NSSN 503: Support the strikes!

September 22, 2020 in Bulletins

This week’s NSSN bulletin shines the spotlight on the increasing number of union disputes as bosses attack jobs and pay, terms & conditions. An increasing number are using brutal ‘fire and re-hire’ methods.

PCS demo against culture sector on Sept 12

PCS demo against culture sector job cuts Sept 12

These actions include the indefinite strike by PCS members at Tate continues, which will next week go over 40 days. Leigh and Wigan rehab workers in Unison have started a further 10 days of strike action this week as will GMB members in Brighton & Hove Council from next Monday. The Debenhams workers in Ireland are now well over 150 days of action in their fight for justice.

As always, you can read about these strikes and the many other workers’ struggles, including the growing number of union victimisations, in the NSSN bulletin. We appeal for you, your union branch and trades council to send messages of support and any donations to the strike funds. The great victory by Unison members at SOAS and the agreement secured by the Bullivant NUJ strike shows that even at this time, workers can fight and win!

 

The NSSN pre-TUC Rally on September 13th, called on TUC Congress last week to organise a day of demonstrations and protests in every town and city on Saturday October 24th to demand the furlough scheme, scheduled to end a week later, is continued and upgraded – we say ‘work or full pay!’ We say that the unions must mobilise for this fight, especially as new lockdowns are announced. Already, protests are being organised by trades councils and union branches around that time. Email us any that you are calling and we’ll publicise.

 

Support the NHS pay protests

On Saturday September 12th there were demonstrations and rallies in many towns and cities. Workers in the NHS and care sector workers demand an immediate 15% pay rise that starts to close the income gap caused by a decade of pay freezes. Please join the protests that are taking place.

Details of some of these events can be found here in the Nurses and Midwives say NO! to Public Sector pay inequality Facebook group and on the Keep Our NHS Public website. Also visit the website of Health Campaigns Together. 

We support the call of many health workers for industrial action ballots, co-ordinated across all the health unions and linking up with all other workers in public services. We are confident that this would be supported by workers in the private sector and all those who benefit from health and social care, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic where so many staff put their lives on the line.

Sign the petition to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak – ‘We demand a pay rise for key workers’

 

 

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.

 

 

NSSN news

Get your trade union branch or trades council to affiliate to the NSSN – it only costs £50. Already affiliated? Please think about renewing it. Also, many of our supporters pay a few pounds a month. You can set up a similar standing order to ‘National Shop Stewards Network’, HSBC – sort code 40-06-41, account number 90143790. Our address is NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE. Feel free to use this affiliation letter

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

 

  

Union News

RMT

National Minimum Wage and Seafarers (21 Sept) – RMT issues blunt warning over crewing practices. SEAFARERS UNION RMT today raised the alarm over the impact of the shipping industry’s crewing policies on UK seafarers’ jobs, ahead of an online ministerial roundtable on enforcing new National Minimum Wage legislation for seafarers read more

Service Control News: fighting for pay and grading (21 Sept) – (Functional Council News – 17th September) – At the third full functional council of the year RMT put to London Underground numerous issues that remain un-resolved and members are demanding change in. A full agenda of issues was put to LU,  some items made little progress and some made none! The constant frustration and un-acknowledgement of the role Service Control play in keeping the tube moving is coming to a head. The lack of goodwill or support shown by LU to Service Control is pushing the union into a corner; where it’s only option will be to lash out.  LU need recognise and value their staff for the work they do and the constant battles we fight every day to keep the service moving. All the agenda items we presented to London Underground are presented in full below with the responses we received. A MEMBERS MEETING WILL BE TAKING PLACE IN THE FOLLOWING WEEK TO DISCUSS THE SERVICE CONTROL CAMPAIGN AND THE UPCOMING FIGHT read more

RMT responds to Government’s extension of Emergency Measures Agreements on UK rail franchises (21 Sept) – Responding to an announcement that the Government is extending Emergency Measures Agreements on UK rail franchises with new ERMA’s contracts transport union RMT today called on the Government to cut out the middleman and bring all UK rail franchises into public ownership once and for all. Recent reports suggest the Government is planning to use the new ERMA contracts to then initiate a rapid move to a new privatisation system modelled on the type of management contracts used on the London Overground. A recent RMT report entitled ‘Reanimating the Corpse” illustrates that this model of private ownership will mean profits and dividends will continue to flow out of UK Railways into the pockets of train operating companies and shareholders rather than be reinvested in our railways. RMT is today renewing calls for the Government to end the 26 year long failed rail privatisation experiment whilst also warning the Government and the rail industry against any plans for these new contracts to usher in cuts and railway austerity that will hit workers and jeopardise the safety of workers and the travelling public read more

RMT steps up fight for rail jobs as Grand Central confirms savage cuts (19 Sept) – RAIL UNION RMT said today that it will be stepping up the fight to protect rail jobs and members livelihoods as open access operator Grand Central confirmed major cuts to jobs, services and catering operations read more

RMT to step up fight over jobs, pay and conditions (17 Sept) – RMT’s Mick Cash says union to step up fight over jobs, pay and conditions as COVID-19 threatens wholesale cuts to transport sector. RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said today that the union will be stepping up campaigning on the threat to jobs, pay and conditions across the rail, maritime and transport sector as COVID-19 threatens to drive a cuts whirlwind through the country’s remaining industrial base. Mick Cash is moving the union onto a war footing with the priorities of building membership density and strengthening workplace organisation to fight back against a clear and present threat to tens of thousands of jobs at Network Rail, the train operators, TFL, buses, ferries and support services read more

LONDON UNDERGROUND UNION RMT today condemned LUL plans to completely eliminate the option of using cash to purchase tickets (16 Sept) – The plans are an assault on the thousands of customers who only use cash, often because their financial situation means they have no access to a bank account or a contactless payment method. It will also inevitably lead to confrontations on the gateline with front line staff and revenue control inspectors. Crucially, it will cost the company significant amounts of money, at a time where every pound is precious with lower numbers travelling read more

RMT launches global on-line petition to halt jobs carnage at Trump’s Turnberry resort

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

The privateers always win, says TSSA of new rail measures (21 Sept) – The government has today announced an extension of support for the rail industry in a move which rail union TSSA has said shows that “heads or tails, the privateers always win.”  The Emergency Measures Agreements (EMAs) expired on 20 September and have been replaced with Emergency Recovery Management Agreements (ERMAs) which will continue to see government pick up the tab for the running of our railways read more

TSSA Slams Government Over Rail Shareholders Covid Payouts (17 Sept) – TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has attacked the Government over the “national scandal” of rail franchise shareholders receiving millions in profits under the Coronavirus Emergency Measures Agreements (EMA’s). The EMA’s – which are due to end on Sunday (20th September) – saw all franchises in England bailed out, removing the commercial risk for train operating companies, while continuing to guarantee management fees read more

TSSA Demands Ministerial Meeting In Fight For Translink Jobs (16 Sept) – TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has written to the Northern Ireland Infrastructure Minister, Nichola Mallon, over plans by Translink to cut over 50 jobs as part of a drive to reduce costs by up to £20m. Cortes is demanding a meeting with the Minister to avert jobs losses, calling the plans a ‘grave mistake’ and ‘reckless’ in the midst of the Covid pandemic read more

 

ASLEF

Kevin Lindsay hits back at Grant Shapps’ comment (18 Sept) – Kevin Lindsay, ASLEF’s organiser in Scotland, has hit back at Grant Shapps’ comment in the Commons yesterday that the site of the Stonehaven rail crash looked ‘like a Hornby train set thrown up in the air’ read more

 

Unite

Arm staff tell Cambridge MP UK tech ‘crown jewel’ sale must be stopped ahead of parliamentary debate (21 Sept) – Arm staff have warned Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner of the consequences of a planned £31 billion sale of the UK software and semiconductor giant to rival firm NVIDIA ahead of a parliamentary adjournment debate this evening (Monday 21 September). In a meeting organised by Unite, Mr Zeichner met with staff from the company, which employs 3,000 people, to listen to their concerns over the controversial deal between Arm’s Japanese parent company, Softbank, and US-based NVIDIA. During the meeting, workers at the UK’s largest tech company said they had learned about it through the press, leading to worries that Arm’s management are trying to bypass staff consultation and secure a sale that would be damaging to the business and its workforce read more

Unite reaction to the end of rail franchising – private sector will continue to feed off the taxpayer (21 Sept) – Responding to the government’s announcement today (Monday, 21 September) that the rail franchise system has been ended, Unite national officer for rail Harish Patel said: “Rail franchising has been broken beyond repair for years but the Covid-19 pandemic has finally forced the government to accept the inevitable.  “However, yet again the government is failing to act decisively, allowing private providers to continue to profit by receiving huge amounts of taxpayers’ money.  This is simply unacceptable. “Instead of the proposed new model which will allow privateers a renewed opportunity to feed off the taxpayer and passengers, the government should be permanently renationalising rail services to increase services, improve punctuality and reduce tickets prices.” Read more

News flash: Guys can you please circulate the JIB agreement is under threat (from Franck Morris Unite EC) – On the 18th September 2020 The Electrical Contractors Association told Unites pay negotiating team that it planned in effect to give it’s electricians and JIB card holders a pay cut. Food is rising, our household bills are rising taxes and national insurance will be going up. Yet the ECA says that the guys on site the key workers many have risked their lives and worked through Covid  do not deserve a pay rise. Let’s not make no mistake this is opportunism and industrial vandalism well let’s face it the ECA has form for it. The ECA’s contempt for workers is unwavering the association which helped and continues to blacklist it’s workers  and refuses to engage in transparent recruitment policies in its social partnership with the TU (JIB agreement). It has made no apology for continuing to Blacklist its fellow JIB board members. Another of the Electrical contractors’ achievements is its Victorian workhouse employment models. it has over the last 30 years actively sort and  embraced every tax scam and rip off going, to scam it’s  casualised and brutalized agency staff out of 1000s of pounds per year in overtime and holiday payments and the government out of  billions of pounds of revenue.  At a meeting tonight  Unites  Electrical Combine passed a motion rekindling the partnership with Unites organising and leverage department, we have formally asked them to come in and support its electrical JIB members in their pay claim and in doing so we plan the biggest recruitment and industrial leverage strategy in the construction industry which will not only transform the pay and conditions of its JIB card members but also the brutalized and downtrodden agency’s casuals.  The last time Unites electrcians and Sharon graham’s organising department worked together we had the BESNA dispute. We met the employer attacks and contempt with 6 months of relentless protests strikes and occupations.  We have another fight coming please share and support.  Please pass on and share we ain’t accepting a pay cut #£25 35h. Nb the organising department is the biggest organising and leverage department in Europe with in excess of over 100 industrial organisers

Luton Airport jobs hammer blow as government inaction bites (18 Sept) – Workers employed by Menzies Aviation at Luton Airport are facing a grim future as the company has announced it intends to cut 176 jobs, around half of its workforce. Menzies currently employs 374 workers at Luton with the workers facing the axe in key roles including baggage handling, ramp agents, bus drivers and customer service positions read more

Mechanical workers secure agreement with employers following threat of industrial action (Sept 18) – Agreement also sends signal to non-mechanical employers. Unite, which represents mechanical workers throughout Ireland, today (Friday) said that unions have secured an agreement with employers in the MEBSCA section of the CIF which will ensure payment of agreed pay increases due from September 1st.  These increases will be backdated where appropriate.  Last week, many employers had failed to pay the increases due under a collective agreement.  Unite and Connect conducted protective ballots in which members voted overwhelmingly to take industrial action in the event that any employer failed to pay the agreed increases.  Similar increases fall due in the wider construction sector on October 1st read more

Unite Registered Childminders welcome Education Minister agreement of 100% plus uplift in financial support (Sept 18) – Uplift on support provided has been achieved by powerful campaign fought by Registered Childminders but more is needed to secure future of vital sector. Suzi Douglas, Chair of Unite Registered Childminders’ branch, welcomed yesterday’s announcement by the Education Minister Peter Weir that financial support granted during July and August would retrospectively increase by an additional £300 but called on Stormont to do more for struggling operators in the childcare sector read more

MP Chris Grayling’s £100,000 part time Felixstowe port job ‘insult’ to staff shouldering pay reductions (17 Sept) – The appointment of former transport minister Chris Grayling MP to a £100,000 a year part time advisory role at Felixstowe port is an ‘insult’ to staff shouldering pay reductions due to the coronavirus downturn, Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest union, said today (Tuesday 17 September). Unite said the seven hour a week role is an ‘slap in the face’ for hourly paid staff who have had their Christmas bonus cancelled and undergone detrimental shift changes to help the port’s owner, Hutchison Ports Europe, weather the impact of the pandemic read more

Unite welcomes British Airways partial u-turn on fire and rehire – but warns issues not yet settled (16 Sept) – Following the appearance of Alex Cruz, the chief executive of British Airways at the transport select committee today (Wednesday 16 September), Unite assistant general secretary Howard Beckett said:  “It is thanks to the immense work of Unite reps that British Airways has been forced to accept that it cannot indulge in the comprehensive fire and rehire policy that the airline intended. But Alex Cruz has misled the transport select committee by indicating that fire and rehire is completely off the table. This needs to be corrected. There are still too many BA workers facing threats to their wages and working life.  These threats should be withdrawn today…” read more

Stop private sector outsourcing, as NHS laboratories ‘sidelined’ for Covid-19 testing, says Unite (16 Sept) – There has been too much reliance on the private sector when it comes to laboratory testing for coronavirus and not enough investment in long-established NHS facilities, Unite said today (Wednesday 16 September). Unite’s stance is underpinned by its Biomedical Scientist Covid-19 survey, launched today, which highlights the under-use of NHS science facilities and resources as the crisis over the nationwide gaps in the Covid-19 testing regime escalates. The survey reveals Unite members’ unhappiness at the government’s reliance and priority given to the seven Lighthouse Laboratories, with private sector involvement, while long-established NHS facilities are being apparently sidelined when it comes to investment read more

McCluskey to the PM: move now on jobs retention or the redundancy floodgates will open (15 Sept) – With 45 days to go until the government’s coronavirus jobs retention scheme comes to an end, the leader of the country’s most influential union, Unite, has written to the prime minister to urge him to act before the ‘redundancy floodgates’ pour open. Employers are legally obliged to give workers 45 days’ notice of redundancy, meaning that today’s milestone (Wednesday 16 September) could be a very bleak day for jobs with a miserable winter and Christmas ahead for working people. Unite fears that without a clear and urgent sign of the government responding to the mounting calls from across business and the political spectrum for longer term support to save jobs, employers facing short-term struggles will issue redundancy notices read more

Translink proposals for 54 compulsory redundancies points to urgent need for increased funding of public transport (Sept 15) – Unite will seek to use consultation period to fight for every job, ensure retention of all rural routes and those servicing deprived urban communities. Westminster needs to get real on sector-specific supports for Northern Ireland’s economy read more

Sign this petition to Rolls Royce and the UK Government: Save Our Site – Battle for Barnoldswick (Rolls Royce)

Save Aviation jobs at Heathrow – car cavalcade and rally September 22nd

  • no hire & fire • no wage cuts • extend furlough

Come and join us at a solidarity car convoy to save jobs in West London on Tuesday 22nd September – 10am at Meet at Khalsa School Norwood Hall Norwood Green road, Southall UB2 4LA

If you wish to join the Car Convoy please contact: Raj Gill Branch Sec West London Unite Community on 07983 977775 or rgill38326@aol.com

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: Extend furlough scheme for the UK Aviation sector to help stop redundancies

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

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

Tate strike continues into fifth week (22 Sept) – The striking members have organised another week of activities to engage support for their campaign. Members working for Tate Enterprises in the galleries’ shops have been on strike since 18 August following the announcement of 313 job losses. They have already arranged a series of activities including both physical and online protests, and a march on the Department of Culture, Media and Sport and Parliament Square. Today (22) PCS members will be outside Tate Modern Main Entrance from 10.45am until 1pm answering questions and giving out information on the campaign as well as inviting visitors to join in with making a protest sign, poster or banner.  Art materials will be provided.

  • Strike day 35, “The Art of Noise” 23 September – Join striking members from 1:30-5:30pm outside Tate Britain Manton Entrance to make some noise and raise awareness of the strike.
  • Strike Day 36, Digital Protest Day, 24 September – Join striking Tate workers for their fourth day of digital actions from 10:30am – 6pm, with live Instagram chats, special guests and more. Follow the campaign on Instagram and Twitter @Tate_United and use the hashtag #TateDigitalProtest.
  • Strike Day 38, “Six Weeks of Solidarity”, 26 September – Protest at Tate Modern from 11:00am – 3:15pm

Join striking workers from the shops outside Tate Modern Main Entrance to support six weeks of strike action with special guests, performers and surprises. Tate United Art Stall will also be open, with artworks and zines made by staff and artists, available to buy in support of the strike fund. The campaign’s website, tateunited.com, contains lots of information about the strike, how you can help and get involved, and photos and social media links read more.   Messages of support for our strikers can be sent to culturesector@pcs.org.uk. Contribute to our strike fund. Show your support on social media using the hashtag #SaveTateJobs. To find out about protests and picket lines, follow @tate_united on Twitter

Palace staff to protest over cuts (21 Sept) – PCS members will be protesting outside Hampton Court Palace on Tuesday September 22nd against mass redundancies and cuts to terms and conditions. PCS members will be protesting (socially distanced) outside Hampton Court Palace at 11:00 a.m. until about 12:30.  The address details are: Hampton Court Way, Molesey, East Molesey KT8 9AU. The members work as heads of departments, Yeoman Warders, and in admissions, security, retail, IT and conservation, provide essential services to ensure that visitors to some of Britain’s most iconic buildings have the best possible experience read more    If you can’t make the protest please post a message in this event or email culturegroup@pcs.org.uk    Facebook event

Sign up for PCS reps meeting on coronavirus safety and no forced return to workplaces (17 Sept) – PCS reps are urged to sign up in advance for a briefing taking place at 6pm on Wednesday (23) to discuss how to respond to the UK government decision to force civil servants in England to return to workplaces. Whether you represent members who are already required to attend a workplace, or those who work in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, your views are important. So please sign up for the meeting and complete the survey which has been emailed to members. On 4 September, the Cabinet Office wrote to PCS to say that by the end of September the majority of civil servants in England will be required to attend workplaces, even if there is no operational reason to attend. Watch the latest PCS video which explains why we believe that there should be no forced return to workplaces read more

Ministers show disregard for hard work of government workers (16 Sept) – The Westminster government is now eight weeks overdue with its reply to the PCS petition calling for fair pay for UK government. Launched in July our petition said that during the pandemic government workers have delivered vital public services and kept our country safe and secure. And after ten years in which the real value of they pay has fallen, many face hardship. So the government must start to restore the real value of their pay with a 10% increase in 2020. The petition had a phenomenal response, reaching 10,000 signatures in less than 3 days, which means the government is obliged to reply, yet 56 days no one from the government has bothered to answer. The petition has now gained more than 51,000 signatures, but we need members and supporters to keep on signing and sharing to get us to 100,000 to force a parliamentary debate. Remember to use the petition’s share buttons for Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and email read more

Keep supporting ISS HMRC strikers – PCS members who clean HMRC’s Merseyside offices for multinational company ISS returned to work following a solidly supported four weeks of strike action through August. The strike is part of the members’ long-running fight for the living wage, improved working conditions and job security. Because of the demand for full occupational sick pay from day one, it is also directly linked to PCS’s Dying for Sick Pay campaign, which aims to secure occupational sick pay for all workers across the government estate…The members are meeting this week to discuss their next steps. Under the Tories’ 2016 Trade Union Act, a further postal ballot is required before they can take any more strike action, and members will need to discuss where the campaign goes next. In the meantime, you can continue to support the campaign by signing the e-action to Jim Harra on the TUC’s Megaphone site and donating to the strike fund: account name: PCS Liverpool/Bootle Campaign Account, sort code: 60-83-01, account number: 20415772

Support the indefinite Tate Strike – Messages of support for our strikers can be sent to culturesector@pcs.org.uk   Contribute to our strike fund

Show your support on social media using the hashtag #SaveTateJobs. To find out about protests and picket lines, follow @tate_united on Twitter

PCS to launch ballot as Southbank Centre confirms cuts to redundancy pay for hundreds of staff read more

Please sign this PCS petition to Save Ealing Tax Officewe 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 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

SEN pupils’ transport ‘tragedy waiting to happen’ (18 Sept) – The Government’s ‘heartless’ approach to vulnerable special educational needs pupils’ transport to school is a tragedy waiting to happen, GMB Union warned today read more

GMB to Home Secretary: protect police staff to fight rise in violent crime (17 Sept) – Funding for police staff in the UK must be protected to combat the rising tide of violent crime, GMB has told the Home Secretary today. In a letter to Priti Patel, the union says crime scene investigators, PCSO, 999 call takers and dispatchers, custody officers, counter terrorism specialists and regional organised crime units must be protected during the forthcoming Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR). Since 2010, 23,500 police staff jobs have been cut under successive Conservative-led Government read more

Care home cash welcome – but full sick pay best way to combat COVID (17 Sept) – GMB, the union for social care staff, has welcomed the Government’s pledge to put another £546 million towards fighting infections in care homes – but says full sick pay is the real way to combat coronavirus in care. The union also claim some of the £600 million pledged by Ministers back in May is still to reach frontline staff in care homes across England. Thanks to pressure from GMB, numerous care providers have agreed to full pay for more than 40,000 carers from day one of their covid-19 related absence read more

Yeovil hospital heroes to receive holiday pay boost (17 Sept) – GMB opened discussions with management at YDH after the results of a recent Court of Appeal case, which ruled that NHS staff were not having their overtime hours properly included in the calculation of holiday pay. The Hospital management made it clear that this was not a deliberate policy and negotiated a settlement with the union, effectively to get a settlement with the correct calculations in place read more

Less than half of school staff given COVID-19 health & safety training – GMB survey (16 Sept) – Less than half of school support staff have received covid-19 health and safety training, a GMB back to school survey has shown. In the poll of more than 2,600 teaching assistants, caretakers, admin and catering staff from across England, 51% answered no to the question ‘have you had training on Covid-19 health and safety measures and working practices including infection control and correct use of PPE? Read more

GMB announce further 10 days of action at Brighton & Hove City Council Housing Repairs department – “We’ll stay away until we all have sick pay”, say defiant GMB members. GMB have issued BHCC chief executive Geoff Raw with further strike dates in the ongoing dispute to secure sick pay for all operatives and GMB members within the Housing Repairs team. The walkout will be commencing on Mon 28th September and is the second of such actions taken by the team.  It will see Council plumbers, electricians, carpenters and painter/decorators along with various other trades lawfully refusing to work over a 10 day period and until they secure sick pay parity for all colleagues less fortunate then themselves from the city’s Green Party-led council. The announcement comes at the end of an initial 5 days of action by GMB members whilst awaiting Council Officers’ response to the latest union proposal to resolve the issue read more

Strikes To Start As Burton’s “Takes The Biscuit Again” Over “Derisory” Workers’ Pay Offer – Production of some of Britain’s favourite biscuits will be halted over the next month as workers at Burton’s Biscuits Co in Edinburgh launch strike action over a “derisory” pay offer. GMB members at the Sighthill manufacturing plant, voted by an overwhelming majority of 91 per cent for industrial action after management refused to increase a 1.6 per cent offer for the next year. An indefinite work to rule and overtime ban will start on Tuesday 8 September from 14.00 hours before a series of twenty-four hour strikes throughout September. Action will take place on the following dates:-

  • 06.00 hours on Wednesday 9 September to 05.59 hours on Thursday 10 September.
  • 06.00 hours on Wednesday 16 September to 05.59 hours on Thursday 17 September.
  • 06.00 hours on Wednesday 23 September to 05.59 hours on Thursday 24 September read more

 

Unison

Sodexo threatens sweeping redundancies at City University (21 Sept) – UNISON will strongly resist Sodexo’s attempt to put workers out of a job. UNISON’s City University branch is deeply disappointed to discover Sodexo, the contractor running catering staff at the university, intends to make up to half of those staff redundant. There are 40 contracted catering staff at City, and the proposed new structure put forward by Sodexo only has 20 jobs. The 30-day consultation period formally begun on 4 September, but three weeks later staff are still waiting for details of redundancy terms and the selection process read more

British Gas forces its entire workforce into a ‘fire and rehire’ process (21 Sept) – ‘If we fail to reach an agreement, we stand ready to defend members,’ says UNISON. British Gas workers have been critical in keeping everyone’s homes warm and stoves lit during the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet now, the company has served notice on its entire workforce and is pushing employees to accept significantly worse terms and conditions of employment read more

Victory: No Compulsory Redundancies During Transformation and Change Restructure (18 Sept) – In response to next week’s planned strike action by SOAS UNISON members over the threat of compulsory redundancies at SOAS, University of London, the School management yesterday backtracked and made the binding commitment to UNISON that there will be no Professional Services compulsory redundancies during the Transformation and Change restructuring project. The SOAS UNISON industrial action planned for 22nd and 23rd September has been called off as a result of a School-UNISON agreement, in which the School commits that no member of Professional Services staff will be made compulsorily redundant during the restructuring read more   SOAS Unison Victory Online Event – 12.30pm Wednesday September 23 Facebook event

Wigan and Leigh rehab workers begin ten-day strike in long-running pay dispute as their union is finally recognised by We Are With You (18 Sept) – Workers in the Wigan-Council commissioned drug and alcohol rehabilitation service will begin a further ten days of strike action on Monday (21 September) in a dispute over pay. The workers are employed by the London-based charity We Are With You. Between them, the support workers stand to lose £230,000 in wages over the duration of We Are With You’s contract with Wigan Council. Thirty UNISON members voted 100% in favour of strike action over We Are With You’s failure to ensure that staff transferred from the NHS receive the full NHS rates of pay. From Monday, they will begin ten days of strike action and hope to make their presence known whilst respecting the Government’s coronavirus restrictions. The rehab workers will hold socially distanced picket lines in Wigan and Leigh and will hold a virtual rally featuring speakers including Lisa Nandy, MP for Wigan and Shadow Foreign Secretary. UNISON members have taken sixteen days of strike action previously over the unresolved issue. The support workers postponed all strike action during the initial lockdown period but have become frustrated by their employer’s failure to settle the dispute. Meanwhile, the drug and alcohol support workers have finally won their battle and forced their employer We Are With You to recognise UNISON as their trade union. The rehab workers began their campaign to be represented collectively through UNISON in 2019 but their employer refused to negotiate with the union. But earlier this week, the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) declared UNISON to be the recognised union for We Are With You workers in Wigan and Leigh. The CAC did not uphold any of We Are With You management’s objections and were satisfied that over 50% of workers were members of UNISON. This decision means that We Are With You will be forced to negotiate with the support workers collectively through their union UNISON from now on read more

The Wigan Branch and North West Region are asking for donations from branches to the hardship fund. Please donate via bank transfer to:

Unity Bank   Sort Code: 60 83 01  Account Number: 20244354

Or send a cheque payable to ‘UNISON Wigan Metropolitan Branch hardship fund’ to:

UNISON Branch Office, Wigan Life Centre, The Wiend, Wigan WN1 1NH

NHS staff say ‘#OneTeam2K’ as they call for a pay rise (18 Sept) – Health staff across the UK are entering a second day of campaigning, urging the government to give every NHS worker an early pay rise of at least £2,000 read more

Testing chaos to blame for rise in NHS 111 and 999 calls, says UNISON (16 Sept) – Extra calls putting strain on the system. The government’s failure to resolve Covid-19 testing shortages is placing additional strain on NHS urgent care and emergency services, says UNISON today (Wednesday) read more

Support the Tower Hamlets Unison workers – Read more here and on Tower Hamlets UNISON Facebook page and follow @UNISON_TwrHmlts on twitter

 

CWU

Our Union is a Tech Workers’ Union (Sept 22) – The CWU kicks off September with an exciting announcement…This month, the CWU can announce that it is launching a new national branch for technology and digital sector workers. Programmers, graphic designers, game developers, specialist product teams, testers and more, from small start-ups to tech giants such as Google, Facebook and Microsoft are joining the union as part of its new United Tech and Allied Workers (UTAW) National Branch read more

Never Mind ECG, Join A Real Trade Union (Sept 21) – It’s good practice for your employer to let you know what’s going on at work, and about any planned changes. But DHL Parcel’s method of communication gives managers the flexibility to tell you what they want, how they want, when they want. The ECG started life as an ‘employee consultative group’. It was originally set up to listen to the views of all employees, and to take them into account read more

Time to unite against BT’s ‘wrecking ball’ management (Sept 18) – An urgent rallying call has today (Friday) been issued to members across BT Group – with deputy general secretary Andy Kerr stressing the vital importance of across-the-board involvement in the union’s ‘Count Me In’ campaign. Launched in mid-July, in response to multiple different manifestations of a belligerent new management approach that is sweeping across every single BT line of business, many thousands of members have already signed up in support of a concerted CWU fightback that is becoming more urgent by the minute. With new attacks on job security, terms and conditions, grading and career progression now erupting on a seemingly daily basis, Andy has this afternoon lashed out at a “challenging employer that has become more ruthless than we’ve ever seen” – even as loyal staff strive tirelessly to keep the  country connected during an unprecedented and ongoing national health emergency read more

CWU fury over ‘needless’ compulsory redundancy threat in BT Group Functions (Sept 18) – The CWU has reacted angrily to the decision of BT Group Functions to commence a compulsory redundancy (CR) consultation exercise in four separate corporate units despite – pointing out that the comparatively tiny headcount reduction being sought could easily be achieved through voluntary means read more

Union to Post Office chief: ‘Build don’t demolish’ (Sept 16) – CWU assistant secretary Andy Furey is calling for a “fundamental change of direction and strategy” from the Post Office Board, in response to today’s bad news of job losses in the company’s Admin and Supply Chain operations. Some 41 CWU-grade posts are set to be axed, with the company citing Covid-19 and the declining use of cash – a trend accelerated during this year’s pandemic. A further c.110 management jobs are to go as well, making 150 in total read more

DHL Parcel Workers Must Be Paid for Covid-19 Related Absences, CWU Say (16 Sept) – The CEO of DHL recently boasted that, in the middle of a pandemic, the company has “never been in better shape”. That’s great news – especially for shareholders. But that success has been made possible by DHL Parcel’s workers. They have continued coming into work during the worst public health crisis in 100 years with all the risks this involves for you and your families. DHL Parcel has paid a nominal bonus to their staff, but many workers have lost money as a result of Covid-19. The company’s policies during the crisis have meant that some workers have seen less in their pay packet. Why? Because they have done the right thing by isolating themselves to protect others. This isn’t going to change over the next few months – the virus is still here. In fact, autumn and winter might worsen the situation read more

 

FBU

TUC pledges to defend collective bargaining in the fire and rescue service (15 Sept) – Trade unions have voted to defend the right of firefighters and control staff to collectively negotiate pay and conditions after a government inspection body attacked the role of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU). It comes after a report from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) in January recommended a pay review body be imposed on firefighters and control staff. A motion passed at TUC Congress 2020, largely happening online due to the coronavirus pandemic, said there is “no basis” for the “political attack” on collective bargaining in the fire and rescue service read more

 

BFAWU

A Message For Our Greggs Members From The General Secretary, Sarah Woolley – The news yesterday from Greggs is not where any of us wanted to be, or indeed expected would come, with such a strong start to the year. As an ex-Greggs employee, my heart goes out to each and every member that’s impacted by the announcement and I want to reassure you that the BFAWU will do everything we can for you over the coming weeks, and when we come out of the other side of the process. We know there are going to be lots of questions (some we wont be able to answer straight away), but we want you to ask them anyway – there is no such thing as a stupid question; if you’re thinking it, someone else will be too. We are here to make sure your voices are heard and your questions are answered read more

Justice for Greencore Northampton Workers 

Sign petitionTo: Guy Dullage, Chief People Officer, Greencore

Greencore: Guarantee full pay for your self-isolating workers!

Campaign created by

BFAWU Greencore Northampton Branch

Read the report published by Doctors in Unite: https://doctorsinunite.com/2020/09/02/the-role-of-airborne-spread-in-factory-outbreaks-of-covid-19/

 

NEU

NEU demands urgent action on testing (20 Sept) – NEU tells Government that support for wider opening of schools should not be taken for granted, and demands urgent action on testing read more

IFS Annual Report on school funding (18 Sept) – IFS reports largest cuts to England’s schools funding in 40 years read more

Education Support Covid survey (17 Sept) – Education Support survey on Covid pressures on schools read more

 

NASUWT

Workplace safety is central to high quality service provision and the economy (15 Sept) – The statutory right of health and safety representatives to facilities release time is essential and must be protected, the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union has told TUC Congress. The NASUWT motion adopted by the TUC Congress highlights the importance of having trained health and safety representatives in reviewing COVID-19 risk assessments and ensuring workplace safety. The NASUWT together with the wider trade union movement confirms the need to increase the number of health and safety representatives across all workplaces read more

Pandemic exposes poor treatment of supply teachers (15 Sept) – NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union is today highlighting how the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the unfair and unjust treatment of supply teachers, many of whom are struggling to find work. The NASUWT motion to the TUC Congress highlights with concern that much of the UK economy is based upon low paid and insecure work, including education read more

 

EIS

Current COVID policy is placing Instrumental Music Students at disadvantage (15 Sept) – A meeting of the EIS Instrumental Music Teachers (IMT) Network, held online today (Tuesday), has expressed serious concerns over the impact of COVID-19 on the provision of instrumental music tuition in schools across Scotland read more

 

UCU

UCU response to HESA research on how career satisfaction among graduates varies by ethnicity (22 Sept) – Universities must do more to tackle racism, said UCU. Responding to the ‘Higher education outcomes: How career satisfaction among graduates varies by ethnicity’ report by HESA, UCU said it showed the effects of structural racism on black graduates’ careers. The union said universities must address their own employment practices if they are serious about becoming inclusive workplaces and pointed to research that shows only 140 professional academic staff in the UK identify as black and a 26% race pay gap at Russell Group universities read more

Public fear students heading to universities will result in second wave and they hold government responsible (20 Sept) – The Observer reported that a majority of people (57%) believe students moving to university across England will result in a lockdown or restrictions in their area, according to a poll for UCU by Survation read more

UCU puts government and employers on notice as it launches Covid monitoring in colleges and universities (16 Sept) – Union says institutions must have plans in place to deal with the Covid-19 threat as it launches system to allow members to directly relay their concerns. The union said its plans were prompted after it was revealed that the Department for Education does not hold information on the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in schools. UCU said it would name and shame colleges or universities that were not doing enough to keep staff, students and the wider community safe read more

Bring colleges back into public ownership and fund them properly (15 Sept) – The government needs to bring colleges back into public ownership and fund them properly, said UCU in response to a report on the financial sustainability of colleges from the National Audit Office read more

 

NUJ

Bullivant strikers resolve dispute by securing changes at work (18 Sept) – NUJ members working for Bullivant Media Limited have voted to withdraw the threat of three further days of strike action after reaching a ‘positive and welcome agreement’ with the company. The chapel was formed earlier this year and includes every member of the editorial team. Members voted unanimously in favour of industrial action in July. Four days of strike action were held on August 25/26 and September 1/2. The dispute focused on allegations of unauthorised deductions from wages at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, targeted compulsory redundancies and detrimental working practices which has seen non-editorial staff taking on editorial work. Plans for five compulsory redundancies were reduced to three job losses – including two voluntary redundancies – last month. The company’s former father of chapel was made compulsory redundant last week after appeal. Plans for a three day strike this week from September 16 to 18 were paused on Tuesday (September 15) following constructive talks between the company and the newly-elected joint mother and father of chapel and NUJ officials which began last Friday (September 11) read more

 

Equity

Panto Parade to highlight continued need for Covid-19 support on 30 September – Pantomime dames, creative workers and people excluded from government support during the pandemic are joining together to march, socially distanced, through London on 30 September. The Panto Parade, which aims to highlight the lack of panto this year and the wider damage the theatre and live events industry are suffering, will start at Cambridge Circus and end in Parliament Square ahead of Prime Minister’s Questions. People excluded from government support during the pandemic will march from the Southbank to Parliament Square at the same time. MPs will be invited to come and meet these people, who are self-organising into groups of up to five, to find out how the pandemic has affected them and what further support is needed. The parade has been organised by Bectu, Equity, ExcludedUK, and #WeMakeEvents and ties into a wider day of action being co-ordinated by the organisations read more

 

Prospect

Bectu Cymru to hold meeting on Welsh government freelancer fund (18 Sept) – The Welsh Government has allocated £7 m to support freelancers including sole traders, those on paye contracts and Ltd. Companies/PSCs read more

Independent report shows risks and costs of remote towers hugely underestimated by HIAL (18 Sept) – An independent report carried out for Prospect into the Highlands and Islands Airport Limited (HIAL) plan to relocate all air traffic controllers to a central location at Inverness, has shown that the likely costs and risks of the project have been hugely under-estimated by HIAL read more

NATS (NERL) found to be in contravention of its Licence over staffing by the CAA (17 Sept) – The CAA has today released its provisional findings for Project Palamon which is an investigation of NERL by the CAA, under its statutory powers following complaints by Ryanair and Stansted Airport Ltd read more

Dismissing trainee air traffic controllers weeks before graduation is cruel and short-sighted (15 Sept) – NATS has announced that any Trainee Air traffic Controller (TATC) who has not yet gained their Student Licence and been posted to an operational unit is to lose their job read more

 

USDAW

Reinstate Richie Venton Glasgow USDAW – IKEA workers need YOUR support. This is a campaign page set up by workers furious at the victimisation and sacking of the elected USDAW shop steward and convener in IKEA Glasgow, RICHIE VENTON, and IKEA’s attacks on workers’ rights and conditions, including removal of wages from workers off sick with COVID-19. Richie has been singled out and sacked for standing up for the health, safety and lives of workers he represents, demanding safety measures and full average pay for all workers sick or self-isolating with the killer virus. He is the first trade unionist in Scotland to be sacked by employers in disputes over workers’ safety from the Coronavirus. Since sacking him, IKEA have imposed even worse cutbacks, including on company sick benefit, putting far more workers on just £95 Statutory Sick Pay, which could force some to continue working because of hardship, spreading the virus, endangering lives. This campaign is to reinstate Richie to his job and his elected union position; to win full average wages for all COVID-sick workers, in IKEA and every other workplace; and to stop employers making £billions in profit but endangering workers’ lives by expecting them to survive on £95-a-week Statutory Sick Pay. Sign the Petition – Add your voice and support to the demand that Ikea reinstate Richie Venton and reinstate sick workers’ wages by signing the secure petition   read more on Reinstate Richie Venton website

Government responds to Usdaw petition with little more than sympathy on abuse of shop workers (16 Sept) – Retail trade union Usdaw is disappointed but not surprised by today’s Government response to a parliamentary petition that seeks to protect retail staff from violence, threats and abuse with little more than sympathy. Usdaw continues to campaign for 100,000 signatures that should trigger a parliamentary debate read more

 

Mandate (Ireland)

Estee Lauder workers in Dublin Airport to strike on Monday, 21st and Friday, 25th September (18 Sept) – Estee Lauder workers in Dublin Airport are to participate in two days of industrial action this week as they attempt to prevent compulsory redundancies and stop the company rehiring workers on inferior terms and conditions of employment. The strike will involve 40 workers and will take place from 5am on Monday 21st and then Friday 25th of September at the Dublin Airport roundabout read more

Mandate Trade Union calls on all TDs to support the Joan Collins Debenhams motion (16 Sept) – Mandate Trade Union is calling on all TDs to support Joan Collins’ Private Members Motion to be debated in the Dail at 3pm today (Wednesday, 16th September) which calls on the government to “introduce emergency legislation to implement the Duffy-Cahill Report recommendations as a matter of urgency.” The motion demands a change of legislation which could immediately resolve the protracted Debenhams dispute where workers have been on strike for more than 150 days. In effect, the workers would receive their collectively agreed redundancy package of four weeks pay per year of service as opposed to the minimum statutory redundancy. The motion also calls for “a ring-fenced insolvency fund, such as exists in several European Union states, to allow for all payments due to workers laid off by an insolvent company, which could be financed by a levy on Employers Pay Related Social Insurance.” Read more

Support striking Debenhams Workers: Email messages of support to the strikers via ajrailway@yahoo.comMandate and Mandate through dgibney@mandate.ie. Also, follow Stand with Debenhams Workers Facebook page

 

SIPTU (Ireland)

SIPTU Construction members vote for strike action to protect pay rates in the sector (16 Sept) – The members of the SIPTU Construction Sector have overwhelmingly voted for industrial action in the event that employers fail to pay a 2.7% increase due on the 1st October, 2020. Earlier this year, the High Court ruled that legislation allowing for the making of Sectoral Employment Orders (SEO’s) was unconstitutional. However, a stay was put on this judgement and all SEO’s currently in place have the force of law read more

 

 

Other news

On Monday 5 October, Nottingham City Council plans to pass an emergency budget containing hundreds of cuts to jobs and services. Hundreds of jobs are also set to go via voluntary redundancy – UNISON and UNITE have called on all those elected councillors who say that they oppose Tory austerity, to oppose this budget. The cuts in this budget can be stopped by use of council reserves and using its powers to borrow. This would enable a big campaign to be built that mobilises local people and council staff to defend our services that have already been cut to the bone. SPEAKERS FROM UNISON, UNITE AND NOTTS TRADES COUNCIL. WE SAY – NO CUTS – NO JOB LOSSES! NOTTINGHAM CITY COUNCIL – STAND UP AND FIGHT BACK – DON’T PUNISH THE WORKFORCE AND OUR LOCAL COMMUNITIES. BRING YOUR BANNERS! THE PROTEST IS LEGALLY ALLOWED UNDER CURRENT GOVERNMENT GUIDANCE. THE PROTEST WILL BE SOCIALLY DISTANCED AND STEWARDED TO ENSURE WE CAN PROTEST AS SAFELY AS POSSIBLE DURING THE C19 PANDEMIC. PLEASE WEAR A FACEMASK. HAND SANITISER WILL BE AVAILABLE

Join the Black Lives Matter protests against the shootings 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 and now those of Jacob Blake who was shot on August 23rd. 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 #KneelforFloyd #GeorgeFloyd #JacobBlake and #BlackLivesMatter on social media

 

 

Fight blacklisting and victimisation of union reps

Builders Crack: The Movie

In the current situation, this long lost film from the 1990s about rank and file union organising in the construction industry is intended to lift the spirits, but also to spark a debate in our movement. Hope the youngsters in this film put a smile on your face.

Watch – Share – Discuss

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VZ-QMA1FMg

Blacklist Support Group

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

Defend Tony Smith Unison Hull – Trade Unionists will be outraged at the dismissal of Tony Smith by an FCC disciplinary hearing. His appeal hearing was heard on September 15th. Tony a UNISON activist has been sacked for gross misconduct but in reality he has been victimised for Trade Union activities. All of Tony’s fellow drivers at the FCC waste disposal plant at Wilmington agreed that Tony made a correct Health and safety call but this was ignored in a blatant stitch up by management. Tony led the successful strike two years ago which won sick pay rights for 2,500 FCC workers up and down the country. Hull Trades Council will be protesting outside the site and we will be trying to organise more extensive action to coincide with Tony’s appeal. Please send messages of support to Tony Smith C/O Hull City UNISON, Town Hall Chambers 39, Alfred Gelder Street, Hull HU1 2AG or email via info@unisonhull.org.uk

From Mike Whale Chair Hull Trades Council

Reinstate Richie Venton Glasgow USDAW – IKEA workers need YOUR support. This is a campaign page set up by workers furious at the victimisation and sacking of the elected USDAW shop steward and convener in IKEA Glasgow, RICHIE VENTON, and IKEA’s attacks on workers’ rights and conditions, including removal of wages from workers off sick with COVID-19. Richie has been singled out and sacked for standing up for the health, safety and lives of workers he represents, demanding safety measures and full average pay for all workers sick or self-isolating with the killer virus. He is the first trade unionist in Scotland to be sacked by employers in disputes over workers’ safety from the Coronavirus. Since sacking him, IKEA have imposed even worse cutbacks, including on company sick benefit, putting far more workers on just £95 Statutory Sick Pay, which could force some to continue working because of hardship, spreading the virus, endangering lives. This campaign is to reinstate Richie to his job and his elected union position; to win full average wages for all COVID-sick workers, in IKEA and every other workplace; and to stop employers making £billions in profit but endangering workers’ lives by expecting them to survive on £95-a-week Statutory Sick Pay. Sign the Petition – Add your voice and support to the demand that Ikea reinstate Richie Venton and reinstate sick workers’ wages by signing the secure petition   read more on Reinstate Richie Venton website

From Glasgow Live: IKEA Glasgow workers threaten to strike over cuts to sick pay (28 Aug)

Manchester bus workers to hold consultative ballot on industrial action, as rep suspended for carrying out trade union duties Colin Hayden – About 500 Manchester bus drivers will hold a consultative ballot on whether they want to take industrial action after a senior Unite rep at bus company Go North West Limited was suspended for carrying out legitimate trade union activities. Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union, said that the ballot follows the suspension of the rep, who is also a Unite branch chair, as the union highlighted plans to reduce the wages of 500 Manchester bus drivers by an estimated £2,000-a-year. The company has attempted to railroad changes to the terms and conditions of the bus drivers – while 80 per cent of the drivers, including all of the Unite reps except for the senior rep, were furloughed – via the offer of a one-off payment of £5,000. Unite, however, says that within three years its members would be worse off, if the plan were allowed to go-ahead…Unite said that the working practices at the Queens Road depot which the company wants to buy-out have since been replaced by additional cleaning and cash collection duties which mean the bus drivers are working just as hard. The consultative ballot will be held by the end of August. Whether Unite proceeds to a full-scale industrial action ballot, including the option for strike action, depends on the outcome of the consultative vote read more

Unite launches campaign to stop Go Ahead Group using COVID 19 as cover to slash pay and conditions (9 Sept) – Unite, Britain’s biggest union, has launched an international campaign to stop the owners of the Manchester bus company Go North West from using Covid 19 as cover for making savage cuts to bus drivers’ pay and conditions, while victimising and gagging a Unite union representative. Unite general secretary, Len McCluskey has written to Go Ahead Group’s CEO David Brown to warn him that Unite will be using all available resources to provide “immediate assistance to our members”. “In addition to industrial action this will mean exposing your company’s behaviour to all of your stakeholders, partners and associates. This will include mobilising all of our allies and contacting our significant political network in the Nordic countries, Germany and Australasia” read more

PCS: Trade unionists asked to send solidarity to PCS rep dismissed after blowing the whistle (25 July) – Trade unionists are being urged to send solidarity messages to a PCS rep dismissed after whistleblowing at the Department of Work and Pensions. Enrico La Rocca, who had worked for the DWP for more than 27 years, lost his job in May after highlighting serious concerns with management over a number of years. His complaints resulted in questions being asked about the department’s handling of Carer’s Allowance overpayments by the National Audit Office (NAO) and raised by in a Work and Pensions Select Committee report read more from Union News

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 defence 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

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

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

 

International

North Carolina nurses win union in landslide after bitter opposition read more on Intercept website

(From TSSA website) Trade Union General Secretaries Express Alarm at Colombia ‘human rights crisis’ (18 Sept) – Trade unions in Britain and Ireland have written to Colombia’s Human Rights Commissioner today to express their ‘extreme concern’ following an increase in massacres and murders of social activists and former guerrillas who entered into the peace process. According to Colombian human rights organisation INDEPAZ, 205 social leaders and human rights defenders have been murdered in 2020

Turkey: (from ASLEF website) Freedom for Öcalan Campaign (17 Sept) – ASLEF was a founding affiliate of the Freedom for Öcalan campaign and as such branches are encouraged to affiliate using this form

 

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