NSSN 469: Support PCS strike to Save Ealing Tax Office

January 28, 2020 in Bulletins

We headline this week’s NSSN bulletin with the continuing action by PCS members in HMRC to stop the closure of Ealing Tax Office to defend jobs. This week, members are on strike over 3 days. Please give your support.

Ealing Tax Office Jan 2020

PCS: Bring your banner to support Ealing strikers (27 Jan) – We’re urging trade union members, supporters and campaigners to come to Ealing on Thursday (30) to show solidarity with our striking HMRC members by bringing their banners for a rally. Our members, who work at International House in Ealing, are facing huge uncertainty as HMRC plans to close their office. They have held 2 half-day strikes so far this year to oppose the closure, as well as a series of walkouts last year. The action last year secured an extension to the office closure date. However, commitments from HMRC, which could have allowed our members to continue their careers within HMRC, were then reneged upon and our members voted to take further strike action and action short of strike to continue fighting for their jobs. This week in an attempt to seek to persuade the employer to take our demands seriously on:

  • Wednesday (29) – noon walkout
  • Thursday (30) – noon walkout
  • Friday (31) – full day strike action.

Bring your banner on 30 January

The branch is particularly keen for trade union members and community groups to bring their banners for a rally starting at 12pm near the office block in Ealing High Street on Thursday (30) to make a great show of solidarity. So come along and show support for our members who are fighting for their future.

What you can do

  • Send a message of support to RCGroup@pcs.org.uk
  • Show support on social media, using the hashtag #SaveEalingTaxOffice
  • Donate to the strike fund.

For more information on how you can help support the campaign, contact cathyc@pcs.org.uk   read more

 

 

Come to these events: ‘Fight the new Tory anti-union laws! Support the strikes’

NSSN Coventry rally – 7pm, Thursday February 13, Methodist Central Hall, Warwick Lane, CV1 2HA

NSSN London rally – 7.30pm, Tuesday February 18, Indian YMCA, 41 Fitzroy Square, Bloomsbury, W1T 6AQ

RMT/Southampton TUC Solidarity Conference ‘Defend the right to strike’ – 2pm Saturday 7 March Friends Meeting House, 1A Ordnance Rd, SO15 2AZ. Speakers: Steve Hedley RMT AGS & Rob Williams NSSN Chair, others invited from CWU, UCU, NEU and Unite

 

 

Support these indefinite industrial actions:-

Unite

Support the Unite Bromley strike – Unite members are taking action to defend jobs being led by 50 members of the union employed by Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) and who work at Bromley’s libraries. The workers have been on continuous strike since Thursday 6 June. They recently renewed their strike mandate and began the latest continuous strike action on Monday 25 November. Once Unite members became aware that the strikers had voted again to renew the strike mandate a fund raising exercise was organised. Unite branches from Scotland to Gibraltar and many places in between made donations and over £20,000 was raised for the campaign. The strike is as a result of the plans by GLL, which claims to be a social enterprise, to slash staffing levels by 35 per cent making it impossible for the council’s 14 libraries to remain fully functioning. Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “The generosity of Unite branches across the UK, has greatly helped to show GLL that this is a campaign supported by people across the UK and has given our members a huge morale boost as well. GLL need to understand that the strength and conviction of our members is undiminished and strikes will continue until GLL provides cast iron assurances that they will not slash jobs. Our members fundamentally believe that libraries improve people’s lives and that GLL’s current plans will destroy the ethos of the service. Unite believes that this dispute can be resolved if GLL is prepared to enter into honest negotiations. Unite’s door is very much open to allow such talks to occur.”

📢Join us for one of the campaign days!

📢Follow Unite London & Eastern to find out details about the future events!

Here is a link for our crowd funding site which has been set up. Please forward this to stewards and members and encourage them to donate. This is a vitally important campaign – and we will win a vitally important victory!

Also, cheques can be made payable to Onay Kasab and forwarded to 33 – 37 Moreland St, London, EC1V 8BB and messages of support via onay.kasab@unitetheunion.org   bank details are: Unity Trust Bank, Bromley LG Bromley Branch, A/C NO. 20272821 Sort 60 83 01

Sign the petition to defend Bromley Library Service Call and support the indefinite strike. Please send messages of support and any financial assistance via Unite regional officer Onay Kasab Onay.Kasab@unitetheunion.org

 

Support Westex Carpets staff strike – Westex Carpet strike reaches two month mark: Members of Unite at the Westex Carpets factory in Cleckheaton in in West Yorkshire are about to reach the two month mark in their ongoing dispute over pay. The strike began on November 20th after workers rejected a minimal pay rise which was then withdrawn by the company, which has since refused further dialogue read more    Westex Carpets ‘won’t win battle of wills’ as strikes head into ninth week after talks collapse (22 Jan)

To make a donation to the hardship fund:-

Account name – TGWU

Account number – 20175407

Sort code – 60/83/01

Reference – WESTEX STRIKE FUND

 

Support the Tayside Pharmacy workers – read more on Support Tayside Pharmacy Workers Facebook page

Donate to the strike fund

 

 

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. Also, many of our supporters pay a few pounds a month. You can set up a similar standing order to ‘National Shop Stewards Network’, HSBC – sort code 40-06-41, account number 90143790. Our address is NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE. Feel free to use this affiliation letter

Date for your diary: 2020 NSSN Conference Saturday July 4th 11am-4.30pm Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, Holborn, London WC1R 4RL

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

Watch NSSN TUC Rally video

 

 

Union News

RMT

Sign petition: to The Mayor of London and the London Assembly – End the privatisation of cleaning at Transport for London

RMT Tube Cleaners to demonstrate outside Parliament (27 Jan) – TUBE UNION RMT will be holding a demonstration outside Parliament this week as it launches a new report into the scandal of privatised cleaning on London Underground. The demonstration will take place on Wednesday 29 January at 13:00 opposite Old Palace Yard at the Houses of Parliament. The report, titled ‘Dirty Work: ABM and the outsourcing of London’s Underground cleaners’, shines a light on the unknown world of the 2000 workers who keep the Underground clean and hygienic for the 2 million passengers who use it every day. The protest takes place as the current Mayor Sadiq Khan consults on his Manifesto prior to the forthcoming Mayoral election in May. RMT’s report will form part of the union’s responses to the consultation, which will call for all cleaners on London Underground and Overground to be brought in house read more

South Western Railway workers vote to continue strikes in guards dispute (23 Jan) – Workers on South Western Railway (SWR) have voted to continue taking strike action in the long-running dispute over guards on trains. Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union backed more walkouts by 416, with 88 voting against. A bigger majority voted to take other forms of industrial action – the sixth time the union has balloted its members on SWR over the issue because of industrial action legislation read more on The Railway Hub

RMT Rail Gourmet workers at Paddington depot to strike again this month in fight for workplace justice – RAIL UNION RMT has confirmed that Rail Gourmet workers at Paddington depot will be striking again this month in an on-going fight for workplace justice and safety. RMT Rail Gourmet members at Paddington have been instructed to take further strike action by not booking on for any shifts that commence between 0001 Hours on Thursday 30th January 2020 to 2359 Hours on Friday 31st January 2020 read more

Donate to the RMT strike fund on South Western Railway – The NSSN is appealing for financial support and solidarity for the RMT and their members on SWR.

Send messages of support and requests for speakers for your union branch and/or trades council to RMT NEC member and SWR guard Geoff Kite – g.kite@rmt.org.uk

To make a donation to the hardship funds set up for RMT members striking against Driver Only Operation:-

National Dispute Fund:
Transfers can be made directly into the account using the details below:
Account name: RMT Head Office National Dispute Fund
Account no: 20113524
Sort Code: 60-83-01
Alternatively, you can send cheques to the Finance Department at Head Office – Unity House 39 Chalton Street London NW11JD

RMT Wessex DOO Dispute Fund:
Transfers can be made directly into the account using the details below:
Account name: RMT Wessex DOO Dispute Fund
Account no: 20399461
Sort Code: 60-83-01

 

More PCS

FCO Interserve staff to hold month-long strike (22 Jan) – PCS members working for Interserve at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) have served notice for a month of strike action in February. The facilities management (FM) workers have been in dispute with their employer since March 2019, which has already involved 18 days of strike action over six periods in 2019. Whilst strike action has won some concessions, Interserve will not move on key issues such as union recognition and a buy-out on contractual pay date changes. In the last strike ballot in October, members voted 100% to back further strike action on an 83% turnout. PCS wrote to senior executives in Interserve during the ballot period to seek a settlement to the dispute as well as formally requesting union recognition, however, they have repeatedly refused. The dispute centres on the following issues:

  • Recognition of PCS for collective bargaining purposes in the FCO
  • Buy-out of contractual pay changes
  • Return to monthly salaries not daily pay
  • Reinstatement of working hours for cleaners on permanent contracts
  • Full company sick pay for all.

The escalation of action follows many attempts to resolve the dispute via the conciliator, ACAS, and the subsequent worsening of treatment of the FM members by Interserve. Despite being dumped from their contract for poor service levels by DWP, Interserve is being allowed by the FCO to continue with the sub-standard treatment of FM staff on FCO premises.

We need union members to show support for these members whose prolonged dispute is unseen in the Foreign Office’s history. Picketing will take place Monday to Friday from 7.30am to 12pm from 3–28 February. Parliamentary interventions and a march and rally are being planned.

You can support the strike in the following ways:

Support striking LGV driving examiners out in all weathers for PCS strike – PCS members, who are LGV driving examiners in the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, have held a week-long action before Christmas. This is a long-running dispute over working practices and restructures. Our members work in various driving test centres, across the country. Donate to the strike fund online using account number: 20331490, sort code: 608301, quoting the reference DVSA Strike Fund. Send your solidarity messages to Midsbargaining@pcs.org.uk

Support Merseyside ISS members in HMRC The members who clean HMRC offices in Bootle and Liverpool have been striking over low pay and poor conditions. The low paid members recently took six days strike action, in addition to previous action in September. Members are demanding a £10 per hour living wage, holidays and sick pay equal to civil servants, and improved job security. Picket lines in Bootle and Liverpool remained strong, with a majority of striking members taking part and support from UCU members who are also on strike. Meanwhile, the strike-breakers brought in by ISS have complained directly to pickets in Liverpool about the amount of work they are having to cover. You can help by donating to the strike fund and sending solidarity messages to rcgroup@pcs.org.uk read more

 

More Unite

BREAKING NEWS!! Unipart dispute over as NHS delivery drivers accept pay offer (28 Jan) – NHS delivery drivers have called off a dispute with their employer, Unipart, after accepting a pay offer from the firm, Unite said today (Tuesday 28 January). The drivers, who are employed nationwide by Unipart, and drive HGV and 7.5 tonne vehicles, deliver NHS general equipment and supplies on behalf of Supply Chain Coordination Limited (SCCL), which is wholly owned by the secretary of state for health and social care. The dispute, involving about 130 drivers ended following a pay offer from Unipart which the membership overwhelmingly (80 per cent) voted in favour of. Under the deal, the drivers will receive a year’s three per cent increase back dated to April 2019 and a 2.2 per cent increase beginning April 2020, as well as significant improvements to their sick pay read more

BREAKING NEWS!! RSPCA workers to hold strike ballot over new detrimental ‘bully boy’ contracts (28 Jan) – Staff at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) are to be balloted for strike action, Unite said today (Tuesday 28 January). Unite said the ballot for strike action will open on Tuesday (4 February), following an overwhelming vote in a consultative ballot to reject the management’s arbitrary imposition of new ‘performance pay’ contracts. The ballot closes on Thursday 20 February. Unite represents more than 700 staff – about half the workforce at the UK’s leading animal charity, founded in 1824 read more

Unite appeals to St Mungo’s board to ‘help rebuild trust’ ahead of strike ballot result (27 Jan) – Unite has appealed to the St Mungo’s board of trustees to ‘help rebuild trust’ by persuading senior management to reconsider its position and join last-ditch talks, ahead of the strike ballot result, which is due next Monday (3 February). Unite is balloting over 500 members at the homelessness charity for a second time in less than six months in a dispute over the tearing up of the junior staffing cap agreement, which risks reinstatement of ‘race to the bottom’ terms and conditions, as well as overly harsh sickness and disciplinary policies. In an open letter to the St Mungo’s board chair, Robert Napier and 12 board members, published today (Monday 27 January), Unite staff representatives have said: ‘We are proud of what we do. But we’ve had enough of the threats to our jobs, union and professionalism.’ Read more

Low pay dispute at Birmingham crankshaft factory could hit Ford, Peugeot and JLR supply chains (27 Jan) – The supply chains of Ford, Peugeot and JLR could be hit in a dispute over low pay at Darcast Crankshafts Ltd in Birmingham, Unite said today (Monday 27 January). The entire shop floor workforce at the factory, which produces crankshafts for major automakers and made profits of more than £2 million in 2018/19, will be balloted for strike action this week over low pay. Unite, which has more than 70 members at the factory, said workers ‘are at the end of their tether’ at being paid a basic rate of £6.16 an hour that is topped up to the legal minimum through the use of shift allowances and so called ‘bonuses’. Despite staff on occasion having to work up to 70 hour weeks in arduous conditions at the factory’s metal foundry to get by, Darcast has refused the workers’ request to increase their basic hourly rate to the national minimum wage (NMW) of £8.21 read more

Woolwich Ferry staff to strike for two days in pay dispute (27 Jan) – Workers, who operate the Woolwich Ferry used by an estimated 2.6 million passengers a year, will stage two 24 hour strikes in their continuing pay dispute with ‘one of the worst employers in London’. The 56 workers who are employed by Briggs Marine Contractors Ltd, voted unanimously for strike action and have already held a day’s strike on 19 December. Ferry passengers will face further disruption when the workforce holds two 24 hour strikes, starting at 00:01 on Friday 28 February and then on Friday 13 March. Unite reiterated today (Monday 27 January) that there has been a long history of poor managerial practice by the company. The latest dispute centres on the failure to pay the London living wage (currently £10.75 an hour) on basic pay; the imposition of changes to overtime and shift working; failure to adhere to the agreed job evaluation scheme; and failure to deal with equality issues. Last summer, there were 10 days of strikes on similar issues, but that failed to bring a resolution. Unite re-balloted its members in the autumn. Two years ago, there was an acrimonious and long-running dispute at the ferry with the same employer, which runs the service on behalf of Transport for London (TfL), over a bullying culture and health & safety issues. Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “It is an understatement to say the management at Briggs Marine Contractors has a dismal record when it comes to employment relations over a number of years…” read more

Bexley refuse workers hold pay protest demo (27 Jan) – Bexley refuse workers, employed by controversial outsourcing giant Serco, will stage a demonstration tonight (Monday 27 January) over low wages and a bullying culture. About 120 refuse depot workers, members of Unite will protest outside the Bexley council cabinet meeting over the authority’s contract with Serco which sees the workforce earning about £4 an hour less than their counterparts in Greenwich read more

Transport for London workers to strike over paltry pay (27 Jan) – London faces travel disruption as essential workers employed by TfL prepare for the first of a series of 24 hour strikes, beginning on Friday 31 January in a dispute over paltry pay. Around 300 workers employed by Dial-a-Ride and 300 TfL revenue protection inspectors, road transport enforcement officers and compliance officers will strike for 24 hours on 31 January, 28 February, 27 March and 24 April. TfL is trying to bulldoze through a derisory 1 per cent pay increase for TfL workers which amounts to a pay cut in real terms. The workers are demanding that TfL increases pay in line with London Underground staff who have been given an above inflation (RPI) pay deal read more

Council tax staff in Newham suspend strike for further talks (24 Jan) – A dozen council tax benefit managers at Newham council have suspended their strike next week for further talks to take place, Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, said tonight (Friday 24 January). The staff were due to strike on Monday (27 January) until Friday (31 January) – but this has now been suspended. The dispute centres on council bosses failing to properly implement a job evaluation scheme, which, Unite says, has led to the managers being incorrectly graded – with individual staff losing an estimated £4,000-a-year since 2011. Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “Following constructive talks today, Unite has suspended next week’s strike for further negotiations to take place. We won’t be commenting further until those talks have concluded.” Unite’s members are based at Barking Road, East Ham, London, E6 2RT and voted unanimously for strike action read more

Free parking for Hackney residents on cards when parking wardens strike over pay and safety (24 Jan) – Hackney residents could have free parking in the borough when 40 parking wardens go on a week-long strike next month in a dispute over pay and their personal safety. Unite said today (Friday 24 January) that its civil enforcement officer (CEO) members, employed by Apcoa Parking (UK) Ltd which runs the contract on behalf of Hackney council, will strike on from 00:01 on Monday 10 February until 23:59 on Sunday 16 February. They voted by 81 per cent for strike action. A key issue is a claim for an increase to £15 an hour for the year starting in April 2020 – the parking wardens are paid the London living wage, currently £10.75 per hour. Unite is also concerned about safety of its members who have been attacked by irate motorists when doing their job in all-weathers. Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “We have had cases where our members are going out on the same rounds where they have previously been assaulted…” read more

Unite craft members vote for industrial action at East Dunbartonshire council (23 Jan) – Unite the union has today (Thursday 23 January) confirmed that its craft membership in the property maintenance services division at East Dunbartonshire council has voted overwhelmingly for industrial action. The industrial action ballot involved over 60 workers in the plumbing, joinery and electrical trades. More than 98 per cent of Unite’s members on a turnout of over 80 per cent voted to take strike action, and action short of a strike, which could begin in early February. The dispute centres on East Dunbartonshire council imposing detrimental shift pattern changes with the local authority already having notified the workers that they have been dismissed and re-engaged on new contracts read more

Cummins workforce balloted on industrial action (22 Jan) – Unite the union has today (Wednesday 22nd January) announced that it will open an industrial action ballot tomorrow (Thursday 23 January) covering over 80 workers at Cummins UK in Cumbernauld. A week before Christmas the company confirmed the closure of its manufacturing operations after a 90-day consultation period. If the ballot is successful then strike action, and action short of a strike including an overtime ban, is expected to take place from late February 2020. Cummins’ management has repeatedly failed to engage around alternative options to keep the site open. In a series of negotiations over the last few days Cummins refused to enter into dialogue with Unite through the auspices of Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) and rejected plans brought forward by the Scottish government to diversify the factory’s operations read more

Gatwick airport heading towards industrial action as pay offer rejected (22 Jan) – Members of Unite employed at Gatwick Airport are moving towards industrial action, following the overwhelming rejection of Gatwick Airport Limited’s (GAL) pay offer. Following pay negotiations which began last autumn, GAL proposed a three year deal which would have seen workers receive an increase of just two per cent plus £250 for the first two years with the workforce receiving the consumer price index (CPI) inflation rate and £250 in the final year. To add insult to injury the offer is conditional on the introduction of a new starter rate which would result in new starters being paid up to £7,000 per annum less than staff undertaking the same role. Over 2,000 Unite members employed as security staff, firefighters, terminal operatives, surface transport workers and engineers, voted by 98 per cent to reject the offer on a turnout approaching 80 per cent read more

Unite to ballot membership working in Hovis on significantly improved pay offer (22 Jan) – Shop stewards suspend pending all-out strike action planned to commence Friday after company makes new offer. Sean McKeever, Unite Regional Officer, confirmed that his union would be balloting members on a fresh pay offer made by the company’s management in the face of all-out strike action read more

Ealing residents face ‘parking ‘lottery’ as workers vote for strikes – Unite has warned that residents in Ealing in West London face a week of a ‘parking lottery’ after civil enforcement officers employed by outsourcer Serco unanimously voted for strike action, in a dispute over redundancies. The workforce will strike for a week beginning on Friday 31 January with the strike ending on Thursday 7 February. The dispute erupted shortly before Christmas when Serco announced that there would be eight redundancies on the contract but all 60 workers would be at risk. The situation was further exacerbated as Serco refused to enter into collective consultation on the redundancies with Unite. Unite warned Serco that unless it withdrew the redundancies and entered into meaningful negotiations with the workers’ union it would be forced to ballot for industrial action. The Unite members voted by 100 per cent in favour of strike action. Unite has now secured talks with Serco this week but if a resolution to the dispute is not reached then not only will the strike go ahead but further action will be called read more

Heathrow baggage could disappear into a void as baggage handlers strike over pay – Unite is warning that passengers at Heathrow airport whose baggage is lost, could see their possessions disappear into the void, as specialist baggage handlers prepare to take strike action over pay. The workers who are employed by Global Baggage Solutions Ltd are responsible for finding and repatriating lost baggage with distraught passengers. The dispute is a result of the company refusing to make a pay offer for 2019 and only offering an increase of 32 pence an hour for 2020. The pay offer was unanimously rejected by Unite members but the company refused to negotiate. Unite has called two four day strikes, the first will last from Sunday 2 February to Wednesday 5 February the second strike will be from 22 February to 25 February. Unite is seeking an increase in pay to ensure all workers receive the London Living Wage of £10.75 an hour and senior handlers receive a higher payment read more

 

CWU

Support the CWU and the posties as union re-ballots in Royal Mail – The NSSN sends solidarity to the CWU as they move to re-ballot members in Royal Mail. As readers of this bulletin will know, the union overwhelmingly smashed the undemocratic voting thresholds in the Tory anti-union laws in their national strike ballot last October – a 97% vote for action in on a 76% turnout. Scandalously however, one unelected High Court judge dismissed the ballot and the action, planned for during the general election and the busiest time of the year for the company. Now after attempts by the union to resolve the dispute, they feel no option but to again ballot members for action. This comes at the same time as Boris Johnson’s tory government planning even more anti-union laws, targeted for now at least at the rail and transport unions. The NSSN pledges our full support to the CWU and their members in Royal Mail. Already, NSSN members are organising solidarity meetings to build support for the CWU, the rail and transport unions and other workers taking action. We encourage such rallies and meetings of the NSSN, trades councils and union branches – ‘An injury to one is an injury to all!’

Watch CWU video on re-ballot here

Join CWU Supporters now – The fight against exploitative employers, dodgy contracts and insecure work requires the support of every single community across the country. Our recent vote for strike action in Royal Mail Group was secured by connecting with our membership in every corner of the UK – both online and on the ground – click here to join

Tensions rising at Enterprise (Jan 24) – Frustration at the slow progress being made to find suitable redeployment options for nearly 200 ‘surplus’ BT Enterprise employees who’ve decided against taking voluntary leaver payments was palpable at a major branch forum on Tuesday read more

 

Unison

Care workers win in Bath (22 Jan) – Care and health workers have been told that their roles will be returning to Bath and North East Somerset Council. After a two-year dispute, care workers, catering and domestic support staff working for Sirona Care & Health have been told that their roles will be returning to Bath and North East Somerset Council. The news comes after Sirona announced it would be handing back the contract to provide community resource centres and extra care facilities in September. The services will be back under full council control after from 1 September read more

Support Unison members who work for ISS Facility Services at Homerton Hospital.  ISS is the private company that runs catering, domestic, portering and security services at the hospital – Unless they have a supervisory position, none of the staff in this company are paid the current rate of the London Living Wage. Also, some staff have worse terms and conditions.  Those who transferred from the previous company still have terms which are broadly comparable to NHS terms and conditions (sick pay, annual leave, weekend/evening enhancements).  Those employed after 1st October 2015 do not. They only get statutory sick pay, less annual leave and a flat rate of pay whether they work unsocial hours or not. We are campaigning for fair pay and conditions for this group of workers.  Their work is vital to the safe running of our hospital and they should have the same terms as NHS staff.

We are asking you to

Please return any paper copies of the petition to the above email or Homerton UNISON c/o Education Centre, Homerton Hospital, London E9 6SR.

Please share this as widely as possible.

Thank you for your support.

Lorna Solomon & Pumula MacDonald Homerton UNISON branch committee

 

GMB

GMB hails Asda equal pay judgement (24 Jan) – GMB has hailed the latest Employment Tribunal judgement in the Asda equal pay case. Independent experts visited Asda branches to compare the roles of workers on the Asda shop floor, who are mostly women, and those who work in the supermarket giant’s distribution centre, who are mostly men. The tribunal, which considered more than 20,000 pages of documents, dismissed Asda’s claim that “no-one minds” if work was not done on time in the supermarket, and called the idea that there was no pressure to get the shop stocked and ready to meet customer “not plausible” read more

Support the ASDA workers and reinstate Michael Hunnum – 12,000 workers faced being sacked before Christmas by scrooge bosses ASDA, who are now owned by US superstore giant Walmart. This threat hanging over them was unless they agree to the new ‘Contract 6’ which will see them lose all their paid breaks and forced to work bank holidays. The same employer is sacking North East GMB member Michael Hunnam. Michael’s fight is part of the same struggle to resist the offensive of the ASDA bosses. Michael’s supporters believe that his determined opposition to Contract 6 is what has put him in the ASDA firing line. Support the ASDA workers and reinstate Michael!

 

NEU

NEU has called further strikes in 6th Form Colleges on pay, working conditions and security of employment – Wednesday 12 February, Thursday 27 February, Tuesday 11 March  read more

Fight continues after win against academisation in east London – We’ve won. But the fight is far from over. St Angela’s school in Newham, east London, won’t become a privately run academy. Privatisation has been ruled out for five years. On the eve their second round of strike action, National Education Union (NEU) members won the reprieve. They were ready with more strike action if academisation continued read more

 

NASUWT

Teachers vote for industrial action on the Isle of Man (21 Jan) – The NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union has today notified the Isle of Man Government that its members have voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action in a dispute over pay, pensions and conditions of service. In schools on the Isle of Man 94% of members who took part in the ballot voted in favour of strike action and 98% voted in favour of industrial action short of strike action. The turnout was 68%. At the University College Isle of Man 94% of members who took part in the ballot voted in favour of strike action and 100% voted in favour of industrial action short of strike action. The turnout was 69%. The ballot result shows the strength of feeling and the determination of NASUWT members on the Isle of Man read more

 

UCU

Strikes at Coventry University this week (27 Jan) – Coventry University will be hit with two more days of strike action this week as part of an ongoing row over staff appraisals. Members of UCU will walk out tomorrow and Wednesday (28 and 29 January). Staff will be on picket lines outside the university’s main entrances on Gosford Street from 8am, with rallies and teach-out activity outside the Graham Sutherland Building from 10am on both days. UCU members at the university have already taken five days of strike action as part of the dispute, which centres on the university’s controversial appraisal system read more

Strikes threat at London campus over “redundancy rip-off” from University of Liverpool (27 Jan) – Staff at the University of Liverpool’s central London campus are threatening strike action in a row over redundancy pay-offs. Staff at the campus, which will close this year, are angry that the university is refusing to match its previous voluntary redundancy offer made to staff in Liverpool in 2018. UCU says the university’s decision to slash its redundancy offer from a year’s salary by around 20 weeks will cost a typical lecturer around £15,000. The union says the penny-pinching offer was staggering considering that the university’s vice-chancellor Dame Janet Beer took home £410,000 last year – a 13% rise including a £57,300 bonus. The ballot of UCU members opens today (Monday) and closes on Friday 14 February read more

 

NIPSA

Civil Servants Won’t Be Left Behind (24 Jan) – On behalf of NIPSA’s Civil Service Executive Committee I wish to thank all members who supported the one day strike on Friday 24 January 2020. The day was very successful and we had much more media coverage than previously. We are in a changed political climate and we must use this as an opportunity to press home our case for a just pay increase for all civil servants. It has been acknowledged by all political parties that civil servants stepped into the breach in the last 3 years in the absence of the Assembly and Ministers and NIPSA has made it abundantly clear that while these acknowledgements and thanks are welcomed, members must see a financial reward of an above inflation increase (at the date of our claim it was 2.7%) and movement towards pay restoration for the 10 years of austerity and significant attacks on civil servants take home pay read more

 

RCN

Industrial action ballot for Guernsey members opens next month (24 Jan) – Nursing staff will vote on whether to take industrial action as part of their campaign for pay equality with other public sector workers read more

 

UVW

St. George’s University of London hit by second week of strike action amidst continued police repression (27 Jan) – St. George’s, University of London (SGUL), was rocked by a second week of strike action today as security guards entered into their 3rd day of strikes as they continued their struggle to be made direct SGUL employees. The strike took place amidst an ongoing campaign of repression by the Metropolitan Police and management at both SGUL and St. George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust who have repeatedly sought to criminalise lawful trade union activity by misinterpreting Section 119 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008. Something which on the 13th of January led to SGUL management being roundly condemned after it resulted in the unlawful arrest and false imprisonment of Franck Magennis Head of Legal at United Voices of the World (UVW) on secondment to the union from Garden Court Chambers. The level of police repression increased today as workers and trade union officials were not only threatened with mass arrest under Section 119 but threatened with arrest prior to picketing and whilst also being off site. These harsh tactics have increasingly drawn condemnation from other trade unions, community groups, Constituency Labour Parties and individuals; with a letter of solidarity condemning the medical college currently standing at 46 signatories read more

Please sign this UVW solidarity letter

Upcoming strike dates:-

Round 2: 27th, 28th, 29th Jan

Round 3: 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th Feb

Round 4: 24th, 25th, 26th, 27th, 28th Feb

Picket lines are from 8am at the main entrance

 

 

 

 

More News

There is a special screening of ‘The Big Meeting‘ documentary film (about the fantastic Durham Miners’ Gala) coming up at Art House in Crouch End, London on 29th January. It will be followed by a Q&A with the film’s director Daniel Draper and Mike Jackson and Brett Haran from Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM). Many Unite branches helped with donations to get this film made.  Tickets 

 

 

 

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)

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

Anti-union harassment and victimization escalate at AB InBev Sonepat India read more

 

Turkey: Reinstate dismissed union members at SF Trade Leather! Respect trade union rights now!

An important workers’ struggle is taking place in Turkey at SF Trade Leather and solidarity is urgently needed.

It is a production factory for international brands such as Molift, Odder, Römer, Liko, Babybjörn, Volkswagen, Mulberry, Audi and Mercedes operating in Gaziemir İzmir.

In 2015 SF Trade Leather suspended 14 workers for being trade union members. Sacked workers, took strike action against the sackings and campaigned both locally and internationally for the reinstatement of the suspended workers.

Campaigns and protests in front of international brands such as Mulberry supported by UK trade unions and campaign groups led to victory which resulted in the opening of negotiations between SF Trade Leather management and the Deriteks Union.

As a result of the negotiations, SF Trade Leather accepted the right of trade union membership within the workplace and a protocol was signed stating that mutual dialogue would improve. With this agreement in place the union decided to continue its membership campaign.

Last summer Deriteks Union started to speak to and interview SF workers. Speaking to workers Deriteks Union noticed harassment and bullying behaviour towards workers was still an issue. In order to tackle the issue a workplace organisation committee was formed from the unionised workers with SF Trade Leather.

Soon after the initiation of this committee, lead workers and Deriteks Union members Ayse and Pinar were sacked from their jobs with immediate effect. Both workers were targeted with what they say are trumped up charges and accusations of “not performing” well.

During the managers’ conversation with Ayse and Pinar, their involvement with the union was mentioned and they were told they were making the “wrong decisions” in their careers.

They were also accused of bringing the factory into disrepute and endangering other workers jobs with their actions.

In addition to these two workers, two more women workers who are members of Deriteks Union, Nurcan Köksal and Sevcan Gulboy were also sacked with immediate effect.

The four sacked workers were simply exercising their right to join a union, which is supposed to be protected under Turkey’s constitution. Their struggle and determination to get their jobs back has been a symbol of resistance in the Gaziemir Zone of Izmir which is home to many leather factories.

The four women workers have now been on strike for more than 100 days with the support of the Deriteks Union. They continue to fight for their jobs and the right to trade union membership.

A manufacturing company who is producing goods for many well-known international brands is in violation of international rules and workers rights.

The workers are calling for:
* Reinstatement of all sacked workers with immediate affect.
* Trade union recognition and the right to organise within the workplace.
* An end to harassment and bullying behaviour by the SF Trade Leather management.

Please support this campaign by contacting SF Trade Leather at:
info@sf-trade.com
marketing@sf-textile.com
purchasing@sf-textile.com
hr@sf-trade.com
Phone: ‪+90 232 251 75 09‬
Fax: ‪+90 232 252 25 15‬
General Manager: ‪+90 549 732 29 09‬
Please send all messages to the attention of Mr Frederic W.C.Giraud (Owner of SF Trade Leather)

Social Media Campaign
Please tag and share the share the attached photo/message using below
@AudiUK
@AudiOfficial
@MoliftGB
@BabybjornUS
@Babybjornuk
@ MullberryEngland
@MercedezBenz
@MBWorldUK
@DecathlonUK

 

Nigeria: ABBEY TROTSKY VS SUMAL FOODS LIMITED

  • Abbey faces four cases in Court over intervention in the plight of Casual Workers in Sumal
  • A Call for Solidarity Actions and Financial Support
  • Drop Trumped-up Charges against Abbey Trotsky

We of the Campaign for Democratic and Workers Rights (CDWR) solicit solidarity actions including financial supports from trade unions, civil society originations, activists and people of good conscience for the ongoing campaign against the continued persecution of Comrade Abiodun Bamigboye (Abbey Trotsky) by the Nigeria Police and Sumal Foods Limited Ibadan. The offence of Abbey Trotsky is the intervention of the CDWR in solidarity with casual workers of Sumal Foods who had embarked on strike action in October 2018 against poor pay and slave conditions in the company. The struggle won some concessions which have been rolled back. It is in order to deter workers from another fightback and keep them permanently in slave conditions that Abbey is being tied up with four different court cases. He faces two cases at magistrate courts, one of which is criminal, and two cases at industrial court.

Abbey Trotsky was first arraigned at Court 9 magistrate court, Iyaganku, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria on trumped-up criminal charges on July 24, 2019, by the Nigerian police. This was after several arrests and detentions by the police and DSS at the behest of Sumal Foods Limited. The next adjournment date of the matter, which had previously suffered three adjournments at the instance of police, is January 24, 2020. The last adjournment was necessitated by the disqualification of Mr. Adeyinka Olumide Fusika, SAN, counsel to Abbey Trotsky, by the magistrate who ruled that as a senior advocate Mr. Olumide-Fusika cannot appear in magistrate court. However, Abbey has filed an application at the high court to appeal the ruling which is a violation of his right to a lawyer of his choice. We hope that the appeal will be assigned to a court before the date the case is scheduled to come up at the magistrate court.

Another case is at court 2 Magistrate Court, Iyaganku, Ibadan. It was instituted to procure an order to restrain Abbey from entering Sumal Foods premises for a period of 12 months for which they had got an ex parte order on September 28, 2019. The next adjournment date of the case is January 27, 2020. The case has also suffered two different adjournments since it came up for the first time in September 2019.

The two cases at the industrial court Ibadan are assigned to Court 1 and Court 2 respectively while the one in court 1 will be coming up on January 21, 2020, It was filed by the management of Sumal Foods in collaboration with the leadership of National Union of Foods, Beverages and Tobacco Employees (NUFBTE), the workers’ union in the company. The other case in court 2 is scheduled for hearing on January 23, 2020 and it was filed by the over 20 outsourcing companies that recruit over three thousand (3,000) casual workers for Sumal Foods. The applicants in both cases are seeking a restraint order barring Abbey from Sumal premises.

It is sad that the leadership of NUFBTE both in the company and at the national level are working with the Sumal management and the outsourcing companies to subject the workers in the company to slavery condition and to sustain the harassment and persecution of Abbey Trotsky. We call on the Nigeria Labour Congress to call both the union and management to order.As stated earlier all these frivolous cases were instituted with a view of deterring members of the CDWR from intervening in the plight of poor casual workers of Sumal and also strike fear in the minds of mass of casual workers in the company especially now that the enactment of a new minimum wage of N30, 000 will mean that workers could begin to demand an increment in their daily pay.

However, no amount of court cases or intimidation can deter or distract us from continuing to fight for decent pay and human working condition for the mass of workers either in Sumal Food Limited or other workplaces across the country as part of our campaign against casualization and anti-labour practices. We once again call on the leadership of the three labour centres – NLC, TUC and ULC – at the national and state level, civil society organizations, activists and socialists locally and internationally for solidarity actions including physical presence at the courts, public statements, and picketing of Nigerian embassies. We also request financial supports for political activities in support of the legal defence as well as our campaign against casualization in Sumal and other companies. We thank Mr. Olumide-Fusika, SAN and Citipoint Chambers for representing Abbey in all the cases free of charge.

Our Demands:

  • Police should drop all the trumped-up charges against Comrade Abbey Trotsky
  • End to casualization and for improvement in pays and conditions of workers in SUMAL FOOD LIMITED and other workplaces
  • Unconditional recall of all workers sacked because of their involvement on October 2, 2018 strike
  • Unconditional implementation of a new minimum wage of N30,000 (USD 85) in Sumal, all private companies and public sector without retrenchment.

 

Send messages of support and arrange to make donations to the CDWR account via E-mail: campaignworkers@yahoo.co.uk

Thanks

Rufus Olusesan

CDWR National Chair

 

 

 

Diary

 

2020

July 4 – NSSN Conference 11am-4.30pm Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, Holborn, London WC1R 4RL

September 13 – NSSN TUC Rally Brighton 1pm

 

CONTACT US

PHONE 07952 283 558

EMAIL mailto:info@shopstewards.net

 

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ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE