NSSN 490: Zoom in to NSSN Conference on Saturday July 4th

June 23, 2020 in Bulletins

 

This year’s NSSN conference is a virtual event on the Zoom platform because of restrictions due to COVID-19

The agenda will be in next week’s NSSN bulletin but it will begin with a main session at 11am, followed by a number of workshops

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

2020 NSSN Virtual 3

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen workers in the UK realise the importance of the unions. Even before lockdown, an annual net increase in membership of 91,000 was reported, which while appearing modest, is a reversal of the continuous downward trend over decades.

But coronavirus has made workers see that when their health and livelihoods are at stake, the protection from being organised collectively in a union is essential. Many unions have already seen significant rises in membership during corona.

But we have seen two main trends in the unions. Some initially succumbed to the idea of ‘national unity’ with the employers and the Tory government. But the bosses and Boris Johnson only know their class interest, which has defined the slowness of the government’s response, which undoubtedly has cost tens of thousands of lives and the reckless opening of lockdown – all in the interests of protecting profit at the expense of workers’ safety.

This has provoked the other more positive development – union action, often from the rank and file. Health workers forced hospital management to supply necessary PPE. Postal workers in a whole number of officers took unofficial action to protect their safety. Moe, a NSSN supporter on London buses, led a successful campaign that led to the front doors being closed after over 30 drivers died of the virus.

Teachers and education staff have been responsible for the biggest government retreat over the re-opening of schools. This saw an explosion in union activity, mainly online because of restrictions. But the NEU organised a massive virtual meeting of over 15,000 members! They report hundreds of new union reps and have recruited over 20,000 new members.

There are massive challenges ahead for workers, particularly as economic crisis unfolds. We are already seeing mass redundancies and closures threatened. But providing unions give a fighting lead, they can become the focal point again for those struggles.

The NSSN Conference is as always, a vital forum for trade unionists to come together to discuss our experiences during these crisis-ridden times and forge a strategy that protects our safety in the workplace and defends our jobs and income.

 

 

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 recently met and 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

 

 

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.

 

 

 

Support teachers and schools staff fighting Tory unsafe 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 Cymru: Coronavirus – Issues surrounding wider opening of schools

NEU: Coronavirus – Schools in September

NASUWT comments on Covid catch-up plan

EIS General Secretary calls for more teachers, focus on equity, in wake of COVID-19

EIS President warns that austerity must not be imposed in wake of COVID-19

 

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!! Rail union RMT claims victory over Government’s “Purple Vests” volunteer stunt (23 June) – RAIL UNION RMT today claimed a victory for common sense as it appears the Government’s volunteer “Journey Makers” programme has been shelved. A leaked email from one of the volunteer programme’s providers admitted that due to disagreement between unions and Government the project “has been shelved for now” read more

RMT calls on Government to scrap shambles of rail volunteer stunt (22 June) – RAIL UNION RMT today called on the government to scrap their railway volunteer Journey Makers stunt after it emerged that ‎Ministers tried to get rail companies to dress staff in the volunteer purple tabards for PR purposes as the whole ill-conceived exercise collapsed into chaos with unions, employers and the public themselves all seeing it for the nonsense that it is read more

RMT begins balloting for industrial action on Heathrow Express over furloughed jobs axe proposals (19 June) – RAIL UNION RMT said today that it has begun a ballot of members on Heathrow Express for industrial action after workers who are currently furloughed due to the Covid-19 crisis were threatened with unemployment by the company. The threat to slash more than a hundred jobs within the Mobile Sales Advisor (MSA) and Customer Concierge roles comes alongside the company’s proposed reorganisation of the grades read more

RMT welcomes MCA detention and inspection of cruise ships in Tilbury and Bristol over crew welfare (19 June) – SEAFARER Union RMT today welcomed the actions of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency in detaining and inspecting six cruise ships in Tilbury and Bristol following serious concerns over the welfare of nearly 2,000 crew members who are stranded on these vessels, unable to disembark or return home due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The six cruise ships are all registered under Flags of Convenience (Bahamas and Madeira) and are owned by Greek company Global Maritime Group read more

RMT reacts to High Court decision on Stagecoach Group’s rail franchising legal action against the Government (17 June) – RAIL UNION RMT today responded to a decision by the High Court ruling against Train Operating Company Stagecoach Group Plc following attempts to sue the Secretary of State for Transport regarding decisions to disqualify the Group from three rail franchise competitions. RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: “This ruling completely exposes how broken the failed privatised rail franchising system is when fat cat train operating companies can sue the Government at will and huge amounts of taxpayers money is wasted on legal fees…” read more

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

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

Covid-19 Rail Franchise Suspensions Must Lead To Public Railways – Cortes (16 June) – TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has urged the Government to bring Britain’s railways into public hands after it was revealed Ministers are already working on plans for the rail industry in the light of a temporary suspension of franchise agreements. In March the Department for Transport (DfT) switched all English passenger rail franchises into emergency management contracts for six months to prevent widespread insolvency – which has to date cost the taxpayer £3.5bn 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:

 

ASLEF

Transport unions warn of increased risks in reducing social distancing on public transport (22 June) – In a joint statement ASLEF, RMT and TSSA have warned of the ‘increased risks’ of reducing social distancing on public transport at the current time read more

The real cost of Covid-19 (18 June) – The Mayor of London today made a statement regarding the financial cost of Covid-19 on the city, outlining the nearly £500m shortfall predicted over the next two years as a result of the crisis. ASLEF has responded to the Mayor’s statement and slammed the UK Government for its failure to help read more

 

Unite

Downgrading of two-metre social distancing rule risks ‘more outbreaks’ for meat industry (22 June) – An expected downgrading to the two-metre social distancing rule risks causing ‘more outbreaks’ of coronavirus within the meat processing sector, Unite said today (Monday 22 June). Unite called for ‘significant intervention’ by both the government and employers to prevent Covid-19 spreading at meat processing factories to accompany any downgrading of the social distancing measures, including better health and safety regimes and improvements to testing and tracing read more

Unite welcome and applaud the decision by the Executive Board of Cwm Taf Morgannwg to recommend to keep a 24 hour A&E department at The Royal Glamorgan Hospital (22 June) – Prior to the COVID pandemic Unite the Union campaigned tirelessly to oppose the proposals to downgrade the A&E department at The RGH. The proposals would have left the Rhondda Cynon Taf area without an 24 hour A&E department. Local Unite representatives spearheaded Unite’s campaign due to their concerns about the impact on the community and the impact on staff within The RGH and the neighbouring hospitals. Unite worked together with the community campaign but with the specific focus of expressing the views of the workforce. Unite representatives spoke to thousands of staff at The RGH and across the CTM and collected 1500 signatures off staff on a petition asking the Health Board management to keep the A&E as a 24 hour service. Unite were one of the only NHS trade unions to fully support the campaign and the most active trade union campaigners. We therefore applaud the Executive Board for making the right decision and we are calling on the full board to accept the recommendation. We know that the residents who use the RGH and the staff from CTM will support such a decision by the full board read more

Unite’s #WorthMore campaign for council workers steps up with call on councillors (22 June) – Councillors from across England, Wales and Northern Ireland are being urged to sign up and support a fair and proper pay rise for council workers in an online letter launched by Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest union as part of its #WorthMore campaign. As part of the campaign, a new film featuring Unite council worker members, the second in the Real Heroes series, has been launched today (Monday 22 June). Members of the public are urged to support the campaign by emailing their councillors through the Unite online tool read more

Heathrow Airport accused of ‘sheer greed’ in attack on workers’ pay and conditions (22 June) – Unite, the principal aviation union, has accused Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL) of using the Covid-19 pandemic as an excuse to permanently cut the pay and conditions of its workforce, a move Unite has described as being about ‘greed, not need’ read more

Threat by Foyle Food Group bosses to scrap one pound a day Covid-19 payment is a slap in the face to essential workers (June 22) – Foyle Foods Omagh workforce suffered at least 35 confirmed Covid cases during first peak of pandemic. Unite the union Regional Officer Gareth Scott was scathing about a threat by Foyle Food Group bosses to remove a special Covid payment from July 3rd. The payment was provided to employees to help meet the additional costs arising from the pandemic read more

Aer Lingus: Craft unions write seeking immediate meeting with company (June 20) – Unions warn that unilateral action will undermine airline’s recovery. Unite Regional Officer Willie Quiqley, who chairs the Craft Group of Unions at Aer Lingus, has written to Aer Lingus management seeking an immediate meeting in light of the company’s decision to unilaterally ‘lapse’ the Covid 19 Recovery Plan 2020 ‘Understanding’ and move to forced implementation of changes and layoffs read more

ABP Meats Chief Executive plans to scrap meagre Covid premium to low pay meatpacking workforce is a disgraceful act of corporate greed (June 19) – Frontline Meatpackers at ABP Craigavon who continued to work despite Covid-19 pandemic threat to sector left deeply angered over threat to pull premium of a mere tenner a day. Workers continue to face extra Covid costs due to lack of childcare and fears over using public transport read more

Crisis meeting required to stem further food sector Covid19 outbreaks (19 June) – Following significant outbreaks of coronavirus at two food production facilities in Wales, Unite is calling on employers and the Welsh government to take urgent action before they spread elsewhere within Wales. Confirmed outbreaks at both 2 Sisters in Llangefni and Rowan Foods in Wrexham are a worrying development on the day Wales announced further measures to ease the lockdown read more

Morrison Data Services can ‘well afford’ full furlough wages for low paid London meter readers (19 June) – Morrison Data Services (MDS) can ‘well afford’ to pay furloughed London meter readers earning just above the national minimum wage their full wages, Unite said today (Friday 19 June). The union, which represents around 100 former EDF meter readers who were transferred to MDS in 2017, said that the workers were already living on ‘poverty wages’ before the coronavirus outbreak and that the impact of their reduced pay during furlough had been ‘devastating’. MDS is using the government’s job retention scheme to pay the workers, who work across London and the South East, 80 per cent of their wages. However, neither the workers nor Unite agreed to the reduction and the union is calling on the company to pay the furloughed staff 100 per cent of their salary, including backdated wages accrued since the beginning of lockdown read more

‘Excessive’ RSPCA proposals to axe 300 jobs will be ‘challenged’ (18 June) – RSPCA proposals to make 300 staff redundant are ‘excessive’ and will be ‘challenged’, Unite said today (Thursday 18 June). Unite is demanding that the animal welfare charity enter into a comprehensive consultation to minimise any potential redundancies and ensure operational capacity read more

Heathrow company Menzies must play by the rules or face action, warns Unite (18 June) – Unite, the UK’s leading union, is warning that aviation company Menzies, which is threatening to make redundancies at Heathrow, must start following the rules or face the legal and industrial consequences. The company, which employs over 2,500 workers at Heathrow, who undertake baggage handling, check-in and front of house roles, yesterday wrote to its workforce warning they were at risk of redundancy. The letters were sent despite the company failing to notify Unite, the recognised union, officially that it was seeking to make redundancies and how many jobs would be lost, which is a basic legal requirement read more

De La Rue urged to think again as Gateshead banknote job losses announced (17 June) – Unite the union, which represents the workforce at De La Rue’s factory in Gateshead,is urging the company to reconsider the announcement today (Wednesday 17 June) that it will cease banknote production at the site. The announcement puts 255 skilled workers in the north east at risk of redundancy. De La Rue has said it intends to transfer work to its other sites: Debden in Essex, and factories in Kenya, Malta and Sri Lanka read more

Stop the 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 Joining the #BAbetrayal Facebook campaign and follow the @BAbetrayal campaign on Twitter. Sign the petition today

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

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

Important PCS update on pay, redundancy and coronavirus safety (22 June) – Read the latest update on PCS campaigning on pay, redundancy and coronavirus safety and watch the video message from general secretary Mark Serwotka. Last month the government announced a disgraceful pay remit for 2020.  Our members have kept the country running during the pandemic and they deserve a fair pay rise. On 30 June we will step up our pay campaign, by launching a petition on the government website. To find out more join our Facebook Live event on 2 July read more

PCS calls for bailout as iconic buildings reopen to public (18 June) – As some renowned historic places reopen to the public today PCS calls on the government to guarantee full public funding for Historic Royal Palaces which manages them. PCS members working at Hampton Court Palace and Hillsborough Castle are among the first in the culture and heritage sectors to return to work as these places reopen to the public following lockdown read more

7pm 2 July PCS Facebook live pay event – Join the next PCS Facebook live event at 7pm on 2 July which will focus on our pay campaign. The event, chaired by PCS President Fran Heathcote, will hear an update on the PCS pay campaign from our general secretary Mark Serwotka. So send in your questions and tune into our Facebook page on the night 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

Time for action to protect BAME workers (20 June) – GMB, Britain’s general union has called on the government to take real action to protect BAME communities from COVID 19. New figures released yesterday by the ONS show that the rate of deaths for black males was over three times greater than that for white males of the same age, while the rate for black females was more than twice as great than for white females. Men of Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Indian ethnic backgrounds also were found to be one and a half times more likely to die than their white counterparts, after adjustments were made for population characteristics. The ONS’s analysis also found that Muslim, Jewish, Hindu and Sikh people all have higher risks of death read more

Negligence puts staff, parents and children’s lives at risk (18 June) – GMB, the union for school staff, has called Surrey County Council to shut Godstone village school immediately, citing serious concerns for pupil and staff safety. The Surrey school has failed to carry out a detailed risk assessment and has been admitting students from years two and five in direct contravention of UK government advice read more

22 Staff laid off overnight ‘utterly disgraceful’ (16 June) – GMB, the union for theatre staff has called out the disgraceful treatment of agency staff working in Carmarthenshire County Council run theatres. On Wednesday, 22 staff working for the Randstad agency were laid off overnight by the company. The company had refused the council’s request to furlough their staff. Many of the long-serving agency staff are not entitled to the same pension and sick pay as their colleagues working for Carmarthenshire Council. The workers were only given one week’s paid notice read more

 

Unison

Government u-turns on free summer school meals (16 June) – UNISON welcomes decision to provide funding for free school meals during the summer. In a win for families across the UK, the government has agreed to fund school meals over the six-week summer holidays, to make sure that no child goes hungry. The campaign to extend free school meals over the summer was led by the School Food Plan, an alliance of organisations that UNISON is part of. Footballer Marcus Rashford has become a recent champion of the campaign and pushed the government to extend its funding. Before lockdown, 1.3 million children were eligible for free school meals. Now, with unemployment growing, even more families are reliant on financial support to make sure their children don’t go hungry read more

St Helens Council under pressure to back care workers who are struggling to stop the spread of COVID-19 – St Helens Council has been criticised by UNISON for not protecting care workers in order to stop the spread of coronavirus. UNISON asked all North West councils to sign a pledge which guarantees sick pay and other protections for local care workers. St Helens Council is the only local authority out of the six which make up the Liverpool City Region which has not signed the pledge or agreed a similar sick pay scheme through negotiations with UNISON. As the ‘R’ rate in the North West remains the highest level in the country, UNISON believes the council could do more to reduce the rate of transmission in St Helens read more

 

CWU

Anger as BT Consumer embarks on career progression ‘road to nowhere’ (June 22) – The CWU has responded furiously to the roll-out of a new operating model in BT Consumer that will slash opportunities for offline work and effectively kibosh non managerial promotion chances the Service operation read more

Santander maternity leave improvements welcomed (June 22) – A groundbreaking move by Santander to provide additional paid maternity leave to female employees whose babies are born prematurely is being held up by the CWU as an example of best practice that other employers would do well to follow. The industry-leading enhancement to the Bank’s maternity leave offering – which was announced to staff on Friday – is part of a package of improvements that the CWU has been discussing with the company read more

CWU Against Racism – fighting racism strengthens us all (June 19) – “As we fight racism, we gain strength in the rest of our struggles,” said our general secretary Dave Ward to over 6,000 members as he brought this evening’s powerful CWU Against Racism Facebook live debate to a close. As a trade union, we get our strength from making common cause,” he pointed out, explaining why organisations like ours are ideally placed to take the fight for equality into the workplaces of Britain and thanking the Friday night panelists who each contributed so much positivity and determination” read more

 

FBU

NAO cladding investigation “should shame this government”, firefighters say (19 June) – The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has responded to today’s investigation by the National Audit Office (NAO) into the UK’s flammable cladding scandal, condemning the government’s action removing cladding as “too slow and too weak”. The union has called on the government to requisition any building that the owner will not make safe. Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “This report confirms much of what we already know – government action removing flammable cladding has been too slow and too weak. Buildings far beyond those covered in the Building Safety Programme are at risk, while fire services do not have the investment needed to enforce new safety regulations. It should shame this government that they are now not expected to remove the same cladding that was on Grenfell from high-rise homes until a full two years after their own deadline and five years since the tragedy itself. The coronavirus pandemic is no excuse – the pace of cladding remediation has been glacial from the start. Even without the months lost, their deadline was likely little more than a PR gimmick” read more

 

BFAWU

Sign petition: To: Paul Pomroy, McDonald’s, Alasdair Murdoch, Burger King, Jorge Torres, Taco Bell, Paula MacKenzie, KFC

Tell fast food CEOs: Listen to your workers, Black Lives Matter

Campaign created by

BFAWU McStrike BAME Committee

BFAWU

It is not enough for fast food companies to pay lip service to the Black Lives Matter movement on social media. You must take steps to ensure your Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) workers are protected against individual and systemic racial abuse

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

Celebrities urge BBC not to cut regional current affairs programmes (17 June) – More than 100 personalities, from journalism, the arts, sciences and politics have written to BBC management in defence of regional currents affairs and politics programmes which are under threat read more

 

Prospect

Recruitment drive at Natural England welcome but not enough (22 June) – It has been announced that Natural England is recruiting 200 new members of staff. Chair of Natural England made the statement on Twitter over the weekend. Natural England has faced a decade of real terms cuts and reductions in staff so an uptick in recruitment is welcome but not enough read more

Huge job losses predicted in creative industries in new COVID-19 impact report (16 June) – Widescale job losses and significant downturn in revenues in film, TV, theatre and live events have been forecast as part of a comprehensive report published by the Creative Industries Federation, which Bectu is a member of. Findings from the research pulled together by Oxford Economics include over 400,000 creative jobs being lost and the creative industries projected to lose £1.4bn a week in revenues in 2020. Museums and galleries, where workers are represented by Prospect, could lose £743 million in revenue and 5% of jobs read more

 

USDAW

Government rethink on longer Sunday trading welcomed by Usdaw, we now need an industrial strategy and recovery plan for retail (22 June) – Shopworkers’ trade union Usdaw has welcomed reports that the Government will not be pressing ahead with plans to deregulate Sunday trading hours having listened to the arguments. Usdaw continues to call for an industrial strategy for retail, which was struggling before the Coronavirus emergency and a tripartite recovery plan involving government, retailers and USDAW read more

Sunday trading: Usdaw survey finds 92% of shopworkers oppose longer hours, with two-thirds pressured to work on Sundays (18 June) – Shopworkers’ trade union Usdaw has surveyed over 11,000 retail staff in England and Wales following reports that the Government is planning to deregulate trading hours allowing large stores to open all day on Sundays.

The online survey conducted over the last week found that:

  • 92% opposed large shops opening for more than 6 hours on a Sunday.
  • 66% feel they are pressured to work on Sundays.
  • 51% want fewer hours on Sunday with only 3% wanting more.

Usdaw is opposing any changes to the existing regulations and is working as part of a Keep Sunday Special coalition read more

Sign the USDAW petition

 

Mandate

Debenhams workers participate in National Strike outside 11 stores in across Ireland (19 June) – Hundreds of Mandate Trade Union members employed by Debenhams Ireland launched official pickets outside 11 stores across the Republic of Ireland today (Friday, 19th June) in protest at the company making the workers redundant without redundancy pay. The company sent a generic email to staff in April informing them that they would not have jobs after the COVID19 crisis read more

Email messages of support to Mandate via dgibney@mandate.ie

 

UVW

Ministry of Justice contractor accused of “unlawful interference” in trade union recognition ballot (19 June) – United Voices of the World (UVW) has reported Ministry of Justice (MoJ) contractor OCS to the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC). UVW has hard evidence that OCS has attempted to unlawfully interfere in an ongoing ballot for statutory trade union recognition. UVW represents cleaners and security guards at the MoJ headquarters at 102 Petty France. OCS has attempted to move UVW reps and members to different worksites with the allure of pay rises so as to tip the ballot in OCS’ favour. The CAC is currently considering the complaint and will issue an outcome imminently read more

 

 

 

Other news

Apply for trade union courses at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CoNEL)

Please see here, our course flyer for TUC courses starting in September 2020.

The Trade Union Education Department of the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CoNEL) at the Tottenham Campus is delivering these courses.

Details of how to apply are contained in the flyer.

If you have any issues applying online, please contact us at tued@conel.ac.uk and we can send you an application form.

It would be appreciated if you could also speak to your branch secretary or other branch officers and reps to promote these courses.

Many thanks colleague.

Kind regards

Mark

Mark Andrew

Lecturer

Trade Union Education

College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London

Tel. 020 8442 3097

 

 

 

 

International

South Africa: Struggle of workers at ‘Expanded Public Works Programme’ continues read more

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

 

Diary

 

2020

July 4 – NSSN Conference from 11am via Zoom

September 13 – NSSN TUC Rally 1pm

 

CONTACT US

PHONE 07952 283 558

EMAIL mailto:info@shopstewards.net

 

TWITTER – https://twitter.com/NSSN_AntiCuts

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ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE