494: NSSN South West meeting – 11am Saturday July 25th

July 21, 2020 in Bulletins

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

The National Shop Steward’s Network is an organisation bringing together rank and file trade unionists to help build our movement. We are having a regional meeting in the South West which will include discussion of the struggles for workers’ health and safety and opposition to job cuts and attacks on pay and conditions.

We are meeting via Zoom – Meeting ID: 817 2876 3520. Password: 678028

Contact Tom on 07986 951 527 or tomobaldwin@gmail.com

 Jan 8 Waterloo DOO strike

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 warns of mother of all battles against government’s plans for tube privatisation and driverless trains (20 July) – TUBE UNION RMT today responded to the government terms of the review into Transport for London which say there will be a “review of the current operating model and whether there are any opportunities that alternative operating models could bring over the longer term, including consideration of structures and governance.” Read more

RMT to fight proposed closure of Wolverton Works wheel depot by Gemini Rail (15 July) – RAIL UNION RMT said today that it will use every tool at its disposal to oppose plans to close the wheel depot at the famous Wolverton Works in Milton Keynes by Gemini Rail with the potential loss of up to thirty jobs 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

Belly Mujinga Petition Smashes Two Million Signature Mark (20 July) – TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has described as “incredible” news that the petition calling for ‘Justice for Belly Mujinga’ has now garnered more than two million signatures. Employed by Govia Thameslink Railways (GTR) Belly was a Victoria Station Ticket Office clerk, and member of our TSSA Family, who died of Coronavirus in April after being redeployed to the concourse despite having an existing respiratory condition read more

Full Speed Ahead For Rail Nationalisation (20 July) – By Manuel Cortes – TSSA General Secretary: “On March 23rd 2020 the Tory government – yes that’s right, those ideological champions of privatisation and the invisible hand of the market – took “temporary” control of our railways. The arrangement in March was set to last for six months, but it’s now clear that the old franchising business as usual simply won’t work. Guaranteed payouts to shareholders regardless of how rail services were run were a complete scandal and must never be allowed to return…” read more

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

 

ASLEF

ASLEF Condemns Johnson Advice: Too much, too soon (17 July) – ASLEF has criticised the government’s decision to ditch its Covid-19 working from home guidance – the advice, ‘based on the science’, in place since March – and tell millions of people to start using public transport again and return to their offices. Boris Johnson used his coronavirus crisis press conference on Friday 17 July to beg people to get back to work to boost the British economy and unveiled a new ‘contain framework’ designed to show that the virus is under control. The Prime Minister urged people to use public transport between 9am and 4pm, rather than travel during peak times, saying: ‘There is a lot of spare capacity that is not being used.’ Mick Whelan, general secretary of ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, which represents 96% of the train drivers in England, Scotland, and Wales, said: ‘We need clarity and we are not getting clarity from this government. Mr Johnson and his ministers have become the masters of mixed messaging and misleading information

 

Unite

Support the Bexley bin strike – (from Facebook) The Bexley Binworkers and Street Cleansers are back on strike! They will commence six days of strike action starting from the 30th July. They postponed the last strike due to the Coronavirus pandemic (after winning sick pay) but they remain on poverty pay with zero-hours contracts still being in place for many workers. The company which manages this contract is Serco; a multi-million pound corporation that earns a fortune from taxpayers’ money while paying these men and women less than the London Living Wage. These people worked day in and day out during the crisis, fulfilling a vital role in our society. And how are they repaid? These men and women are our everyday heroes, they are not only fighting for their own livelihoods but for workers everywhere who are fed up of our public services being sold off to people who treat workers like shit. We need to support them to the fullest

Hospitality and tourism workers protest at Stormont to demand a say in their sectors’ reopening (July 21) – Socially-distanced protest set at Parliament Buildings today [July 21st at 1pm] to include attendance by workers in health and manufacturing. Members of Unite will hand in a letter to Economy Minister Diane Dodds demanding an urgent meeting on the need to secure jobs and skills read more

UK steel sector support top priority must be protecting jobs (20 July) – Unite Wales has reacted with concern in relation to media reports questioning the long term future of the blast furnaces at Tata’s Port Talbot plant. Speculation has emerged that Tata is in talks with the UK government to replace the plant’s blast furnaces with electric arc furnaces as a condition of UK government investment read more

Unite members at Jamie’s Italian win landmark tribunal case against former employer (17 July) – Members of Unite former employees of celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s Italian chain of restaurants have been awarded eight weeks of lost wages after an employment tribunal ruled that it had failed to consult with them over their redundancies following the collapse of his restaurant group last year. The 70 Unite members formerly employed in Jamie’s Italian restaurants in Glasgow and Edinburgh will receive an average pay out of £2,000 each. More than 1,000 jobs were lost when the group fell into administration in May 2019, which led to the closure of 22 restaurants read more

London’s hospitality workers invite tourism minister to join ‘Save our Jobs’ demo (17 July) – Tourism minister, Nigel Huddleston MP, is being invited to join London’s hospitality workers at their socially distanced ‘Save our Jobs’ demo outside the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) on Tuesday 21 July to find out first-hand the effects the Covid-19 pandemic has had on them and their livelihoods. The demo comes with Unite, the union representing the workers, warning that the knee-jerk, mass redundancies sweeping the sector are storing up a skills shortage crisis for the future.

WHEN: Tuesday 21 July 2020, at 12:00

WHERE: DCMS 100 Parliament Street, Westminster SW1A 2BQ read more

No financial support for the Covid-19 hit Southbank Centre would be ‘a national disgrace’, say unions (17 July) – The prospect of London’s Southbank Centre – the UK’s largest arts complex – not receiving a generous slice of the government’s £1.57 billion rescue package for the arts would be ‘a national disgrace’, the Unite and PCS unions said today (Friday 17 July). The unions understand that the Southbank Centre is not in line for financial support from the bail-out which was unveiled by culture secretary Oliver Dowden earlier this month read more

Expected re-opening of Appledore shipyard vindication of Unite’s campaign (16 July) – Unite, the UK’s leading union, has welcomed the revelation that there are now three consortiums actively seeking to purchase the mothballed Appledore shipyard in North Devon. Unite understands that a final announcement on which consortium will be given the green light to buy the shipyard is imminent and it is hoped that shipbuilding at the historic site will return this year. Since the shipyard’s closure in March 2019, Unite has led the lobbying campaign at both a regional and national level for it to re-open read more

Centrica’s ‘fire and rehire’ 20,000 workers latest example of Covid-19 ‘smokescreen’ for job cuts, says Unite (16 July) – The plan by Centrica, owner of British Gas, ‘to fire and rehire’ its 20,000 employees is the latest example of organisations using the coronavirus emergency as a smokescreen to shed jobs, and erode pay and conditions of workers. Unite said the decision of the energy giant follows on from other high profile employers, such as British Airways and the University of Sheffield, which have also adopted similar ‘deplorable’ employment practices during the pandemic read more

£320m potential loss to Scottish economy following ‘critical blows’ to Scottish aerospace engineering and civil aviation (16 July) – Findings of Strathclyde University’s Fraser of Allander Institute highlight possible 5,000 sector job losses in report commissioned by Unite Scotland. Unite Scotland has today (16 July) released findings from a report produced by the nation’s leading economic research institute Strathclyde University’s Fraser of Allander Institute (FAI) which shows a potential £320 million blow to the economy and nearly 5,000 job losses across Scotland read more

Latest round of BBC job losses is deplored by Unite (15 July) – The latest round of job losses announced today (Wednesday 15 July) by the BBC in response to the coronavirus pandemic has been deplored by Unite. The BBC said that increased financial pressure, as a result of Covid-19, means the number of job losses in BBC News will rise to about 520, which is 70 more than the 450 originally announced in January, and will include senior management posts read more

Vote of no confidence in easyJet’s Chief Operating Officer (15 July) – Unite the union, which represents thousands of workers at easyJet, has begun a ballot of no confidence in the company’s Chief Operating Officer Peter Bellew. The ballot of Unite’s membership at easyJet is in direct response to Mr Bellew’s performance during the Covid-19 pandemic. The company is proposing to make around 1,290 cabin crew redundant as well as close its regional bases in Newcastle, Stansted and Southend read more

Crossrail at heart of contemporary blacklisting scandal (15 July) – The flagship but troubled Crossrail project is at the heart of a groundbreaking contemporary blacklisting case launched by Unite, the UK’s leading union. The case involves Unite member Daniel Collins who was working on the Costain/Skanska joint venture for an agency on the Bond Street Crossrail station project. Soon after beginning work on the project Mr Collins witnessed some serious safety issues and followed the site procedures to report his concerns. Shortly after this he was asked to leave the site “due to a reduction in work”, despite originally being assured that there was three years’ worth of work on the project. After he was dismissed Mr Collins remained keen to work on the Crossrail project as pay was relatively high and assignments were for long periods of time. Despite being fully qualified, he was either unsuccessful in his applications or if initially selected, work offers were then subsequently rescinded read more

‘Lousy’ business model blamed for Sheffield university’s plan ‘to sack and rehire’ 8,000 staff on inferior pay (14 July) – A ‘lousy business model’ has been blamed for today’s (Tuesday 14 July) decision by the University of Sheffield to sack and reengage over 8,000 of its employees in a bid to cut costs, allegedly due to the pandemic. Unite which represents over 350 university workers in key technical and facilities posts, pledged to campaign strongly, with the other higher education unions, to protect jobs as the lockdown eases. Unite said that the university bosses were looking for staff to go down to four days-a- week, with no pay rises, no incremental pay rises and no promotions read more

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

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

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

Help promote the new PCS pay petition (20 July) – Today we are launching our petition for fair pay for UK government workers and we need all our members, reps, advocates, activists and supporters to sign and share it. PCS members deliver every day to keep essential services running, and in the pandemic they’ve done that even more than ever. Boris Johnson and other ministers have lauded the work UK government workers have done. But now is the time for the government to deliver a fair pay rise, because warm words do not pay the bills read more

PCS prioritises member safety as pressure builds to process passports (20 July) – There have been reports in the media about delays to passport applications following the Corona outbreak and the lifting of some travel restrictions. Due to small and often cramped offices, social distancing is difficult to observe and HMPO is struggling to get its 4,000 staff members back into the workplace read more

Plans to slash Government Communications jobs is political ploy says PCS following meeting with Cabinet Office (16 July) – The union which represents civil servants working across government communications alongside Prospect and FDA has also criticised a lack of business planning and demanded central negotiations rather than individual departmental consultation. During the meeting it became apparent there was no business plan for the proposals which were leaked by Number 10 read more

Government must pay for pension discrimination not scheme members (16 July) – The government has today (16 July) announced that the cost of the remedy for age discrimination in the civil service pension schemes will be funded from members’ contributions. PCS has consistently argued that the government was to blame for the age discrimination and should fund the remedy read more

Strike ballot as Tate Enterprises continues 200-plus redundancies (16 July) – PCS members at the Tate are being balloted for strike action as its commercial subsidiary plans to go ahead with over 200 redundancies, despite receiving £7 million in additional grant in aid from the government read more

Ministers admit permanently closed jobcentres may reopen (15 July) – The DWP has admitted it may reopen some of the more than 100 jobcentres it has permanently closed in recent years as it looks to expand its estate to accommodate additional work coaches being hired in response to Covid-19 and rising unemployment. While PCS welcomes the additional 13,500 work coach roles, we believe that this will not deal with the additional processing of benefits that the department will have to deliver. We believe that focus should be on helping the individual, supporting them through the system and working to deliver much-needed benefits rather than focusing on redundant job searches and enforcing the sanction regime which has been restarted 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

GMB in urgent talks with Tata Steel over job losses (20 July) – GMB Union will fight to protect our members jobs in Port Talbot. GMB, the steel workers’ union, is holding urgent talks with Tata Steel over job loss fears. Reports during the weekend suggested the Indian company plans to shut two blast furnaces and replace them with electric arc furnaces – which could lead to thousands of job losses in the UK read more

Government u-turn should see public sector workers paid back £2.4 billion (16 July) – Further moves to make public sector workers pick up the bill for Ministers’ discriminatory errors will be fiercely resisted. Pressure from GMB, Britain’s general union, has forced the Government to make good on its promise that should lead to the pay back of the estimated £2.4 billion it owes to more than four million public sector workers read more

Appledore deal ‘great news for the community’ (16 July) – We have all been on tenterhooks waiting for something to happen says GMB shipbuilder. GMB, the shipbuilding union, says early indications of a deal to re-open Appledore shipyard, mothballed for 16 months, would be great news for the community read more

Job losses ‘tip of iceberg’ without government action says GMB (16 July) – The UK cannot endure another decade of weak growth and cuts to services says GMB Union. GMB, Britain’s general union, says this morning’s huge job loss figures could be the tip of the iceberg without Government action. Early indicators for June 2020 suggest that the number of employees in the UK on payrolls is down around 650,000 compared with March 2020 read more

Working household’s income plummet by 8 per cent (14 July) – Shock stats come as OBR says ‘UK is on track to record the largest decline in annual GDP for 300 years’. Working households’ net income fell by 8 per cent – or £268 per month – between February and the end of May, according to new Treasury estimates. The disturbing figures come as the OBR today says ‘the UK is on track to record the largest decline in annual GDP for 300 years’ read more

England and Wales ‘among highest Covid-19 health worker deaths in the world’ (14 July) – More than 540 health and social care worker deaths in England and Wales, from 3,000 global fatalities, according to Amnesty international read more

 

Unison

UNISON extends solidarity to women in pensions appeal hearing (21 July) – Court of Appeal will decide on lost pensions for women born in the 1950s. UNISON is sending a message of solidarity and support to women born in the 1950s in their judicial review appeal hearing against pension injustice this week. The two-day hearing in the Court of Appeal is scheduled for today and tomorrow. UNISON – the UK’s largest trade union, which represents over one million women – sends the message of support and solidarity to affected women, many of whom are members read more

Pupil funding still leaves schools worse off than 10 years ago (20 July) – Government announcement on pupil funding still below pre-austerity levels in real terms. The government announced today that school pupils in England are to receive an increase in central government funding of at least 2% next year, but UNISON is concerned that the increase still leaves schools with less than they had a decade ago read more

British Gas behaviour ‘disgraceful’ over new staff contracts, says UNISON (16 July) – Christina McAnea says staff will feel ‘betrayed’ by the move and UNISON will fight for a better deal. Commenting on the announcement today (Wednesday) that 20,000 British Gas employees face dismissal unless they agree to new contracts, UNISON assistant general secretary Christina McAnea said: “This is disgraceful behaviour. British Gas might be struggling financially but it’s no way to treat loyal staff, many of whom have been with the business for years read more

Napier staff to be balloted over planned redundancies (15 July) – UNISON also calls on the Scottish government to ensure its fair work standards are applied at the Edinburgh university. UNISON is to ballot for strike action at Edinburgh Napier University, after the employer moved to make at least 60 staff compulsorily redundant. The union is also calling on Richard Lochhead, the minister for higher and further education, to intervene and enforce the Scottish government’s much vaunted fair work standards read more

HE executive rejects employers’ proposed pay freeze (15 July) – Executive members ‘angered, dismayed and disappointed’. UNISON’s higher education service group executive has made it clear that it rejects proposals from the employers for a pay freeze this year. The new joint negotiating committee for higher education staff (New JNCHES) met earlier this month, following an agreement to end the delay to the pay negotiations caused by the lockdown read more

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

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

 

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: School Funding 2021 – School funding announced for 2021 doesn’t even reach 2010 levels

NASUWT: Government’s pension remedy proposals for McCloud a disappointment

EIS: Significant Discussion still Required to Ensure Schools are COVID Secure

 

CWU

‘Enough is enough’ warns CWU as Aberdeen outrage vindicates pan-BT fightback (July 16) – The starkest possible demonstration as to why a concerted campaign of CWU resistance to the new belligerent management approach sweeping across BT is now essential has come in the form of the company’s brutal betrayal of 97 loyal employees in Aberdeen this week. Extraordinarily, the bombshell that BT has placed its entire office-based Aberdeen workforce at risk of compulsory redundancy from as early as September 30 dropped mid-way through a special CWU online branch forum on Tuesday to discuss the fast deteriorating industrial relations outlook across BT Group read more

BT members, prepare to ballot – now is the time to fight (July 15) – Thousands hear CWU deputy general secretary T&FS Andy Kerr’s call to arms as he launches our ‘Count Me In’ campaign…“We’re gearing up for an industrial action ballot. Now is the time to fight and now is the time to unite,” were the stirring words of Andy Kerr to thousands of BT members of our union in last night’s ‘record-breaking’ CWU Facebook live broadcast 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

TUC & NUJ reaction to the return to workplaces announcement (17 July) – Responding to Boris Johnson’s announcement today, allowing employers to start bringing home working staff back to the workplace from next month, TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “We all want to get the economy up and running as quickly as possible. Returns to workplaces must happen in a phased and safe way…” Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said: “The NUJ supports the TUC’s call for improvements in sick pay and the right to flexible working. Any media employers wanting to bring staff and freelances back into workplaces have to carry out health and safety risk assessments and engage with the NUJ to ensure workers are safe.” Read more

PSNI must hand back material from No Stone Unturned case (16 July) – The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) in the UK and Ireland has welcomed the apologies issued to Northern Ireland journalists Trevor Birney and Barry McCaffrey by PSNI chief constable Simon Byrne for their unlawful arrests in August 2018. In welcoming the apologies Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary and Séamus Dooley, assistant general secretary, in a joint statement called on the PSNI to take immediate steps to return all data held by the police to the journalists, and to bring those responsible for the Loughinisland massacre to justice read more

Journalists demand transparency & a fair share in Google deals (15 July) – After years of resisting demands to pay for news, Google said in a surprise announcement on 25 June it had reached deals with a number of news publishers around the world. The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ/EFJ) and their affiliates including the NUJ are demanding transparency on the deals and assurances that journalists will receive their share read more

More than 500 jobs in BBC News to go (15 July) – The BBC has announced it will need to cut 70 more jobs than previously expected as a result of Covid-19. The corporation had previously earmarked 450 jobs to go in News as part of a £800m savings package across the whole of the BBC read more

Union-busting British Association of Journalist to be reported to the UN’s International Labour Organisation (15 July) – Lord Hendy, the Labour peer and one of the country’s leading experts in UK labour law, is to lodge a complaint to the International Labour Organisation on behalf of the NUJ over the union-busting deal between the British Association of Journalists (BAJ) and Iran International. BAJ 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. At the time there were no members of the BAJ at the broadcaster read more

 

Prospect

“Why now?” asks Prospect as BT proceeds with relocations despite COVID-19 (16 July) – Prospect has condemned a BT decision to forge ahead with its relocation strategy despite the coronavirus pandemic. In the past week the company has revealed a proposal to close its office in Aberdeen with the potential loss of 141 jobs, and intends to start moving people into the new BT site at Three Snowhill, Birmingham. The Aberdeen announcement – affecting 41 managers – is part of wider strategy to reduce the number of BT workplaces from 300 to 30 across the UK under the umbrella of its “Better Workplace Programme” read more

Centrica issues staff with advanced notice of redundancy (15 July) – Centrica has issued advance notice of redundancy to all its staff in the UK. The news will affect around 5,000 Centrica employees read more

 

USDAW

USDAW

Minimum wage of at least £10 and an end to rip-off youth rates – Usdaw gives evidence to the Low Pay Commission (16 July) – Retail trade union Usdaw is today giving oral evidence to the Low Pay Commission on minimum wage rates, ahead of them making recommendations to the Government about National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage rates to be introduced on 1 April 2021 read more

Sign the USDAW petition: Prevent Longer Sunday Opening

 

Mandate

Dunnes Stores Anti-Apartheid Strikers back Debenhams workers (19 July) – The Dunnes Stores anti-apartheid strikers have congratulated the Debenhams workers for their battle for improved redundancy and their campaign to change legislation and prevent this situation from happening again. Thirty-six years to the day after the Dunnes workers began their three year battle for the right to not handle South African goods, Karen Gearon, shop steward during the strike, said the Debenhams workers are an inspiration to all workers facing injustice in Ireland and abroad read more

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

 

UVW

Cleaners win stunning victory over Ark Globe Academy in union busting scandal (20 July) – Outsourced cleaners at Ark Globe Academy have won a stunning victory today after it was announced that they would receive the London Living Wage, full pay sick pay in parity with directly employed Ark staff, and the immediate implementation of an enhanced Risk Assessment process from the 1st of September. The announcement, made by the cleaners’ trade union, United Voices of the World (UVW), comes after a campaign which also demanded the immediate abolition of gender disparity in pay, trade union recognition, and an end to outsourcing at the academy. And which saw the union threaten strike action if its demands were not met. The dispute began after workers staged a spontaneous walkout on the 4th and 5th of June in response to what their union has described as months of unlawful wage deductions and fears over a lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) or a meaningful Risk Assessment having been carried out read more

Manager at luxury food retailer Premier Fruits caught on tape in “union busting rant” and unlawfully sacking a worker over PPE whistleblowing (17 July) – Covent Garden based luxury food retailer Premier Fruits has unlawfully dismissed a worker for blowing the whistle on health and safety breaches and lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) at the company’s warehouse according to trade union, United Voices of the World. The union, who has filed a claim of interim relief on behalf of the employee, claims the worker has also been victimised for lawful trade union activities and that they have recordings of Premier Fruit Chairman, Jason Tanner, going on “union busting rants designed to intimidate 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

Strike for Black Lives: Take action in solidarity! – Yesterday July 20, low-paid service and care workers went on Strike for Black Lives across the USA. Their strikes, walkouts and worker actions demanded racial and economic justice, in the workplace and in wider society. Going on strike is never easy. It takes courage and determination. Please show your solidarity: share this image on social media to show US workers that you stand with them. Every message will help them know that people around the world are with them. In the UK, Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic fast food workers in the McStrike have come together to demand change from fast food multinationals. They know that to win against corporations like McDonald’s, you have to build a global movement. That’s why showing solidarity across borders is so important. McDonald’s is global, but so is the resistance. Please share this image to show your solidarity on Twitter and Facebook, or download the image and share it with your friends by WhatsApp or email. Thank you for standing with black workers as they lead the fight against systemic racism and economic injustice in the fast food sector and beyond.

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Please watch this video to find out about their struggle, and share it to show your solidarity!

In solidarity,

Owen Espley, Labour rights campaigner, War on Want

 

 

 

Diary

 

2020

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