NSSN 656: Support the GMB Coventry Amazon Black Friday strike

The NSSN sends our support and solidarity to Amazon workers taking further strike action this coming Friday. The workers at the Coventry warehouse in the GMB union have been an inspiration to the whole trade union movement, and a beacon to all those in this sector who are not yet organised in a union. Get organised, join a union and fight back together! Solidarity with Amazon strikers!

GMB: Amazon black Friday strike chaos as ‘biggest ever’ global walk out begins (20 Nov)

Black Friday will see the largest day of industrial disruption in Amazon’s thirty-year history, with strikes across the globe including in Europe and the USA.

In the UK, more than 1,000 workers at the retail giant’s Coventry warehouse will down tool in the dispute over low pay – the 28th day of action in the dispute. Amazon’s Coventry fulfilment centre is one of the busiest in Amazon’s UK operations with concerns mounting about the strikes impact of Amazon customers. The strike day will include a rally in support of striking Amazon workers in Coventry.

Amanda Gearing, GMB Organiser, said: “Amazon has lost nearly thirty days to strike action in the UK this year alone. Despite that, Amazon bosses are desperate to claim it will be business as usual for Amazon and Amazon customers this Black Friday. The truth is that this Black Friday will see the largest day of industrial disruption in Amazon’s thirty-year history. Coventry is the beating heart of Amazon’s distribution network; strike action on Black Friday will ripple throughout the company’s UK logistics. With industrial action escalating and workers joining strike action in Europe and the USA, it’s clear that Coventry workers are inspiring Amazon workers worldwide to fight for their share of company profits. As a union representing thousands of Amazon workers, we can no longer in good faith watch as our members walk into unsafe workplaces and endure poverty pay. This is an unprecedented and historic moment, with low paid workers taking on one of the world’s most powerful corporations”.

Black Friday 24th November Strike at Coventry BHX4 Amazon warehouse

Work Stops at 6 AM on Friday the 24th of November

Work Starts at 6 AM on Saturday the 25th of November

Picket time: 6:30-8:30am Rally time: 7:30am assemble, 8am start

There is a London Solidarity demo with the strike – Friday 24th November, 12noon, Principal Place, Worship St EC2A 2BA

TUC calls Special Congress to resist Tory MSL anti-union attack

The NSSN welcomes the convening of a Special TUC Congress on Saturday December 9th in response to the Tory Government laying out “regulations for minimum service levels in rail, the ambulance service and border security. Ministers have said these new rules will be rushed into force by the end of the year. Ministers are also consulting on rules affecting workers in hospital settings, schools, universities and fire services.”

The Special Congress will take place at the TUC’s Congress House in London from 10am-1pm. TUC General Secretary Paul Nowak said: “The UK already has some of the most restrictive trade union laws in Europe. Now the Tories want to make it even harder for people to win fair pay and conditions. That’s why we are calling this once in a generation special Congress.”

The NSSN is organising a lobby of the Special Congress from 9am-10am on December 9th outside Congress House, 28, Great Russell Street, Camden WC1B 3LS. All welcome

NSSN Chair Rob Williams said: “This is a vital conference, which we welcome. We have been calling for it to be convened ever since the annual TUC Congress in September passed the motion that agreed what should be the basis for the fighting strategy the trade union movement and over 6 million workers need against the Tory Minimum Service Levels (MSL) anti-union legislation.

That motion stated that “Congress pledges 100% solidarity with any trade unions attacked under these MSL laws” and included to “support demonstrations and hold a national march opposing the legislation and calling for repeal of the anti-union laws” and “organise a Special Congress, size to be determined, to explore options for non-compliance and resistance.”

Therefore, the Special TUC Congress must be a real ‘Council of War’ – setting out concretely the mass collective action needed for ‘non-compliance and resistance’. That should start with the announcement of a mass national demonstration, linking together the fight for the right to strike with the Tory Cost of Living Squeeze, that has triggered the incredible strike wave of the last two years, the biggest level of workers’ action for over 3 decades.

But it should also agree the process of solidarity action if as a result of the Tory MSL legislation, any unions are fined, up to a £1million, or any workers are sacked.

This is a massive moment. Workers are showing on a daily basis that they are prepared to fight to protect their living standards. The response of the Tories is to attack our rights. But this is a weak and divided Tory Government, reeling from yet another crisis that has seen Braverman sacked, exposed for her and the Tories’ toxic divide and rule tactics. But if we fight together, we can defeat both these anti-union laws and Sunak’s Tory Government.”

New Tory anti-strike laws attack basic human rights, says RMT (6 Nov)

Minimum Service Levels – not workable or needed says TSSA (6 Nov)

Unison: Government’s desperate strike move won’t solve any NHS problems (6 Nov)

PCS condemns ‘reckless’ and ‘vindictive’ minimum service levels legislation (7 Nov)

GMB: Response to Minimum Service Levels announcement (9 Nov)

Prospect: Minimum Service Levels Act is a mess and a highly partisan law (14 Nov)

Unison: Ministers should fix the country rather than reheat failed anti-union laws (16 Nov)

NASUWT: Desperate Government seeks to repeal agency worker strike regulations (18 Nov)

BMA contests strikes threaten patient safety claim (16 Nov)

RCN fights for members’ freedom to strike (20 Nov)

FBU: TUC backs campaign of non-compliance with new anti-strike laws (11 Sept)

The motion that was passed at the TUC Congress included:- 

Congress calls on the next Labour government to immediately repeal MSLs, the Trade Union Act 2016 and take urgent steps to remove other anti-union laws. 

Congress pledges 100% solidarity with any trade unions attacked under these MSL laws. 

Congress agrees we must use all means necessary to defeat the unjust MSLs laws and calls on the General Council to proactively seek to: 

  • resist any further restrictive trade union legislation and demand: 
  • the repeal of the Trade Union Act 2016 and all other anti-trade union legislation; 
  • stronger rights for unions to access workplaces, win recognition, and establish collective bargaining rights; and 
  • the right for trade union members to vote online during industrial action ballots, and statutory elections for executive committees and general secretaries. 
  • build coalitions to campaign for non-compliance and against further restrictive trade union legislation; 
  • build an appropriate industrial response to defend workers’ right to strike; 
  • implement a campaign alongside others defending the fundamental rights of working people to resist MSLs; 
  • legally challenge the Minimum Service Levels (MSLs) legislation; 
  • coordinate demands from affiliates and call on employers, devolved governments, mayors, fire authorities, local authorities and other public bodies to refuse to implement the MSLs legislation and issue work notices and work with the trade union movement to render MSLs inoperable; 
  • support demonstrations and hold a national march opposing the legislation and calling for repeal of the anti-union laws; 
  • mobilise support for any affiliate seeking assistance, whose union and members are sanctioned for non-compliance; 
  • organise a Special Congress, size to be determined, to explore options for non-compliance and resistance. 

Over 50 union branches and organisations and trades councils supported lobbying the TUC Congress in September. Send us details if your union also passes our model motion or the updated version below, and/or agreed to support our lobby of the TUC and we’ll include in this list 

This is an updated version after TUC Congress:- 

This (branch, committee, trades council etc) 

·         welcomes the TUC decision for a fighting strategy to oppose the Tories’ new anti-strike law, the Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Act, which will initially prevent nearly 6 million UK workers in health, education, transport, fire and rescue, and other public services from taking full industrial action; 

·         recognises the urgent need to build coalitions of non-compliance and against further extensions of the act by creating an appropriate industrial response to defend workers’ right to strike and protect any trade union attacked under this new law; 

·         supports the TUC call to coordinate demands on employers, devolved governments, mayors, fire authorities, local authorities, and other public bodies to refuse to issue ‘work notices’ under the act, which are discretionary and not mandatory, and will initiate and/or participate in national, local and regional demonstrations and lobbies of such employers in support of this demand. 

Public Meetings & Events:  

How do we defeat the anti-union laws? – 7pm, Wednesday 29 November

A public meeting organised by London trade union movement organisations, hosted by Battersea and Wandsworth Trades Council at the Bread & Roses 

The Bread & Roses, 68a Clapham Manor Street, London SW4 6DZ 

Register: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/how-do-we-defeat-the-anti-union-laws-tickets-737898312717?aff=oddtdtcreator/ OR https://bit.ly/29novantiunionlaws  

Provisional speakers include (more info shortly):- 

• Maria Exall, TUC President 2022-3 and Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) Greater London Combined 

• Riccardo la Torre, National Officer and anti-union laws lead for the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) 

• Jared Wood, RMT London Transport Regional Organiser 

• Maisie Sanders, teacher and National Education Union (NEU) rep, Hammersmith and Fulham 

• Plus reps / activists from unions including PCS and Unison 

The Workers’ Committee JT Murphy pamphlet launch – Thursday 7 December 

Strike Map and Manifesto Press have re-published the famous JT Murphy, The Workers’ Committee. This pamphlet outlines the first ever shop stewards’ movement in the country. The pamphlet will be launched at the People’s History Musuem on 7 December, starting at 7pm.   

Book your ticket, which includes a copy of the pamphlet, here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-workers-committee-jt-murphy-pamphlet-launch-tickets-742181223017  

Online Troublemakers at Work Meeting: Learning Lessons from the US Strike Wave – Thursday 7th December 7pm

Summer-autumn 2023 saw a strike wave in the USA involving Starbucks workers, healthcare workers, pilots, actors, writers, auto workers, and others. A major national strike of UPS parcel workers in the Teamsters was narrowly avoided. Some of the strikes, especially United Auto Workers’ strike against the “Big Three” car manufacturers, have been directly or indirectly linked to reform efforts within the unions, where networks of rank-and-file activists have come together to fight to transform their unions. Join this online discussion with US labour movement activists to discuss what we can learn from their strikes. Book your free place now via Zoom

Stop the attack on Gaza 

Many NSSN supporters have joined marches and protests against the escalation of violence in the Middle East, particularly the daily bombardment on Gaza by the Israeli government  

There are national and local protests taking place. See Stop the War website for info on these

A number of unions have issued statements, including: the TUC, FBU, RMT, NEU, Unite, Unison, PCS, ASLEF, TSSA, UCU, EIS, Equity, BMA, NUJ, UVW, GMB, SOR, RCM, RCN, IWGB, INTO (Ireland), SIPTU (Ireland) and Mandate (Ireland)  


NSSN news  

Get your trade union branch or trades council to affiliate to the NSSN – it only costs £50. Already affiliated? Please think about renewing it and/or making an additional donation to help our work. Also, many of our supporters pay a few pounds a month via a standing order.   

You can either pay online to ‘National Shop Stewards Network’, HSBC – sort code 40-06-41, account number 90143790.  

Or you can pay by cheque to ‘National Shop Stewards Network’ and post to NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE.   

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 Katrine on [email protected]   

The NSSN is developing a campaign pack for social care, which we hope to make available in the not-too-distant future for supporters to use in their localities. As part of this, communications officer Dave Gorton is keen to hear from supporters who:  

(1) work in social care (either local authority, private or independently provided)  

(2) represent social care workers for a trade union  

(3) are in need of social care provision themselves or act as an (unpaid/underpaid) carer for a family member  

Dave can be contacted in the first instance via [email protected]   


Union News  

You can receive this bulletin via email or you can choose to unsubscribe and stop receiving them. Like everyone else, the NSSN has to adhere to new data protection regulations. Therefore you must click here to subscribe/unsubscribe. Reports from unions do not necessarily reflect NSSN’s views.  



RMT National Dispute Fund  

BREAKING NEWS!! Tube strike ballot over pay begins today (21 Nov) – London Underground workers will start to receive ballot papers today asking them whether they want to take strike action over pay. RMT is unhappy at the latest pay offer from London Underground when Transport for London(TfL) has created a bonus pot of £13m for senior managers and the commissioner took an 11% pay rise in 2023. The union wants to see full staff travel facilities for all tube workers restored and has criticised bosses for freezing pay bands, saying it will create a two tier workforce. Tuesday 19th December is when the ballot will close read more

Video: Carlos Barros & Jared Wood – LU Pay Ballot 2023

Rail Gourmet workers win pay rise on TPE services (16 Nov) – Contracted out caterers working on TransPennine Express services have won a 21.21% pay increase following multiple strikes. RMT members employed by Rail Gourmet will see their average salary increase by over £4000 this year. Workers also won concessions around duty and leisure travel and an agreed roadmap towards improving wages and conditions further into the future. RMT general secretary, Mick Lynch said: “This is a fantastic victory for some of the most exploited workers on the railway read more


Bus workers to take strike action on Stagecoach East Midlands (14 Nov) – Stagecoach East Midlands workers to walkout over pay offer. Bus workers at Stagecoach East Midlands, are set to strike over a poor pay offer, RMT has announced. The stoppages that are due to take place are as follows:-

  • 02:00 hours on Monday 27th November 2023 to 01:59 on Wednesday 29th November 2023
  • 02:00 hours on Monday 4th December 2023 to 01:59 on Wednesday 6th December 2023
  • 02:00 hours on Monday 11th December 2023 to 01:59 on Wednesday 13th December 2023
  • 02:00 hours on Monday 18th December 2023 to 01:59 on Wednesday 20th December 2023

The union is calling on Stagecoach East Midlands to pay their staff a decent wage and provide good working conditions, arguing that low pay is endemic within the bus industry. Bus drivers currently only earn £10.93 an hour when they start the job with it only rising to £12.50 after one year’s service. This is despite the fact, Stagecoach’s latest financial report showing that it has paid out dividends to shareholders worth £47.5m read more

RMT extends strike mandate on London Underground (9 Nov) – Tube union, RMT has secured a further six month mandate for strike action on London Underground, following a successful re-ballot. In a long-running dispute over jobs, conditions and pensions, RMT members working on London Underground voted overwhelmingly to continue the campaign. 95% voted ‘yes’ on a 54% turnout and 52% of all those who were balloted voted ‘yes.’ The union will now consider its next steps in the campaign read more

RMT update on national rail dispute with train operators (8 Nov) – Following further negotiations between RDG and RMT, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the current dispute has been developed which sets out a process for a mutually agreed way forward, including a backdated 2022 pay rise for staff and job security guarantees. This will now be put to RMT members in each of the Train Operating Companies in a referendum vote. If accepted, this MOU will terminate the national dispute mandate, creating a pause and respite from industrial action over the Christmas period and into Spring next year, while allowing for these important negotiations on proposed reforms to take place at local train operating company level through the established collective bargaining structures. These discussions would be aimed at addressing the companies’ proposals on the changing needs and expectations of passengers as well as unlocking further increases for staff, in order to help to secure a sustainable, long-term future for the railway and all those who work on it read more

Caledonian Sleeper staff ballot for strike action (30 Oct) – RMT members working on the Caledonian Sleeper service will be balloted from tomorrow (October 31) for strike action over insufficient staffing levels. The ballot for train hosts and train host team leader grades will open on October 31 and close 21 November. Union representatives have accused the company of causing adverse stress and anxiety to the workforce by refusing to crew passenger services adequately. Management has also failed to adhere to a dispute resolution agreement reached in 2019, putting a further strain on industrial relations. Workers will be asked if they want to take strike action and action short of strike, which would include no rest day working and an overtime ban read more 

Royal Fleet Auxiliary opens ballot for strike action (11 Oct) – Seafarers at the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) could take strike action later this year, the RMT has warned. On Wednesday a nine-week ballot will open after RMT members rejected a below inflation pay offer from RFA management. RFA have offered a one year deal of 4.5 percent which is unacceptable to RMT members. Over 500 RFA seafarers will now be balloted for strike action with the vote opening Wednesday 11 October read more 


World Toilet Day 2023: The industry is still failing staff (17 Nov) – On World Toilet Day, Sunday 19 November we continue our calls for employers to provide appropriate hygiene facilities for rail workers read more

Rail strikes: Aslef announces industrial action in December (16 Nov) – Drivers to stage fresh series of 24-hour strikes and overtime ban after RMT signalled possible breakthrough. The train drivers’ union, Aslef, will stage a series of one-day strikes and call an overtime ban across England’s operating companies at the start of December, ratcheting up the national rail dispute again. Drivers at each company will strike for 24 hours on dates between Saturday 2 and Friday 8 December, and will refuse to work overtime between Friday 1 and Saturday 9 December, causing more disruption for operators that rely on rest-day working read more on the Guardian website


TSSA warns rolling back on front line staff on the Underground is putting women and LGBTQ+ at risk (17 Nov) – TSSA, today, warned that rolling back on front line staff is putting women and LGBTQ+ passengers at risk of hate crimes and harassment on the London transport network. According to London TravelWatch’s latest  survey “Out in London – LGBTQ+ people’s safety on the London transport network” one in five LGBTQ+ people experienced hate crime on transport network in the past year. This chimes with similar evidence from women reporting concerns about traveling on public transport in London, particularly after the murder of Sarah Everard read more


BREAKING NEWS!! All three frontline public transport trade unions record overwhelming votes for strike action over pay freeze (21 Nov) – Joint Unite-SIPTU-GMB News Release: Vote raises prospect of bus and rail services in Northern Ireland being brought to a standstill. Unions convene discussion with workplace reps to agree schedule of strike action. All three leading public transport unions representing frontline public transport workers report large majorities for strike action and action short of strike action among Translink employees responding in recent industrial action ballots. Unite reported a vote for strike action of 95.5%; GMB of 95.6% for strike and SIPTU of 93.1% – all on turnouts of 60% to 70%. The votes were taken by all three unions over a three-week period and followed a zero-percent pay offer by Translink management with no date being provided for talks on an improved pay offer. Translink and the Department for Infrastructure which funds them are pointing the finger of blame for the situation at the inadequacy of budgets provided as a result of the budget settlement imposed by the Secretary of State. The ballot results are unprecedented in that they were conducted by all three unions representing frontline Translink workers. Strike action on both bus and rail services is now inevitable unless an improved pay offer is made by Translink management. The three unions are convening a joint meeting of officials and senior workplace representatives to agree next steps and an initial schedule of strike action. Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham laid the blame for the strike with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland read more

BREAKING NEWS!! Royal Navy subs set for delays as Mersey shipyard workers vote to strike over pay (21 Nov) – Royal Navy Dreadnought submarines and Type 26 frigates built at Cammell Laird shipyard are set for delays after workers today [Monday 20 November 2023] voted to strike. More than 400 members of Unite and the GMB unions are ready to walk out in a dispute over pay and conditions. Workers include welders, pipefitters, electricians, fitters, labourers and cleaners as well as office staff voted to strike with a majority of 96 per cent in favour on a near 75 per cent turnout. They had been offered a pay increase of just 6 per cent – a real terms pay cut when inflation has been over ten per cent earlier this year. They are currently working on Dreadnought submarines and Type 26 frigates for the Royal Navy. Any industrial action would see significant delays to the construction process. The action could also impact Seatruck, Stenna and Calmac ferries as well as support vessels for the oil and gas industry. Dates for strike action will be announced in due course read more

BREAKING NEWS!! Chivas Brothers workers back strike action as whisky festive season supplies set to be hit hard (21 Nov) – Unite members reject real terms pay cut as company’s accounts show £168.5m profit. Unite the union has today (Tuesday 21 November) confirmed that its membership at Chivas Brothers across Scotland have emphatically backed strike action. Unite, is the main union at the company, representing hundreds of members at the Kilmalid, Dalmuir, Beith, Strathclyde Grain and Strathisla distilleries, and Dumbuck warehouse facility among others. Unite’s membership supported taking strike action by an emphatic 91.2 per cent. The union claimed that any forthcoming industrial action involving hundreds of its members will ‘hit hard’ festive season supplies of the company’s premier brands. Chivas employs around 1,500 workers in Scotland. The company produces Scotch whisky premier brands including Chivas Regal, Aberlour, Ballantine’s, Royal Salute and The Glenlivet read more

BREAKING NEWS!! Strike threat secures 12.7% pay boost for mechanical workers (21 Nov) – Deal improves on Labour Court recommendation rejected by Unite members. November 21st: Unite, which represents construction workers throughout the country, announced today (Tuesday) that it has secured a 12.7 per cent pay boost for plumbers, pipefitters and welders from January 2023 until 2026. The proposed deal improves on a Labour Court recommendation which was rejected by Unite members who subsequently voted by nearly 85 per cent to take strike action read more

Secretary of state’s threat to cut free and concessionary travel in Northern Ireland creates double whammy for bus and rail users (20 Nov) – Investment in improving public transport services in Northern Ireland needed not cuts. Bus and rail services are vital for greater inclusion and for a just transition to a more sustainable economy. Unite the union has warned that plans by the secretary of state Chris Heaton Harris to cut free and half-fare travel on buses and trains will have a devasting effect on the most vulnerable in society and will damage the economy. Earlier this year the department for infrastructure consulted on proposals which could see drastic restrictions to eligibility for free bus and rail fares – currently available in Northern Ireland to those with disabilities or aged 60 and above. Members of Unite which represents more than half the entire workforce of Translink, Northern Ireland’s public transport provider, is warning of the looming potential of strike action in an industrial dispute over a proposed pay freeze but threats to restrict or remove concessionary travel pose an additional concern for both jobs and public transport services read more

Alexander Dennis workers set for strike action in pay dispute (20 Nov) – Hundreds of Unite members reject real terms wages cut. Unite the union can confirm today (Monday 20 November) that its members based at Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) in Camelon, Falkirk, are set to take strike action in a dispute over pay. Unite can confirm that strike action at ADL is scheduled to take place for a fortnight from Monday 4 to 17 December. The strength of feeling at the factory was demonstrated by Unite members recording a 81.3 per cent yes vote on a 70 per cent turnout. Unite represents around 400 coach builders and spray painters at the factory read more

Unite determined to defend living standards as public sector unions prepare for pay talks in Ireland (19 Nov) – Union will not shy away from collective action in pursuit of cost-of-living pay increases. Unite, which represents members in a range of public sector employments, today (Sunday) said that public sector workers have demonstrated over the past year that they will not shy away from collective action in a bid to defend and improve their living standards. Officers of the ICTU Public Services Committee, of which Unite is a member, are preparing to meet the government in the coming days for talks on a successor to the ‘Building Momentum’ public sector pay deal. Unions are seeking assurances that the infamous ‘Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest’(FEMPI) legislation introduced in 2009 will be scrapped ahead of talks where the union side will be focusing on pay increases to meet ongoing cost-of-living pressures, an agreed process to deal with sectoral issues and measures to ‘future-proof’ quality public services and public sector jobs read more

Unite backs UK steel workers with plan for growth not job cuts (18 Nov) – Responding to some recent mistaken reporting about Unite’s plans for the steel industry, Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Unite reps in steel met yesterday and unanimously agreed a workers’ plan for steel for all plants including Port Talbot. Unite’s plan is about growth in steel jobs that will transform the UK into the global green steel capital…” read more

Luton braced for bus disruption as Centrebus drivers’ strike (17 Nov) – Drivers striking for pay parity as Luton Arriva pays £1.91 an hour more. Centrebus drivers in Luton are to take strike action over pay, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Friday). The drivers are angry that they are paid £1.91 less an hour than their counterparts working for Arriva in Luton…The drivers, who are based at the Bilton Way Centrebus garage, will strike on 28 and 29 November. The industrial action will escalate if the dispute is not resolved read more

Solidarity march in Skelton over future of Texon factory (16 Nov) – Specialist supplier to big name sportswear brands under threat of closure with 80 jobs going overseas. Textile workers past and present will be marching in solidarity in East Cleveland tomorrow (Friday 17 November) over the threat to close the Texon factory in Skelton. The factory makes high-quality insoles for sportswear brands like Nike and Adidas and has been in Cleveland for over 50 years. The employer has recently announced plans to close the factory and move production to Indonesia… On 18 October, the employer announced it was entering a redundancy consultation with a view of closing the factory and moving all work to Indonesia read more

New pay offer for Scottish Water workers on table (16 Nov) – Unite confirms industrial action suspended. Unite the union can confirm that the joint trade unions and Scottish Water agreed late last night (Wednesday 15 November) to put a new pay offer to the workforce following a further round of talks held at the conciliation service Acas. As part of the negotiations, it was jointly agreed that the proposed new grading structure at Scottish Water would be decoupled from the 2023 pay offer. All parties agreed to enter into discussions on a new grading structure on the basis that it directly and fully involves the unions as part of long-standing collective bargaining processes. The new pay offer will be put to Unite’s 500-strong Scottish Water membership in a consultative ballot which opens on Friday 17 November and closes on Monday 4 December. All industrial action is suspended until the ballot process is complete read more

United Utilities dividend increase highlights need for water reform (16 Nov) – Commenting on United Utilities interim financial results for the six months to September, Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “The fact that United Utilities is increasing dividend payments to shareholders despite its pretax profits supposedly decreasing by 62.5 per cent to £160 million is further evidence that the water industry needs serious reform. “The handing over of such an essential public utility to profit-driven groups has seen countless millions being siphoned off, while costs, waste and pollution have all increased. The overwhelming evidence is that privatised utilities are failing the public and the environment – it is time to bring water back into public ownership.” Read more

Hull paramedics warn of queues of up to 25 ambulances at Hull Royal Infirmary (16 Nov) – Patients at risk as ambulances diverted to Leeds, Scarborough and York. Yorkshire Ambulance Service workers are warning of risks to patients because ambulances are stuck queuing at Hull Royal Infirmary, with instances of as many as 25 waiting out of around 30 available vehicles. The waits to drop off patients have resulted in ambulances being diverted to Leeds, York and even Scarborough. There are reports of emergency calls not being responded to in time and patients not receiving the urgent care they need and even dying as a result read more

Unite warns secretary of state Chris Heaton-Harris that workers will resist of punitive measures (16 Nov) – Second wave of consultations on harsh ‘revenue raising’ programme are published by departments at the demand of the secretary of state. Unite the union has told the secretary of state for Northern Ireland Chris Heaton-Harris that workers will not accept the punitive ‘revenue-raising’ measures he is pushing. The new measures include overturning agreed Stormont policy to end car parking charges at hospitals, introducing water rates on domestic homeowners, removing the cap on university tuition fees and introducing both care charges and prescription charges read more

Alstom job cuts: Unite calls for radical action to secure future of Derby train manufacturer (15 Nov) – Unite, the UK’s leading union, is calling for the creation of a joint taskforce to secure the long-term future of the Alstom train manufacturing site in Litchchurch Lane, Derby. The demand from Unite, which represents hundreds of workers at the Alstom factory, follows the announcement that 1,300 plus jobs at the company are at risk and a further 900 plus jobs are under threat in its supply chain. The proposed job losses are a direct result of the delay in the construction of HS2, Alstom has secured the contract to build the trains for that project but work will not begin until 2026. The majority of the current work at the company will be completed early next year read more

NHS Tayside estates workers escalate industrial action over ‘second class’ pay and conditions (15 Nov) – Workers to down tools for five days a week at major hospitals across Tayside as health board refuses independent review. Unite, Scotland’s leading trade union, can confirm that strike action by NHS Tayside estates workers will now escalate this week as part of a protracted dispute over jobs, pay and conditions. Strike action will begin today (Wednesday 15 November), and is in addition to the current two days scheduled on Thursday and Friday each week. The latest development increases the number of strike days to three per week – every week. Unite members are also withdrawing weekend cover. This means that the workers will not return to work until Monday 20 November at 08:00. The dispute centres on the failure of NHS Tayside to locally implement recognised national conditions for craft workers. Unite claims this is contributing to an ongoing underpayment of wages. The action involves around 60 estates workers including electricians, joiners, and plumbers read more

Unite workers in Education Authority set to commence 48-hour strike action tomorrow over failure to deliver pay & grading review (14 Nov) – Union warns of significant disruption to school transport and to some schools on first day of strike ahead of wider industrial action. Communication from Department of Education confirms that business case for negotiated commitment has still not been submitted. Almost 800 members of Unite the union working as school support staff will commence a 48-hour strike commencing at 00.01am tomorrow [15 November 2023]. Other school support staff unions – Unison, GMB and NIPSA – will join the strike on the second day in what will be one of the biggest strikes among non-teaching unions in years. The latest action by Unite members follows a ballot which returned a 94 per cent majority for industrial action; a work-to-rule in the dispute commenced on October 23. The strike is likely to cause significant disruption to many schools given the concentration of Unite membership in school bus transport, catering, admin, cleaning, classroom assistants and other roles. The strike is the latest development in Unite’s ongoing industrial dispute over the failure to deliver a pay and grading review to education workers as part of a negotiated resolution of the 2022 pay dispute read more

Warrington’s Own Buses on verge of strikes after worker dismissed for ‘union activities’ (14 Nov) – 83% of workers in favour of striking due to ‘bullying culture’ and ‘unjustified’ sacking. Warrington’s Own Buses are at risk of serious strike disruption due to the sacking of a union rep on ‘trumped up charges’ and the company’s ‘bullying culture’, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Tuesday). Unite believes the sacking was a targeted attack related to the worker’s legitimate trade union activities. In response, a consultative ballot was carried out that resulted in an 83 per cent vote in favour of strike action at the council owned company. The worker was sacked after his bus broke down because he took a picture of the vehicle’s undercarriage to show the fault more clearly to the engineer who had been called out. The company dismissed the worker for breaching health and safety rules as the engine was still running when he bent down to take the picture. This is despite the company admitting other workers had done similar things and not been sacked for them. During the worker’s appeal, the company then changed its reason for dismissing him. This time, the company claimed it was because it was believed that the worker, who had previously worked as a mechanic, would have tried to fix the fault himself if given the opportunity, although the worker did no such thing. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Warrington’s Own Buses’ trumped up charges are nonsensical and spurious. This is a barely disguised attempt to get rid of this worker for carrying out his legitimate trade union duties. Warrington’s Own Buses need to reinstate this worker immediately, otherwise this issue will be resolved through industrial and legal action. Unite never tolerates attacks on our workplace representatives and this worker has the full force of the union behind him.” Warrington’s Own Buses is wholly owned by Labour controlled Warrington borough council, which is already embroiled in a pay dispute with its refuse workers, who are currently on strike read more

SQA workers back strike action over pay (14 Nov) – Dispute at nation’s education qualifications body centres on ‘unacceptable’ pay offer. Unite the union can confirm today (14 November) that its members at the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) have overwhelmingly voted to support strike action. Hundreds of members backed strike action by 72 per cent on an 80 per cent turnout. The union’s members work in all grades and job roles at the nation’s education qualifications body including administrators, managers, processors and researchers. The pay dispute centres on the SQA’s two-year pay offer for 2023 and 2024. For the majority of Unite’s members, the current SQA offer equates to no more than 5.75 per cent in 2023, and 3.15 per cent in 2024. Broader inflation (RPI) in contrast has varied between 8.9 and 13.8 per cent throughout 2023 read more

Further Go North East talks fail to resolve pay dispute (14 Nov) – Go North East unwilling to increase pay offer – strikes to continue. Further talks aimed at bringing the continuous bus strikes in the North East to an end have ended in a stalemate, Unite can reveal today (14 November 2023). Talks between Unite and Go North East management took place earlier today but a failure by Go North East to increase its pay offer ultimately meant that the talks ended without any resolution. Bus strikes across Go North East network will continue indefinitely. Unite is prepared to return to talks at any stage and engage in constructive negotiations but this requires good faith from both parties read more

Greene King contractor not “pouring happiness” into the lives of workers (13 Nov) – Lorry drivers and warehouse staff working for GXO taking strike action over below-inflation pay offer. Members of the Unite trade union are to take part in a series of strikes after their employer tried to impose a real-terms pay cut. HGV drivers and warehouse workers at logistics giant GXO, based in Runcorn and contracted to the Greene King brewery, have been offered just a four per cent pay rise this year, despite inflation running at over nine per cent for much of the year. The workers will now be striking on three separate occasions in November and December. Workers at GXO deliver beer to Greene King pubs across the North West and up to the Lake District and Carlisle. Industrial action could see taps run dry in pubs leaving drinkers turning elsewhere for their pints in the run-up to Christmas. Strikes are to take place at the Runcorn warehouse on 23 November for 24 hours, followed by longer strikes on 30 November – 1 December and 6-8 December. More dates for industrial action will be announced if members don’t receive a fair pay offer read more

Mum’s not gone to Iceland this Christmas (13 Nov) – Warehouse workers in Swindon set to strike over low pay. Warehouse staff in Wiltshire working on behalf of the Iceland supermarket chain are preparing to take strike action in the run-up to Christmas, Unite announced today (10 November). Unite members employed by the logistics contractor, GXO, work in the cold storage warehouses that supply Iceland supermarkets across the South West of England. The majority earn the minimum wage and have rejected a below-inflation two-year pay deal offered by GXO. Despite further negotiations by Unite, GXO has refused to offer a fair pay rise to workers who endure sub-zero temperatures throughout their shifts. Close to 150 Unite members across two sites in Swindon could now walk out in December and continue industrial action into the new year. Workers will begin to be balloted from today (Monday 13 November) with the ballot closing in a fortnight’s time. An earlier consultative ballot indicated a willingness to take industrial action in their campaign for a fair wage. Industrial action would cripple GXO’s ability to transport stock to Iceland supermarkets and could see a shortage on shelves and freezers in the run-up to Christmas read more

Council “dithering” means Warrington refuse strikes will extend into the festive season Unite sets further strike action (10 Nov) – Unite sets further strike action from 21 November until 4 December. Unite has blamed Warrington council for a fourth phase of strike action accusing council leaders of dither and delay. This week a provisional agreement was agreed but the council has not confirmed the proposals in writing meaning Unite cannot consult it members on the proposal. The 70 plus workers say the national pay offer of a flat rate increase of £1,925 is not good enough. The offer is below the rate of inflation and amounts to a real terms pay cut. But a complete lack of urgency shown by the council towards resolving this dispute is needlessly delaying a resolution. The third phase of strike action by refuse workers began earlier this week (Wednesday 8 November) and ends on 20 November read more

Imperial Logistics lorry strikes threaten Mini car production (9 Nov) – Imperial Logistics lorry strikes threaten Mini car production. Lorry drivers working at the Mini car plant in Oxford are to walk out over proposed changes to their pay and conditions. Members of the Unite union will begin a ban on all overtime beginning on 14 November and then take part in 14 days of strike action in November and December at the BMW Mini car plant in Oxfordshire, it was announced today (9 November). Strikes could be a threat to plant production at the famous Mini factory as LGV drivers are angry at the proposals to potentially cut pay by 20 per cent due to a reduction in working hours being introduced with new shift patterns or job cuts as an alternative. Imperial Logistics which runs the LGV operation at the plant, owned by BMW, has recently been taken over by DP World – the company responsible for sacking 800 P&O Ferry workers in 2022. They are seeking to change the shift patterns for LGV drivers and impose a 20 per cent cut in pay or cut jobs. Forty one drivers will now be heading to the picket line later this month unless Imperial, and their parent company, come back to the table and ensure no reduction in pay, no job losses, and no abuse of the banked hours scheme read more

Packaging strikes risk Christmas Amazon, Cadbury and Direct Wines deliveries (8 Nov) – DS Smith LGV drivers delivering cardboard to strike over real terms pay cut. A fleet of DS Smith LGV drivers delivering packaging cardboard and paper to major retailers, including Amazon, will strike over pay in the run up to Christmas, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Wednesday). The strikes will compromise the ability of DS Smith clients, which also include Direct Wines, Cadbury and Haribo, to package items for mail order delivery to customers during the festive season. The drivers, based in Launceston in Cornwall, Sittingbourne in Kent, Avonmouth in Bristol and Tuxford in Nottinghamshire, have rejected a five per cent pay offer. This is a significant real terms pay cut when the real of inflation, RPI, stood at 11.3 per cent when the pay rise should have been implemented in May. The workers are employed by DS Smith Logistics, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of DS Smith PLC. According to its latest financial report DS Smith PLC brought in a pretax profit of £661 million during 2022/23 – a 71 per cent increase on the year before…The drivers also provide delivery services for British Gypsum, VPK Packaging, Cepac, Board 24 and Sinat Portbury. In addition, the drivers pick up recycling at distribution centres for Tesco, Morrisons, Aldi, Lidl, Coop, ASOS, Biffa and Veolia. A large pileup of uncollected cardboard recycling will cause significant disruptions to the operations of these companies. An initial seven days of strike action will take place between 20 and 27 November, with strike action set to intensify throughout December if the dispute is not resolved read more

Over 1,200 First Glasgow drivers ‘emphatically’ back strike action (8 Nov) – Week-long action to begin on 24 November. Unite the union has today (Wednesday 8 November) confirmed that over 1,200 First Glasgow drivers have emphatically backed strike action in a dispute over pay. The bus drivers voted by 99 per cent in support of strike action on a high turnout of 77 per cent. Unite, which represents the workers, has confirmed that strike action is scheduled to start at 4am on Friday 24 November continuing until Friday 1 December when the action concludes at 3.59am. The significant escalation in the dispute follows Unite’s membership rejecting an unacceptable pay offer also by 99 per cent. The offer was declined on the basis that it falls significantly below the pay levels of other drivers across First Group’s UK operations. The drivers are employed by First Glasgow (No.1) and at First Glasgow (No.2). The companies are part of First Group PLC’s bus operations in Scotland. The drivers are based in the following bus depots: Blantyre, Caledonia, Dumbarton, Overtown and Scotstoun read more

Striking Cornwall GRS concrete mixer drivers protest at Nuneaton HQ (8 Nov) – Workers striking over low pay, union-busting and intimidation. Striking ready-mix concrete HGV drivers from Cornwall will hold a protest outside their employer GRS’ Nuneaton headquarters on Friday read more

West London bus chaos as 350 drivers and engineers strike (7 Nov) – RATP-owned London Transit workers angry at real terms pay cut. More than 350 West London bus drivers and engineers will begin six days of strike action over pay on Friday (10 November), Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Tuesday). The workers, who are employed by London Transit, which is owned by French-company RATP, are striking after they rejected a 6.8 per cent pay offer. This is a significant real terms pay cut as the real rate of inflation, RPI, stood at 11.4 per cent when the pay increase was supposed to be applied in April. The dispute is also over the company’s attempt to reduce terms and conditions, including removing a longstanding £500 meal relief payment and attacking arrangements for a how workers take days off in lieu. Increasing bad feeling at the company, is the fact that it takes workers seven years to reach the full rate of pay, even though at most other bus companies it only takes three years of service…The workers are based at the Westbourne Park Garage and the strikes will impact the 13, 23, 28, 218, 295, 414, 452 and N28 routes. Strikes will take place on 10 and 13 November and 1, 4, 22 and 23 December. The industrial action will escalate if the dispute is not resolved read more

West Midlands steel coil workers poverty pay strikes intensify (7 Nov) – ArcelorMittal workers angry at real terms pay cut while firm rakes in millions. Poverty pay strikes by West Midlands workers making steel products for the automotive and construction industries at the ArcelorMittal factory in Willenhall have intensified. The workers, who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, earn an average of £11.24 per hour, with some receiving just the national minimum wage. They have rejected a pay rise of seven per cent. This is a significant, real terms pay cut when the true rate of inflation, RPI, stood at 11.4 per cent when the rise was due to be implemented in April of this year. The low wages at the factory stand in stark contrast to the money being made by their employer. ArcelorMittal Distribution Solutions latest available financial returns show it had a turnover of £267.5 million and operating profits of £33.1 million in 2021. The workers have already taken 17 days of strike action since strikes began in September. Beginning today, they will strike for a further 11 days during November and a further four days in December. The current round of strike action will end on 8 December, however further strike action will be scheduled if the dispute is not resolved by then. ArcelorMittal is sending work to sister plants and competitor companies as a result of the strikes, with the large costs of diverting the work about to significantly increase as the dispute escalates…Strikes will take place on 7, 8, 10, 14, 15, 17, 20, 23, 24, 28 and 29 November and 1, 4, 5 and 8 December read more

Thousands of engineering construction workers ready to strike after rejecting pay offer (6 Nov) – Strike ballot of over 3,000 oil refinery and power station engineers enlarged as dispute grows. Thousands of engineering construction workers are ready to strike after they rejected an ‘inadequate’ pay offer, with more set to be balloted, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Monday). The workers, who operate under the National Agreement for the Engineering Construction Industry (NAECI), last week voted by 86 per cent to reject a two year pay offer of 10 per cent for 2024 and five per cent for 2025. The offer, from the employers who negotiate the NAECI agreement with unions, does not go far enough to restore years of falling wages for engineering construction workers. Since the pandemic, pay for engineering construction workers has fallen by 20 per cent in real terms. During Covid, a pay freeze was imposed on the workers even though they provided essential services throughout the crisis. In January 2022, they received a two year pay deal of 2.5 per cent for 2022 and the same percentage increase for 2023 – even though inflation was soaring into double digits…Unite’s NAECI members carry out essential repair and maintenance at oil refineries, power stations and pharmaceutical and petro-chemical plants. Workers at Drax, Sellafield, Stanlow, Pembroke, Grangemouth, Teesside Sabic TIP and Runcorn Project Summer Vynova have already voted for strike action. Due to the strength of feeling amongst NAECI members, Unite is also preparing to ballot even more workers at other sites across the country to join any industrial action read more

Strathclyde university workers strike in pay dispute (6 Nov) – 400 Unite members walk out for five days. Unite the union has today (Monday 6 November) confirmed that around 400 members employed at the University of Strathclyde will take strike action over five days this week. The Strathclyde workers will strike from Monday 6 November until close of the working day on Friday 10 November as part of a UK wide pay dispute. Unite’s members involved in the pay dispute includes technicians, cleaners, security officers, and janitors. The vast majority of Unite’s members in higher education across Scotland have had a five-six per cent pay offer imposed on them by the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) pay body. The pay imposition follows a derisory uplift of three per cent for the majority of members in 2022. Despite local negotiations with the University of Strathclyde to secure an improved pay deal, Unite confirmed that ‘insufficient progress’ has been made to avert the latest round of strike action. This follows previous rounds of strike action at the university on 13, 14, 15, 18 and 19 September, and 5 and 6 October read more

Vista Therm workers to commence new wave of industrial action tomorrow (5 Nov) – Strike action to recommence by the workforce at Vista Therm after Unite reballoted over management union-busting. Industrial action follows previous twelve-week strike for cost of living pay increase and union recognition. Unite the union has served notice on Vista Therm, a specialist glass manufacturer based at Silverwood Business Park, Craigavon that a new wave of industrial action by its members will commence with a 24-hour strike from 00.01am tomorrow, Monday [November 6th]. Workers will be establishing pickets outside the workplace from 7am to 8.30am in the morning and between 3pm and 4.30pm in the afternoon. The latest action occurs after the union’s membership voted with a 97 per cent majority for strike action over management union-busting activities. During the previous period of strike action, management dismissed two young workers and suspended another two, including a Unite shop steward. The Vista Therm workforce overwhelmingly comprises foreign nationals including a large majority of workers whose first language is Polish or Ukrainian. The industrial dispute represents a touchstone case for the wider exploitation of foreign national workers read more

Unions demand urgent meeting with secretary of state for Northern Ireland in campaign for a pay increase for bus and rail workers (3 Nov) – DfI permanent secretary tells trade unions that inadequate budget leaves him unable to properly fund public transport. Unite, GMB and SIPTU members working in Translink continue to vote in unprecedented coordinated industrial ballot. A delegation of Translink workplace reps and union officers from Unite, GMB and SIPTU met with the permanent secretary of the Department for Infrastructure Denis McMahon this week (Wednesday 1 November). The delegation warned tht workers are set to vote for strike action over a proposed pay freeze by Translink management. The permanent secretary expressed regret that he was unable to provide ‘clarity’ on a timeframe for improved public transport funding to allow bus and rail workers to receive a fair pay increase as his “department does not have the resources it needs”. All three unions have now written to secretary of state for Northern Ireland Chris Heaton-Harris, who has responsibility for setting the budget for departments in the absence of a functioning Stormont executive. They are seeking a meeting on the funding of public transport services to allow for a pay increase for Translink workers. If transport workers vote for industrial action, industrial action could commence from early December. Any industrial action would bring Northern Ireland to a standstill and have a huge impact on the economy. The anniversary date (when a pay increase was due) for these pay negotiations was April 2023 and the twelve-month inflation at that point using RPI – the most accurate measure – was 11 per cent. That means in real terms workers are facing more than a 11 per cent pay cut read more

Clyde shipyard type 26 Frigate contractors balloted over strike action (3 Nov) – CBL Cable Contractors in pay and conditions dispute. Unite, Scotland’s leading trade union, confirmed today (Friday 3 November) that over 30 members contracted to work on the new type 26 Frigate on the Clyde are being balloted for strike action in a dispute over pay and conditions. The Unite members including electricians, labourers and cable hands are employed by CBL Cable Contractors Limited based at BAE Systems on the Clyde. The contractors are demanding to be paid the BAE Systems yard rate, or an additional £1 per hour on top of the current rates of pay. The dispute also relates to travel related payments which Unite’s members are due as the BAE workplace falls under the scope of the Joint Industry Board Agreement. The agreement sets the standards for employment, grading and apprentice training in the electrical contracting industry. This includes travel time and the use of a personal vehicle to travel to work which entitles workers to a mileage allowance. The industrial action ballot opens on 7 November and closes on 20 November. If the ballot is successful then strike action could take place from early December read more

Haringey Council workers protest at town hall to warn of strike escalation (2 Nov) – Housing repair workers will stage a protest this Friday to warn Haringey council that strike action will extend into next year unless the local authority gets serious about negotiations read more

Unite steps up action in fight for fair pay and safe staffing in London NHS Trust (1 Nov) – Further strike action taking place across the Barts NHS Trust due to management inertia over pay and staffing levels. Unite, the UK’s leading union, is escalating its dispute with Barts NHS Trust as its members undertake a wave of fresh strikes in London this month. The strikes are part of Unite’s campaign to increase pay and end unsafe staffing afflicting NHS workers. Over 1,000 workers at Barts Health NHS Trust are in dispute over pay, safe staffing levels, bank rates and lump-sum payments. Workers are experiencing staff shortages, which have reached such a level that they risk the health of patients and threaten staff welfare. Earlier this month it was reported that the government could face a judicial review over its failure to pay the lump-sum award to thousands of outsourced staff. The lump sum payment is worth £1,655 lump sum payment and was part of the NHS pay settlement for 2022/23. The workers, who primarily undertake soft facilitator roles (cleaners, housekeepers, caterers, porters, etc), were previously employed by outsourcer Serco and only transferred back to the NHS in recent months. The trust has refused to honour the lump sum payment. Unite has also rejected the government’s pay deal as it amounted to a further real terms pay cut for NHS workers. Staff at Barts and Synergy (an outsourcing company providing linen services) taking industrial action includes nurses, biomedical scientists, clinical engineers, porters, cleaners and auxiliary staff. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Barts could easily end this dispute but it is refusing to agree to Unite’s reasonable demands. Our NHS members are fighting for fair pay and to put an end to dangerously low levels of staffing – something that puts patients in danger and which this government wants to ignore. “It is an outrage that our members at Barts, who are some of the lowest paid staff in the NHS and who are struggling during this cost-of-living crisis, have been denied the lump-sum payment they are entitled to.” All members employed by Barts Trust will take strike action for three days from 00.01 on Monday 6 November until 23.59 on 8 November 2023. Members employed in catering, domestic, patient ambassador, portering, security, sewing room and ward host roles; will take a more extensive period of strike action from 00.01 hours on Monday 6 November continuous for 12 days until 23.59 on Friday 17 November read more

Chivas Brothers across Scotland strike ballot to hit festive season supplies (30 Oct) – Hundreds of Unite members balloted over ‘unacceptable’ pay offer. Unite has today (Monday 30 October) confirmed that its membership at Chivas Brothers across Scotland are being balloted on strike action which could hit festive supplies of the company’s premier drink brands. Unite, which is the main union at the company, represents hundreds of members at the company’s Kilmalid, Dalmuir, Beith, Strathclyde Grain and Strathisla distilleries, and Dumbuck warehouse facility among others. Chivas employs around 1,500 workers in Scotland. Unite is warning that if the membership back strike action, then this will ‘hit hard’ supplies of the drinks giant’s premier brands over the festive season. The company produces Scotch whisky brands including Chivas Regal, Aberlour, Ballantine’s, Royal Salute and The Glenlivet. The ballots opens on Monday (30 October) and closes on 20 November read more 

Offshore Odfjell drillers balloted on strike action (27 Oct) – Equinor and TAQA installations dispute over working rota and paid leave. Unite, Scotland’s leading offshore trade union, confirmed today (27 October) that hundreds of Odfjell offshore drillers are being balloted in a dispute over working rotas and paid annual leave. The disputes involves crews on Equinor’s Mariner unit and TAQA units including Harding, Tern Alpha, East Brae, Brae Alpha and the North Cormorant. The members involved includes drillers, electricians, mechanics, and materials controllers. The ballot which runs for five weeks opens today (27 October) and closes on 7 December. Strike action could take place early next year if the ballots are successful. The dispute centres on Odfjell’s refusal to reform working rotas and provide paid annual leave. The drillers currently work three weeks on and three weeks off, which leaves them at a disadvantage compared with other offshore workers on the installations operated by Equinor and TAQA. Operator staff, caterers and construction workers all operate on a rota of two weeks on and three off. Odfjell and the operators have stated that any change to the working rotas will result in the drillers having to sacrifice pay read more 

Unite calls for immediate investigation into potential illegal use of agency workers designed to break Cardiff strike (27 Oct) – Unite the union is calling for an immediate investigation by Cardiff Council into the potential use of agency workers to undermine the current strike action by Unite within the local authority. Unite has found evidence that employment agencies may be supplying labour and advertising positions, to cover work that would normally be undertaken by workers currently on strike. The use of “scab” agency labour to undermine strikes is a criminal offence and carries with it large fines and other punishments, not only for the employment agencies concerned but also Cardiff Council itself read more 

DuPont Teijin Films workers to resume strike action as Unite warns to disruption ‘last months’ (26 Oct) – Dumfries based plant to be hit by further stoppages in escalating pay dispute. Unite the union can confirm today (Thursday 26 October) that it has served notice on a further round of stoppages to hit the Dumfries based DuPont Teijin Films (DTF) plant. A new round of strike action involving around 100 members of Unite covering all shifts at the plant will start tomorrow on 27 October and conclude on 5 November (see notes to editor). The trade union has warned that unless DTF get back round the negotiating table with a ‘serious offer’ then disruption at the plant could last for months. Unite has accused DTF management of by-passing the agreed collective bargaining procedures, and the workforce’s trade union representatives, to impose a 3.3 per cent wage offer in April. The broader rate of inflation (RPI) hit 11.4 per cent at the time of the pay offer. DTF is a major supplier of polyester films for electrical, medical, photo, print and photovoltaic uses to UK supermarkets, as well as institutional catering for hospitals, schools and home-meals for the elderly…The new wave of strike action follows the stoppages taking place on 20, 22, 24, 26 and 28 September. A continuous overtime ban has also been in place since July read more 

Winter of industrial action looms over Coventry after refuse workers vote for action (25 Oct) – Winter of industrial action looms over Coventry after refuse workers vote for action. Loaders who empty bins during heatwaves and hailstorms vote for action by a margin of 74%. Coventry Council refuse workers employed as loaders have overwhelmingly voted for strike action and action short of a strike. Coventry council is attempting to impose significant cuts to the workers’ terms and conditions. More than 40 HGV refuse lorry drivers employed by Labour-controlled Coventry council have already voted for strike action read more 

Oxfam workers poised to strike for first time over poverty pay ‘hypocrisy’ (25 Oct) – Workers at anti-poverty charity using foodbanks due to low pay. Hundreds of struggling Oxfam workers across the UK are balloting for strike action for the first time after rejecting a substandard pay offer. This is despite Oxfam having huge reserves and its public stance condemning UK poverty and real-terms wage cuts. Oxfam GB office and retail workers, most earning little more than the minimum wage, rejected a pay offer of £1,750 or six per cent (whichever is higher), plus a one-off payment of £1,000. Average wages at Oxfam have fallen by 21 per cent in real terms since 2018. The charity is now seeking to impose the offer and is refusing to engage in further negotiations with Unite, even though the union’s members rejected it by 79 per cent in a ballot. In response, Unite will ballot its members for strike action from 26 October to 16 November read more 

Klarius Stoke-on-Trent strikes intensifies after inadequate sick pay offer rejected (23 Oct) – Workers angry over ‘disgraceful’ fire and rehire sick pay threats. Striking Stoke-on-Trent workers employed by Klarius Products have rejected an inadequate sick pay offer from the company and will intensify their strike action, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Monday). The workers began a series of strikes in September in response to the company’s threats to fire and rehire them in order to drastically reduce sick pay for some of its most long serving and loyal workforce. The problems at the company are a result of the creation of a two-tier workforce. Workers on the traditional contracts receive a very fair company sick pay scheme, while workers on the inferior, newer contracts only receive statutory sick pay (SSP). Klarius’ solution is to introduce a new sick pay scheme, but it would result in many workers experiencing sizeable cuts in their entitlement. The workers have since rejected an offer from the company that would have seen their sick pay reduced over three years to just two weeks from five. This is not acceptable to Unite’s membership as they have sacrificed terms and conditions in previous years in order to retain the original sick pay scheme…The workers have taken 16 days of strike action since 12 September. They will now strike Monday through to Friday every week from 6 November to 1 December read more 

Unite ballots Oceaneering workers in escalating pay dispute (16 Oct) – Rosyth based company pay offer overwhelmingly rejected. Unite, Scotland’s leading trade union, confirmed that around 90 workers will be balloted on strike action in an escalating pay dispute with the Port of Rosyth based company Oceaneering. Oceaneering International Services Limited has made a 6 per cent pay offer plus a one-off payment which by 84 per cent has been overwhelmingly rejected by the workers. The pay offer rejection follows the workers having received a 1 per cent increase in 2022 which represented a massive real terms pay cut with inflation rocketing to hit 14 per cent last year…The ballot opens on 18 October and closes on 8 November read more 

240 craft workers to strike in dispute with West Lothian council (16 Oct) – Unite demands overdue pay. Unite the union confirmed today (Monday 16 October) around 240 craft members employed by West Lothian council will take strike action in a dispute over money-owed to the workforce. Strike action will start tomorrow at 08.00 (17 October) until 19 October when the action stops at 16.30. The members previously supported strike action by 96.3 per cent. The dispute is due to the failure of West Lothian council to pay craft workers carrying out additional tasks under the terms of the existing craft agreement. The workforce includes joiners, plumbers, electricians, plasterers, bricklayers, skilled labourers, blacksmiths, and heating engineers read more 

Kaefer contractors at Mossmorran balloted over strike action (13 Oct) – Unite hits out at operator Shell as workers offered ‘nothing’. Unite the union has today (Friday 13 October) confirmed that around 140 Kaefer maintenance and repair contractors based at the Mossmorran Natural Gas Liquids (NGL) plant, in Cowdenbeath are being balloted for strike action. The dispute centres on the contractor Kaefer making no formal cost of living offer for 2023. Unite says it has been left with ‘no option’ but to launch the ballot in response to Kaefer’s failure to make a cost of living payment, and it is blaming the operator Shell for the stand-off. The ballot will open on 16 October and closes on 13 November read more 

UK Packaging Awards in London hit by Cepac ‘fire and rehire’ protest (12 Oct) – Unite demands Darlington-firm Cepac nominations rescinded over shocking dismissal of workers. A demonstration will be held outside of the UK Packaging Awards in London this evening (Thursday 12 October), over nominee Cepac’s attempts to fire and rehire workers striking over pay. The workers, who are based at the company’s Darlington factory,  have been on strike over pay and the slashing of terms and conditions since Monday 14 August, with industrial action set to last until 6 November. Rather than enter into negotiations, Cepac threatened headcount reductions and fire and rehire for the remaining workers. On 6 October, the company issued redundancy notices for the striking workers with the intention of making them sign new inferior contracts read more 

Unite suspends planned industrial action at Luton Airport (11 Oct) – Due to the serious fire at Luton Airport, Unite has suspended planned strike action by cleaners and parking attendants. Planned action by cleaners employed by Sasse scheduled between Saturday 14 October and Wednesday 18 October will be suspended as will the action by parking attendants employed by APCOA which was due to take place between Friday 13 and Friday 20 October read more 

Strikes to go ahead at Cambridge University (11 Oct) – Facilities, library and IT staff to walk out over lack of improved pay offer. Essential workers at Cambridge University are to strike after the university cut their pay in real terms. The university, one of the world’s most prestigious institutes of learning, is only offering between a five and six per cent increase. With RPI currently sitting at nine per cent that represents a real terms pay cut of at least three per cent. Unite’s members are demanding above-inflation rises to cope with the cost of living crisis in one of the most expensive parts of the UK outside London. Over 450 members working in the university library, the department of engineering, estate management, the Fitzwilliam Museum, information services and many other departments are to take strike action, likely resulting in building closures and repairs not taking place. Strikes will take place on four days: 24, 26 October and 1, 7 November read more  

Workers launch campaign against low pay and zero hours at Greenwich Leisure Limited (10 Oct) – Workers in Bromley have voted for strike action by a margin of 86%. The controversial social enterprise Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) is back in the spotlight after workers at Bromley libraries voted for a campaign of industrial action. The workers are fighting against a race to the bottom in local government by campaigning for better pay and an end to zero hours. The workers in Bromley voted for strike action by a margin of 86 per cent and Unite representatives will be meeting in the coming week to agree strike dates. GLL has a window of opportunity to avoid strike action read more 

Collapse of Mechanical SEO opens door to industrial action (10 Oct) – Unite warns employers against attempting to cut pay and conditions. Trade union Unite, which represents workers throughout the construction and mechanical sectors, today (Wednesday) warned employers that any attempt to cut pay and conditions following the collapse of the Mechanical Sectoral Employment Order is likely to be met by industrial action.  The state today accepted the argument of small contractors’ association APHCI that pension contribution provisions housed in the SEO are unconstitutional. The collapse of the Mechanical SEO means that the dispute resolution procedures provided for in the SEO, which could take between six and nine months to work through, have also collapsed.  This means that workers can take industrial action after conducting a ballot and serving notice as required by industrial relations legislation read more 

Industrial action brewing across 21 UK ports (6 Oct) – Unite, Britain’s leading union, is warning Associated British Ports (ABP) that strike action could be brewing across its 21 ports which handle around a quarter of the UK’s seaborne trade. Unite has lodged a dispute concerning maritime pilots who safely navigate ships in and out of the UK’s waterways and ports. Ships cannot leave or enter the UK’s ports without these skilled workers. Last July without any consultation, which is required under health and safety legislation and Unite’s recognition agreement, ABP introduced increased medical standards. Unite has no objection to improving standards but there has been no negotiations and no detail about how these medical tests will be done or what happens if a member fails. This is a serious concern as ultimately members’ jobs could be at stake. The main bulk of Unite members are in South Wales (Swansea, Port Talbot, Barry, Cardiff and Newport), Southampton and the Humber (Port of Hull and Immingham) although the dispute could be wider and impact all 21 ports operated by ABP read more 

PPG automotive paint workers in Suffolk head to picket line over low pay (5 Oct) – Stowmarket manufacturer offering real-terms pay cut will see workers walk out. Workers at the Suffolk factory of international paint manufacturer PPG Industries are to strike over pay, Unite the union announced today (5 October). Over 200 members of Unite, Britain’s leading trade union, have voted for industrial action over the low pay offer made by PPG. The employer has made an offer of just five per cent, but with inflation currently at 9.1 per cent this represents a real-terms pay cut for workers. PPG Industries is a worldwide paint and coatings conglomerate and the Stowmarket factory has many high-profile customers that include the Williams Formula One team, Lamborghini and Lotus…Strike dates are yet to be confirmed but are likely to be throughout the autumn read more 

Unite announces escalation in A.G. Barr strike action (4 Oct) – Soft drinks giant pre-tax profits up 12.6 % to £27.8 million over first 6 months of 2023. Unite, the UK’s leading union, has today (4 October) announced an escalation in strike action as part of a long-running pay dispute with the soft drinks giant A.G. Barr. Unite represents truck and shunter drivers who are essential to the supply of the company’s world-renowned products including Irn-Bru – one of the nation’s most popular soft drinks.  Unite’s members have overwhelmingly rejected the company’s five per cent pay offer for 2023. Unite can confirm that talks are scheduled with A.G. Barr tomorrow (Thursday 5 October) through the auspices of the conciliation service Acas in a bid to make a breakthrough in the pay dispute. If there is no breakthrough in these discussions, Unite has stated that its members will participate in further stoppages on 13 and 16 October, and then from 20 to 30 October. The workers are already scheduled to resume strike action from midnight on Friday (6 October) read more 

Mitie healthcare workers in Dudley balloted over refusal to pay lump-sum (4 Oct) – Staff who work for NHS outsourcing company denied money owed to them. Unite, Britain’s leading trade union, announced today (4 October) that it is balloting its membership at NHS outsourcing company, Mitie, in its campaign to get the company to pay its workers the lump sum payment they are owed. Many of the Mitie workers were previously in the NHS and were transferred across and promised the same pay and conditions. But the “COVID payment” lump sum of up to £1,600 that NHS workers received as part of the NHS pay award this year has not been paid by Mitie to its workforce. Mitie’s staff work alongside the NHS workforce in the Dudley group of hospitals in the West Midlands…The Mitie staff work across three hospitals, Russell Hall, Corbett and Dudley Guest, and perform vital estate management services…Other private sector outsourcing companies including Equans and Skanska have paid their health workers the lump sum payment and Unite is fighting to get Mitie to do the same. 70 Mitie workers are being balloted. The ballot opens on 9 October and runs until 23 October. If the ballot is successful, industrial action is likely to take place from next month read more 

NHS Confederation workers to strike over pay (3 Oct) – Unite members in London and Leeds to take industrial action after poor pay offer. Staff at the NHS Confederation, the membership body for organisations that commission and provide NHS services, are set to take industrial action over cuts to pay. Unite, Britain’s leading trade union, announced that its NHS Confederation staff members will walk out on Thursday 5 October. They work in policy, communications, managerial and administrative roles within the organisation. The strike, the first in the Confed’s history, coincides with a meeting of the organisation’s Board of Trustees. Following the introduction of a new pay structure which saw one-in-five staff hit by a take-home pay cut and opportunities for pay progression curtailed, Unite members will head to the picket line as part of a campaign to reinstate staff pay and progression opportunities. Nearly 90 per cent of members taking part in the ballot voted to take strike action. A Unite survey of all staff, before the pay cut was imposed, found 60 per cent already said they were struggling with the cost of living read more 

Fresh Imperial College strikes after ‘abysmal’ pay offer rejected (29 Sept) – Imperial College offers pay cut but has £1.7 billion reserves and paid president record salary. More than 200 Imperial College workers, who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, will strike over pay next week. The workers have rejected an ‘abysmal’ pay deal of 5.5 per cent, which is a real terms pay cut when the real rate of inflation, RPI, stands at 9.1 per cent. Imperial College’s latest financial figures shows it brought in an income of over £1.2 billion for 2021/22 and had cash reserves of £1.7 billion. Further, Imperial College has a record of being one of the best paying universities for senior leadership staff. Until July 2022, the university employed the UK’s highest paid executive leader with an annual pay package worth £714,000 – a massive increase of 35.5 per cent on the previous year…The workers, including technicians and maintenance and security staff, will strike on Monday 2 October, Tuesday 3 October and Wednesday 18 October. They are striking alongside colleagues who are members of the UCU and UNISON unions. More strikes will be scheduled if the dispute is not resolved read more 

Workers at BOC to strike over pay with workers demonstrating at the company’s Worsley site (29 Sept) – Workers employed by BOC, will begin strike action next week in a dispute over pay. There will be a picket line at the company’s Worsley site in Manchester. The strike will involve over 80 workers at BOC, who are employed in sales and marketing roles and are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union. The strike is a result of the workers having rejected a pay offer of 7.6 per cent for 2023. This is in effect a real terms pay cut, after suffering a nine per cent pay cut between 2018-2022 compared to other workers at the company. The pay increase was due to be made in April this year when the real inflation rate (RPI) stood at 11.4 per cent. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “BOC is a fabulously wealthy company. Giving our members a fair pay increase would barely scratch the surface of its huge profits. BOC’s failure to do the right thing is all about greed not need.” The initial strike action will last for 10 days beginning at 04:00 on Friday 6 October and ending at 03:59 on Monday 16 October. The strike action is the first time this group of workers have ever taken industrial action. Tensions have increased as it has taken three years for the workers to secure recognition, during which time the wages of the striking workers has fallen by 20 per cent compared to the RPIX inflation rate. BOC is part of Line PLC which is the largest provider of industrial, medical and specialist gases in the world. It is incredibly profitable. Its most recent accounts revealed it recorded a profit of £6.4 billion last year, a 10 per cent increase on the previous year. Linde PLC has been able to significantly increase shareholder dividends and take in a shareholder buy back. BOC’s customers who will be affected by the strike action include GSK, Astra Zeneca, Ineos, Nissan, the MoD Coca Cola and the National Grid. There will be other picket lines in around the UK including but not limited to : Margam, St Helens, Motherwell, Teesside, Thame, Bristol and Wolverhampton read more 

Deca Workers To Strike Following a Decade of Pay Erosion (28 Sept) – Unite members working for Defence Equipment & Support Deca at Sealand in Flintshire and Stafford have voted to strike over an imposed two per cent pay award for 2022. A series of 24 hour strikes will commence on Tuesday 3 October. Workers at DECA have endured over a decade of stagnant wages and extremely low pay increases. Pay restraint has seen wages fall significantly in real terms. Defence Equipment & Support Deca, is wholly owned by the MOD. The workforce is highly skilled and provide a vital role in maintaining military, avionic and electronic equipment read more 

Willenhall steel coil workers strike over low pay (26 Sept) – ArcelorMittal workers reject real terms pay cut as firm brings in millions. West Midlands workers making steel products for the automotive and construction industry at the ArcelorMittal factory in Willenhall are striking over low pay, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Tuesday). The workers earn an average of £11.24 per hour, with some receiving just the national minimum wage. They have rejected a pay rise of seven per cent. This is a significant, real terms pay cut when the true rate of inflation, RPI, stood at 11.4 per cent when the rise was due to be implemented in April of this year. The low wages at the factory stand in stark contrast to the money being made by their employer. ArcelorMittal Distribution Solutions latest available financial returns show it had a turnover of £267.5 million and operating profits of £33.1 million in 2021 read more 

Mass demonstrations at Norwich NHS AGM following Norse pay betrayal (22 Sept) – Unite, the UK’s leading union, will stage a major demonstration at the AGM of the Norfolk Community and Health Care Trust (NCH&C), in support of its members employed by Norse who are striking over pay. The workers, who are employed by Norse Commercial Services but contracted to undertake critical maintenance on all of NCH&C’s hospitals and health centres, began strike action last month after only being offered a four per cent pay increase, which is a substantial real terms pay cut with the current true rate of inflation (RPI) standing at 9.1 per cent. Gambling Close, Norwich NR6 6EG…the Unite members at Norse will be striking on 26 September and 5 October then for a further week from Monday 9 October, which will result in disruption to patients and staff at NCH&C NHS Trust read more 

Pay strikes at Kings Lynn’s largest social housing provider escalate (22 Sept) – Freebridge housing workers on poverty pay despite £3.6m surplus and huge executive salaries. Strikes at Freebridge Community Housing over poverty pay will intensify from next week, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Thursday). Many of the workers, who perform a variety of roles, including in cleaning and maintenance, are paid little more than the national minimum wage and many are struggling to pay their bills. They are angry that Freebridge, the largest social housing provider in Kings Lynn and West Norfolk, has offered them a five per cent increase and a £500 non-consolidated payment, despite the association’s robust financial health. This is a significant, real terms pay cut when the real rate of inflation, RPI, stands at 9.1 per cent. The workers are asking for a seven per cent pay rise. Freebridge had a total turnover of £32 million and a surplus of £3.57 million in 2022 and increased its rents by seven per cent this year read more 

Heathrow baggage carousel workers to strike over poor pay offer (13 Sept) – 170 workers to walk out and bring baggage services to a halt. Unite, Britain’s leading trade union, has announced today (Tuesday 12 September) that its members at Vanderlande Industries are to strike over pay, bringing travel disruption to Heathrow Airport this autumn. Around 170 workers who conduct high-end maintenance and servicing of baggage carousels, ensuring passengers’ luggage is delivered into the terminal buildings safely and on time, are to walk out in October following a failure by the employer to improve their derisory pay offer. Vanderlande Industries has made two below-inflation pay offers of just five per cent and 2.5 per cent that have been roundly rejected by Unite members. Vanderlande is pleading poverty and yet their last accounts at Companies House show profits of £3.7 million. Its parent company has increased revenue by 32 per cent to €2.4 billion. Industrial action will take place in two waves on the following dates:- 

  • 17:30 on 6th October – 06:00 on 9th October  
  • 05:30 on 20th October – 06:00 on 30th October read more 

GH London strikes at Luton Airport suspended for last minute talks (12 Sept) – Strike action involving ground handlers employed by GH London at Luton Airport due to take place tomorrow (Wednesday 13 September) has been called off to allow last minute peace talks to take place. The workers, members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, who undertake the ground handling functions at the airport for the airline Wizz, have already staged two days of strike action because of a complete breakdown in industrial relations at the company. However, following a last minute offer of talks by GH London, Unite has called off tomorrow’s industrial action, as an act of good faith read more 

Manufacturing workers in Chesterfield to strike over parity pay and real terms pay cuts (8 Sept) – 100 per cent of the workforce voted for action. Skilled manufacturing workers based in Chesterfield undertaking repairs for companies ranging from British Steel to Thames Water will begin strike action this Monday in a dispute over pay. The action being taken at ERIKS Industrial Services will have a dramatic effect, causing delays for customers. 8 days of strikes will take place on Monday 11 and Tuesday 12 September, Monday 18 and Tuesday 19 September, Monday 25 and Tuesday 26 September and then on Monday 2 and Tuesday 3 October read more 

Unite urges employer to pay a fair wage and avoid nuclear plant shutdown (6 Sept) – Electricians who certify tools for use in nuclear power stations are taking strike action. Unite, the country’s leading trade union, announced today (Wednesday 6 September) that its members at Altrad Babcock Ltd are taking strike action following a dismal pay offer from the employer. Electricians at Altrad Babcock, based in Tipton in the West Midlands, are responsible for certifying that electrical tools are safe to use in nuclear facilities across the country. Yet this safety-critical role is not being valued by the employer, with some members earning as little as £13.62 per hour. Members ensure that equipment including welding machines, compressors, winches and even site vehicles are certified as electrically safe to use in potentially hazardous environments. Failure to have such certification will mean that the tools and machinery cannot enter the nuclear plants to maintain the facility. Eventually, this could lead to nuclear power plants having to shut down. Strikes are likely to take place in waves across the autumn and into winter, just as demand for nuclear power stations increases. Dates are as follows: Wednesday the 20th /Thursday the 21st September at 08:00am until 16:00pm then Monday the 25th & Tuesday the 26th September followed by every Monday: October 2nd 9th 16th 23rd 30th, November 6th 13th 20th 27th, then December, 4th 11th and then on Tuesdays October, 3rd 10th 17th 24th 31st October, then November 7th 14th 21st 28th then December 5th 12th read more 

Westminster libraries workers to strike in pay dispute (4 Sept) – Members of Unite, employed by Westminster City Council across the borough’s libraries, will begin strike action this Wednesday (6 September) in a dispute over pay. The workers have rejected the national pay offer of a flat rate increase of £1,925. The offer is below the rate of inflation and amounts to a real terms pay cut. The workers will initially take four days of strike action on 6th, 8th, 13th, 15th September. Strike action will disrupt services across the borough read more  


Lord Falconer Review – Justice (from CWU Facebook page)

A conclusion has been reached in both the initial conduct cases reviewed by Lord Falconer and the subsequent discussions between Royal Mail Group and the CWU. The outcome of both has been directly communicated with the impacted CWU members. We are pleased to relay that justice has been delivered. Over 100 CWU members have won the right to return to their job. Many more have had this original conduct warnings reduced. This is a turnaround of an unprecedented scale. This must be seen as nothing other than total validation for the unions original call for an independent review, you as members backing that and our insistence that it formed part of any final agreement. There are very limited numbers of members whose decisions were not overturned. This was always going to be the nature of entering an independent process. We have engaged with and will continue to support these members. There are also a very limited number of cases that require further judgement from Lord Falconer. Again, we are in contact with and will fully support these members in a bid to reach a successful conclusion. 93.1% of the original decisions have been overturned. This could increase as the additional cases reach a conclusion. We want to use this communication to deliver some very clear messages. Firstly, if anyone doubted the influence and strength of this union then today you have been given the most emphatic answer possible. To understand the overall context and the magnitude of this achievement then we would recommend all members take the time to read the collective agreement in full www.cwu.org/lfr

This result should be a boost for every single member of the union. We must now take that into the workplace and resolve the ongoing issues we have with the employer and their attitude towards too many of our members. The fact that Royal Mail Group have not contested the outcome of the Lord Falconer review and have agreed to apply the principles of his decisions to the remaining cases as part of a collective agreement, is a strong indicator that they are willing now to finally move on from the dispute. The new CEO has been clear on this point. The union has been ready to do this for a long time. What we now need to see is the same levels of commitment to reach agreement applied in all our negotiations and at all levels.

Finally, it would be appropriate to say thank you. To the members and representatives who have waited months for justice. You deserve this day. And to our members, whose support delivered this moment – never doubt you own strength.

Now we move on and tackle the wider issues. This moment should be seen as the platform to do that.

Yours sincerely,

Dave Ward

General Secretary

Andy Furey

Acting Deputy General Secretary (Postal) 

Working 999 – helping people for a living (20 Nov) – For the first of what will be a series of different workplace feature articles, we visited and spoke with some of our BT 999 call-centre members in Birmingham. If you’re ever unfortunate enough to have to call 999, it will be a CWU-grade worker from one of seven BT sites in the UK who will pick up the phone and say: “Emergency, which service?” Trained to deal promptly, efficiently and sensitively with people in all manner of distress, around 1,000 work in this role at Bangor, Birmingham, Glasgow, Dundee, Nottingham, Portadown and Liverpool, 24 hours a day and seven days a week, 365 days a year. Recently, the CWU negotiated a new attendance patterns agreement with the company’s Voice Services management, which provide a multitude of duty options for our 999 members and include three-day and four-day week patterns as well as part-time duties. In a membership ballot, the plan was endorsed by an 88.4 per cent majority, and in the duty-selection process, almost 98 per cent of 999 workers were granted their first choice of duty option read more



You can show your support to the strikes by PCS members by:  

  • Making donations to the PCS Fighting Fund Levy account, sort code: 60-83-01, account no. 20331490  
  • Sending solidarity messages to [email protected]  

Capita Business Services to take over administration of the Civil Service Pension Scheme (20 Nov) – The contract has been awarded to Capita after a bidding process and will start in 2025. Capita Business Services announced today (20) that it has secured a ten year contract covering administration of the Civil Service Pension Scheme from September 2025. Changes are now having to be made to very high numbers of pension accounts as a result of the McCloud Judgement to remove age discrimination from pension changes made by the government in 2015. Although most of this work should be completed before the new contract starts in 2025, privatised pension administration since 2010 has been problematic and beset by problems. Capita were previously stripped of the same contract in 2014 when aspects of pension administration failed. A re-tender and a highly critical investigation by the National Audit Office followed. Capita were also recently unsuccessful in retaining administration of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme and are currently beset by the fallout from major data breaches arising from attacks on its servers by cyber criminals. PCS will be working to secure the future for pensions administration staff who will be covered by the provisions of TUPE read more

ISS Transfer Update (17 Nov) – Colleagues employed in Soft Facilities Management (FM) roles in London and Hard FM roles in Scotland transferred to ISS on 1 November. PCS representatives called an urgent meeting with ISS on 16 November, following members raising several serious problems related to the transfer read more

Changes in Hybrid Working in DWP (16 Nov) – This morning, under pressure from the government, Civil Service Heads of Department jointly wrote to staff to state the expectation that office based staff should work in person in the office for a minimum of 60% of their working time. This decision will mean a significant change for many PCS members in DWP who are currently only expected to be in the office for 40% of their working time read more

PCS condemns government home-working announcement (16 Nov) – PCS has condemned announcements by government departments this week that civil servants who are office workers will be required to attend workplaces for a minimum of 60% of their working time read more

ISS strikers are an “inspiration to millions of other workers” (15 Nov) – ISS strikers heard on today’s picket (15) that they are an “inspiration to millions of other workers” who have “been treated like dirt by their employer”. Around 100 PCS members employed as cleaners, security guards and support staff in three major government departments for the outsourced company ISS are striking from November 1 to 17 and from November 27 to December 15 read more

PCS welcomes Supreme Court decision on Rwanda policy and calls on the government to adopt Safe Passage (15 Nov) – PCS welcomes today’s Supreme Court decision, which upheld the Court of Appeal’s ruling that the UK government’s plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda is unlawful. PCS welcomes today’s Supreme Court decision, which upheld the Court of Appeal’s ruling that the UK government’s plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda is unlawful. In response to this decision, PCS calls on the government to adopt our Safe Passage policy read more

Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency members to be balloted for strike action (10 Nov) – Members are being balloted for strike action in a dispute over an attempt by management to erode their terms and conditions. More than 1900 members working for the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) across England, Wales and Scotland will be asked if they are willing to take industrial action in response to the driver services recovery programme. This is an attempt by the DVSA, whose staff carry out driving tests and approve people to be driving instructors, to recover backlogs to a national average of 7 weeks by 31 March 2024. As part of this recovery programme, the DVSA has imposed mass changes to members’ terms and conditions. In a postal ballot that runs from 16 November until noon on 13 December, PCS is asking members if they are prepared to take strike action over the employer’s imposition of changes to their terms and conditions, working practices and job roles read more

Christmas chaos on the cards for outsourced workers (9 Nov) – Staff working in a host of roles across the UK civil service will be left without pay, in financial chaos and enforced debt to their new employer. Workers transferred from Mitie to companies OCS and ISS are being made to wait between two and seven weeks for their pay cheque before Christmas. This affects facilities management staff employed on outsourced contracts in London and Scotland, run by Government Property Agency. Affected staff at OCS received their final wages from Mitie on 27 October and will not receive their next pay until 14 December, being offered an insulting £100 ‘inconvenience payment’. Those at ISS will move from monthly pay to fortnightly read more

Further strike action called at Pensions Regulator (9 Nov) – PCS members will take 12 more days of strike action in November and December following the imposition of an unacceptable pay deal. PCS members at The Pensions Regulator (TPR) have taken 24 days of strike action since 5 September, finishing their most recent two weeks of action on 3 November. Due to the continued intransigence of The Pensions Regulator, their imposition of a 3% pay settlement and their refusal to engage further with PCS to resolve the dispute we have notified management that members will take an additional 12 days of action. The new strike dates will be 22, 23, 24, 28, 29 and 30 November and 6, 7, 8, 12, 13 and 14 December 2023. Since their return to work on Monday, 6 November, after the most recent series of walkouts, members have reported that the strikes have seriously disrupted the operation of TPR. The branch has increased in membership from 150 to over 350 since the beginning of the strike action and it continues to grow, showing the strength of feeling amongst TPR staff and their support for the campaign read more

OCS security strike leads to pay talks (31Oct) – PCS members show once again, that building strong workplace union organisation is the best way for workers to improve their pay and conditions. PCS members employed by OCS on the Courts and Tribunal Service contract forced closures and disruptions to courts during a four-day strike over pay. Security officers in 149 courts across England and Wales took strike action on the 22, 25, 27 and 29 September after receiving a below inflation pay offer that would increase their pay by just 38p above the National Living Wage of £10.42. The strike saw hundreds of PCS members form lively picket lines in sixteen locations, including Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Yorkshire, Birmingham and Brighton. The action led to a large number of court cases being cancelled or disrupted and courts were forced to operate with inadequate staffing levels or used contingency labour. The strongly supported collective action taken by PCS members has forced further talks with OCS to attempt to settle the dispute read more

HMRC Inland Pre-Clearance: Industrial action ballot result (11 Oct) – Inland Pre-Clearance members meet the legal threshold and vote overwhelmingly for action. PCS continues to hold talks with HMRC and will keep members informed read more 

Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime to strike over pay (7 Sept) – Nearly 100 PCS members working for MOPAC will take five days of strike action later this month. PCS members at the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) will strike on 20, 21, 22, 25 and 26 September after management refused to negotiate on their pay, pensions, job security and redundancy terms. MOPAC staff are responsible for the London equivalent of a regional Police and Crime Commission. They oversee financial scrutiny of the London Metropolitan Police and are directly accountable to the mayor, Sadiq Khan read more 



Departments must work with unions to find the appropriate balance of hybrid working (16 Nov) – The Cabinet Office has written to departments asking them to make sure that anyone working in the civil service who is office-based attend the office at least 60% of the time read more

Prospect ballots Pilots at NHV Helicopters UK on industrial action over pay (10 Nov) – Prospect is currently balloting its pilot members on industrial action over pay at NHV Helicopters UK Ltd. Operating out of bases in Aberdeen, Blackpool, and Norwich, NHV UK supports the transport of crews and loads to and from Oil and Gas platforms across the North and Irish Sea. The ballot opened for Pilots at all bases last week and comes after NHV failed to make an acceptable pay offer despite months of negotiations and attempts at resolution through the ACAS conciliation service read more

Prospect members at AWE vote for industrial action (23 Oct) – Prospect union members at the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) have voted strongly in favour of industrial action in a dispute over pay. Headquartered in Aldermaston, Berkshire, AWE supports and maintains the UK nuclear deterrent. 67% of respondents voted in favour of strike action, with 33% voting against. 82% voted in favour of action short of a strike, 18% voted against. Turnout was 61%, well over the legal threshold…The exact nature and timing of industrial action will be determined after consultation with members read more 


BREAKING NEWS!! Royal Navy subs set for delays after shipyard strike vote (21 Nov) – Type 26 frigates built at Cammell Laird could also be delayed

Royal Navy Dreadnought submarines and Type 26 frigates built at Cammell Laird shipyard are set for delays after workers today [Monday 20 November 2023] voted to strike. More than 400 members of GMB and Unite unions are ready to walk out in a dispute over pay and conditions. Workers include welders, pipefitters, electricians, fitters, labourers and cleaners as well as office staff voted to strike with a majority of 94 per cent [GMB] and 96 per cent [Unite]. They had been offered a pay increase of just 6 per cent – a real terms pay cut when inflation has been over ten per cent earlier this year read more

Thames Water announces further job cuts (16 Nov) – Workers at Thames deserve better news at Christmas. Thames Water has announced a further 37 redundancies across its clerical, managerial and technical departments. These are on top of 140 redundancies announced earlier this month read more

Fears of brick shortages as workers announce strike action (16 Nov) – Workers at Blockleys bricks have voted for walk outs. GMB Union has today announced that workers at Telford’s Blockleys Bricks will walk out in a dispute over pay. Blockleys, part of the construction giant Michelmerch, is a major provider of construction materials across the Midlands. The announcement comes after workers overwhelmingly backed strike action after two years of consecutive real terms pay cuts for workers. As much as 80 per cent of the company workforce is expected to walk out, with four strike days set for 28 November and 4, 11, 18 December read more

Southampton buses facing Christmas closure as union ballots Unilink drivers (15 Nov) – There’s still time to sort this out if Unilink want to, as any strike action wouldn’t be taking place for a few weeks – it is though firmly in management’s hands. GMB, the union for Southampton bus drivers, are preparing to ballot their members who work as drivers for the city’s Unilink bus company. The dispute is over pay, as the drivers have turned down the employer’s offer of a 5.28 per cent rise, which would raise their pay to an hour rate of £14.74. The ballot opens on Friday 17 November, with any potential action then set to take place in the run up to Christmas read more

2,500 education workers to strike in Northern Ireland (10 Nov) – Almost 2,500 education workers across Northern Ireland are set to strike this month over pay. Cooks, cleaners, drivers, classroom assistants and other staff across 1,800 schools will walk out on 16 November in anger at the failure to address disparity in pay among grades dating back to 2018. This action will have a huge impact on schools with many, if not all, having to close. GMB members voted to strike by a majority of 92 per cent read more

Festive Ferrero Rocher shortage looms (9 Nov) – Spectre of Christmas without beloved yuletide treat devastating. The UK faces a festive Ferrero Rocher shortage after workers voted to strike. More than a dozen staff at Cargill Cocoa and Chocolate are set to walk out in a dispute over pay. Workers rejected a real terms pay cut at the confectionery giant’s site in Worksop, Nottinghamshire. Cargill Cocoa and Chocolate is one of the UK’s largest supplier of coco products to the confectionary industry, including to the manufacturers of Ferrero Rocher. 100 per cent of workers balloted voted to back strike action, with dates for the walk outs to be announced in the coming days read more

Refuse workers disciplined for helping elderly and disabled people (9 Nov) – South Tyneside refuse workers have voted to walk out for four days after being disciplined for helping elderly and disabled residents. The industrial action takes place during ‘Anti-Bullying Week’ on 14 – 17 November. Refuse workers were given warnings for supporting a lost, elderly, distressed woman living with dementia and for carrying a wheely bin back up steep front steps for a disabled resident. More than 80 per cent of the workforce are, or have just been on, a formal warning. In total, 100 per cent majority of GMB members working at South Tyneside Refuse voted to strike in anger after years of inaction from the council to tackle a well known toxic work atmosphere. Despite every effort being made by the GMB to resolve this issue members now feel that they have no option other than to take strike action read more

1000s of engineering construction workers ready to strike (9 Nov) – More than 3,000 workers have voted for industrial action. Thousands of construction workers at energy sites across the UK have said they are ‘ready to strike’ – but have called on bosses to make a fresh pay offer. More than 3,000 workers at Stanlow, Fawley, Valero, Grangemouth and Mossmorran Oil Refineries, Sellafield Nuclear Facility and nuclear power stations have voted for industrial action. At a crunch meeting this week, workers indicated they were ready to walk out, but called on bosses to make a fresh pay deal and avert industrial action. Last week, workers turned down a pay deal of 10 per cent for 2024 and a further 5 per cent for 2025 read more

Gosport facing bin nightmare at New Year (3 Nov) – GMB union set to ballot borough’s refuse and recycling workers for strike action over pay. GMB, the union for refuse, recycling and street services, has issued strike ballot notices to Gosport Borough Council’s waste contractor Urbaser Ltd after members’ pay stalled. The ballot opens on Monday 13 November and closes on Monday 27 November and, if the members vote to take action, would see a strike at the town’s Wilmott Lane Depot from early January 2024. GMB anticipates any action would put a stop to residents’ kerbside collections at a time when household waste is at an annual high, with the additional rubbish from the festive season. The union is warning the council and their contractor that rubbish on the streets across the borough is to be expected throughout January and on into February if the dispute cannot be settled read more

South Wales faces Flogas shortage (2 Nov) – A week long strike by Flogas workers has led to shortages of Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) shortages across South West Wales, GMB has said. Flogas workers at the Llandarcy depot are in the midst five-day strike in a dispute over pay. Up to 20 workers at gas giant’s depot in South Wales have downed tools after a below inflation pay offer. After months of negotiation, workers voted to strike with a majority of more than 80 per cent. The following day, Flogas announced redundancies at the site read more

Croydon Hospital strike suspended to allow ballot over pay offer (27 Oct) – Cleaners employed by G4S were due to be taking 48 hours of action on Monday and Tuesday of next week. GMB, the union for NHS and healthcare workers, has today suspended the strike action due to hit Croydon University Hospital next week. Cleaners employed by G4S were due to take two days of action on Monday 30 and Tuesday 31 October, but the union has suspended the action in order to ballot members on a pay offer from the company. The offer consists of a 10 per cent pay rise, increase of sick pay from 8 days to 4 weeks and a £200 bonus read more 

Net-A-Porter faces Christmas strike (23 Oct) – GMB, the union for retail and distribution, has this morning announced that luxury fashion brand Yoox Net-a-Porter will be rocked by twenty-two days of strike action at their Charlton depot. As previously announced, GMB members are in dispute with their employer about pay, with current proposals leaving members without a pay rise for the first six months of the financial year. Hundreds of workers are now set to take a total of 22 days of action over November and December, which will affect the distribution of online purchases in the run up to Christmas:-  

  • Tuesday 7 November 2023 from 0630am until Saturday 11 November 0800am 
  • Monday 20 November 2023 from 0630am until Saturday 25 November 0800am 
  • Monday 4 December 2023 from 0630am until Saturday 16 December at 0800am read more 

Wiltshire Traffic wardens to strike over fire and rehire (19 Oct) – GMB, the union for Wiltshire Council, has issued further strike action for traffic wardens who have previously taken action over their employer’s controversial ‘fire and rehire’ plans. Wiltshire traffic wardens took ten days of action in 2022, before suspending the dispute when the employer agreed to shelve plans to cut their pay by up to 20 per cent. The council has now resumed their plans to use the controversial practice and GMB members will be taking strike action on Saturday 4 November, with further strike dates not ruled out read more 

GMB union writes open letter to Swindon council cabinet members over crisis in emergency social work provision (5 Oct) – We need Swindon Council need to meet us for constructive talks because the service is struggling after the loss of highly skilled, specialist mental health practitioners, to the detriment of clients and service users, says GMB. GMB, the union for the Emergency Duty Service (EDS) in Swindon has written an open letter to Swindon Councillors over the ‘crisis’ within the service, which the union is blaming on the council’s ‘confrontational’ approach. The union is in dispute with the council over the removal of the unsocial hours allowance paid to workers on the team, who provide emergency out-of-hours social work support to some of the most vulnerable people in Swindon. GMB members had previously been on strike over the contract changes, but had to suspend their industrial action on safety grounds, as they felt Swindon had not provided adequate emergency cover read more 

Quarter of a million Nottinghamshire homes hit by refuse chaos as Veolia strike action begins (26 Sept) – Neighbouring Derbyshire risks becoming Nottinghamshire’s waste bin, says GMB. Members of GMB Union have today began five days of strike action at Veolia waste and recycling plants across Nottinghamshire. The industrial action comes after service provider Veolia refused to negotiate a pay offer that reflects the cost of living crisis. Mansfield’s Materials Recycling Facility, Ashfield’s Welsh Croft Close site and Bassetlaw’s Claylands Avenue site will all be impacted by strike action. These plants process household waste and recycling for over 250,000 homes in north Nottinghamshire. Refuse collections for Mansfield, Ashfield and Bassetlaw are now being forced to make a gruelling 50 mile detour to drop off sites in Derbyshire. GMB and local residents have also raised alarm at the prospect of Veolia using temporary agency staff to cover the impact of the dispute read more 

Penrith faces bin chaos as workers vote to walk out (25 Sept) – Refuse workers in Penrith will down tools for two weeks in a dispute over pay. Dozens of staff at Urbaser, who hold the contract for refuse collection, will take industrial action from October 2 to 13. Workers including drivers, loaders and cleaners are calling for a pay rise to help ease the cost-of-living crisis read more 

Northern Ireland faces ‘Winter Disruption’ as strikes begin (22 Sept) – GMB Union has warned of ‘winter disruption’ as civil servants and health workers being strike action. Up to 1,000 GMB members across working within the Road Service, Rivers Agency, Forest Service, Environment Agency and Driver Vehicle Agency are now on strike until Wednesday 27 September. Health workers will be on strike 21 and 22 September. Workers have walked out after the UK Government failed to address their 2023 pay claim. Civil Servants across all departments in Northern Ireland have been offered just £552, while health workers have yet to get anything unlike their colleagues in England and Wales read more 

Man Utd, Subway and Five Guys face food shortages (20 Sept) – Manchester United, Subway, Five Guys and Stonegate pubs face food shortages as workers begin a strike vote. Thousands of staff at Bidfood – a company which also delivers food for P&O Ferries, Haven holiday sites and German Donner Kebab – will begin voting on industrial action in the coming weeks. The strike vote comes after pay negotiations broke down. Any industrial action will also lead to schools and prisons not having food delivered and will raises further safety concerns following the escape of Wandsworth prisoner, Daniel Khalife, under a Bidfood lorry read more 

Manchester tram workers vote for strike action (19 Sept) – Manchester faces travel chaos after tram workers voted for strike action. Dozens of GMB members working for Great Manchester’s Metrolink service delivered a unanimous yes vote for industrial action. Workers will take industrial action on Strike 29 September and 6,13 and 20 October. Workers are angry about the erosion of their terms and conditions since the contract, currently operated by Bidvest Noonan, was outsourced read more 

Social housing giant slammed for ‘strike breaking’ as workers down tools over low pay (15 Sept) – Staff at social housing provider Grand Union Housing are struggling to pay their own rent, says GMB union. GMB Union have today announced strike action at Grand Union Housing, provider of 13,000 social homes across Northamptonshire, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, and Buckinghamshire. The strike will see maintenance staff down tools on 22, 25 & 29 September and 2, 6, 9, 13 & 16 October. The action comes after the company refused to negotiate on a pay offer to staff of just 2.1%. Grand Union Housing has come under fire after confirming in an email to staff that contractor FSG Property Services LTD will be used to cover the work of striking workers read more 

North Bristol NHS maternity staff to take strike action (7 Sept) – Fed up with being treated and told that they are ‘second-class’ employees, GMB Midwifery support workers have voted for strike action. Maternity support staff in working in Southmead Hospital have voted unanimously for strike action. GMB members working in the Women’s and Children’s Division will walk out on September 14th and 15th for 2 days of strike action. The moves came after North Bristol NHS trust refused to provide Midwifery support workers, housekeepers and receptionists the same shift enhancements that their colleagues in the same department have been given. For 10 months GMB has been trying to seek a fair resolution, with the trust agreeing to pay enhancements back in June – only to then u-turn read more 



Donate to support striking workersAs UNISON members continue to take strike action, the union is asking for donations to its strike fund  

Come clean about school risks and invest to remedy problems (19 Nov) – Years of neglect and underfunding have worsened the situation, leaving some schools on the verge of collapse. Commenting on the Public Accounts Committee report published today (Sunday) into the condition of school buildings, UNISON head of education Mike Short said: “Ministers have continually failed to tackle or come clean about serious structural problems that have put pupil and staff safety at risk, as this report makes clear. Years of neglect and underfunding have worsened the situation, leaving some schools on the verge of collapse…” read more

Education workers across Northern Ireland take action for pay justice (17 Nov) – ‘Education workers in Northern Ireland are not prepared to sit and wait while you sort out all the political problems. Working people need pay justice now’. UNISON members in Northern Ireland on strike. As UNISON prepares to celebrate the incredible Stars in Our Schools this Friday, more than 6,000 UNISON schools support staff members in Northern Ireland took to picket lines for a day’s strike action for fair pay. From Belfast to Omagh, Downpatrick to Ballycastle, members demanded long overdue reform to the education authority’s pay and grading structure read more

Education support staff in Northern Ireland need urgent action on pay (15 Nov) – Reform needed so wages are applied fairly. Thousands of school staff will hold a day-long strike across Northern Ireland tomorrow (Thursday) over pay, says UNISON today. Workers including cleaners, catering staff, caretakers, classroom assistants, administrators and technicians will join picket lines at hundreds of schools across the country read more

Wirral hospitals strike paused as workers win back pay after lengthy campaign (3 Nov) – Healthcare staff rebanding payments on the table. A strike planned for next week by more than 500 clinical support workers (CSWs) at Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has been called off after the employer agreed to UNISON’s demand for five years of back pay, says the union today (Friday). The development follows a UNISON campaign over several months, during which workers were on strike for 13 days ahead of the latest offer. The staff are employed at Arrowe Park and Clatterbridge hospitals read more

Poole education members strike over low pay (2 Nov) – Members at the Victoria Education Centre voted for action by 97% in an 81% turnout. UNISON members at The Victoria Education Centre in Poole are taking strike action today, after their employer failed to deliver a pay rise for staff. The special education school is run by disability charity Livability, but it has not made a pay offer that addresses historic low wages by comparison to other school settings across Dorset and nationally. A membership recruitment campaign began in 2021 and saw a recognition agreement signed with the employer in March 2022 read more

Scottish Water staff to strike for four days in November (31 Oct) – UNISON says the action will have serious implications for water and sewage services. UNISON sent notices to Scottish Water this week, to inform it that members will be taking strike action for four days starting on 10 November. The strikes come after UNISON members at Scottish Water voted overwhelmingly (78%) for action over a pay and grading dispute earlier this month read more

More Scottish schools to close as UNISON sets further strike dates (25 Oct) – Four more local authorities will be affected in second wave of action over pay. UNISON has today served notice of further strike action in the dispute over local government pay, to South Lanarkshire, Dumfries and Galloway, Edinburgh and Fife councils. Staff working in schools, and early years establishments linked to schools, within those four local authorities will walk out on Wednesday 8 November. This will be the second week of a rolling programme of action that will take place. UNISON has already notified Glasgow City, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire and Inverclyde councils, that staff working in schools, and early years establishments linked to schools in those authorities will be taking strike action on Wednesday 1 November. Further strike dates involving other councils will be announced in due course read more 

Barnet UNISON issues strike action notice for the next 5 months! (24 Oct) – Today, UNISON sent the strike notification letter to Barnet Council laying out the dates of strike action to be taken by Mental Health social workers starting in November right through to March 2024. The first day of strike action will start Tuesday 7 November 2023. We are pleased to report that Brighton UNISON Adults social workers will be taking strike action on the same day (Tuesday 7 November 2023) Barnet UNISON Mental Health social workers are taking strike action. Their demand is similar to our demand, they want parity for Adults social workers with Family Services social workers who have retention payments. Barnet UNISON has proposed a solution to this dispute which is based on rates (7.5% to 25%) that are already paid out to other social workers in Family services. According to evidence seen by Barnet UNISON, the numbers of staff leaving Mental Health social work teams exceeds those leaving Family Services social work teams who are all receiving recruitment & retention payments. Barnet UNISON is clear that recruitment & retention payments are likely to help stabilise the high turnover of staff across Mental Health social work teams and help retain existing staff. The strike timetable for the next FIVE months is as follows:- 

  • 7/8/9/14/15/16 November 2023. 
  • 4/5/6/7/8/ December 2023. 
  • 15/16/17/18/19 January 2024. 
  • 5/6/7/8/9 February 2024. 
  • 4/5/6/7/8 March 2024 read more  

Picket line – 2 Bristol Ave, London NW9 4EW. Send messages of support to [email protected] 

Support Brighton & Hove & Barnet UNISON social worker strike

Support staff to strike at 17 universities this week over pay (2 Oct) – Coordinated action in England over ongoing dispute. Support staff at 17 universities in England are striking today and tomorrow in an ongoing dispute about pay, says UNISON today (Monday). Cleaners, IT technicians, administrators and library staff will be among those walking out in coordinated action aimed at disrupting the start of the new academic year, says the union. Staff rejected a below-inflation pay deal in February and voted to strike. They are yet to receive a better offer and say they have little alternative but to take industrial action. More than 5,000 staff are expected to walk out over the two days, as the pay row escalates. There are also demonstrations and rallies taking place across the country read more 

Health members in Northern Ireland to strike over lack of pay parity (19 Sept) – Two-day action this week comes as members have yet to be made pay offer in absence of devolved government. UNISON health members in Northern Ireland will be taking strike action over two days this week, in protest at the continued lack of a pay offer for 2022/23. The walk out, over the 48-hour period of Thursday 21 and Friday 22 September, will involve ambulance crews, nurses, health care assistants, pharmacists, radiographers, porters, admin and technical staff, and domestic assistants. Payroll staff will strike for a shorter period, to ensure their co-workers receive their pay on time – a decision commended by their union colleagues. The action is due to increasing frustration that NI health workers are falling behind their colleagues in England and Wales, who accepted an NHS pay offer from their employers in April. That offer included an extra lump sum for 2022/23 and a new offer of a 5% increase for 2023/24. However in the absence of a devolved government in Northern Ireland, and without funding being made available by the secretary of state Chris Heaton-Harris, no offer has been made to health workers there read more 

Protest as Hackney Unison chair amongst those handed compulsory redundancies in libraries shake-up – Council staff staged a protest on 17th May after several library staff, including Hackney Unison Branch Chair Brian Debus, have been handed compulsory redundancy notices. Hackney Unison have said it was “registering our disgust that three library workers including Hackney Unison Branch Chair Brian Debus are due to be made compulsorily redundant. This despite there being more than enough posts available in the restructured library service.” Read more on Hackney Citizen website  



Education Industrial Action (14 Nov) – NIPSA members are currently engaged in a campaign of industrial action in the Education Authority. Our members democratically voted for both action short of strike action and strike action. The action is around four points:-

  • Pay and Grading Review
  • Job Evaluation
  • Pay Differentials
  • Education Cuts

We do not believe that this dispute will be easily resolved so we are ensuring we use intelligent, focused and strong industrial action that is applied at appropriate times. Action started on 6 November with action short of strike action. We will take two hours strike action on 16 November 2023, this will take effect from your normal start time. We are preparing for selective action in late November/December by members who provide critical services. Members on selective action are acting on behalf of all members so this action is fully funded by the union. NIPSA has approached our sister unions, UNITE, GMB, UNISON with selective action proposals read more

DAERA picket lines information (27 Oct) – See the list below of the picket lines information for the DAERA selective strike action next week, which commences on Sunday Night and finishes on Friday 3rd November at Midnight read more 


Royal College of Nursing  

RCN demands action from UK government (17 Nov) – We’ve written to the Department for Work and Pensions to insist long COVID is classed as an occupational disease for health care workers, which could mean they get more financial support read more

‘Dangerously inadequate staffing levels’: NHS waiting list growing 4 times faster than nurse workforce (16 Nov) – RCN analysis exposes failure of UK government’s promise to recruit 50,000 nurses to tackle the crisis facing the NHS read more

Manx Care make further pay offer after pressure from nurses (8 Nov) – Time to talk about nursing pay 800×400 The Isle of Man’s largest nursing trade union is to survey its members once again over a revised pay offer from employer Manx Care. A consultative survey will be open from 12 noon on Monday 13 November to 12 noon on Monday 27 November 2023. RCN members were due to take two consecutive days of strike action in October, but the action was paused while members had their say over a new formal offer put forward by their employer. This would have seen a total pay offer of 12.75% over two years. The ongoing dispute has already led to two days of strike action by nurses on the island. However, the RCN was invited to talks alongside other unions where a further offer was discussed and a formal letter in writing confirming this offer arrived with the RCN last week read more

RCN opens donations to strike fund in response to public desire to support striking staff – We’ve launched a donation page for people to financially help nursing staff on strike read more  

Royal College of Midwives 

Maternity staff fight for fairness and safety as they take to picket lines across Northern Ireland (22 Sept) – Midwives and maternity support workers (MSWs) across Northern Ireland will be taking to the picket lines this morning (22 September), as the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) takes strike action in frustration at the ongoing political stalemate read more 



Striking CSP members in Northern Ireland make their voices heard (21 Sept) – CSP members working for Health and Social Care Northern Ireland (HSCNI) turned out in big numbers today for their first ever strike over pay read more 



Support the Junior Doctors strike read more  

Donate to support striking junior doctors  

BMA contests strikes threaten patient safety claim (16 Nov) – Association points to poor staffing levels as real threat to care. In response to a UK Government consultation on MSLs (minimum service levels) for hospital services during strikes, the BMA says the proposals could lead to more doctors leaving the NHS, damaging patient care. It says that strike action taken by members preserves MSLs to ensure patient safety – and that the Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Act was rushed through this year without proper consultation. The BMA also says the consultation on MSLs was being held retrospectively and that the primary legislation handing the secretary of state huge powers to determine levels had already been laid read more

Ballot opens on strike action for SAS doctors (6 Nov) – Lack of credible offer from Government forces mandate to be sought from members. SAS doctors in England have begun a formal ballot on possible strike action, amid continuing negotiations with the Government to improve pay and conditions. A statutory ballot of specialist, associate specialist and specialty doctors was launched on 6 November, as the BMA consultants committee confirmed it will re-ballot members in England about renewing its mandate for industrial action. Should they succeed, the ballots – both of which open today and close on 18 December – will give SAS doctors and consultants mandates for industrial action until June 2024. An indicative ballot of SAS doctors announced on 20 October revealed more than 88 per cent of those who participated expressed willingness to take industrial action on worsening pay and working conditions. Following this result, BMA specialist, associate specialist and specialty doctors chair Ujjwala Mohite (pictured above) accepted an offer by the Department of Health to resume talks on improving terms, while warning her committee would move to a formal ballot by 6 November unless progress was made read more

‘We shall fight on’ (18 Oct) – Consultants and junior doctors came together to show their commitment to pay restoration and to urge the Government to resume talks. Ben Ireland reports. Doctors have sent the strongest warning yet to the Government that they intend to continue striking up to the next general election as the fight for fair pay intensifies. Thousands of doctors gathered in Manchester as the Conservative Party conference took place in the city this month, with consultants and junior doctors travelling from all corners of England on buses provided by the BMA. Health secretary Steve Barclay made no mention of plans to resolve the strikes in his speech to his party’s conference on the same day and has not met with either consultants or junior doctors for months. BMA consultants committee chair Vish Sharma wrote to prime minister Rishi Sunak to say no new strike dates would be announced for four weeks from the latest three-day joint action, which took place from 2 to 5 October, because the Government has refused talks as long as strike dates have been called. Dr Sharma also urged the involvement of arbitration service ACAS read more 

Junior doctors in Wales announce dates of industrial action ballot (6 Oct) – Junior doctors in Wales are to be balloted for industrial action from next month. The six-week ballot by BMA Cymru Wales will run from 6 November to 18 December. If members vote in favour of industrial action, it will lead to a 72-hour full walkout by participating doctors. Junior doctors in Wales have experienced a pay cut of 29.6 per cent in real terms over the last 15 years. This year, they received another sub-inflationary pay offer from the Welsh Government. The 5 per cent offer is below the recommended amount made by the DDRB, and lower than that rejected by junior doctors in England read more 

Doctors in Northern Ireland to be balloted on industrial action (4 Oct) – Consultants and junior doctors to vote after devolved government denies pay uplift. Consultants and junior doctors in Northern Ireland will be balloted on industrial action, the BMA has confirmed. The Department of Health in Northern Ireland, which has essentially been left to run the health service since the collapse of devolution in February 2022, said there would be no pay awards at all this year as a result of funding shortfalls. This is despite the Doctors and Dentists Review Body recommending a 6 per cent uplift, which has been offered to colleagues in England. As a result, both groups of doctors will be balloted over whether to take industrial action. A date for the ballot has not yet been set. An indicative ballot of consultants in Northern Ireland found 77 per cent were willing to take industrial action read more 


Society of Radiographers  

What the new health secretary must do to fix the radiography workforce crisis (15 Nov) – The SoR has compiled a list of the most pressing priorities for the incoming health secretary ahead of an anticipated meeting read more


Northern Ireland Teachers’ Council announce strike day (20 Nov) – Teachers’ Strike: 29 November 2023. Given that there has been no progress toward a resolution to the ongoing teachers’ pay dispute, the constituent members of the Northern Ireland Teachers’ Council, (NITC), today informed the Managing Authority of their intention to instruct members to engage in strike action beginning 00:01 on Wednesday 29 November 2023 and ending at 12 noon on Wednesday 29 November 2023. As a further escalation to the action, NITC has announced that they are planning an additional four full day strikes to take place in the Spring term on dates to be agreed read more

This report shows that we need to see substantial new money to tackle a crisis in school buildings (19 Nov) – Commenting on The condition of school buildings, a report by the Public Accounts Committee on the “unacceptable and alarming” deterioration of school buildings, Daniel Kebede, General Secretary of the National Education Union, said: “Today’s intervention shows there is widespread unease about the Department for Education’s handing of the school estate. Over many years now, the Government has been content to allow schools and colleges to slide into disrepair. When the Conservatives took office in 2010 they slashed spending on the school estate – the cumulative cut to expenditure amounts to £43bn. The RAAC crisis exposes the folly of letting so much of the school estate fall into disrepair…” read more

Teachers feel severely underpaid (18 Nov) – Teachers are underpaid and struggling with bills, say NEU members in survey. Teachers feel severely underpaid and are worried about keeping up with their household bills, according to a new survey from the National Education Union read more

School Cuts relaunch (15 Nov) – School Cuts website relaunched as funding crisis in education deepens. Today sees the launch of the updated School Cuts website showing the impact of Government funding decisions on every mainstream school in England. The School Cuts website is run by education unions NEU, ASCL and NAHT, and supported by Parentkind read more

NEU Cymru members at Caldicot Comprehensive to take strike action over school’s inability to tackle student behaviour (24 Oct) – NEU Cymru members at Caldicot Comprehensive school will be taking strike action on Wednesday 25th October following concerns over violent and abusive behaviour by pupils towards staff, which the school has not dealt with appropriately. Discussions between the school and both the NEU and NASUWT have failed to make any progress in addressing the school’s approach to behaviour, and addressing the adverse management practices that are affecting the health, safety and welfare of their members and the pupils they have a duty of care towards  read more  

Support strike action at Connaught School Leytonstone Waltham Forest – the action is over proposed job cuts and forcing them into a MAT. Send messages of support to Paul Phillips – [email protected] and Sandra Faria [email protected]  


NASUWT NI members to take further strike action (20 Nov) – Members of NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union will take strike action In Northern Ireland on Wednesday 29 November over the failure to offer teachers and Further Education lecturers a fair and decent pay award. The strike action follows a half day strike in schools on the 21 February and a full day on the 26 April. NASUWT members in Northern Ireland’s Further Education colleges will join their school teacher colleagues in taking strike action. NASUWT members in schools and FE colleges are already taking action short of strike action. The Union has now announced a half day of strike in furtherance of our campaigns for a Better Deal for Teachers and Lecturers read more

STRB remit delay a deliberate stunt ahead of General Election (16 Nov) – The Government’s delay in issuing a remit to the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) is a deliberate stunt to delay publication of the pay review body’s recommendations prior to the General Election, NASUWT General Secretary Dr Patrick Roach said today. The Union has written to Education Secretary Gillian Keegan outlining its concerns and demanding that the Government honour its commitment to bring forward the timing of the pay review body process read more

Scrap school minibus exemptions to prevent further tragedies (16 Nov) – Exemptions that allow schools and colleges to run minibuses without an Operator’s Licence must be scrapped in a bid to prevent further tragedies on our roads. Thirty years ago this week on November 18th a minibus from Hagley Roman Catholic High School crashed on the M40 near Warwick, killing 12 pupils and their teacher. Only two pupils survived. Although much has been done to improve the safety of minibuses themselves since the crash, the NASUWT is deeply concerned that the fundamental cause of the accident – a teacher driving a minibus when they shouldn’t have been – remains unresolved read more

Report highlights toll on mental health (15 Nov) – Commenting on the latest report by Education Support, Dr Patrick Roach, NASUWT General Secretary said: “This report highlights the severe toll being taken on teachers’ mental health because of the excessive and unnecessary workload. “It is a deeply concerning picture of the state of mental health across the profession…” read more

Members at Cambridgeshire school to strike over behaviour policies and management practices (30 Oct) – Members of NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union at St Ivo’s Academy in Cambridgeshire are due to begin the first of five days of strike action on Wednesday over working conditions, adverse management practices and behaviour policies adopted by the employer, Astrea Academy Trust. Contrary to assertions from the employer, the NASUWT does not endorse the approach to managing pupil behaviour adopted by St Ivo Academy. NASUWT supports its members who are in dispute with this and other policies implemented centrally by Astrea without consultation read more 

New industrial action campaign at schools and colleges in England (18 Sept) – The NASUWT is instructing members to take part in a programme of action short of strike action following ballots for industrial action last term. The action is part of the Union’s campaign to secure real terms improvements to pay and bring downward pressure on workload and working hours. The NASUWT National Action Committee is initially instructing members in schools and colleges to limit their working time by working to rule from today. These include instructing members to refuse to undertake extracurricular activities, midday supervision, working during lunch breaks, being directed to work on weekends or Bank Holidays, not doing other tasks during PPA time and refusing to take part in mock inspections read more 



Schools on brink unless Chancellor delivers £1.7billion in Autumn Statement for 2024/25, says joint letter to Chancellor from four education unions (9 Nov) – Four education unions – ASCL, NAHT, NASUWT and NEU – have written to the Chancellor making the case for a significant increase in school funding as part of the Autumn Statement on 22 November. If schools do not receive a funding increase of at least £1.7 billion in 2024-25, they may not be able to recruit or retain teachers, and will begin to cut essential provision in order to survive read more

School leaders to strike for first time on Jersey (11 Sept) – School leaders’ union NAHT will join teachers in a day of strike action across Jersey’s schools tomorrow, Tuesday 12 September, after it said that revised proposals aimed at resolving the dispute were too little too late. Late last week, the States Employment Board (SEB) agreed to backdate its previous 7.9% pay offer, which NAHT members had overwhelmingly rejected in a ballot, to January. But NAHT said that was not enough and put its own proposals on the table on Friday designed to end the dispute. Today, the Government tabled alternative proposals which NAHT said fell well short of resolving the dispute read more 



Pickets to resume at City of Glasgow College as EIS-FELA members continue programme of strike action (13 Nov) – EIS-FELA lecturers at City of Glasgow College are set to resume a programme of strike action and action short of strikes following the result of a statutory ballot last month. Picket lines will be in place at the college’s City and Riverside campuses from tomorrow (Tuesday) for the rest of the week, with additional strike days to follow over subsequent weeks. This will be the latest installment of industrial action after a previous 11 weeks of strike action at the college as well as continued action short of strike read more

Lecturers Commence Targeted Strike Action in Constituency Areas of Key Scot Govt Ministers (2 Oct) – Lecturers in three Scottish colleges will start three days of targeted strike action, in colleges based in the constituencies of key Scottish Government decision makers. The targeted action is the latest step in a national industrial action campaign in a long-running dispute over pay and job security. The action will take place at Glasgow Clyde College, Fife College and Dundee & Angus College, which sit within the constituency areas of the First Minister, the Deputy First Minister, the Cabinet Secretary for Education and the Minister for Further Education read more 



Teachers’ Strike: 29 November 2023 (20 Nov) – Given that there has been no progress toward a resolution to the ongoing teachers’ pay dispute, the constituent members of the Northern Ireland Teachers’ Council, (NITC), today informed the Managing Authority of their intention to instruct members to engage in strike action beginning 00:01 on Wednesday 29 November 2023 and ending at 12 noon on Wednesday 29 November 2023. As a further escalation to the action, NITC has announced that they are planning an additional four full day strikes to take place in the Spring term on dates to be agreed read more

Northern Secretary Announces Escalation of Action (20 Nov)

Northern Committee Chair Announces Strike Action (20 Nov)


Strike ballot threat in fight against Oxford Brookes cuts (20 Nov) – UCU said a strike ballot could be on the cards as it vowed to fight brutal cuts at Oxford Brookes University. In a packed emergency branch meeting last Friday, an overwhelming 98% of Oxford Brookes UCU members in attendance voted for a possible strike ballot if the university refuses to rule out compulsory redundancies. It also passed a vote of no confidence in vice-chancellor Alistair Fitt and the vice-chancellor’s group. The union was responding to a threat from the university to axe up to 48 academic staff in mathematics, the arts, humanities, and social sciences as soon as January 2024. The university claims the cuts will allow it to save £2m per year read more

More pay wins see today’s college strike targeted at 8 hold out bosses (14 Nov) – UCU has called off today’s strike action at three more colleges after receiving last-minute pay offers.  This now leaves just eight colleges facing strike action today, tomorrow and Thursday. UCU said picket lines are incredibly busy this morning with members furious that bosses are refusing to make acceptable offers. Strike action has been called off at Hugh Baird in Liverpool and Heart of Yorkshire Education Trust after members voted to accept deals that included a pay offer of 6.5% and national bargaining commitments. Strike action at Bath College has also been suspended while members vote whether to accept a 6.5% offer read more

Staff to strike at five North East colleges over low pay (24 Oct) – Staff at five colleges in Stockton on Tees, Redcar and Cleveland will begin strike action next month as part of an ongoing dispute over low pay unless management make a realistic pay offer, the University and College Union (UCU) announced today. UCU urged management to quickly return to the negotiating table so that vital GCSE resits aren’t impacted. Three days of strikes will take place at Bede Sixth Form College, NETA Training Group, Stockton Riverside College, The Skills Academy and Redcar and Cleveland College, all of which are part of employer group Education Training Collective (ETC). UCU members at all five college will take strike action on:- 

  • Tuesday 7 November   
  • Monday 13 November  
  • Tuesday 14 November  

The action follows a strike ballot in which an overwhelming 95% of those that took part, voted for industrial action. The dispute is over the employer’s 22/23 pay award of 3% which was rejected by UCU members. The college then offered to add an additional 1% from May and to remove the bottom point of the lecturer pay spine, which UCU members again voted to reject read more 

Strike on tomorrow at University of the Highlands and Islands in dispute over cuts and job losses (16 Oct) – UCU members at the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) will begin the first of six days of strikes tomorrow. The strike is over £4 million cuts the university is making, including £3 million from the staffing budget meaning that up to 44 roles are being made redundant. In the ballot approving strike action, turnout was 86% with 77% of UCU members backing going on strike to defend jobs and oppose cuts.  The union said the high turnout showed the strength of feeling against the cuts and redundancies read more 

Ten days of strikes set to hit the University of Sheffield over pay docking row (15 Sept) – Staff at the University of Sheffield will strike for ten days beginning on Monday 18 September in a dispute over 100% pay deductions following the marking boycott, the University and College Union (UCU) confirmed today read more 

Strike to hit all further education colleges in Northern Ireland (11 Sept) – Staff at all six Further Education colleges across Northern Ireland will strike for five days next week and continuously for the next three months in a long-running dispute over pay and working conditions. UCU said it has been forced to take action after a decade of their members being subject to pay freeze, followed by pay restraint, which has seen lecturer pay awards limited to between 1 % and 2% per year read more 

Four days of strikes set to hit Kirklees College in pay dispute (8 Sept) – Staff at Kirklees College will strike for four days beginning on Monday 11 September in a long running dispute over low pay, announced the University and College Union (UCU) today. The full strike days are:- 

  • Monday 11 September  
  • Tuesday 12 September  
  • Wednesday 20 September  
  • Thursday 21 September  

The strikes will hit the first teaching week of the new academic year. Staff will be on picket lines at the Huddersfield Centre in Huddersfield and the Pioneer Higher Skills Centre in Dewsbury from 8am till 12pm on all four days. Staff at the college have already taken six days of strike action across May and June but management has refused to budge from a pay award for 22/23 of just 1% plus a £500 non-consolidated lump sum. To add insult to injury college management unilaterally imposed a ‘cost of living’ pay award of just 2.5% for 23/24 during pay talks for 22/23.  The college’s financial accounts show it has over £10m cash in the bank yet is hiring teachers for as little as £25k (full time equivalent salary). UCU Branch Officers made themselves available over the summer break to meet with college management to find a way to resolve this dispute but management was not interested read more 

Strikes set for Liverpool John Moores University over pay docking (13 Jun) – Staff at Liverpool John Moores University will down tools on Friday in the first of eight days of strike action in response to the university’s enforcement of 50% wage deductions for staff taking part in the marking boycott. Friday’s strike will hit a key university open day, and staff will rally outside Metropolitan Cathedral, next to the university’s John Foster building from 1pm. The full days of strike action are:-  

Week 1: Friday 16 June  

Week 2: Thursday 17 and Friday 18 August  

Week 3: Monday 18, Tuesday 19, Wednesday 20, Thursday 21 and Friday 22 September.  

Management at John Moores has started docking the pay of staff who are boycotting marking by 50% despite the fact that staff continue to teach, support students, write references, provide pastoral care, undertake research and attend public events read more  

Indefinite strike action to hit University of Leeds over 100% pay docking (2 Jun) – Over 1,800 staff at the University of Leeds will begin indefinite strike action from Thursday 15 June after management confirmed it will be deducting 100% of the pay of staff taking part in the marking boycott. The strike could continue for months unless management stop docking staff pay. UCU said pay deductions of up to 100% are utterly unacceptable as staff taking part in the marking and assessment boycott continue to teach, lecture and support students as normal read more  

UCU fighting fund:the link is here and donations to the fund are spent on supporting members involved in important disputes.  



Fire Brigades Union “deeply concerned” by Buckinghamshire Chief Fire Officer appointment (20 Nov) – The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has raised serious concerns over the appointment of a new Chief Fire Officer for Buckinghamshire who does not have firefighting experience. Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service has announced that the service will be led by an appointee selected from the police force instead of the fire service. The FBU has raised concerns that this “undermines both public safety and trust”. This follows a report by the inspectorate uncovering leadership concerns within the service, finding it “overly reliant” on neighbouring services and “inadequate” at protecting the public through fire regulation. On December 6, Bucks firefighters will hold a rally in Milton Keynes, calling on the fire authority for urgent investment in the fire service read more

Fire service needs ‘urgent resources’ for flood response: FBU responds to new NAO report (15 Nov) – The Fire Brigades Union has responded to today’s National Audit Office report into flooding resilience in England, calling for a statutory duty for fire and rescue services to respond to floods and the resources to match read more

Union warns of “catastrophe” as hundreds of firefighters gather to launch Firefighters’ Manifesto (31 Oct) – Today, Wednesday 1 November, hundreds of firefighters and control staff will assemble in Westminster to launch a new ‘Firefighters’ Manifesto’. As the country recovers from flooding, and braces for the realities of climate change, the union warned that politicians must “listen to the voice of the frontline” if they want to “avert catastrophe” read more

Firefighters’ union to consult members in Scotland on strike action over cuts (13 Oct) – The Fire Brigades Union has today announced its intention to begin consulting firefighters across Scotland on strike action in opposition to a devastating package of cuts imposed by the Scottish government. A projected five-year flat cash budget until 2027 has already removed 10 wholetime fire engines, whilst 150 retained fire engines are regularly unavailable due to significant recruitment and retention issues. The Scottish Fire and Rescue service has announced that its own projections mean it will need to save a minimum of a further £14 million next year, which would result in the loss of a further 339 firefighters and 18 fire engines, with more to come. Scotland has lost 1200 frontline firefighters since 2012. The move marks the first formal step towards firefighters taking strike action. This was agreed unanimously by the union’s Scottish committee this week. A formal strike ballot could follow read more 

Merseyside fire control staff vote to strike as firefighters vote for continued industrial action (Aug 21) – Today, 21st August, results from ballots for industrial action in Merseyside fire service have gone live, with FBU members voting in response to a reduction in night-time staffing numbers in fire control, and attacks on terms and conditions. FBU members in Merseyside fire control have voted overwhelmingly for strike action, with 100% voting Yes on a 92% turnout. Fire control are the team who answer calls from those who need the fire and rescue service and make sure firefighters and appliances get to the right place read more  


National Chair Update October 2023 read more 



Interventions Teams Restructuring (17 Nov) – Members will have no doubt seen the communications issued by the employers in relation to the next steps in the ongoing consultation on the restructuring of Interventions. The Transition Agreement referred to which is in the final stages of negotiation, is designed to ensure that career avenues are put in place for all colleagues in the programmes teams, whatever the Job Evaluation outcome. We are also challenging the statement in the link in the email sent to you by the employer, which says that: If there is a need for people to move to a different role “pay protection will normally be no more than two years”. We have a guarantee from the employers that if pay protection is needed, it will be for a full three years. We have also raised with the Chief Probation Officer, that there is a role boundary issue emerging, especially in light of the necessity for any individuals who may in future find themselves in a different role, needing to undertake what is a mandatory Probation Officer training for working with people convicted of sexual offences. We await a response on this and will issue more news when it is available. Please be assured, that Napo and our sister unions are still vehemently opposed to the plans to remove the Divisional Sex Offender Units from Probation, and work is ongoing in the background read more

Unions register formal NNC dispute on ‘One HMPPS’ (9 Oct) – At last week’s engagement meeting with HMPPS management, the Probation trade unions announced that they would need to carefully reflect on the disappointing outcomes and the worrying lack of clarity that has emerged from the consultative process so far, and that we would be revisiting our position of a pre-dispute. Since then, the unions have met and discussed a number of other concerns and have now decided to formally register a dispute under the NNC Dispute Resolution Procedures. This was submitted to the Head of HMPPS Employee Relations on the 4th October 2023 read more 

CAFCASS Pay Ballot 2023/2024 (6 Oct) – Napo members employed by Cafcass have the opportunity to vote on the employers pay offer which was sent out to preferred e-mail addresses a fortnight ago. If you have not voted yet please ensure that you do so and return your electronic ballot before next Thursday 12th October read more 


Transgender day of remembrance 2023 (20 Nov) – Remember Brianna Ghey – her 17th birthday would have been on the 7/11 had she not been killedin a Warrington park earlier this year. Remember Alice Litman, who died while waiting over three years for the care which is likely to have saved her – a wait which was heavily criticised by the Coroner for West Sussex. Our thoughts are with you and your families read more

Support the campaign to unionise Samworth Brothers – get organised, sign the petition read more  



International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women 2023 (18 Nov) – The NUJ sends a message of solidarity to women and girls worldwide who experience violence in many forms. All forms of abuse and violence are violations of women’s human rights and an obstacle to achieving equality. November 25 is International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women 2023 read more

Ballot opens on BBC Local offer (2 Nov) – NUJ members working across BBC Local are urged to vote before 13 November on a new proposal put forward in the ongoing dispute. The NUJ is balloting members across BBC Local on acceptance or rejection of a new offer brokered through Acas. If the offer is accepted, the industrial dispute and associated industrial action will end, while the NUJ will continue to campaign for truly local programming which serves the needs of local audiences across England. NUJ members across BBC Local (covering radio, TV and online) have been involved in a protracted dispute challenging cuts and changes that led to over 800 journalists put at risk of redundancy and editorial changes including the axing of local programmes, sharing of content across regions and pre-recorded news bulletins in some radio stations. Members have taken four days of strike action, along with a long-running work to rule, with two strike ballots won and significant political and campaigning activity read more

National World dispute: action postponed (17 Oct) – Next week’s five-day strike has been put on hold. Members of the NUJ’s group chapel working for National World have voted to suspend five days’ strike action due to begin next week, following the flat refusal of the management to hold talks with the union. The union’s national executive council had called on the general secretary, Michelle Stanistreet, to seek the urgent intervention of the conciliation service ACAS with a view to encouraging the management of National World to agree to urgent negotiations to spare further damage to the business. However, the company has categorically refused to hold further talks with the union. The members working for the publisher of the Scotsman, Yorkshire Post, Portsmouth News, Sheffield Star, Belfast Newsletter, Derry Journal and 100-plus regional titles took part in three days of strikes last month (September) after the company refused to implement improved minimum salaries, address pay disparities and imposed a below-inflation pay rise. The dispute brought together the members across the UK concerned about pay unfairness, low pay and the refusal by management to listen to staff about a whole range of issues within the business read more 

Find out more on the campaign and sign the NUJ’s petition read more 

Send your messages of support to journalists at National World striking for fair pay to #NationalWorldStrike or email [email protected] read more 

NUJ starts formal ballot for industrial action over compulsory redundancies at the BBC (29 Sept) – The NUJ has voted to move to a formal ballot of all members at the BBC for industrial action in opposition to any compulsory redundancies at the corporation. There are currently NUJ members facing the prospect of compulsory redundancy in the World Service, the News Channel, and across England at BBC Local. The NUJ believes with redeployment and flexibility these can be averted read more 


Support the industrial action campaign – As you will be aware, the AEP held a formal ballot of members paid on Soulbury scales in local authorities, to decide whether to take industrial action in a pay dispute with local government employers. The AEP members balloted voted overwhelmingly in favour of  taking strike action. The current pay offer of around 3% for most members would represent a real terms cut – at a time when inflation is running at 11.4%. It is also significantly lower than the pay settlements being agreed with other public sector workers. Worsening pay and conditions have led to a recruitment and retention crisis in services, with spiralling workloads leading to long wait times for children and young people in need of support. Following the ballot of Soulbury members (closed 8 September 2023) the AEP intends to call authorised members to take part in industrial action – consisting of a strike and action short of a strike. We can announce intended dates of actions below:

  • STRIKE ACTION is intended to be held on two separate dates:
  • 15th November AND 13th December 2023

ACTION SHORT OF STRIKE ACTION (members working only their contracted hours each week during the period referenced) is taking place and is continuous between: 6th November 2023 and 15th December 2023 read more

AEP Members begin industrial action in campaign to Save Services (6 Nov) – Today (6th November) is the day that many AEP members in England and Wales begin a period of action short of strike action – as part of our campaign to Save Our Services read more



Equity’s policy on Spotlight and casting directories (16 Nov) – After concerns were raised by Equity, Spotlight has now taken the necessary step of cancelling Premiere. However, this move does not fix persistent issues that impact Equity members read more


Unions statement following Tata meeting (17 Nov) – A joint statement from Community, GMB and Unite reads as follows:-

“The unions have told Tata Steel that their current proposals are unacceptable, and national officials from Community, Unite and GMB met today with the company to present alternative proposals developed by industry experts Syndex. The unions believe that Syndex have prepared a credible and deliverable alternative plan to decarbonise steelmaking at Port Talbot which can make the business fully sustainable, avoid compulsory redundancies and safeguard the future for all the downstream sites. Today’s discussion was constructive, and moving forward we urge Tata to progress meaningful consultations and show greater ambition to secure the future of Tata Steel UK…” read more


Next proposes the closure of their Bradford warehouse – Usdaw enters into consultation talks (16 Nov) – Retail and distribution trade union Usdaw is to enter into consultation talks with clothing and homeware retailer Next over the future of their Bradford warehouse. The company announced they propose to close the Toftshaw Lane facility in Bradford, stating that they are consolidating their returns processing operation into the new online fulfilment facility being developed in South Elmsall read more


Donate to IWGB strike fund  

RSA staff vote overwhelmingly for first ever strike in the organisation’s history (5 Sept) – Staff members at the Royal Society of Arts (RSA), represented by the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) have voted to go on strike for the first time in the charity’s 270 year history. With a 78.95% turnout and 93.33% vote in favour of striking, staff have given notice of strike action for Tuesday 19th and Thursday 21st of September, which will see the RSA host its president, Anne, Princess Royal, for its Design For Life awards ceremony, celebrating 100 years of the RSA Student Design Awards read more  

SIPTU (Ireland)  

SIPTU radiographers in Galway vote for industrial action (9 Oct) – radiographers in University Hospital Galway and Merlin Park University Hospital have voted overwhelmingly for industrial action up to and including strike action in a dispute over safe staffing levels. The result follows months of frustration over recruitment and retention issues at the two hospital sites which have left SIPTU members facing a significant extra workload amid a 20 percent staffing deficit read more 

SIPTU and other trade unions threaten strike action over Translink funding fears (3 Oct) – SIPTU and other trade unions at Translink have written to Denis McMahon, Permanent Secretary at the Department for Infrastructure, to express the union’s concern over the financial sustainability of Northern Ireland public transport company. The move comes after Translink management indicated that, due to the company’s poor financial position, they would be unable to table a pay offer for 2023/24. This, the union warned the Permanent Secretary, “may force us to initiate an industrial ballot” unless meaningful discussions were forthcoming. SIPTU, along GMB and Unite with its sister unions in Translink, also expressed fears that the company may have difficulty sustaining the operation of public transport in Northern Ireland without departmental funding read more 

Other news  

Affiliate with STAMMA – STAMMA’s Employment Support Service helps people who stammer as well as those who don’t around issues related to stammering in the workplace. Union branches and regions can affiliate with STAMMA to access a range of services and support at a reduced rate. 

  • £75 for branches and regions 
  • £125 for national unions with under 400,000 members 
  • £200 for national unions with 400,000+ members 

STAMMA website  



Fight blacklisting and victimisation of union reps  

UCU condemns ‘baffling’ dismissal of University of Sussex lecturer (25 Aug) – UCU has today condemned plans by the University of Sussex to make a member of teaching staff redundant after having advertised a new permanent post that includes all his current duties. Philosopher Lecturer James Furner has been employed at the university on consecutive fixed term part-time contracts since 2021, but on 22 August the university wrote to him to say that his employment will come to an end this month. Yet on July 7 it advertised a new full-time post of Lecturer in Philosophy stating that the post-holder ‘will be expected’ to teach the same four undergraduate modules that James taught in 2022-3. A petition has been launched in protest against the plans read more  

Sign petition: Reinstate Anne Howie RMT Activist – Anne Howie RMT activist at Manchester Piccadilly is facing dismissal with no due process  

UVW to sue LSE for disability discrimination and trade union victimisation after sacking strike leader (24 Aug) – “My condition has got something to do with it, but I think there’s more to it. I’ve always been at the forefront of the fight… because I consider myself a union leader” – Geovanny Moreno Buitrago, LSE cleaner and UVW member. UVW strike leader Geovanny Moreno Buitrago, a migrant cleaner from Colombia at the London School of Economics (LSE), was sacked after being off sick with a herniated disc as he tried to return to work. UVW is appealing and suing for his dismissal on grounds of disability discrimination and trade union victimisation. In spite of two expert medical opinions, Geovanny’s willingness to come back to work, his own recommendations on what he is capable of doing, and LSE’s own health policies, LSE sacked him read more  

Support Lee Fowler – Another blacklisted construction worker sacked after making complaints about safety on site read more about Lee’s case  

Felixstowe 4’ protest demands justice at CK Hutchison AGM (18 May) read more  

UK facing taps and pipes shortage as Warrington based GXO drivers strike over sacking of Unite rep (12 May) read more  

Protest as Hackney Unison chair amongst those handed compulsory redundancies in libraries shake-up: 6pm Wednesday 17th May Hackney Town Hall Read more on Hackney Citizen website  

#SPYCops Inquiry exposes state surveillance of workers movement   

Construction blacklisting: Evidence sought in union officials’ collusion inquiry (11 Apr) – Unite, the UK’s leading union, is stepping up its search for information into the possible collusion by trade union officials into the blacklisting of construction workers. In April 2022 Unite established an independent inquiry into allegations that some union officials may have colluded with the blacklisting of construction workers. Unite has instructed a legal team of Nick Randall KC (Matrix Chambers), John Carl Townsend (33 Chancery Lane Chambers) and Paul Heron from (Public Interest Law Centre), to examine and investigate whether any union officials from Unite or its predecessor unions (T&G, UCATT, Amicus, AEEU or MSF), were involved in the blacklisting of construction workers. The inquiry is now entering its next stage and an online portal has been launched to allow anyone who has any information relating to the inquiry to submit information read more  

Builders Crack: The Movie  

In the current situation, this long lost film from the 1990s about rank and file union organising in the construction industry is intended to lift the spirits, but also to spark a debate in our movement. Hope the youngsters in this film put a smile on your face.  

Watch – Share – Discuss https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VZ-QMA1FMg   

Blacklist Support Group  

Book: http://newint.org/books/politics/blacklisted-secret-war/   

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNcgrNs6pB8   

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/groups/blacklist-SG/   

Blog: www.hazards.org/blacklistblog   

Blacklist Support Group financial appeal: the Blacklist support group is desperately short of funds, to continue the incredible work we need more finance, would you please consider making a donation, raise it at your branches and trade councils. Please make cheques payable to Joint sites committee and send to 70 Darnay Rise Chelmsford Essex CM1 4XA. Please forward onto your contacts many thanks Steve Kelly (JSC Treasurer)  

Blacklisted t-shirts available at: https://shop.hopenothate.org.uk/component/hikashop/product/78-blacklisted-t-shirt   


Keep an eye out for other Facebook and social media groups and pages that are being created. You can catch up on disputes at Strike Map UK. Also, check out Organise Now! – Support for new worker organising.   



USA: read the latest about the ‘Stand Up Strikes’ at the ‘Big 3’ car companies on the UAW website here




22 2024 NSSN Conference – 11am Conway Hall, Holborn, London 



PHONE 07952 283 558  

EMAIL mailto:[email protected]   


TWITTER – https://twitter.com/NSSN_AntiCuts   


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