John Moores has started docking the pay of staff who are boycotting marking by 50% despite the fact that staff continue to teach, support students, write references, provide pastoral care, undertake research and attend public events read more
Indefinite strike action to hit University of Leeds over 100% pay docking (2 Jun) – Over 1,800 staff at the University of Leeds will begin indefinite strike action from Thursday 15 June after management confirmed it will be deducting 100% of the pay of staff taking part in the marking boycott. The strike could continue for months unless management stop docking staff pay. UCU said pay deductions of up to 100% are utterly unacceptable as staff taking part in the marking and assessment boycott continue to teach, lecture and support students as normal read more
Merseyside fire control staff vote to strike as firefighters vote for continued industrial action (Aug 21) – Today, 21st August, results from ballots for industrial action in Merseyside fire service have gone live, with FBU members voting in response to a reduction in night-time staffing numbers in fire control, and attacks on terms and conditions. FBU members in Merseyside fire control have voted overwhelmingly for strike action, with 100% voting Yes on a 92% turnout. Fire control are the team who answer calls from those who need the fire and rescue service and make sure firefighters and appliances get to the right place. Fire control staff have voted to strike in response to an imposed reduction in night-time staffing numbers in Merseyside Fire Control Room from the agreed level of 6 to 5 and the requirement for some members to work a duty shift system which was never subject to negotiation. Firefighters across Merseyside, as well as FBU ‘green book’ members (non-uniformed staff), have also voted to continue action short of strike with 82% voting yes on a 71% turnout (details of this dispute are in Notes). This action will involve firefighters and green book members of staff refusing to undertake pre-arranged overtime. The ballots come after a serious break down in industrial relations between Merseyside Fire Brigades Union and Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority and the failure to reach agreement on several issues. Action will commence no sooner than Monday 4th September 2023 and could last for a period of up to 6 months. Matt Wrack, Fire Brigades Union general secretary, said: ”This dispute is about the fact that Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service is attempting to undermine nationally agreed terms and conditions. This is outrageous and undermines the safety of the communities our members serve. The result of these ballots is a testament to the determination of firefighters in Merseyside to defend the fire service. Fire control staff and firefighters will not be silenced when facing attacks on their working conditions. This employer must take responsibility and get round the table to negotiate a resolution. Firefighters from across the UK stand in solidarity with our Merseyside members as they prepare to take action.” Ian Hibbert, Fire Brigades Union Merseyside brigade secretary, said: Today FBU members in Merseyside have shown their strength of feeling, with fire control staff voting to take strike action and firefighters voting to continue an overtime ban. Firefighters resort to industrial action when we are given no alternative…” read more
“Dangerous” Breathing Apparatus policy in doubt as Health and Safety Executive investigates (Aug 16) – The Fire Brigades Union has today welcomed moves by the Health and Safety Executive to investigate a new Breathing Apparatus policy in the Fire and Rescue Service, which it has branded “dangerous and irresponsible” and “one of the biggest threats to firefighters’ health and safety in decades” read more
Senior probation staff needed for HMIP thematic report (17 Aug) – Napo members who are Senior Probation Officers may want to consider contributing the current HMIP ‘Thematic Inspection of Frontline Leadership and Management Oversight in Probation’ by completing a survey online. The deadline for the completion of this survey has recently been extended to 5pm on Monday the 31st of July 2023 read more
BFAWU members at Allied Bakeries in Liverpool are out on Strike! (31 May) – Our members at Allied Bakeries in Liverpool have taken the difficult decision to withdraw their labour this week over a pay dispute, the picket line over the last 24 hours has had plenty of support from the membership and the public with lots of drivers beeping their horns and waving and passers by passing on their support! Read more Donate to the strike fund
Support the campaign to unionise Samworth Brothers – get organised, sign the petition read more
Time to introduce mandatory disability pay gap reporting, says TUC (18 Aug) – New Equality and Human Rights Commission report reveals disabled people continue to be at high risk of poverty read more
BBC journalists vote to renew their industrial action mandate over cuts to local radio (10 Aug) – The union now has a mandate for strike action, but will continue talks with management. Under the UK’s onerous and restrictive legislation governing industrial action, the NUJ was required to have another ballot to keep the action alive – members at BBC Local in England, in local radio, regional TV and online, have taken strike action on three occasions and are continuing to operate a work to rule. On a turnout of 64 per cent, 70 per cent said they were prepared to take part in strike action and 83 per cent said they were prepared to take part in industrial action short of a strike. This positive result was despite many members being away over August and means the work to rule will seamlessly roll on until a resolution is reached. The BBC’s plans will cut local content by almost half read more
NUJ ballots National World journalists for industrial action (10 Aug) – The union is seeking views from over 300 journalists at the publisher on whether they are willing to take strike action in the dispute over pay. The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has issued ballot papers to journalists at National World seeking views on whether members are willing to participate in industrial action. The union is encouraging over 300 journalists to vote yes in response to questions on taking strike action and action short of a strike, demonstrating strong opposition to the recently imposed 4.5 per cent pay award, and other concerns forming the ongoing pay dispute. The company’s pay award had been repeatedly rejected by more than a dozen NUJ chapels representing hundreds of National World journalists, followed by a vote of no confidence in David Montgomery, executive chairman. Despite talks with the publisher including through Acas negotiations urging an improved pay package, uplifts to minimum rates and efforts to improve pay disparities, National World has failed to present an enhanced pay award for journalists read more
“One struggle, one fight!” Equity rallies in support of SAG-AFTRA (28 Jul) – Hundreds join Brian Cox, Rakie Ayola, Rob Delaney, John McDonnell MP and more to show solidarity with striking SAG-AFTRA members. Members and trade unionists show their solidarity with SAG-AFTRA. On Friday 21 July, around 400-500 people joined Brian Cox, Simon Pegg, Andy Serkis, Hayley Atwell, Imelda Staunton and more at Equity’s London rally in solidarity with striking SAG-AFTRA members. Organised by Equity, the rally took place in London’s Leicester Square gardens in front of a statue of William Shakespeare, and surrounded by cinemas, street performers and statues from the world of the arts and entertainment. Rally attendees included Equity members, actors, creatives, and members of the public, who chanted “One struggle, one fight, we support SAG-AFTRA’s strike” and “The luvvies united will never be defeated!”. They also held banners reading “Equity stands in solidarity with SAG-AFTRA”. Rally speakers gave moving, impassioned accounts of the collective threats actors face from exploitation by streaming services and AI, the need for solidarity across borders and across struggles, and the need for reform of the draconian trade union legislation in the UK read more
Get back around the table, Glen Dimplex (15 Aug) – Community Union has called on management at Glen Dimplex to get back around the table for pay talks as strike action at the firm’s Whiston site on Merseyside enters its second week. Last Monday (7th August) workers from the home appliances factory on Stoney Lane began a course of industrial action over pay after negotiations with management at the Irish-headquartered firm reached gridlock read more
Striking frontline workers from UCL and St Mungos stage joint protest in City of London against governing bodies (28 Jul) – Striking workers from the homelessness charity St Mungo’s represented by Unite the Union have joined University College London (UCL) Security Guards represented by the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) to protest a number of banks and offices in the City of London today. Striking workers will target workplaces affiliated with members of their respective governing bodies who have refused to engage with workers’ appeals: the St Mungo’s trustees and the UCL Council. Locations will include the London Stock Exchange, the Bank of England, the Institute of Chartered Accountants and Linklaters read more
Cycling instructors set for first ever strike after 14 year pay freeze (30 Jun) – London based cycling instructors representing the Independent Workers’ union of Great Britain (IWGB) will go on strike for the first time ever after a 14 year pay freeze. The strike will take place on Friday afternoon, with further strike action planned for every week in July. Striking cycling instructors are demanding pay restoration, a fair cancellation policy and an end to unpaid admin time read more
SIPTU suspends Retained Fire Fighters strike following WRC offer (17 Aug) – Late night talks (Wednesday, August 16th) at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) have resulted in an offer of improved terms for Retained Fire Fighters in a bid to resolve the current strike. As a result, SIPTU has decided to suspend strike action while these terms are considered and voted upon read more
HARTON AND WESTOE MINERS’ BANNER GROUP & WISECRACK PRODUCTIONS PRESENT the incredible story of…
THE CRAMLINGTON TRAIN WRECKERS
During the 1926 General Strike, miners in Cramlington accidentally derailed the Flying Scotsman. No one was killed and only one person was slightly injured. Eight Northumberland miners were sentenced to 48 years’ penal servitude. One of them was Westoe-born William Muckle, who wrote a book about it called No Regrets.
Workers defending their jobs and communities or terrorists?
HARTON & WESTOE MINERS’ WELFARE
Low Lane, South Shields, NE34 0NA
Friday, September 29 @ 7.30pm
Illustrated talk by playwright Ed Waugh (Wor Bella, Hadaway Harry, Carrying David)
Recitations and songs by top actor Jamie Brown
Alan Mardghum, Durham Miners’ Association secretary, will speak
Tickets only £2 via eventbrite
Exciting Trade Union courses for Sept 2023 at Conel college in North London
Dear colleague, thanks for continuing to attend our trade union courses at Conel college. I attach our suite of courses we have planned for September. All are available to apply via the TUC courses website https://www.tuc.org.uk/TUCcourses. Just to note our Next steps – stage 2 course in-person is quite full. So are our diplomas. All are on first come basis. We do have a combination of online and classroom based courses. In January 2024 our union reps course will be online kind of alternating. We have also added some booster courses for ICT skills. We also have an excellent public speaking course to help you participate in discussions, debates and all round boosting confidence to speak either to management or at your union conferences. Understanding Pensions course this is to boost knowledge and understanding around this important subject. Please note we do bespoke courses for unions and branches. If you wish to speak about this do contact me directly [email protected]. Hope you and your union colleagues continue to use our facilities and courses. Have a good summer break.
Best regards, Jonathan
PS we will be advertising a communication skills course but dates yet to be advertised.
Jonathan Jeffries – Curriculum Manager for Trade Union Education Tel: 0208 442 3189. The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London www.conel.ac.uk
Fight blacklisting and victimisation of union reps
Support Lee Fowler – Another blacklisted construction worker sacked after making complaints about safety on site read more about Lee’s case
Support the ‘Murphy 4’ Campaign to reinstate sacked Unite members read more
Felixstowe 4’ protest demands justice at CK Hutchison AGM (18 May) read more
UK facing taps and pipes shortage as Warrington based GXO drivers strike over sacking of Unite rep (12 May) read more
Protest as Hackney Unison chair amongst those handed compulsory redundancies in libraries shake-up: 6pm Wednesday 17th May Hackney Town Hall Read more on Hackney Citizen website
#SPYCops Inquiry exposes state surveillance of workers movement
Construction blacklisting: Evidence sought in union officials’ collusion inquiry (11 Apr) – Unite, the UK’s leading union, is stepping up its search for information into the possible collusion by trade union officials into the blacklisting of construction workers. In April 2022 Unite established an independent inquiry into allegations that some union officials may have colluded with the blacklisting of construction workers. Unite has instructed a legal team of Nick Randall KC (Matrix Chambers), John Carl Townsend (33 Chancery Lane Chambers) and Paul Heron from (Public Interest Law Centre), to examine and investigate whether any union officials from Unite or its predecessor unions (T&G, UCATT, Amicus, AEEU or MSF), were involved in the blacklisting of construction workers. The inquiry is now entering its next stage and an online portal has been launched to allow anyone who has any information relating to the inquiry to submit information read more
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
Keep an eye out for other Facebook and social media groups and pages that are being created. You can catch up on disputes at Strike Map UK. Also, check out Organise Now! – Support for new worker organising.
From NUJ website: Bangladesh: journalists assaulted during live broadcast (17 Aug) – Assaults on 14 and 15 August following the death of a controversial religious leader have been condemned by the union. The National Union of Journalists has joined the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) in calling for an urgent investigation into recent attacks following the death of religious leader Delwar Hossain Sayedee read more on NUJ website
10 NSSN TUC Rally Liverpool 1pm
1 Demonstrations at Tory Party Conference 12noon:-
PHONE 07952 283 558
EMAIL mailto:[email protected]
TWITTER – https://twitter.com/NSSN_AntiCuts
ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE