The NSSN sends our congratulations and solidarity to the Rolls Royce workers at Barnoldswick in Lancashire and their union Unite. Nine weeks of trike action has forced the company back after outsourcing of work threatened its future. Once again, it shows that taking action works. This is a hugely important example as workers fight the offensive of the bosses and their Tory government in attacking jobs, pay and contracts.
From Unite website: Ground-breaking deal by Unite saves Barnoldswick’s Rolls-Royce factory and 350 jobs (14 Jan) – The Rolls-Royce factory in Barnoldswick, Lancashire, has been saved and with it 350 jobs and a community protected from ruin, thanks to a ground-breaking deal struck by Unite the union and the company’s management.
The deal, which has been supported overwhelmingly by the workforce, will give the historic site a new lease of life as a core manufacturing facility and host to a new ‘centre of excellence’, training tomorrow’s engineers to meet the challenges of the climate emergency.
The deal marks the successful conclusion of a campaign mounted by the workforce and supported by their local community determined to resist closure, including nine weeks of strike action.
The future of the factory, home of the World War Two Lancaster bomber and birthplace of the Frank Whittle jet engine, was thrown into grave doubt last summer, after Rolls-Royce announced that it was transferring the production of its Trent jet engine blade work to Singapore. Unite members rightly feared that without equivalent work to replace it, the move would signal the end of the Barnoldswick site.
The deal struck by Unite provides an opportunity for the site to retain advanced manufacturing for decades to come and position itself within Rolls-Royce as a leading player in the development and manufacture of the products and technologies needed to combat climate change.
In recent days the workforce has been considering the deal, giving it their resounding backing. The main details of the deal are:
- A ten-year manufacturing guarantee for the site
- A guaranteed minimum headcount of 350 workers
- The creation of a ‘centre of excellence’ training school supporting the development and manufacturer of zero carbon technologies and advanced manufacturing excellence
- A guarantee of a two year no compulsory redundancy agreement to facilitate discussions on a plan to develop advanced manufacturing work, supporting carbon free energy generation, along with synthetic fuels and green technologies.
Paying tribute to the Barnoldswick workforce and community, Unite assistant general secretary for manufacturing Steve Turner, who led the team that negotiated the agreement, said: “Today is a day for celebration at the Barnoldswick plant and their community. They demonstrated real solidarity in the face of a genuine threat, stood together and have won a future. True local heroes who have inspired a generation. This plant has a great history, but it now has a bright future thanks to the courage and determination of these workers and the support of their friends and neighbours. It can look forward to celebrating its eightieth anniversary in 2023, safe in the knowledge that it will play a leading role in Rolls-Royce as it repositions itself to be a key player in green manufacturing…” read more
Send messages of support to: [email protected]
NSSN Zoom Public Meeting: Fight together against the Tories and Bosses COVID offensive – 12pm Sunday February 14th
2021 has started with a bang, with teachers and school support staff in the NEU and Unison forcing Boris Johnson’s Tory government to retreat on the re-opening of schools.
Unions now need to come together immediately to draw on this template to fight for workplace safety in all sectors and stop the offensive by the Tories and the bosses to make workers pay for the COVID crisis with our lives and livelihoods. This includes Johnson’s public sector pay freeze.
We’ve also seen workers in British Gas striking, the latest to confront vicious bosses’ ‘fire and rehire’ measures. Many other workers are taking action as well.
The NSSN will continue to play our part in this struggle. Come to our meeting to discuss how we can build the fight for our lives and livelihoods.
Zoom details will follow
Reinstate sacked Unite London bus rep Judith Katera: appeal hearing imminent!! – Judith a longstanding union rep and activist in Battersea garage in South London has been dismissed by Abellio. Judith is adamant that false claims are being alleged against her. Judith and Moe Muhsin Manir, the rep at Walworth garage in the same company feel that they are both being targeted. In October, she was facing a disciplinary meeting and possible dismissal. A solidarity protest was organised and then postponed because the disciplinary process wasn’t completed. However, she has discovered that the company sacked her on December 4th! She even had to contact the company to find out that she had been dismissed! Just a few weeks before Christmas, Judith was dismissed with no income. An online appeal has been set up to support Judith and her family. Unite the union are ran a consultative ballot before Christmas to launch the campaign to get Judith reinstated. We understand that there was an overwhelming vote of support, which sends the message to Abellio that bus drivers in Battersea will fight to for Judith’s job and stop attacks on the union. We hope that such a vote will force management to reinstate Judith but if they still refuse, the union are now able to launch a full industrial action ballot. The NSSN sends our support and solidarity to Judith, her members and her union Unite and pledge to do everything we can to get her reinstated. We will keep our supporters and affiliates fully informed of developments and any protests and action that are called.
Judith’s fellow Abellio rep in Walworth garage Moe Muhsin Manir is also suspended awaiting an imminent disciplinary meeting, which could see him facing dismissal. Stop union busting!
Fight together against the Tory Pay Freeze
Tory Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a public sector pay freeze last November. NSSN Chair Rob Williams said, “Just as the Tories are exposed over giving COVID contracts to their cronies and a day after a big rise in defence spending is announced, millions of public sector workers face yet another pay freeze. After standing on the front line, putting their lives at risk, they face sinking further into poverty. This is on top of a decade of Tory pay cuts that saw workers lose up to 14% of their income. Sunak cynically ‘exempts’ NHS workers from this pay cap but they won’t be fooled. Any rise will go nowhere close to the 15% rise demanded this summer by protesting health workers to close the gap on what has been lost on the last 10 years. The NSSN sends our solidarity to public sector workers and their unions. This announcement will take place virtually on the 10th anniversary of George Osborne’s brutal austerity offensive. That cuts blizzard led to 2 million public sector workers walk out together on the November 30th N30 pensions strike. Workers need to fight together now to send the clearest message to the Tories and the employers: we won’t pay the price in terms of our jobs and income for your total mismanagement of the COVID pandemic and any economic crisis. Especially when the super-rich increase their wealth at our expense. The NSSN calls on the TUC and the unions to organise protests in towns to start the mobilisation of workers that can lead to the co-ordinated industrial action that we need to defeat the Tories and inflict on them yet another U-turn.”
Support the NHS pay protests – last year, there were demonstrations and rallies in many towns and cities. 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. 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 the petition to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak – ‘We demand a pay rise for key workers’
Health Campaigns Together Conference: The Pandemic and Privatisation – how to fight back – Thursday February 25 2021, 6.30-8.30pm
The pandemic has been a goldmine for private contractors and management consultants. But while the private sector celebrates its new-found riches, the fiascos of failed private services have been exposed to millions. Privatised test and trace systems have become byword for failure, just as poor standards of hospital cleaning epitomised the failures of the first outsourced contracts in the 1980s. The question is how health unions and campaigners can work together and develop the right publicity and information to show the folly and expose the waste and inefficiency of privatisation and outsourcing? Join us for an online conference on February 25, called by Health Campaigns Together, working in partnership with the health unions UNISON, Unite and GMB, the PDA union, the TUC, Keep Our NHS Public, the NHS Support Federation (NHS For Sale), and The Lowdown read more
The NSSN is continuing to report on how workers are organising during the coronavirus pandemic
The NSSN is opening up our weekly email bulletin, website and social media platforms of Facebook and twitter to provide a public forum for workers during the Coronavirus/COVID-19 crisis. We want to be a place where we can all share queries and experiences that workers are facing in their workplaces. These include reports of action taken by workers to defend themselves from their employers.
You can read about many of these actions in our weekly bulletin and out social media groups, especially our Facebook group: NSSN – defend workers’ rights under Coronavirus.
You can also send the NSSN your reports and queries via our website, twitter – @NSSN_AntiCuts and email – [email protected]
We welcome the information being sent to union members concerning the spread of coronavirus, including the Accord, Advance, AEP, AFA-CWA, ASLEF, BDA, BECTU Sector of Prospect, BFAWU, BOS-TU, College of Podiatry, Community, CSP, EIS, Equity, FBU, FDA, GMB, HCSA, MU, NAHT, NASUWT, National Society for Education in Art and Design (NSEAD), Nautilus International, NEU, NGSU, NUJ, PFA, Prospect, RCM, SoR, TSSA, TUC, UCU, UNISON, Unite, URTU, USDAW, WGGB and the RCN
But it is absolutely vital that unions retain their ability to organise and act independently in defence of their members and workers generally. This includes the right of unions to take industrial action. We are already aware of workers being forced to take unofficial action on health and safety grounds. We also believe that unions should have oversight of any government bans on protests and picketing. This is the same Tory government that tabled more new anti-union laws in 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 include some workers receiving 80% of their wages. This furlough scheme was due to end but has now been extended because of the 2nd lockdown.
However, we believe that no worker should pay the price for any spread of the virus. We say: work or full pay. Any worker who is required not to attend work or is unable to do so because of COVID, childcare or transport closures should receive full pay and not be forced to take annual leave. But unions have to remain vigilant that any government payments actually happen and also covers all workers, including those in precarious employment such as zero-hour contracts and in the gig economy.
We have drafted this model motion which we’ve made into a bulletin that can be downloaded and printed off to be distributed. Feel free to use in your union and trades council, in totality or partially to highlight the issues that need to be addressed.
Keep an eye out for other Facebook and social media groups and pages that are being created. The Coronavirus Support Group for Workers has been set up on Facebook and is a useful forum and you can catch up on disputes at Strike Map UK
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]
RAIL UNION RMT today called for urgent, decisive and co-ordinated action to prevent the collapse of the vital Eurostar link to the Continent (17 Jan) – It is reported today that insiders are warning that the operation could run out of cash as early as the spring as passenger numbers have plunged by 95% as as result of the pandemic with worse to come as Britain closes it’s borders. RMT is warning that thousands of jobs and billions in investment is at risk and is calling on the Government to make an urgent intervention with strategic financial support read more
RMT calls for lifetime bans for bandit capitalists (15 Jan) – RMT calls for lifetime bans for bandit capitalists on third anniversary of Carillion collapse which cost the taxpayer £150 million and over three thousand jobs. RAIL UNION RMT today called for lifetime bans for the bandit capitalists at the helm of one of Britain’s biggest outsourcing outfits on the third anniversary of the Carillion collapse which cost the taxpayer £150 million and over three thousand jobs with a knock on affect on 75,000 more across a wide range of industries read more
RMT pledges national fight for COVID-safe working on Britain’s railways (15 Jan) – RMT pledges national fight for COVID-safe working on Britain’s railways and accuses employers of playing fast and loose in light of virulent new COVID variant. RAIL UNION RMT said today that it is kicking off a new fight for COVID-safe working practices on Britain’s railways after being presented with proposals through the Rail Industry Coronavirus Forum that the union says will place lives on the line read more
RMT statement on TFL Financial Sustainability Plan (15 Jan) – RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said; “This Financial Sustainability Plan is a massive missed opportunity and a capitulation to Tory austerity. TfL could have used this moment to aggressively make the case for setting its funding on a completely new basis, recognising the failure of fare box model and making the case for public funding that recognises the public interest in London’s mass transit system. Instead, we have a document that spends pages setting out exactly why cuts to services and jobs are a bad idea that won’t save money while at the same time saying it will consider cuts to off peak services. Most scandalously, the plan calls for a Commission to examine options for attacking our members’ pension scheme, chasing a Tory obsession. London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he didn’t come into politics to administer another round of austerity, but he’s going to need to fight harder than this against a government that’s clearly bent on running down the capital’s transport system. RMT will not stand for any attack on our members jobs, pay or pensions, wherever it comes from. We’ll use every weapon at our disposal to fight any cuts.” Read more
RMT calls for Grant Shapps to intervene in Hitachi dispute (14 Jan) – RMT calls for Grant Shapps to intervene as it declares dispute with rail firm Hitachi and reveals scandal that UK taxpayers are paying for Japanese company to fire UK rail workers. RAIL UNION RMT today demanded that Transport Secretary Grant Shapps MP immediately intervenes to protect rail workers jobs and taxpayer’s money as Hitachi Rail UK Ltd plans to sack 64 rail workers working on the publicly owned London North Eastern Rail (LNER) read more
RMT members to strike at rail infrastructure firm Clarke Chapman over refusal to table pay award (14 Jan) – RMT members working at Clarke Chapman Facilities Management will be taking strike action and action short of a strike following a ballot after the company refused to table a pay award. Clarke Chapman is infrastructure maintenance and renewals company that maintain the mobile maintenance for Ontrack plant, wagons and equipment. Members are instructed to take STRIKE action by not to booking on for any shifts that commence between:-
- 00:01 hours on Saturday 30th January 2021 and 23:59 hours on Monday 1st February 2021.
- 00:01 hours on Saturday 6th February 2021 and 23:59 hours on Monday 8th February 2021.
Additionally, the following industrial action has also been called:-
- A rest day working ban and an overtime ban between 00:01 hours on Tuesday 2nd February 2021 and 23:59 hours on Friday 5th February 2021 read more
OFFSHORE WIND Union RMT today responded to the threat of ‘fire and re-hire’ to members at Vattenfall Wind Power (13 Jan) – Vattenfall operate three offshore wind farms on the UK Continental Shelf and have development plans for new and extended wind farms which would add over 3.6GW generating capacity by 2030. Vattenfall’s UK subsidiaries are ultimately 100% owned by the Swedish Government read more
Support RMT strike on SERCO Caledonian Sleeper – Email messages of support via [email protected] and send donations to RMT, Unity House, 39 Chalton Street, London, NW1 1JD read more Sign RMT petition demanding Transport Scotland takes action over worker fatigue on the Serco Caledonian Sleeper
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
ASLEF slams government for levelling down (15 Jan) – ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, has condemned the government for ‘levelling down’ after it slashed funding to the body that oversees transport in the north. Mick Whelan, general secretary, said: ‘Boris Johnson pledged, at the general election, to level up the economies of the north and south. Now it is clear that he has started to level down read more
BREAKING NEWS!! Yorkshire RAF flights face being grounded during industrial action over £5,000 Babcock pay disparity (19 Jan) – Fighter jet training flights at RAF Leeming in North Yorkshire face being grounded during industrial action by civilian Babcock workers at the airbase over an annual £5,000 shift pay disparity, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Tuesday 19 January). Around 40 Babcock Aerospace staff, who provide operational and engineering services for aircraft at RAF Leeming, including the Hawk trainer aircraft, will tomorrow (Wednesday 20 January) begin three weeks of discontinuous strike action as well as a continuous overtime ban. The Unite members voted in favour of strike action after being refused shift pay, even though their colleagues at RAF Valley in Wales receive it for performing the same duties. The difference in take home wages between those who receive shift pay and those who do not amounts to around £5,000 a year. Unite said the workers do not want to take strike action but have been forced to over Babcock’s ‘outright refusal to treat them on an equal footing with the company’s other workers’ read more
BREAKING NEWS!! BA Heathrow cargo services face ‘continued significant disruption’ as more fire and rehire strikes announced (19 Jan) – British Airways’ (BA) freight services at Heathrow airport are set for ‘continued significant disruption’ following the announcement of further strikes over the airline’s decision to fire and rehire its cargo division’s workforce on inferior pay and conditions. Nine days of fresh strike action will begin on Friday 22 January after talks between Unite and BA’s management collapsed due to the determination of the company ‘to opportunistically strip its hardworking and loyal cargo staff of between £6,000 and £8,000 a year’. The initial round of strikes, which took place over the Christmas holidays, brought the company’s cargo operations at Heathrow airport to a ‘grinding halt’. It is estimated that around 95 per cent of BA cargo loads coming through the airport were disrupted over the festive period. More than 840 BA cargo workers, predominantly based at Heathrow airport, recorded a 98 per cent yes vote in favour of strike action late last year read more
BREAKING NEWS!! Northern England facing ‘crispstrophe’ as Eddie Stobart drivers on Walkers contract prepare for strike action (19 Jan) – Consumers across northern England should brace themselves for a ‘crispstrophe’ as the drivers responsible for delivering Walkers crisps to supermarkets across the UK prepare to take strike action. The workers are employed by Eddie Stobart Ltd at its Warrington depot on the Walkers Pepsico contract. The workers returned a 96.7 per cent vote in favour of strike action before Christmas, as a result of Eddie Stobart trying to enforce a pay freeze on the drivers and refusing to enter into pay negotiations with Unite despite it being the recognised union. An overtime ban was instigated for a three week period which began on 26 December. However as Eddie Stobart has still declined to enter into pay talks a further overtime ban will commence from 00:01hrs on Saturday 23 January until 00:00hrs on Saturday 16 February, followed by four days of strike action from Sunday 17 February until Wednesday 20 February. Unite has also announced a further overtime ban from Saturday 20 February until Saturday 27 February and then a further three days of strike action from Sunday 28 February until Tuesday 2 March. Given the just in time nature of supermarket deliveries, Walkers products will swiftly disappear from shelves once strike action begins read more
Housing association presses ahead with routine repairs, despite Covid-19 fears, claims Unite (19 Jan) – Clarion Housing Group, one of the UK’s largest social landlords, has been pushing ahead with routine repairs at its properties, despite some residents being Covid-19 positive, Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, claimed today (Tuesday 19 January). Unite said that a petition of more than 200 maintenance staff has been presented to management calling for ‘essential repairs only’ as the pandemic continues to be widespread. Unite is also angry that the housing association, which boasts it is ‘proud’ not to have taken up the government’s furlough scheme, has told workers, who may be vulnerable or have childcare responsibilities that they have to use annual or unpaid leave or reduce their hours. Tomorrow (Wednesday 20 January) Unite is due to meet the management, with the union warning that the association faces ‘grave reputational damage’, if it does not reverse its current hardline policies on repairs and furlough read more Unite Housing Workers branch
Wheels fall off Wagon Wheel negotiations as DHL Liverpool contract prepares for fresh strike action (18 Jan) – Hopes that further strike action by workers on the DHL Supply Chain contract in Liverpool could be avoided have been dashed as negotiations have collapsed. The 120 strong workforce undertake the delivery contract for Burton biscuits, which includes the Wagon Wheel and Jammie Dodger brands, and AB World Foods, including the Patak curry range and the Blue Dragon Chinese food range. The dispute is a result of low pay, with warehouse operatives being paid just above the minimum wage, as well as the systematic victimisation of workers, which has resulted in the complete breakdown in industrial relations. Strikes began on 19 December but Unite called off five days of planned strike action after DHL promised to make a ‘significantly improved offer’. However, when negotiations took place last week, it became apparent that DHL had reneged on its promise, only offering a three year deal rather than two years, with no significant pay increase being offered. As a result, the workforce will be undertaking strike action this week on Wednesday 20 and Thursday 21 January. Further strike dates have been announced for next month (2, 3, 4, 5, 8 and 9 February) with additional dates being considered read more
Manchester bus drivers facing brutal “fire and rehire” attack on pay and conditions (18 Jan) – Nearly 500 Manchester bus drivers employed by Go North West are facing the threat of being fired and rehired, which will see a 10 per cent reduction in the number of drivers employed, an increase in unpaid working hours and drivers’ conditions slashed. Unite has been in negotiations with management at Go North West, part of the Go Ahead Group, about the possibility of cost savings at the company’s Queens Road Depot and to develop a turnaround plan and maintain job security. Last year, Go North West issued a section 188 notice, which would have resulted in the workforce being fired and then rehired. However, the process was halted to allow negotiations to take place read more
Unite Ireland: COVID-19 and Your Rights as a Worker. UPDATED 15 January – The COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation continues to evolve and Unite will continue updating our advice as dictated by circumstances. Most recently, the Level 5 measures announced on 24 December 2020, followed by the additional restrictions announced on 8 January 2021, mean that many of our members are again working from home, while those working in sectors directly impacted by the new restrictions, such as hospitality and construction, may again be facing layoffs. A brief guide to the restrictions is available here
Airbus Broughton workers to ballot on shorter working week (15 Jan) – Unite members employed at the Airbus plant in Broughton are to be balloted on a plan to move to a shorter working week to save jobs. The plan which has been negotiated between Unite and Airbus will see a reduction in the working week of 5%-10% for a short period of time. If agreed, the proposal will remove the possibility of compulsory redundancies and provide a roadmap to a resumption of full time working and a way out of this COVID-19 crisis read more
Unite Scotland construction members furious as Scottish government maintains green light to non-essential construction (15 Jan) – Unite Scotland has today reacted with disbelief that non-essential construction works are set to continue following a review by the Scottish Government. This is despite the latest variant of the virus being up to 70 per cent more transmissible and a Scottish government published paper stating that Scotland’s R number showed the virus was now “likely in another growth phase”. Hundreds of construction workers continue to travel across Scotland potentially leading to cross-country infections. In April 2020, after repeated concerns raised by Unite Scotland, the Scottish Government instructed companies not linked to essential services to close with immediate effect, and that in the event of construction sites ceasing work that workers’ pay must be protected. Unite Scotland has been inundated by construction members in a state of fear for themselves and their families, fearful of catching the virus and equally fearful of losing their job and being plunged into poverty if they refuse to work. Unite Scotland is calling for the Scottish government to re-adopt its previous position based on the April 2020 criteria which permitted the following essential construction works read more
Teaching support staff at two London primary schools gear up for strike action over jobs’ threat (15 Jan) – Strike action looms over plans to axe more than half the teaching support staff at two east London primary schools as ministers stress the importance of education, Unite the union, warned today (Friday 15 January). Unite has 10 members at the Colvestone primary school and the Thomas Fairchild community school and they have voted unanimously for strikes over restructuring plans which include changes to terms and conditions, and redundancies. The schools are part of the Hackney-based Soaring Skies Federation which educates more than 600 children and Unite said there are potentially more than 18 jobs at risk out of the about 30-strong teaching support staff. The federation claims that the reason for the restructuring is that there are falling numbers of pupils attending the school, but Unite disputes this, saying its members now have more time to spend with often disadvantaged children. Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “One of the major areas of concern during the pandemic has been the impact on children and their education…” read more
Unite condemns government’s post-Brexit plans to attack workers’ rights (15 Jan) – Commenting on reports that the government is drawing up post-Brexit plans to rip up worker’s rights enshrined in EU law, Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “There is immense loss, sadness and uncertainty in our country just now. No decent government would pick this moment to launch an attack on the rights of its citizens…” read more
Move to bar Carillion directors from boardroom roles welcome – but should have come sooner, says Unite (14 Jan) – The move to start legal steps to bar eight former directors of the collapsed construction giant Carillion from top boardroom positions has been welcomed by Unite the union – but should have come much sooner. The news that The Insolvency Service said it was seeking to disqualify the directors ‘in the public interest’ from acting as UK company directors comes on the eve of the third anniversary of Carillion’s collapse in 2018 with £7 billion of liabilities and the loss of thousands of jobs read more
Gateshead International Paint strikes suspended after pay offer accepted (14 Jan) – Members of the Unite and GMB unions employed at International Paint in Gateshead have suspended industrial action after voting to accept a pay offer from the company. The deal covers 400 plus workers at International Paint’s Felling site, which undertakes all aspects of the industrial process for specialised marine and industrial coatings as part of the AkzoNobel group. An overtime ban and strike action planned for 27 January and 10 February have now been cancelled read more
Monaghan Mushrooms must immediately introduce lateral flow testing and provide fully-paid sick leave to self-isolating workers at its Benburb site (14 Jan) – Workers have told Unite of an extensive Covid-19 outbreak at Monaghan Mushrooms production site in Battleford Road, Benburb. If outbreak affecting majority of workforce is confirmed, site must be shut for a deep-cleanse pending safe return with testing and full pay provided to workforce read more
Unite Wales welcomes Arriva Wrexham depot closure due to coronavirus (13 Jan) – Unite the union has today welcomed the decision by Arriva to close its Wrexham depot in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus amongst its employees and the wider community. Unite has managed to negotiate 100 per cent pay for drivers during the period of closure which will be very welcome news for our members during this extremely challenging period read more
A probe called for into the boss of Preston firm where workers are owed up to £170,000 in unpaid wages (13 Jan) – An urgent investigation into allegations that the owner of Lunar Automotive in Preston has not paid his workforce to the tune of about £170,000 while they have been furloughed has been called for by Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union. Unite wants HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to probe the business affairs of the company’s owner Nicholas Marks into allegations that he claimed money from the taxpayer-funded job retention scheme (JRS), but did not pass onto the 45-strong workforce who have not been paid since August last year read more
Support the #BattleforBarnoldswick – More Rolls-Royce Barnoldswick strikes announced as company set to be quizzed by MPs over offshoring plans – Please send messages of support to: [email protected] #BattleforBarnoldswick #SaveOurSite. Sign this petition to Rolls Royce and the UK Government: Save Our Site – Battle for Barnoldswick (Rolls Royce)
Jenrick urged to follow Scotland’s footsteps and extend ban on evictions for renters (7 Jan) – Thousands of renters are only days away from homelessness unless the government extends the ban on evictions due to end on Monday (11 January), Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, warned today (Thursday 7 January). The union is calling on the Westminster government to do ‘the decent thing’ and follow the example of the Scottish Government which has extended the evictions’ ban until 31 March read more
Industrial action at Newry, Mourne and Down District Council suspended after management proposal tabled (Jan 8) – Joint Communication on behalf of the Management (MS) and Trade Union Sides: Following a period of intense negotiations between Management and the recognised Trade Unions within Newry Mourne and Down District Council, a proposal has been tabled that has facilitated the suspension of industrial action with immediate effect read more
Hull Croda workers to strike over years of missing holiday pay – Hull workers at chemical giant Croda Europe Ltd will take industrial action, including strike action, over years of missing holiday pay, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Tuesday 22 December). Around 90 Croda workers, who are members of Unite, were balloted for strike action in November over the company’s failure to incorporate holiday entitlement into their shift rotas at its Oak Road site. In a ballot with an 80 per cent turnout, nearly 90 per cent voted in favour of industrial action, which will take place in January. Shift workers at the factory have suffered miscalculations in their annual leave for as long as 21 years, with long serving staff owed thousands of pounds in holiday back pay read more
Workers at International Paint in Gateshead to vote on pay offer – Unite the union members employed at International Paint in Gateshead will be voting on a pay deal, the result of which will be known in the new year. As a gesture of goodwill, Unite members have dropped an overtime ban due to start on Monday 4 January, but dates for two 24-hour strikes on Wednesday 27 January and Wednesday 10 February remain in place, depending on the outcome of the ballot read more
Security guards at Reading hospital to stage second wave of strikes in ‘David and Goliath’ pay battle – Security staff at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, locked in a ‘David and Goliath’ pay battle with their employer, will be striking over 20 days during January and February. The 23 security guards are striking from 07.00 on Monday 4 January over the failure of their employer Kingdom Services Group Ltd to make a decent pay offer for 2020. Their strike action will end at 19.00 on Friday 12 February. They have already taken five days of strike action which ended on Friday (18 December). The security personnel, members of Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, provide security for Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust read more
Sign petition: St Mungo’s brutal treatment of BAME worker opposed by Unite – Without income for twenty-one weeks. Female worker comes to the end of a period of sickness during the pandemic. Health conditions put her at raised risk. She is also older and from a BAME background. Her normal job would expose her to further increased risk. Rather than furlough her or find her alternative work the employer simply stops her pay without going through any personnel procedure. Management reject appeals to senior levels from Unite leaving the worker without income and desperate for twenty-one weeks
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: 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
PCS pressure leads to strengthening of work from home message but courts, DVLA and jobcentres should close (18 Jan) – Courts, jobcentres and DVLA Swansea should be closed temporarily and immediately because of the rapidly rising Covid infection rates, urges PCS, as the Cabinet Office strengthens its work from home message. The Covid situation is rapidly worsening across the UK, with a record number of infections and the emergence of a much more infectious strain of the virus. This has led to all governments in the UK and the Cabinet Office to urge people to work from home. Following PCS pressure the Cabinet Office has strengthened its messaging to staff and contractors to instruct them to work from home unless they are providing essential services and it is not possible for that work to be done from home. Despite this some employers continue to insist that our members go into workplaces, notably DVLA, jobcentres and courts. Watch our latest video update here
Join our big payday zoom rally (18 Jan) – With the 2021 pay freeze announced by the government looming PCS is holding a series of regional and nation meetings on Friday 29 January to update members in the civil service on the campaign. These meetings will take place over the lunchtime period by zoom read more
MPs lead tributes to parliamentary security guard (15 Jan) – PCS was saddened to learn of the untimely death of our member Godfrey Cameron, who has died suddenly aged 55 after contracting Covid-19. Godfrey was a hard-working, dedicated member of our parliamentary security branch who was devoted to his job and his colleagues across parliament read more
PCS launch petition and pledge to fight redundancies at National Museums in Liverpool – We have launched a public campaign and petition to fight redundancies at National Museums in Liverpool. Management at the museums warned that there might be compulsory redundancies next year but not before negotiations took place. However, the commercial arm of the museums, National Museums Liverpool Trading immediately moved to make workers in the cafés, shops and events, redundant with just 4 weeks’ notice. These employees have been working and supporting the running of museums as “essential staff” since July. The union understands that over 20 employees are being made redundant but the company which doesn’t recognise trades unions is refusing to engage with PCS read more
Keep supporting ISS HMRC strikers – PCS members who clean HMRC’s Merseyside offices for multinational company ISS returned to work 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
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
Fresh seven day strike at British Gas over fire and rehire threats (18 Jan) – Profitable company is provoking further disruption for customers to add to backlog queue already of more than 100,000 households. Thousands of British Gas workers are set to strike for a second time this week, as the company faces seven days of action – after two new strike days were added on January 30 and 31. GMB members at British Gas will withdraw their labour on Wednesday 20, Friday 22, Monday 25, Friday 29, Saturday 30, Sunday 31 January and Monday February 1. British Gas engineers and staff are striking against Centrica boss Chris O’Shea’s fire and rehire cuts to pay and terms and conditions. A high number of households have been disrupted by the dispute so far and GMB understands those waiting for service already number more than 100,000 across the country. Last week British Gas Managers were hit by Stockport MP Navendu Mishra calling on the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to investigate Centrica for ‘engineering an employment situation which results in the insurance cover that customers purchased in good faith not being honoured’ read more
Support the GMB strike against ‘fire and rehire at British Gas – send a message of support and donate to the GMB British Gas ‘Fire and Rehire’ Strike Fund
Plan to rip up workers’ rights will be confronted, says GMB (15 Jan) – If the Government is serious about building back better, then that means levelling up on workers’ rights. GMB union has responded to reports UK workers’ rights are at risk in Government secret plans to rip up EU labour standards read more
Dire Government failed to hold Carillion to account (15 Jan) – The government’s failure to hold board members to account, three years after the public contracts provider collapse saw thousands of workers lose their jobs and public services undelivered, is a disgrace. GMB has slammed the governments ‘dire legacy’ of failing to hold key board members of Carillion to account after the contractor collapsed 2018, carrying nearly £7 billion in debt. Reports have emerged that only now the Insolvency Service says it is seeking to disqualify eight former directors ‘in the public interest’ read more
Govt recognition of domestic abuse impact at work welcomed (15 Jan) – We now need commitments from the Government, including the right for paid time off for domestic abuse survivors in law. GMB union has welcomed a Government report accepting the need for employers to do more to support workers that have survived domestic abuse. The union has long campaigned for employers to sign up to our Work to Stop Domestic Abuse Charter read more
GMB question timing of ‘unnecessary’ restructure at struggling ambulance trust (14 Jan) – Are SECAmb really worried about the health and welfare of their workers, or do they just want to try to maintain their outcomes and reach their targets, ask GMB Southern Region. GMB, the union for ambulance workers and paramedics, have today challenged South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb)’s Chief Executive Philip Astle to get a grip of his executive team as they continue to push on with an internal restructure read more
School workers’ union calls for urgent free school meals action (13 Jan) – Union criticises ‘shocking’ meal packages and continual Covid-19 impact on the poorest. GMB Union, which has long campaigned for free school meals for all pupils, has called for urgent action in light of revelations around free school meals this week. Images shared online showed “woefully inadequate” free school meal parcels sent to families in England. The union, which represents over 100,000 school workers has called for an end to profiteering and government action to ensure standards are met read more
Sign the GMB petition against the academisation of these Sussex schools! – We oppose the plans to turn Peacehaven Heights and Telscombe Cliffs Primary Schools in to academies. Sign our petition below if you oppose them too! GMB, the union for school support staff, oppose any plans to turn state schools into academies. That is why we have set up a petition against the academisation of Peacehaven Heights and Telscombe Cliffs Primary Schools in East Sussex. Please sign and share our petition if you agree, at https://www.gmb-southern.org.uk/stop-the-academisation-of-peacehaven-heights-and-telscombe-cliffs-schools. Our flyer for distribution is also available to download on this page too! Read more
Pay rise immediately would reassure undervalued staff to stay in NHS (18 Jan) – Government’s approach to NHS pay is forcing workers to question their future. A huge majority of NHS staff say the government doesn’t value their extraordinary efforts during the pandemic, according to a UNISON survey published today (Monday). As health workers come under increasing strain because of the rise in infections and hospital admissions, many say they are considering their future in the NHS, the survey finds read more
Prime Minister urged to speed up NHS pay rise as public backs the move: A pay rise is vital if the NHS is to be ‘fighting fit’ (Jan 18) – Health unions representing more than 1.3m workers across the UK have written to the Prime Minister today (Monday) urging him to speed up the pay process so NHS staff receive a promised wage rise as soon as possible. The letter to Boris Johnson – signed by the heads of UNISON, Royal College of Nursing and Royal College of Midwives – says “hospitals are stretched to the limit”, with many “demoralised and traumatised” staff facing burnout, such is the pressure they’re under. The letter coincides with the results of a poll published by the UK’s 14 health unions showing a majority of the public (53%) think the government should bring forward a wage increase for all NHS staff read more
UNISON urges government to stop meter readings (15 Jan) – Non-essential activity should be stopped immediately to cut the risk of staff contracting and spreading COVID-19. UNISON represents many of the UK’s meter readers, who work in people’s homes and the union is deeply concerned that this activity is continuing during the current heightened phase of coronavirus infection in the UK read more
TUC survey reveals 71% of working mothers denied furlough (14 Jan) – Working parents – particularly working mothers – are in an impossible situation this lockdown. UNISON is calling for paid parental leave to support them. A TUC survey of 50,000 working parents has found that 78% have not been offered furlough by their employer during the pandemic, while 71% have had furlough requests refused during the latest school closures read more
Ministers must give proper support to student nurses, says UNISON (14 Jan) – Removing fees and giving financial help vital for trainees read more
Support the Birmingham NHS Unison Heartlands Porters Dispute – UNSION members who are Heartland Hospital Porters are currently taking strike action about the proposed imposition of a new rota. This will result in them working detrimental rotating 8 shifts pattern. The proposed rota impacts on our members health and well being; their caring responsibilities; their work/life balance and results in a significant cut in wages for many read more on Facebook page. Next 3 strike dates are February 1-3
Carmarthenshire County Unison Branch Members Bulletin 37 | Trade Union Action needed – Mass Co-Ordinated Trade Union Action Needed To Smash the Pay Freeze read more
Royal Mail Pathway to Change: Key Principles Framework read more
Compulsory redundancy threat emerges in yet another part of BT Group (18 Jan) – Grim news that more than half of the CWU represented grade employees in BT’s Corporate Units HR ‘Colleague Experience and Delivery Teams’ will be placed ‘at risk’ in BT Group’s first redundancy announcement of 2021 has once again highlighted the importance of the union’s ‘Count Me In’ fightback read more
Blunt warning to the whole of BT Group as industrial action ballot commences in Openreach (Jan 14) – The first statutory industrial action ballot in BT Group in more than a decade is now underway, with Openreach management reaping the consequences of their steadfast refusal to address the legitimate concerns of Repayment Project Engineers (RPEs) over imposed changes to their grading and job descriptions read more
Betrayed by BT: One member’s dilemma – compulsory redundancy or a £13,000 pay cut? (Jan 13) – In the second of a series of articles exploring the devastating impact of BT’s new found enthusiasm for compulsory redundancies on individuals who find themselves at the sharp end, we look at how management’s cynical reinterpretation of Pay and Pension Protection left one West London member with an impossible dilemma… read more
Fire service bosses pull out of Covid-19 agreement (15 Jan) – Fire and rescue service employers have unilaterally scrapped a ground-breaking agreement with the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) which had enabled firefighters to assist the NHS and care sector response to Covid-19. Negotiations over health and safety measures for firefighters delivering high-risk Covid-19 duties were ongoing when the National Employers issued a communication ending the agreement on the evening of Wednesday 13 January. The decision appears to be supported by the National Fire Chiefs Council. This was done without any prior notice to firefighters or the FBU. The FBU says the termination is driven by the employers’ desire to alter previously agreed safety arrangements which protected firefighters undertaking additional work read more
Covid Crisis – Further protections secured for members (13 Jan) – Since the last members mail out, the Probation Unions have been engaging with employers with the aim of achieving a fresh approach to safety across a number of operational areas in response to the current Lockdown arrangements. The following commentary (READ HERE) summarises the key developments from a series of meetings that have been taking place, and more news will be issued as and when it is available read more
General Secretary update (12 Jan) – This year has started dramatically with further announcements from the Prime Minister implementing further National lockdowns in England, with the leaders of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland introducing restrictions of a similar nature but I recognise there may be differences in each of the four countries where the POA have membership. I will concentrate specifically on England and Wales prison service as under our Rules and Constitution we have devolved responsibility for the SNC in Scotland and the Northern Ireland Area Committee for Northern Ireland. It goes without saying that we update each other on a regular basis because of the differences in approach. There is no doubt this will be the most challenging of periods in keeping POA members safe and indeed those in our care as the virus has mutated and the variant has now been recognised by respective Government’s as being more prevalent in society and more transmissible hence the further restrictions read more
Sign ‘War on Want’ petition: END SEXUAL HARASSMENT AT MCDONALD’S – McDonald’s has a sexual harassment problem. Women from across the world are joining together and speaking out about the harassment they have faced whilst working at the company. Workers in the USA have even been on strike about it. But still McDonald’s is refusing to take the action needed to end sexual harassment in its restaurants. The evidence is clear: a formal complaint submitted by workers in May 2020 shows at least seven countries where McDonald’s has failed to properly address harassment complaints, and the company’s global CEO even had to resign because of inappropriate relationships with employees. Please email McDonald’s UK CEO today and demand that the company listens to its workers and takes steps to end sexual harassment
Free School Meals in Half Term (14 Jan) – Government won’t fund FSM over February half term. Commenting on the latest guidance on free school meals, published this morning (1), Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said: “It is simply astonishing that the Government has, once again, revealed its total disregard for those hardest hit by the ongoing health pandemic. After a year in which the stark inequalities faced by millions of children and young people has been at the forefront of the minds of the public, the ugly spectre of holiday hunger is now looming yet again. This week, Matt Hancock, Gavin Williamson and Boris Johnson made public statements about how appalled they were by the quality of food parcels shared on Twitter. But that is put in the shade by today’s confirmation that yet more disruption to free schools meals could lie ahead in half term. These are battles which should not have to be repeatedly fought…” read more
Sign petition and support the strikes to Reinstate Sharon Morgan LONDON DESIGN AND ENGINEERING UTC Newham – At the start of this term, teacher and NEU rep Sharon Morgan was summarily dismissed from her job by London Design and Engineering UTC. Sharon was sacked without due process, with no formal investigation or a hearing where she could put her case. At an employment tribunal the judge described LDE’s behaviour as “morally reprehensible” and LDE subsequently agreed to reinstate Sharon. But the next day LDE changed their mind and refused to reinstate her. In reality, Sharon was sacked for helping NEU members stand up for better working conditions for staff, in the interests of the whole school community. This is trade union victimisation and it’s unacceptable. The sacking of Sharon is an attack on all trade unionists at LDE, in Newham, and everywhere. There are further strikes this week from Tuesday to Thursday
Support Newham Little Ilford School strikes against unsafe expansion – NEU members are taking strike action at the enormous comprehensive in Manor Park, east London, which already teaches 1,470 students. Labour-run Newham Council wants it to take 1,800. Sign petition: Newham Council is trying to force Little Ilford School to expand to 1800 pupils. But expanding will mean an overcrowded school and an overwhelming environment for all staff and pupils. It will undermine the quality of education and care that can be provided to pupils. And the expansion is opposed by virtually the entire staff body
Supply teachers must not be denied financial support (12 Jan) – NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, along with other trade unions representing supply staff working in education, have written to the Department for Education to press for clarification on the operation of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) during the current national lockdown and the closure of schools to some pupils. Currently, significant numbers of supply staff are unable to work, have had work cancelled, or have drastically reduced employment opportunities. This is leaving hard working and dedicated supply staff facing increased financial uncertainty and hardship read more
BREAKING NEWS!! First Minister’s COVID Lockdown Announcement – EIS Comment (19 Jan) – Commenting on the First Minister’s announcement today, confirming that current lockdown arrangements will continue until at least mid-February, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said: “With rates of community transmission still high, the Scottish Government has made the correct decision in maintaining the current models of provision for schools to drive down the R figure, which we regard as a prerequisite for schools reopening. While the EIS wants to see schools fully operational as soon as possible, this can only be achieved when it is safe for all students and staff to return, which means full consideration of the evidence on the new variant and its transmissibility amongst young people” read more
Union threatens industrial action to prevent unsafe campus return this academic year (17 Jan) – UCU called for university teaching to remain online for the rest of the academic year to protect the wellbeing of staff, students and their communities. It said:-
- UCU members remain committed to providing the very best for their students during the pandemic, but cannot do this in unsafe and unpredictable working conditions.
- University staff are already burnt out from meeting the demands imposed on them, and must be supported to continue giving students the best possible remote learning experience.
- Where universities do not work collaboratively with UCU branches to prioritise staff safety, the union will continue to support branches that ballot members for action against an unsafe return to in-person teaching read more
UCU fighting fund: the link is here and donations to the fund are spent on supporting members involved in important disputes. As always, members are asked to contribute whatever their circumstances allow. A donation in solidarity of any amount will be gratefully received by members taking action.
Federation of Entertainment Unions (FEU) statement on no deal for creative industries (15 Jan) – The Federation of Entertainment Unions is deeply disturbed to hear that proposals made during the Brexit negotiations which would have offered special travel rights for the creative workforce we represent were turned down, with both sides seemingly proposing solutions that were rejected by the other negotiating team read more
Government aviation support must be focussed on retaining jobs (17 Jan) – Prospect has responded to the government’s announcement of the Airport and Ground Operations Support Scheme in England read more
Campaigning on domestic abuse, coercion and control: part of the MU & Equity’s SafeSpaces work (12 Jan) – Equity and the Musicians’ Union have decided to build domestic violence support and prevention into our Safe Spaces services and joint campaigning work, and work to ensure that support is available to those who need it. During the Covid-19 crisis, there has been a rise of 49% in the number of calls to domestic abuse services in the UK, with an estimated 380 weekly calls to police. These statistics are deeply concerning, especially as we enter another national lockdown, following lockdowns across the UK Nations throughout the last year read more
Equity reacts to DCMS guidance for performing arts in England (12 Jan) – DCMS has issued new guidance for those working in the performing arts in England, with both indoor and outdoor performances unable to go ahead. The current lockdown and subsequent updates to the guidance on performing arts further restricts work possibilities for live entertainers. Some outdoor socially distanced work had been possible under the tier system but the latest guidance states that indoor and outdoor performances to an audience cannot take place. We are seeking clarification from the DCMS on some art forms which we feel may have been overlooked and will inform members if there are any changes read more
Morrisons pay deal: Usdaw negotiates a £10 per hour basic rate in a major step forward for the union’s New Deal for Workers campaign (13 Jan) – Retail trade union Usdaw has negotiated a £10 per hour basic rate for Morrisons shopworkers in a ground-breaking pay deal. The offer, which goes out to ballot and is recommended by Usdaw, is a major step forward for the union’s New Deal for Workers campaign that called for £10 and is 50p an hour above the voluntary Living Wage Foundation rate read more
Debenhams workers tell Taoiseach to make cash funds available and legislate to protect workers from future redundancy scenarios (13 Jan) – Mandate Trade Union has written to the Taoiseach, Micheál Martin, informing him of the rejection of the proposal document brokered by Kevin Foley by a majority of 91 percent of ex-Debenhams workers. The Union believes if the Government were to make the €3m fund established for training/education available as a direct cash payment and commit to new legislation which would protect workers in liquidations that this could help end the 10 month long dispute read more
Ex-Debenhams workers vote to reject Kevin Foley dispute resolution proposals by a margin of 91 percent (13 Jan) – Ex- Debenhams workers have voted against proposals put to them by Labour Court Chairperson Kevin Foley today (Wednesday, 13th Jan 2021) with 393 votes against the proposals and 37 in favour. 430 workers cast their votes in total. The proposal document stated that the Government would establish a €3 million training, upskilling and business start-up fund, but crucially, prevented the workers from accessing cash from the fund. The elected shop stewards from Debenhams will now meet to determine the next steps in their campaign for a fair redundancy package and changes to legislation to ensure workers are not treated like this in the future read more
Support the North London SAGE strike – Watch video of strike on UVW Facebook page
Care worker walkout is “historic turning point for key workers” says trade union in care home dispute (15 Jan) – Care workers, cleaners and maintenance workers at Sage Nursing Home in Golders Green North London have today walked out in a 3-day strike in what their union has described as “a battle for an end to poverty wages and basic respect and dignity in the workplace”. The workers, who are members of the trade union United Voices of the World (UVW), are demanding a £12 per hour pay rise and the same level of sick pay and annual leave as NHS workers. The strike comes after months of back and forth between the workers and Sage’s trustees, two of whom are billionaire landlords and owners of property empire Daejan Holdings, Benzion and Solomon Freshwater. UVW officials have described the strike, which they say will “be the first of many”, as a “last resort” brought about by the trustees’ “unwillingness to negotiate in good faith” read more
Care workers forced to abandon picket after government confusion over the legality of picketing in tier 4 areas (15 Jan) – Striking care workers and cleaners at Sage Nursing Home in North London were forced to abandon their plans to hold a picket outside their place of work today after conflicting guidelines on the legality of picketing in areas placed under Tier 4 restrictions was released by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC)… This resulted in the care workers and their union, United Voices of the World (UVW), having to host a last minute virtual picket, which despite short notice, the union confirms was attended by 400 guests, and included Labour MP and former Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell, and Labour MP for Nottingham East, Nadia Whittome, as guest speakers read more
Outsourced University of Greenwich workers vote to strike for equality – The Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) Universities of London Branch voted for industrial action at the University of Greenwich today. Outsourced cleaners, porters and security officers are demanding trade union recognition for the IWGB, a commitment to end outsourcing and equal terms and conditions. 69 percent of workers voted “Yes” to the strike, with 31 percent of workers voting “No”. University of Greenwich workers are outsourced via multi-billion pound company Sodexo and therefore denied the basic rights that university employees are entitled to, including equal pay, pensions, sick pay, annual leave and parental leave. Those who kept the university open working overtime through lockdown are also demanding Covid-19 bonus pay, which they report was unfairly paid to some workers but not others. The strike hardship fund has already raised over £1,000 and the ballot follows victory for the IWGB’s flagship #EndOutsourcing campaign at the University of London read more
The gift of a union: IWGB votes to organise Amazon Flex workers this Christmas – The Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB)’s Couriers and Logistics Branch voted yesterday to integrate Amazon Flex delivery workers. The branch already organises Deliveroo, Stuart, and UberEats delivery workers. Amazon Flex uses ‘gig economy’ workers to fulfil its Prime delivery service. The announcement follows the global Make Amazon Pay campaign led by Progressive International which began on Black Friday. The IWGB adds its support to the campaign and its Common Demands, which is backed by an international coalition of trade unions, climate change groups and other grassroots organisations read more
Letter from Cardiff Trades Union Council to South Wales Police
Dear Mr. Michael and Mr. Vaughan – Cardiff Trades Union Council would like to express our deep concern at the death of Mohamud Muhammed Hassan and the subsequent events following his death.
Mohamud was arrested on Friday 8th January, held overnight in police custody at Cardiff Bay police station and released with injuries the following morning. He died later that day.
South Wales Police claim that he was not injured in its custody, but merely asserting that he was not harmed in their custody can never be enough to absolve the police or anyone else in such circumstances. It certainly is not enough to assuage the fears of his family, the Somali community and working people across Cardiff that Mohamud received fatal injuries at the hands of the police. At the very least the officers involved in his arrest and custody should have been suspended pending an enquiry.
We understand that the case has been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) for investigation, but given the record of the IOPC and its forerunners in not successfully investigating miscarriages of justice in South Wales in the past, there is very little confidence in the impartiality of that investigation in the communities in Cardiff.
We are therefore calling for an independent enquiry including representatives of Mohamud’s family, the local community and trade unions.
We also wish to raise concerns at the police handling of the protests calling for justice for Mohamud. One of the most vocal critics of the police has been fined for breaking Covid regulations at the protests at Cardiff Bay police station.
We are concerned that the requirement of public safety in the Covid crisis are being used by the South Wales Police to deny civil and democratic rights. We do not accept that the rights that our movement have fought for for centuries can be suspended or abolished – the right to strike, to picket, to protest, to demonstrate and to hold the police to account for their actions. We do accept that safety measures must be put in place to take account of the crisis and to be proportional to the issues concerned.
There are obviously safety concerns involved with the gathering of people during the Covid crisis, but policing of this event has to take into account the inflamed distress of the local community at the death of a young man in these circumstances. By fining participants in this way the South Wales Police is showing huge insensitivity and reinforcing the perception that it does not regard Mohamud’s death as particularly significant. It would appear to be a warning against anyone who challenges the actions of the South Wales Police. This is of particular concern given the record of police forces harassing the relatives of murdered young black men.
Our members have reported that the protests at Cardiff Bay were relatively safe, with most of the participants masked and largely socially distanced, with hand gel available – all in an outdoor environment.
The most dangerous situations arose when police officers attempted to manhandle protesters off the road, completely breaking social distancing regulations, and which if successful would have endangered the safety of the participants and helped the spread of Covid by squeezing hundreds of people onto a narrow pavement.
Our trades council has been inundated with complaints from workers who are being forced by their employers to work 37 hours a week in unsafe conditions indoors. Yet to the best of our knowledge the South wales Police has done nothing to enforce regulations against these employers, even though this is a much more dangerous and widespread practice.
It would appear therefore that the fining of participants at the protests at Cardiff Bay is motivated by an attempt to deter the public from holding the police to account for their actions rather than a desire to protect the public from Covid.
Cardiff & Vale BLM has been demanding that officers’ body-worn camera footage is made public. Cardiff Trades Council supports that demand. The entire and unedited footage needs to be made public from the time officers first came upon the scene until the time Mohamud Mohammed Hassan was released from custody. Nothing less will satisfy the family and the community.
Many of the young people on the protests asked, “Who are the police meant to be protecting?” After what has happened to Mohamud and others in police custody, they do not feel safe. Our aim must be to hold the police fully accountable to those young people, to the local community and to working people throughout Cardiff.
We would be grateful if you would respond to our concerns and ensure that action is taken to address them.
Dave Bartlett (Secretary)
Fight blacklisting and victimisation of union reps
#SPYCops Inquiry exposes state surveillance of workers movement
The NSSN sends our solidarity and support to all those taking part in the Undercover Policing Inquiry who have suffered from state surveillance into the labour and trade union movement and a whole number of campaigns from anti-racism to environmentalism.
Watch video: ‘You’re Muted’ – What’s Up at the #SpyCopsInquiry? – Five minutes of highlights from the ‘Public’ Inquiry hearing evidence in secret about undercover policing in England and Wales since 1968
Blacklist Support Group opening statement to the public inquiry – Dave Smith posted this message on the BSG Facebook page:-
“I’d like to publicly thank everyone from around the globe who has sent messages of support after our opening statement at the undercover policing public inquiry. I was proud to deliver the speech on behalf of the Blacklist Support Group; but this is a collective endeavour. We got to this point by blacklisted union members working together with investigative journalists, campaigning lawyers, world class researchers, MPs, unions, anti-racist campaigns and rank & file activists. We stand shoulder to shoulder with all the non-state, non-police core participants in the public inquiry, especially our sister campaigns; Police Spies Out of Lives, Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance and the family justice campaigns. This is what solidarity looks like”.
Full text of the BSG opening statement is now online via the Hazards magazine website: https://www.hazards.org/blacklistblog/2020/11/17/blacklist-support-group-opening-statement-for-ucpi-dave-smith/
It can be watched via this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JegrwaVKRfs&feature=youtu.be
Some of the media coverage:
To support the ongoing campaign for justice, please share some of the press articles on social media
Builders Crack: The Movie
In the current situation, this long lost film from the 1990s about rank and file union organising in the construction industry is intended to lift the spirits, but also to spark a debate in our movement. Hope the youngsters in this film put a smile on your face.
Watch – Share – Discuss https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VZ-QMA1FMg
Blacklist Support Group
Reinstate sacked Unite London bus rep Judith Katera – Judith a longstanding union rep and activist in Battersea garage in South London has been dismissed by Abellio. Judith is adamant that false claims are being alleged against her. Judith and Moe Muhsin Manir, the rep at Walworth garage in the same company feel that they are both being targeted.
In October, she was facing a disciplinary meeting and possible dismissal. A solidarity protest was organised and then postponed because the disciplinary process wasn’t completed. However, she has discovered that the company sacked her on December 4th! She even had to contact the company to find out that she had been dismissed! Just a few weeks before Christmas, Judith was dismissed with no income. An online appeal has been set up to support Judith and her family.
Unite the union are ran a consultative ballot before Christmas to launch the campaign to get Judith reinstated. We understand that there was an overwhelming vote of support, which sends the message to Abellio that bus drivers in Battersea will fight to for Judith’s job and stop attacks on the union. We hope that such a vote will force management to reinstate Judith but if they still refuse, the union are now able to launch a full industrial action ballot.
The NSSN sends our support and solidarity to Judith, her members and her union Unite and pledge to do everything we can to get her reinstated. We will keep our supporters and affiliates fully informed of developments and any protests and action that are called. Stop union busting!
Sign petition: St Mungo’s brutal treatment of BAME worker opposed by Unite – Without income for twenty-one weeks. Female worker comes to the end of a period of sickness during the pandemic. Health conditions put her at raised risk. She is also older and from a BAME background. Her normal job would expose her to further increased risk. Rather than furlough her or find her alternative work the employer simply stops her pay without going through any personnel procedure. Management reject appeals to senior levels from Unite leaving the worker without income and desperate for twenty-one weeks
Sign petition and support the strikes to Reinstate Sharon Morgan LONDON DESIGN AND ENGINEERING UTC – At the start of this term, teacher and NEU rep Sharon Morgan was summarily dismissed from her job by London Design and Engineering UTC. Sharon was sacked without due process, with no formal investigation or a hearing where she could put her case. At an employment tribunal the judge described LDE’s behaviour as “morally reprehensible” and LDE subsequently agreed to reinstate Sharon. But the next day LDE changed their mind and refused to reinstate her. In reality, Sharon was sacked for helping NEU members stand up for better working conditions for staff, in the interests of the whole school community. This is trade union victimisation and it’s unacceptable. The sacking of Sharon is an attack on all trade unionists at LDE, in Newham, and everywhere
Security guard seeks ‘groundbreaking’ injunction to stop his ‘unlawful’ sacking in what his union UVW describes as the first case of its kind for a low paid worker (23 Nov) – A security guard at the Francis Crick Institute in London is set to face off against his employer Wilson James in an injunction hearing in what his trade union, United Voices of the World (UVW), has described as an “unprecedented legal showdown”. On 11th November after only 3 weeks in his new job Cetin Avsar, the security guard from Turkey bringing the legal action, received a letter inviting him to a probationary review hearing stating “[his] conduct has not reached the required standards” citing only his membership of his trade union, his previously having participated in a strike and his views, shard by his union, that outsourcing is ‘discriminatory’. The letter warned him that he might be dismissed after the hearing read more
FCC dismiss Tony Smith Hull Unison Activist
Trade Unionists and activists will be outraged to hear that Unison activist Tony Smith’s dismissal has been upheld by FCC. As previously reported, Tony’s dismissal on trumped up charges was because of his trade union activities. It took nearly five weeks from the appeal to the outcome for FCC to confirm the sacking. Tony has faced the mental torture of not knowing whether he has a job or not, but the time taken reflected that dismissing him was not a simple issue because of the high profile that Tony has in the local Labour movement. Unison will be seeking compensation and the campaign focuses on Hull City Council to end its contract with FCC. Mick Whale Chair Hull Trades Council
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!
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
NUJ calls on Turkey to stop the deportation of Mohammad Mosaed read more
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