493: TfL funding rally July 15 & Nissan pension fight

July 14, 2020 in Bulletins

Joint London union TfL funding rally – 6pm Wednesday, 15th of July ’20

– you can join the rally on Zoom here – https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85329026471?pwd=WW9DTkpQNGxZME5XUzkyNVFGYm42dz09

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused massive financial challenges for Transport for London. The slump in passengers numbers and suspension of fares during the height of the lockdown has sucked £600m a month from its finances, which pushed it to the brink of collapse. TfL workers should not have to pay for the coronavirus crisis!

TRADE UNIONS DEMAND:

> No cuts to services. A fully funded, green, integrated and accessible public transport system to deliver London’s economic recovery that meets air quality targets

Full restoration of central government funding → No job cuts and no deterioration in terms and conditions for all transport workers who have kept London moving through the crisis.

TFL Rally

SPEAKERS INCLUDE:

Paula Peters – DPAC (Disabled People Against Cuts)

Steve Hedley – RMT Assistant General Secretary

Oisin Mulholland – East Ham CLP and Prospect rep

Cheryl Beckford – Unite the Union Shop steward &Equalities rep

Peter Kavanagh – Regional Secretary, London & Eastern Region, Unite the Union

Lorraine Ward – Organising Director, TSSA

Finn Brennan – ASLEF District Organiser

Read more    Facebook event

 

Nissan workers fight for their pension

(From NSSN North East): Around 500 Nissan workers joined a march and rally in opposition to plans to close their final pension scheme. The rally took place at the main gate of Nissan’s Sunderland plant.

Nissan pensions protest

Nissan is closing the existing Defined Benefit (or ‘final salary’) pension scheme, replacing it with an inferior Defined Contribution scheme, impacting 2,000 workers

This is the first time in the plant’s 33-year history that any form of protest has happened, and speaking to workers, it is clear that if Nissan don’t back down with this attack on workers’ pensions, it will undoubtedly lead to more militant trade union action.

Steve Bush, Unite national officer, told us that Nissan management had taken an “arrogant stance” which was unacceptable. He went on to say he was really pleased with the turnout of the protest, which would put the union in a good position to negotiate with Nissan management.

Workers told us that Nissan had recently put out a DVD explaining the strength of Nissan in Sunderland was its workforce and team spirit – yet this is how Nissan wants to repay their workforce!

Another said how the company used to listen to their workers. They used to have on-site meetings, where employees could put questions to their bosses. Now they have televised statements or emails sent out to them – Nissan are no longer interested in having a dialogue.

It was good to see a banner at the protest “Stay Strong Barcelona” in reference to the Nissan plant in Spain which is due to close. We spoke to a number of workers who expressed the view the attack on Spanish Nissan workers was an attack on all, and a wake-up call for many workers at the Sunderland plant who had once regarded Nissan as a company that looked after its workforce.

International workers’ solidarity is important as the attack on the Sunderland pension scheme is one part of Nissan’s £2.3 billion of cuts worldwide. Nissan, in alliance with Renault, are using the Covid crisis as cover to cut jobs, intensify work, reduce capacity and pit workers against each other in the name of ‘efficiency’.

Nissan workers on the protest were hopeful that this protest would be a wake-up call for Nissan, but are clearly prepared to step up the action if protesting is not enough.

Messages of support and solidarity can be sent via ben.norman@unitetheunion.org

Unite: Sunderland pensions protest over Nissan’s ‘disdain’ for workers (8 July)

 

Join the Tolpuddle Martyrs’ Online Festival 2020 July 17-19

How to join in – The Tolpuddle Martyrs’ website will list the programme so you can choose what sessions you want to join or view. The Tolpuddle Martyrs’ Facebook group and YouTube channels will stream as much of the festival as they can. But to be sure of hearing all the ‘online talking in tents’ make sure you register for the Zoom sessions.

www.tolpuddlemartyrs.org.uk    Tolpuddle Martyrs’ Festival Facebook group

 

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 Accord, Advance, AEP, AFA-CWA, ASLEF, BDA, BECTU Sector of Prospect, BFAWU, BOS-TU, College of Podiatry, Community, CSP, EIS, Equity, FBU, FDA, GMB, HCSA, MU, NAHT, NASUWT, National Society for Education in Art and Design (NSEAD), Nautilus International, NEU, NGSU, NUJ, PFA, Prospect, RCM, SoR, TSSA, TUC, UCU, UNISON, Unite, URTU, USDAW, WGGB and the RCN

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.

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

 

 

NSSN news

Dates for your diary:-

National Shop Stewards’ Network South West regional meeting – 11am Saturday July 25th Facebook event

NSSN TUC Rally – 1pm Sunday September 13th

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

And if you can, come to one of our regional Conferences. If there is not one in your area, get in touch to either assist in organising or have a speaker at one of your meetings or events. Contact Rob or Linda on info@shopstewards.net

Follow us on twitter via @NSSN_AntiCuts and Facebook

Watch NSSN TUC Rally video

 

  

Union News

RMT

RMT calls on the Scottish Government to intervene and prevent damaging cuts at Glasgow Queen Street Travel Shop (13 July) – RAIL UNION RMT is today calling on the Scottish Government to ensure that Abellio Scotrail’s damaging proposals for Glasgow Queen Street travel shop are withdrawn read more

Freedom of Information request reveals Tube cleaning contract puts cost-cutting and profits before safety (13 July) – TUBE UNION RMT said that documents disclosed under Freedom of Information legislation reveal that Transport for London’s contract with outsourcing company ABM shows the contractor is scored more for how successful they are in cutting jobs than in cleaning trains and stations read more

RMT calls for an end to the charade of privatisation as ONS reclassifies train operators onto the public sector balance sheet (10 July) – RAIL UNION RMT today demanded that the government end the charade of privatisation and the grotesque waste of franchising after it was confirmed that the Office for National Statistics have reclassified the debts of the private train operators as part of the public debt on the public sector balance sheet read more

RMT demands Government support to protect jobs and services as Eurostar announces cuts package (9 July) – RAIL UNION RMT has demanded Government support to protect jobs and services that are vital to Britain’s economic future as Eurostar have announced a cuts package in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis and its impact on cross channel business. The cuts amount to a 20%‎ reduction in costs with an impact on jobs and services and RMT has entered into talks with the objective of protecting staff employed across the Eurostar operation read more

In Seafarer Awareness Week RMT Demands Pension Justice for Maritime Workers (8 July) – In the week when we acknowledge the courageous work of our seafarers, who continue to provide a service to the UK during the COVID-19 crisis, seafarers’ union RMT has produced evidence that shipping employers are providing maritime workers with inadequate occupational pension provision when it comes to their obligation to assist their employees with their retirement expectations read more

RMT warns of massive UK jobs crisis in Seafarers Awareness Week (7 July) – RATINGS Union RMT today issued a warning to the Government as part of Seafarers Awareness Week 2020, with its theme of Covid-19 and the impact on merchant seafarers and their families 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

Government failure on Thomas Cook administration must never happen again (14 July) – The government’s response to the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee on inquiry into Thomas Cook been published today, with TSSA saying action speaks louder than words on corporate reform read more

TSSA Calls for Government Clarity Over Reports of Imminent Rail Nationalisation (13 July) – TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has today written to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps calling for clarity over the future of Britain’s railways after reports emerged over the weekend that Ministers are considering full scale nationalisation read more

TSSA Welcomes ‘Blindingly Obvious’ Rail Nationalisation Move (10 July)

TSSA Urges Government Intervention Over Eurostar Jobs (9 July) – TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has called on the Government to “intervene to save jobs” at Eurostar after the company announced it is ‘taking steps to protect Eurostar for the long term by reducing costs’ read more

 

Unite

SAVE ALL JOBS at the Wales Millennium Centre protest 12pm Saturday July 18th – Over a week ago the UK government announced a £1.6bn package for the arts to save venues in need and prevent job losses in the industry. £59m of that package is to be awarded to Wales’ arts sector. 8 days later, we are still waiting on further information about the package, when will we see any of this money? For some people it may be too little, too late as hundreds of jobs across Wales are to be made redundant by the end of the month. £59m should be enough for employers to SAVE ALL JOBS. We are protesting to put pressure on the UK & Welsh Gov to get the details of the package and the funding, out to companies to stop these redundancies. Whether you are a full time worker, casual worker or freelancer, your job should be saved from redundancy. The arts are all about the people, if we don’t save jobs, the work that we make will be lost. The venue’s that we all visit, won’t be the same. We need to prevent the loss of skills, experience and passion in the industry. We will be showing our gratitude for the £1.6bn package but demanding that we see it make a difference now, before it’s too late. Please join us on Saturday the 18th of July at 12pm at the Welsh Assembly/Senedd in Cardiff Bay to show support to the arts sector and those in jeopardy of losing their livelihood. Please be aware that there will be strict social distancing guidelines to follow on the day. Anyone not adhering to these rules, will be asked to leave. The event is supported by South Wales Police and they will be in attendance. Please be respectful of your peers. Please bring a mask and hand sanitser. Please be aware that there is no toilet facilities on site Facebook event

GE workers fight redundancies – statement from Kerry Owens Unite deputy convenor at the Nantgarw site (near Caerphilly): The current situation with GE Aviation Wales; In addition to around 180 voluntary severance leavers at the end of June the company has announced an additional 369 jobs to be cut as a direct result of reduction of work due to the COVID-19 pandemic The senior Trade Union representatives are meeting with MP’s and Regional Sec/officer of Unite later this week. The trade union group hope to develop a strategy to reduce the tsunami of redundancies being announced throughout the sector and specifically at our plant. As you will be aware the level of redundancies of high skilled well paid jobs will have a devastating impact on the local economy and we need as much support as possible. We will be pressuring the government to provide support for our industry that is facing the worst temporary downturn in recent years. The membership will be happy to receive any offers of support and solidarity and would encourage members from other sectors to share the support for the industry and our plant. Send messages of support to kerry.owens@unitetheunion.org. Join the socially-distanced solidarity rally on Saturday 25th July outside Caerphilly Castle from 12pm (hosted by Caerphilly Trades Council)

GE job losses reinforce urgent need for a financial package to support UK manufacturing, says Unite (9 July)

Benefit sanctions ‘particularly cruel’ amidst widespread jobs destruction (13 July) – The continued use of benefit sanctions just as the country is entering a period of heavy and sustained job losses is ‘unnecessary and particularly cruel’ and must be stopped, Unite said today (Monday 13 July). The call came as the union prepared for a #UniversalDisCredit online day of action on Wednesday (15 July), as part of a Unite Community campaign to reform the most punitive elements of Universal Credit (UC) and the wider welfare system. In addition to the eradication of sanctions, Unite is calling for an end to the five-week wait for payment for UC claimants read more

Bristol airport redundancies will open ‘huge economic hole’ in region (10 July) – Nearly 250 redundancies at Bristol airport will open a ‘huge economic hole’ in the region, Unite, the UK’s aviation union, said today (Friday 10 July). Bristol airport has begun consultation with Unite over making 76 directly employed staff redundant, while Swissport has also announced 167 job losses at the airport. A smaller number of redundancies at other firms are also expected to be announced in the coming days read more

Political pressure mounts for BA to lose lucrative landing slots in response to ‘fire & rehire’ (10 July) – Over 100 MPs from across the political parties, representing constituents in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, have already signed up to a pledge calling for a UK government review of landing and take-off slots in response to BA’s project fire and rehire. British Airways stands accused of using a global health pandemic as cover to impose a long-term plan to ‘fire and rehire‘ the majority of its staff in order to re-engage them on inferior terms and conditions, while making up to 12,000 redundant. BA’s plans have already prompted the Transport Select Committee to brand the UK’s flag carrying airline a ‘national disgrace’. In contrast, other airlines are not acting in this way. Unite has secured an agreement with Ryanair which will result in no job losses among cabin crew at the airline and that cuts to pay will be temporary 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

Unite says it won’t back Construction Covid procedures until PPE and hygiene failings addressed (9 July) – The leading construction union is stating that it will not support the latest version of the Construction Leadership Council’s site operating procedures (SOP) unless major safety failings and potentially illegalities are addressed read more

Rowan reversal of sick pay stance good news in fight against Covid19 (9 July) – Unite the Union has met with senior management of Rowan Foods along with Wrexham Council regarding the Covid-19 outbreak amongst the companies workforce. Unite is pleased to confirm that the company now propose to pay Company Sick Pay backdated till June 1st for any Covid-19 positive tested and isolating employees read more

Unite reaction to East London crane collapse (8 July) – Responding to the news that a tower crane has collapsed in Gale Street, Bow, East London today (Wednesday 8 July), Unite national officer for construction Jerry Swain said: “Yet again we have seen a crane collapse on a construction site…Unite is in the process of contacting the company to discover more details about this accident. There must be an urgent, full and complete investigation into the circumstances that led to this accident. The preliminary findings of which must be released in weeks, rather months or years, in order to ensure that similar accidents are avoided in the future.” Read more

Remove jobs threat or face industrial action, Unite warns Nottingham council (8 July) – Unite, the UK’s leading union, has called on Nottingham council to remove its threat of large- scale redundancies or risk industrial action. The council has tabled proposals to make 500 workers redundant – one in 10 of the entire council workforce – caused, it claims, by the drop in income and increased costs due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  In the first instance, jobs will be cut through a voluntary redundancy scheme. The union warns that the job loses will further undermine public services that are vital to the people of Nottingham and is calling for the government at Westminster to help needy councils cope with these new and unexpected costs read more

Premier Periclase: workers set to strike from July 20th (July 8) – Unite accuses company of failing to engage and breaching agreement. Unite, which represents workers at Drogheda magnesia plant Premier Periclase, has announced that its members are set to take strike action from Monday July 20th read more

DHL workers rocked by massive redundancies as 2200 more jobs are lost on eve of Chancellor’s speech (7 July) – On the eve of the Chancellor’s speech to the country designed to map the nation’s recovery from the Covid-19 crisis, 2200 workers involved in the production of Jaguar Land Rover’s vehicles are being told that they could lose their jobs. Two in five of the entire workforce employed by DHL on the JLR logistics contract face redundancy, across full-time, salaried and agency staff on the contract read more

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

PCS slams Cabinet office over proposals to slash 4,500 jobs from Government Communications department (10 July) – Members have been left angered and despondent by the news after it was leaked to the press before PCS and other unions were told. The proposals could see more than 4,000 jobs in the Government Communications Service (GCS) across 20 departments reduced to hundreds by April next year. According to the controversial plans each department will apparently be allowed to have no more than 30 comms staff; these to be managed centrally by Alex Aiken, the executive director for government communications read more

£1bn more for DWP but few assurances for PCS members (8 July) – There were few assurances for PCS members working hard to deliver essential public services in the chancellor’s summer statement. While Rishi Sunak confirmed in his lunchtime statement to MPs that an additional £1 billion would be allocated to the Department for Work and Pensions to pay for a doubling of work coaches in jobcentres the chancellor failed to clarify if the newly-announced 13,500 posts would be ‘new’ posts read more

Sign your name for pay justice – petitions with 10,000 signatures get a government response; after 100,000 signature the issue will be considered for a debate in parliament. Everyone is urged to sign and share the petition, and take part in this and other campaign activities 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

More than 1,000 G4S job losses ‘leaves cash industry on knife edge’ (13 July) – These cuts are devastating for our members sand their families – GMB Union will fight for every single job. The cash industry is ‘on a knife edge’ as G4S announces more than 1,000 job cuts. The company has today announced a restructure putting 1,150 jobs at risk with GMB now in consultation with G4S to try and save as many roles as possible read more

Government has ‘double crossed’ pensioners over license fee (9 July) – Ministers gave the BBC no choice shifting the burden and reducing their funding says GMB Union. GMB, Britain’s general union, says the government has double-crossed pensioners after over 75s were stripped of their free TV license. Labour awarded TV licences to all pensioners aged 75 and over – a policy the Conservatives pledged to protect in their 2017 manifesto read more

Charging frontline heroes to keep us safe a ‘disgrace’ (8 July) – GMB Union investigation found trusts charging keyworkers up to £1,300 a year to park. GMB, the union for NHS staff, says charging frontline heroes to park at work is a disgrace. An investigation by the union found some trusts are charging hard-up keyworkers up to £1,300 a year to park. After GMB pressure, the government cancelled all car parking charges for NHS and social care staff during the pandemic. Now they are ’showing their true colours’ by reinstating the charges read more

Celtic Manor job losses ‘short sighted and cruel’ (9 July) – GMB has called on Terry Matthews to ‘put his hand in his very well lined pocket’ to save over 450 jobs at the famous hotel. Today the hotel announced that around half of jobs are at risk due to reduced demand as a consequence of the COVID19 pandemic read more

Solidarity with Dawn Butler MP (9 July) – We stand in solidarity with Dawn Butler MP and her staff who have made the difficult decision to close one of their constituency Office in Willesden, London under COVID 19. As a GMB member, staunch trade unionist, anti-racist campaigner and equality activists for all, Dawn consistently raises and speaks on key issues impacting Black Asian Minority Ethnic people of Covid 19 and Black Lives Matter uprisings. Dawn is  the first  black woman to speak at the dispatch box in parliament read more

 

Unison

Support Tower Hamlets Unison strike – The NSSN sends our solidarity to Unison members who are striking against attacks on their terms and conditions. Hundreds of union reps and members at our annual conference on Zoom last Saturday supported this call. It is an outrage that a Labour council is using the worst methods of private sector bosses to impose detrimental changes. We also salute the binworkers, mainly in Unite, who refused to cross picket lines. They have recently been on strike themselves against their former employer Veolia before being brought back in-house. Unison have now called three further days of strike action from July 15-17

Read more here and on Tower Hamlets UNISON Facebook page and follow @UNISON_TwrHmlts on twitter

Liverpool NHS Cavalcade 4 July – Campaigners held a bike and car cavalcade on 4 July to highlight “300 unnecessary Covid deaths” in Liverpool. The route circled Liverpool Women’s, the Royal and Aintree Hospitals as part of the NHS 72nd birthday celebrations, highlighting government failures to cope with Covid-19. The cavalcade was organised by Keep Our NHS Public Merseyside and Save Liverpool Women’s Hospital read more

 

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 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 – Full opening of Welsh schools in September

NASUWT comments on September school reopening plans in Wales

NASUWT: Call to address teachers’ concerns ahead of September reopening

UCU: Gavin Williamson speech response: Road to recovery must not involve cutting access to education

 

 

CWU

Covid-19 job cuts hit Eurest catering members in BT Buildings (July 10) – A major rationalisation of Eurest catering facilities in BT buildings has been announced on the back of a collapse in demand for the services provided. While the development is not entirely unexpected – with catering activity within BT buildings almost wiped out in a period of widespread homeworking – the CWU has moved swiftly to remind Eurest (Compass Group) of its obligations to consult with the union after members began contacting branches this week having been invited to redundancy meetings read more

Patch Lead grading and pay snub as tensions rise in Openreach on multiple fronts (July 10) – The worsening industrial relations climate in Openreach took a new dive yesterday (Thursday) with an inflammatory management decision to unilaterally impose an unagreed grade and pay point for recently employed Patch Leads in both Fibre Network (FND) and Service Delivery (SD). This is just the latest of a succession of recent grading/ pay point decisions across BT Group that fly in the face of long-established protocols and agreements – and comes just a fortnight after a separate manifestation of the belligerent new management approach sweeping across the company unleashed a full-frontal assault on Openreach’s desk-based workers nationwide read more

‘Devastating’ Global site closure plan fans BT Group-wide staff dislocation fears (July 9) – BT Global has today (Thursday) become the latest line of business in BT Group to announce its long-term site location strategy – in the process exacerbating concerns of mass staff dislocation which have been mounting across the company in recent weeks. Specifically heralded as being part of the Group-wide Better Workplace Programme , Global’s plans involve the division centralising on just five major locations – Bristol, Birmingham, Ipswich, London and Manchester, while maintaining an ‘operational presence’ in Glasgow, Leeds and Newcastle read more

Safe return process agreed for vulnerable Royal Mail Group workers (July 9) – A four-step process to assist the rest of our ‘shielding’ Royal Mail Group members to return to duty will come into operation next month, on a similar basis to the protocols introduced for others last month. Those who have been either categorised as or are the carers for ‘extremely clinically vulnerable’ people will be able to commence the process from July 31 in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland – and from August 16 in Wales – and the agreed arrangements for this were announced by CWU acting assistant secretary Carl Maden read more

 

BFAWU

On July 20, 2020, members of the BFAWU McStrike’s sister union SEIU and allies will take action across the United States in a Strike for Black Lives

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

Historic victory for all journalists, says NUJ (10 July) – Today the full written judgment has been announced and published relating to the decision made at the High Court in Belfast on 31 May 2019 to quash the warrants for the arrest of investigative journalists and NUJ members Trevor Birney and Barry McCaffrey. Last year the court quashed the warrants and reserved their reasons, today they have explained their decision in full. The judgment released today is concerned with the circumstances in which the police can use the ex parte procedure contained in the Police and Criminal Evidence (PACE) Act 1989 to obtain a search warrant in respect of journalistic material. Under the PACE legislation, it is usual practice that journalists are issued with a production order and journalists can then challenge this request in an open court read more

NUJ condemns BAJ for becoming the “bosses’ union of choice” at Iran International to thwart NUJ recognition process (10 July) – The National Union of Journalists has called on supporters of trade union rights to condemn the British Association of Journalists which has clinched a sweetheart deal with Iran International, despite the overwhelming number of journalists there being members of the NUJ who were engaged in a recognition bid read more

As the BBC starts charging over-75s for the TV licence, the NUJ says the government must pick up the bill (9 July) – The NUJ has called on the government to pick up the bill for the TV licences for the over-75s read more

 

Prospect

Government must implement IAEA recommendations and fund HSE (9 July) – Government must implement International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) recommendations and properly fund Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to meet them read more

HSE needs a long term solution to chronic understaffing (9 July) – Prospect members in the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have reacted angrily after it was revealed that inspectors who have left are being offered short-term contracts on beneficial terms to return to help with spot checks for the Covid crisis read more

 

USDAW

Boots announces plans to cut more than 4,000 jobs – a further crushing blow to high street says USDAW (9 July) – Today, Boots has announced plans to cut around 7% of its workforce within retail, head office and opticians in order to mitigate the significant impact of Covid-19 read more

Sign the USDAW petition: Prevent Longer Sunday Opening

 

Mandate

Support the striking Debenhams Workers – MANDATE CALLS ON GOVERNMENT TO IMPLEMENT PROTECTION OF EMPLOYEES (COLLECTIVE REDUNDANCIES) BILL 2020 WITHOUT DELAY AND PREVENT FUTURE DEBENHAMS SCENARIOS.

March with Debenhams workers to Dáil (Convention Centre) – Wednesday July 15th. Assemble 10.45am outside Debenhams in Henry St, Dublin Facebook event

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

Day of Action in support of Debenhams workers in Ireland this Friday July 1th as dispute reaches 100th day (initiated by USDAW Activist) Facebook event detailing solidarity protests in UK

 

UVW

UVW union to argue in court that outsourcing is ‘institutional racism’ (10 July) – Security guards at St George’s University of London medical school have submitted a claim in the employment tribunal arguing that outsourcing them on inferior pay rates and terms & conditions than staff employed directly by the university breaches their right under the Equality Act not to be discriminated against on grounds of their race. The security guards’ union United Voices of the World, which is bringing the claim, will also argue that the terms on which the university outsources their security guards to the contractor Bidvest Noonan is in breach of their public sector equality duty (PSED), which requires public authorities to eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation, and to advance equality of opportunity read more

Stunning victory for United Voices of the World as Ministry of Justice is pressured into granting cleaners full pay sick pay (8 July) – The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) announced today that it has released new funds so that contracted cleaners working in the department will receive full pay sick pay in the event they have to self-isolate due to Covid-19. The MoJ also announced outsourced cleaners who have already self-isolated due to Covid-19 will receive a back payment from the 1st of April. The decision has come about through a prolonged campaign waged by trade union, United Voices of the World (UVW), which has seen cleaners and security guards take 6 days of strike action and two occupations of the Ministry of Justice’s HQ read more

 

IWGB

High Court grants IWGB permission to challenge Health and Safety legislation (9 July) – The High Court has granted permission to the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) to proceed with a judicial review that could extend health and safety rights to hundreds of thousands of so-called “gig economy” workers. The IWGB is arguing that the UK Government has failed in its obligation to transpose health and safety directives from EU law into UK law. Whereas UK health and safety law only protects employees, EU law extends these protections, to all those classified as workers read more

 

 

 

Other news

Townsend Theatre Productions – See online shows such as The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists and We are the Lions about the 1970s Grunwick dispute website here

COVID-19: Demanding a public inquiry On behalf of the Law Centres Network, with the support from Amnesty International, JCWI, the Monitoring Group and over 70 grassroots organisations, civil society charities and trade unions the Public Interest Law Centre wrote to the Government to demanding an urgent public inquiry into the handling of #COVID19. The letter can be found on this link, but more importantly can you send an email from the page demanding that a public inquiry is arranged in the next three months to learn the lessons in order to learn the lessons of before a suspected second wave. https://pilc.org.uk/campaigns/covid-19-demand-a-public-inquiry/

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

 

 

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

 

 

International

ASLEF statement of support for the Kurdish people (9 July) – ASLEF has a proud history of support for the Kurdish people and their demands for self-determination. Recent events have been of great concern as the threat to the Kurdish people from an authoritarian regime in Turkey is increasing. The recent repression of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) including the arrest of MPs Leyla Guven and Musa Farisogullari on trumped up terror charges, is the latest in a long line of attempts to destroy the legitimacy of the party. The removals and arrest of HDP mayors and MPs tramples on the rights of the 1.8 million people who voted for them read more

Turkey: Women workers dismissed from SF Trade for union organizing read more

Iran: support the Azarab Industries workers – NSSN national chair Rob Williams read out this statement at the beginning of the annual NSSN conference last Saturday July 4th:-

“The NSSN sends it greetings to the workers in Iran currently in involved in struggles and striving to build an independent workers’ movement. In particular we condemn the recent sentencing of 42 Azarab Industries workers to a year’s imprisonment, 74 lashes and a month’s forced labour. We demand their immediate release and dropping of all punishments. We send our greetings and solidarity to the thousands of Haft Tappeh workers who again have been on strike since June 14 demanding payment of unpaid wages, reinstatement of victimised workers and renationalisation of the company. The NSSN believes that the revival of the workers’ movement in Iran has an international significance and will help inspire similar developments against all the dictatorial and authoritarian regimes in the Middle East.”

 

 

Diary

 

2020

September 13 – NSSN TUC Rally 1pm

 

CONTACT US

PHONE 07952 283 558

EMAIL mailto:info@shopstewards.net

 

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ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE