488: Postponed NSSN-Tamil Solidarity Zoom meeting this Saturday

June 9, 2020 in Bulletins

Tamil Solidarity and the National Shop Stewards Network have reluctantly decided to postpone our public Zoom meeting, which was due to take place this coming Saturday June 13th. We have come to this decision because a number of further Black Lives Matter anti-racism demonstrations have been called on Saturday against the killing of George Floyd in the US and we want to encourage as many people as possible to attend them

One of the main themes of our proposed meeting was to highlight the vital role that trade unions can play in uniting workers from all backgrounds to oppose racism as well as fighting for workplace safety and protecting workers’ jobs and income during the coronavirus pandemic. We believe that it is vital for the unions to play as full a part as possible in this movement against racism, while of course doing so in a safe manner.

We are looking to re-arrange this meeting, which is more important and relevant than ever.

 

Just a reminder that the 2020 NSSN Conference is going to be a virtual event on Saturday July 4th from 11am

In solidarity
Tamil Solidarity and NSSN

 

 

6pm Saturday June 13th – details on how to join the Zoom meeting are in this Facebook event

Workers have been in the firing line of coronavirus, fighting for their safety and jobs and income. Data indicates that black and Asian populations, especially the working-class and poor, are the most directly affected by the current Covid-19 pandemics in Britain. BAME workers in particular face increased discrimination, racism, and poverty. Following the brutal killing of George Floyd, the struggle against racism has erupted among working-class people around the world. We think trade unions are vital to build workers’ unity at this time against the attacks of the bosses and their governments.

We must build a fight back against the various discriminations that we face.
  • How best we can organise our fight back?
  • What is the role of trade unions in this?

We have invited some of the key union activists to introduce this discussion and answer all the questions.

This discussion is jointly organised together with Tamil Solidarity and National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN).

Please join this discussion. Raise your questions and take part in building the fightback.

London protest June 7th

London protest June 7th

Join the protests against the killing of George Floyd in the USA

The NSSN sends our deepest sympathy to the family of George Floyd, who was killed by police in Minneapolis on May 25th. We also send our solidarity to those who have protested in the USA and around the world. NSSN supporters have been at many of the protests that have taken place all around the country. We think trade unions are vital to build workers’ unity at this time.

There are other protests being organised. To find out about others, follow #MarchforFloyd #KneekforFloyd #GeorgeFloyd and #BlackLivesMatter on social media.

USA: Longshore Workers and Teamsters Announce Work Stoppage Honoring George Floyd (from Left Voice) – On Tuesday, workers in San Francisco and New York City will stop work to honor George Floyd. This work stoppage is an important first step in linking organized labor with the fight against racist oppression. International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Locals 10, 34, 75, and 91 have joined with Teamsters Local 808 to announce a work stoppage on Tuesday in solidarity with protesters demonstrating over the police murder of George Floyd. The work stoppage and silent vigil will coincide with Floyd’s funeral and cover multiple time zones. Workers organized under the ILWU and the Teamsters include Metro North workers in NYC and dock workers across the country. While this is a temporary work stoppage and not a strike, it is still an important development and a powerful display of solidarity between organized labor and those fighting in the streets against police repression

McCluskey: Unite stands in solidarity with protests in response to George Floyd’s murder

‘Class and race’ biggest factors for victims of coronavirus, says Unite

Statement from PCS National Black Members’ Committee on George Floyd, Racism and Black Lives Matter

The GMB stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement today and every day

GMB: Emerging reports a fundamental breach of trust by government against BAME communities

GMB: We Need Answers: public inquiry needed over BAME worker deaths

Police and justice committee adds voice to George Floyd protests

RCN; Report finds health workers from BAME backgrounds face higher COVID-19 risk

Prospect: George Floyd, institutionalised racism and the UK

IWGB: Lockdown is required to protect BAME and low paid workers’ lives, IWGB to argue in High Court intervention

 

 

 

Protest: Debenhams re-opening on Monday June 15th – Stop the Debenhams Job Losses – Nationalise to Save Jobs

Usdaw members who support the National Shop Stewards Network have called for a day of action over the job cuts and store closures being carried out by high street chain Debenhams. As part of its re-opening plans on Monday 15th June, the company have made redundant over 1,000 workers, both at head office, but also it’s restaurant staff in stores across the country rather than continuing to keep them furloughed until its was possible to re-open cafes.

With the company having shutdown it’s entire Irish store network and evading any responsibility to pay those workers proper redundancy pay as well, we say the company should be taken out of the hands of corporate bosses and administrators who have continually mismanaged it and brought into public ownership to save jobs.

We will be holding a socially-distanced protest on Briggate outside the Leeds store at 10.30am and 9am outside the Oxford Street store in in London and encourage supporters of the National Shop Stewards Network elsewhere in the country to do the same

Sign the USDAW Activist petition: sign and share petition around Sunday trading, especially as the government has now said they are reviewing the legislation with a view to allow supermarkets to extend trading

Mandate: Debenhams workers launch official strike action in Ireland Email messages of support to Mandate via dgibney@mandate.ie

 

 

Come to virtual NSSN Conference on Saturday July 4th

2020 NSSN Conference: via Zoom 11am-2pm on Saturday July 4th

It’s never been more important for trade union members and reps to come together to discuss the strategy we need to fight for a future that secures our safety, jobs, income and pensions. The economic and health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic is showing on a daily basis that fighting union organisation is a necessity for workers.

Come and take part in the biggest annual event that brings together rank and file union members with fighting unions alongside campaigners such as the parents who have organised with education workers against the Tories’ reckless re-opening of schools and the anti-racist protesters who have exploded into action after the killing of George Floyd in the USA. Coronavirus has revealed all the class inequalities that we know exists but in a brutal fashion.

The NSSN national steering committee met last Saturday is determined that this year’s conference must go ahead, despite the restrictions on public meetings. Therefore, it will be a virtual event on the Zoom platform

More details, including our line-up of speakers will follow soon.

The link to join the Zoom meeting is – https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85386731306?pwd=azRmZXExTGJJZXpMMXV3NDUvUFhwdz09

Facebook event

Email info@shopstewards.net to register in advance

 

 

 

Support teachers and schools staff fighting Tory unsafe June 1st re-opening  

The NSSN sends our support and solidarity to education workers, their unions and an increasing number of parents as they look to resist the Tory government’s plans to move to a much wider opening of schools in England from June 1st.

We believe that this reckless plan is clearly connected to Boris Johnson’s intention to lift the lockdown and get people back to work, before the government get the COVID-19 pandemic under control. They are putting bosses’ profits before the safety of workers, children and their families.

At our very successful 2nd NSSN Zoom public meeting on May 17th, teachers and parents set out a united fighting strategy. The NSSN supports this fight for safety along with the many other struggles that are taking place to ensure that the workplace is safe. We argue that we need trade union, workers’ control of workplace safety as we can’t trust the Tory government and their big business backers.

We are happy for teachers, schools staff and parents to use the banner of the NSSN to organise meetings and action against this unsafe re-opening. Email us on info@shopstewards.net for more information.

 

NEU: 5 Tests for Government before schools can re-open – NEU has launched 5 tests for Government before schools can re-open. We believe that these test must be capable of being passed in order to create the necessary confidence amongst parents and staff read more

NEU comment on Government’s decision not to press ahead with plans to bring all primary pupils back to school this term (9 June) – Commenting on the Government’s decision not to press ahead with plans to bring all primary pupils back to school this term, Dr Mary Bousted, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said: “It has taken the government some time to recognise what was obvious to most. The government’s social distancing rules made it impossible for primary schools to admit all pupils before the summer holidays. Primary schools and secondary schools will not re-open to all pupils until September at the earliest. But even that date cannot, as Matt Hancock has recognised, be taken for granted…” read more

NEU: Too much too soon in Wales (3 June) – The Minister’s statement in which she has opened schools to all year groups with effect from 29 June does not sit well with NEU Cymru. It is too much, too soon read more

NEU survey shows realities of wider opening (3 June) – Respondents to a survey conducted by the National Education Union between 31 May and 1 June, reveals the pragmatism of schools when asked to open more widely under easing of lockdown read more

NASUWT: Plans for wider reopening of schools are no longer credible (9 June) – Speaking ahead of a statement to Parliament by Education Secretary Gavin Williamson, NASUWT General Secretary Dr Patrick Roach, said: “It has been abundantly clear for some time that the announcement by the Government of arbitrary dates for the wider reopening of schools was ill-considered, premature and unworkable…” read more

NASUWT: Employers in the North West must pause school reopening plans as R number rises (6 June) – The NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, has written to a number of local authorities in the North West urging them to reconsider their plans to continue with the wider reopening of schools in the light of reports that the regional COVID-19 R number calculated for the North West has increased to 1.01. This means that the virus could be growing again in the region read more

NASUWT responds to the Welsh Government’s plans for the wider reopening of schools (3 June) – Commenting on the plans set out by the Education Minister Kirsty Williams for the wider reopening of schools in Wales, Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT – The Teacher’s Union, said: “It is troubling that the Education Minister for Wales, unlike Ministers elsewhere in the UK, is using emergency powers in order to press ahead with plans for the wider reopening of schools…” read more

UCU: Covid-19 scientists’ outcry at Imperial College’s plans to axe vital staff (8 June) – Members of the Imperial College Covid-19 Response Team have today warned against plans to cut staff who have made their life-saving work possible read more

UCU: Westminster guidance for reopening English university campuses has only added to the chaos and confusion, says UCU (4 June) – A poll this week warned that students fear their university may go bust as a result of Covid-19, are worried their education will be negatively impacted, and back a delayed start to the year if they can secure more face-to-face teaching. Another recent poll said prospective students were far more likely to defer university this year, or switch institution. UCU said the guidance felt like a tick-box exercise, rather than an effort to get to grips with the crisis threatening universities read more

 

 

The NSSN is continuing to report on how workers are organising during the coronavirus pandemic

The NSSN is opening up our weekly email bulletin, website and social media platforms of Facebook and twitter to provide a public forum for workers during the Coronavirus/COVID-19 crisis. We want to be a place where we can all share queries and experiences that workers are facing in their workplaces. These include reports of action taken by workers to defend themselves from their employers.

You can read about many of these actions in our weekly bulletin and out social media groups, especially our Facebook group: NSSN – defend workers’ rights under Coronavirus.

You can also send the NSSN your reports and queries via our website, twitter – @NSSN_AntiCuts and email – info@shopstewards.net

 

We welcome the information being sent to union members concerning the spread of coronavirus, including the TUC, Unison, Prospect, Unite, RMT, PCS, ASLEF, TSSA, CWU, EIS, UCU, Mandate, NUJ, NIPSA, FBU, POA, NEU, NASUWT, BFAWU, RCN and the GMB.

But it is absolutely vital that unions retain their ability to organise and act independently in defence of their members and workers generally. This includes the right of unions to take industrial action. We are already aware of workers being forced to take unofficial action on health and safety grounds. We also believe that unions should have oversight of any government bans on protests and picketing. This is the same Tory government that tabled more new anti-union laws in December’s Queens Speech last December and cannot be trusted.

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. The Tory government have announced measures that if implemented would include some workers receive 80% of their wages. However, we believe that no worker should 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. But unions have to remain vigilant that any government payments actually happen and also covers all workers, including those in precarious employment such as zero-hour contracts and in the gig economy.

We have drafted this model motion which we’ve made into a bulletin that can be downloaded and printed off to be distributed. Feel free to use in your union and trades council, in totality or partially to highlight the issues that need to be addressed.

 

Keep an eye out for other Facebook and social media groups and pages that are being created. The Coronavirus Support Group for Workers has been set up on Facebook and is a useful forum.

Follow how unions are facing up to coronavirus globally via LabourStart and ReelNews

USA: Sign Fight for $15 petition: Tell McDonald’s: Give your workers paid sick leave NOW

Sign Waltham Forest Trades Union Council petition to Barts NHS Trust: for adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) for all NHS staff particularly at Whipps Cross hospital.

 

Sign petition: To Welsh Government – For an immediate 10% pay rise for health, care and key workers. Sponsored by Cardiff County Trades Union Council, Swansea Trades Council, Caerphilly Trades Council

 

Union Coronavirus resources

 

Most TUC-affiliated unions have dedicated sections or pages of their websites to coronavirus/Covid-19 advice. Here are those where such information is available without entering special member portals. We will keep updating them

 

Accord

https://accord-myunion.org/covid-19-coronavirus/

Advance

https://www.advance-union.org/Corona

AEP

https://www.aep.org.uk/coronavirus-acas-guidance-for-all-employers-employees/

AFA-CWA

https://www.afacwa.org/coronavirus

ASLEF

https://www.aslef.org.uk/article.php?group_id=7029

BDA

https://www.bda.uk.com/resource/covid-19-corona-virus-advice-for-the-general-public.html

BECTU Sector of Prospect

https://bectu.org.uk/topic/covid-19-coronavirus/

BFAWU

https://www.bfawu.org/coronavirus_update_for_fast_food_and_hospitality_workers

BOS-TU

https://www.orthoptics.org.uk/coronavirus/

College of Podiatry

https://cop.org.uk/news/coronavirus/

Community

https://community-tu.org/advice-centre/coronavirus/

CSP

https://www.csp.org.uk/news/coronavirus

EIS

https://www.eis.org.uk/Health-And-Safety/COVID19

Equity

https://www.equity.org.uk/about/coronavirus-advice/

FBU

https://www.fbu.org.uk/covid-19

FDA

https://www.fda.org.uk/home/Newsandmedia/Features/Coronavirus-Information-on-school-provision-for-children-of-key-workers.aspx

GMB

https://www.gmb.org.uk/coronavirus-covid-19-what-members-need-know

HCSA

https://www.hcsa.com/covid-19.aspx

MU

https://www.musiciansunion.org.uk/coronavirus

NAHT

https://www.naht.org.uk/advice-and-support/management/coronavirus-guidance-for-school-leaders/

NASUWT

https://www.nasuwt.org.uk/advice/health-safety/coronavirus-guidance.html

National Society for Education in Art and Design (NSEAD)

https://www.nsead.org/trade-union/member-updates/coronavirus/

Nautilus International

https://www.nautilusint.org/en/news-insight/telegraph/nautilus-faqs-on-covid19-coronavirus/

NEU

https://neu.org.uk/coronavirus

NGSU

https://ngsu.org.uk/blog/category/covid-19/

NUJ

https://www.nuj.org.uk/work/covid-19-information/

PFA

https://www.thepfa.com/news/2020/3/16/covid-19-pfa-update

Prospect

https://prospect.org.uk/topic/covid-19-coronavirus/

RCM

https://www.rcm.org.uk/news-views/news/2020/february/coronavirus-what-you-need-to-know/

SoR

https://www.sor.org/practice/covid-19coronavirus-information-and-resources

TSSA

https://www.tssa.org.uk/en/help-legal-advice/coronavirus/index.cfm

UCU

https://www.ucu.org.uk/coronavirus

UNISON

https://www.unison.org.uk/coronavirus-rights-work/

Unite

https://unitetheunion.org/campaigns/coronavirus-covid-19-advice/

URTU

http://www.urtu.com/uploads/COVID-19%20Guide%20for%20Reps%20%281%29.pdf

USDAW

http://www.usdaw.org.uk/Help-Advice/Coronavirus-Update

WGGB

https://writersguild.org.uk/covid-19-advice-for-members/

 

 

Fight victimisation of union reps

Since the new year, a whole number of union reps and members have been sacked, suspended or disciplined. This is becoming a pattern. So much for ‘all being in this together’ during the coronavirus pandemic”. This comes on the back of the Tories’ planned new anti-union laws.

The NSSN will continue to highlight every such case and build support and solidarity so that these workers and others get their jobs back. Please send a message of support to those being attacked and invite them to your union branch and trades council. Keep letting us know about any other acts of union victimisation and we’ll publicise.

RMT: Vote YES for strike action vote YES for action short of a strike at SWR fleet depots – Ballot of all MB grades on South Western Railway DEFEND YOUR RMT REPS – Two RMT union reps, Mark Gamble and Brian Perren, are facing gross misconduct charges for an alleged incident that occured whilst off duty, not in uniform, and not on SWR property. Mark Gamble is RMT Company Council Representative for Fleet and sits on the Full Council for RMT. He is based at Basingstoke Barton Mill. Brian Perren is RMT Fleet representative within Fratton Depot. The charges relate to a Christmas gathering they attended organised by Fratton Fleet Depot on 20th December 2019 along with other members and the management team. Mark and Brian should not face disciplinary action for a night out with friends. The complaint was made by a manager some 18 days after the event. Wouldn’t you feel it was a terrible injustice if you went out for a few festive drinks and returned to work to be suspended and face dismissal? This is a direct attack on RMT representatives who support members in need throughout the year. You will be receiving a ballot paper in the post shortly. At their time of need we need you to please support your RMT reps by returning your ballot paper with a YES vote for strike action and YES vote for action short of a strike

Clara Paillard PCS victoryWe are delighted to announce that the threat of dismissal has been lifted and Clara, PCS president in the Culture sector, is ‘back at work’ (although from home during the current pandemic).

Reinstate Percy Yunganina UVW union – Percy is a cleaner at King’s college with 5 years on the job, and a UVW executive committee member, who’s just been sacked after a disciplinary hearing he refused to attend due to observing the government’s social distancing guidelines but which King’s College proceeded with anyway in his absence without even letting him know or inviting him to attend via phone. The hearing would have had 8 people cramped together in a small room in complete disregard of the government’s instructions about social distancing. Percy has explained the reaons for not attending and asked for the decision to be overturned and the hearing to be reconvened via phone or in person after Lockdown. However, King’s have scandalously refused this request and have insisted on upholding his dismissal which now leaves Percy out of work and out of pocket in the middle of a pandemic! He will formally appeal but it could take months to hear and deliver an outcome. We will also take King’s to tribunal but that could take over a year. This is utterly shameless conduct by King’s HR team, led by Nigel Smith, the Head of People Services. They need to be held to account. Everyone deserves the right to a fair hearing and should not have that right denied them for respecting the government’s public health guidelines about social distancing. Please repost this and write to Nigel Smith at the following address telling him to reinstate Percy – Nigel.smith@kcl.ac.uk

Sign the petition: Reinstate Ezra Christian RMTWe, the undersigned, are appalled at the treatment and summary dismissal of our Bakerloo Line colleague Ezra Christian. Ezra has been treated very harshly and does not deserve to be sacked. We call on London Underground to do the right thing in this case and Reinstate Ezra back into London Underground Employment immediately

Reinstate Clive Walder Unite: the campaign continuesUnfortunately, we have to inform you that the appeal by Unite against Clive’s dismissal by National Express in Birmingham was unsuccessful. In the hearing on 5 March, the company downgraded his offence from gross misconduct to misconduct and altered the penalty from summary dismissal to dismissal with four weeks’ notice. We believe dismissal is totally disproportionate and Clive should be reinstated. Clive and his union Unite the union will shortly decide the next steps in his campaign against his sacking. Clive would like to thank all those who have expressed solidarity with him, including supporters of the National Shop Stewards Network who took part in the protest leafleting of his workplace before the appeal hearing. It was successful enough for National Express to report it to the Unite full time official. Please continue to send protest emails to travelcare@nationalexpress.com. The NSSN has produced a flyer which can be downloaded and printed off to give to National Express employees and customers in support of Clive. We are appealing to our supporters to take photos of any solidarity protests and post on social media

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)

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!

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.

 

Guardian: Ricky Tomlinson’s criminal convictions to be re-examined

Appeal court to look again at case of Royle Family actor after claims he may have been unjustly jailed (26 May)

The criminal convictions of actor Ricky Tomlinson, who starred in the TV comedy the Royle Family, are to be re-examined by appeal court judges after an official body suggested he may have been unjustly jailed. Tomlinson and other trade unionists have been campaigning for years to clear their names after they were jailed during a strike in the 1970s. On Tuesday, the Criminal Cases Review Commission, the public body that scrutinises alleged miscarriages of justice, announced it had asked the court of appeal to review the cases of Tomlinson and others. Tomlinson, 80, said it was “good news” and an opportunity to prove that he and 23 other men were prosecuted in what amounted to a politically motivated attack on the trade union movement by the government, police and managers read more in Guardian

 

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

 

 

 

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: via Zoom 11am-2pm on Saturday July 4th 

Facebook event

Email info@shopstewards.net to register in advance

 

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

RMT calls for halt to ticket office cuts at Glasgow Queen Street Travel Shop (9 June) – RAIL UNION RMT is calling for a stop to proposed cuts at Glasgow Queen Street’s ticket offices in the station’s travel shop. Glasgow Queen Street station, which is Scotland’s third busiest railway station, has been in redevelopment for some time. Prior to the redevelopment, there were six ticket selling windows in the station travel shop – however, Abellio Scotrail’s plans for the new station include just two open plan point of sale ‘pods’. RMT has serious concerns about the security and health and safety implications of the new layout, which are particularly pertinent since the outbreak of Covid-19 read more

RMT condemns BP jobs carnage (8 June) – Offshore union RMT has condemned the news from BP of 10,000 job cuts coming only a couple of weeks after the company paid out a share dividend which totalled over £1.5billion. The union says that hard working BP staff have endured 4-years and more of austerity and cuts associated with the downturn which the industry was just coming out of before the Covid-19 pandemic began. To be faced with further attrition now is a devastating blow for this workforce and for workers across the energy industry read more

RMT slams scandal of taxpayer support for P&O shareholders as they plan to axe 1100 UK seafarer jobs (8 June) – P&O SEAFARERS Union RMT today reacted with fury following the release of Government contracts detailing the UK taxpayers’ support for roll-on roll-off ferry operators during the pandemic. Critical Freight Grant payments have been allocated to operators to keep essential goods, medical and veterinary supplies coming into the country. The recipient of the highest amount is P&O Ferries who are seeking to cut 1,100 jobs on the same routes by the end of this month read more

RMT writes to Grant Shapps warning that requirement for face masks on public transport risks being marred by confusion and conflict (8 June) – Transport union RMT has written to the Secretary of State Grant Shapps to warn a lack of consultation and proper discussion in the transport industry means that the requirement for face masks on public transport from 15th June risks being marred by “confusion and conflict” read more

Please Support RMT Members With No Wages! (4 June) – RMT London Transport Region Zero Hours & Self-Employed members need our Solidarity Now! Many of our regions self-employed members and those on zero hours have not any had wages for 2 months since March. They have been abandoned by London Underground, TfL, the London Mayor and their agency employers. They MUST NOT be abandoned by us too; their RMT sisters and brothers! The RMT London Transport Regional Council and LU Engineering RMT branch are calling out to all branches, members and friends to dig deep and give meaningful solidarity to our hard pressed members facing poverty and possibly eviction from their homes. To help support by donating to the fund or to ask after support for yourself, please email: LUEngineering@rmt.org.uk  read more

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

RAIL UNION RMT has suspended strike action on South Western Railway in good faith to allow further talks to take place 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

 

TSSA

Belly Mujinga, two months on (5 June) – Today (Friday 5th June) marks two months since Belly Mujinga died of coronavirus. Belly was a Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) ticket office clerk at London’s Victoria Station and a member of our TSSA family. She left behind her husband and 11 year old daughter. Her story has touched many, with more than a million people signing a petition seeking Justice for Belly. On the two month anniversary of Belly’s death, we are asking people to take a moment to think of all the transport and key workers who have lost their lives to coronavirus while bravely working through the pandemic to keep our country moving.

Please take action:

 

Unite

More than 430 jobs under threat at Spalding food producer is ‘a bitter pill’, says Unite (9 June) – The news that more than 430 jobs are under threat at the Bakkavor food manufacturing plant at Spalding, Lincolnshire is ‘a bitter pill’ for the workforce, Unite said today (Tuesday 9 June). Unite is today meeting management to ask for the business rationale for the 433 job cuts at one the four sites at the Spalding plant which produces ready-made food, such as wraps and soups – the international company is claiming a downturn in business over the last year which was then exacerbated by Covd-19 read more

Fresh blow to West Midlands’ automotive sector as Sertec announces redundancies (8 June) – Unite the union has described the announcement that car components company Sertec is intending to make extensive redundancies as a ‘fresh blow’ to the region’s automotive sector and a ‘premature decision. The company, which produces car components for JLR, Nissan and Toyota, has announced that it is intending to make 428 redundancies from its 1,300 employees. The majority of the workforce is currently furloughed under the government’s job retention scheme (JRS). The redundancies will occur at its factories in Coleshill, Hams Hall, Redditch, Tyserly, Witton and Aston read more

Unite Scotland support for Rolls Royce Task Force (8 June) – Unite Scotland has today (8 June) supported calls for the creation of an Aviation and Aerospace Task Force which would focus on Rolls Royce as up to 700 jobs are under immediate threat at the company’s Inchinnan site. Local MSP, Neill Bibby, has publicly called for the creation of a Task Force and the need for the Scottish Government to work with other key stakeholders including Unite to avoid mass redundancies. Unite has asked the Scottish Government to consider emergency financial support for the workforce and that Rolls Royce should halt any redundancy process while the UK Government’s Job Retention Scheme is in operation read more

Sunday trading relaxation ‘grossly unfair’ to key workers (6 June) – Unite the union, which represents thousands of workers in the retail sector, has described reports that the government is planning to relax Sunday trading laws as ‘grossly unfair’ to key workers and ignores the childcare challenges many face read more

SPS Technologies ‘must not exploit lockdown’ to slash Midlands’ jobs and T&Cs (5 June) – Aerospace parts firm SPS Technologies ‘must not exploit the lockdown’ to slash jobs and terms and conditions at its sites in Nottingham, Leicester and Rugby, Unite said today (Friday 5 June). Unite has more than 500 members at SPS’ sites across the Midlands, where the firm is planning more than 420 redundancies and reductions to pay grades, sick pay, paid breaks, shift premiums and other terms and conditions for those staff who remain. Unite is calling on SPS to furlough workers under the government’s job retention scheme until October so it can gain a clearer picture of the post-lockdown economy and prevent unnecessary job losses and contract changes read more

McCluskey: British Airways’ workers, passengers and shareholders deserve to know why airline management refused to attend the meeting with ministers (4 June) – Speaking after the refusal of British Airways and IAG management to meet with the Home Secretary Priti Patel and aviation minister Kelly Tolhurst this afternoon, Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “British Airways’ workers, passengers and shareholders deserve to know why the airline’s management refused to attend the meeting with ministers this afternoon. This is a company that claims to be in crisis, a crisis that requires them to sack their entire workforce of 42,000, yet they will not attend a meeting where help could have been offered” read more

Government announcement on face covering for public transport welcomed by Unite (4 June) – Unite, which represents over 80,000 bus workers, has welcomed the announcement today (Thursday 4 June) that passengers on public transport will be required to wear a face covering before boarding and throughout their journey. The new requirements will come into effect from Monday 15 June in England read more

Reconsider 500 job losses at Aston Martin, urges Unite (4 June) – Aston Martin was urged today (Thursday 4 June) to reconsider the scale and number of the proposed 500 job losses at its luxury sports car plant in Gaydon, Warwickshire, by Unite. Aston Martin announced 500 job losses across the group, which has a total workforce of 2,600, but Unite says that the threatened losses will fall almost entirely on the Warwickshire plant which employs about 1,600 people read more

Unite calls for action following coronavirus call centre report (4 June) – Unite, the union which represents staff working in call and contact centres across the financial services sector, has today (Thursday 4 June) called for urgent action following the publication of a report into Covid-19 within the sector. The survey of nearly 3,000 staff working in call centres throughout the UK found massive alarm amongst the workforce about the safety conditions within their workplace. The independent research was conducted by professor Phil Taylor of the University of Strathclyde. The research aimed to gather data from a large sample of contact centre workers of their experiences and perceptions of hazards read more

Oxfam jobs’ axe threatens fight against global poverty, says Unite (3 June) – The threat of hundreds of job losses at Oxfam, after funding has nosedived due to coronavirus, was described this evening (Wednesday 3 June) as ‘a tragedy in the fight against global poverty’ by Unite. Oxfam was due to start the 45-day consultation process on redundancies at its Oxford headquarters today when it is believed that a third of the 800 staff could be at risk read more

Sign this petition: BA mass sackings of its UK workforce is immoral and possibly illegal its time to act

Sign this petition: Reinstatement of Blue Handling employees laid off due to COVID-19 and placed on Furlough – With the outbreak of the COVID-19 Pandemic many staff were laid off from Blue Handling due to an unprecedented restriction in travel. The aim of this petition is to demand the reinstatement of those colleagues who were laid off and be placed on the Governments Job Retention scheme (furlough). There is no reason why our colleagues should not be Furloughed and receive 80% of their wages for as long as the Job Retention scheme exists   Unite: Anger as Ryanair’s ground handler sacks workers instead of using furlough scheme

Sign this petition: Please sign and share: Extend the bereaved family payment to UK bus workers now – every bus worker who loses their life because of coronavirus deserves to get the £60,000 life assurance cover alongside NHS and social care staff. Dozens have tragically lost their lives. They are going above and beyond the call of duty. It is only right that their families are given the same financial protections. Help support bus workers and their families. Extend and increase the bereaved family payment now read more

MTVHA – Stop the Sackings! Sign petition: To: Geeta Nanda, Chief Executive Officer, Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing Association – Please cease all compulsory redundancies during the recruitment freeze caused by Coronavirus restrictions which would make it impossible for anyone to find alternative employment read more from Unite Housing Workers branch

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

 

PCS

Please sign this PCS petition to Save Ealing Tax OfficeDuring this time of national crisis the reliance on hard working, front line, civil servants has increased immeasurably. Government departments have had to act quickly, protect staff and ensure that services can still be provided whilst encouraging staff to work from home where possible. In HMRC over 51,000 members of staff are now working from home with IT equipment enabling them to provide effective advice and services to those affected by Covid-19 as well as continuing to perform the day to day duties of the department. Unfortunately our members based at Ealing Tax Office, although providing vital support and expertise during these difficult times, are facing an increasingly uncertain future with redundancy notices likely to be announced in June as part of HMRC’s controversial ‘Building our Future’ programme. These hard working and dedicated members are fighting to retain their jobs and secure the future of their office, entering into an official dispute with the department, taking part in numerous periods of strike action in recent months. The department have refused to acknowledge the vital role played by this office, the likely impact of losing this community employer as well as the long term impact the loss of over 4000 years of collective experience will have on the functionality of HMRC. During these unprecedented times when the reliance on the civil service has grown substantially, it seems unnecessary that HMRC should continue with its office closure programme and planned redundancies. Now, more than ever, an effective and efficient civil service is needed and our members are showing that, across Government, they can work flexibly at home, outside of the office environment, and continue to provide a high standard of service to the British public. We ask that you sign this eaction to the Chancellor calling on him to intervene urgently, to halt the office closures and redundancies, and consult fully with the union and work to retain the experience and vital knowledge contained within Ealing Tax Office. Support our call to SAVE JOBS, SAVE SERVICES and STOP THE CLOSURES

PCS makes safe return to work agreement with Scottish Government (5 June) – PCS in Scotland has agreed the minimum safety steps which should be followed by every employer across the Scottish Government sector when considering reopening workplaces or recalling staff to them read more

PCS writes to Prime Minister over Covid-19 risk in Parliament (4 June) – The union branch which is the biggest across the House of the Commons and House of Lords, has raised the prospect of action following the full resumption of parliament this week where social distancing is impossible. PCS is campaigning around the 5 tests to ensure workplaces are made safe before any return read more

Safety measures agreed for CPS members working in courts (3 June) – A series of principles have been agreed for PCS members who work for the Crown Prosecution Service in courts where trials have restarted. Since mid-May, HM Courts Service has been putting in place plans to gradually reopen more courts (both crown court and magistrates’ courts) and restart trials read more

Support HMRC cleaners who have been on strike for Living Wage – Contracted out cleaners at HMRC have recently been on strike in a dispute over the Living Wage. ISS staff who are employed to clean tax offices at Bootle and Liverpool will take 14 days action with colleagues in Birmingham taking 2 days. Workers are angry at ISS over poor pay and conditions and the refusal of ministers at HMRC to take the cleaning contract back in-house.  The real Living Wage is £10.75 in London and £9.30 for the rest of the UK is based on the cost of living and is voluntarily paid by nearly 6,000 UK employers who believe a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay. The strike received a 97% yes vote on a 90% turnout read more

Show your support

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

 

GMB

Amazon gives coronavirus advice while their own workers ‘fear’ of infection (5 June) – For Amazon to be held up as some kind of model of good practice would be hilarious if it wasn’t deadly serious says GMB Union. GMB has responded to the partnership between Amazon and the British Chamber of Commerce to offer advice on how firms can get back to work safely as the lockdown continues to ease read more

NHS contractors, staff & care workers must have full pay during track & trace isolation (4 June) – GMB has written to the Secretary of State and the Minister for Care to demand full pay during track and trace self-solation for all NHS staff, NHS contractors and care workers. The letter to Matt Hancock and Helen Whately says the statutory sick pay rate of £95.85 per week is “not in any way sustainable for individuals” read more

Sign petition: Requisition private hospital beds to help NHS with coronavirus

 

Unison

UNISON wins clearer COVID-19 guidance for its disabled members (8 June) – ‘Huge gap in the guidance’ was allowing employers to insist that vulnerable people ignore shielding and go into work. UNISON has successfully lobbied for the government’s COVID-19 guidance to acknowledge that many of the ‘extremely vulnerable’ people who have been instructed to shield at home during the pandemic are also workers – whose employers may not have been sympathetic. Until the end of May, the guidance on shielding did not adequately take into account disabled people in employment read more

Care home company under investigation following multiple COVID deaths, says UNISON (4 June) – UNISON reports Horizon Care to the Care Quality Commission after residents die in Sheffield. A major social care company has been reported to regulators after the deaths of multiple residents from COVID-19, says UNISON today (Thursday). The three homes in Sheffield, where the deaths occurred and are run by Horizon Care, are now under investigation by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) after staff raised a catalogue of safety and hygiene concerns with UNISON read more

UNISON welcomes NI pledge on COVID sick pay (4 June) – Department of Health will provide funding for care homes to pay staff 80% of their salary when on sick leave for coronavirus. UNISON Northern Ireland has welcomed yesterday’s announcement by minister of health Robin Swann that the Department of Health will provide funding for care homes to pay staff 80% of their salary when on sick leave for reasons related to COVID-19 read more

 

CWU

Horizon – ‘justice is coming, so keep the pressure on’ (June 5) – “Justice is coming closer, but the pressure must be kept up,” insists CWU assistant secretary Andy Furey, as the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) referred another eight postmaster ‘Horizon’ convictions to the Court of Appeal. The CRCC has now sent a total of 47 Horizon cases for appeal – which is a huge number when one considers that the Commission recommends less than 3 per cent of the cases it considers.” As well as sending such a high number of cases for appeal, the CCRC has also highlighted, in its Statement of Reasons, the ‘combined status’ that the Post Office has ‘as victim, investigator and prosecutor’ in this instance read more

Manx Telecom pay talks hit the buffers (June 4) – The CWU has vowed to keep fighting for a proper 2020 pay review at Manx Telecom following the company’s unilateral decision to impose an effective pay freeze. After three months of exceptionally tough negotiations – which began with a face-to-face meeting on March 5, but have been conducted  by video conference since lockdown was imposed – talks hit the buffers last Thursday (May 28) when the company definitively confirmed it would not be budging its position, rendering further discussions futile at this point in time read more

CWU fury as ‘morally bankrupt’ BT claims its first ever compulsory redundancy scalp (June 2) – Already strained industrial relations between the CWU and BT have hit a new low following the company’s Enterprise division’s decision to press ahead with the first ever compulsory redundancy of a team member grade employee. Despite repeated appeals by the union for management  to step back from the brink on the basis of firm evidence amassed by the CWU that the forced exit of the Brighton-based homeworker was as unnecessary as it was cruel, the union’s final appeals for a stay of execution were rejected on Sunday having been escalated to the very top read more

 

FBU

Firefighters’ coronavirus response agreement extended (4 June) – Firefighters’ work responding to the COVID-19 pandemic has been extended until July, as the UK continues to battle coronavirus. The Fire Brigades Union (FBU), National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC), and National Employers agreed the extension to the national agreement stating that the virus “continues to be a risk in our communities”. It comes despite the government moving to ease lockdown restrictions read more

 

BFAWU

BFAWU members at Wetherspoons have written to the company in light of plans to open up pubs. The union demands commitments that include staff security, sick pay and social distancing read more

 

NUJ

BBC puts two regional TV programmes under threat (8 June) – Two important BBC regional programmes are under threat as the corporation seeks to make savings using Covid-19 crisis as an excuse. Filming of Inside Out, the BBC’s award winning regional current affairs programmes which goes out to 11 regions in England, has been postponed and the programme looks likely to be shelved following an internal “review” expected by the end of the month. The next series of Inside Out was due in September read more

NUJ demands an end to attacks on journalists (4 June) – The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has condemned the escalating attacks on reporters and photographers and demanded an end to hostility and harassment that is undermining press freedom at a time when journalistic scrutiny is needed more than ever. During the Black Lives Matter protests in London on Wednesday, several separate incidents took place in which journalists and camera crews were attacked and threatened, including an attack on an Australian presenter when she was live on air. The NUJ has also received reports from photographers about unacceptable and abusive behaviour from police officers on duty at the protests, including pushing, shoving and verbal harassment, and is raising concerns directly with the National Police Chiefs Council. The NUJ calls on participants and the organisers of forthcoming protests and UK police forces to respect the vital role of journalists and media workers and their right to carry out their work safely, without interference, and free from intimidation or fear of physical attack read more

#ForgottenFreelances: MPs back NUJ’s plea for PAYE freelances (3 June) – A letter from the NUJ to the Chancellor concerning freelances who have fallen through the cracks of his Covid-19 aid packages – particularly those who have PAYE income – has received cross-party support from MPs read more

 

Prospect

Prospect highlights inaccuracy and hypocrisy in some responses to the use of furlough for Scottish heritage institutions (4 June) – Newspapers (Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail online) and politicians in Scotland have criticised the use of the UK government’s furlough scheme to support workers in the heritage sector in Scotland. Prospect national secretary Richard Hardy wrote to the papers in question to highlight the inaccuracies and hypocrisy in the claims made read more

 

UVW

UNION TALK: Series continues with Prof. Ralph Darlington on Early British Syndicalism (June 4) – Sign up for next week’s talk here. UVW’s series Union Talk got off to a great start yesterday with Louise Raw and learning about the incredible Match Women’s Strike of 1888. UVW membership learned how the Match Women founded the entire modern labour movement and Labour Party, went on to inspire the famous dock workers strike of 1889, and were the largest women workers union of their time. Discussion centred around successful tactics the women used, how their organising compared to larger unions run by men at the time, and how racial and ethnic discrimination impacted their organising efforts read more

 

IWGB

Covid-19 couriers vote to strike following victimisation by NHS contractor TDL (28 May) – Medical couriers transporting Covid-19 samples on behalf of NHS pathology contractor The Doctors Laboratory (TDL) have voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action, in response to the company’s decision to make redundancies during the pandemic, and its failure to address health and safety concerns read more

 

 

 

Other news

Safety First: For Trade-Union Control of Lockdown Exit. 10% NOW! – public meeting hosted Cardiff Trades Council and Swansea Trades Council

Monday, 15 June 2020 from 19:00-20:30 Facebook event

 

Virtual Orgreave Rally – hosted by Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign

1pm Saturday June 20th    Facebook event

 

 

International

Malaysia: Stop union busting at Edgenta UEMS read more

Peru: Reinstate workers sacked for demanding protection from Covid-19 read more

 

Diary

 

2020

July 4 – NSSN Conference from 11am via Zoom

September 13 – NSSN TUC Rally 1pm

 

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