NSSN 474: Workers shouldn’t pay the price for Coronavirus

March 3, 2020 in Bulletins

 

The NSSN welcomes the information being sent to union members concerning the spread of coronavirus, including from the TUC, Unison, Prospect, Unite, RMT and the GMB.

We believe that it is essential that workers are protected during this worrying period and are not impacted, whether in terms of their safety as well as their pay and employment rights.

We have drafted this model motion. Feel free to use in your union and trades council, in totality or partially to highlight the issues that need to be addressed:-

 

This union organisation/conference notes with great concern the spread of coronavirus, which has seen an estimated 80,000 people infected globally, with around 3,000 fatalities and rising

Governments in parts of Europe are beginning to stop gatherings of people in an attempt to control the spread of the virus

This union organisation/conference believes that:-

  • The virus is exposing decades of privatisation and spending cuts in health, education, local authorities and infrastructure.

This union organisation/conference instructs the NEC (etc) to campaign for:

  • Emergency measures to provide resources to protect workers, patients, pupils and students in the NHS, education and public services.
  • The government to ensure that schools and health services are adequately funded to meet needs. This should include additional budgets to provide supply staff to cover additional absence arising from the coronavirus, and to make sure that both staff and parents are fully compensated for any loss of earnings arising from the crisis.
  • Advice to members, workplace representatives and local officers to ensure that workload demands on staff are reduced, and that time is available to prioritise protecting the health and safety of staff and students.
  • Opposition to any removal of statutory class size limits as a response to managing teacher absences arising from novel Coronavirus. Schools should not be treated as if they were just child-minding services. Increasing class sizes would damage education and heighten the risk of infection being spread further, as well as further increasing staff workload. Public Health advice to education workers to hand wash regularly throughout the day will only be possible if time is provided within the school day for this to take place.
  • No worker to pay the price for any spread of the virus. Any worker who is required not to attend work or is unable to do so because of childcare or transport closures should receive full pay and not be forced to take annual leave. This should include workers in receipt of in-work benefits such as Universal Credit, who should be paid the benefits and receive no sanction. Workers who follow health advice to be absent from work to avoid potential spread of the coronavirus should be excluded from any attendance management procedures.
  • Self-employed, agency, zero hour contract and gig economy workers required to self-isolate to be granted emergency benefits by DWP for their normal working hours [equivalent to £12/hour or £15/hour in London]. As a minimum, all workers should be entitled to sick pay from day one for as long as it is needed
  • Rights for benefit claimants who have to self-isolate. Claimants should be believed and excused signing and attending mandatory interviews and have their benefit payment advanced. Claimants should not be penalised for not being able to leave their homes and not being able to undertake labour market activities because of lack of access to the transport/internet/postal services etc
  • No redundancies, lay-offs or loss of pay in manufacturing, logistics and/or service industries because of supply issues
  • Any companies who do not comply with this to be nationalised and taken into public ownership to defend workers’ jobs and incomes
  • Vaccines when developed to be available free. Nationalisation of the pharmaceutical companies
  • The reversal of privatisation of the NHS, removal of the privateers and a massive increase in health spending
  • Trade union oversight over any government emergency measures taken to contain the virus such as restrictions on public assemblies and strikes
  • For the TUC and the unions, the biggest national organisation of over 6 million workers across the country, to prepare to lead national coordinated strike action to protect people should the government not take the take these measures

This motion has been made in to a NSSN bulletin which can be downloaded and printed off to be distributed

 

 

Fight the anti-union laws events

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, Ronnie Draper BFAWU GS & Rob Williams NSSN Chair, others invited from CWU, UCU, NEU and Unite

Gloucester & District and Cheltenham TUCs hosting ‘Striking back to defend workers’ and trade union rights’ – Saturday 14th March at the Friendship cafe, Painswick Rd, Gloucester 11.30am-4pm https://thefriendshipcafe.com/ . Speakers include: Terry Pullinger CWU DGSP, Katrine Williams NSSN vice-Chair, AJ Singh CWU Cardiff Secretary, Julius Marstrand NHS campaigner

Watch video of London NSSN rally on February 18th

Stop union victimisation

Defend Moe Unite – support Moe Muhsin Manir, a hardworking Unite rep on London buses, working for Abellio. We are delighted to report that Moe is back at work. We will keep everyone up to date on any developments. Moe would like to thank everyone who sent support and solidarity.

Support Clive Walder Unite – Clive, a Unite rep, is a longstanding member of the NSSN steering committee. He is appealing this week against his dismissal. Please email protests to travelcare@nationalexpress.com.

Support Danyal Aziz Unite Daniel was a Unite rep at London City Airport, who was recently sacked. Labour MP Sam Tarry has tabled a Parliamentary Early Day Motion in support of Danyal. Email your local MP to get them to sign the EDM

Defend Paul Williams PCS Stop the victimisation of senior PCS rep Paul Williams – Paul Williams has a long and proud history of defending his colleagues at the Department for Transport, and predecessor departments, for nearly 40 years but as a result of his union activities is facing compulsory redundancy even though there are vacancies at his grade read more

Support Tony Smith Unison Tony Smith one of the leaders of the successful FCC dispute which won sick pay for nearly 2,500 workers is being victimised. charged with gross misconduct over health and safety charges, his hearing is on Thursday. Please send messages of support to Hull Trades Council c/o mike.whale@neu.org.uk

Sign the petition: Reinstate UNISON rep Peter Moorhead and stop victimising trade unionists at Alternative Futures Group (AFG)

 

 

UCU 

UCU urges minister to back students’ call for universities to do more to end strikes (2 Mar) – UCU has written to new universities minister Michelle Donelan asking her to encourage universities to do more to end the wave of strikes at 74 UK universities read more. The full strike dates are:

Week one – Thursday 20 & Friday 21 February

Week two – Monday 24, Tuesday 25 & Wednesday 26 February.

Week three – Monday 2, Tuesday 3, Wednesday 4 & Thursday 5 March

Lobby the UCEA / UCU talks – today Tuesday 3 March. Assemble 2.30pm read more

Week four – Monday 9, Tuesday 10, Wednesday 11, Thursday 12 & Friday 13 March

UCU members at 60 universities walked out for eight days in November and December last year in action that affected around one million students. This next wave of strikes will affect another 14 universities and an additional 200,000 students, as more UCU branches crossed a 50% turnout threshold required by law for them to take industrial action read more

 

CAIWU

UEL cleaners & academic staff to make common cause on March 3rd

Tuesday March 3rd isn’t just the day of the cleaners’ protest at UEL – it’s also a scheduled strike day for UCU members among the academic staff at the university. The UCU is striking nationally over what it has termed the ‘four fights’: pay inequality, job insecurity, rising workloads and pay devaluation – issues remarkably similar to those at stake in the cleaners’ dispute. The joint action by cleaners and academic staff shows the depth and breadth of concern over the impact of market-driven economics on the university sector as well as on their immediate jobs and livelihoods. UEL cleaners will join UCU staff beside their picket line near Cyprus DLR station between 0800 and 0900 on Tuesday March 3rd, where they expect to be joined by supporters from CAIWU as well as students, almost 350 of whom have signed a petition in support of the campaign. A similar number of UEL staff have also signed the petition, showing the strength of support for the cleaners’ campaign for improved conditions read more

 

EIS

EIS members in the ULA are also taking strike action at Edinburgh Napier University, the University of Aberdeen, the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow School of Art and the University of the West of Scotland are taking action on the following dates:-

  • Thursday, 20th February 2020
  • Tuesday, 25th February 2020
  • Monday, 2nd March 2020
  • Thursday, 12th March 2020
  • Friday, 13th March 2020

Members at the University of the West of Scotland are out on the first 4 days but also out on Wednesday 11th March instead of Friday 13th March read more

 

 

Support these indefinite industrial actions:-

Unite

Support Westex Carpets staff strike – Westex Carpet strike reaches two month mark: Members of Unite at the Westex Carpets factory in Cleckheaton 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

 

 

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

This leaflet advertising the 2020 NSSN Conference can be downloaded and printed off

NSSN_Conference_2020_Spread

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

RAIL UNION RMT said today that it has secured a massive victory against the scourge of low pay on Britain’s railways (3 Mar) – In a ground-breaking deal, the union has struck an agreement that means that all staff employed in the cleaners supply chain on Network Rail contracts will be paid the real living wage from the 1st of April. The deal will benefit hundreds/thousands of staff on contracts cleaning Network Rail managed stations and estates. Staff in London will be guaranteed a minimum of £10.75 an hour and staff outside the capital will earn no less that £9.30 an hour. The deal has been secured with the support and assistance of Labour MP and RMT Parliamentary Group chair Ian Mearns read more

RMT launch campaign to ‘Keep Northern Public’ (2 Mar) – Rail union RMT will join forces today – Monday 2nd March – with passenger groups and politicians to launch a campaign demanding the Government keeps Northern Rail public following the collapse of the franchise. On 1st March, after years of mismanagement by successive private train operators, Northern Rail was taken into public control by the Department for Transport but a forthcoming Government review into how are railways are run could move it back into the failed private rail sector within weeks read more

RMT moves to ballot all tube staff over failure of London Underground to come up with acceptable pay offer (28 Feb) – TUBE UNION RMT confirmed today this it is moving to an urgent ballot of 10,000 staff across London Underground for both strike action and action short of a strike after more than a year of negotiations have failed to produce an offer on pay that meets the very reasonable demands of the workforce. RMT said it is angry and frustrated that over a year of talks has still resulted in a stalemate and has called on the Mayor and his TFL officials to lift the cap on pay and allow a deal to be done that fully recognises the enormous efforts of staff to keep London moving against a backdrop of overcrowding, creaking infrastructure and surging levels of violence and assaults. Workplace union representatives have taken soundings from depots and workplaces across the combine and have recommended that the ballot now begin at the earliest opportunity. The ballot timetable will be announced shortly and the campaign for a massive YES vote is already underway read more

RMT Rail Gourmet workers at Paddington depot to take further strike action next month in fight for workplace justice (27 Feb) – RAIL UNION RMT has confirmed that Rail Gourmet workers at Paddington depot will be striking again next 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 Wednesday 11th March 2020 to 2359 Hours on Friday 13th March 2020 read more

RMT announces further two days of strike action on SWR over Guard guarantee (24 Feb) – Rail union RMT has confirmed a further two days of strike action will take place on South Western Railway after Guard members voted for industrial action for an historic sixth time. The company’s unremitting failure to give assurances that their new operational model won’t move to Driver Controlled Operation – with the role of the guard butchered completely – means the union has again been left with no choice but to call further strike action in defence of the safety critical role of the Guard. Therefore, our South Western Railway Guard, Commercial Guard and Train Driver members are instructed not to book on for any shifts that commence between:

  • 10.00 hours on Monday 9th March 2020 until 09.59 hours on Tuesday 10th March 2020
  • 10.00 hours on Thursday 12th March 2020 until 09.59 hours on Friday 13th March 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, who have just voted to renew their mandate to take mote strike action. 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

 

PCS

Join PCS pension justice campaign protests (2 Mar) – PCS is holding pension justice protests on Budget Day as part of our campaign to force the government to act to end pensions injustice. The government is robbing our members of 2% every month by making them pay more for their pension than the independent valuation says that they should. We have told the government to cut pension contributions immediately by 2% and guarantee that moving forward they will implement the legal case won by the Fire Brigades Union to improve everybody’s pensions read more

HMRC Bootle members in strike ballot over unhealthy working patterns (28 Feb) – PCS is holding an industrial action ballot of HMRC members working in personal tax operations in Bootle over the working conditions of staff undertaking telephony work. We have highlighted to management that relentless telephony work is having a damaging effect on members’ mental health; while some members unable to undertake telephony are facing threats, bullying and discrimination. The ballot opens on Monday (2 March) and closes at noon on 20 March read more

Solidarity with PCS Ealing tax office workers: protest outside Parliament – 1pm Old Palace Yard, Wednesday March 4th Facebook event. Please show solidarity with PCS Ealing tax office workers, still fighting to save their office and their jobs and to defend public services!

Support Interserve strikers – Interserve workers at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, were on strike for the whole of February. You can support the strike in the following ways:

 

More Unite

Heathrow braced for ‘Easter holiday chaos’ after baggage and freight handling strikes set (3 Mar) – Heathrow airport is braced for ‘Easter holiday chaos’ following the announcement of strikes over a pay dispute and attempts at ‘union-busting’ at ground handling firm Vanderlande, Unite said today (Tuesday 3 March). The strikes, which will take place over six days between 14 March and 9 April, could leave thousands of passengers without their baggage and potentially impact air travel, as well as affecting International Airline Group (IAG) freight services. Unite represents around 80 workers at Vanderlande, which operates the Terminal Three luggage belt as well as transporting passenger baggage to and from the terminal, where planes from One World Alliance, Virgin Atlantic and Emirates dock read more

University Hospital Waterford: Unite warns dispute set to spread to all support staff (2 Mar) – Unite, which represents all support staff at University Hospital Waterford, today (Monday) announced that it will be balloting members directly employed by the HSE for industrial action.  Over 125 Unite members working for cleaning services provider Momentum have been on strike since Tuesday 25 February.  The threatened escalation of the dispute to include members directly employed by the HSE follows the HSE’s application to the High Court for an injunction against HSE employees who have refused to pass the pickets placed by their colleagues working for Momentum read more

Sandwell council electricians’ strike off after pay win (2 Mar) – Strike action by local authority electricians in Sandwell, West Midlands, has been called off following an increase in their pay grade, Unite said today (Monday 2 March). Following a re-evaluation, Sandwell council changed the electricians’ pay grade to properly reflect ‘green book’ rates, resulting in a pay increase of up to £1,000 a year that will be backdated to April 2018. The green book, which is set by the National Joint Council, sets pay rates for local government staff across the country. Unite, which represents more than 25 electricians who carry out repairs in council housing around Sandwell, said the decision to upgrade the electricians’ pay has now brought the nearly two-year-old dispute to an end read more

Newham educational staff up in arms over temporary contracts and culture of insecure work, says Unite (2 Mar) – The lack of permanent contracts for a small group of key educational staff at Newham council is systemic of the wider problem of insecure work across the UK, Unite said today (Monday 2 March). The Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) officers at the council have voted by 66 per cent to strike over not being given permanent contracts and being wrongly graded. Strike dates are yet to be announced as Unite is hoping for a breakthrough in the negotiations with the council management. Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “The main areas of dispute are that our members are on temporary contracts when we argue that they deserve permanent ones. We also believe jobs have been wrongly graded…” read more

Harrods security guards’ dispute ends with acceptance of ‘excellent’ deal (2 Mar) – A dispute over pay and other issues at the iconic Harrods store in London has been brought to an end after security officers and CCTV operators voted in favour of an ‘excellent’ deal from the company, Unite said today (Monday 2 March). Unite members voted overwhelmingly in favour of the deal – the details of which Harrods has required to remain confidential – that will see many workers receive ‘significant’ wage increases. The deal ensures pay parity between security staff and any future pay deals will be consistently applied across the board. Staff will also not have to attend training sessions on their days off read more

Black hole looming for Heathrow luggage as baggage specialists strike throughout March (28 Feb) – Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest union, is warning passengers who are separated from their luggage at Heathrow next month, that they are unlikely to be reunited with it, as specialist baggage handlers take fresh strike action over pay. The workers who are employed by Global Baggage Solutions Ltd will begin strike action at 00:01 on Monday 2 March until 23:59 on Monday 9 March. There will be two further eight day periods of strike action beginning on Saturday 14 March until Saturday 21 March and Thursday 26 March until Thursday 2 April. The workers play a crucial role in locating and repatriating lost baggage with worried customers read more

Tower Hamlets set for ‘overflowing bins and piles of rubbish’ in refuse workers strike – Tower Hamlets residents are facing the prospect of ‘overflowing bins and piles of rubbish’ following the announcement of strike action by Veolia refuse workers over unsettled holiday pay arrears, Unite said today (Tuesday 25 February). Bin collections and street cleaning services in the London borough of Tower Hamlets are set to stop after workers at Veolia, which holds the refuse, recycling and street cleaning contract for the borough, voted in favour of strike action in a dispute over an unsettled collective holiday pay claim. Despite reaching an agreement with Unite and other trade unions on the calculation of holiday pay in August 2018, Veolia owes around 150 workers significant sums in arrears. The firm’s UK waste management division generated revenues of nearly £1 billion in the first half of 2019. Unite, which has about 250 members at Veolia, said that instead of settling the claim collectively the company had deterred staff from claiming the arrears by requiring individuals to launch ‘complicated and drawn out’ legal proceedings. Unite members voted overwhelmingly (96.5 per cent) in favour of strike action in a ballot with a 70 per cent turnout that was held earlier this month. Seven days of strike action beginning on Monday 9 March at 15:00 and ending on Monday 16 March have now been set read more

TfL workers step-up strike action across the capital (28 Feb) – Hundreds of workers employed by Transport for London will stage a 24-hour walkout today (Friday 28 February) to fight back against cuts to pay and holidays. 80 workers employed in TfL’s control centre who are the ‘eyes and ears’ of the capital will join the series of strikes. TfL is cutting their holidays by imposing a system of counting holidays in hours instead of days, which has the effect of slashing the workers’ holiday entitlement by five days (see note to editors). 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 for a second time over the imposition of a real terms pay cut. Further action is planned on 27 March and 24 April read more

London bus operators ‘drinking in last chance saloon’ to avoid capital wide strikes (27 Feb) – Unite has warned London’s bus operators that they must swiftly agree capital wide programmes to tackle the chronic problem of fatigue and exhaustion being experienced by bus drivers. Earlier this month as part of the union’s ‘sick and tired’ campaign, London bus drivers recorded a 97 per cent vote in a consultative ballot in favour of strike action, if measures are not introduced to tackle exhaustion and fatigue. Unite has now written to all London bus operators seeking urgent meetings to begin the process of agreeing a London wide fatigue management system. If bus operators do not quickly proceed to support an acceptable fatigue management system then Unite will move to a full postal ballot of members, which could then lead to strikes this spring. Bus drivers are experiencing fatigue and exhaustion due to poor scheduling of shifts, a lack of rest breaks, a deficiency of decent facilities for breaks, late finishing, a lack of running time and not being treated with respect read more

Drinkers may face ‘beer drought’ after Greene King workers announce strike dates in pay dispute (26 Feb) – Workers at drinks giant Greene King have announced a rolling programme of strikes into July in a pay dispute that could mean drinkers going thirsty as deliveries dry up. Unite today (Wednesday 26 February) announced the first two days of strike action on 12-13 March by its 160 delivery drivers, draymen, brewery production staff and warehouse workers at Bury St Edmunds, the firm’s Suffolk headquarters, and distribution centres at Abingdon, Oxfordshire and Eastwood, Nottinghamshire. The workforce, employed by the  brewing and brands department, voted overwhelmingly for strike action in January angry at years of two per cent pay rises that failed to reflect the soaring cost of living. The workers will strike on 12-13 March depending when their shift starts which, for some, may stretch over to 14 March. The other 12 dates for strike action won’t be announced until 14 days beforehand, as required by law. There will also be a lunchtime protest at the Westgate brewery, Bury St Edmunds IP33 1QT on Friday 6 March read more

Ealing facing traffic anarchy as Serco parking workers take strike action (26 Feb) – Residents of Ealing in West London are set to face over a week of parking and traffic problems as a result of strike action by civil enforcement officers employed by Serco in the borough. The members of Unite will begin an eight day strike tomorrow (Thursday 27 February) and normal service will not resume until Friday 6 March. The workforce are responsible for ensuring that resident parking areas are obeyed, streets with double yellow lines are kept clear and both emergency and waste vehicles are not delayed when they access residential roads. The dispute is a result of a botched and unjustified restructuring and redundancy programme that Serco had tried to instigate, with minimal consultation with Unite. Such is the strength of feeling about Serco’s actions that the workforce voted 100 per cent in favour of strike action read more

Workers at Manchester Airport secure trade union representation (26 Feb) – Former workers from Premiere Handling, which collapsed last year, have secured an excellent new trade union recognition deal with their new employer Stobart Aviation Services with the help of Unite. In July 2019 Premiere Handling collapsed with the loss of dozens of jobs at Manchester Airport, leaving many workers high and dry. A number of Unite members subsequently gained employment at Stobarts Aviation after it secured a contract to provide ground handling services to airlines including SAS, Norwegian Airlines and Pakistan International Airlines read more

Woolwich Ferry takeover by Transport for London welcomed by Unite – The decision by Transport for London (TfL) to take over the running of the Woolwich Ferry, used by an estimated 2.6 million passengers annually, by the end of 2020 has been warmly welcomed by Unite. Unite represents 56 workers currently embroiled in a dispute with Briggs Marine Contractors Ltd which holds the contract. Today (Monday 10 February), mayor of London Sadiq Khan asked TfL to review its options for the management of the ferry ahead of current contract ending on 31 March. The transition to an in-house operation is expected to be completed by the end of the year. Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “Unite warmly welcomes the decision that will see the vital Woolwich Ferry being brought back under the control of Transport for London (TfL) by the end of the year. We have been campaigning for this contract to come back under TfL’s auspices for some time and today’s announcement is a victory for our campaign. The Briggs Marine contract has been dogged by continuing controversy and atrocious employment relations. We are glad that TfL has concluded that taking the operation and maintenance in-house would ensure a higher level of control and   improve services to the thousands of Londoners that use the service every day.” The workforce is due to hold two 24 hour strikes on Friday 28 February and then on Friday 13 March in the latest dispute which 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 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!’

Terry Pullinger tells Royal Mail: ‘No justice, no peace’ (Feb 27) – “Let’s make history and let’s tell Royal Mail, as Paul Kennedy said earlier: ‘No justice, no peace’,” commented our deputy general secretary postal after today’s 500-strong national reps briefing in central London read more

Watch CWU video on re-ballot here

For our jobs, our security and our future – we need to vote YES

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

CWU pressure secures public inquiry into Horizon scandal (Mar 2) – Growing calls for a full investigation into the appalling treatment of postmasters by Post Office bosses has forced the Government to act. In response to MPs from across the political divide, specifically in his answer to a Prime Minister’s Question from Labour’s Jarrow MP Kate Osborne last week, asking him to commit to launching an independent inquiry into the Horizon affair, Boris Johnson said: “I am happy to commit to getting to the bottom of the matter in the way that she recommends read more

Openreach challenged on FDN National Infrastructure bombshell (Feb 28) – The CWU has responded furiously to a vicious double whammy that has just been dropped on desk-based members in Openreach’s Fibre Network Delivery’s  (FND) National Infrastructure division. Following on from last week’s management announcement of unagreed and potentially devastating changes to not just grading but also the future location of desk-based work, a voluntary paid leaver scheme has now opened up in yet another snub to  longstanding agreements with the CWU. Despite urgent CWU calls for a face-to-face meeting with the company in advance of the proposals being briefed to staff, management pressed ahead with the announcement after just a couple of conference calls with the union in which CWU Openreach national team members expressed their horror at the proposals and the union’s conviction that time-honoured IR protocols are being breached in multiple areas read more

 

Unison

Stoke-on-Trent council scraps care pay cuts (28 Feb) – Unions pressure council to drop pay cuts for local government workers. Care workers in Stoke-on-Trent, represented by UNISON, have successfully fought off council pay cuts. Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s intention was to stop extra payments for StokeCare staff working weekends and unsociable hours. After a protest outside its offices last week, the plans were voted down by 22 to 19 votes. UNISON regional organiser Tony Jones said the plans were in effect a 20% pay cut for members. Unions including UNISON, GMB and Unite said the plans would affect up to 120 different roles in care homes and respite care, as well as customer service workers, library and park teams read more

We Won’t Pay You’: costly Addaction rebrand sparks fury as rehab workers resume strike action over broken pay promises (Feb 26) – The national charity Addaction is set to re-name itself ‘We Are With You’ this week, but the re-branding exercise is set to be overshadowed by strike action in Wigan and Leigh. Nearly thirty drug and alcohol rehabilitation workers are due to strike for five days – from Thursday 27 February until Wednesday 4 March – in a long-running dispute over broken pay promises. The dispute began after Addaction/We Are With You reneged on a promise to ensure that workers’ pay kept pace with NHS employees doing similar jobs. Managers have so far refused to find enough money to meet their commitment to staff. The workers’ unhappiness with feeling misled by Addaction/We Are With You has been compounded by the news that the cost of the organisation’s re-branding exercise has reached some £140,000 – more than enough to resolve the dispute. The workers, who are members of UNISON, previously took eleven days of strike action in 2019. A ballot of staff in January has given a fresh mandate, with a 100% vote in favour of strike action read more

 

GMB

Victory against Stoke Council cuts (28 Feb) – Stoke-on-Trent Council’s plans to cut £9.2 million from the budget have been left in tatters after being defeated at a crucial vote this Thursday. The cuts, which would have slashed some of the council’s lowest-paid workers salaries by 20%, were strongly opposed by GMB and its sister unions at a large demonstration just before the vote 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!

 

FBU

Firefighters in Scotland reject pay offer (28 Feb) – Firefighters in Scotland have rejected a pay offer that would have led to them taking on significant areas of health and social care work. Members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) rejected the offer from their employer, voting by a margin of 60% to 40% on an 81% turnout. The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) had offered a pay increase in return for firefighters and control staff taking on significant new areas of work, including co-responding to “slips, trips, and falls” and increased responsibility for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, which could have seen firefighters co-responding to life threatening injuries read more

 

TSSA

TSSA TfL Action short of strike: do not participate in the P&D process (26 Feb) – After TfL imposed ‘Pay for Performance’ in 2015, TSSA balloted its members and secured a mandate for action short of strike. All TSSA members in TfL pay bands 1-3 should continue to take action short of strike, as follows:

  • Members are instructed not to work beyond their contractual hours. This includes all non-contractual overtime, refusing out of hours phone calls, taking full meal breaks and VDU breaks.
  • Members are instructed not to participate in their personal Performance and Development Review process read more

 

NEU

Please find below details of forthcoming action*. You are encouraged to send messages of solidarity to the email addresses below:

Action Date Contact
Burgess Hill Girls School / West Sussex
(Teachers’ Pension Scheme)
Tuesday 3 March
Wednesday 4 March
Thursday 5 March
Ann Seuret/Anne Barker
Ann.seuret@neu.org.uk

Anne.barker@neu.org.uk
Chivenor Primary / Birmingham
( Workload/Unacceptable Management Style)
Wednesday 4 March
Thursday 5 March
Shirley Perry
Shirley.perry@neu.org.uk
Colfe’s School / Greenwich
(Teachers’ Pension Scheme)
Wednesday 4 March Tim Woodcock
Tim.woodcock@neu.org.uk
Millfield School / Somerset
(Teachers’ Pension Scheme)
Thursday 5 March Robin Head
Robin.head@neu.org.uk

 

 

 

More News

Budget Day events March 11th

 

PCS: Join PCS pension justice campaign protests (2 Mar) – PCS is holding pension justice protests on Budget Day as part of our campaign to force the government to act to end pensions injustice. The government is robbing our members of 2% every month by making them pay more for their pension than the independent valuation says that they should. We have told the government to cut pension contributions immediately by 2% and guarantee that moving forward they will implement the legal case won by the Fire Brigades Union to improve everybody’s pensions read more

 

Join PCS/People’s Assembly for a Budget 2020 special event (28 Feb) – Join PCS and leading figures from the Labour movement in London and live on Facebook at 7.30pm on Budget Day (11 March) for a breakdown of the Tory government’s announcements. Two of the key questions for the 90-minute event, we are co-hosting with the People’s Assembly, at Central Hall, Westminster are:

  • What will the Budget mean for ordinary working people?
  • Is austerity really over?

Speakers include:

Mark Serwotka (PCS General Secretary)

Steve Turner (Unite Assistant General Secretary)

Faiza Shaheen (Economist)

Laura Pidcock (People’s Assembly)

Amelia Womack (Green party).

Get your ticket. There are limited tickets to watch the event live in Central Hall, so book your place now.

We will be broadcasting live on the PCS Facebook page. We are encouraging as many groups and individuals as possible to tune in and host a Watch Party on Facebook. We will also be highlighting the PCS campaign for pensions justice during the event and throughout Budget Day. We will be providing more details soon.

Any questions?

If you have a question for Mark and the other speakers, you can ask it in advance by emailing editor@pcs.org.uk or on Facebook on the night read more

 

Protest: Students and workers out together on Budget Day, March 11! – protest hosted by Socialist Students and Socialist Party. Assemble 1pm Parliament Square read more

 

 

Book launch: ‘Couldn’t pay, wouldn’t pay, didn’t pay – the struggle against the poll tax in Kent’. Compiled by Eric Segal secretary of South East Kent Trades Union Coluncil – 7.30pm, Thursday 12th March Whitstable Labour Club, 12 Belmont Road CT5 1QP details

 

 

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)

BBC: Mossmorran – Walkout at Scottish chemical plant over working conditions – About 170 workers have staged an unofficial walkout from the Exxonmobil petrochemical plant at Mossmorran in Fife over working conditions. Union GMB said the workers, who walked out on Wednesday had “continuously raised their concerns about conditions and safety on-site”. Their employer Bilfinger said the unrest had started with other contractors on the site. The plant is currently undergoing a restart after closing down in August 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

Nigeria Solidarity Appeal – ABBEY TROTSKY VS SUMAL FOODS LIMITED:

Drop Trumped-up Charges, Recall Sacked Workers and End Slave Conditions in Sumal

Court Case on Trumped-Up Criminal Charges comes up on March 3, 2020

An appeal for more local and international Solidarity actions and financial support!

Following the intervention of the Campaign for Democratic and Workers’ Rights (CDWR) – a campaign platform of the Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM) – in the strike action of casual workers at Sumal Foods Limited, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria, over pay and poor working conditions on October 2, 2018, Comrade Abiodun Bamigboye (Abbey Trotsky) is currently facing four different court cases.

Abbey Trotsky is the Oyo State Coordinator of the CDWR but also doubles as the acting National Chairperson of the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN).

The management of Sumal Foods, sadly in connivance of right wing/reactionary leadership of National Union of Food, Beverage and Tobacco Employee (NUFBTE), is using the police to persecute Abbey Trotsky with trumped-up criminal charges at magistrate court. Indeed, before Abbey was arraigned in court he had been arrested and detained many times by the Police and Department of State Service (DSS) – the Secret Police.

In addition to the criminal matter there are three civil matters – one at magistrate court and two at the National Industrial Court – instituted by the company and the outsourcing companies that recruit casual, insecure and poorly paid workers for Sumal Foods.

All the cases came up at different dates in January 2020. Their next adjourned dates fall between March and April 2020. Specifically the criminal case comes up on March 3, 2020.

The basis for all these numerous cases is to deter members of the CDWR particularly Abbey Trotsky from intervening in the plight of poor casual workers of Sumal Foods Limited and also to strike fear into the heart 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.

Despite the continued persecution of comrade Abbey Trotsky, members of CDWR have remained undaunted and resilient as they had launched a campaign against casualisation and indecent labour practices not only in Sumal Foods but also in other workplaces in Ibadan and its environs. Political activities are also organised on regular basis by members of CDWR to support the legal defence being handled by a number of lawyers led by Mr Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika of Citipoint Chambers pro bono. These political activities have greatly helped to deepen and strengthen the campaign against casualisation and indecent labour practices such that CDWR is gradually becoming a point of attraction to some layers of workers who are not only dissatisfied with their slave working condition but also interested in a fight back.

At the moment, over 20 workers that cut across no fewer than four different Ibadan workplaces have joined CDWR and have been actively involved in the campaign against casualization and activities often organised to support the legal defence against the persecution of comrade Abbey Trotsky. We thank all members and supporters as well as civil society and socialist organisations locally and internationally particularly members of CWI and our lawyers for all their solidarity and support which has helped to sustain the struggle this far. We equally recognise the fact that to sustain and build on this campaign will require more solidarity action and financial support both locally and internationally.

We call for immediate dropping of all trumped-up charges against Abbey Trotsky at magistrate court; withdrawal of all frivolous civil cases in the industrial courts; NUFBTE leadership must defend interest and rights of workers including casuals and end its unholy alliance with the management; reinstatement of all workers sacked because of their involvement in the struggle for better pay and conditions; and Sumal Management must end slave conditions in the company, end casualisation and respect law laws and regulations.

It is in the light of this that we call on the leadership of the three labour centres, Nigeria labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and United labour Congress (ULC) at the national and state level, industrial unions, civil society organisations and socialists locally and internationally for more solidarity actions including physical presence at the court, public statements, petitioning and picketing of Nigerian Embassies and High Commissions. These can also include financial support to support the political activities and campaigns towards the struggle on the plight of workers in Sumal Foods, Ibadan, and against casualisation, outsourcing and other anti-labour practices.

We request that sms Protest Messages should be sent to the following persons:

-Federal Ministry of Labour Oyo State Office – +2348035676740

-President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) – +2348036556600

-Commissioner of Police Oyo State – +2348038467592

-Speaker Oyo State House of Assembly – +2347032542579

-Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) Zone 11 – +2348036536581

Copies of all protest letters or messages to be sent to: dsmcentre@yahoo.com or WhatsApp – +2348033914091

Please Donate to CDWR Account:

Fortress Books Nigeria

1012616511

Zenith Bank

For donations from outside Nigeria please email the CDWR on campaignworkers@yahoo.co.uk or contact local CDWR supporters to arrange payment.

Rufus Olusesan

National Chair CDWR

Email: campaignworkers@yahoo.co.uk

 

USA: Workers on US farms victimized for denouncing contract labour abuses and seeking union recognition read more

 

 

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

 

TWITTER – https://twitter.com/NSSN_AntiCuts

FACEBOOK NSSN GROUP   or STOP The CUTS  Likes page

ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE