NSSN 500th weekly bulletin: Still fighting union-busting! Come to NSSN TUC Rally 1pm Sunday Sept 13
This week’s weekly NSSN bulletin is our 500th. It shows that we have a proud longstanding history of supporting unions taking action, going back to 2006 when the RMT rail and transport union, under the leadership of the late great Bob Crow, initiated the Network.
During that time, we have built up the reputation of our weekly bulletin as a place for rank and file union members and reps to appeal for solidarity for their disputes and support other workers in struggle.
But another vital aspect of our work has been to support workers facing attack by the bosses. We fight blacklisting and union victimisation and demand reinstatement. As this week, keep up to date with these fights under our blacklisting section and if you haven’t already done so, get in contact with the Blacklist Support Group, who we have been proud to work alongside.
This week, we highlight three new cases of union victimisation – Tony Smith Unison Hull, Richie Venton USDAW Glasgow and a Unite busworker branch chair in Manchester. Please support their campaigns and any industrial action that is taken to demand their reinstatement. Stop union-busting!
Defend Tony Smith Unison Hull – Trade Unionists will be outraged at the dismissal of Tony Smith by an FCC disciplinary hearing. His appeal hearing is on Tuesday September 15th. Tony a UNISON activist has been sacked for gross misconduct but in reality he has been victimised for Trade Union activities. All of Tony’s fellow drivers at the FCC waste disposal plant at Wilmington agreed that Tony made a correct Health and safety call but this was ignored in a blatant stitch up by management. Tony led the successful strike two years ago which won sick pay rights for 2,500 FCC workers up and down the country. Hull Trades Council will be protesting outside the site and we will be trying to organise more extensive action to coincide with Tony’s appeal. Please send messages of support to Tony Smith C/O Hull City UNISON, Town Hall Chambers 39, Alfred Gelder Street, Hull HU1 2AG or email via [email protected]
From Mike Whale Chair Hull Trades Council
Reinstate Richie Venton Glasgow USDAW – IKEA workers need YOUR support. This is a campaign page set up by workers furious at the victimisation and sacking of the elected USDAW shop steward and convener in IKEA Glasgow, RICHIE VENTON, and IKEA’s attacks on workers’ rights and conditions, including removal of wages from workers off sick with COVID-19. Richie has been singled out and sacked for standing up for the health, safety and lives of workers he represents, demanding safety measures and full average pay for all workers sick or self-isolating with the killer virus. He is the first trade unionist in Scotland to be sacked by employers in disputes over workers’ safety from the Coronavirus. Since sacking him, IKEA have imposed even worse cutbacks, including on company sick benefit, putting far more workers on just £95 Statutory Sick Pay, which could force some to continue working because of hardship, spreading the virus, endangering lives. This campaign is to reinstate Richie to his job and his elected union position; to win full average wages for all COVID-sick workers, in IKEA and every other workplace; and to stop employers making £billions in profit but endangering workers’ lives by expecting them to survive on £95-a-week Statutory Sick Pay. Sign the Petition – Add your voice and support to the demand that Ikea reinstate Richie Venton and reinstate sick workers’ wages by signing the secure petition read more on Reinstate Richie Venton website From Glasgow Live: IKEA Glasgow workers threaten to strike over cuts to sick pay (28 Aug)
Manchester bus workers to hold consultative ballot on industrial action, as rep suspended for carrying out trade union duties – About 500 Manchester bus drivers will hold a consultative ballot on whether they want to take industrial action after a senior Unite rep at bus company Go North West Limited was suspended for carrying out legitimate trade union activities. Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union, said that the ballot follows the suspension of the rep, who is also a Unite branch chair, as the union highlighted plans to reduce the wages of 500 Manchester bus drivers by an estimated £2,000-a-year. The company has attempted to railroad changes to the terms and conditions of the bus drivers – while 80 per cent of the drivers, including all of the Unite reps except for the senior rep, were furloughed – via the offer of a one-off payment of £5,000. Unite, however, says that within three years its members would be worse off, if the plan were allowed to go-ahead…Unite said that the working practices at the Queens Road depot which the company wants to buy-out have since been replaced by additional cleaning and cash collection duties which mean the bus drivers are working just as hard. The consultative ballot will be held by the end of August. Whether Unite proceeds to a full-scale industrial action ballot, including the option for strike action, depends on the outcome of the consultative vote read more
NSSN TUC Rally – 1pm Sunday September 13th Facebook event
The National Shop Stewards Network is holding its annual rally at the time of the TUC Congress, which because of the COVID-19 pandemic has been truncated.
This year’s NSSN event will be virtual but it has never been more important given the threat to workers’ lives and their jobs and income and the fighting programme needed from the TUC and the unions.
There have been countless struggles by workers to make their workplace safe. Now workers are fighting the bosses’ attacks to defend their livelihoods. Already, we’ve seen workers from the NHS and care sectors protesting for a 15% pay rise, to start to claw back what has been stolen by a decade of pay freezes and cuts.
The pandemic has lifted the lid of the class inequalities in this profit-driven society. The anger and frustration, particularly of young people have been shown from the incredible Black Lives Matter movement to the victorious A-levels protests. If thousands of students can force this Tory government into a U-turn, imagine what 6½ million workers organised in the unions can achieve?
We will hear from these struggles along with leaders of fighting unions. And there will be an open mic so there will be a platform for members and reps who are fighting to ensure safe workplaces and defend jobs from the growing threat of redundancies and closures.
Help put a fighting programme on the unions’ agenda, to take into the workplaces and on to the streets.
Confirmed speakers so far: Sarah Woolley BFAWU General Secretary, Amy Murphy USDAW President (personal capacity), Mick Lynch RMT Assistant General Secretary, Dave Ward CWU General Secretary
The rally will be on Zoom and will go out live on social media
Join Zoom Meeting
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Support the NHS pay protests on Saturday September 12th
On August 8th, there were about 40 protests around the country as workers in the NHS and care sector workers demand an immediate 15% pay rise that starts to close the income gap caused by a decade of pay freezes. Please join the protests that are taking place.
On Saturday September 12th there will be demonstrations and rallies in many towns and cities.
Details of some of these events can be found here in the Nurses and Midwives say NO! to Public Sector pay inequality Facebook group and on the Keep Our NHS Public website. Also visit the website of Health Campaigns Together.
We support the call of many health workers for industrial action ballots, co-ordinated across all the health unions and linking up with all other workers in public services. We are confident that this would be supported by workers in the private sector and all those who benefit from health and social care, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic where so many staff put their lives on the line.
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
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.
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.
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
RMT responds to Government extension of emergency measures on Great Western Railway (1 Sept) – Senior Assistant General Secretary Mick Lynch said; “It’s vital that the Government continue to finance our railways as the broken privatised system has shown it simply cannot withstand a crisis. With Ministers pushing their back to work drive we need stability and long-term assurance and planning rather than ad-hoc short-term emergency measures. The private, franchise system is not able to deliver that as the current de-facto nationalisation of the railways has shown as clear as day…” read more
RMT slams major UK rail caterers for pressing ahead with station outlet redundancies after soaking up taxpayer furlough cash (27 Aug) – RAIL UNION RMT today demanded that rail catering company SSP – owners of Upper Crust, Rail Gourmet, Burger King rail outlets and a range of other well-known brands – pulls back from the brink and stops pressing ahead with redundancies of station outlet staff under the guise of the COVID-19 pandemic read more
RMT calls on government to stop the cuts and rebuild London’s public transport around people (26 Aug) – TRANSPORT UNION RMT today called on the government and TfL to turn the page on a failed experiment and build a world-class public transport system around the needs of people by investing in more staff. In a submission to the review of TfL’s finances being conducted by the government and by TfL itself, the union said that the Covid-19 crisis had finally killed off the fantasy that public transport could be funded by passenger fares and run on the cheap by cutting staff jobs read more
RMT demands government action for seafarers on the Atlantic Container Line fleet (26 Aug) – SEAFARERS’ UNION RMT has written to the Shipping Minister, Kelly Tolhurst MP demanding government action over the lack of jobs for British Ratings and the crew change crisis on ACL’s five state of the art roll-on roll-off container ships working trans-Atlantic routes from Liverpool port 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
Llangennech diesel spill (27 Aug) – A freight train carrying diesel was derailed, and caught fire, at Llangennech, near Llanelli, in Carmarthenshire on Wednesday night. Some of the fuel spilled into the nearby River Loughor. The freight train driver, and an engineer who was on board, were not injured read more
Network Rail – Safe Workplace Return (26 Aug) – With the relaxation of the Covid 19 guidelines, Network Rail are looking to return staff to their workplaces. We are growing increasingly concerned about how this is being carried out. Messages from the company are very mixed and contradictory. On the one hand we have Andrew Haines and Martin Frobisher not only saying where possible people should continue to work from home, but also extolling the virtues of agile working and applauding staff for their efforts and contributions while doing so. Yet a significant number of our members feel they are been forced or coerced in returning to a workplace without any real justification for doing so read more
BREAKING NEWS!! Unite says Heathrow airport plans to fire and rehire workers further undermines a vulnerable industry (2 Sept) – Unite, the UK’s principal aviation union, has reacted with deep concern following reports that Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL) is to begin the formal process of firing and rehiring workers on vastly inferior pay and conditions. Reports suggest that the company has today (Wednesday 2 September) issued a formal section 188 notice to begin a consultation process which would result in workers being fired and rehired on inferior contracts. The action of Heathrow airport follow negotiations between HAL and Unite last month on the company’s proposals to cut pay by 24 per cent for some workers, slash allowances, impose inferior conditions and to also close the company pension scheme. Unite the union is currently formally putting the proposals to the workforce in a consultative ballot read more
BREAKING NEWS!! New asbestos app could result in blacklisting warns Unite (2 Sept) – An app which rates the performance of asbestos workers could potentially be used to blacklist and discriminate workers, Unite, the UK’s construction union, has warned. The app was launched yesterday (September 1) by the Asbestos Removal Contractors Association (ARCA). However, after a close reading of how the app appears to work and in particular the way that contractors rate operatives, Unite is concerned that the app could be used to victimise and blacklist workers. Unite has written to Jason Day, the chairman of ARCA raising its concerns read more
Unite mechanical members vote overwhelmingly for action if employers attack terms and conditions (1 Sept) – Protective ballot follows High Court decision to strike down SEOs. Union warns mechanical employers: Pay agreed increases due today or face industrial action. Unite, which represents mechanical workers (plumbers, fitters and welders) in the construction and mechanical services sectors throughout Ireland, has announced that members have voted almost unanimously to take industrial action if any employer in the sector seeks to reduce terms and conditions in the wake of June’s High Court decision striking down Sectoral Employment Orders. Agreed pay increases in the sector are due to take effect today (Tuesday) read more
Tyson Foods closure another blow to North Wales economy (1 Sept) – Unite the union can today confirm that Tyson Foods Wrexham Limited, a meat and poultry products manufacturer, has decided to close its premises at Llay in Wrexham at the end of September, resulting in the loss of 71 jobs. Tyson Foods only acquired the business 12 months ago from BRF Wrexham Limited read more
Aviation workers say failure to support industry is a `green light’ to sack workers (1 Sept) – Demonstration at the House of Commons as workers take campaign for industry support to MPs’ door. 10:00 – 12:00 on Wednesday 02 September on College Green, Westminster SW1A. Aviation workers from two companies which have made brutal cuts on the back of the Covid-19 pandemic are bringing their call for the government to provide long-promised support to the sector to Parliament tomorrow (Wednesday 2 September). The workers – all members of Unite the union, which is organising the demonstration – include those currently employed by low cost airline easyJet and Dnata Catering UK (formerly known as Alpha LSG), the UK’s leading inflight caterers, as well as those who have recently lost their jobs with easyJet read more
Premier Periclase dispute: Tanaiste urged to intervene (Aug 30) – Union accuses company of reneging on agreements. August 30th: Unite, which represents members working for the Drogheda-based Louth magnesia plant Premier Periclase, has supported calls for the Tanaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar, to use his influence regarding the ongoing strike at the plant which will enter its third week tomorrow (Monday). Premier Periclase is owned by RHI Magnesita read more
Banham Poultry must step up and pay self-isolating Norfolk workers ‘adequate sick pay’ (27 Aug) – Workers who need to self-isolate at a Banham Poultry factory in Attleborough, Norfolk, where 75 staff have tested positive for coronavirus, must receive ‘adequate sick pay’, Unite said today (Thursday 27 August). Unite, which has a number of members at the site but is not recognised by the company, said the factory must increase sick pay from the statutory minimum of £95.85 a week that its low paid workers currently receive. Refusing to provide company sick pay risks workers having to ‘choose between self-isolating or going into work because they cannot afford to be ill’ read more
Unite fear for RAF Valley jobs (27 Aug) – Unite is deeply concerned that proposals presented to Unite representatives could see 180 jobs cut from the Hawk contract at RAF Valley by 2033. The fears stem from the contract negotiation between BAE Systems and the Ministry of Defence for the T1 & T2 Hawk aircraft read more
British Airways BAEM cabin crew disproportionately hit by job cuts at Gatwick (27 Aug) – Unite has revealed evidence of potential widespread jobs discrimination amongst British Airways cabin crew based at London Gatwick. The airline, which has been labelled a ‘national disgrace’ by MPs, has pressed ahead with its plans to fire and rehire its workforce, also making thousands of staff redundant read more
Job losses another bitter blow to Gatwick, highlighting government’s chronic failure to support UK aviation (26 Aug) – The announcement today (Wednesday 26 August) that Gatwick Airport is to make 600 workers redundant is another bitter blow to the south east and highlights the government’s chronic failure to support the aviation sector during the Covid-19 pandemic. The job losses amount to roughly a quarter of the workforce directly employed at Gatwick Airport. Unite, the UK’s principal aviation union, has been in initial consultation with the airport in a bid to avert sweeping redundancies 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
UK wide survey: One in two Britons favour extending coronavirus furlough to prevent jobs tailspin (27 Aug) – As the German government confirms that it will extend its protection for jobs until the end of next year, a national poll conducted on behalf of Unite the union has revealed that Britons want the government to extend its job retention scheme (JRS) for an extra year read more
Arriva in Kent accused of lax response to bus driver testing positive for Covid-19 (26 Aug) – Bus company Arriva has been accused of a lax response to public and worker safety when one of its bus drivers tested positive for the Covid-19 virus. Unite the union, which represents over 60,000 bus drivers throughout the UK, raised its concern following the news that a driver based at Arriva’s Southern Counties Northfleet depot in North Kent had tested positive for Covid-19 yesterday (Tuesday 25 August) read more
Rolls-Royce plans to close Lancashire and Nottinghamshire sites and move work abroad slammed (26 Aug) – Rolls-Royce’s announcement today (Wednesday 26 August) that it is planning to close aerospace sites in Barnoldswick, Lancashire, and Annesley, Nottinghamshire, and move work abroad has been slammed by Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest union. Rolls-Royce has two sites in Barnoldswick – Bankfield and Ghyll Brow – employing around 730 people. The company is considering incorporating Ghyll Brow into Bankfield as well as discontinuing production of wide chord blades for newer Trent engines in the town by 2023, putting 350 jobs at risk on top of 200 redundancies announced in June. Around 120 staff work at Rolls-Royce in Annesley, with the company planning to transfer all activities to Derby and Germany by 2022 and offer staff the opportunity to relocate read more
Lewisham council wrong on secret decision to extend Greenwich leisure contract (26 Aug) – The decision by Lewisham council to extend the contract of Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) to run the authorities leisure services has been condemned by Unite, the UK’s leading union. The decision to extend the GLL contract was taken at a meeting of the council that was closed to the public earlier this month. Prior to the decision being made Unite has raised serious concerns about the long-term financial viability of GLL and its employment practices read more
Sign this petition: Extend furlough scheme for the UK Aviation sector to help stop redundancies
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
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
Month long ISS strike comes to an end (2 Sept) – PCS members who clean HMRC’s Merseyside offices for multinational company ISS returned to work this week following a solidly supported four weeks of strike action through August. The strike is part of the members’ long-running fight for the living wage, improved working conditions and job security. Because of the demand for full occupational sick pay from day one, it is also directly linked to PCS’s Dying for Sick Pay campaign, which aims to secure occupational sick pay for all workers across the government estate…The members are meeting this week to discuss their next steps. Under the Tories’ 2016 Trade Union Act, a further postal ballot is required before they can take any more strike action, and members will need to discuss where the campaign goes next. In the meantime, you can continue to support the campaign by signing the e-action to Jim Harra on the TUC’s Megaphone site and donating to the strike fund: account name: PCS Liverpool/Bootle Campaign Account, sort code: 60-83-01, account number: 20415772
Busy bank holiday of culture protests (1 Sept) – The bank holiday weekend saw an increase of PCS activity across the culture sector, with protests at Tate Britain on Friday and at the Southbank Centre on Saturday. As our members at the Tate move in to the third week of their strike against the institution’s decision to make 313 staff redundant – redundancy notices were sent out on Friday night, support for the action among members and supporters across the sector remains as strong as ever. As shops across Tate having to be run by senior managers due to the action our strike fund surges past the £10,000 mark, with extremely generous donations from artists and supporters across the culture sector
Support the indefinite Tate strike – The members’ demands are:
- 10% of the expected £7mililion government support to be invested in Tate Commerce
- No redundancies, while senior staff are earning in excess of £100,000 salaries.
