NSSN 509: Support education workers in new lockdown  

November 3, 2020 in Bulletins

The Prime Minister and his floundering cabinet have finally reacted to daily news of startling rises in the rate of COVID cases in England but once again ordinary people have been left trying to fathom out the exceptions to Lockdown 2.

But those who expected to see some kind of common sense will stay disappointed; the aim of Lockdown 2 is to maintain the accumulation of private profits for the Tories’ friends in big business, not to help ordinary workers and their families. This is most clearly seen in the decision to keep open educational establishments despite mounting evidence that some of the highest increases in COVID cases are in schools and universities.

Newham demo Feb 26

Newham demo 2018

Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union said just before the weekend’s announcement:

“It is clear from ONS data that schools are an engine for virus transmission. It would be self-defeating for the government to impose a national lockdown, whilst ignoring the role of schools as a major contributor to the spread of the virus. Such a lockdown would impose pain on the whole community – but not be as effective as it could be if schools were included. Ignoring the role of schools and colleges in the spread of the virus is likely to lead to the need for even longer lockdowns in future. The latest figures from the ONS estimate that 1% of primary pupils and 2% of secondary pupils have the virus and that these levels have increased dramatically since wider opening in September.  NEU analysis of ONS figures shows that virus levels are now 9 times higher amongst primary pupils and an astonishing 50 times higher amongst secondary pupils. The government should include all schools in proposals for an immediate national lockdown and as a minimum be preparing for school rotas at the end of that period, including by actually meeting its promise to deliver broadband and equipment to those children who do not have them. It is also vital that the government ensure proper financial support for all those affected by lockdown including crucial supply teachers and other staff.”

The NSSN fully endorses the NEU’s stance and their decision to back individual school groups who demand an industrial action ballot over unsafe and unworkable conditions. Indeed, if the government continues to ignore school staff union demands over safety, there must be a case for unions to now pursue wider industrial action.

Over 400,000 pupils (around 4%) of state school pupils have been having to self-isolate owing to positive cases and outbreaks in their schools. In some areas, as many as a third of secondary school students are at home.

In the areas with the highest infection rates, staff and student absence is already causing a chaotic situation. Schools are left without key staff at short notice, staff being expected to provide learning both for those in class and those at home – but without knowing who will be where from week to week.

In universities, the UCU has estimated there has been 35,000 COVID cases, which are no longer mainly concentrated in a few geographical areas. Over 3000 students have been kept imprisoned in their halls of residence, with rental costs continuing to be raked in by private profiteers and no rebates on tuition fees. The novelty of the situation is wearing off and there will soon be tens of thousands of angry students demanding change, both in the short and long terms.

The NSSN stands shoulder to shoulder with school, college and university students and staff and their unions. We will support any widening of the education unions’ stance to incorporate industrial action to protect the safety and futures of all.

 

NEU

National Tutoring Programme (2 Nov)

Close schools in national lockdown (31 Oct)

GCSEs and A-Levels: October (29 Oct)

EPI on School attendance rates (28 Oct)

NEU calls for an end to holiday hunger (27 Oct)

 

NASUWT

NASUWT comments on England lockdown announcement (31 Oct)

NASUWT responds to publication of updated Covid guidance for Scottish schools (30 Oct)

Fairness for learners and manageability for teachers will be key tests for exam plans (29 Oct)

NASUWT comments on Lawrence report into impact of Covid pandemic on BAME communities (27 Oct)

 

EIS

Updated Schools COVID-19 Guidance – EIS Comment (30 Oct)

EIS Members at Forth Valley College to take Industrial Action (27 Oct)

 

UCU

National lockdown put at risk by decision to keep colleges open, says UCU (31 Oct)

UCU says universities must move online for new national lockdown (31 Oct)

Strike threat at Manchester Metropolitan University as in-person teaching to resume despite city’s tier 3 status (29 Oct)

UCU response to ‘College of the Future’ report (28 Oct)

Heriot-Watt University staff overwhelmingly back industrial action in row over job losses  Donate to Heriot-Watt UCU solidarity hardship fund

 

Unite

School support must be fully protected or action will be taken warns Unite (3 Oct)

 

Stop union victimisation

Defend Judith Katera Unite rep on London buses – Judith is a longstanding union rep and activist in Battersea garage in Abellio in South London. Last week, she was facing a disciplinary meeting and possible dismissal. Judith is adamant that false claims are being alleged against her. Judith and Moe Muhsin Manir, the rep at Walworth garage in the same company feel that they are both being targeted. Thanks for your support for Judith, including those who were intending to come to the solidarity protest. It is on hold because the disciplinary process has not been completed. We are calling on Abellio to drop the false charges against Judith so she can return to work and represent her members. But if Abellio still move to sack Judith, a solidarity rally will be organised. Stop union busting!

 

Support Jeremy Corbyn

The NSSN sends solidarity to Jeremy Corbyn after his suspension from the Labour Party. The NSSN is a network of rank and file trade unionists rather than a party political organisation but we supported the pro-worker programme in the Labour manifestos under Jeremy’s leadership in the 2017 and 2019 general elections.

 

 

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

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

 

Sign this TUC petition: To Gavin Williamson, Secretary of State for Education – Reverse the cuts to union learning

 

 

 

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 include some workers receiving 80% of their wages. This furlough scheme was due to end but has now been extended because of the 2nd lockdown.

However, we believe that no worker should pay the price for any spread of the virus. We say: work or full pay. Any worker who is required not to attend work or is unable to do so because of COVID, 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 calls for guaranteed Government support for Northern transport (3 Nov) – As Grand Central and Hull Trains announce total suspension of services during lockdown RMT calls for guaranteed Government support for Northern transport links. RAIL UNION RMT today called for guaranteed long term Government support for Britain’s open access rail services after it was confirmed that both Grand Central and Hull trains will be suspending all services from later this week in response to the latest Government lockdown read more

RMT to ballot over job cuts at LU depot canteens (2 Nov) – LONDON UNDERGROUND UNION RMT is to ballot canteen workers in LU depots for industrial action after private contractor Sodexo announced it intends to plough ahead with a plan to slash 30 jobs, nearly a third of the workforce. The move will put an end to over 100 years of on site home-style cooked canteen food for transport workers which will be replaced with reheated frozen microwave meals. The proposals are part of a restructuring plan by Sodexo and will see workers who have notched up to 20 years’ service being placed on the scrapheap read more

RMT pledges to fight any attacks on jobs and conditions sparked by TFL funding deal (1 Nov) – RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said; “It is deeply troubling for TFL staff that this short term deal is loaded with strings that amount to at least £160 million of cuts with the very clear threat of worse to come. RMT has said from the outset that TFL staff who have been there day in and day out at the sharp end keeping essential travel operating and London moving should not pay the price for this pandemic. We will fight any attempt to attack jobs, pensions, working conditions and safety.” Read more

Video: Tube funding update (1 Nov) – RMT Regional Organiser John Leach updates members on the funding agreement reached between London mayor Sadiq Khan and the government following s meeting he attended this morning with the assistant mayor and TfL commissioner

RMT research reveals high productivity levels of TfL staff as Government threaten savage cuts and attacks on workforce as part of finance deal (30 Oct) – TRANSPORT UNION RMT has revealed today that the Government proposes savage cuts on London Underground and Overground in spite of the high productivity levels of its workers. The proposed cuts are part of an austerity package being demanded by the Government in exchange for a 6 month period of ‘workplace reform’ including a return to the idea of ‘driverless trains’ and an attack on workers’ pension schemes. However, RMT’s research shows that the amount of passenger revenue generated per member of staff has grown significantly across London Underground and Overground and that London’s Transport workers have delivered significant productivity growth in the last 10 years. Far from being a cost to be managed, staff should be at the heart of ‘building back better’ and the real financial problem at TfL is its growing debt burden read more

Coalition of Londoners calls for an end to ‘appalling attack’ on the Capital’s transport (29 Oct) – A coalition of organisations have today joined together in a letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, calling on him to end his government’s attack on the capital’s transport system, 48 hours before negotiations between the government and TfL over a new funding deal are due to end read more read more

Sign this petition: RMT steps up campaign for TfL funding

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

RMT condemns disgusting Halloween nightmare jobs assault on over eighty staff at Liverpool’s world-famous Adelphi Hotel (29 Oct) – Adelphi Hotel union RMT has today condemned a shock announcement by management at the world-famous landmark establishment in Live‎rpool that they are to lay off over eighty staff when the Government furlough scheme ends at the weekend. RMT has called for an investigation into possible abuse of the furlough scheme as it said that the hotels owners stand accused of using the job retention package with no intention of keeping the staff financially afloat when it ends. RMT intends to step up the public and political campaign to defend the jobs, the loss of which would be another savage blow to the Liverpool economy read more

Support RMT strike on SERCO Caledonian Sleeper – Email messages of support via info@rmt.org.uk and send donations to RMT, Unity House, 39 Chalton Street, London, NW1 1JD read more

Sign the petition to: Ryan Flaherty, Managing Director, Serco Caledonian Sleeper & Bill Reeve, Director of Rail, Transport Scotland

Keep staff and passengers safe – Tackle worker fatigue at Serco Caledonian Sleeper

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

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

 

TSSA

TSSA welcomes Doreen Lawrence BAME Covid report (27 Oct) – Transport union TSSA has welcomed the “light” shone on Covid and BAME communities in a report by Baroness Doreen Lawrence for the Labour Party which was published today. Victoria station transport worker and TSSA member Belly Mujinga died from coronavirus in April 2020 and her story was one of many which helped to bring attention to the impact of Covid-19 on BAME workers read more

Recognition for GTR Controllers Agreement Reached (27 Oct) – TSSA has this week signed a recognition agreement with train operating company Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) for Control TSM staff. Transport union TSSA has fought long and hard to secure trade union recognition for this vital group of railway workers based in Three Bridges, Victoria and York. The recognition deal was reached voluntarily through negotiation after TSSA clearly exceeded the membership threshold within the Control bargaining unit read more

 

ASLEF

TfL Funding Deal Secured (2 Nov) – Transport for London has agreed a deal with the UK Government for funding to enable the capital’s transport network to keep running for another six months. The network has been under significant financial pressure due to the impact of Covid-19 meaning that passengers drop to a fraction of their normal levels read more

 

Unite

Biomedical scientists carrying out Covid-19 tests at Lancashire NHS trust ‘short-changed’ by £7,000-a-year (2 Nov) – Biomedical scientists in the frontline of Covid-19 testing at a Lancashire NHS trust are losing about £7,000-a-year because hardline bosses refuse to pay ‘the going rate for the job’. Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, said that the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is facing a retention crisis as underpaid biomedical scientists are voting with their feet and moving to other trusts in the north west that pay the correct Agenda for Change (AfC) pay rate. Now the 13 biomedical scientists, who carry out vital tests once patients have been admitted to hospital with Covid-19, will be balloted from Monday 9 November for strike action or industrial action short of a strike. The ballot closes on Thursday 19 November. The crux of the dispute is that the biomedical scientists have been held back on Band 5 (AfC), despite qualifying for Band 6 (just under £38,000-a-year) due to working unsupervised for a number of years. The majority of Unite’s 13 members have lost about £7,000 annually as Band 5 pays about £30,000 read more

Welcome for Belfast City Council U-turn on lay-off of 140 casual workers employed at Waterfront & Ulster Hall, reversing a decision branded as ‘shambolic’ by councillors (2 Nov) – Funding is provided by council to meet wage supports needed by Government’s job support scheme guaranteeing workers’ income to end of current tax year. As a result of other decisions taken at tonight’s council meeting, Unite will demand Greenwich Leisure Ltd provides all workers employed at leisure centres the same voluntary redundancy terms as council staff read more

Transport for London funding agreement a ‘fair deal’ but challenges remain warns Unite (1 Nov) – Unite the union, which represents thousands of workers employed throughout public transport in London, has given a cautious welcome, to the funding deal achieved by London mayor Sadiq Khan, which will keep public transport in the capital running read more

Unite members at Hoyer Petrolog call off strikes, following agreement with management (30 Oct) – Unite members at Hoyer Petrolog, who were due to start strike action on Monday (2 November), have now resolved their dispute, which had arisen following the announcement of redundancies at Stanlow. The drivers employed at Hoyer are responsible for delivering petroleum products from the Stanlow oil refinery in Cheshire to numerous retail outlets across the north and North West read more

Minister urged to reveal legal advice over decision to walk away from BiFab (30 Oct) – Following yesterday afternoon’s crucial summit over the future of stricken renewables manufacturing firm BiFab, joint trade union leaders have today (Friday 30 October) written to the cabinet secretary for Economy, Fair Work & Culture Fiona Hyslop MSP, urging transparency over legal advice which led the Scottish government to withdraw financial guarantees to support the manufacture of eight turbine jackets for the Neart na Gaiothe (NnG) offshore wind project read more

Aviation unions warn Scottish government: “Doing nothing is not an option” in fight for jobs (29 Oct) – Aviation unions have warned the Scottish government that “doing nothing is not an option” as thousands of airport jobs are threatened by redundancy and cuts with the end of the furlough scheme. Joint trade union representatives will meet with the Scottish government cabinet secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity this afternoon (Thursday 29 October), where they will table proposals for defending jobs and the future of Scotland’s aviation sector read more

Heathrow’s cash mountain should be used to help staff threatened by ‘fire and rehire’, says Unite (28 Oct) – Heathrow Airport Ltd (HAL) needs to dip into its cash mountain to protect airport jobs during the pandemic, after its boss boasted that it had reserves for the next 15 months ‘even if we had no passengers’, Unite said today (Wednesday 28 October). HAL chief executive John Holland-Kaye said this morning that the company had cash reserves to carry it through the next two years at least – 15 months with no passengers using the airport which was not expected to happen. This was despite posting a £1.5bn loss in the first nine months of this year. Unite said that HAL had got its priorities wrong with generous pay-outs to shareholders, including the Qatari royal family, one of the world’s wealthiest families, and well-padded remuneration packages for top HAL executives. Instead, HAL has issued notices to ‘fire and rehire’ staff on vastly inferior pay and conditions which will mean workers losing up to £8,000 per annum – about 25 per cent of their pay. The proposals will affect about 4,000 workers employed by HAL. Members of Unite employed directly by HAL, including security officers, engineers, airside operatives and firefighters, are currently balloting for industrial action over these plans with the ballot closing on Thursday 5 November read more

Optare workers strike over broken ‘promise’ to increase pay – Unite members at bus manufacturer Optare, in Sherburn-in-Elmet, on the outskirts of Leeds, took the first strike in a series of discontinuous 48 hour strikes starting on 15th October, alongside a continuous overtime ban read more    Strike fund details for Unite Optare strike –  The account name is Unite NE/200/1 Optare Branch, acc number 20327132 sort code 608301 and the bank is Unity Trust Bank. Send messages of support to davidbrain99@icloud.com (Optare shop steward)

Unite: Three weeks of strike action announced at Rolls-Royce’s Lancashire factory in battle to prevent jobs being offshored (26 Oct) – Workers at the historic Rolls-Royce factory at Barnoldswick in Lancashire will embark on three weeks of targeted strike action beginning next month, as part of the campaign led by Unite the union, to preserve the viability of the factory. In August, Rolls-Royce announced that it was intent on offshoring the production of its Trent Engine blades, which are made at Barnoldswick to a factory in Singapore, with the loss of 350 workers. Unite believes that this would make the factory, which Rolls-Royce has owned since 1943 and is the cradle of the jet engine, potentially unviable. Earlier this month, members of Unite returned a 94 per cent ‘yes’ vote in favour of industrial action. Unite delayed issuing strike dates to give Rolls-Royce a final chance to alter its plans by cancelling its offshoring proposals or by ensuring that Barnoldswick remains viable by introducing similar work and employment levels, to settle the dispute over compulsory redundancies, but with no such commitments forthcoming strike action has been called 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

PCS pay petition passes 72000 after Super Saturday (2 Nov) – Thanks to all PCS members, reps, advocates and staff who volunteered to text members about the PCS pay petition on Saturday, your efforts meant more than 11,000 more people signed over the weekend. Hundreds of people volunteered to take part in Super Saturday as we texted all members who have not yet told us they have signed the PCS pay petition for fair pay for UK government workers as we try to get to 100,000 signatures. 100,000 signatures could force a House of Commons debate on civil service pay and will massively increase the spotlight on the government to offer fair pay rises for our hard-working members who have helped to keep the country running during the coronavirus pandemic read more

Talks on new Government Communication Service escalate (2 Nov) – PCS has repeated our demands for no compulsory redundancies. At the meeting on 29 October we were told that 6,000 staff are now potentially in scope of the Project (the initial figure had been 4,000).  Senior managers in so-called “Arms length bodies” (ALBs) are being talked to concerning whether their organisations should be in scope and the project team is working up an initial business plan read more

PCS wins big bonus payment for low paid outsourced workers on BEIS ISS contract (27 Oct) – In April, the BEIS London South branch made a claim for a bonus payment for ISS security guards and cleaners who had worked throughout the coronavirus pandemic in BEIS London HQ buildings. The members are employed by ISS but BEIS hold the purse strings. In response BEIS agreed in principle to provide the money for ISS to pay a bonus but despite constant demands by the branch BEIS failed to come up with an amount. Fed up with delay, words and no action from BEIS the branch threatened to ballot the security guards and cleaners for strike action read more

Discussions to take place with Cabinet Office over redundancy payments (27 Oct) – The government’s £95,000 cap on redundancy payments across the public services is due to start from 4 November. PCS has pressed the Cabinet Office for consultation in relation to the implementation of the government’s £95,000 cap on redundancy payments across the public services. The Restriction of Public Sector Exit Payments Regulations 2020 were signed by the Minister in mid-October and come into force 21 days later on 4 November 2020. However, the Cabinet Office has accepted that there must be consultation with unions in the civil service prior to implementation read more

PCS launch petition and pledge to fight redundancies at National Museums in Liverpool – We have launched a public campaign and petition to fight redundancies at National Museums in Liverpool. Management at the museums warned that there might be compulsory redundancies next year but not before negotiations took place. However, the commercial arm of the museums, National Museums Liverpool Trading immediately moved to make workers in the cafés, shops and events, redundant with just 4 weeks’ notice. These employees have been working and supporting the running of museums as “essential staff” since July. The union understands that over 20 employees are being made redundant but the company which doesn’t recognise trades unions is refusing to engage with PCS 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

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

Loomis cuts more than 200 jobs in crushing blow to cash industry (3 Nov) – GMB Union is calling on the Government to take action to protect the cash industry before it disappears. Cash-handling company Loomis has announced more than 200 job cuts in a ‘crushing blow to the industry’, says GMB Union. The company will close branches at Southampton, Liverpool, Wembley and Glasgow Coin centre and reduce head count at other branches, cutting 222 jobs altogether. The cuts come on top of more than 300 announced by Loomis and more than 1,000 announced by G4S in the summer read more

Detailed clarification needed to reassure BBC staff (31 Oct) – GMB union has called on the BBC to clarify that its rules on impartiality do not discriminate against the rights of its employees to attend LGBTQ+ Pride marches. GMB, the union for BBC staff, has called on the BBC to provide urgent clarification to its staff surrounding new impartiality rules introduced by the corporation’s director of editorial policy and standards David Jordan read more

Disability pay gap risks becoming chasm (31 Oct) – We need drastic action from the UK government as TUC figures reveal widening pay gap for disabled workers. GMB, Britain’s General union have called figures released by the TUC showing a widening pay gap a “wake up call”. The analysis by the TUC, shows that pay gap has widened by £800 over the last year to £3,800 and that is expected to grow as Covid-19 economic crisis hits. The figures also revealed that disabled women are paid on average around £6,700 less than non-disabled men and disabled workers worked around 60 days a year for free read more

GMB win: Full sick pay granted to carers in Wales (30 Oct) – GMB has welcomed today’s announcement that the Social care staff will be eligible for full sick pay from the Welsh Government. We have been campaigning since the spring for full sick pay for social care workers who are at the forefront of the fight against COVID in Wales. It’s essential that the workforce is financially protected when they are putting themselves at risk during the pandemic. Many social care staff are on minimum wage and cannot on live on SSP of £95 per week if they must self-isolate due to sickness or TTP read more

Stark figures spell disaster for families pressed for childcare (30 Oct) – A survey released today by the Early Years Alliance could spell disaster for the families of essential workers pressed for childcare read more

Somerset care ‘bully boy’ tactics won’t stop pay claim (30 Oct) – GMB, the union for social care staff has hit out after Somerset care’s refusal to meet with members’ representatives. After submitting the pay claim on behalf of hard-pressed care staff, the care provider immediately threatened to derecognise the union and refuse the staff pay claim for 2021. Somerset Care has 27 care homes across the South of West of England and offer a range of home care and support services read more

IKEA ditching living wage –‘no way to treat loyal workers’ (30 Oct) – GMB, the union for IKEA staff, has hit out after the company’s decision to ditch its commitment to being an accredited Living wage foundation employer. The move will effect around 300 key workers at Ikeas Distribution Centre in Fletton Parkway, Peterborough, who would have been guaranteed a pay rise in January after working diligently throughout the COVID pandemic. The union have hit out at the employer’s decision to disaffiliate, citing the company’s eye watering €39 Billion in sales in this financial year. The Swedish design giant committed to paying the Real Living Wage with the GMB union in January 2020 of this year, but their decision nine months on will leave key workers out of pocket read more

Yodel faces Christmas strike over ‘lump of coal’ pay offer (30 Oct) – Delivery firm faces vote on industrial action over ‘miserly’ pay offer after Covid-19 boom. Parcel carrier Yodel faces industrial action over the Christmas period as angry staff are being balloted for strike action over a pay offer branded ‘insulting’. They include Yodel drivers who have put themselves at risk to transport Covid-19 samples despite being paid just 11 pence above the minimum wage. GMB, the union for Yodel workers, begin strike ballots today for depots in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The ballots close at 12 Noon on Friday 13 November, paving the way for industrial action read more

 

Unison

UNISON welcomes government promise to improve hospital food (28 Oct) – Union supports the new recommendations to improve access to nutritious food for hospital workers. This week the government published a report of the independent review of NHS hospital food, with several key recommendations that align with UNISON’s demands. One major recommendation, supported by UNISON, is for funding to upgrade existing hospital kitchens and for the provision of ward kitchens, so all healthcare workers have access to food made on-site and when unavailable, their own meal preparation facilities at all times. UNISON has long been campaigning for better hospital food, in recognition that hard-working hospital staff need high-quality, nutritious and affordable food to support their stressful and demanding jobs read more

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

More redundancies in Technology exacerbate deepening industrial relations crisis (Oct 28) – More redundancies have just been announced  by BT Technology – three months into a bitterly disputed compulsory redundancy  situation that began in July  when the division announced 200 job losses under  ‘Phase 1’ of its ‘Transformation Programme’. The ‘Phase 2’ job cuts bombshell , revealed by management this morning (Wednesday), comes as a consultative ballot on strike action over the ‘Phase 1’ job losses is underway in a last ditch bid to  prevent the first ever compulsory redundancies amongst team member grades in Technology becoming  effective on  October 31. The result of that ballot will be announced tomorrow (Thursday) with the CWU hoping that an overwhelming demonstration of workforce fury at the way  ‘key workers’ colleagues who’ve worked through the pandemic to keep the country connected are being treated will shame management into an eleventh-hour rethink. As things stand, dozens of team member grade employees earmarked for compulsory redundancy in ‘Phase 1’ will have Friday as their final day of service read more

 

FBU

UK not ready for two national emergencies at once, firefighters warn (2 Nov) – Fire and rescue services won’t be ready for major threats to the UK without more firefighters, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has warned, as new figures show brigades have faced the Covid-19 pandemic with 11,237 fewer firefighters than in 2010. The combined threats of climate change related events such as flooding and wildfires, pandemics, terrorism, and the post-Grenfell building safety crisis will require the immediate funding for at least 5,000 firefighters in the next year, the FBU says, to ensure the fire and rescue service can tackle “the risks of today and tomorrow” read more

Boris Johnson urged to deliver emergency funds to protect London from £20m of fire cuts (29 Oct) – London firefighters have called on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to step in and protect London Fire Brigade from £20m worth of “deadly” cuts that could seriously damage fire cover just as the city faces a pandemic, a building safety crisis exposed by Grenfell, and the threat of terrorist attacks. New figures reveal that, despite increasing firefighter numbers by 53 (1%) over the last year, London Fire Brigade still has 1,177 fewer firefighters than in 2010, showing the city “still hasn’t recovered from the damage” inflicted when Boris Johnson was Mayor, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) says. As Mayor, Johnson cut London Fire Brigade’s (LFB) budget by £150m, closing 10 fire stations, scrapping 27 fire engines, and slashing firefighter numbers by 1,242. Now his government is so far refusing to provide emergency financial support to Sadiq Khan’s City Hall which is having to make up a £431m deficit brought on by the pandemic, £20million of which is set to be made up through cuts to London’s fire service. The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has said the Prime Minister must provide emergency financial support to City Hall or risk “finishing the job he started as Mayor” 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/

 

NUJ

NUJ demands action to protect and safeguard journalists ​on UN end impunity day (2 Nov) – A survey by the National Union of Journalists has uncovered shocking evidence of abuse and harassment, with journalists revealing they have been punched, threatened with knives, forcibly detained, kicked and spat at. As well as physical assault, NUJ members are being threatened online and offline, including death threats, rape threats and other threats to their families and homes read more

Journalists’ killings – masterminds are walking free (2 Nov) – On the international day to end impunity for crimes against Journalists the IFJ has launched a global campaign targeting those who order crimes against journalists and go unpunished, demanding governments take urgent steps to put an end to impunity and protect press freedom. In the past decade 998 journalists have been killed and IFJ reports show that 30 media workers have been killed so far in 2020, most of them were local journalists read more

STV (30 Oct) – Following a series of complaints by members of the STV news chapel of the NUJ about the conduct of a member of senior management, the NUJ would like to thank those individuals for speaking out. The individuals concerned have shown immense courage, strength and fortitude in standing up and seeing the process through to its conclusion. The NUJ supports any member who wishes to raise concerns about conduct in the future read more

NUJ calls for urgent meeting with BBC over social media guidelines (30 Oct) – Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said: “Following the publication of the guidelines yesterday, the NUJ sought an urgent meeting with the BBC to address our members’ concerns about the changes could constrain individuals’ ability to meaningfully participate and engage in issues that matter to them – whether that’s in their trade union, their communities or in events such as Pride. The director general’s confirmation this morning that attendance at Pride would not be a breach is obviously welcome – that the clarification proved necessary shows that further clarity is needed. It’s disappointing that there was no consultation with staff unions on these changes ahead of them being announced, and we’ll be raising all the concerns NUJ members and reps have shared with us when we meet the BBC.” Read more

Government must not reverse changes in universal credit for freelances (29 Oct) – The NUJ is backing efforts by the TUC and Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) to persuade the UK government to keep the suspension of the Minimum Income Floor (MIF) in place until the pandemic is over to prevent freelances from further hardship read more

 

Prospect

Union condemns dismissal of 122 trainee air traffic controllers and calls for urgent halt to plans (29 Oct) – Prospect union, which represents air traffic controllers, has condemned plans by national air traffic management operator NATS to dismiss 122 trainee air traffic controllers. 40 of those had less than two months of training left until they were due to receive their student controller licence read more

 

Equity

Equity’s General Secretary reacts to second lockdown (31 Oct) – Paul W Fleming, Equity General Secretary: “Equity members will have felt a mixture of rage and confusion after tonight’s announcement from the Prime Minister. Our union is here to voice that anger, and provide some clarity. For members working in film and TV we can give clarity: under this new national lockdown from Thursday, film and TV production will continue. This is testament to our success in ensuring a strong culture of testing and health & safety for our members working in those sectors. Thanks to our efforts, and those of the whole industry, a decent, albeit imperfect, insurance scheme will keep these workplaces open…” read more

Creators’ Rights Alliance calls for increased and tailored support for creative workers (30 Oct) – Equity, alongside other creative membership organisations and trade unions, has called on Chancellor to fix the flawed SEISS and protect our world leading creative industries. Speaking on behalf of almost 350,000 creative professionals the Creators’ Rights Alliance (CRA) and its members are calling on the government to offer tailored support to hard-hit creators and ensure the safe reopening of indoor venues supporting creators safely back to work. Creators continue to face real hardship as a result of the pandemic. Practically overnight they saw an end to live performances and a significant reduction in commissions, leaving many creators with a considerable reduction or complete suspension of income read more

 

USDAW

PM must address the impact of a second lockdown on retail says USDAW (2 Nov) – Shopworkers’ trade union leader Paddy Lillis has called on the Prime Minister to use today’s statement to the House of Commons to set out measures to support the retail industry through a second lockdown 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)

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

Talks at WRC to end Debenhams dispute end without resolution. An Taoiseach must act now! (2 Nov) – Following an invitation by the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) representatives of Mandate Trade Union and the Debenhams Liquidators (KPMG) met on Friday 30 October 2020 to participate in an ad hoc process aimed at exploring ways which might assist the parties find a mutually acceptable resolution to the Debenhams industrial dispute. Despite best efforts to find a solution to the impasse the WRC talks broke down without agreement read more

 

SIPTU (Ireland)

SIPTU calls for Government assistance for aviation workers following flight cancellations (28 Oct) – SIPTU representatives have called on the Government to provide immediate assistance to aviation workers in regional airports following the announcement by Ryanair, today (Wednesday, 28th October), that it intends to cancel all flights from Cork, Shannon and Knock airports for four weeks during November read more

 

UVW

BREAKING NEWS!! Bosses at care home in North London agree to negotiate as care workers vote to strike (3 Nov) – United Voices of the World (UVW) has received notice that Sage Nursing home management are willing to enter talks to resolve a dispute with care workers and domestics at the North London care home. The offer to negotiate comes despite Sage’s refusal to agree to formally recognise UVW for the purposes of collective bargaining, something that the Central Arbitration Committee, CAC, is currently deciding on. The news follows months of organising and a worker led campaign for parity with NHS workers, including £12 per hour and NHS sick pay and annual leave. After months of being ignored, the majority migrant and ethnic minority workers recently returned a 100% yes vote in favour of strike action. This is believed to be the first strike ballot in the adult social care sector demanding £12 an hour. In response, Sage Trustees Adrian Jacobs and Stephen Goldberg – who form part of a small group of Trustees with billionaire property developer and so-called philanthropist Benzion Freshwater – have agreed to try and settle the dispute. The care workers have reacted with defiance and resilience read more

Hospitality workers secure two years of unlawfully withheld holiday pay  (Oct 29) – Twenty-four workers at a well-known London nightlife venue submitted a group employment tribunal claim for two years worth of unpaid holiday pay. Their boss had classified them as ‘self-employed’ and therefore excluded them from basic rights like holiday and sick pay. But the boss conceded before the claim went to tribunal, and our members received two years of backdated pay, the maximum amount payable under law. If the claim had gone to tribunal, UVW believes that our members would have been found to be falsely classified as ‘self-employed’. Workers at the venue are required to work a minimum number of shifts on a rota system and their work is directed and scrutinised by a management team. This level of control clearly indicates they are ‘workers’ or even ‘employees’ under employment legislation. Because of their ‘self-employed’ status, our members also weren’t eligible for the furlough scheme when Covid-19 began. Winning holiday pay is the first step for these members, who are demanding to be brought in-house on proper employment contracts including the London Living Wage and occupational sick pay read more

 

IWGB

Deliveroo couriers in Yorkshire to boycott two major restaurant chains in response to plummeting rates – Our members have demonstrated inspiring unity, commitment and determination, hosting consecutive 12-hour boycotts with great success. The dispute comes as Five Guys is making couriers wait on average fifteen to forty minutes for an order. Meaning some couriers will only be making one order in an hour earning less than four pounds. How are you supposed to raise your children or pay your rent on that kind of money? We’ve experienced unprecedented community and wider union support in our action, and we will continue to strategize wider action against Deliveroo, and its perpetrators of exploitative work. Our families shouldn’t have to go hungry so others can eat cheaper read more

Strike fund donation details:-

Donations can be made to the CLB at the bottom for this page – https://iwgb.org.uk/page/clb

If any NSSN members would like to contribute to our cause in a non-monetary manner, we are planning a Halloween Event, an invitation will follow this email, but presence of on the ground supporters will be appreciated, and if willing, volunteers to help out are critical to our success.  This is all COVID dependent, but their remit would mainly involve flyering couriers outside of hotspot restaurants close to Five Guys. The rest of the day’s timetable will be released ASAP and with the official invitation

 

CAIWU

The campaign to protect the jobs of 15 Facebook office cleaners that were hired through Bidvest Noonan and JLL has proven VICTORIOUS! (30 Oct) – On Thursday, October 29th at night we were informed that Bidvest Noonan decided not to proceed with its restructuring plans. This guarantees 15 jobs to 15 employees at risk of redundancy. In a pandemic moment, the role of cleaners is critical to getting back to normal and it’s a total injustice to end these jobs one month before the Furlough system changes. CAIWU Initially started a brokering for cleaners as the work case was sustained on the premise that Facebook had no money to hold work shifts. Facebook has been one of the top profit companies during the pandemic, and in addition, they launched a new office building. Facebook had made public its intention of not putting its workers down. This includes the cleaners. This is how a process of hard work, negotiation and diffusion started to exert pressure on all three companies. Protests were held at Facebook offices, pressure for social networks and our legal team made sure to consolidate a case that demonstrated the arguments without fundamentals expressed by Noonan and JLL. TODAY WE ARE PROUD AND HAPPY. We can celebrate reversing the re-engineering and all the cleaners will be able to continue working with their intact contracts. This is why any activity (protest) scheduled for today is CANCELLED. WE ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF A PANDEMIC and we need to continue united and support each other. Thank you to everyone who participated and helped in this campaign. We keep going stronger! CAIWU Facebook group

 

 

 

Other news

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’

 

 

Fight blacklisting and victimisation of union reps

Undercover Police Public Inquiry starts Monday 2nd November

After a five and a half year delay, the public inquiry into the systematic human rights abuse carried out by undercover political police finally starts on Monday 2nd November. The union strand of the public inquiry consists of the Blacklist Support Group, eight individual blacklisted workers, UNITE, Fire Brigades Union and National Union of Mineworkers, who have all been granted core participant status – as the state has already admitted spying on us. After nearly a decade of campaigning, we will finally hear evidence from the undercover police and their senior managers who spied on unions, MPs, anti-racist campaigners, the families of murder victims, environmental and political activists.

The inquiry starts with Opening Statements from the police & those targeted by the UK’s political policing units. Dave Smith speaking on behalf of the Blacklist Support Group, John Hendy representing UNITE & FBU and Gareth Pierce representing NUM speak on Fri 6th Nov. There is still a legal argument taking place over whether the public will be allowed to see the evidence live streamed or only view transcripts afterwards.

We do not expect the state investigating itself to provide ‘justice’. Our participation is based on exposing at least some evidence of the institutional racism, institutional sexism and anti-union bias of the police & security services to public scrutiny. To follow the public inquiry via social media search for the hashtags: #SpyCops #SpyCopsInquiry

Blacklist Support Group thanks everyone who has helped us get to this stage and sends solidarity to all non-state core participants

 

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

 

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

FCC dismiss Tony Smith Hull Unison Activist

Trade Unionists and activists will be outraged to hear that Unison activist Tony Smith’s dismissal has been upheld by FCC. As previously reported, Tony’s dismissal on trumped up charges was because of his trade union activities. It took nearly five weeks from the appeal to the outcome for FCC to confirm the sacking. Tony has faced the mental torture of not knowing whether he has a job or not, but the time taken reflected that dismissing him was not a simple issue because of the high profile that Tony has in the local Labour movement. Unison will be seeking compensation and the campaign focuses on Hull City Council to end its contract with FCC. Mick Whale Chair Hull Trades Council

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!

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

#EndSWAT: Outrage in Nigeria at government trick: Send solidarity messages to YRC read more 

 

 

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