NSSN 489: Stop the BA Betrayal!

June 16, 2020 in Bulletins

 

We headline this week’s NSSN bulletin with the fight by unions against the offensive by British Airways against its workers. We send our solidarity and support to these workers and the many others who are facing redundancy across the economy. The NSSN believes that workers must not pay the price for this crisis. If necessary, companies should be nationalised to save jobs and communities.

 

Unite has launched its #BAbetrayal campaign:-

British Airways is the only company proposing to fire all its 42,000 staff and re-hire those that survive on inferior terms and conditions of employment. Unite General Secretary Len McCluskey has called BA a “cash cow” for its owners and called for its allocation of lucrative landing slots to be reviewed. This explanation of BA’s financial position by a team of accountants, lays bare the lie that BA is being forced to act in the way it is due to financial pressures. This is simply not the case.

Unite BA betrayal

This groundswell has been mobilised by reps and the campaign #BAbetrayal – a ‘crisis leverage campaign, which is part of Unite’s Leverage strategy. ‘Crisis leverage’ applies many of the same principles and takes a similarly robust, muscular approach but in a much more streamlined, nimble way. In a crisis like the current coronavirus pandemic, with a company behaving like British Airways, we have to move fast and to scale.

Find out more and support the #BAbetrayal campaign by following the links below:-

Sign the petition today

McCluskey: MPs absolutely correct to denounce `national disgrace’ British Airways (13 June) – A group of MPs from all sides of the Commons is absolutely correct in its denunciation of British Airways’ treatment of its staff, the leader of the UK’s most influential trade union has said today (Saturday 13 June). Unite general secretary Len McCluskey was responding to the publication of the Transport Select Committee’s inquiry into the aviation sector’s reaction to the Covid-19 crisis in which it singles out BA for fierce and unique criticism read more

Unite video demolishes BA’s ‘fire & rehire’ claims

 

BALPA: Back bill to end “fire and rehire” pilots union urges Government (10 June) – Yesterday Gavin Newlands MP (SNP, Paisley and Renfrewshire North) introduced a bill in the House of Commons which would end the controversial practice of ‘fire and rehire’ which is currently being threatened in British Airways and other companies across the UK read more

 

 

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.

 

The NSSN and Tamil Solidarity are looking to re-arrange the virtual public meeting on how BAME workers are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. This decision was made to avoid a clash with Black Lives Matter protests last Saturday. We will publicise once a new date is confirmed.

 

 

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: Coronavirus: National Education Recovery Plan

NASUWT: Guidance on reopening schools fails to offer assurances on safety

 

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: SUSPENSION OF RMT REPRESENTATIVES, FRATTON – SOUTH WESTERN RAILWAY – Following my previous Circular (IR/171/20) dated 14th May 2020, as you are aware, two of our representatives, Mark Gamble and Brian Perren, were suspended from duty using unscrupulous charges. South Western Railway’s actions throughout this dispute have been appalling. The company have clearly targeted our members as they are hardworking and effective representatives. The callous action of South Western Railway has been abhorrent from the very start of this dispute. Our members recently had their disciplinary hearings and after successful representation Brother Brian Perren has been reinstated to his substantive role. However, Mark has been left in limbo by the company and still faces these ridiculous charges. This means that the ballot that was due to close today (4th June) has been cancelled. As one of our members has been reinstated, this changes the basis of the original ballot. Unfortunately, because of the anti-trade union laws we would not have been able to use any mandate we received from this ballot. Therefore, we have to run a fresh ballot and this will be to continue to defend our suspended Brother Mark Gamble. The National Executive Committee has considered this matter and has congratulated our members and all those who assisted Brian in proving his innocence and ensuring he is reinstated to his substantive role. The NEC has also instructed me to run a fresh ballot in defense of our Brother Mark Gamble who still remains suspended. It is incredibly disappointing that the company has failed to see sense and instead have chosen to drag on an unnecessary dispute. It is disgraceful that Mark remains suspended and we have no choice but to stand shoulder to shoulder and defy SWR’s callous and distasteful decision. I have written to the company today to advise them of this union’s position and they have been left in no doubt that we will not allow them to pursue outrageous charges against our from democratically elected representatives (from RMT general secretary Mick Cash)

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

BREAKING NEWS!! Ministers confirm £3.5 billion rail bail out but RMT says Government has serious questions to answer about the future of our railways (16 June) – RAIL UNION RMT said that despite parliamentary answers confirming today that Train Operating Companies are to be bailed out by the Government to the tune of £3.5 Billion it is still totally unclear whether new contracts will be agreed by September read more

BREAKING NEWS!! Rail union RMT responds to planned axing of 450 engineering jobs at Wabtec Doncaster (16 June) – General Secretary Mick Cash said “The plan to almost halve the Wabtec Doncaster workforce with the loss of 450 jobs is devastating news for the area and the industry and is wholly opposed by RMT. The fact that these savage cuts have been smuggled out under the cloak of the COVID-19 crisis is a disgraceful way to act and the plans should be immediately withdrawn to allow for discussions with the Government and local politicians on how we protect these skilled engineering jobs before they are lost for good…” read more

RMT protests at P&O job losses 3pm this Thursday June 18th at Dover and Hull

The details of the demonstrations are:-

Hull: Assemble at Kingston retail park at 2.45pm  Hull protest Facebook event

Dover: Assemble outside the RMT Dover office (Snargate street) at 2.45pm

On International Justice Day for Cleaners and Security Guards, RMT calls for an end to outsourcing on the railways (15 June) – RMT today called on the government to use its power to promote an in-sourcing revolution on the railways as the union joined in International Justice Day for Cleaners and Security Guards. As a new report from the TUC shows, while the Covid-19 crisis has illuminated that cleaning is essential work, it’s also one of the most outsourced sectors of the economy and is associated with lower pay and insecure employment read more

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

RMT launches Covid-19 charter for London Underground staff (15 June) – On the day that face masks have become compulsory on public transport London Underground union RMT has launched a Covid-19 charter for tube workers. The charter maps a way forward for London Underground by workers who have demonstrated their commitment to keeping the tube and other TfL services running throughout the Covid 19 crisis. It explains how union members want to provide the best possible service to workers in London but reject people being forced on to the tube without the necessary safety planning and before conditions are right read more

RMT demands that Mayor lift congestion charge from London lifeboat staff (11 June) – Thames waterways union RMT today demanded that London Mayor Sadiq Khan exempt staff working at Tower RNLI station from the congestion and ULEZ charges warning that a failure to recognise the vital contribution of this group of staff at the UK’s busiest lifeboat station is robbing them of hundreds of pounds a month. RMT has written to both the Mayor and TFL boss Mike Brown requesting that the RNLI staff be exempt from the charges. The request has been turned down flat and the union is now ratcheting up the pressure as river traffic is expected to escalate over the coming weeks as the lockdown is eased read more

Union fury as London Underground bosses say BAME staff at no greater risk from Covid-19 at work, than if they stayed at home (10 June) – RMT has revealed that in a London Underground document entitled “Covid-19 Risk Assessment for BAME and clinically vulnerable employees Guidance for all line managers” dated 5th June tube bosses have said; “You can reassure them that we have assessed the risks and put controls in place; and assure them that the risk is no greater at work than not being at work (unless they stay in their home and go nowhere). It’s important also to remind people that being at work is good for individuals and their health. There can be long term health implications for individuals who are not in work for prolonged periods.” The union is also furious that senior London Underground management have not consulted with union health and safety reps prior to producing the document read more

Please Support RMT Members With No Wages! – 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

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

ScotRail’s increased services not a “green light” to dich social distancing – Cortes (15 June) – As ScotRail services ramp up today (Monday) TSSA General Secretary Manuel Cortes warned that this should not be seen as a “green light” to ditch social distancing read more

Union Sounds Warning As Public Transport Face Coverings Become Compulsory (15 June) – TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has warned that the compulsory use of face coverings on public transport in England from today (Monday 15th June) must “not be seen as a green light” for wider use of public transport or the ditching of social distancing measures read more

Public Transport Workers in Ireland must be issued visors to protect from coronavirus (9 June) – TSSA Union has today issued a call for frontline public transport workers across Ireland to be issued with visors and facemasks to protect them from the coronavirus. The call comes as bus and rail operators return to a normal service, major retailers begin reopening and restrictions on non-essential travel are eased read more

Belly Mujinga, two months on 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

Heathrow airport accused of brutally ditching ambassadors with 500 workers set to lose their jobs (15 June) – Unite, the principal aviation union, has accused Heathrow Airport of “brutally ditching” 500 workers employed as ambassadors at the airport. The ambassadors were employed by ABM on a contract entirely funded by Heathrow Airport and the entire workforce will now be made redundant read more

JLR job losses another devastating blow for auto workers (15 June) – Unite has described the announcement that 1,100 agency workers at JLR’s factories will lose their jobs as more devastating news for the UK’s automotive communities. The workers are employed by the agency Manpower and principally work on the car production line. The job losses are a result of a sharp decline in car sales as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. It is understood that there will be around 400 job losses at JLR’s plant at Solihull with the remaining job losses spread over the company’s other sites in the West Midlands and Merseyside read more

Nottinghamshire Rolls Royce supply chain redundancies ‘nasty shock’ to local economy (15 June) – Job losses at Turbine Surface Technologies Ltd (TSTL) in Annesley, Nottinghamshire, are a ‘nasty shock’ to the local economy, Unite said today (Monday 15 June). TSTL, which employs about 600 people and produces coatings for Rolls Royce gas turbine components, has announced 106 redundancies across its operations. Unite said it had secured a ‘generous’ voluntary redundancy package and is working with the company to minimise compulsory job losses. The union warned that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the aerospace sector, which employs nearly 26,000 people in the East Midlands, are at risk of ‘falling like dominos’ without government intervention read more

Sign this petition: Reinstatement of Blue Handling employees laid off due to COVID-19 and placed on Furlough

Unite demands re-opening of NHS Scotland pay deal (12 June) – Unite Scotland has today (12 June) demanded that the Scottish government re-open NHS pay talks as the country’s health workers put their lives on the line during the Covid-19 pandemic. The NHS pay order of August 2018 allowed for pay talks to be re-opened through a trigger clause, which Unite says must now be used due to the ongoing pandemic and the pay disparity which exists among public sector workers. Over 60% of NHS Scotland staff who are at the top of their pay band have been paid less than our other public sector workers over the three-year period read more

Council workers to hold ballot over ‘insulting £1.83 a day pay’ offer (11 June) – About 100,000 council workers, members of Unite the union, will take part in a consultative ballot to see if they wish to reject or accept a pay and conditions offer for 2020/1 which amounts to just £1.83 a day. The Local Government Employers (LGE) offer, made in the midst of the coronavirus crisis in April, has been met with astonishment and disbelief at the lack of respect and regard shown to essential workers who have been supporting our communities throughout the crisis read more

Clarity call by Unite as to how Centrica job losses will affect frontline workers (11 June) – Greater clarification has been demanded on the impact to frontline workers at energy giant Centrica, owner of British Gas, following today’s (Thursday 11 June) announcement that there would be a culling of 5,000 jobs, primarily at management level. Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, said that, after a conference call with Centrica’s management and the trade unions this morning, there was no clarity on what the impact of the managerial job losses would have on the future of Electrical Services engineers that are customer-facing. Unite represents workers in electrical services who wire up boilers and install smart meters in homes across the UK read more

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 – 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

PCS welcomes EHRC inquiry into impact of Covid-19 on black workers (12 June) – Collective action by PCS and the TUC has led the Equality and Human Rights Commission to announce it will hold an inquiry into the impact of the coronavirus on ethnic minorities in the UK read more

PCS negotiates credit for DWP members going into work (12 June) – The credit adds up to nearly two extra days’ leave for those staff who must still attend work during the Covid-19 crisis. PCS has been pursuing a demand for a shorter working week and flexi credits for travel to work time for members who are still in the workplace in DWP read more

Aviation workers must be protected and given right to retrain amid corona chaos (10 June) – PCS has welcomed an aviation sector report from the New Economics Foundation (NEF) calling for the right of staff to retrain and investment in green de-carbonisation technologies. According to the report, industry leaders should be negotiating redundancy limits with trade unions, bailouts should be coupled with forcing suspension of shareholder dividends, excessive executive pay should be curbed and tax avoidance should be minimised read more

PCS calls on government for permanent extension of occupational sick pay for all (9 June) – Pay all outsourced staff working on civil service contracts full occupational sick pay from day one, is the message from PCS in a letter sent to prime minister Boris Johnson. On Monday (15), PCS is launching a new, national campaign Dying for Sick Pay, which is focused on defending and extending the right to full occupational sick pay, from day one, for outsourced workers across government read more

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

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

Living Wage Foundation research shows 1.3 million key workers paid less than real Living Wage (15 June) – It’s a travesty that millions of the UK’s covid-19 heroes are struggling to survive on less than a living wage, things have to change. GMB, the union for care workers, has responded to the Living Wage Foundation’s research published today [Monday 15 June], showing over five million people were in low paid, insecure work on the eve of the Coronavirus crisis. The research also shows these numbers liable to rise substantially during a recession read more

GMB leads protest for cleaners after two Covid-19 deaths at South London hospital (12 June) – Hospital cleaners, porters and hostesses are the forgotten heroes of this pandemic says GMB Union. GMB Union will lead a peaceful protest of St Georges hospital workers on Monday [June 15, 2020] following the sad death of two cleaners from Covid-19. The socially-distanced demonstration takes place at 12 noon at the Tooting hospital to mark International Justice Day for cleaners read more

GMB welcomes return of probation service to public control (12 June) – All the evidence suggests it will reduce reoffending, protect the public and save taxpayers money says GMB Union. The GMB has welcomed the return of the probation service to public hands read more

GMB wins full Covid-19 sick pay for Larchwood Care workers (12 June) – No one should suffer a financial detriment as a result of following government and public health advice says GMB Union. GMB, the union for social care workers, has worked with Larchwood Care to secure full and normal pay for staff who have to self-isolate due to Covid-19. Larchwood Care, who have homes across the country, have agreed their carers will not suffer financially if they contract Covid-19, or have to self-isolate. It’s the second big GMB win for care workers suffering from coronavirus after the union secured full sick pay for 27,000 HC-One carers in the event of a positive test result read more

Suppressing BAME Covid-19 death recommendations ‘will have cost lives’ (12 June) – This goes beyond mismanagement of the crisis and has stepped into institutionalised racism, says GMB Union. GMB has commented on leaked recommendations originally redacted from the government’s report into excess BAME deaths from covid-19 read more

 

Unison

Extend free scheme to all frontline care and NHS staff, says UNISON (15 June) – Union launches campaign urging people to write to their MP to get Immigration Bill changed. A government scheme exempting overseas workers from visa fees for one year should be extended to all care staff and NHS employees, says UNISON today (Monday) read more

Care worker pay deductions must be tackled to stop hardship and control virus spread (15 June) – Some workers going unpaid while following safety guidance. Huge disparities in financial support for care workers during the pandemic show the government must act to ensure staff are not left in financial peril and become more willing to take health risks, says UNISON today (Monday). Staff in the care sector, who need to self-isolate, shield or have the virus, have told UNISON they’re being forced to take unpaid leave or survive on minimal statutory sick pay (SSP), leaving them hundreds of pounds out of pocket each week. Some have been told by their employers to use up annual leave or make up time for free when they return to work read more

Shock jobs announcement leaves British Gas workforce reeling, says UNISON (11 June) – Shedding jobs not the answer to energy challenges. Commenting on Centrica’s plans announced today (Thursday) to cut 5,000 jobs in the UK, UNISON national energy officer Matt Lay said: “This shock announcement has left employees reeling. Throughout the lockdown staff have been working incredibly hard keeping services running for customers. They’re bitterly disappointed and angry too. The outlook for the UK’s big energy firms is certainly challenging. But simply shedding jobs, refusing to rule out compulsory redundancies and threatening to force the remaining staff on to inferior contacts is not the answer.” Read more

 

CWU

Employment justice demanded for cleaners and security guards (June 15) – Today (Monday June 15) is International Justice Day for Cleaners and Security Guards – and the CWU is marking the occasion by focussing on the importance of securing Real Living Wage pay rates for both groups of workers read more

More redundancies at Rivus as BT Fleet sale fallout gets even worse (June 12) – Less than 4 months after the first round of bloodletting at the former BT Fleet organisation saw its new private equity owners close 10 garages and make more than 60 redundancies, a further 166 team members have been told the are potentially ‘at risk’ in a new jobs cull. Under the latest devastating headcount reductions  planned for the re-named Rivus Fleet Solutions by its asset management group owners, Aurelius, ‘consultation’ commenced yesterday (Thursday) on a further 62 redundancies of CWU-represented grades  across the business read more

Justice on the Horizon (June 10) – BBC’s Panorama into the Post Office Horizon scandal has done a great job of putting one of this country’s most serious miscarriages of justice ever into the public eye. For those who do not know, the scandal relates to how hundreds of postmasters were sacked or prosecuted on the basis that “Horizon”, a computer accounting system, had internal problems. These problems created cash shortfalls that didn’t actually exist, but workers were blamed for the irregularities. Panorama exposed the stories of people like Janet. Because of the glitches in Horizon, £59,000 apparently went missing on her watch. Through no fault of her own, she found herself in prison for nine month read more

 

FBU

“Dangerous disparity” between regions’ high-rise fire response after Grenfell (14 June) – Three years after the Grenfell Tower fire, a third of fire and rescue services still would not send sufficient resources to high-rise fires, new data from the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) can reveal. Residents still face a “postcode lottery” of fire and rescue response, the union has warned, with huge variation between brigades’ pre-determined attendance (PDA) levels, the number of fire engines initially sent to a high rise fire. PDAs range from up to 10 fire engines and a high-reaching aerial appliance in London down to as few as two fire engines and an aerial appliance in North Wales read more

Grenfell anniversary: FBU “will not accept another year of inaction” (14 June) – Today, on the third anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has said firefighters will not accept another year of inaction on building safety. The FBU has called for an end to “a politics that values profit over people”, condemning “endless promises, excuses, and platitudes” from government. Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “Firefighters do all that they can to protect human life and the loss of 72 people at Grenfell was deeply traumatic for them as well as for all those others directly affected by the fire. Today, a community and their firefighters grieve. But we will not accept another year of inaction. Three years on, we have heard endless promises, excuses, and platitudes from government, but the reality on the ground has not changed…” read more

 

UCU

UCU launches ‘Fund the Future’ campaign to secure universities and colleges (12 June) – UCU launches campaign with message to prime minister that universities and colleges desperately need a clear and coherent plan from government if the UK is to avoid losing educational capacity at a time when it will be needed most read more

Anger as University of Portsmouth restarts process to slash jobs during Covid-19 crisis (12 June) – The University of Portsmouth is under fire over plans to axe more than half its English literature department. The university suspended the process in March saying it wanted to remove worry and anxiety for staff during the Covid-19 crisis. The university said it is pressing ahead with the plans because Covid-19 restrictions have eased, although it has not confirmed when staff will be axed. The university’s policy about staff working from home has not changed since March, nor have the circumstances of the affected staff. The University and College Union (UCU) said the only thing that seemed to have changed was the university’s concern for its staff read more

Macclesfield College under fire for forcing staff to come in for VIRTUAL open day (11 June) – College sits in region with country’s highest Covid-19 transmission rate where schools have shelved reopening plans due to health concerns, yet it orders staff to come in and perform tasks they could do at home 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. The union is launching a recruitment campaign

 

NUJ

NUJ condemns attacks on journalists (13 June) – The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) in the UK and Ireland has condemned the outrageous and unacceptable attacks on reporters and photographers covering the demonstrations in London today, Saturday 13 June read more

 

Prospect

Why ‘business as usual’ has been bad news for Prospect members in BT (10 June) – BT is continuing to attack pay and jobs and is proposing changes to redundancy terms, despite employees’ dedication to keeping the UK connected during the COVID-19 crisis read more

 

USDAW

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

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

 

UVW

London’s Royal Parks attendants sue for over 150 years of underpaid and untaken annual leave (June 12) – Around twenty of London’s Royal Park attendants who are outsourced to a French multinational company VINCI appeared in court this week for the first stage of their legal claim alleging that they have been unlawfully denied their full entitlement to 28 days annual leave per year. The workers have 150 years service between them and some of them have been working for over 20 years whilst only been permitted to take 8 days instead of the legal minimum of 28 days for full time workers. Other park attendants were permitted their full entitlement but were only paid at their contractual rate of pay rather than their actual rate of pay which is unlawful.  The claim is based on entitlements found in the Working Times Regulations 1998. These same park attendants recently won the London Living Wage through strike action in autumn of 2019, where they won a pay rise from the then minimum wage of £8.21 per hour to the London Living Wage of £10.75, with the rise equating to a 31% increase, and an extra £5000 per year per worker read more

 

IWGB

Covid-19 couriers first key workers to strike during pandemic following victimisation by NHS contractor TDL (10 June) – Medical couriers who have been transporting Covid-19 samples for multi-million pound NHS contractor The Doctors Laboratory (TDL) are taking strike action on Wednesday 10 June,  in response to the company’s decision to make redundancies during the pandemic, and its failure to address health and safety concerns. A virtual picket line will be held online via Zoom from 10.00-13.00, with confirmed speakers including Kate Osamor MP, Owen Jones and John McDonnell MP. A solidarity protest will also be held in Australia at the HQ of Sonic Healthcare, of which TDL is a subsidiary read more

 

 

Other news

Virtual Orgreave Rally – hosted by Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign

1pm Saturday June 20th    Facebook event

 

 

International

The Coca-Cola Company is abusing a national health emergency in the Philippines to attack workers’ rights! Read more

India: Workers’ rights under attack read more

 

 

Diary

 

2020

July 4 – NSSN Conference from 11am via Zoom

September 13 – NSSN TUC Rally 1pm

 

CONTACT US

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