NSSN 506: Support RMT strike for safety on Caledonian Sleeper

October 13, 2020 in Bulletins

Second 48 hour strike on SERCO Caledonian Sleeper rock solid this evening (Oct 11) as RMT members fight for safe working conditions. RAIL UNION RMT said today that the second of two scheduled 48 hour strikes on SERCO Caledonian Sleeper is rock solid again this evening with pickets out in force at key locations as RMT members fight for safe working conditions‎. The action started at 1730 hours.

Caledonian Sleeper Euston picket with RMT Senior AGS Steve Hedley

Caledonian Sleeper Euston picket with RMT Senior AGS Steve Hedley

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said; “RMT members are standing firm again in their strike action on the Caledonian Sleeper this evening but it remains a scandal that SERCO have wasted a whole week stonewalling talks and knocking back union proposals for a settlement. That confirms our suspicion that the company have deliberately provoked this dispute and have never had any intention of entering into serious negotiations with the union. We now have independent evidence from SERCO’s own advisers that the fatigue issue at the heart of this dispute is deadly serious.  Instead of working with the union on a solution to the very real issues being raised by our members SERCO have instead chosed to declare war on their staff. That is a scandalous dereliction of their basic duty of care. Staff and public alike are rightly asking why the political leadership in Scotland have not lifted a finger to help us settle this dispute. They should get off their backsides and haul SERCO into line. Their lack of action is grossly irresponsible. Our members on the Caledonian Sleeper, demanding nothing more than a safe working environment, deserve better than this shocking treatment. We are grateful for the huge level of support that has flooded in and its now down to the company to get serious and negotiate a settlement.”

Email messages of support via info@rmt.org.uk and send donations to RMT, Unity House, 39 Chalton Street, London, NW1 1JD

 

Protest against the Tory mis-handling of COVID: for workplace safety – no redundancies, no attacks on pay, terms & conditions!

Bristol Rally for jobs (hosted by Unite Bristol Area Community Branch 001500): Saturday, 24 October, assemble at 12pm Broadmead Facebook Event

Unemployment is already soaring and likely to spike further when the government ends the furlough scheme on 31st October. Unite called for the scheme to be extended to avoid the risk of ‘redundancy floodgates’ opening. We can’t let unemployment mar our communities and help bosses drive a race to the bottom on terms and conditions. Unite Community organises those out of work for any reason but we want decent jobs for all who can work. We will be meeting in the centre of Broadmead, between Barclays and Metro banks. There will be short speeches and leafleting to raise awareness of the issue and to build the union. We invite other labour movement bodies, campaigns and anyone worried about unemployment to join us.

***COVID PRECAUTIONS***

Anyone who is experiencing possible Covid-19 symptoms or who has been in contact with anyone experiencing symptoms must not attend. This will be a socially distanced event. Please wear a mask if you can and take all necessary precautions to prevent the transmission of the disease. Masks will be available for those who do not have them. See less

Southampton Demonstration and rally: Defend Jobs and Services, We Won’t pay for the Coronavirus! (Hosted by Southampton & South West Hampshire Trades Union Council) Saturday, 7 November, assemble at 11.30am Southampton Central Library Facebook Event

Demonstration and rally for workers and students to say loudly and clearly that we will not be forced to pay for the costs of the coronavirus pandemic. After 10 years of austerity caused by a banking crisis that we again had no part in making, our communities have been left defenceless against the pandemic with services hollowed out and unable to react. Job losses are already taking place linked directly to the effects on the pandemic and will continue to rise, employers are also using the cover of Covid19 to attack the pay and conditions of workers lucky enough to remain employed. This must be resisted by trade unions and workers by all means necessary and employing all resources and tactics available to us. Join us and help to organise this resistance locally as part of a nationwide strategy

The People’s Assembly has called a Nationwide day of Action Saturday 17th October from 11am – In towns and cities up and down the Country. Local People’s Assembly groups will host coordinated actions ranging from Protests, Rallies, Marches and Street meetings to protest the continuing mishandling of the Covid Crisis by this Government. All events will be organised in a Covid safe way. Full details will be given along with each event and of course all events will be under constant review to see whether the situation changes. (Political Protest is exempt from the 6 person rule as long as risk is assessed, social distancing is observed and people wear masks.) Details of events here

 

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

Watch The NSSN pre-TUC Rally and follow us on twitter via @NSSN_AntiCuts and Facebook

  

Union News

RMT

RMT condemns Avanti West Coast over proposals to axe key jobs in Birmingham (13 Oct) – RAIL UNION RMT is today stepping up its fight to protect all jobs at the Avanti West Coast Customer Resolution Centre in Birmingham, which are under threat from plans to relocate them to the parent company, First Group’s, contact centre nearly 100 miles away. The union is demanding that the company halt its plans, which risks the loss of over 60 jobs and would be damaging to the local economy in Birmingham. RMT believes that the roles can continue to be carried out from Birmingham, and the real reason for these proposals is an attempt by First Group to cut costs with no regard for the impact on staff read more

Second 48 hour strike on SERCO Caledonian Sleeper rock solid this evening as RMT members fight for safe working conditions (11 Oct) – RAIL UNION RMT said today that the second of two scheduled 48 hour strikes on SERCO Caledonian Sleeper is rock solid again this evening with pickets out in force at key locations as RMT members fight for safe working conditions‎. The action started at 1730 hours read more

RMT and Labour call on the Government to rescue ferry jobs and services in Hull (8 Oct) – FERRIES’ UNION RMT today called on the Government to take immediate action to preserve UK seafarer jobs and freight services on the Hull-Zeebrugge route, which the sole operator P&O Ferries is threatening to close read more

RMT to work with other unions and TUC in campaign to reverse shock plan to axe the unionlearn programme (8 Oct) – Transport union RMT said today that it will be working with the TUC and sister unions to reverse a Government decision to axe the highly respected and vital skills training offered to workers through the unionlearn programme. The shocking decision would smash apart learning and skills programmes for workers, including those facing redundancy, just at the time when off the back of COVID-19 they are most needed read more

MPs support RMT Campaign to Save Open-Access Rail Jobs and Services (6 Oct) – RAIL UNION RMT has welcomed the fact that a motion tabled in the Westminster parliament, calling on the Government to take action to protect all jobs and services in the open-access rail sector, has received widespread support from MPs. RAIL UNION RMT has welcomed the fact that a motion tabled in the Westminster parliament, calling on the Government to take action to protect all jobs and services in the open-access rail sector, has received widespread support from MPs. Unlike the franchised Train Operating Companies, the open-access operators, such as Hull Trains and Grand Central, have received no Government assistance during Covid-19. With passenger numbers remaining lower than pre-Covid levels, both Hull Trains and Grand Central now say they are in an unsustainable position and are proposing job losses. RMT is demanding that the Government intervenes to provide financial assistance for these operators, and ensure that all jobs and conditions are protected read more

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

RMT steps up campaign for TfL funding – RMT steps up campaign for TfL funding with petition launch. London Transport Union RMT is stepping up its fight to win full funding for Transport for London with the launch of an online petition. The petition can be found at: https://www.rmtlondoncalling.org.uk/funding-statement  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

Translink Faces Industrial Action Over Redundancies (8 Oct) – TSSA has raised the prospect of industrial action at Translink after the transport union issued the company with a formal letter of dispute over the threat of compulsory redundancies. The union has been calling for assurances from Translink that there will be no compulsory redundancies over plans to cut over 50 jobs as part of a drive to reduce costs by up to £20m. The union is meeting Infrastructure Minister, Nichola Mallon, on Monday (12th Oct) and is urging her to take action to avert escalation of the dispute read more

 

Unite

ESS labelled UK’s most heartless employer over sign or be sacked policy, as Parliament prepares to debate cruel practices (13 Oct) – ESS, part of the multi-million pound Compass Group, has been branded the UK’s most “heartless employer”, due to the manner in which it is treating staff working on Ministry of Defence bases, who are being forced to sign contracts making them hundreds of pounds worse off or immediately lose their jobs. Unite’s branding of ESS as heartless comes ahead of a debate in parliament this week (Wednesday 14 October) on the controversial fire and rehire policies being threatened by companies including British Airways and Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL). The affected workers, employed on outsourced MoD contracts, primarily undertake cooking and cleaning roles; the majority are paid the minimum wage and are facing cuts in hours as well as a reduction in their working weeks read more

Unite calls for a new chapter of constructive working with BA following CEO Alex Cruz’s departure (12 Oct) – Unite, Britain’s leading union, has called on the incoming British Airways chief executive, Sean Doyle to begin a new chapter of constructive relations with staff and the unions following the news of Alex Cruz’s departure, including withdrawing Cruz’s brutal ‘fire and rehire’ approach to the coronavirus crisis read more

Liverpool region lockdown must include full furlough and improved test and trace (12 Oct) – Unite regional secretary for the North West, Ritchie James, said: “The spread of coronavirus throughout the Liverpool region can only be brought under control through an efficient and well-functioning test and trace system read more

ICTS Security at Aberdeen Airport to cut workforce by up to a third as Unite repeats demand for government support (12 Oct) – Unite the union has reacted to the proposal by ICTS Security at Aberdeen Airport to cut its workforce by up to 34 jobs out of 95 by pledging to do ‘everything possible’ to stave off compulsory redundancies. Unite has an ongoing campaign to “Save Scotland’s Airports” following a Fraser of Allander report conducted on behalf of Unite, which estimated 2,330 direct and indirect job losses in civil aviation with an overall economic loss of around £140m to the Scottish economy after accounting for knock-on effects. Companies and airlines operating in and from Aberdeen Airport have various redundancy consultations underway which Unite is directly involved in threatening more than 100 jobs read more

Joint call from NICMA and Unite for extended support to Registered Childminders as survey highlights downturn to incomes across sector (Oct 12) – Extensive survey of Registered Childminders identifies large loss of earnings across the board with almost two-thirds not having returned to operating capacity. Northern Ireland Child Minding Association (NICMA) and Unite issue joint demand for extension to Childcare Recovery Support scheme and establishment of a contingency fund to replace lost income read more

Chancellor’s deal a disaster for hospitality sector that is in urgent need of proper rescue package (9 Oct) – Rishi Sunak’s announcement today (Friday October 9) of an extension to the job support scheme falls disastrously short of that which is needed to keep the hospitality sector afloat and could cost nearly one million jobs, Unite the union, which represents hospitality workers, has warned. One in eight hospitality workers has already lost their job despite the job retention scheme providing 80 per cent of employee wages. With around half of hospitality workers still furloughed and additional support offered only to pubs and restaurants that are legally required to close their doors, an even greater cost to jobs is inevitable read more

Cabinet minister’s crass comments on cabin crew jobs show government has thrown in the towel on UK aviation (8 Oct) – Comments by work and pensions secretary Therese Coffey made in an interview with the Spectator magazine in which she suggests that cabin crew who lose their jobs could retrain as carers or nurses have been branded as `crass’  and suggest that the government has given up on UK aviation according to Unite, the country’s leading aviation union. Responding, Unite national officer for civil air transport Oliver Richardson said: “Therese Coffey’s comments are just crass. They are as insensitive as they are ill informed and only serve to show how out of touch government is…” read more

Rise in homeworking requires negotiation and agreement not imposition, says Unite (8 Oct) – Unite, Britain’s leading union, says employers should reach homeworking agreements to avoid an industrial minefield when turning workers’ homes into a place of work. The explosion in home-working, caused by Covid-19, means trade unions will have an increasingly important role to play in minimising the dangers and maximising the advantages of working from home according to Britain’s leading union, Unite. Unite has produced a new framework homeworking agreement to assist Unite workplace representatives in their negotiations with employers read more

Stormont Executive must intervene to support livelihoods and skills of hospitality and tourism workers (Oct 8) – After meeting Economy Minister, Diane Dodds, Unite delegation calls for direct financial payments to hospitality workers as previous handouts to businesses have not been passed onto workers on reduced hours and facing redundancy. Call for ban on exploitative practices such as zero-hour contracts, fire and rehire arrangements and bosses’ opportunist reductions of contracted terms read more

Seagate workforce left anxious over inadequate management response to Covid-19 outbreak (Oct 7) – Unite has been informed that at least three workers have tested positive and a further 15 left self-isolating in outbreak among Derry workforce of 1,400. Seagate workers not already in Unite encouraged to join as the best way to protect themselves in a time of insecurity read more

PM’s windfarm pledge is ‘hollow words’ for BiFab and CS Wind as Scottish yards sit idle (6 Oct) – Boris Johnson’s pledge that every UK home will be powered by electricity from offshore windfarms by 2030 and that £160m will be spent on building more wind turbines is ‘hollow words’ under the current UK government. Unite Scotland also criticised the Prime Minister’s pledge to commit 60 per cent of the turbines to be manufactured in the UK as ‘rehashed rhetoric’ following the recommendation by the UK Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC) in March 2018 to the UK government that Supply Chain Plans should achieve 60 per cent of life cycle costs to be UK sourced by 2030 read more

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

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

 

PCS

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

Calling all petitioners – The PCS petition calling for fair pay for UK government workers has now reached the 50,000 signatories mark. With 50,000 more signatures to go to guarantee a full debate on the issue in Parliament we are asking members who have already signed the petition to ask their friends and colleagues to also sign it 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

BA chief departure ‘stern warning’ over fire and rehire (12 Oct) – Alex Cruz presided over the worst attack on BA employees in the entire history of the company. GMB, the union for BA workers, has welcomed the decision from BA’s CEO to stand aside after embarking on a ‘catastrophic’ fire and rehire policy that has left the airline’s iconic workforce ‘demoralised’ read more

Ethnicity pay gap figures show UK has ‘mountain to climb’ (12 Oct) – Overall estimated gap shrinks but London and workers of Pakistani ethnicity particularly hard hit. GMB, Britain’s general union, has responded to the publication of new ONS estimates of the ethnicity pay gap. While the headline ethnicity pay gap estimate fell in 2019, the gap for workers identified as being of Pakistani ethnicity was 16 per cent. In London, the ethnicity gap was estimated to be 24 per cent – the highest of any region read more

Serco tries to sack hundreds in Birmingham after claiming millions from Government (12 Oct) – The attack on leisure workers comes with the 2022 Commonwealth Games looming. Serco, the troubled outsourcing giant at the heart of the NHS Track and Trace scandal, is attempting to slash nearly a hundred jobs from its Birmingham Community Leisure service – despite having collected nearly £4m from Birmingham Council over the Coronavirus crisis. The firm wants to axe 96 full-time-equivalent staff, meaning hundreds of part-time workers could face the sack, despite Serco claiming 80% of its staff’s salary as furlough money from the Government. The sackings were announced Friday 2nd October, but many workers affected still haven’t received written confirmation read more

Two in three workers’ mental health harmed by coronavirus crisis (10 Oct) – Poll of 13,500 GMB members – thought to be the biggest during the covid pandemic – finds workers terrified of taking coronavirus home. Two thirds of workers said their mental health has been harmed by the coronavirus crisis, a massive new survey by GMB has found. In the poll of 13,500 public and private sector workers – thought to be the biggest of its kind during the pandemic – 66 per cent of respondents said that their work during the outbreak has had a serious negative impact on their mental health read more

Chancellor’s insubstantial support will leave workers struggling (9 Oct) – Billionaire Chancellor will today push many workers below minimum wage. Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s insubstantial dish of support will leave workers in limbo, struggling to put food on the table, as shutdown shocks local economies read more

British gas must take ‘fire and rehire’ threat off the table (8 Oct) – British Gas owner Centrica in retreat over much-criticised plan to dismiss entire workforce is postponed until January 2021 after pressure. British Gas should take its threat to fire and rehire its entire workforce off the table for good after the company confirmed its plan would be pushed back, energy workers’ union GMB said today. In the face of sustained pressure, the company has retreated on its original plan which could have seen thousands being told before Christmas they would lose their jobs after it served advance notices of redundancy on its entire workforce in July, before negotiations with Unions had even started. The company confirmed today that it would delay the plan to instigate mass redundancies – but only until January 2021 read more

GMB nurses stage Sheffield banner protest for NHS fair pay across UK (7 Oct) – GMB NHS staff gathered om Park square roundabout in Sheffield on Wednesday morning, campaigning for a fairer pay for all NHS workers. It is the latest in a series of UK wide demonstrations have taken place across August and September, as pressure mounts on the UK government to reward NHS staff properly for the important work that they do. Nurses, health workers, patients and the public are all expected to back the call in the marches 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

 

Unison

UNISON urges Bangor University to ‘put people before buildings’ (9 Oct) – Third round of job cuts being rushed into due to an ‘anticipated shortfall’ of students. Bangor University is set to make 200 staff members redundant, including 120 support staff roles in accommodation, estates, IT, examinations, academic registry and libraries together with 80 academic jobs. The University started a consultation last month about how to make up a financial shortfall and has now shared the restructure proposals with staff. The proposal outlines what would be the third round of job cuts in as many years and has been attributed to ‘an anticipated shortfall in income, mainly related to international student recruitment’ and will require the university to find £13m of savings read more

UNISON fights to save award-winning hospital catering (9 Oct) – ‘Outstanding’ hospital catering at Hitchingbrooke Hospital is under threat from North West Anglia NHS Trust decision. Over 2,200 have signed a UNISON petition to stop North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust from outsourcing the award-winning catering service at Hitchingbrooke Hopsital. The hospital, which was named as one of the top 10 hospitals in the country for food, is set to have 70 roles put out to tender, including kitchen, linen and patient services. As reported in the Hunts Post, UNISON ran a webinar with health expert Dr John Lister. He claimed that “private companies will not be able to match the quality and level” of the outstanding service currently provided at the hospital read more

Some employers only paying lip service to Black staff’s fears (9 Oct) – The stakes are too high for employers to get this wrong. Employers in the public sector must ensure all staff have robust, up to date risk assessments to protect the health and lives of Black workers as coronavirus infections rise, says UNISON today (Friday). It follows newly published UNISON research showing more than half of Black staff (60%) working in the NHS, care homes and schools weren’t given Covid-19 risk assessments, even after the height of the pandemic read more

Raph Parkinson Regional Organiser RIP (7 Oct) – UNISON North West deeply regrets to announce the death of Raph Parkinson, Regional Organiser. Over the past 10 days, Raph had been receiving treatment at Royal Liverpool Hospital for pneumonia complications from COVID-19 but sadly his situation worsened and he died overnight on Monday. Raph had been involved in the union throughout his working life. For many years he was a NALGO/UNISON senior activist in Merseytravel and Liverpool City Council, an NEC member, a leading member of the regional black members’ group, an anti-racist and socialist campaigner in his local community. He joined the union’s staff over ten years ago as an area organiser and progressed to regional organiser in the Merseyside and Cheshire team and latterly the Case Unit. Raph was a much liked and respected colleague, a committed staff union representative, a loyal fan of Liverpool, who loved his family and was dedicated to the cause of trade unionism and socialism. He will be missed by all of us who knew him in UNISON and the wider labour movement. Raph is survived by his partner Laura and his two sons. UNISON North West region sends them our deepest sympathy and solidarity. Messages of condolences to Raph’s family can be sent via Val Rothwell at UNISON North West regional office read more

Over 150 care workers and politicians stand together against law-breaking care company Lifeways (7 Oct) – Over 150 care workers employed by Lifeways- which delivers care across the North West- have lodged a grievance through their union UNISON against their employer’s unlawful underpayment for annual leave. Lifeways, which is one of the UK’s largest social care providers, has been routinely underpaying its care workers when they take time off. In doing so, they have been breaking the law. The care workers, who have been on the frontline of the fight against COVID-19, regularly work overtime and so-called “sleep-in” shifts, where they stay overnight at a service user’s home in order to deliver care read more

Unions say HE employers’ pay freeze proposal is unacceptable (7 Oct) – New Joint Negotiating Committee for Higher Education Staff will meet employers again after new living wage rates are announced. UNISON and the other higher education unions are calling on universities to think again, after the employers proposed a pay freeze for staff. The New Joint Negotiating Committee for Higher Education Staff (New JNCHES) has made clear that this is not acceptable and said that it has not abandoned the call for a pay deal for this year read more

Carmarthenshire UNISON members bulletin no. 31 for latest news and updates (available from union website): https://carmarthenshire.unison.site/2020/09/29/members-bulletin-31/

Addiction support workers enter last day of latest strike (2 Oct) – We Are With You continues to refuse to pay promised wage increase, after Central Arbitration Committee rules it has to recognise UNISON. Drug and alcohol support workers in the North West are on the last day of a 10-day strike today (Friday), as they continue their fight to force their employer, national charity We Are With You​​ (formerly Addaction), to give them a promised pay rise. ​The industrial action involves 30 rehabilitation staff from Wigan and Leigh in Greater Manchester 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

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

 

CWU

New Royal Mail shared van plan is “reckless” and will see coronavirus spread, say CWU (Oct 6) – The CWU have criticised a “reckless” Royal Mail decision to bring back shared delivery vans, saying that their first priority is to “protect postal workers’ lives”. Speaking to around 20,000 CWU members on a Facebook session, Deputy General Secretary (Postal) Terry Pullinger spoke with CWU head of communications Chris Webb over Royal Mail’s latest move to reintroduce shared vans on Monday on a voluntary basis read more

Watch video from Gary Clark branch secretary of CWU Scotland no.2 branch and a member of the NSSN steering committee

 

FBU

“Serious questions” about Northamptonshire Chief Fire Officer’s re-appointment, union says (8 Oct) – The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) is raising concerns about a breach of procedure after Northamptonshire’s Chief Fire Officer Darren Dovey was re-appointed following retirement, at the request of the region’s Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner. The Fire and Rescue Service National Framework says brigades “must not re-appoint principal fire officers after retirement to their previous, or a similar, post” except for in “exceptional circumstances … necessary in the interests of public safety”. Any such appointments must be “transparent, justifiable and time-limited.” Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service has not seen any major disruption to its statutory responsibility during the coronavirus pandemic and the FBU are calling for “full transparency” on the reasons for re-appointing Dovey read more

 

BFAWU

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

2021 exams (12 Oct) – Government announcement on 2021 exams is a dereliction of duty. Responding to the Department for Education’s announcement on next year’s GCSE and A level exams, Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said: “Today’s announcement amounts to a dereliction of duty by Government to pupils, parents and education professionals…” read more

NAHT: Cancellation of SATs 2021 (9 Oct) – We welcome the NAHT stand. Teachers and headteachers are now united in their call for cancellation: the Government should listen. Statutory assessment in 2020/1 serves no useful purpose. Responding to the NAHT Conference decision to lobby the Government to cancel SATs in 2021, Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said: “We welcome the NAHT stand. Teachers and headteachers are now united in their call for cancellation: the Government should listen. Statutory assessment in 2020/1 serves no useful purpose…” read more

IPPR report on the future of education (9 Oct) – The NEU supports the call that all children should have access to on-site mental health support, including on-site counsellors and interventions to support parental support programmes read more

Covid-19 impact on primary schools (9 Oct) – UCL research into impact of COVID-19 on primary schools. Commenting on research published by the International Literacy Centre at UCL showing the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on primary schools and pupils in the most disadvantaged areas of England, Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Unions, said: “Teaching staff will recognise themselves in this research. It is a detailed and truthful account of primary teachers’ experiences during the pandemic and of the conclusions they have drawn from it…” read more

 

NASUWT

NASUWT responds to plans for 2021 examinations (12 Oct) – Commenting on the statement delivered by Education Secretary Gavin Williamson today on changes to the arrangements for exams in 2021, Patrick Roach, General Secretary of NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, said: “The announcement of a three week delay to the timetable for most GCSE and A level exams next year will not provide meaningful additional time for students whose preparation for examinations has already been disrupted over a number of months…” read more

Government must address steep rise in covid transmission among children (11 Oct) – The NASUWT – The Teachers’ Union is deeply concerned following the release of the COVID-19 Statistical Report by Public Health Scotland showing a significant increase in the percentage of secondary age children testing positive for Coronavirus in September. The percentage of young people testing positive for coronavirus is of great concern to the NASUWT, particularly among the 12-17 age group, and could potentially increase the risk to teachers, education staff and the wider community unless further measures are introduced in schools to protect them read more

 

EIS

Survey highlights detrimental impact of COVID on Instrumental Music in schools (12 Oct) – A new survey of Instrumental Music Teachers (IMTs), carried out by the EIS, has highlighted the serious detrimental impact of COVID-19 on the provision of instrumental music teaching in schools across Scotland. The EIS carried out the survey of IMTs last month and the survey report, published today, paints a worrying picture of a service facing significant short-term and long-term challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic read more

Clarity on Exams is welcome, though overdue (7 Oct) – The EIS has welcomed the clarity on next year’s exams diet provided by the Deputy First Minister’s announcement this afternoon. The EIS has been calling for such clarity for weeks, so that teachers and students can prepare effectively for the school year read more

Some Scottish Councils Failing in Duty of Care on Teachers’ Risk Assessments (6 Oct) – A number of local authorities across Scotland are failing in their duty of care to their teacher employees with regard to individual risk assessments, the EIS has warned today. The EIS has written to all Directors of Education to highlight that individual risk assessments must be updated to take account of the rapidly evolving circumstances related to COVID-19 read more

 

UCU

Government ignored scientists’ advice to move university teaching online (13 Oct) – The level of the Covid crisis on campuses is a direct result of the Westminster government ignoring expert advice and deciding to put the health of university staff, students and local communities at risk read more

UCU response to Prime Minister’s new Covid measures (12 Oct) – UCU said the Prime Minister was wrong to declare that universities will stay open under new local restrictions. The union said institutions across the UK need to move to online learning as the default position to prevent more regions entering into new lockdowns read more

UCU Scotland says new measures don’t go far enough (9 Oct) – Commenting on the letter sent by the minister for further education, higher education and science, Richard Lochhead MSP, to higher education stakeholders following the announcement of temporary restrictions to control the spread of Covid-19 on 7 October, Dr Carlo Morelli, UCU Scotland president, said: ‘These measures do not go far enough.  With too many students in Scotland contracting the virus in student accommodation and with universities still saying in-person teaching is necessary, it’s time for the Scottish government to change its guidance for universities read more

UCU response to University of Liverpool moving online (9 Oct) – UCU said it had taken too long for the University of Liverpool to move online, and Covid cases had continued to rise whilst it continued with in-person teaching. Yesterday, the University of Liverpool announced it was moving its teaching and learning online. It follows the decisions of Liverpool Hope University and Liverpool John Moores University to move online last month read more

Northumbria University moves learning online after staff threatened industrial action (7 Oct) – UCU welcomed the decision by Northumbria University to move learning online after its members threatened to ballot for industrial action over Covid health and safety failings. However, the union said the decision should have been taken earlier, and urged other universities to move their work online. Both Northumbria University and the University of Newcastle will move online tomorrow for a minimum of three weeks. Newcastle has some of the highest rates of Covid UK and saw 1,227 new cases last week read more

Sheffield’s universities’ decision to move only some teaching online do not go far enough, says union (7 Oct) – UCU said steps taken by Sheffield’s universities to reduce in-person teaching did not go far enough, and showed the government needs to change its guidance immediately. This week, the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University both said they will move more learning online. The University of Sheffield said all teaching will move online from Friday until 18 October. Sheffield Hallam said it will increase the proportion of online teaching, but keep some on-campus read more

UCU response to Manchester universities moving learning online (6 Oct) – UCU welcomed the decision taken by the University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University to move learning online, but said Covid outbreaks could have been prevented had the decision been taken earlier read more

 

NUJ

Employers must publish their ethnicity pay gap figures (12 Oct) – As the latest Office for National Statistics figures showed that the median hourly pay for white people was £12.40 per hour compared with £12.11 for those from a black and minority ethnic (BME) background – a pay gap of 2.3 per cent with significant regional variations, including a figure of 23.8 per cent in London  —  the NUJ joined the TUC in calling for mandatory publication of company ethnic pay gap figures read more

Covert powers must not override legal protections on UK press freedom (9 Oct) – The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) in the UK and Ireland is calling on UK parliamentarians to ensure that any new powers enshrined in the Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill must not override existing legal protections on press freedom. The union is concerned about the potential ramifications of the new bill in regard to the protection of journalistic sources in general, the ability to create new routes to access journalistic material and the existing judicial oversight measures applied to accessing the communications data of journalists set out in the Investigatory Powers Act read more

BBC journalists express solidarity with colleagues at Iran International (7 Oct) – NUJ members working for the BBC World Service have offered their full support and solidarity to journalists facing unprecedented challenges at Iran International. Iran International has signed two secret deals with the British Association of Journalists (BAJ) in a desperate effort to thwart and block NUJ recognition, the company has inflicted significant pressure on employees and individuals have been targeted in a sham redundancy exercise believed to be an attempt to purge the company of trade union members and representatives read more

 

Prospect

Prospect will work with Museum of London to mitigate job cuts (9 Oct) – The Museum of London has announced that due to the financial impact of corona virus it is entering into a redundancy consultation read more

Holes in new furlough scheme are already obvious (9 Oct) – The Chancellor Rishi Sunak has today announced changes to the business support scheme designed to compensate for the tighter COVID restrictions in certain parts of the country. In reaction to the chancellor’s statement Prospect has argued that the holes in the scheme are already evident read more

Redundancies devastating for National Trust workers but will hopefully safeguard the Trust’s future (8 Oct) – National Trust has today confirmed the results of its redundancy consultation with around 700 voluntary redundancies and a further 500 compulsory redundancies. Prospect has worked with the Trust to maximise the number of voluntary redundancies, but this is still a devastating number of people losing their jobs. The redundancies are a direct result of the necessary pandemic response impacting visitor numbers, membership numbers and, therefore, income. It is Prospect’s understanding that for the time being no properties will be permanently closed read more

 

NIPSA

Action to Save Jobs and Services (9 Oct) – NIPSA’s Local Government Panel calls on the NI assembly to take action for Councils to save jobs and services. In particular, the recent news release in respect of Council employees availing of Furlough highlights the ongoing extent of the Pandemic upon Council services placing employees at risk of further redundancies as the ongoing spread of Covid-19 takes hold and Local lockdowns are applied. The lifeline for many Councils, Jobs and services was secured via the implementation of the Furlough Scheme as redundancy fears loomed however the ongoing rise in Covid-19 cases continues to restrict Council services and as the figures show many employees remain on Furlough and at risk read more

 

USDAW

Chancellor’s job support scheme extension fails to address the knock-on effect on retail says USDAW (9 Oct) – Retail trade union Usdaw is concerned that today’s announcement by the Chancellor to extend the Job Support Scheme doesn’t help retail stores that remain open. On a day when statistics show footfall reduced last month, Usdaw is concerned that closing the hospitality sector will inevitably have a devastating impact on an already struggling retail industry read more

Stop union victimisation: 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

Watch Reel News this video about London IKEA solidarity protest

 

Mandate (Ireland)

Mandate condemns legal action by Debenhams liquidator (8 Oct) – Mandate Trade Union has said the joint liquidators of Debenhams, KPMG, in seeking High Court injunctions against three striking workers who are demanding the implementation of their agreed redundancy package was both regrettable and totally avoidable. Mandate General Secretary Gerry Light said these workers are law-abiding and are simply demanding what is owed to them. “It should never have come to this. These workers should have had the protections of the law, but sadly our government refused to back the Debenhams workers and now they’re being intimidated by means of High Court injunctions…” 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

Mandate says all parties must support collective bargaining Bill (7 Oct) – “The pandemic has shown us how important ‘essential workers’ are. To deny them their human right to be represented by a trade union now after risking their lives to keep our economy and society going would be a slap in the face,” said Brian Forbes, Mandate National Coordinator. Mandate Trade Union is calling on all TDs to support the Trade Union Representation (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill when it is voted on in the Dail tomorrow (Thursday, 8th October) read more

 

SIPTU (Ireland)

SIPTU calls for mandatory sick pay scheme to cover full income of ill workers (9 Oct) – SIPTU economist, Michael Taft, has called for the introduction of a mandatory sick pay scheme which ensures that workers receive their full income while they are out of work due to illness read more

Picket Line Report: Premier Periclase Drogheda – UNITE and SIPTU members in the Premier Periclase plant in Drogheda are continuing their strike action. A brazen and blatant attempt to de-recognise the unions in the plant, and to unilaterally enforce changes to terms and conditions, has been met head on by the workers and their unions. The very best traditions of the workers’ movement are on display on the Drogheda picket line and the resilience and determination of the workers is clear to all who talk to them read more

 

UVW

Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital found in potential breach of race discrimination laws over the outsourcing of their mainly black and brown cleaners, claims union (Oct 7) – Today it can be revealed that world renowned children’s hospital Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital (GOSH) has failed to undertake a single Equality Impact Assessment over its decision to exclude hundreds of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) cleaners from NHS pay rates and other terms and conditions of employment by outsourcing them to the private contractor OCS which provides them with significantly lower rates of pay and other T&Cs than NHS employees. The revelation came from a series of Freedom of Information (FoI) requests made by trade union United Voices of the World (UVW) which represents cleaners and security guards at GOSH who are demanding to become direct employees of the NHS rather than be outsourced to a private contractor. The FOIs showed that whilst GOSH was aware it had failed to adhere to the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) it did not propose to do anything about it read more

 

 

 

Other news

Support 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 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

Support ‘Show Racism the Red Card’ 6th annual Wear Red Day which will take place across England, Wales and Scotland on Friday 16th October 2020

Hull Unity Shop (initiated by Hull & District Trades Union Council) – The trade unions have set up the Unity Shop to provide food and other necessities for those families who are struggling, both in and out of work read more

 

 

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

Colombia: Support miners striking against the ‘death shift’ at Cerrejón read more

Support the Ukrainian miners’ strike (from Mike Whale Hull & District Trades Council) 

We salute the magnificent struggle of the Ukrainian metal ore miners for improved wages, terms and conditions and Health and safety. The strike, which has taken the form of an underground occupation of the mines, has been continuous from the 3rd September. While the mine owners are multi-billionaires many of the mineworkers earn less than $180 a month. 1,000 miners have died in Ukrainian mines over the last 25 years. The mine managers working at the behest of the mine owners continually take short cuts when it comes to health and safety. The intimidation from the mine owning oligarchs, includes physical threats to the families of the strike leaders

We support the aims of the strike. For an immediate and substantial wage rise for all mine workers. The dismissal of the mine managers who cut corners in health and safety. Properly trained and qualified workers to carry out appropriate jobs. The lowering of the pension age to reflect the dangers to life and health involved in mining. Strictly enforced health and safety regulations to protect mine workers

Letters of protest can be sent to local Ukrainian embassies via the emails below:

info@kvpu.org.ua

international-dep@kvpu.org.ua

profikr@i.ua

 

 

 

Diary

 

 

CONTACT US

PHONE 07952 283 558

EMAIL mailto:info@shopstewards.net

 

TWITTER – https://twitter.com/NSSN_AntiCuts

FACEBOOK NSSN GROUP   or STOP The CUTS  Likes page

ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE