303: Fawley workers defeat ‘race to the bottom’ exploitation

August 3, 2016 in Bulletins

Striking Unite members working for contractors NICO at the massive Fawley refinery in Hampshire have won an important victory for trade unionists against the bosses’ race to the bottom. This strike was against contractors exploiting migrant workers from Bulgaria and Italy and paying £48 for a 10 hour shift instead of the £125 union agreed rate paid to British workers. This attack by the employers on trade union terms and conditions has been at the heart of the austerity drive to boost profits at the expense of workers across Europe. It is the attempt to drive down wages that fuelled the anger against the Tory government and the European Union reflected in the Leave vote as well as the enthusiasm for Jeremy Corbyn. This strike was a stand against cuts and defence of trade union rights for all workers on the site.

Fawley workers on July 14 strike

Fawley workers on July 14 strike

This attack on the unions at Fawley has been developing over recent years, coming to a head with the first official strike on Thursday 14 July, for over 30 years. Pickets received strong support, with refinery workers joining the picket on their way to work and others offering to come out on unofficial strike. This action shows the enormous potential to cut across the bosses attempt to cut wages and the racist attacks of right-wing politicians on migrant workers. Like similar strikes elsewhere it is workers unity in struggle that gets results and on this stand further victories must be organised to end the race to the bottom and start the climb to the top. As striking pickets told the Socialist, “There is no future for the next generation of young workers on £48 a day!”

Unite regional officer Malcolm Bonnett said: “All the workers at NICO will now be paid the same rate for the job. The ‘pay parity’ deal is backdated to September last year. Unite will also be recognised for collective bargaining purposes by the employer. This is victory for fairness in the workplace and pay parity. A combination of the solidarity of our members, support from other workers on the Fawley site and the media attention on this dispute all contributed to breaking the logjam with management.”

From Declan Clune – Secretary Southampton & South West Hampshire Trade Union Council (personal capacity) and NSSN

Unite: ‘Pay parity’ victory at Fawley oil refinery over ‘half pay’ for foreign workers (27 July)

 

NSSN news

NSSN TUC Congress rally: ‘Cameron Gone – get the rest of the Tories Out!’ – Confirmed speakers: PCS President Janice Godrich, BFAWU General Secretary Ronnie Draper and POA General Secretary Steve Gillan

1pm Sunday 11th September Ashdown Suite in the Holiday Inn 137 King’s Rd (seafront), Brighton BN1 2JF Map

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1100714456673911/

NSSN TUC 2016

This is a video of the 10th annual NSSN Conference which took place on Saturday July 2nd in London on the themes: “Cameron’s gone – now get rid of the rest of the Tories! Link the strikes!’

 

Get your trade union branch or trades council to affiliate to the NSSN – it only costs £50. Already affiliated? Please think about renewing it. Also, many of our supporters pay a few pounds a month. You can set up a similar standing order to ‘National Shop Stewards Network’, HSBC – sort code 40-06-41, account number 90143790. Our address is NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE. Affiliation letter attached and here

Download the ‘Join the NSSN’ leaflet here

And if you can, come to one of our regional Conferences. If there is not one in your area, get in touch to either assist in organising or have a speaker at one of your meetings or events. Contact Rob or Linda on info@shopstewards.net

 

 

Union News

RMT/Unite

Solidarity protests on August 3 offshore oil strike day:

London – 8am Shell Centre, South Bank SE1 7NA https://www.facebook.com/events/627051097446187/

Manchester – 8am Shell Brabazon House, Concord Business Park, Threapwood Road M22 0RR https://www.facebook.com/events/1708865702709923/

Latest from RMT and Unite on dispute

Members of RMT and NSSN on solidarity protest at Shell in Canary Wharf

Members of RMT and NSSN on solidarity protest at Shell in Canary Wharf

 

NUT

July-August edition of NUT The Teacher magazine

Support Simon O’Hara — victimised teacher at Small Heath School in Birmingham

 

BFAWU

Reinstate Kumaran Bose – sacked by Samworths! The NSSN is supporting the BFAWU’s campaign in support of Kumaran Bose who was dismissed for speaking out and for organising a union in his workplace read more    Facebook group

FoodManufacture.co.uk – 2 Sisters workers in M&S Cardiff protest

 

RMT

Scotrail dispute latest:

RMT receives offer from ScotRail in guards safety dispute (1 Aug) – RAIL UNION RMT confirmed today that it has received a new offer from ScotRail in the on-going dispute over Driver Only Operation and the safety-critical role of the guards. The offer will now be subject to detailed scrutiny and consultation before there is any formal response from the union read more

RMT responds to threatened legal action in ScotRail dispute read more

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash on ScotRail picket line read more

RMT announces new strike dates on ScotRail read more

Southern Rail dispute latest:

RMT presses Govia Thameslink for urgent talks in Southern guards safety dispute read more

RMT announces new strike dates in Southern guards safety dispute as company and Government refuse to talk read more       (Aug 3) TSSA ballots GTR staff on strike action

 

Unison

Higher Education members urged to strike for better pay (Aug 2) – UNISON believes that no employee in higher education should be paid less than the Living Wage. With universities putting billions away in the bank last year, it is clear that money is available for a pay increase and the employers could make an improved pay offer on their miserly 1.1% pay offer read more

Support school support staff against pay cuts – Join teaching assistants Facebook Group here   Watch video of Durham protest   Durham school support staff mobilise against slashing of pay

 

PCS

Support low-paid striking HMRC cleaners on Merseyside – Cleaners working for ISS UK have had their hours slashed without any negotiation. The cleaners work in HMRC buildings across Merseyside and need your support. ISS have refused to negotiate so the cleaners have been forced to take Industrial Action to get ISS UK to the negotiating table. While taking part in this action, they need your help and support, if you can spare some cash to help their fight, it would be greatly appreciated. All funds raised will go directly to the cleaning staff employed by ISS UK in HMRC buildings on Merseyside. The funds will be used to make up strike pay to help those who lose out while taking part in industrial action. If the action is successful and any funds are no longer required, anything left over will be donated to the PCS Fighting Fund to go towards industrial action by other comrades in PCS read and donate

Letters detailing outrageous plans to slash redundancy pay published (29 July) – Details of outrageous plans to slash civil service redundancy pay by more than 25% are shown in correspondence between Cabinet Office and civil service trade unions published today by PCS read more

BIS industrial action to continue throughout the summer – Action short of a strike will start on Monday 20 June with the possibility of more complete walk-outs read more

  • Sign the online petition against the closure of the Sheffield office
  • Write to your MP
  • Tweet your messages of support @pcsbis using the hashtag #KeepSheffieldOpen.
  • Donate to the strike fund: cheques made payable to the PCS BIS hardship fund can be sent to the BIS group treasurer at 9 Medina Way, Upper Stratton, Swindon, SN2 7NW or money can be transferred to Unity Trust bank account 20240992 sort code 60-83-01

 

Unite

Shopfitters from HMY Radford in Burnopfield (Tyneside) start 3 day strike (from Wednesday 3rd August). This strike, alongside a 24 hour stoppage in July, is the first strike at this factory for 33 years. One of the strikers explained, ‘At the end of the day the dispute is about pay, conditions and fairness’. Another said, ‘What we are asking for is pennies!’ The shopfitters had asked for a 33p/hour increase each year over the next 3 years, which would take them to just below the living wage of £9/hour which is to be introduced by 2020. The company flatly refused to do this. Strikers also commented that their wages had already effectively been reduced by around £1800pa eighteen months ago when their shift patterns were changed. Workers told of the ‘penny pinching’ methods of the company, and how they ‘Keep changing the rules to suit them.’ This year was a leap year, but workers were told they wouldn’t be paid for the extra day as they were salaried! Strikers told us the company like to make out that, ‘We’re all in this together’, so everyone at the factory wears the same uniform.  However, when it comes to things like hospital appointments, staff are given paid leave, whereas the shopfitters have to take the day off as a holiday or without pay.  The shopfitters are clearly angry, but also determined to fight for a decent pay rise and better working conditions.  Please text messages of support to 07787725470

Unite members on Aug 3rd strike at HMY Radford in Burnopfield

Unite members on Aug 3rd strike at HMY Radford in Burnopfield

Unite wins five year holiday pay battle with haulier Eddie Stobart (2 Aug) – A five-year legal battle to get haulier Eddie Stobart Ltd (ESL) to pay the correct rate of holiday pay has resulted in a pay-out of £364,000 for more than 430 drivers. Unite, the country’s largest union which represented 370 of its drivers, hailed this as ‘a victory for the benefits of union membership’, as only union drivers benefited from the successful legal action read more

Newcastle shop fitters blast ‘bizarre’ pay offer and prepare to strike (1 Aug) – Shop fitters kitting out high street stores including Tesco and Vodafone today (Monday 1 August) blasted a ‘now you see it, now you don’t’ pay offer as bizarre as they prepared to begin a three day walkout starting Wednesday 3 August. Over 40 shop fitters who are members of Britain’s largest union working at HMY Radford in Burnopfield, Newcastle, have been locked in a dispute over the firm’s initial failure to offer any sort of a pay rise for 2016 read more

Prudential staff in Reading in strike ballot over outsourcing 75 jobs to India (29 July) – Prudential employees, based in Reading, are being balloted for strike action over plans to outsource about 75 jobs dealing with annuities to India. Staff, members of Unite will start voting from Monday (1 August), for industrial action, including strike action, over the proposal to outsource back office annuity work to Mumbai. The ballot closes on Monday 15 August read more

Drop the cuts to stop the dispute say North Sea offshore oil and gas workers (29 July) – Offshore trade unions, Unite and RMT have issued a fresh call to Wood Group to drop its cuts to pay and allowances and hold further talks to resolve the dispute ahead of further strike action on Shell platforms planned for next week read more

Weymouth ‘cancer’ bus drivers docked sick pay by bosses, says Unite (27 July) – Weymouth bus drivers, suffering from cancer and serious heart conditions, have been told by hard-hearted bosses that they will have their sick pay docked while the strikes over ‘poverty pay’ continue. Unite which represents the more than 110 drivers based at Weymouth and Bridport, employed by First Hampshire & Dorset Ltd, said the decision was illegal, and ‘flouted every canon of humanity and common decency’ read more

Quarterly national Unite rank & file construction meeting – this Saturday August 6th from 12noon Unite HQ in Holborn, London

 

GMB

Sussex Members At Coperforma Vote For Action (Aug 2) – GMB Members Vote For Industrial Action In Consultative Ballot Against Coperforma Over Back Pay. Patience has worn thin and members will now require both stability and assurances that pay issues will be settled in the short and long term to prevent strike action says GMB read more

GMB Ballot At Diageo (July 29) – GMB Ballots Members After Cuts To Pensions At Drinks Giant Diageo. Once again we see an employer happy to end its employees’ chance of a decent retirement while bloating its bosses’ bank balances says GMB Scotland read more

GMB Ballot Members In Sussex Patient Transport (July 27) – GMB Ballot Members In Sussex Patient Transport Service Over Unpaid Back pay. GMB, the union for workers in the ambulance service, has begun a ballot of members in patient transport at Docklands Medical Services in Sussex over the employer’s failure to pay an estimated £45,000 in overtime and unsocial hours payments read more

 

BMA Junior Doctors dispute – junior doctors vote to reject deal by 58% to 42% on a 68% turnout  Read more on BMA website

For more info follow #JuniorDoctorsStrike #NotSafeNotFair #JuniorDoctors on twitter

BURSARY OR BUST: Continuing the fight to save NHS bursaries https://www.facebook.com/NHSbursarycutsforum/

 

UCU

UCU confirms Saturday 19 November as date for national central London demonstration with National Union of Students (29 July) – UCU and the National Union of Students (NUS) have confirmed a November national demonstration in central London. Set for Saturday 19 November, the demonstration – ‘United For Education’ – will represent a rallying call for free, accessible and quality further and higher education across the UK, and to demand an end to the marketisation of university and college education read more

Stop the sackings of union reps at London Met – #savelondonmet #saveourreps Yesterday (April 30) our branch chair Mark Campbell and secretary David Hardman were made redundant in what is an outrageous attack on their strenuous and tireless trade union activities defending jobs and education at London Met read more   Sign petition   Since launching this petition, the situation at London Met has now deteriorated further. University management have commenced a further round of compulsory redundancies that threaten the jobs of almost 400 academic and administrative staff – some one-third of all substantive university staff. They have also stated their intention to further increase the use of zero-hour contracts and reduce research to that which explicitly ‘generates a profit’. Please see details here

 

CWU

CWU serves notice for Post Office strike ballot (26 July) – In an unprecedented move, the CWU is set to ballot 3,500 members across Crown post offices, supply chain depots and admin sites for strike action. General secretary Dave Ward has warned: “the Post Office as we know it is on the brink of extinction.” The union served notice to Post Office Ltd yesterday (Monday 25 July) for the ballot which will run from 1 August with the result due on 19 August read more

Reinstate Clive Walder – Clive Walder, a longstanding leading rep in the CWU was sacked last November after 38 years of service with British Telecom. Clive is chair of the CWU Birmingham, Black Country & Worcester branch. Last week, his Employment Tribunal was dismissed on a technicality after a claim by BT, denying Clive the right of a fair hearing. This is outrageous.

Clive worked in a BT call centre and was dismissed after an aggressive customer reported him to management just 33 seconds into a phone call. The decision was made without taking stress into account despite the local CWU branch reporting that 7% of staff at the call centre leave their jobs each month, some walking out mid shift. Management took the decision without consulting any medical advice or taking into account any mitigation.

Clive is a NSSN steering committee member and we will be supporting the campaign protesting the sacking and campaigning for his reinstatement.

Contact Clive to send messages of support and invite him to your union branch, shop stewards committee, trades council etc – cliverwalder@hotmail.com 07771931185

 

TSSA

TSSA ballots GTR staff on strike action (3 Aug) – New strike threat at Southern over ticket office closures. The TSSA rail union is to ballot over 250 station staff members on strike action at the troubled GTR franchise, it was announced today read more

Network Rail Bands 1-4 On Call Working – Ballot for Industrial Action (2 Aug) – Commencing today, TSSA Members in Bands 1-4 who undertake On Call duties are being balloted for Industrial Action in order to seek a meaningful and fit for purpose On Call Agreement. After many months of negotiations TSSA Members rejected the latest company offer by over a two thirds majority read more

Dublin Bus members reject Court pay offer (1 August) – The threat of disruption at Dublin Bus grew today when all three union agreed to meet next week to co-ordinate industrial action over a rejected 8.25% pay recommendation from the Labour Court. The unions, NBRU, Siptu and the TSSA are now balloting their members on industrial action following the overwhelming rejection of the three year offer read more

 

Nationalise Tata – support the Steelworkers

For latest developments, follow Facebook group

 

NUJ

A Trinity of chapels take action over redundancies and workloads (28 July) – Three Trinity Mirror chapels are taking industrial action this week over redundancies, heavy workloads and the threat to quality journalism caused by the company-wide restructuring, dubbed as the “merry-go-round of misery”. Staff on titles in Newcastle, including the Journal and Chronicle, and North Wales, including the Daily Post, will hold two-hour disruptive mandatory chapel meetings today and titles on Merseyside titles, including the Liverpool Echo, will take similar action tomorrow read more

 

United Voices of the World

Members of the United Voices of the World union at 100 Wood Street EC2V 7AN are on indefinite strike and have been out for nearly 60 days of strike action. Cleaning contractor Thames Cleaning and Support Services Limited, who sub-contract for CBRE properties, have finally conceded the London Living Wage but the dispute continues until sacked workers are reinstated. See video here https://www.facebook.com/events/1559648911010367/

UVW July15

United Voices protest lunchtime this Friday August 5th to mark 60th indefinite strike day at 100 Wood Street – 12.30pm-1.30pm at the offices of CBRE who own 100 Wood Street – 10 Paternoster Row EC4M 7DX (next to St Paul’s station) Facebook event

Please consider donating to their strike fund. Bank details can be found at http://www.uvwunion.org.uk/volunteer/ read more on United Voices of the World Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/uvwunion/?fref=ts

 

IWGB

CLB Victory over Mach1! – After negotiations with Mach1, Union membership have accepted an offer of a pay rise, which will bring Mach1 riders into the region of earning the London Living Wage plus costs. This is the 3rd major victory for the Union read more

 

 

Other News

Crowdfunder for van for ‘Dare Devil Rides To Jarama’ – UK theatre tour read more

 

Blacklisting & Victimisation

Buy the book ‘Blacklisted: The Secret War between Big Business and Union Activists’ Author: Dave Smith and Phil Chamberlain. Blacklisted tells the controversial story of the illegal strategies that transnational construction companies used to keep union activists away from work. See the official trailer from ReelNews  

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)

Blacklist Support Group update –

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

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlCa8yQmZ70

Blog: www.hazards.org/blacklistblog

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/groups/blacklistSG/

Donate to ReelNews – http://reelnews.co.uk/donationssubscriptions/

 

 

International

Malaysia: SFI must stop stalling and recognize union now read more

Harsh prison sentences for Korean union leaders read more  sign petition

 

Diary (see & use false economy)

 

2016

 

September

10 6th Wigan Diggers’ Festival https://wigandiggersfestival.org/

 

11 NSSN TUC Congress rally ‘Cameron Gone – get the rest of the Tories Out!’ – 1pm Ashdown Suite in the Holiday Inn 137 King’s Rd (seafront), Brighton BN1 2JF https://www.facebook.com/events/1100714456673911/

 

 

CONTACT US

PHONE 07952 283 558

EMAIL mailto:info@shopstewards.net

 

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