NSSN 495: Victory at Sheffield Papa John’s as workers fight redundancies at GE & Tate Modern
We headline this week’s bulletin with news of a great victory for workers at pizzeria Papa John’s in Sheffield after protests organised by Sheffield Needs A Pay Rise and BFAWU Bakers’ Union. We also highlight the fight by Unite and PCS at GE in Caerphilly and Tate Modern respectively. Please support these struggles.
Sheffield Needs A Pay Rise & BFAWU Bakers’ Union: Workers and Community protest wage theft at Sheffield Papa John’s (25 July) – Workers and ex-workers at Papa John’s were joined by community supporters (including Olivia Blake MP) today (Saturday) outside Papa John’s on Ecclesall Road to demand unpaid wages. Workers were demanding wages owed to them whilst they worked for a previous franchise owner. Workers complained they were owed wages for work completed before the franchise was transferred from previous owner, Tofur Ali, in June. Some claim their wages for this period amounted to less than the legal minimum wage. Workers said that they had faced unsanitary conditions including no access to private toilets, and no breaks during long shifts whilst the store remained open throughout the lockdown. On 27 June 2020, workers arrived to find their store was closed. Workers claimed they were not told that the store would be closed temporarily and the franchise, which covers all Sheffield Papa John’s stores, had been transferred to a new franchisee. The previous franchisee, Tofur Ali is disqualified from acting as a company director for conduct with another company. In the month since, Tofur Ali has not paid workers the full pay they are owed, including all hourly wages at the legal minimum wage and delivery allowances. Some workers said they will be unable to pay rent and bills next week if they are not paid. They were willing to show evidence of the hours worked and amounts paid.
Karen Cabajar, a former worker at Papa John’s, and member of the Bakers’ Food and Allied Workers’ Union (BFAWU), who is still owed money said: “I really thought that we would just have to move on and forget about what happened. It feels so reassuring to come together with my coworkers, with the support of the union and wider Sheffield community. It is important for workers and employers across Sheffield to see this action so that they know that it is unacceptable to treat workers this way and there will always be consequences. My message to other workers would be to contact Sheffield Needs A Pay Rise. There are people who will support you to get the treatment that you deserve.”
Ian Hodson, President of the BFAWU, the Papa John’s workers’ union, said: “Papa John’s states on its website: ‘People Are Priority Always’. This is a hollow statement when these workers were willing to put themselves and their families at risk by working during lockdown and Papa John’s repays them – by not paying them! As a result of the action, the current franchise owner has agreed to meet the union on Monday at 10am to resolve the issue and pay what is owed.”
Campaigners said the actions of Papa John’s mirrored those in Leicester where injustice in the labour market, with powerful corporations able to absolve themselves of responsibility for what happened in their supply chains, were being highlighted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Paul Blomfiend MP (Sheffield Central), said: “The Covid crisis has highlighted the exploitation facing too many workers, particularly in the food and drink sector. As we look to the future people expect things to change and they must. Companies like Papa Johns must treat their staff fairly.”
In 2017, researchers from Middlesex University estimated that wage theft, where workers are not paid wages they are owed or unlawful deductions are made, is widespread across the country with at least 2 million workers in Britain losing over £3 billion in unpaid holiday pay and wages each year. It is said to particularly affect the low paid and those on insecure contracts. Major new research looking at the factors that have made the Sheffield City Region, the UK’s “Low Pay Capital” will be launched this week. The research by academics at Sheffield Hallam, Staffordshire and Manchester Metropolitan Universities will be discussed during an online zoom event “Precarity is the Pandemic” at 7pm Wednesday 29 July 2020) organised by Sheffield Trades Council and anti-poverty group War on Want.
Dr Bob Jeffrey, a Senior Lecturer at Sheffield Hallam and a lead researcher on low pay in Sheffield said: “The situation faced by these workers at Papa John’s is emblematic of the wider conditions faced by low paid and precarious workers that we document in our report. Labour market deregulation, a lack of enforceable employment rights and the absence of trade unions gives unscrupulous employers a blank cheque to withhold legal entitlements to breaks, fail to follow health and safety rules, even fail to provide toilet access, or just plain and simple illegal non-payment of wages owed.”
Workers who are facing issues such as wage theft, low pay and health and safety concerns can get in touch with Sheffield Needs A Pay Rise via Facebook, Twitter (@SheffPayRise) or by email (sheffie[email protected]). See videos and photos of protest here. For further information please get in touch with Rohan Kon, Organiser with Sheffield Needs a Pay Rise on [email protected] / Mobile: 07747004870
PCS: Dozens protest Tate reopening over redundancy plans (27 July) – Despite the rain dozens of PCS members, joined by trade unionists from across London, protested the reopening of Tate Modern this morning over plans to cut more than 200 jobs. The socially-distanced protest, one of a series of actions taken by PCS, is part of the growing dispute over job losses at Tate Enterprise, where more than 200 members are at risk of redundancy, across the most diverse teams at the Tate. Our Tate members are currently being balloted for strike action over the plans. The protest, scheduled to coincide with for the galleries reopening highlighted to visitors the huge job losses at both the Tate and other cultural institutions, such as the Southbank Centre and Historic Royal Palaces and the National Theatre. The government’s investment of £1.57 billion into the culture sector, of which Tate is expecting to receive £7million is of course welcome, however it is clear, with the scale of the redundancies across the sector, in spite of the package, that the government announcement falls woefully short of the needs of the sector. We are determined, however, that whatever money is made available must be used to safeguard jobs and protect those staff that make our cultural institutions some of the most successful in the world. We are asking the Tate for an investment of just 10% of the additional money to save hundreds of jobs at Tate Enterprise, protect the poorest-paid staff, and invest in their most diverse teams. The crowds in long queues waiting to enter the gallery watched and on occasion cheered as messages of solidarity were read out to members fighting for their jobs. If you were unable to attend in person, but wish to send messages of support email [email protected]
Unite: Defend Jobs at GE Aviation Wales (Nantgarw) – Socially Distanced Event: SATURDAY, 1 AUGUST 2020 FROM 12:00-15:00 – Come join us for a “Walk for Jobs”. Unite members at the plant need your support. (This is a socially distanced event. Please wear masks.) 369 Highly skilled, well paid jobs are under threat of redundancy at GE Aviation Wales in Nantgarw. In July alone, 3,848 job losses have been announced in the Welsh Aviation industry. That figure only covers sites with union membership and agreements. There could be many more jobs at risk. Until the pandemic, Welsh Aviation had seen 10 years of growth – with excellent apprenticeship schemes bringing young women, as well as young men, into highly skilled engineering jobs. In 18 months, perhaps less, this sector will be back on track – as long as these jobs are protected. If not, they’ll be gone forever Facebook event. Send messages of support to [email protected]
The NSSN is continuing to report on how workers are organising during the coronavirus pandemic
The NSSN is opening up our weekly email bulletin, website and social media platforms of Facebook and twitter to provide a public forum for workers during the Coronavirus/COVID-19 crisis. We want to be a place where we can all share queries and experiences that workers are facing in their workplaces. These include reports of action taken by workers to defend themselves from their employers.
You can read about many of these actions in our weekly bulletin and out social media groups, especially our Facebook group: NSSN – defend workers’ rights under Coronavirus.
You can also send the NSSN your reports and queries via our website, twitter – @NSSN_AntiCuts and email – [email protected]
We welcome the information being sent to union members concerning the spread of coronavirus, including the Accord, Advance, AEP, AFA-CWA, ASLEF, BDA, BECTU Sector of Prospect, BFAWU, BOS-TU, College of Podiatry, Community, CSP, EIS, Equity, FBU, FDA, GMB, HCSA, MU, NAHT, NASUWT, National Society for Education in Art and Design (NSEAD), Nautilus International, NEU, NGSU, NUJ, PFA, Prospect, RCM, SoR, TSSA, TUC, UCU, UNISON, Unite, URTU, USDAW, WGGB and the RCN
But it is absolutely vital that unions retain their ability to organise and act independently in defence of their members and workers generally. This includes the right of unions to take industrial action. We are already aware of workers being forced to take unofficial action on health and safety grounds. We also believe that unions should have oversight of any government bans on protests and picketing. This is the same Tory government that tabled more new anti-union laws in December’s Queens Speech last December and cannot be trusted.
We believe that it is essential that workers are protected during this worrying period and are not impacted, whether in terms of their safety as well as their pay and employment rights. The Tory government have announced measures that if implemented would include some workers receive 80% of their wages. However, we believe that no worker should pay the price for any spread of the virus. Any worker who is required not to attend work or is unable to do so because of childcare or transport closures should receive full pay and not be forced to take annual leave. But unions have to remain vigilant that any government payments actually happen and also covers all workers, including those in precarious employment such as zero-hour contracts and in the gig economy.
We have drafted this model motion which we’ve made into a bulletin that can be downloaded and printed off to be distributed. Feel free to use in your union and trades council, in totality or partially to highlight the issues that need to be addressed.
Keep an eye out for other Facebook and social media groups and pages that are being created. The Coronavirus Support Group for Workers has been set up on Facebook and is a useful forum.
Sign Waltham Forest Trades Union Council petition to Barts NHS Trust: for adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) for all NHS staff particularly at Whipps Cross hospital.
Sign petition: To Welsh Government – For an immediate 10% pay rise for health, care and key workers. Sponsored by Cardiff County Trades Union Council, Swansea Trades Council, Caerphilly Trades Council
Report of South West NSSN meeting July 25th – The National Shop Stewards’ Network held a successful meeting last Saturday to develop its work in the South West of England. Over 40 people joined in the Zoom meeting, brought together by a desire to help build the rank and file of the trade union movement. Trade union militancy will be a vital means of the working class defending itself from the tsunami of attacks on jobs resulting from the capitalist Covid crisis. The meeting covered key aspects of the struggles we face including defending jobs, developing trades councils, recruiting young and unorganised workers, and defending health and safety, especially in schools. Volunteers were taken for a coordinating group to set up a regional conference in the new year to further strengthen the Network in the South West.
Date for your diary:-
NSSN TUC Rally – 1pm Sunday September 13th Facebook event
The rally will be on Zoom and will go out live on social media
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 822 0003 8334 Passcode: 739809
Dial by your location
+44 203 051 2874 United Kingdom
+44 203 481 5237 United Kingdom
+44 203 481 5240 United Kingdom
+44 203 901 7895 United Kingdom
+44 131 460 1196 United Kingdom
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/k17EfmHln
Join by Skype for Business https://us02web.zoom.us/skype/82200038334
Get your trade union branch or trades council to affiliate to the NSSN – it only costs £50. Already affiliated? Please think about renewing it. Also, many of our supporters pay a few pounds a month. You can set up a similar standing order to ‘National Shop Stewards Network’, HSBC – sort code 40-06-41, account number 90143790. Our address is NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE. Feel free to use this affiliation letter
And if you can, come to one of our regional Conferences. If there is not one in your area, get in touch to either assist in organising or have a speaker at one of your meetings or events. Contact Rob or Linda on [email protected]
Follow us on twitter via @NSSN_AntiCuts and Facebook
Watch NSSN TUC Rally video
Bus union RMT responds to study on workers’ deaths (27 July) – Bus union RMT has responded today to the initial assessment report on bus driver mortality that has been produced by the UCL Institute of Health Equity which was commissioned by Transport for London. The report shows that among bus drivers, those aged 65 and over, those from BAME backgrounds and those with pre-existing hypertension are at higher risk of Covid-19 mortality and this should be taken into account in efforts by TfL and bus companies to reduce risks. It concludes that had lockdown come earlier it is likely that far fewer bus drivers would have died read more
RMT on Coronavirus bailout bonanza for TOC’s (22 July) – Research reveals that private rail companies stand to make £500 Million from Coronavirus bailouts while passengers and rail unions call for nationalisation. Britain’s private rail companies stand to make almost £500 million in profits over the next 12 months according to new research, amid widespread speculation that the government is about to extend its Emergency Measures Agreements read more
RMT ramps up campaign to halt privatisation and driverless trains as Government coup takes over Transport for London (21 July) – TUBE UNION RMT today wrote to Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps demanding that the government come clean on plans to privatise London Underground as part of its takeover of Transport for London. Yesterday, the Secretary of State announced the names of the two government appointees who will report on TfL’s finances and also set out the terms of reference for a wide-ranging review that puts it in effective control of London’s transport system read more
Sign petition: to The Mayor of London and the London Assembly – End the privatisation of cleaning at Transport for London
Please Support RMT Members With No Wages! – RMT London Transport Region Zero Hours & Self-Employed members need our Solidarity Now! Many of our regions self-employed members and those on zero hours have not any had wages for 2 months since March. They have been abandoned by London Underground, TfL, the London Mayor and their agency employers. They MUST NOT be abandoned by us too; their RMT sisters and brothers! The RMT London Transport Regional Council and LU Engineering RMT branch are calling out to all branches, members and friends to dig deep and give meaningful solidarity to our hard pressed members facing poverty and possibly eviction from their homes. To help support by donating to the fund or to ask after support for yourself, please email: [email protected] read more
RAIL UNION RMT has suspended strike action on South Western Railway in good faith to allow further talks to take place read more
Donate to the RMT strike fund on South Western Railway – The NSSN is appealing for financial support and solidarity for the RMT and their members on SWR, who have just voted to renew their mandate to take mote strike action. Send messages of support and requests for speakers for your union branch and/or trades council to RMT NEC member and SWR guard Geoff Kite – [email protected]
To make a donation to the hardship funds set up for RMT members striking against Driver Only Operation:-
National Dispute Fund:
Transfers can be made directly into the account using the details below:
Account name: RMT Head Office National Dispute Fund
Account no: 20113524
Sort Code: 60-83-01
Alternatively, you can send cheques to the Finance Department at Head Office – Unity House 39 Chalton Street London NW11JD
TSSA calls for “bespoke support package” to save UK travel industry (27 July) – TSSA today (Monday) demanded Transport Secretary Grant Shapps provide a “bespoke support package” to save jobs in the travel industry beyond the current jobs retention scheme. The move comes after the government imposed a 14-day quarantine on people arriving in the UK from Spain. The union, which represents staff in the travel industry, wrote to Shapps today, demanding a “bespoke support package” for the UK travel trade and warned that without government support the industry could collapse, pushing thousands into unemployment read more
TfL Financial Review Must Herald Return of Operating Grant (21 July) – TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has demanded the Government-led review of Transport for London (TfL) finances supports the return of the capital’s operating grant and protects jobs. Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, (Monday) set out the terms of reference for the review into TfL’s future financial position and structure following the imposition of a take it or leave it economic support package in May as a result of the Covid-19 crisis read more
ASLEF backs Jim’s call for Shapps to come clean (23 July) – We have backed a call from Jim McMahon, the Shadow Transport Secretary, for the government to come clean and ‘be clear whether the existing emergency management agreements [on Britain’s railways] will continue read more
BREAKING NEWS!! Anger over NHS pay sparks Downing Street march on Wednesday 29 July – Unite NHS members will be at the forefront of a march to Downing Street tomorrow (Wednesday 29 July) to show their anger at being overlooked in the latest round of public sector pay rises – despite more than 500 NHS and social care staff dying from Covid-19. The Unite branch at Guy’s and St Thomas Hospital will be marching to Downing Street at 18.00 tomorrow from St Thomas Hospital, Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 7EH to protest at the government’s decision to put off a pay rise for NHS staff until April next year – when the three year pay deal comes to an end. The march will be attended and supported by NHS staff across London. Last week, chancellor Rishi Sunak awarded up to a 3.1 per cent pay rise for 900,000 public sector workers, including doctors, teachers and police officers. Unite accused the chancellor of having ‘a selective memory’ when it comes to public sector pay, rewarding some, but ignoring hundreds of thousands of others read more Facebook event
Follow the Facebook group that has been set up – Nurses and Midwives say NO! to Public Sector pay inequality which is publicising a number of protests on NHS pay, which can be found here. As well as the one in London this Wednesday there also a London march on Saturday August 8th plus protests in Leeds and Cardiff also on August 8th
BREAKING NEWS!! Barts’ bosses blasted over catering jobs axe (28 July) – Bosses at Barts Health NHS Trust should step in, after outsourced caterer Elior told about 100 staff that they will be sacked, despite their hard work during the pandemic. Unite said today (Tuesday 28 July) that 30 of its members at the trust employed by Elior are devastated, after nearly half of them were told they would lose their jobs and those remaining will have their hours cut by 10 per cent. Unite has told the trust management that it wants its members redeployed within the trust that covers four major hospital sites in London, serving 2.5 million people. Unite, once again, highlighted the flawed nature of NHS privatisation; as Elior, which runs the restaurants and coffee shops, is sacking staff, another outsourcer Serco, which supplies meals to patients on the wards, is currently recruiting read more
Bus maker Alexander Dennis job losses ‘devastating blow’ (27 July) – Up to 650 job losses at bus maker Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL), including at sites in Guildford, Scarborough and Falkirk, are a ‘devastating blow’ for workers and their communities, Unite said today (Monday 27 July). Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest union, said it is working with ADL to minimise redundancies, which are part of a restructuring by the bus makers’ Canada-based parent firm NFI Group Inc. The union called on the government to bring forward £3 billion plans to get 4,000 new green buses on the UK’s roads to prevent job losses amongst the firm’s 2,500 strong workforce read more
Unite statement on report that earlier lockdown would have saved London bus driver lives (27 July) – Commenting on the Transport for London (TfL) commissioned report that an earlier lockdown would have saved lives amongst London bus drivers, Unite regional officer John Murphy said: “This report makes it quite clear that in its approach to lockdown the government tried to lock the stable door after the horse had bolted. London bus drivers and their families paid a terrible price for the government’s mistakes during the pandemic and these should be fully scrutinised in a public inquiry…” read more
Unite Registered Childminders seek meeting with Education Minister Peter Weir over inadequate support payments (July 24) – Department of Education’s enhanced financial package amounts to a mere £150 a month in July and August when Covid-19 restrictions impact operation read more
Collins Aerospace job losses blow highlights urgent need for Stormont Aerospace rescue plan (July 23) – Management plans for 235 redundancies at Kilkeel site as Covid downturn impacts demand for aerospace production. Stormont must bring forward furlough extension to enable vital skills retention and enable upskilling for future growth read more
Call for Robert Jenrick to reimburse Nottingham council for Covid-19 costs, as jobs threatened (23 July) – Communities secretary Robert Jenrick has been urged by Unite the union to get out his cheque book to plug the hole in Nottingham city council’s finances due to coronavirus and avoid more than 150 posts being axed. The city council is planning to plug the £62 million financial shortfall due to extra costs racked up by the pandemic by cutting more than 150 posts. Unite today (Thursday 23 July) called on communities secretary Robert Jenrick, who represents the Nottinghamshire seat of Newark, to reimburse the city council for the extra costs generated by combating Covid-19 read more
DFDS Immingham using Covid-19 ‘excuse’ for redundancies and attacks on T&Cs (22 July) – Immingham ferry operator DFDS Seaways is using the coronavirus pandemic as an ‘excuse’ to drive through redundancies and ‘brutal’ attacks on its workers’ terms and conditions, Unite said today (Wednesday 22 July). Unite said DFDS’ plans to cut 62 positions from its 600 strong Immingham workforce and reduce overtime rates and other benefits for hourly paid staff are unnecessary given steadily increasing freight volumes since the lockdown’s peak in April read more
easyJet staff to stage airport demonstrations after voting no confidence in chief operating officer (21 July) – easyJet staff will hold socially distanced demonstrations this week at Newcastle, Southend and Stansted airports over the firm’s plans to close its operations at those locations and shed 1,290 cabin crew jobs nationwide. The protests – which will take place at 10.30 hours in Newcastle on Wednesday (22 July), Southend on Thursday (23 July) and Stansted on Friday (24 July) – come after staff voted in favour of a no confidence ballot in easyJet chief operating officer Peter Bellew. The ballot of more than 3,000 Unite cabin crew members at the airline was 99.32 per cent in favour of the no confidence motion. The pilot’s union BALPA conducted a similar ballot which also returned a near unanimous vote of no confidence in Mr Bellew. Unite members are angry that while their jobs and incomes at the airline are under attack, easyJet paid £174 million in dividends to shareholders at the start of the Covid-19 crisis. The company has also secured a government funded load of £600 million yet is pressing on with a large-scale cuts and closure programme read more
Five days of strike action by Bexley refuse workers over ‘paltry’ pay offer (21 July) – More than 150 Bexley refuse workers are taking five days of strike action over the continual refusal by outsourcing giant Serco to pay a ‘living’ wage, Unite announced today (Tuesday 21 July). The dispute, which predates the March lockdown, has ignited again over the refusal of Serco bosses to pay the workers a minimum of £13 an hour, similar to their counterparts in Greenwich. The workers are also angry over a bullying culture. The five days of strike action are set for 30, 31 July and 3, 4 and 6 August, to run from 05.00 – 09.00 each day. Unite members working on the Bexley contract took a day-and-a-half of strike action in March over pay, but called off their action well before Boris Johnson announced the UK-wide lockdown on 23 March read more
Sunak’s ‘selective memory’ over council workers’ pay (21 July) – Chancellor Rishi Sunak was accused today (Tuesday 21 July) by Unite the union of having ‘a selective memory’ when it comes to public sector pay, rewarding some, but ignoring hundreds of thousands of others. While welcoming as ‘a step in the right direction’ the 3.1 per cent pay rise for 900,000 public sector workers, including doctors, teachers and police officers, Unite said that, yet again, council workers seemed to be ‘the forgotten army of public service’, currently being offered a pay rise that amounts to £1.83p a day read more
Stop the BA Betrayal! – This groundswell has been mobilised by reps and the campaign #BAbetrayal – a ‘crisis leverage campaign, which is part of Unite’s Leverage strategy. ‘Crisis leverage’ applies many of the same principles and takes a similarly robust, muscular approach but in a much more streamlined, nimble way. In a crisis like the current coronavirus pandemic, with a company behaving like British Airways, we have to move fast and to scale. Find out more and support the #BAbetrayal campaign by Joining the #BAbetrayal Facebook campaign and follow the @BAbetrayal campaign on Twitter. Sign the petition today
Sign this petition: Reinstatement of Blue Handling employees laid off due to COVID-19 and placed on Furlough
Sign this petition: Please sign and share: Extend the bereaved family payment to UK bus workers now – every bus worker who loses their life because of coronavirus deserves to get the £60,000 life assurance cover alongside NHS and social care staff. Dozens have tragically lost their lives. They are going above and beyond the call of duty. It is only right that their families are given the same financial protections. Help support bus workers and their families. Extend and increase the bereaved family payment now read more
MTVHA – Stop the Sackings! Sign petition: To: Geeta Nanda, Chief Executive Officer, Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing Association – Please cease all compulsory redundancies during the recruitment freeze caused by Coronavirus restrictions which would make it impossible for anyone to find alternative employment read more from Unite Housing Workers branch
Support Westex Carpets staff strike – The strike began on November 20th after workers rejected a minimal pay rise which was then withdrawn by the company, which has since refused further dialogue read more Westex Carpets ‘won’t win battle of wills’ as strikes head into ninth week after talks collapse (22 Jan)
To make a donation to the hardship fund:-
Account name – TGWU
Account number – 20175407
Sort code – 60/83/01
Reference – WESTEX STRIKE FUND
Brilliant first week as PCS pay petition tops 26,000 (27 July) – We’ve had a great first week with our petition for fair pay for UK government workers, passing 26,000 signatures, but we still need members and supporters to keep signing and sharing so we can reach 100,000 and force a parliamentary debate. Launched last Monday morning, our petition reached the 10,000 mark in less than 55 hours meaning the government has to respond, which it has so far failed to do. During the pandemic government workers have delivered vital public services and kept our country safe and secure. After 10 years in which the real value of civil service pay has fallen, many face hardship. That’s why we are calling on the government to start to restore the real value of government workers’ pay with a 10% increase in 2020 read more
Major changes on home working announced – talks next week (24 July) – PCS has told the Cabinet Office we are not prepared to accept attempts to force more civil servants back into work without detailed assurances about how their safety will be ensured if they have to return to their workplace. The head of the civil service Alex Chisholm has written to all permanent secretaries this week to say that after Boris Johnson’s speech to the nation urging people back into work the civil service needed to see an acceleration of people returning to work read more
Good news about pensions for many PCS members (23 July) – The government has accepted that it needs to put right the unlawful changes to pensions in 2015. PCS supported the action taken by the FBU to show that the changes to pensions made in 2015 were illegal. The FBU won the court case and the government has now accepted that it needs to put right what it did unlawfully in 2015 read more
PCS calls on government to commit to no job cuts at new FCDO (22 July) – We are calling on the government to meet 7 demands as the Foreign Office merges with the Department for International Development, including no job cuts or forced redundancies, no compulsory relocations and no detrimental changes to terms and conditions. Since the announcement of the creation of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) from the merger of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and Department for International Development (DFID) on 16 June, PCS has been busy meeting with members to draw up their bargaining priorities for the new department. We have held several virtual meetings with members in the FCO and DFID, as well as joint branch meetings and meetings with our sister unions. Through consultation with our members, PCS has agreed the following demands which we will ask the government to meet read more
Fair pay petition passes 10000 mark (22 July) – Our petition for fair pay for UK government workers has had a phenomenal response, reaching 10,000 signatures in less than 3 days. Launched on Monday morning the PCS petition states that during the pandemic government workers have delivered vital public services and kept our country safe and secure. After 10 years in which the real value of civil service pay has fallen, many face hardship. That’s why we are calling on the government to start to restore the real value of government workers’ pay with a 10% increase in 2020. Reaching 10,000 signatures means the government must now respond to our petition read more
Update on Cabinet Office talks on return to work (21 July) – PCS has met with the Cabinet Office to clarify the situation after Boris Johnson’s “back to work” speech. Following the prime minister’s speech last week encouraging people to return to work, we met with the Cabinet Office on Monday (20) to clarify the situation read more
Please sign this PCS petition to Save Ealing Tax Office – During this time of national crisis the reliance on hard working, front line, civil servants has increased immeasurably. Government departments have had to act quickly, protect staff and ensure that services can still be provided whilst encouraging staff to work from home where possible. In HMRC over 51,000 members of staff are now working from home with IT equipment enabling them to provide effective advice and services to those affected by Covid-19 as well as continuing to perform the day to day duties of the department. Unfortunately our members based at Ealing Tax Office, although providing vital support and expertise during these difficult times, are facing an increasingly uncertain future with redundancy notices likely to be announced in June as part of HMRC’s controversial ‘Building our Future’ programme. These hard working and dedicated members are fighting to retain their jobs and secure the future of their office, entering into an official dispute with the department, taking part in numerous periods of strike action in recent months. The department have refused to acknowledge the vital role played by this office, the likely impact of losing this community employer as well as the long term impact the loss of over 4000 years of collective experience will have on the functionality of HMRC. During these unprecedented times when the reliance on the civil service has grown substantially, it seems unnecessary that HMRC should continue with its office closure programme and planned redundancies. Now, more than ever, an effective and efficient civil service is needed and our members are showing that, across Government, they can work flexibly at home, outside of the office environment, and continue to provide a high standard of service to the British public. We ask that you sign this eaction to the Chancellor calling on him to intervene urgently, to halt the office closures and redundancies, and consult fully with the union and work to retain the experience and vital knowledge contained within Ealing Tax Office. Support our call to SAVE JOBS, SAVE SERVICES and STOP THE CLOSURES
Support HMRC cleaners who have been on strike for Living Wage – Contracted out cleaners at HMRC have recently been on strike in a dispute over the Living Wage. ISS staff who are employed to clean tax offices at Bootle and Liverpool will take 14 days action with colleagues in Birmingham taking 2 days. Workers are angry at ISS over poor pay and conditions and the refusal of ministers at HMRC to take the cleaning contract back in-house. The real Living Wage is £10.75 in London and £9.30 for the rest of the UK is based on the cost of living and is voluntarily paid by nearly 6,000 UK employers who believe a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay. The strike received a 97% yes vote on a 90% turnout read more
Show your support
Support Interserve strikers – Interserve workers at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, were on strike for the whole of February. You can support the workers in the following ways:
- Sign and publicise the E-action
- Donate to the PCS fighting fund
- Send messages of support to [email protected]
- Visit the picket line at Whitehall/King Charles Street, London, SW1A 2AH. Read more
Government pinching Covid bonus from poorest key workers (27 July) – The Government is pinching covid-19 bonuses given to the poorest key workers by reducing their Universal Credit, GMB can reveal. Many retail staff, carers and other low-paid key workers have been rewarded with extra cash to say thank you for their work during the pandemic. But rather than allow them to keep the money, the Government has reduced their in-work Universal Credit payments – meaning some of their bonus ends up in Treasury coffers read more
Centrica figures ‘stark indictment’ of failed strategy (24 July) – Every time a crisis looms, Centrica directors’ answer is cut thousands more jobs. GMB, the energy union, says today’s Centrica figures are a ‘stark indictment’ the companies attempts to cut its way out of a crisis are not working read more
How could ministers have not known sick pay was a massive coronavirus infection risk? (21 July) – GMB Union informed Ministers as early as March that inadequate sick pay was a massive coronavirus infection risk in the care sector. The union wrote to Health Secretary Matt Hancock on March 29 and Care Minister Helen Whately multiple times to warn them giving people a perverse incentive to come into work sick or while self-isolating would help spread the deadly virus read more
Ministers’ attack on public sector workers’ redundancy rights is ‘complete insult’ (21 July) – New exit cap regulations will hit council workers earning as little as £23,500. GMB, the union for public sector workers, has condemned the Government’s announcement that it will impose a cap on exit payments that will affect thousands of low-paid workers who face redundancy. Ministers have decided to push ahead with damaging plans to include ‘pension strain’ costs – the gap between expected and actual pension payments when a worker is made redundant – in their calculations, the union said. The LGA has warned that the cap ‘could cover local government workers who have decades of service and earn less than £23,500 a year read more
Cash-strapped drivers need support to implement new laws (21 July) – GMB, the union for taxi and private hire drivers, says drivers on local authorities – on their knees in the wake of the pandemic – need support to implement new legislation read more
Government public sector pay rise ‘does nothing for vast majority’ (21 July) – Pay announcement covers just 900,000 of 4.4 million public sector workers in England says GMB Union. GMB, Britain’s general union, says today’s pay rise announcement will affect just 20% of public sector workers in England read more
Pride is a protest – get ready for our virtual event (27 July) – Get set to join UNISON’s virtual Pride is a protest event this weekend read more
More cleaners needed to make English schools safe for return of pupils and staff, says UNISON (23 July) – Jon Richards calls on government to provide schools with funds to increase cleaning services. Some cleaners in English schools are still having to work without protective kit and not given the ‘deep-clean’ training needed to keep people safe, says a survey published today (Thursday) by UNISON read more
More cleaners needed to make English schools safe for return of pupils and staff, says UNISON (23 July) – Jon Richards calls on government to provide schools with funds to increase cleaning services. Some cleaners in English schools are still having to work without protective kit and not given the ‘deep-clean’ training needed to keep people safe, says a survey published today (Thursday) by UNISON read more
Support Tower Hamlets Unison strike – The NSSN sends our solidarity to Unison members who are striking against attacks on their terms and conditions. Hundreds of union reps and members at our annual conference on Zoom last Saturday supported this call. It is an outrage that a Labour council is using the worst methods of private sector bosses to impose detrimental changes. We also salute the binworkers, mainly in Unite, who refused to cross picket lines. They have recently been on strike themselves against their former employer Veolia before being brought back in-house
Twitter Storm this Wednesday, 5-6pm • Tell the cabinet #ShameOnBiggs #Time2Talk #StopTheRobbery
Support teachers and schools staff fighting Tory unsafe re-opening
The NSSN sends our support and solidarity to education workers, their unions and an increasing number of parents as they look to resist the Tory government’s plans to move to a much wider opening of schools in England We believe that this reckless plan is clearly connected to Boris Johnson’s intention to lift the lockdown and get people back to work, before the government get the COVID-19 pandemic under control. They are putting bosses’ profits before the safety of workers, children and their families.
At our very successful 2nd NSSN Zoom public meeting on May 17th, teachers and parents set out a united fighting strategy. The NSSN supports this fight for safety along with the many other struggles that are taking place to ensure that the workplace is safe. We argue that we need trade union, workers’ control of workplace safety as we can’t trust the Tory government and their big business backers.
We are happy for teachers, schools staff and parents to use the banner of the NSSN to organise meetings and action against this unsafe re-opening. Email us on [email protected] for more information.
NEU: 5 Tests for Government before schools can re-open – NEU has launched 5 tests for Government before schools can re-open. We believe that these test must be capable of being passed in order to create the necessary confidence amongst parents and staff read more
NEU: Public Sector Pay (21 July) – The NEU asked for a 7% pay rise for all teachers. This increase does not achieve this entirely reasonable ambition read more
Safe return to work agreed for Capita TVL Field members (July 24) – After more than four months of ‘furlough’, hundreds of Capita TVL workers will return to duty a week on Monday, with a full range of appropriate safety and wellbeing measures having been agreed between the CWU and the company read more
Technology outrage a ‘new low for BT’ as CWU launches ‘Count me In’ call to arms (July 22) – Mounting industrial tension associated with the massive reorganisation that is currently underway across BT Group has now hit BT Technology with a vengeance. Following the division’s announcement today 22nd July, of around 150 redundancies – most of which look likely to be compulsory from an in-scope group of just 200 employees – the CWU is at loggerheads with a management approach that inexplicably appears calculated to cause maximum employee pain read more
Union wins concessionary payout for PO product specialists (July 22) – Despite their key target products having been withdrawn throughout the Covid-19 crisis, Post Office product specialists will still receive a nominal sum at the end of this month, in lieu of the scheduled bonus, following representations from the CWU read more
DHL parcel members: you are not alone (July 21) – Over the past few months during this crisis, we have been in touch with many members directly and through our recent survey. One of the main concerns coming back from members has been feeling like a “lone voice” when trying to raise their concerns about work, you are not alone. In fact, you are one of hundreds of CWU members across DHL Parcel UK read more New Reps Across Our DHL Network
Firefighters agree to continue delivering coronavirus response until end of September (23 July) – Firefighters have agreed to continue aiding the coronavirus response, warning that the virus threat “remains serious” and despite the government’s easing of lockdown restrictions. The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has assured the public that “firefighters aren’t going to abandon their communities now”, as preparations for a second wave of COVID-19 infections commence read more
Pay Review Body recommendations (21 July) – the POA will take its time considering all aspects of the Pay Review Body recommendations and not just comment on the headline figure of 2.5 per cent. For the past 10 years POA members have seen pay freezes and cuts to pay in real terms but we recognise this is a start, but it will never make up for the loss in pay over the last years which has treated POA members disgracefully.Mark Fairhurst National Chair of the POA stated; “For a second consecutive year the Government have refused to implement all the recommendations of a Pay Review Body that they appoint. Lower paid members will be frustrated that an opportunity to partly achieve pay parity has been missed. Since 2010 my members have suffered pay freezes, increased pension contributions and unprecedented levels of violence. Now is the perfect opportunity to sit down and rectify a failed pay model whilst achieving workforce and retirement age reform. The POA stand ready to negotiate a future package”. Steve Gillan General Secretary of the POA stated;“If the Government believe that this pay award makes up for the pain of the last 10 years then they are hugely mistaken. The 2.5 per cent is welcome but does not remedy the loss in pay and benefits of the past. The National Executive Committee will be studying all the recommendations in the coming days in order to hold Government to account” read more
Sign petition: To: Paul Pomroy, McDonald’s, Alasdair Murdoch, Burger King, Jorge Torres, Taco Bell, Paula MacKenzie, KFC
Tell fast food CEOs: Listen to your workers, Black Lives Matter
Campaign created by
BFAWU McStrike BAME Committee
It is not enough for fast food companies to pay lip service to the Black Lives Matter movement on social media. You must take steps to ensure your Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) workers are protected against individual and systemic racial abuse
BFAWU members at Wetherspoons have written to the company in light of plans to open up pubs. The union demands commitments that include staff security, sick pay and social distancing read more. The union is launching a recruitment campaign
NUJ backs new BBC offer to support PAYE freelances (24 July) – PAYE freelances make a significant and valuable contribution to the BBC’s output and the union today welcomed the corporation’s commitment to offer them financial support and fair treatment read more
NUJ submits legal challenge to government’s lockdown support measures (22 July) – The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) in the UK and Ireland has submitted a legal challenge to the UK government claiming that the Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) introduced by the Treasury has excluded large numbers of freelance workers and is therefore discriminatory. The legal action marks a significant acceleration in the union’s campaign to secure equal treatment for freelance workers. The NUJ also contends that the Treasury has failed to produce a coherent policy to explain the circumstances (if any) in which those working for publicly-funded employers can access support via the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) read more
Parliamentarians decry BBC cuts (22 July) – More than 60 parliamentarians from across the political spectrum have contacted Dame Melanie Dawes, the chief executive of Ofcom, to express their joint concern about the latest cuts to national and regional BBC news and political programmes. Ofcom is obliged by the BBC’s Royal Charter and the Communications Act 2003 to include conditions in its broadcast licences that comply with obligations on production and regional programming read more
Union sets out key demands in response to cuts proposals at Reach plc (21 July) – NUJ representatives working for Reach plc have come together as a group chapel to discuss and decide their collective response to the 580 job cuts proposed by the company. The union has been told that more than 300 job cuts will affect journalists. As a priority the union is seeking to reduce the number of job losses, retain in-house experience and local knowledge – key facets for producing quality journalism, and essential for preserving the company’s credibility and reputation read more
NUJ secures deal to represent journalists at Alaraby TV (21 July) – The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) in the UK and Ireland is pleased to announce it has achieved a formal trade union recognition agreement at Alaraby TV, securing collective bargaining rights for editorial workers at the company read more
This arbitrary £95k redundancy cap will impact on hard-working and long-serving staff (21 July) – The government has responded to a consultation on imposing a cap on redundancy payments in the public sector by bringing forward plans to instigate a cap at £95k read more
As new rules on face covering come into force in England, Usdaw calls for the public to support shopworkers (23 July) – Retail trade union Usdaw is reminding shoppers that the wearing of face coverings is mandatory from Friday 24 July in shops in England. Usdaw asks shoppers to follow the law and help to protect shopworkers and other customers by wearing a face covering, while following existing social distancing and hygiene procedures. Shopworkers are not responsible for enforcing the law, and abuse should not be part of the job read more
Minimum wage of at least £10 and an end to rip-off youth rates – Usdaw gives evidence to the Low Pay Commission (16 July) – Retail trade union Usdaw is today giving oral evidence to the Low Pay Commission on minimum wage rates, ahead of them making recommendations to the Government about National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage rates to be introduced on 1 April 2021 read more
Dunnes Stores Anti-Apartheid Strikers back Debenhams workers – The Dunnes Stores anti-apartheid strikers have congratulated the Debenhams workers for their battle for improved redundancy and their campaign to change legislation and prevent this situation from happening again. Thirty-six years to the day after the Dunnes workers began their three year battle for the right to not handle South African goods, Karen Gearon, shop steward during the strike, said the Debenhams workers are an inspiration to all workers facing injustice in Ireland and abroad read more
Email messages of support to Mandate via [email protected]
“Stop the Met’s criminalisation of strikes” says barrister in legal challenge to Metropolitan Police (27 July) – The trade union United Voices of the World (UVW) has launched a fundraiser so its former Head of Legal, Franck Magennis, a barrister with Garden Court Chambers, can take legal action against the Metropolitan Police after being unlawfully arrested on a picket line in January of this year. The arrest, which took place on January 13th at St. George’s University of London, saw Mr Magennis handcuffed and detained in mid-conversation with a Metropolitan Police officer as he inquired into the legality of workers and UVW staff being threatened with arrest under Section 119 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008. The arrest led to the breakup of the workers’ picket and subsequently saw St. George’s University of London management routinely call the police on striking workers in the days after the arrest – on each occasion workers and UVW staff were threatened with arrest under Section 119 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008. It is understood the fundraiser will cover the Metropolitan Police’s legal costs if the legal claim against them is unsuccessful read more
United Voices of the World fires the starting pistol on a furlough fightback! (July 23) – On the 31st of October, the furlough scheme which has helped some nine million workers pay their bills and rent will come to an end. Many businesses will go under and many workers will find themselves without work while others find themselves on the receiving end of an attack led by employers – aided and abetted by this Conservative government – who will attempt to slash wages, cut corners on health and safety, and intensify workloads. Workers have to be ready and prepared to push back – in other words they have to be organised! And it is United Voices of the World (UVW) who will pave the way for this worker led, bottom up, furlough fight back, by rolling out intensive organiser training, research training, workplace rep training, and employment law workshops over the next 3 months for UVW and UVW Solidarity Network members. To prepare the ground in our fight for equality, dignity, and respect in the workplace, UVW will be equipping dedicated members and activists with the tools, knowledge, and power to assist workers in taking action read more
St. George’s security guards win full pay sick pay but vow to “fight on for full equality” (22 July) – Security guards at St. George’s University of London are celebrating after winning 3-weeks full pay sick pay. The victory marks the latest turn in a several months long dispute which has seen the guards take successive weeks of strike action, direct action, and most recently, spontaneously walking off the job due to a lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), contractual sick pay, and safety concerns. SGUL contractor Bidvest Noonan originally presented the offer of full pay sick pay – the workers previously received Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) of £19.17 per day – as part of a package which would see their hours decrease. However, the workers succeeded in forcing Bidvest Noonan to withdraw the reduction in hours and instead one a one hour paid lunch break previously denied them. Despite the victory the workers have vowed to continue campaigning until they received full equality and made direct employees. The most recent escalation in this ongoing dispute being a legal challenge against the university which will argue that outsourcing the entirely BAME and migrant workforce on inferior pay rates and terms and condition to university staff amounts to race discrimination in breach of the Equality Act 2010 and the Public Sector Equality Duty read more
Women’s Lives Matter Protest: NOT ONE WOMAN MORE – Saturday August 1st Sheffield Town Hall 12pm Facebook event. 8 women have been murdered in South Yorkshire since the start of the lockdown – that we know about. The UK as a whole has seen a huge rise in Domestic Abuse since the lockdown started but this is off the back of already rising rates. 2019 was a 5 year high in domestic abuse cases and at the start of 2020, the number of women murdered every week by a partner of ex-partner rose to 3. This has got to stop. Our local councils, the police and our government are letting domestic abuse victims down immensely and it is costing lives. We already went into lock down with severely reduced domestic abuse services due to 10 years of austerity cuts – in 2019, 60% of all referrals to refuges were rejected due to lack of space. We say no to all cuts. Reverse the last 10 years of cuts to our services + fully fund domestic abuse services. Massively increase the amount of affordable housing so women can afford to have their own safe homes. End insecure employment contracts – the majority of part time, zero hours contracts are taken up by women – we need secure jobs. Up the minimum wage immediately – stop poverty wages. Stop and scrap UC and for a benefits system that meets people’s needs. Fully fund childcare services. These are our basic set of national demands that we think are the first things that need to happen to keep women safe and ensure they can live economically independently from perpetrators. But they are also what many working class people need – including men. A more comprehensive list of local demands to be released soon. Join us – we want deeds not words from our politicians. We need them to act now
‘The Spirit of ’45’ documentary website – the website for this fantastic anti-austerity film has been updated. For cast/crew information about the movie, where to watch it online and the trailer, please go to https://streamingmoviesright.com/uk/movie/the-spirit-of-45/
Townsend Theatre Productions – See online shows such as The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists and We are the Lions about the 1970s Grunwick dispute website here
COVID-19: Demanding a public inquiry – On behalf of the Law Centres Network, with the support from Amnesty International, JCWI, the Monitoring Group and over 70 grassroots organisations, civil society charities and trade unions the Public Interest Law Centre wrote to the Government to demanding an urgent public inquiry into the handling of #COVID19. The letter can be found on this link, but more importantly can you send an email from the page demanding that a public inquiry is arranged in the next three months to learn the lessons in order to learn the lessons of before a suspected second wave. https://pilc.org.uk/campaigns/covid-19-demand-a-public-inquiry/
Join the protests against the killing of George Floyd in the USA
The NSSN sends our deepest sympathy to the family of George Floyd, who was killed by police in Minneapolis on May 25th. We also send our solidarity to those who have protested in the USA and around the world. NSSN supporters have been at many of the protests that have taken place all around the country. We think trade unions are vital to build workers’ unity at this time.
There are other protests being organised. To find out about others, follow #MarchforFloyd #KneekforFloyd #GeorgeFloyd and #BlackLivesMatter on social media
Fight victimisation of union reps
Builders Crack: The Movie – online film premiere plus Q&A – This Thursday July 30th from 19:00-20:30. Builders Crack: The Movie is a long lost film of rank & file union organizing amongst “self-employed” construction workers in the 1990s. The London Joint Sites Committee and their notorious fanzine, ‘Builders Crack’ waged a 13 year guerrilla war against gangster bosses in the building industry. The grassroots activists in this film led some of the most high profile unofficial industrial action, not just during the 1990s, but over the past 3 decades.
In 2020, union films are everywhere. In the 1990s, no-one was doing this stuff. Builders Crack: The Movie was groundbreaking and is part of your collective union heritage. The film screening and the Q&A session afterwards is intended to encourage a labour movement debate about union organising strategies needed to fightback against the attacks on jobs and wages that are bound to occur over the next 12 months
Since the New Year, a whole number of union reps and members have been sacked, suspended or disciplined. This is becoming a pattern. So much for ‘all being in this together’ during the coronavirus pandemic”. This comes on the back of the Tories’ planned new anti-union laws.
The NSSN will continue to highlight every such case and build support and solidarity so that these workers and others get their jobs back. Please send a message of support to those being attacked and invite them to your union branch and trades council. Keep letting us know about any other acts of union victimisation and we’ll publicise. Facebook event
Since the New Year, a whole number of union reps and members have been sacked, suspended or disciplined. This is becoming a pattern. So much for ‘all being in this together’ during the coronavirus pandemic”. This comes on the back of the Tories’ planned new anti-union laws.
The NSSN will continue to highlight every such case and build support and solidarity so that these workers and others get their jobs back. Please send a message of support to those being attacked and invite them to your union branch and trades council. Keep letting us know about any other acts of union victimisation and we’ll publicise.
PCS: Trade unionists asked to send solidarity to PCS rep dismissed after blowing the whistle (25 July) – Trade unionists are being urged to send solidarity messages to a PCS rep dismissed after whistleblowing at the Department of Work and Pensions. Enrico La Rocca, who had worked for the DWP for more than 27 years, lost his job in May after highlighting serious concerns with management over a number of years. His complaints resulted in questions being asked about the department’s handling of Carer’s Allowance overpayments by the National Audit Office (NAO) and raised by in a Work and Pensions Select Committee report read more from Union News
RMT: SUSPENSION OF RMT REPRESENTATIVES, FRATTON – SOUTH WESTERN RAILWAY – Following my previous Circular (IR/171/20) dated 14th May 2020, as you are aware, two of our representatives, Mark Gamble and Brian Perren, were suspended from duty using unscrupulous charges. South Western Railway’s actions throughout this dispute have been appalling. The company have clearly targeted our members as they are hardworking and effective representatives. The callous action of South Western Railway has been abhorrent from the very start of this dispute. Our members recently had their disciplinary hearings and after successful representation Brother Brian Perren has been reinstated to his substantive role. However, Mark has been left in limbo by the company and still faces these ridiculous charges. This means that the ballot that was due to close today (4th June) has been cancelled. As one of our members has been reinstated, this changes the basis of the original ballot. Unfortunately, because of the anti-trade union laws we would not have been able to use any mandate we received from this ballot. Therefore, we have to run a fresh ballot and this will be to continue to defend our suspended Brother Mark Gamble. The National Executive Committee has considered this matter and has congratulated our members and all those who assisted Brian in proving his innocence and ensuring he is reinstated to his substantive role. The NEC has also instructed me to run a fresh ballot in defense of our Brother Mark Gamble who still remains suspended. It is incredibly disappointing that the company has failed to see sense and instead have chosen to drag on an unnecessary dispute. It is disgraceful that Mark remains suspended and we have no choice but to stand shoulder to shoulder and defy SWR’s callous and distasteful decision. I have written to the company today to advise them of this union’s position and they have been left in no doubt that we will not allow them to pursue outrageous charges against our from democratically elected representatives (from RMT general secretary Mick Cash)
Clara Paillard PCS victory – We are delighted to announce that the threat of dismissal has been lifted and Clara, PCS president in the Culture sector, is ‘back at work’ (although from home during the current pandemic).
Reinstate Percy Yunganina UVW union – Percy is a cleaner at King’s college with 5 years on the job, and a UVW executive committee member, who’s just been sacked after a disciplinary hearing he refused to attend due to observing the government’s social distancing guidelines but which King’s College proceeded with anyway in his absence without even letting him know or inviting him to attend via phone. The hearing would have had 8 people cramped together in a small room in complete disregard of the government’s instructions about social distancing. Percy has explained the reaons for not attending and asked for the decision to be overturned and the hearing to be reconvened via phone or in person after Lockdown. However, King’s have scandalously refused this request and have insisted on upholding his dismissal which now leaves Percy out of work and out of pocket in the middle of a pandemic! He will formally appeal but it could take months to hear and deliver an outcome. We will also take King’s to tribunal but that could take over a year. This is utterly shameless conduct by King’s HR team, led by Nigel Smith, the Head of People Services. They need to be held to account. Everyone deserves the right to a fair hearing and should not have that right denied them for respecting the government’s public health guidelines about social distancing. Please repost this and write to Nigel Smith at the following address telling him to reinstate Percy – [email protected]
Sign the petition: Reinstate Ezra Christian RMT – We, the undersigned, are appalled at the treatment and summary dismissal of our Bakerloo Line colleague Ezra Christian. Ezra has been treated very harshly and does not deserve to be sacked. We call on London Underground to do the right thing in this case and Reinstate Ezra back into London Underground Employment immediately
Reinstate Clive Walder Unite: the campaign continues – Unfortunately, we have to inform you that the appeal by Unite against Clive’s dismissal by National Express in Birmingham was unsuccessful. In the hearing on 5 March, the company downgraded his offence from gross misconduct to misconduct and altered the penalty from summary dismissal to dismissal with four weeks’ notice. We believe dismissal is totally disproportionate and Clive should be reinstated. Clive and his union Unite the union will shortly decide the next steps in his campaign against his sacking. Clive would like to thank all those who have expressed solidarity with him, including supporters of the National Shop Stewards Network who took part in the protest leafleting of his workplace before the appeal hearing. It was successful enough for National Express to report it to the Unite full time official. Please continue to send protest emails to [email protected]. The NSSN has produced a flyer which can be downloaded and printed off to give to National Express employees and customers in support of Clive. We are appealing to our supporters to take photos of any solidarity protests and post on social media
Support Danyal Aziz Unite – Daniel was a Unite rep at London City Airport, who was recently sacked. Labour MP Sam Tarry has tabled a Parliamentary Early Day Motion in support of Danyal. Email your local MP to get them to sign the EDM
Defend Paul Williams PCS – Stop the victimisation of senior PCS rep Paul Williams – Paul Williams has a long and proud history of defending his colleagues at the Department for Transport, and predecessor departments, for nearly 40 years but as a result of his union activities is facing compulsory redundancy even though there are vacancies at his grade read more
Support Tony Smith Unison – Tony Smith one of the leaders of the successful FCC dispute which won sick pay for nearly 2,500 workers is being victimised. charged with gross misconduct over health and safety charges, his hearing is on Thursday. Please send messages of support to Hull Trades Council c/o [email protected]
Sign the petition: Reinstate UNISON rep Peter Moorhead and stop victimising trade unionists at Alternative Futures Group (AFG)
Support the ASDA workers and reinstate Michael Hunnum – 12,000 workers faced being sacked before Christmas by scrooge bosses ASDA, who are now owned by US superstore giant Walmart. This threat hanging over them was unless they agree to the new ‘Contract 6’ which will see them lose all their paid breaks and forced to work bank holidays. The same employer is sacking North East GMB member Michael Hunnam. Michael’s fight is part of the same struggle to resist the offensive of the ASDA bosses. Michael’s supporters believe that his determined opposition to Contract 6 is what has put him in the ASDA firing line. Support the ASDA workers and reinstate Michael!
Defend Moe Unite – support Moe Muhsin Manir, a hardworking Unite rep on London buses, working for Abellio. We are delighted to report that Moe is back at work. We will keep everyone up to date on any developments. Moe would like to thank everyone who sent support and solidarity.
Guardian: Ricky Tomlinson’s criminal convictions to be re-examined
Appeal court to look again at case of Royle Family actor after claims he may have been unjustly jailed (26 May)
The criminal convictions of actor Ricky Tomlinson, who starred in the TV comedy the Royle Family, are to be re-examined by appeal court judges after an official body suggested he may have been unjustly jailed. Tomlinson and other trade unionists have been campaigning for years to clear their names after they were jailed during a strike in the 1970s. On Tuesday, the Criminal Cases Review Commission, the public body that scrutinises alleged miscarriages of justice, announced it had asked the court of appeal to review the cases of Tomlinson and others. Tomlinson, 80, said it was “good news” and an opportunity to prove that he and 23 other men were prosecuted in what amounted to a politically motivated attack on the trade union movement by the government, police and managers read more in Guardian
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
Chile: Mass protests erupt and make gains read more
September 13 – NSSN TUC Rally 1pm Facebook event
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