447: Support Harland & Wolff occupation – renationalise!

July 30, 2019 in Bulletins

We headline this week’s bulletin by giving our full solidarity and support to the workers in the Harland & Wolff shipyard in Belfast, in Unite and the GMB, who have gone into occupation to fight to secure their future.

We support their call to re-nationalise the shipyard to save jobs. 10 years ago, Belfast Visteon workers occupied their plant when the company went into administration. They fought for their jobs alongside their brothers and sisters in Enfield and Basildon but won enhanced redundancy when facing mere statutory terms. In 1971, workers in Upper Clydeside Shipbuilders in Glasgow undertook a working occupation, supported by a demonstration of 80,000 trade unionists and forced a Tory government to intervene to keep the yards open.

Follow #SaveOurShipyard on social media and send messages of support via twitter to @UniteunionNI and @GMBNI

H&W

This is from Joe Passmore, from the shipyard, who has posted on the Unite Northern Ireland Facebook page:-

“Can you please, post this on behalf of myself and workforce in Harland and Wolff? The workforce in Harland and Wolff have been truly humbled by the support shown by the trade union movement, locally and nationally, especially those who are currently involved in their own disputes. We are determined to have our voices heard. We are determined to show that the power of solidarity and the Trade Union movement are capable of when we are backed into a corner. In the worst case, if we do have to go down, we will ensure that every business in the country will think twice before they try to ignore the welfare of their workers and the strength that we have when we stand as one.”

Unite: Harland & Wolff: Workers buy time as administration delayed until Monday

GMB: Mass protest over sale of Titanic’ shipyard Harland and Wolf

 

 

NSSN TUC Congress Rally in Brighton: Boris Out! Fight for a General Election to get rid of all the Tories! – 1pm on Sunday September 8th  

Hundreds of union reps and members attended the 2019 National Shop Stewards Network on July 6th in London to discuss defending jobs, fighting for a pay rise and stopping the cuts.

Throughout the day, in the main sessions and workshops, the increasing number of strikes and disputes were reported, in many cases by strikers themselves. Many talked about how we must fight for a General Election to kick out the Tories, whoever wins the leadership contest.

This is even more urgent now that Boris Johnson has been elected Prime Minister.

Another big issue of NSSN Conference was how the union movement must relate to the call for a Climate Change general strike on September 20th.

TUC_lobby_flyer

All these will be major themes at our NSSN Rally at TUC Congress in Brighton on Sunday September 8th. It will be from 1pm in the Holiday Inn Kings Rd, BN1 2JF. All welcome. Facebook event

 

 

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

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

Follow us on twitter via @NSSN_AntiCuts and Facebook

 

 

 

 

Union News

PCS

Ballot to begin over DWP office closure (24 July) – DWP staff facing the closure of their south west London office in just over 5 months, and who could be made compulsorily redundant, are being balloted for strike action. Staff at Balham benefit centre have been told that their office is due to close on 31 December because the building’s landlord wants to redevelop the site and DWP is committed to moving all processing work outside of London. The department has also announced that 130 staff at the benefit centre have been declared ‘unassigned’ and now formally at risk of redundancy read more

Ballots begin at 3 Universal Credit service centres (23 July) – PCS ballots start today (23) at 3 Universal Credit service centres – Stockport, Walsall and Wolverhampton – over attacks on working practices and the fact workloads are increasing while the workforce is decreasing. We believe action is needed to make important changes for members and we’re holding the ballots until noon on 9 August, in which we’re urging members to vote yes for industrial action read more

PCS calls for urgent talks following DVSA ballot success (22 July) – PCS members working for the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) have won a second ballot for strike action in a long-running dispute over travel time, working time and workforce planning. The ballot, which closed at noon on Friday (19 July), centred on DVSA management’s refusal to consult meaningfully having imposed working practices, and restructures that are impacting detrimentally to members’ terms and conditions and their jobs. The ballot, which passed the government’s strict 50% legal turnout threshold, resulted in 84.9% of those voting in favour of strike action and 89.7% of those voting in favour of action short of a strike read more

Support the BEIS strikers: More workers join BEIS indefinite strike picket lines (22 July) – Security guards, porters and post room staff went on strike from 7.30am today for 5 days, alongside caterers and cleaners at the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy who are already on indefinite strike over pay. Contracted out workers at BEIS have been locked in a 9-month battle over the London Living Wage and poor working conditions. Now cleaners working for private contractors ISS and caterers working for Aramark have been joined by other ISS workers in security, porterage and the post room for 5 days, in a major escalation of strike action. As usual, the picket line outside 1 Victoria Street in London was lively with music and vuvuzelas. There was a great turnout with between 40 and 50 members read more

You can support the workers on social media using the hashtags: #LivingWage #PCSstrike

Please donate to the strike fund and send messages of support to leeds@pcs.org.uk

 

RMT

RMT confirms new strike dates in Merseyrail Guards’ dispute as company fail to deliver on key issue of train dispatch (30 July) – RAIL UNION RMT today confirmed a new batch of strike dates in the long-running guards’ and safety dispute on Merseyrail as the company has failed to deliver on the crucial issue of a safe method of train dispatch. As a result, the union’s executive believes that at this stage we have no alternative but to instruct our Merseyrail members not to book on for duty on the following dates:

Saturday 24th August    00.01-23.59 hrs

Tuesday 3rd September    00.01-23.59 hrs

Thursday 5th September   00.01-23.59 hrs

Monday 30th September   00.01-23.59 hrs

Wednesday 2nd October   00.01-23.59 hrs

Friday 4th October   00.01-23.59 hrs read more

RMT members rock solid again this morning in fight for pay and workplace justice on East Midlands Trains (27 July) – RMT members are “rock solid, united and determined” again this morning in the second phase of strike action in the fight for pay and workplace justice on East Midlands Trains. RAIL UNION RMT said that members on East Midlands Trains are rock solid, united and determined again this morning in the second phase of industrial action as Stagecoach attack pay and working conditions before the Government ban them from the railways in the wake of the pensions row. The next strike is from 00.01 hours and 23.59 hours on Saturday 3rd August 2019 read more    BREAKING NEWS!! RMT announces additional East Midlands Trains strike as Stagecoach cut and run from last rail franchises

RMT secures renewed mandate for action in ballot of London Overground Travel Safe Officers (26 July) – Rail union RMT announced today that it has secured another rock solid vote to continue with industrial action on London Overground in its fight over poverty-pay for Travel Safe Officers employed by contractor the STM Group (Arriva Rail Contract) after being forced to renew the mandate under the terms of the latest wave of Tory anti-union laws. Members have voted by an overwhelming 100% to continue with the current action over a pay freeze which effectively means poverty pay for these essential workers. This is the second time the union has been forced to ballot, with the company stringing out the process in the hope that our members will lose morale. Their strategy has failed and now is the time for STM to engage in serious talks and put a decent pay offer on the table. The union’s executive will consider this resounding result and make a decision on future action in due course read more

Massive Vote for Action on Caledonian Scottish Sleeper over Intolerable Working Conditions (24 July) – RMT members on the Caledonian Scottish Sleeper – run by SERCO – have voted overwhelmingly for both strike action and action short of a strike in a dispute over intolerable pressure on staff following the introduction of new fleet. Since the introduction of the new trains staff morale has sunk to an all-time low and RMT members have suffered workplace stress and mental health issues. The insufficient staffing levels, insufficient training and an unresponsive management regime have all contributed to a complete breakdown in industrial relations which has sparked the action ballot. Members have voted by more than ten to one for both strike action and action short of a strike in a turnout of over 80%.  The result will now be considered by the union’s executive who will decide on the next steps read more

RMT secures renewed mandate for action in ballot in Guards dispute on South Western Railway (24 July) – RAIL UNION RMT confirmed today that it has secured yet another rock-solid vote to continue with action in the rail safety dispute on South Western Railway after being forced to renew the mandate under the terms of the latest wave of Tory anti-union laws. Members have voted by an overwhelming 86% to continue with the current action in defence of safety, security and access on SWR despite the legal hurdles erected by the Tories. This is the fifth time that the union has been forced to ballot, with the company stringing out the process every six months in the hope that their constant undermining of their own safety-critical workforce will impact on union members morale. Once again their cynical strategy has failed and RMT says that it is time for SWR to stop playing games and to start getting serious in genuine and meaningful talks read more

RMT writes to Government to demand urgent meeting over Royal Fleet Auxiliary pay dispute as it increases deployment in the Gulf (24 July) – Maritime union RMT today wrote to Government minister Tobias Ellwood demanding an urgent meeting over the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) pay dispute after it was confirmed that additional resources from the navy supplies lifeline are to be deployed in the Gulf in light of the current tensions read more

 

More Unite

Unite to ballot members at homeless charity St Mungo’s over threats to jobs and service delivery (30 July) – Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest union, has given notice of its intention to ballot members working at the homeless charity St Mungo’s for strike action after the collapse of Acas talks last Friday (26 July). The ballot of over 500 members, who provide help and support for vulnerable homeless people across the South East, in London, Brighton and Bristol, will open on Monday 5 August and close on Monday 9 September. Unite is deeply disappointed that St Mungo’s senior management has decided to abandon Acas talks without offering any significant movement on the core issues in dispute read more

Unite slams Diageo over dispute as company announces £4.2bn profits (25 July) – Unite the union has today (Thursday 25 July) slammed the actions of Diageo after the company announced an increase in pre-tax profits to £4.2 billion. The union also confirmed yesterday (24 July) confirmed that talks mediated through the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) have collapsed with Diageo following two rounds of talks. Diageo announced its increase in pre-tax profits and confirmed a marketing spend which increased by 8 per cent to over £2 billion over the last year. The company’s brands include Smirnoff, Bailey’s, Johnnie Walker, Guinness, Tanqueray and Gordon’s gin. Unite will also now ballot more than 500 workers across all Diageo sites including Leven, Cameron Bridge and Shieldhall from 29 July. The ballots will close on 16 August. If the ballots are successful it is likely that discontinuous strike action will take place from late August to November read more

Doncaster rail engineers balloted for strike action at the birthplace of the Flying Scotsman (24 July) – Maintenance work on Britain’s rail rolling stock could be badly hit if engineers at Wabtec Rail Limited in Doncaster vote to take strike action in a pay dispute, Unite warned today (Wednesday 24 July). Unite said it was balloting its more than 320 members at the Hexthorpe Road site for strike action and/or industrial action short of a strike after they rejected a two per cent pay offer for the year starting April 2019. The ballot opens on Tuesday 30 July and closes on Tuesday 20 August read more

Mitie workers at Sellafield secure ‘mighty’ pay rise and end pay dispute (22 July) – Unite members working for Mitie at Sellafield in Cumbria have ended their pay dispute with the outsourcing giant after securing a pay rise of 55 pence per hour it was announced today (Monday 22 July). The historic pay rise takes the wages of over 180 Unite members working as security guards, cleaners, vending, laundry and environmental operatives up to the Living Wage Foundation’s real living wage of £9 per hour. The revised pay deal was backed by 79 per cent of members in a consultative ballot. The pay dispute, which saw 31 days of strike action at the nuclear site, came after workers rejected the company’s initial pay offer which would have seen most workers paid just £8.45 per hour read more

Sign the petition to defend Bromley Library Service Call and support the indefinite strike – We are calling on the public to help defend Bromley Library Service.  As Unite the Union, we oppose cuts to numbers of posts and demand that staff are properly paid. Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) have claimed that they could provide the same service for less money.  We do not believe that this is possible. We call on GLL to abide by its agreement with Unite. We call on the Council to take the service back in-house.

Support the 50 Bromley library staff who have been on strike since 6 June over pay and other issues specifically relating to GLL’s stewardship of Bromley’s 14 libraries read more. Please send messages of support and any financial assistance via Unite regional officer Onay Kasab Onay.Kasab@unitetheunion.org

Newham council faces five days of strikes over treatment of housing repair workers – About 50 housing repair workers at Newham council are to strike for five days disgusted over the way they are being treated, Unite said today (Wednesday 10 July). Unite said its members had voted unanimously for strike action over a myriad of issues, including a plan to introduce a new pay structure which would have cut pay by 20 per cent, pay deductions without speaking to the individuals concerned and a failure to tackle a bullying culture. The carpenters, electricians and plumbers, based at the Bridge Road depot, Abbey Road, Stratford, London E15 3LX, will hold 24 hour stoppages on 2, 5, 23 and 27 August, as well as on 11 September. All the strikes will start at 00:01. Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “It is starkly apparent that Newham council is beleaguered by a very poor employment relations’ culture…” read more

Sign the petition to defend Bromley Library Service Call and support the indefinite strike – We are calling on the public to help defend Bromley Library Service.  As Unite the Union, we oppose cuts to numbers of posts and demand that staff are properly paid. Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) have claimed that they could provide the same service for less money.  We do not believe that this is possible. We call on GLL to abide by its agreement with Unite. We call on the Council to take the service back in-house.

Support the 50 Bromley library staff who have been on strike since 6 June over pay and other issues specifically relating to GLL’s stewardship of Bromley’s 14 libraries read more. Please send messages of support and any financial assistance via Unite regional officer Onay Kasab Onay.Kasab@unitetheunion.org

Bring British Steel into public ownership to avoid an industrial catastrophe, demands Unite – The government must bring British Steel into public ownership to avoid an economic and industrial catastrophe the UK and Ireland’s largest union, Unite said today (Wednesday 22 May) after it emerged the steelmaker is going into official receivership read more

 

Unison

Birmingham university members strike (17 July) – Noisy, colourful and good humoured pickets call for fair pay. Members with placards form picket line at Birmingham University. Noisy, colourful and good-humoured pickets marked the second round of industrial action as UNISON members at Birmingham University continued their pay dispute this week. The university is one of a handful who are not part of national bargaining for support staff. The UNISON members are demanding improved pay after management imposed its 2018-19 pay offer, and calling on the university to become an accredited living wage employer read more

North West hospital staff to strike for pay equality (17 July) – Members at three NHS trusts deliver 100% vote for strikes to win NHS rates for all staff. Members standing with banner reading: NHS pay – fighting for fair pay for NHS staff. Outsourced staff at three NHS trusts in north west England will strike for pay equality in two weeks unless their employer Compass agrees to match NHS rates. UNISON has issued official strike notifications covering workers at St Helens and Knowsley teaching hospitals, Blackpool teaching hospitals and Liverpool heart and chest hospitals. One-day strikes will take place on 31 July if current talks between the union and Compass don’t produce a solution, after workers at all three trusts produced 100% votes for action, on turnouts of between 66.7% and 78.6%. The members involved are catering, cleaning, security, portering and reception staff. Most of them are on the national minimum wage of just £8.21 an hour. But they work alongside colleagues – either directly employed by the NHS or employed by Compass on TUPE-protected NHS terms – who are paid at least £9.03 an hour read more

 

USDAW

Usdaw members at Sainsbury’s Waltham Point Distribution Centre to take strike action on Thursday 25 July (24 July) – Tomorrow morning from 6am, Usdaw members at Sainsbury’s Waltham Point will take part in a second round of 24-hour strike action. The dispute relates to changes to the attendance policy which are being unilaterally implemented by the company read more

 

TSSA

DTM Strike Looms in ScotRail (24 July) – TSSA sent a final warning to ScotRail today after members voted in favour of strike action in a dispute over changes to staff duties and contracts. 87.5% of Driver Team Manager members voted in favour of strikes after ScotRail forced them to cover driving shifts in addition to their current duties. This is having a detrimental impact on their health and well-being as fatigue is starting to set in. The union is also in dispute with the company over rest day working arrangements in other grades read more

 

NEU

Support strikes at Peacehaven Community School in east Sussex against academisation – Send messages of support to: Phil Clarke 07709696561 phil.clarke@neu.org.uk and Jack Tyler 01444 894500 jack.tyler@neu.org.uk   Hands Off Peacehaven Community School Facebook group

 

UCU

Union leaders call for Ruskin College to withdraw threats of staff dismissal and drop charges against UCU reps (17 July) – Ten trade union leaders have written to Ruskin College in Oxford to ask them to drop all disciplinary proceedings and withdraw threats of redundancy against staff after the college dismissed a trade union branch officer, with others subject to continuing disciplinary action, and four threatened with redundancy over the summer. Ten trade union leaders have written to Ruskin College in Oxford to ask them to drop all disciplinary proceedings and withdraw threats of redundancy against staff after the college dismissed a trade union branch officer. Other staff are subject to continuing disciplinary action, and four are threatened with redundancy over the summer. UCU branch officer Lee Humber was sacked on Friday 12 July having previously been suspended for “spurious reasons” just days after the local branch passed a motion of no confidence in the principal read more

Support sacked Sandwell College lecturer Dave Muritu read more

 

CWU

Haverfordwest Royal Mail walkout (30 July) – Haverfordwest DO walked out this morning after a colleague was being bullied by management. The members have returned to work and would like to thank everyone for their support. The cause of the walk out is being dealt with at Area & Divisional level

 

BALPA

BREAKING NEWS!! Pilots defeat British Airways’ legal challenge (31 July) – The Court of Appeal has rejected British Airways’ attempt to injunct BALPA’s proposed industrial action on a technicality. The legality of BALPA’s ballot has been affirmed. BA’s case was already dismissed once at the High Court last week, but they insisted on wasting more time in pressing it to an appeal.  BALPA General Secretary, Brian Strutton, said: “The Court of Appeal has today rightly dismissed BA’s attempt to injunct this industrial action on a technicality. BA’s attempt to defeat the democratic view of their pilots in court, rather than deal with us across the negotiating table, has sadly wasted huge amounts of time and money that could have been put into finding a peaceful resolution. Now the window for negotiation and compromise is closing fast. BA need to wake up to reality. Our ballot returned 93% in favour of strike action. There is a serious issue here and BA has so far refused to help us tackle it. On BA’s own figures submitted to the court, even a single day of strike action will cost far more than we believe it would take to settle this dispute. “However, BALPA wants to resolve this matter through negotiation and so we are not announcing strike dates. Instead, we have called on BA to hold further talks at ACAS and they have agreed to meet at ACAS today and for the rest of this week for one last try to resolve this dispute by negotiation” read more

 

RCN

RCN Northern Ireland to ballot members on industrial action including strike action (29 July) – The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Northern Ireland Board has today (29 July 2019) taken the unprecedented step to ballot RCN members working in the Health and Social Care Service (HSC) in Northern Ireland on industrial action, including strike action, regarding the nurse staffing crisis in Northern Ireland. The announcement comes at a time when there are 2,600 unfilled nursing posts across the system, with a similar level of vacancies estimated in nursing homes. Nurses’ pay within the health service in Northern Ireland continues to fall behind England, Scotland and Wales. The real value of nurses’ pay in Northern Ireland has fallen by 15% over the last eight years, whilst the cost of securing nursing staff via nursing agencies has increased to an all-time high of £32 million in 2017-2018 read more

 

NUJ

NUJ demands release of journalists’ union leader seized by Sudanese military (25 July) – The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) in the UK and Ireland joins with the International Federation of Journalists to demand the immediate release of Sadiq Rizaigi, the head of the Sudanese Journalists Union (SJU). He was detained by the authorities on 24 July read more

NUJ achieves recognition at VICE UK (25 July) – The NUJ has warmly welcomed the agreement enabling trade union recognition at VICE UK, giving journalists at the company a formally acknowledged, independent voice at work read more

 

NIPSA

Support the pay action by NIPSA members in the civil service – after the successful strike on July 26th, action short of strike started on July 29th read more

 

UVW

Summer of strikes: low-pay Britain launches unprecedented fightback against rogue employers (July 29) – Some of London’s most prominent institutions are bracing themselves for a summer of labour struggle, after the United Voices of the World trade union (UVW) announced that staff in seven different workplaces are set to strike in protest at poverty wages and unfair conditions. Government departments, city skyscrapers, top universities and even Britain’s iconic Royal Parks are among the employers that could be hit by the forthcoming walk-outs, bringing disruption to every corner of the capital read more

The Queen’s cleaners set to strike in battle against poverty wages (July 22) – Workers who clean and maintain London’s world-famous Royal Parks are set to walk out on strike in protest at poverty wages, causing a major embarrassment for Buckingham Palace. The cleaners, who scrub toilets and other public facilities in some of the capital’s most iconic green spaces – including Hyde Park, St James’s Park and Kensington Gardens, all of which are hereditary possessions of the Crown and managed by the UK government on behalf of the Queen – are currently paid just £8.21 per hour, well below the basic London Living Wage read more

 

 

 

 

Other news

Undercover Policing and the Trade Unions conference: Saturday 16th November 2019 – jointly organized by the Blacklist Support Group

A major trade union conference ‘Undercover Policing and the Trade Unions: The Political and The Personal’ is taking place at the University of Greenwich on Saturday 16th November 2019. The event is jointly organised by the Blacklist Support Group and our sister campaigns Police Spies Out of Lives and the Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance (COPS). The conference is officially supported by UNITE the Union.

Amongst other issues, the conference will cover undercover police infiltration of trade unions, police collusion in blacklisting, the human rights violations against female activists by the British state and ongoing corporate surveillance of union activists. The speakers will include spied on activists, blacklisted union members, lawyers, politicians, investigative journalists and artists. See the attached documents for more information.

Attendance is free but registration is essential. Please raise the issue at your union committee and encourage people to apply for a space online via: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/undercover-policing-and-trade-unions-the-political-and-the-personal-tickets-64167284074

Affiliate to the Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance (COPs) and to send representatives from your trade union branch/organisation to our Trade Union Conference on Saturday November 16th at University of Greenwich, Stephen Lawrence Building, Old Naval College, 30 Park Row, London, SE10 9LS.

Return Address: Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance (COPS), c/o 5 Caledonian Road, London, N1 9DX

 

 

 

Blacklisting & Victimisation

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)

Guardian: Crossrail hired security firm to monitor trade unionists (29 July) – Bosses of huge publicly funded project paid firm £59,000 over three years, documents show read more

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

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

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

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

Blog: www.hazards.org/blacklistblog

 

 

 

International

Turkey: Reinstate municipal workers in Aliağa read more

 

 

 

Diary

 

2019

September

1 Burston Strike School Rally – 9:00 to 18:00 Church Green Norfolk, Burston, near Diss, Norfolk details

8 NSSN TUC Rally Brighton – 1pm in the Holiday Inn Kings Rd, BN1 2JF

29 End Austerity Now! Protest the Tory Party Conference – hosted by Unison North West, The People’s Assembly Against Austerity and Manchester People’s Assembly Facebook event

 

November

16 Undercover Policing and the Trade Unions conference: Saturday 16th November 2019 Eventbrite

 

CONTACT US

PHONE 07952 283 558

EMAIL mailto:info@shopstewards.net

 

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