- If the bailout money is not enough, the Tate must stand with PCS in demanding the government does more.
Members are striking in defence of their jobs and have been out indefinitely from 24 August onwards. Picket lines begin at 9.30am each day. We are asking supporters to join our striking members in person, we ask that you wear a facemask (if you can), and remain socially distanced. As well as joining us for our days of action we are also asking for donations to our strike fund, to support our members taking action read more
Striking PCS members at the Tate to mark 16th day of strike action with protest: ‘Don’t bail on the bailout’ – a protest for Art Workers. From 11.30am main entrance Tate Modern Friday September 4th
PCS to launch ballot as Southbank Centre confirms cuts to redundancy pay for hundreds of staff read more
Calling all petitioners (28 Aug) – The PCS petition calling for fair pay for UK government workers has now reached the 50,000 signatories mark. With 50,000 more signatures to go to guarantee a full debate on the issue in Parliament we are asking members who have already signed the petition to ask their friends and colleagues to also sign it read more
Morally repugnant migrant video removed by Home Office (28 Aug) – PCS welcomed the removal of the Dad’s Army style video depicting planes deporting migrants which was condemned by the union and lawyers yesterday. A row erupted on Thursday over the video, with legal bodies condemning the message while a university professor lodged a complaint with the department’s top civil servant, Permanent Secretary Matthew Rycroft. The PCS Home Office group also lodged a protest writing to Mr Rycroft calling for the video to be removed read more
PCS writes to Cabinet Office opposing outsourcing and redundancies at HMCTS (26 Aug) – Plans to contract out enforcement work to the private sector will lead to redundancies and possible legal action from the union, PCS has said. HMCTS plans to outsource criminal and enforcement work and compliance to two contractors, Marston’s Holdings Limited (MHL) and JBW. The transfer is due to take effect on 1 September 2020. The department has been trying to outsource this work for almost eight years. Previous attempts have floundered due to safety and public finance concerns. PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka has written a letter to the Cabinet Office urging them to intervene, pointing out that staff will be TUPE transferred into a redundancy situation even though contractors have started a recruitment drive read more
PCS consultative ballot of jobcentre and Universal Credit workers read more
Please sign this PCS petition to Save Ealing Tax Office – 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 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
NIPSA HSC Pay 2021 (27 Aug) – I am advising that the Health Central Panel has met a number of times over the last few weeks to consider and discuss the NIPSA HSC 2021 pay claim. Various information was considered and discussed, taking account of the huge effort and recognition of NHS workers responding to the Covid-19 pandemic. It was agreed that the NIPSA claim would be: A flat rate increase of £3,000 or a percentage increase of 15%, whichever is higher for any pay point. This information has been forwarded on to the Trade Union side of the NHS staff council, to feed into the deliberations on the various positions coming from the NHS Trade Unions and to contribute to the debate on the formulation of a collective claim read more
2020/21 NICS Pay – First Meeting Takes Place (27 Aug) – Following consultation with members and agreement by the Civil Service Group Executive the pay claim, as previously advised, was lodged on 3 August 2020. The claim was for:-
- An above inflation pay increase on pay and allowances;
- Pay restoration to address the pay loss since 2010; and
- Further scale shortening on all pay scales.
The first meeting with Management Side took place on 25 August 2020 and at that meeting NIPSA fully laid out the detail of our claim, our expectations for the negotiations and the clear expectations from our members that terms and conditions cannot be traded for a pay increase read more
NIPSA Reminds Education Minister that Support Staff Work in Schools Too (26 Aug) – NIPSA the largest of support staff trade unions, representing over 7,000 workers, reacts to the news that face coverings are to be worn in corridors and communal areas of schools. Alan Law, Assistant Secretary stated: “The Department of Education issued new guidance this evening to Principals on the wearing of face coverings in schools. It advises that they should be worn by pupils and teachers in communal areas and corridors of schools; completely erasing from the workforce all support staff…” read more
Opportunistic raid on workers’ pay at USW ‘Appalling’ (1 Sept) – GMB Union have slammed University of South Wales’s (USW) penny pinching that will see new employees paid significantly less for doing the same job with a stripped back pension, despite the university holding millions of pounds in its reserves. GMB criticised USW, after management held a “for information only” meeting on Friday, where University management informed the Joint Trade Unions of their intent to strip away terms and conditions of employment for new employees. GMB claims that the move will mean that any new employees taken on after 1st December 2020, will have significantly lower salaries, an inferior pension, less sick leave, less maternity paternity leave alongside a host of other changes read more
Staff ‘face misery’ as Sheffield City Trust plan to axe hundreds more jobs (1 Sept) – Union says lowest-paid staff shoulder the biggest burden of ‘unfair’ proposals after 79 redundancies at Sheffield Arena and Sheffield City Hall. GMB union says a further 200 jobs are at risk at Sheffield City Trust under unfair proposals which have already seen 79 redundancy formal notices issued in the city. Redundancy notices have already been issued across the Trust – including 38 at Sheffield Arena and 41 at Sheffield City Hall. Further plans see more than 200 jobs at risk at sports and leisure venues including Ponds Forge, Ice Sheffield and leisure centres across the city. GMB said it was unfair that the lowest-paid staff were being targeted for redundancy read more
GMB calls for a real term pay increase for healthcare heroes (28 Aug) – Average healthcare worker has lost approximately 15% pay during past decade says GMB Union. GMB is calling for a real term pay increase of around 15% for health worker heroes as their pay deal looms. NHS workers have endured a decade of real terms pay cuts during austerity, losing 15% of their wages on average. They were recently excluded from the Government’s announcements on public sector pay despite battling on the frontline against coronavirus. GMB was the only health union to reject the NHS pay deal in 2018, which meant that 40 per cent of NHS staff in England at the top of their pay bands saw their wages increase below projected inflation rates. Now, as the country relies on our frontline health workers more than ever, GMB calls on the Government to end a decade of austerity and real terms wage losses by demanding pay justice for our NHS key workers read more
85,000 jobs supported by Gatwick Airport at risk without government intervention (27 Aug) – Our members have been working through the pandemic and now feel like they’ve been tossed aside says GMB Union. GMB, the aviation union, says the 85,000 jobs supported by Gatwick Airport are at risk without urgent Government intervention. The airport announced 600 job cuts as it struggles in the wake of the pandemic’s impact on international travel read more
Isolation payments ‘penalise people for doing the right thing’ says GMB (27 Aug) – Hancock admitted he can’t live on SSP, so why does he expect others to live on effectively the same asks GMB Union? GMB, Britain’s general union, says the Government’s isolation payments penalise people for doing the right thing read more
Cable company ‘sacked workers for raising covid-19 concerns’ (25 Aug) – Greater Manchester’s British Cables Company has sacked workers for raising covid-19 safety concerns, GMB union says. Steve Saxon and Mark Vernon [both available for interview] expressed worries about management’s lax attitude to workers’ wellbeing after a member of staff tested positive for Covid-19 in April. The pair also contacted their GMB union official highlighting several breaches of Government rules by the company. Now both have been dismissed read more
Winning a change of heart at the University of East Anglia (1 Sept) – With COVID-19 affectedly higher education finances badly, reps at the University of East Anglia worked to ensure that lower-paid members didn’t suffer as a result. COVID-19 has affected most areas of life – and higher education is no exception. When the University of East Anglia (UEA) found itself facing a £35m shortfall because of the pandemic, the employer asked staff to take voluntary pay cuts through reduced hours, and to consider voluntary redundancy. University bosses also wanted to impose a blanket pay freeze across all staff, delaying scheduled incremental rises for long service. But in late August, UEA agreed not to subject lower-paid staff to the increment freeze, and to continue working to avoid any compulsory redundancies read more
How COVID has deepened the housing crisis (28 Aug) – UNISON is conducting a survey as members tell us their housing worries post lockdown. As workplaces have been closed and jobs lost, the strain of managing expensive housing costs has affected both renters and homeowners alike. If you’ve found yourself in housing difficult as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown, please tell UNISON here read more
UNISON North West “concerned” about PPE stocks for pupils and school staff (28 Aug) – The trade union for school staff in the North West has expressed its fear that there will not be enough PPE to go around for school workers and pupils when schools reopen next week. Earlier this week, the Government changed its guidance to schools by mandating secondary school pupils in local lockdown areas to wear face coverings in communal areas. The Government also gave head teachers at any school in the country the “flexibility” to introduce masks in their schools read more
Staff deserve immediate wage lift from government (28 Aug) – A pay claim submitted by UNISON to the government today (Friday) would see every NHS employee receive an increase of at least £2,000 by the end of this year. UNISON – which is the UK’s biggest union and represents NHS staff including healthcare assistants, radiographers, porters, midwives and paramedics – says this rise is the equivalent of around £1 an hour for all staff read more
Wigan and Leigh drug and alcohol workers vote for strike action again as report shows We Are With You sucked £1.4m out of the local economy (27 Aug) – Workers in the Wigan Council-commissioned drug and alcohol rehabilitation service have voted to take strike action for the sixth time in a dispute over pay. The workers are employed by the London-based charity ‘We Are With You’, which was previously known as ‘Addaction’. Twenty-nine UNISON members were balloted over We Are With You’s failure to ensure that staff transferred from the NHS receive the full NHS rates of pay. 100% of the support workers voted for strike action on a turnout of 87%. UNISON members have taken sixteen days of action previously over this issue which has not yet been resolved. The support workers postponed all strike action during the lockdown period but have become frustrated by their employer’s failure to settle the dispute and could strike again in September. The support workers’ decision to strike came as their union UNISON released a report into the economic and social impact of We Are With You in Wigan and Leigh read more
School staff should be allowed to wear face coverings, says UNISON (26 Aug) – Commenting on the government’s decision to allow secondary pupils to wear face coverings in school corridors in local lockdown areas of England, UNISON head of education Jon Richards said today (Wednesday) read more
How the Home Office really treats our migrant NHS heroes (25 Aug) – Tilly is an NHS surgical assistant and has been working tirelessly in the fight against COVID-19. But her loyalty to the UK and the NHS has not been reciprocated read more
Firefighters to receive 2% pay increase after FBU consultation (1 Sept) – Firefighters will receive a 2% pay increase, after a month-long consultation through Fire Brigades Union (FBU) structures. After seeking the opinions of FBU members and officials across the country, the FBU’s Executive Council has agreed that the pay increase should be made immediately read more
Cuts and ‘toxic environment’ making firefighters leave Surrey (28 Aug) – 35 firefighters have walked away from their jobs at Surrey Fire and Rescue service after brutal cuts created a ‘toxic culture’ which has damaged the family lives of staff, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) can reveal. Enforced changes to shift patterns, huge cuts in pay and bullying and intimidation by senior management have seen 9% of Surrey’s firefighters leave the brigade since March this year, these losses mean Surrey Fire and Rescue Service now has just 380 operational personnel, down from 558, an overall reduction of 31% since 2010. The FBU has called the revelations a “shocking indictment” of senior management in the service, who forced through cuts against the warnings of firefighters read more
Urgent pre-Bank Holiday message to members in Openreach on Contractual Overtime (COT) (28 Aug) – CWU dismay at known attempts by some Openreach managers to lean on Service Delivery (SD) engineers to sign away their legal right not to be forced to work for more than 48 hours a week has prompted the union to issue another message to members ahead of the Bank Holiday weekend read more
‘Count Me In’ campaign makes waves on social media (28 Aug) – Unprecedented numbers of members from across all parts of BT Group have been taking to social media to demonstrate their support for the union’s ‘Count Me In’ campaign. Hot on the heels of last Thursday’s National Day of Support for BT Technology Workers – during which thousands went online to express their outrage at the way in which the division is pressing ahead with compulsory redundancies despite rock solid evidence provided by the CWU that the 187 sought for job cuts could be achieved voluntarily – on Monday it was the turn of members across the North West to make their feelings plain. Throughout the day the union made its presence felt outside BT and Openreach workplaces across the region to highlight the importance of the ‘Count Me In’ fightback against the disputed compulsory redundancy situations presently unfolding in the Enterprise and Technology divisions read more
Hey BT, listen to your workers! (26 Aug) – Out and about in London with the CWU’s ‘Count Me In’ campaign…Central London saw one of our first outdoor trade union protests for many months today – socially-distanced, limited in numbers, and abiding strictly with all appropriate precautions of course – but the CWU is out and about publicly campaigning, fighting to save jobs and oppose compulsory redundancies. Starting at the very heart of our nation’s Government, in Parliament Square, Andy Kerr and Sally Bridge sent a live CWU facebook-broadcast out to members all around the country early this morning to explain the purpose of the day’s activity. In normal circumstances, “we would have had hundreds here,” said our deputy general secretary (T&FS), “we’re certainly getting mass support from thousands of our members out there.” The ‘Count Me In’ campaign has been sparked by BT’s attitude towards its 50,000-plus workforce and the impact on staff of the company’s reorganisation and restructuring programme read more
Know Your Rights! New guidance issued to members as post-Covid world of work gets tougher (25 Aug) – Members across the Telecoms & Financial Services industries are being reminded of their statutory rights to union representation in disciplinary, performance, attendance, grievance and redundancy hearings. With a resurgence in the prevalence of such hearings currently underway – as companies respond to the easing of Covid restrictions and the tapered withdrawal of the Government’s furlough scheme with sometimes painful adjustments to business models and a renewed focus on targets – the CWU has put together a simple ‘Know Your Rights’ guide for members who find themselves on the sharp end of the ‘new normal’ read more
Justice for Greencore Northampton Workers
Sign petition: To: Patrick Coveney, CEO of Greencore
The Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union calls on Greencore to pay 100% sick pay to all 2,100 Greencore employees in Northampton who have been sent home to self-isolate in the Covid19 crisis. The company, Europe’s leading sandwich maker, supplier to M&S, has put staff on furlough. So the government is paying 80% of the salary bill. The company has refused to provide the 20% top-up. This despite posting £56.4 million pre-tax profits last year. 292 of the Northampton workforce tested positive for Covid-19 last week, resulting in the factory’s temporary closure. Employees were furloughed and sent home to self-isolate for 14 days. They’re carrying the burden of the Covid-19 outbreak read more
Joint unions call for grading inquiry (28 Aug) – Education unions make joint call for inquiry into grading fiasco read more
Boris Johnson and the ‘mutant algorithm’ (26 Aug) – It is brazen of the Prime Minister to idly shrug away a disaster that his own Government created read more
Face Masks in Schools (26 Aug) – Government revises its guidance on the wearing of face coverings in schools read more
Ofqual Resignation (25 Aug) – Resignation of Sally Collier, Chief Regulator of Ofqual. Commenting on the resignation of Sally Collier, Chief Regulator of Ofqual, Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said: “Someone had to take responsibility for the exams fiasco, but the issues run far deeper than the actions of one chief executive…” read more
#FairGrade2021 Petition Update – NEU petition calling for action on fixing exams system reaches 25,000 signatures in its first 24 hours. In a demonstration of the anger and frustration generated by the Government’s catastrophic mishandling of this year’s A-Level and GCSE grading process, over 25,000 people have already signed our petition to the Prime Minister which launched on Wednesday night read more
NEU Cymru launches petition calling for exam fairness in 2021 – NEU Cymru has today (20th August) launched a petition with the Welsh Parliament, asking for fairness for students taking exams in 2021 read more
Government must provide resources to maintain education provision in the event of Covid lockdowns (29 Aug) – Commenting on the publication of revised guidance for schools in England on rota and tier measures for pupil attendance if local lockdowns or restrictions become necessary, Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, said read more
NASUWT responds to masks confirmation for Welsh secondary pupils (27 Aug) – Responding to the written statement from Vaughan Gething, Minister for Health and Social Services, and Kirsty Williams, Minister for Education, confirming that the Welsh Government is going to amend its guidance for schools and FE colleges to undertake risk assessments to determine if face coverings should be recommended for staff and young people in communal areas, including on school transport, Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, said: “The NASUWT has always been clear that the Welsh Government must follow the scientific evidence and advice to mitigate the risks of Covid-19 within schools and it is right that guidance is kept under review to in light of changing trends and evidence…”
NASUWT responds to updated Government guidance on face masks in schools (26 Aug) – Responding to the updated Government guidance on the use of face masks in schools, Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT – The Teachers’ Union, said: “The NASUWT has been pressing the Government to address the contradiction between its general advice requiring the use of face masks and face coverings in many public places and its position on their use in schools. It is deeply regrettable that the Government has failed to heed concerns until the last possible moment…” read more
NASUWT responds to masks confirmation for Scottish secondary pupils (25 Aug) – Responding to the confirmation that secondary pupils are be asked to wear face coverings while moving around schools and in communal areas, along with on school transport, Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, said: “The NASUWT has always been clear that the Government must follow the scientific evidence and advice to mitigate the risks of Covid-19 within schools and it is right that guidance is kept under review to in light of changing trends and evidence…” read more
Survey of union Reps highlights work still to be done on school COVID safety (1 Sept) – A survey of union Reps in schools has confirmed that there is still a considerable amount of work to be done to ensure that schools are COVID-secure environments. The EIS issued the survey last month following the re-opening of schools and received responses from almost 600 schools across the country read more
EIS education committee reflects teacher & student anger over qualifications debacle (27 Aug) – The first meeting of the EIS Education Committee for the new school session heard testimony from teachers across Scotland, angered by the SQA awards debacle and the experience faced by students and also by teachers, who had worked diligently to produce evidence based estimates read more
Survey of college lecturers highlights impact of COVID on Further Education (26 Aug) – A survey of Scotland’s Further Education Lecturers, carried out by the EIS, has highlighted the damaging impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the provision of education in the country’s colleges. The EIS Further Education Lecturers’ Association (EIS-FELA) carried out the survey in June, with almost 2,000 lecturers across the country’s 26 FE colleges taking part read more
Universities must not become the care homes of a Covid second wave (29 Aug) – Universities must scrap plans to reopen campuses next month in order to prevent a major public health crisis, said UCU today. The union fears that the migration of over a million students across the UK risks doing untold damage to people’s health and exacerbating the worst health crisis of our lifetimes. UCU said that the prospect of mass student migration was already challenging enough, but the A-levels fiasco and the removal of the cap on the number of students universities can recruit risked overwhelming some institutions and turning universities into the care homes of a second wave read more
Fourth day of strike action for Bullivant journalists (2 Sept) – Bullivant Media Limited journalists have started their fourth day of strike action today, they are striking over pay, working practices and compulsory redundancies at the company read more
NUJ members working for Bullivant Media Limited are took strike action last Tuesday and Wednesday in response to the company’s redundancy plans and after months of only part of the journalists’ wages being paid. The company runs weekly free newspapers and websites with titles including the Coventry Observer, Leamington Observer, Rugby Observer, Stratford Observer, Solihull Observer, Redditch Standard, Bromsgrove Standard, Worcester Observer and Evesham Observer. Things you can do to support the strike –
- The NUJ is urging media workers, branches, chapels and other trade unionists to send messages of support and solidarity to the chapel via email: [email protected]
- The union is also calling for financial support for the strikers as many of those involved are paid just over the national minimum wage. Supporters can donate to the strike hardship fund:
Sort code – 60-83-01 Account number – 20049274 Account name: NUJ Manchester. Please label the donation as ‘Bullivant strike’
BBC reps call for director general to streamline management rather than cutting programme makers’ jobs (27 Aug) – Following a meeting of BBC reps, the following motion was passed: This M/FoCs [reps] condemns the fact that the BBC is pressing ahead with devastating cuts to journalists across England, while at least 15 senior managers across the Nations and Regions could be earning £150,000 or more. On top of these there are many other senior managers who could be earning somewhere from £100,000 – £150,000 per year read more
Prospect will work with EDF to ensure the best future for all its members at Hunterston B (27 Aug) – EDF has today announced that it will will resume generation from a reactor at Hunterston B but also announced that the power station in Scotland will cease generating by the end of 2021 read more
Abuse of shopworkers petition crosses the first hurdle of 10K signatures in one day – Usdaw urges the Government to respond positively – Shop workers’ trade union leader Paddy Lillis yesterday launched a petition to protect retail staff from violence, threats and abuse. It is now the fastest growing petition on the parliamentary website, having passed 10,000 signatures in one day. This means the Government now has to respond to the petition. The petition now has over 22,000 signatures and can be signed at https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/328621. Usdaw continues to campaign for 100,000 signatures that should trigger a parliamentary debate. The petition is backed by the UK’s largest convenience store retailer Co-op Food, along with the industry’s leading trade bodies the British Retail Consortium and the Association of Convenience Stores read more
Estee Lauder workers in Dublin Airport to ballot for industrial action (28 Aug) – Mandate members employed by Estee Lauder in Dublin Airport are to participate in a ballot for industrial action in an effort to prevent the implementation of 22 compulsory redundancies. The company employs 50 workers in the business and has refused to attend the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) read more
Support striking Debenhams Workers: Email messages of support to Mandate via [email protected]
Sisters of Charity workers to hold public protest (1 Sept) – Sisters of Charity workers will hold a protest tomorrow (Wednesday, 2nd September) to highlight their demands for an urgent meeting with management to negotiate a fair redundancy package and protect services in the community read more
SIPTU condemns NAS management for failure to pay members’ wages in full (1 Sept) – SIPTU representatives have today (Tuesday, 1st September) condemned the National Ambulance Service (NAS) management for failing to pay emergency medical technicians (EMTs) their full wages due to staff shortages in the payroll department read more
SIPTU members condemn management threat to jobs in Premier Periclase dispute (26 Aug) – SIPTU representatives have condemned a threat by management to the jobs of members employed at the Premier Periclase magnesium products plant in Drogheda, county Louth, who have been on strike since Monday, 17th August read more
SIPTU refers dispute at BorgWarner in Tralee to Workplace Relations Commission (24 Aug) – SIPTU representatives have referred a dispute concerning redundancy payments a car parts manufacturer BorgWarner in Tralee, county Kerry, to the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) read more
SIPTU members in Leo Pharma end dispute after sacked colleagues offered return to work – SIPTU members have resolved a dispute at the Leo Pharma pharmaceutical manufacturing plant in Crumlin, Dublin 12, after the company offered five of their colleagues the opportunity to return to work following their sacking in June which contravened a collective agreement read more
UVW’s building towards another STRIKE in the NHS to end outsourcing & institutional racism – this time at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH). And we will WIN! (28 Aug) – Inspired by UVW’s strike driven smashing of outsourcing across Imperial Trust’s 5 hospitals – including St Mary’s, Charing Cross and Hammersmith – which saw 1,200 facilities workers formerly outsourced to Sodexo be brought in-house and made NHS employees, the cleaners at GOSH will now follow in their footsteps. The almost inevitable consequence of outsourcing in the NHS and elsewhere, particularly with facilities workers in London, is that a two tiered, racially segregated institution is created, in which migrant and BAME workers are treated as if they were 2nd class workers, seen as unworthy of being equal members, with equal T&Cs as the institution they work in. And that’s exactly what’s going on at GOSH. That’s the why the roughly 300 migrant and BAME workers who clean GOSH have joined UVW en masse and are gearing up to fight to end outsourcing and institutional racism in the NHS. If you want to support the workers at GOSH then please fill in this form and we will be in touch. Any amount of solidarity is always welcome!
Landmark legal victory opens door to worker rights for UK foster carers (31 Aug) – The Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) has won a landmark ruling that will open the doors for employment rights for foster care workers throughout the UK, setting a major precedent for the sector. Foster care workers and IWGB members Jimmy and Christine Johnstone launched the case in 2017 after being left in fear for their lives and the life of a young person in their care. Following an initial victory, Glasgow City Council appealed the ruling. This week the Edinburgh Employment Appeal Tribunal has upheld the initial decision that Jimmy and Christine Johnstone were council employees. The IWGB has argued successfully that they were entitled to the employee rights systematically denied by the council, including sick pay, holiday pay, a guaranteed minimum wage and protections for whistleblowing. The union is campaigning for these rights to be granted to all foster care workers read more
Lockdown Cinema Launched (28 Aug) – A socialist online cinema has been launched called ‘Lockdown Cinema’ in response to the lockdown introduced to help fight the spread of the coronavirus. Lockdown Cinema will be showing films celebrating the best of trade unions and working class life and culture.
The first film to be highlighted is ‘The Big Meeting‘, a documentary about the Durham Miners’ Gala and it is available to rent for £3.49 and to own for £6.99. You can find further details about Lockdown Cinema and how to watch the film via their twitter page read more on TSSA website
Join the Black Lives Matter protests against the shootings 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 and now those of Jacob Blake who was shot on August 23rd. 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 #KneelforFloyd #GeorgeFloyd #JacobBlake and #BlackLivesMatter on social media
Fight blacklisting and victimisation of union reps
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
Blacklist Support Group
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 defence 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
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
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
Indonesia: Stop Widodo’s Omnibus Bill and protect workers and their families read more
September 13 – NSSN TUC Rally 1pm Facebook event
PHONE 07952 283 558
EMAIL mailto:[email protected]
TWITTER – https://twitter.com/NSSN_AntiCuts
ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE