NSSN 513: Support the Heathrow strike against savage wage cuts

December 1, 2020 in Bulletins

Heathrow Strike – Workers walkout over savage wage cuts from Unite website (30 Nov)

December 1st Unite Heathrow strike

December 1st Unite Heathrow strike

Unite members employed at Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL) will be on picket lines on Tuesday 1 December in the dispute over the savage wage cuts imposed on the workforce through a brutal fire and rehire programme.

Alongside the picket lines an ad van will be touring Heathrow and the surrounding areas with the messages:

  • “Heathrow’s super-rich shareholders are jetting off with workers’ wages’,
  • Heathrow’s chief executive officer John Holland Kaye will also be portrayed as the Grinch alongside the message “Heathrow Grinch CEO is stealing workers’ wages”
  • “Stop Heathrow’s billionaire-backed wage cuts”.

The ad van will be unveiled for a photo opportunity at 11:00 outside of Unite’s Heathrow office. Local MPs and striking Heathrow workers will be in attendance.

WHEN: Tuesday 1 December 11:00

WHERE: Unite House, 99 New Road, Harlington, Middx UB3 5BQ

Unite will be maintaining three strictly socially distanced picket lines during the dispute at Hatton Cross tube station TW6 3PF, on Bath Road by the A4 roundabout TW6 2AA and also on Bath Road near the ambulance/fire house TW6 2AA.

Unite recorded an 84 per cent yes vote among its members at HAL, in opposition to the fire and rehire policies that will result in workers suffering permanent pay cuts of up to £8,000 per annum, which is 25 per cent of their take home pay.

As a result, Unite has called targeted strike action of workers who are critical to the operation of the airport involving: firefighters, engineers, campus security, baggage operations, central terminal operations, landside and airside operations.

Unite has warned that despite the union representing thousands of workers who will still be at work, HAL has refused to discuss its contingency plans for keeping the airport open and as a result the union has raised serious safety concerns.

The strike action on Tuesday 1 December is highly symbolic as it is the day when the workers’ ‘poverty’ contracts begin to take effect.

Unite regional co-ordinating officer Wayne King said: “Workers face losing their homes and surrendering their cars due to the savage cuts being imposed on them. These cuts are all about greed and not need. HAL and John Holland Kaye are guilty of using the Covid pandemic as cover for forcing through long held plans to cut pay. If this was genuinely about the pandemic any cuts would have been temporary. Unite have tried to negotiate temporary pay cuts but Heathrow were simply not interested. HAL has claimed that under its ‘contingency plans’ Heathrow can operate safely but despite seeking the evidence to prove this, that information has not been forthcoming, raising serious questions about how the airport will operate during the strikes. The dispute will undoubtedly cause widespread disruption but it was taken as an absolutely last resort by members who simply can’t afford the cuts HAL is imposing on them.”

Following the initial day of strike action there will be further strikes on Monday 14 December and then a two day stoppage on Thursday 17 December and Friday 18 December.

Operating Heathrow during strike action could risk safety warns Unite the Union (30 Nov) – Unite, the UK’s principal aviation union, has warned that it has very serious concerns about the safe operation of Heathrow airport when the first targeted strike action, in the dispute over firing and rehiring the workforce and slashing their pay and conditions, begins tomorrow (Tuesday 1 December). The strike action will involve firefighters, engineers, campus security, baggage operations, campus security, central terminal operations, landside and airside workers read more

Stop the BA Betrayal! – This groundswell has been mobilised by reps and the campaign #BAbetrayal – a ‘crisis leverage campaign, which is part of Unite’s Leverage strategy. ‘Crisis leverage’ applies many of the same principles and takes a similarly robust, muscular approach but in a much more streamlined, nimble way. In a crisis like the current coronavirus pandemic, with a company behaving like British Airways, we have to move fast and to scale. Find out more and support the #BAbetrayal campaign by Joining the #BAbetrayal Facebook campaign and follow the @BAbetrayal campaign on Twitter. Sign the petition today

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

 

 

Fight together against the Tory Pay Freeze

Tory Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a public sector pay freeze last Wednesday. NSSN Chair Rob Williams said, “Just as the Tories are exposed over giving COVID contracts to their cronies and a day after a big rise in defence spending is announced, millions of public sector workers face yet another pay freeze.

“After standing on the front line, putting their lives at risk, they face sinking further into poverty. This is on top of a decade of Tory pay cuts that saw workers lose up to 14% of their income. Sunak cynically ‘exempts’ NHS workers from this pay cap but they won’t be fooled. Any rise will go nowhere close to the 15% rise demanded this summer by protesting health workers to close the gap on what has been lost on the last 10 years.

“The NSSN sends our solidarity to public sector workers and their unions. This announcement will take place virtually on the 10th anniversary of George Osborne’s brutal austerity offensive.  That cuts blizzard led to 2 million public sector workers walk out together on the November 30th N30 pensions strike.

“Workers need to fight together now to send the clearest message to the Tories and the employers: we won’t pay the price in terms of our jobs and income for your total mismanagement of the COVID pandemic and any economic crisis. Especially when the super-rich increase their wealth at our expense.

“The NSSN calls on the TUC and the unions to organise protests in towns and cities on Saturday December 5th to start the mobilisation of workers that can lead to the co-ordinated industrial action that we need to defeat the Tories and inflict on them yet another U-turn.”

Join these outdoor, socially distanced protests against the Tory public sector pay freeze this Saturday December 5th

Swansea Trades Union Council protest – Don’t let Workers pay for Covid Crisis! 12pm in Castle Square Facebook event

Cardiff Trades Council protest – Break the Tory pay freeze! 11am Cardiff Castle opposite Nye Bevan Facebook event

 

RMT responds to Chancellor’s economic statement

RMT pledges co-ordinated campaign to defend pay as Government eyes attack on living wage

Sunak’s ‘divide and rule’ on public sector pay ‘a body blow’, says Unite

PCS: Anger at pay freeze pushes petition past 100000 signatures

PCS slams chancellor for public sector pay freeze announcement

PCS steps up pay fight in parliament

GMB: Chancellor delivers pay cut for workers who carried us through pandemic

Unison: Divide and rule won’t help the economic recovery

FBU vows to fight on as Chancellor fails to deliver funding

NEU: Spending Review 2020 – Pay freeze is a body blow to education workers

NASUWT comments on Spending Review

Spending review a missed opportunity, says UCU

Prospect: By freezing thousands of public servants’ pay Sunak is undermining the public sector

Equity responds to public spending announcement

 

Support the NHS pay protests – Over the last few months, there have been 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 – [email protected]

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 [email protected]

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

 

 

Union News

RMT

NSSN sends solidarity to RMT Liverpool Traincare Centre Alstom Pay Dispute – no to a worldwide pay freeze

RMT calls for robust enforcement of COVID rules on buses (30 Nov) – TRANSPORT UNON RMT has written to all police and crime commissioners across England through the Association of Chief Police Officers asking them if they have robust plans to ensure bus passengers are wearing facial coverings on buses – the British Transport Police are patrolling trains on occasions to ensure compliance from rail passengers unless they are exempt read more

Rail union RMT calls for urgent meeting with Sir Peter Hendy to discuss Christmas transport plans (29 Nov) – RAIL UNION RMT today called for urgent talks with Sir Peter Hendy who has been put in charge of Christmas transport arrangements to discuss a range of operational and safety issues which are critical to delivering services safe for passengers and staff alike read more

RMT remembers the victims of the MV Swanland tragedy and commits to fight for higher seafarer safety standards (27 Nov) – SEAFARERS’ UNION RMT today remembered the six crew members who lost their lives on this day in 2011 when the MV Swanland sank in the Irish Sea read more

Sodexo ditches compulsory redundancy plan following RMT ballot threat (27 Nov) – Further to my previous Circular (IR/441/20, 3rd November 2020), I advised Sodexo that a dispute situation existed over its restructuring plans including 30 job cuts across TfL sites. The Lead Officer then met with the Company and it has now been confirmed that Sodexo no longer intends to make any compulsory redundancies. The National Executive Committee has congratulated all members, our reps and officer for their tireless work to prevent the planned redundancies amongst catering members working in London Underground canteens. This achievement was as a direct result of the efforts and commitment of all those affected and demonstrates the benefits of RMT membership and organisation read more

RMT responds to rail regulator’s report on financial impact of the pandemic (26 Nov) – Responding to the rail regulator’s report highlighting the financial impact of the pandemic RMT general Secretary Mick Cash said; “These figures show that it is absolutely vital that the taxpayer and fare payer gets value for money from the railway. Unfortunately, privatisation means that the profiteering from the private train and rolling stock alone is costing the industry at least £400m a year and the amount lost to profiteering will be far more after the profusions of sub-contractors have also had their slice. Now more than ever we need public ownership to ensure that every penny that goes into the railway is actually invested in the railway” read more

RMT calls for urgent support for Eurostar as Government inaction threatens the future of the service (25 Nov) – RAIL UNION RMT ‎has called for urgent Government financial support for the crucial Eurostar link to the continent, warning that a failure to act threatens the future of the service and the thousands of jobs that it supports read more

RMT responds to Chancellor’s economic statement (25 Nov) – General Secretary Mick Cash said; “It is shameful that the government is employing a policy of divide and rule of private and public key workers, all of who have risked their lives during the pandemic. RMT will have no hesitation in taking strike action to deliver our members the pay rise they deserve and in supporting national coordinated action to deliver pay justice for all key workers” read more

RMT pledges co-ordinated campaign to defend pay as Government eyes attack on living wage (24 Nov) – TRANSPORT UNION RMT said today that it will mount a co-ordinated campaign to defend wages and to protect the low paid as it was reported that the Government is planning to renege on commitments on the living wage read more

RMT Scotrail guards to strike at Glasgow Central over abuse of disciplinary procedures – RAIL UNION RMT confirmed today that Scotrail guards are to strike at Glasgow Central in a series of actions from the end of this month over the abuse of disciplinary procedures. Following a ballot RMT’s Lead Officer and local Union Reps have met to discuss the appropriate form of industrial action which has been approved by the unions executive as follows; All Scotrail Conductor members located at Glasgow Central are instructed not to book on for any shifts that commence between:

  • hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 29th November 2020
  • hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 6th December 2020
  • hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 13th December 2020
  • hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 20th December 2020
  • hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 27th December 2020
  • hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 3rd January 2021

Members are also instructed not to work any Rest Days, Higher Grade Duty or Overtime from 00.01 hours on Monday 30th November 2020 until 23.59 hours on Saturday 2nd January 2021 read more

Support RMT strike on SERCO Caledonian Sleeper – Email messages of support via [email protected] and send donations to RMT, Unity House, 39 Chalton Street, London, NW1 1JD read more    Sign RMT petition demanding Transport Scotland takes action over worker fatigue on the Serco Caledonian Sleeper

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

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

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: [email protected]  read more

 

TSSA

ORR Covid Report Highlights End of Rail Privatisation Era (26 Nov) – TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has said the annual report from the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) on the rail industry’s finances shows the effect of Covid-19 has left the era of privatisation “null and void”. ORR figures for 2019-20 showed the cost of the industry was £20.2bn, which was funded through fares and other passenger income (£11.6bn), government (£6.5bn) and other sources (£2.0bn) read more

Government ‘Must Not Sit On Their Hands’ Over Eurostar Survival Fight (25 Nov) – TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, is demanding action after cross-channel rail operator Eurostar warned it is “fighting for its survival”. Cortes said Ministers “must not sit on their hands” after the firm claimed it’s being treated unfairly with the aviation sector given extra assistance in the form of rates relief at airports because of the coronavirus crisis read more

 

ASLEF

Eurostar: Government Must Act (26 Nov) – ASLEF, has called for the government to intervene to prevent Eurostar going to the wall. The move comes after the company admitted it is ‘fighting for survival’. Mick Whelan, ASLEF’s general secretary, said: ‘Boris Johnson, Grant Shapps, and the rest of the Tory Cabinet must act now to save this service – for passengers, for the people who work on Eurostar, and for Britain as we get set to leave the European Union at the end of next month. ‘Train drivers, and the other workers who make up the train crew, together with all the other staff who keep our railways running, have been instrumental in moving passengers and freight around this country during the pandemic read more

Zero Covid Campaign (25 Nov) – ASLEF has recently affiliated to the Zero Covid Campaign. This campaign, whose supporters also include Independent Sage and Greater Manchester Hazards Centre, is demanding that the UK government adopts a Zero Covid strategy to eliminate, prevent, and quickly staunch further cases. The Zero Covid Campaign says that we could be living without the virus, and that the government’s sudden November lockdown U-turn is another sign of its incoherent pandemic policy read more

 

Unite

BREAKING NEWS!! Clipper logistics must ‘prioritise’ Milton Keynes and Leeds jobs following Arcadia collapse (1 Dec) – Clipper logistics must ‘prioritise’ jobs in Milton Keynes and Leeds connected to its contract with Arcadia Group following the retail giant’s collapse into administration, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Tuesday 1 December). Clipper signed a new contract with Arcadia this summer to deliver around 3,000 deliveries per week, which is now in doubt after the group, which includes Burtons, Topman and Dorothy Perkins, went into administration read more

BREAKING NEWS!! £20,000 wages’ axe for Greenwich housing repair staff threatens strike action (1 Dec) – Greenwich housing repairs could be seriously disrupted as more than 120 workers threaten to strike in the new year over a new pay system that could see some of them losing £20,000-a-year in wages. Unite the union accused their employer, the Royal Borough of Greenwich of reneging on a previous agreement, acting in bad faith and using Covid-19 as an excuse for the wages’ axe. More than 120 directly-employed carpenters, decorators, electricians and plumbers, who maintain the borough’s housing stock, voted by 98 per cent for strike action – but Unite is now allowing a breathing space for last-ditch talks to avert the announcement of strike dates. The crux of the dispute is a new pay system that could see up to £20,000 slashed from workers’ pay packets. Unite members are on pay scales ranging from £35,000 to £55,000. Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “However, you slice this to lose about £20,000-a-year living and working in one of the world’s most expensive cities is totally unacceptable. We believe that the council bosses are using Covid-19 as an excuse to implement the new pay scales  – and this is an act of bad faith, especially as they reneged on a previous agreement on pay. Again, it looks like the public sector workforce is being lined up as ‘the fall guy’ to pay for Covid-19, while those with links to the ‘no shame’ Tory establishment pocket millions from the inflated prices paid for vital PPE. The council now has a window of opportunity to row back from its hardline stance and negotiate a fair settlement, otherwise we will announce strike dates for the new year which will cause havoc to the maintenance programme of the council’s housing stock.” Unite Greenwich branch secretary Danny Hoggan said: “We have a huge mandate as a result of this vote – the message is very clear. It is time for the council to make a decision. The strength of feeling has been demonstrated by the size of the ‘yes’ vote. Our members will not be made to pay the price of Covid-19.” Read more

BREAKING NEWS!! Security guards at Reading hospital in ‘David and Goliath’ pay battle (1 Dec) – Security staff at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, currently locked in a ‘David and Goliath’ pay battle with their employer, will be striking for five days this month. The 20 security guards are striking from 07.00 on Monday 14 December until 19.00 Friday 18 December over the failure of their employer Kingdom Services Group Ltd to make a decent pay offer for 2020. The security personnel, members of Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, provide security for Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust. The lowly-paid security guards voted unanimously to take strike action against Kingdom Services Group, a major corporate service provider with a £100 million plus turnover read more

Aston Martin urged to give ‘cast iron’ assurances on continued future sports car production at Gaydon factory (30 Nov) – Luxury car maker Aston Martin is being urged to provide cast iron guarantees that its factory at Gaydon in Warwickshire will remain the centre for the UK and world-wide manufacturing and production of its top of the range sports cars read more

Leicester SPS Technologies workers’ in strike ballot over ‘opportunistic’ pay cuts of up to £3,000 (30 Nov) – Workers at aerospace parts firm SPS Technologies are being balloted for strike action over the company’s ‘opportunistic’ attempt to attack pay rates by as much as £3,000 a year, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Monday 30 November 2020). Around 200 staff from the workforce at SPS’ Barkby Road site were made redundant during the summer, with the remaining 280 now facing reductions to overtime pay, sick pay, paid breaks, shift premiums and other terms and conditions. The changes would see staff, most of whom are represented by Unite, lose between £2,500 and £3,000 from their annual salaries read more

Hull Croda strike ballot opens for workers at ‘end of tether over years of missing holiday pay’ (30 Nov) – Hull workers at chemical giant Croda Europe Ltd are at the ‘end of their tether over years of missing holiday pay’ and are being balloted for strike action, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Monday 30 November 2020). Around 90 Croda workers, who are members of Unite, are being balloted for strike action over the company’s failure to incorporate holiday entitlement into their shift rotas at its Oak Road site. As a result, shift workers at the factory have suffered miscalculations in their annual leave for as long as 21 years, with long serving staff owed thousands of pounds in holiday back pay. Unite said it is ‘particularly galling’ for the workers that Croda’s Oak Road factory is the only one of the firm’s sites where holiday pay is excluded from annual working hour calculations for shift rotas. Croda has previously acknowledged the mistake and in February 2020 offered to settle with the affected staff. The proposed settlement did not reflect adequate compensation for the amount of holiday pay lost, however, and Unite’s membership rejected the offer. If the ballot, which opens on Monday 30 November and closes on Monday 14 December, is successful, Unite said the resultant strike action will ‘severely hamper Croda’s ability to operate’ read more

‘£12,000 pay injustice’ row sparks strike action that will hit deliveries to Sainsbury’s stores in London and the south east, says Unite (30 Nov) – Deliveries to about 100 Sainsbury’s stores in London and the south east will be severely hit over the Christmas period as 12 drivers working for an outsourced firm stage six days of strikes over a £12,000 disparity in wages. The 12 drivers, employed by Harper & Guy Consulting Ltd at the Sainsbury’s Waltham Abbey distribution centre, have voted unanimously for strike action as they are paid £12,000 less a year than those directly employed by the retail giant. The drivers, who do a lot of hub collections bringing goods into the distribution system, will strike for 24 hours on 14, 15, 20, 21 and 22  December, as well as from 18.00 on Boxing Day to 17.59 on 27 December read more

Queens University must avail of eleventh hour opportunity to furlough students union workers to avoid escalating campaign for wage justice (30 Nov) – HMRC officials stand ready to receive application from Queens to furlough and backdate payments for student union workers ahead of midnight deadline. Unite legal department letter highlights that HMRC guidelines have been changed to remove any impediment to use of furlough in cases like this read more

Unite calls for government high street strategy as Arcadia faces administration (29 Nov) – The government needs to set out a post-Covid strategy to revive Britain’s ailing high streets, as retail giant Arcadia faces the prospect of administration, Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, said today (Sunday 29 November). Unite, which represents about 50 head office staff, made the call as media reports said that administrators for the company, run by controversial retail tycoon Sir Philip Green, could be appointed tomorrow (Monday 30 November), putting 13,000 jobs at risk read more

Blameless Arcadia workers could see pensions `stolen’ as government failed to beef up regulator role (28 Nov) – Unite, the UK’s leading union, has warned that if the Arcadia Group is forced into administration not only are up to 15,000 jobs at risk but current and former workers also face large reductions in future pension payments read more

HS2: Balfour Beatty and Vinci accused of allowing ‘Scrooge’ activities at Old Oak Common (27 Nov) – Unite, the UK’s construction union, has discovered that workers operating on the flagship HS2 project at the Old Oak Common site, are being systematically denied the correct pay rates, resulting in them losing hundreds of pounds a month. HS2’s Old Oak Common site is operated by a joint venture between major construction contractors Balfour Beatty and Vinci. The joint venture is using logistics contractor Munnelly to recruit workers to the site. Following concerns raised by Unite members working on the project, Unite has learned that Munnelly has employed workers on contracts paying only a basic rate for 55 hours a week and that they do not receive any increased overtime rates until they clock up additional hours read more

Airbus Filton first responders strike postponed for talks (27 Nov) – Securitas first responders working at Airbus’ Filton site have postponed strikes on Monday 30 November and Tuesday 1 December over contract changes that would result in wage losses of up to £6,000, to allow last minute talks to go ahead. Negotiations will take place between the workers’ union, Unite, and Securitas and the first responders will work as normal. If a solution is not found then strikes will resume on Wednesday 2 December. The 10 first responders and Unite members, who voted unanimously in favour of strike action, have been told that if they do not accept the changes, which also include reductions to holidays and sick pay, they will lose their jobs read more

“Excellent result” for nearly 3,000 Peabody housing staff covered under new Unite recognition agreement (27 Nov) – Unite has hailed the signing of a new recognition agreement with the Peabody Group housing association today (Friday 27 November) as an ‘excellent result’ for the nearly 3,000 staff it covers. The agreement covers nearly all of Peabody’s staff, who are located across London and the South East. Unite and Peabody also reached an agreement over the legal technicalities involved in the amalgamation of Peabody, Family Mosaic and Gallions in March 2018. This includes a settlement on behalf of Unite’s members at Peabody who were employees at the time of the amalgamation read more

Heineken Hereford staff ‘preparing to battle’ huge ‘sack and sign’ contract cuts (26 Nov) – Workers at Heineken’s cider brewery in Hereford, Herefordshire, are ‘preparing to battle’ a ‘sack and sign’ (SAS) ultimatum by the company that will see staff lose thousands of pounds in pay and benefits, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Thursday 26 November). Last week, Heineken announced that it intends to fire and rehire staff at the brewery, which makes Strongbow and Bulmers and where Unite has more than 200 members, on contracts that would result in huge pay reductions for many workers. The staff who stand to lose the most would be those affected by changes to retirement rundown benefits, while the company also plans to cancel Sunday shift premiums, cut holiday pay and change the terms and conditions for flexible working read more

Failure to boost sick pay with advent of new Covid-19 tier restrictions ‘a dereliction of duty’, says Unite (26 Nov) – Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “There’s not just a health and economic crisis engulfing this country.  Job insecurity and low incomes are endemic, too. “These tough new tier restrictions across most of England will not be successful unless the government puts a floor underneath workers’ incomes so that they can support this fresh effort to defeat the virus. Ministers knew full well that these restrictions were coming so the absence in yesterday’s CSR of any uplift on statutory sick pay to a level that people can live on, and where all workers who need it receive it, is a serious dereliction of duty…” read more

Doncaster Christmas bin strikes announced as Suez bullying and harassment dispute deepens (26 Nov) – Residents of Doncaster are set to be severely affected by a series of bin strikes over Christmas and New Year, as a result of the constant bullying and harassment of the workforce by outsourcers Suez Recycling and Recovery Ltd, who operate the town’s refuse and recycling contract. The members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, have voted by 94 per cent in favour of strike action. As a consequence Unite has announced strike dates on Wednesday 15 December, Thursday 24 December, Thursday 31 December and Monday 4 January. If the dispute is not resolved before the final date then further strikes heading further into 2021 will be called read more

Disgraceful Queens University decision leaves zero-hours workers facing impoverishment (26 Nov) – Official University response to collective grievance offers no hope to workers, 45 percent of whom have had to lost their accommodation due to financial hardship. Unite Hospitality organiser, Neil Moore, blasted the response of Queens University to a collective grievance raised by zero hours employees at student union facilities which have had to close temporarily due to Covid restrictions read more

Rolls-Royce Barnoldswick Christmas lockout and offshoring decision an act of industrial self-mutilation (25 Nov) – Rolls-Royce’s announcement that it will close its factory in Barnoldswick from this Friday (27 November) until after Christmas, while offshoring work around the globe, has been described as an act of ‘industrial self-mutilation’ by Unite the union, which represents workers at the plant. Unite members have been undertaking targeted strike action since 6 November, which was due to end on 24 December, in a campaign to secure the future of the historic factory, the cradle of the jet engine. The campaign has become known as the ‘Battle for Barnoldswick’ read more

Rolls Royce car rally

Rolls-Royce should heed chancellor’s urging and begin talks to ensure future of Barnoldswick (25 Nov) – Unite, the UK’s leading union, has called on Rolls-Royce to heed the urging of the chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak MP and enter into meaningful consultations and negotiations to preserve the long-term viability of its Barnoldswick factory. Unite revealed how Rolls-Royce are locking out its workforce for three weeks before Christmas in response to ongoing targeted strike action and it is transferring the work currently being undertaken at Barnoldswick around the globe read more

More Rolls-Royce Barnoldswick strikes announced as company set to be quizzed by MPs over offshoring plans Please send messages of support to: [email protected] #BattleforBarnoldswick #SaveOurSite.  Sign this petition to Rolls Royce and the UK Government: Save Our Site – Battle for Barnoldswick (Rolls Royce)

Biomedical scientists at Lancashire NHS trust to ‘work to rule’ in row over being ‘short-changed’ £7,000-a-year (24 Nov) – Biomedical scientists in the frontline of Covid-19 testing at a Lancashire NHS trust, who are losing about £7,000-a-year, will be ‘working to rule’ for three months which will delay the analysis of samples. The biomedical scientists have voted unanimously for industrial action as hardline bosses at the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust refuse to pay ‘the going rate for the job’. The 14 biomedical scientists, members of Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, carry out vital tests once patients have been admitted with Covid-19 at Chorley and South Ribble Hospital, and the Royal Preston Hospital. The ‘work to rule’ will start on Monday 7 December until Sunday 28 February 2021, and will affect late and night shifts as well as weekend working read more

Festive crisp famine feared as Warrington-based Eddie Stobart drivers on Walkers contract ballot for industrial action (24 Nov) – A series of broken promises and a proposed pay freeze by management at haulier Eddie Stobart Ltd, could result in a festive crisp famine, Unite, the UK’s leading union, has warned. The dispute is a result of Eddie Stobart refusing to recognise Unite for pay negotiations for lorry drivers on its Warrington-based Walkers crisp contract and then trying to impose a pay freeze on the workforce. The strike action ballot will open on Tuesday 1 December and will close on Wednesday 9 December. If, as expected, the members of Unite vote for industrial action, strikes will begin in Christmas week, which will quickly result in shortages in retail outlets read more

Covid fears spur workers at Noble Foods in the East Midlands to get organised (24 Nov) – Hundreds of essential workers at the poultry division of Noble Foods Ltd in Lincolnshire have won their battle to be represented by Britain’s leading union Unite. In March of this year, a health and safety issue at the Gainsborough site became a catalyst for the workers to get organised and win trade union recognition. In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, factory equipment was blowing cold air along a line of production workers, which staff feared had the potential to spread the virus. As soon as the issue was raised and the union intervened, the management quickly resolved the problem and fortunately there were no infections read more

Cardiff taxi drivers to stage protest in Cardiff city centre (24 Nov) – Unite members working as taxi drivers will step up their campaign for Welsh government support through a protest in Cardiff city centre. Unite’s taxi driver membership is calling upon the Welsh government to provide a financial package of support for the Welsh taxi trade. The income of Welsh taxi drivers has plummeted throughout the Covid-19 crisis and their ability to access adequate financial support to replace their lost income has left many of them struggling to pay their mortgages and feed their families. In addition to the Welsh government support for other sections of the Welsh transport system, Unite is calling for similar measures to cover taxi drivers read more

Plymouth faces ‘severe’ disruptions to Royal Navy vessel movements as Serco Marine tug strike ballot opens (23 Nov) – Royal Naval shipping movements around Plymouth could face ‘severe’ disruption if specialist tug operators at Devonport’s naval base employed by Serco Marine go on strike, Unite, the UK’s leading union, warned today (Monday 23 November). Around 40 tractor tug crew members are being balloted for strike action after Serco Marine announced that their working pattern would change from one week on and one week off to three weeks on and three weeks off. The duty rota changes also mean the workers will lose annual leave allocations. Unite said that its members are ‘extremely angry and ready to fight’ against the proposed changes, which will ‘dangerously’ increase fatigue amongst tug crews, who deal with a whole host of military vessels, including nuclear submarines. Moving from a one-week to a three-week rota will also adversely affect the crew members’ home and family lives. The ballot opens on Tuesday 24 November and will close on Wednesday 2 December, with possible strike action beginning as early as next month read more

Sign petition: St Mungo’s brutal treatment of BAME worker opposed by Unite – Without income for twenty-one weeks. Female worker comes to the end of a period of sickness during the pandemic. Health conditions put her at raised risk. She is also older and from a BAME background. Her normal job would expose her to further increased risk. Rather than furlough her or find her alternative work the employer simply stops her pay without going through any personnel procedure. Management reject appeals to senior levels from Unite leaving the worker without income and desperate for twenty-one weeks

Support the Optare workers – We encourage trade unionists and trade union branches to continue to send messages of support to [email protected] (Optare shop steward) and donations to the strike fund via bank transfer to:- Bank: Unity trust bank; Account name: NE/200/1 Optare Branch; Account number: 20327132  Sort code: 60-83-01

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 launches legal challenge to exit payment cap (30 Nov) – We have written to the government notifying it of our intention to launch legal proceedings over attempts to restrict redundancy and other payments. The Restriction of Public Sector Exit Payments Regulations 2020 came into force on 4 November 2020, which brought in a £95,000 cap on redundancy payments across the public sector read more

Anger at pay freeze pushes petition past 100000 signatures (27 Nov) – Widespread anger over the public sector pay freeze has seen the PCS petition for fair pay for UK government workers surge past 100,000 signatures. Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the freeze in public sector pay in the government spending review on Wednesday (25). And PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka said the freeze left civil servants and other public sector staff feeling a deep sense of betrayal. And since then more 10,000 additional people have signed our petition. Now that it has past the 100,000 mark it must be considered for a parliamentary debate. A pay freeze is a slap in the face for millions of public sector workers who have worked hard to keep vital services running during the pandemic. PCS called for a meeting on pay of all public sector workers at the TUC, which will take place on 7 December, because this is an issue for people in so many different parts of society. We thank all our members and supporters who have signed and shared our petition, showing their strength of feeling over pay after suffering over a decade of pay restraint. However, we don’t stop now. We want all members to sign the petition. And we want as many activists as possible to help us encourage our members to sign it. Aside from talking to work colleagues and friends, activists can sign up to volunteer to help contact members read more

PCS slams chancellor for public sector pay freeze announcement (25 Nov) – Rishi Sunak gave his spending review in parliament, detailing how the government planned to deal with the ongoing economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. He warned that unemployment officially could rise to 2.6 million by the middle of next year and that the government would borrow £394 billion to help deal with the economic fallout from Covid-19. NHS staff will get a pay rise but there was little joy for civil servants and other public sector workers within the review read more

PCS steps up pay fight in parliament (24 Nov)

Further developments on government communications plans (26 Nov) – PCS has met with the project team regarding the centralisation of communications work. Following talks earlier this month, PCS met with government officials today (26) about the project to centralise government communications that could lead to mass job losses and see government departments left with a maximum of just 30 communications professionals each, putting thousands of staff at risk read more

PCS members’ anger over cuts to international aid (26 Nov) – PCS members at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office strongly oppose the erosion of international aid work signaled by the chancellor’s announcement to cut international aid, and the union will reject any attempt at job cuts and forced redundancies 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

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

 

NIPSA

NIPSA Local Government Panel meeting with DFC Minister (26 Nov) – Useful meeting this morning (Wednesday 25 November) with DFC Minister re concerns around services and jobs impacted by Covid. The NIPSA Local Government Panel, Peter Boyle Chairperson, Alanagh Rea Vice Chairperson and myself met with the Department for Communities Minister Carál Ní Chuilín to discuss issues arising in respect of Local Councils and the Save Services Save Jobs campaign. The minister gave some welcome reassurances around securing the engagement of local council services and staff impacted by the pandemic and stated there should be no compulsory redundancies read more

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Strike – Members in NMDDC you are aware we recently held a ballot to gain your support for industrial action for strike and action short of strike action.

The results of all four unions:-

  • NIPSA members have voted in favour of strike action and action short of strike action.
  • SIPTU members have voted in favour of strike action and action short of strike action.
  • GMB members have voted in favour of strike action and action short of strike action.
  • UNITE members have voted in favour of strike action and action short of strike action

We will now seek to urgently negotiate a resolution to this dispute that will ultimately lead to:

  • a fair and equitable way to evaluate posts
  • a fair and equitable way of addressing pay and inequalities
  • a meaningful and inclusive way for negotiations into the future
  • a way to ensure we continue our best practices, eradicate our worst and improve as we see the need

Newry, Mourne and Down Council Strike Details

 

GMB

BREAKING NEWS!! Debenhams collapse to cause ‘catastrophic Christmas’ for 12,000 staff (1 Dec) – Ministers need to step-up and save our high streets before they turn into ghost towns. GMB, Britain’s general union, has responded to the ‘catastrophic’ collapse of high street giant Debenhams. 12,000 staff look set to lose their jobs in the coming months as the company announce 124 of their stores will ease trading. This follows months of uncertainty for the= retailer after it filed for administration in April this year read more

BREAKING NEWS!! Philip Green ‘must cough up for redundancy payments amid Arcadia collapse’ (1 Dec) – Loyal workers cannot be left with just a lump of coal this Christmas. GMB, the union for Spectrum for Arcadia workers, says disgraced peer Philip Green must fork out for redundancy payments as his retail empire collapses. Arcadia, which owns Topshop, Burtons and Dorothy Perkins, announced last night it had gone into administration, putting 13,000 jobs at risk. The company has tried to cut GMB – which represents workers in Arcadia’s distribution depots – out of negotiations at a time when workers will need union representation more than ever. Meanwhile communications from administrators suggests they expect the taxpayer to pay for redundancy and notice pay read more

BREAKING NEWS!! Worker dies amid Covid-19 outbreak at Bakkavor factory (30 Nov) – GMB Union calls on Bakkavor Tilmanstone Salads to offer mass testing to staff and full pay for all covid-related absence. A worker has died amid a coronavirus outbreak at a factory which produces food for Marks & Spencer. Cases at the Bakkavor/Tilmanstone Salads facility in Kent have rocketed from 35 in the third week of November to 79 by the end of the month. At least 97 staff have been instructed to self-isolate. The factory has 800 employees, but many of those are office staff currently working from home. GMB has called for the company to offer full pay to anyone taking covid-related absence, mass testing for staff and to perform a deep clean at the factory. So far the company has only agreed to ask staff to wear face masks after pressure from GMB Union. Bakkavor hit the headlines in April when GMB exposed a boss ‘threatening to sack staff who miss work amid the outbreak’ read more

GMB calls for parliamentary inquiry over amazon’s ‘dehumanising’ working conditions (27 Nov) – GMB calls for a parliamentary inquiry into ‘dehumanising’ working conditions at Amazon warehouses as the company enjoys mammoth Black Friday sales. GMB has projected a huge ‘Make Amazon Pay’ banner on the online giant’s London HQ as part of the Black Friday protests read more

Chancellor delivers pay cut for workers who carried us through pandemic (25 Nov) – There won’t be a ‘pause’ in how much rent, mortgages, food and transport costs. GMB, Britain’s general union, says the Chancellor’s Comprehensive Spending Review today delivers a real terms pay cut for the workers who carried the country through the pandemic read more

British Gas strike ballot to start in December (25 Nov) – British Gas workers could walk out on New Year’s Eve unless the company ‘takes gun off the table’. GMB has today announced dates for the British Gas strike ballot and possible first industrial action. The ballot will open on Tuesday, December 1st, 2020 and close Thursday, December 17th – with the first possible strike action to take place anytime from New Year’s Eve. Further strikes could be called throughout the winter. The industrial action ballot comes after British Gas owner Centrica threatened to ‘fire and rehire’ 20,000 workers if they didn’t ‘agree‘ to accept draconian cuts to their terms and conditions read more

First Minister calls on Centrica to ‘take threat off the table’ (25 Nov) – GMB, the union for British Gas workers, has renewed its calls on parent company Centrica to think again and come back to the negotiation table, after one of its biggest customers advised the company to do the same. In first minister’s questions earlier today (Tuesday 24 November 2020) Mark Drakeford responded to a question put forward on the issue by Huw Irranca-Daves MS, telling Centrica that the company would be ‘very well advised to take the threat off the table, to get back around the table and to work with GMB to negotiate a deal’. The Welsh government is one of British Gas’s biggest customers, administering a £200m contract to run NEST in Wales providing energy efficiency improvements to low-income households read more

GMB call on UK government to call in sale of AA to insist on viable plan for future of breakdown company (25 Nov) – A solution is required whereby the massive £2.6 billion debts are converted into equity to allow AA to escape from its pillaging so as to get on with its core business says GMB. GMB Southern are calling on the UK government to call in the sale of the AA, which is subject to shareholders approval, to insist on viable plan for future of breakdown company read more

Almost 60% of staff report covid outbreaks in their school (24 Nov) – School workers say they feel ‘scared for their life’, ‘anxious’ and ‘schools can never be covid safe’ in mass poll with more than 7,000 responses. Almost 60% of staff say covid outbreaks have taken place in their school since the start of the pandemic, according to a mass survey by GMB Union. More than 57% of the 7,100 school staff who responded to the poll said there had been confirmed cases at their school read more

Sign the GMB petition against the academisation of these Sussex schools! – We oppose the plans to turn Peacehaven Heights and Telscombe Cliffs Primary Schools in to academies. Sign our petition below if you oppose them too! GMB, the union for school support staff, oppose any plans to turn state schools into academies.  That is why we have set up a petition against the academisation of Peacehaven Heights and Telscombe Cliffs Primary Schools in East Sussex. Please sign and share our petition if you agree, at https://www.gmb-southern.org.uk/stop-the-academisation-of-peacehaven-heights-and-telscombe-cliffs-schools. Our flyer for distribution is also available to download on this page too! Read more

 

Unison

Universities call for urgent action on racial harassment in higher education (24 Nov) – “Black staff and students must have the same opportunities to develop their studies and careers as their white counterparts.” UNISON has welcomed the publication of new guidance to tackle racial harassment in the higher education sector. Universities UK (UUK) has published the new set of recommendations designed to decisively tackle racial harassment as part of wider efforts to address racial inequality in the UK higher education read more

Government must intervene to protect policing in Warwickshire (24 Nov) – Plans to cut 85 police staff roles must be halted. The government must step in to provide urgent funding in Warwickshire to prevent serious damage to local policing, says UNISON today (Tuesday). The union has written to policing minister Kit Malthouse MP to call for action to stop plans by Warwickshire’s Chief Constable to cut 85 police staff roles. These include 56 investigators, 9 domestic abuse risk officers, 10 intelligence officers and 10 multi-agency support hub staff read more

Woodchurch Road Primary School support staff to take strike action over cuts to hours – Twenty-one Wirral school workers have announced that they will take strike action on Thursday 3 December over Woodchurch Primary School’s proposal to cut their hours and pay by up to 20%. The school support staff- who stand to lose out as much as £3,885 in pay every year- voted 100% in favour of the strike. The teaching assistants and play workers- who had previously received the backing of local MP Mick Whitley- are supported by parents of schoolchildren and the local community. The school staff held an online meeting which has now been watched by almost 2000 people. The school staff’s trade union UNISON says that the meeting showed the “overwhelming support” for the Woodchurch workers and the opposition to the proposed cuts read more

Support striking Addiction support workers – 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 recently took 10 days of strike action 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 involved 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

CWU launches #CountMeIn consultative ballot in BT

BT Group-wide consultative ballot on industrial action gets underway as CWU patience snaps – Voting is now underway in what is undoubtedly the most important ballot involving the CWU’s entire BT Group membership since the 1987 national strike. At 1pm today electronic voting papers were despatched to almost 50,000 members across BT, Openreach and EE – with the union urging members to deliver an unequivocal message of defiance against an unprecedented company-wide assault on job security and hard won terms & conditions. In a significant  upping of the ante in the union’s Count Me In campaign against a belligerent management approach that has become endemic across the business, members are being  asked the direct question as to whether they would support a future vote for industrial action read more

New kick in the teeth for members as BT confirms its intention to slash team member redundancy terms (Nov 27) – The CWU has hit back at BT’s confirmation that it will be slashing redundancy terms that will apply across much of the company from June 1 next year. That announcement – emailed to staff yesterday along with a glossy e-booklet titled ‘Review of redundancy and paid leave terms outcome’ that is positively packed with images of beaming employees – vindicates repeated CWU warning to members that the package negotiated just two years ago as part of the 2018 Pensions Agreement is under dire threat. Parallel universe: the new severance terms are dreadful news for many. Sadly the CWU’s worst fears have now been realised, with the company confirming – after a consultation that the union believes was always a foregone conclusion – that it intends to effectively halve maximum redundancy entitlements for longer-serving employees from two years’ to one year’s money read more

New redundancy bombshell in BT Global set to deliver untold anxiety this Christmas (Nov 27) – More compulsory redundancies have been announced in BT Global, with the grim news set to be broken to the individuals affected in consultation meetings that will straddle the festive season. Hot on the heels of  the division’s move last month to place five team members  at risk of compulsory redundancy (CR) as a direct result of a cost-cutting decision to offshore their work to Hungary and India, bosses have now revealed their intention to cull six more loyal employees because of contract changes with  two third party companies. In one instance the CWU has been told the bloodletting is ‘necessary’ because of reduced demand for the service being provided – and, the other, because the contract has not been renewed read more

Multiple threats laid bare to Consumer members as consultative ballot on industrial action progresses (Nov 27) – Management accusations of CWU ‘scaremongering’ over unprecedented threats to job security and terms & conditions in BT Consumer have been compressively trounced in an electric Facebook Live session in which the seriousness of the situation was set out with unflinching candour. With voting underway in a BT Group-wide consultative ballot on industrial action (see story here), on Wednesday evening the particular and distinct challenges facing members in Consumer were not just laid bare but set in the context of an aggressive new management approach that has become endemic across the business read more

BT accused of disproportionately targeting women in multiple attacks on workforce (Nov 26) – Contrasts have been drawn between the public pronouncements of a company that likes to bask in the glory of equality and diversity plaudits and the actual effect of BT’s current full-scale assault on team member job security and Ts&Cs. In a withering assessment of the disproportionate impact of many of the changes being imposed by management on female employees, the company has been warned to practice what it preaches on equality issues before any further celebration of the multiple awards it has won over the years for its much touted commitment to equal opportunities in its employment policies read more

Compulsory redundancies in BT Group Functions reinforce importance of CWU fightback (Nov 25) – The first ever compulsory redundancies of team member grade employees in BT Group Functions are now in the process of reaching their sad conclusions – reinforcing once again the importance of the consultative ballot on industrial action that is underway across BT Group. Nearly a week after that crucial vote commenced last Thursday (see story here) the latest demonstration of an aggressive new management approach sweeping across BT Group follows hot on the heels of earlier compulsory redundancy exercises in Enterprise, and Technology and Global, the latter two of which are still ongoing, with dozens more due to be forcibly exited in the coming weeks and months read more

Don’t kill off the six-day postal service, CWU urges government (Nov 26) – The CWU have urged the government not to make a “knee jerk” move to reduce Royal Mail delivery days from six to five, warning that an Ofcom suggestion to cut services is the “worst possible” move. In today’s press statement, the UK’s communications regulator said that Royal Mail should “become more efficient” and “modernise” it’s parcel network read more

 

FBU

FBU vows to fight on as Chancellor fails to deliver funding (25 Nov) – The FBU has told its members to prepare for a tough battle ahead after Chancellor Rishi Sunak all but rebuffed the union’s campaign for urgent investment in the fire and rescue service and froze public sector pay. The union’s #FundTheFrontline campaign, launched in November, demanded the money to deliver at least an additional 5,000 firefighters in the next year to protect the public from growing risks such as mass flooding and wildfires driven by climate change, terrorism and the dangers posed by a crisis in building safety. However, delivering his Spending Review in Parliament on 25 November, Chancellor Rishi Sunak didn’t make any new funding announcement about the fire and rescue service. The Chancellor provoked fury by announcing a pay “pause” next year for all public sector workers outside the NHS and earning more than £24,000 per year. The earnings of workers whose pay is “paused” will not rise in line with inflation, amounting to a real-terms pay cut. The treasury does not directly set fire and rescue service pay, but allocates central government funding for fire authority budgets. Accounting for inflation, firefighter pay is now £4,000 lower in real-terms than in 2010. Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, called the move a “cold, hard, slap in the face” from “the same hands that applauded key workers…” read more

Invest in fire and rescue service or forget a green recovery, say climate groups and firefighters (24 Nov) – Firefighters, climate campaigners and scientists have urged Chancellor Rishi Sunak to invest in the fire and rescue service to protect the public and vital infrastructure from the devastating effects of climate change – or risk ruining the chance of a green recovery. In a letter to the Chancellor ahead of the Spending Review on 25 November, the Fire Brigades Union and climate groups including Green New Deal UK, Greenpeace UK, Friends of the Earth, and the Campaign Against Climate Change (CACC), call for the recruitment of “at least an additional 5,000 frontline firefighters in the next year” to deal with severe weather events such as mass flooding and wildfires that are “increasing in occurrence and intensity” read more

 

BFAWU

Sign ‘War on Want’ petition: END SEXUAL HARASSMENT AT MCDONALD’S McDonald’s has a sexual harassment problem. Women from across the world are joining together and speaking out about the harassment they have faced whilst working at the company. Workers in the USA have even been on strike about it. But still McDonald’s is refusing to take the action needed to end sexual harassment in its restaurants. The evidence is clear: a formal complaint submitted by workers in May 2020 shows at least seven countries where McDonald’s has failed to properly address harassment complaints, and the company’s global CEO even had to resign because of inappropriate relationships with employees. Please email McDonald’s UK CEO today and demand that the company listens to its workers and takes steps to end sexual harassment

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

Sign petition and support the strikes to Reinstate Sharon Morgan LONDON DESIGN AND ENGINEERING UTC – At the start of this term, teacher and NEU rep Sharon Morgan was summarily dismissed from her job by London Design and Engineering UTC. Sharon was sacked without due process, with no formal investigation or a hearing where she could put her case. At an employment tribunal the judge described LDE’s behaviour as “morally reprehensible” and LDE subsequently agreed to reinstate Sharon. But the next day LDE changed their mind and refused to reinstate her. In reality, Sharon was sacked for helping NEU members stand up for better working conditions for staff, in the interests of the whole school community. This is trade union victimisation and it’s unacceptable. The sacking of Sharon is an attack on all trade unionists at LDE, in Newham, and everywhere. There are further strikes this week from Tuesday to Thursday

Clinically extremely vulnerable staff (27 Nov) – NEU demand that clinically extremely vulnerable staff should work from home after lockdown. Today, the National Education Union met with schools minister Nick Gibb. We presented evidence of rising COVID-19 infection rates in primary and secondary schools and argued, on the basis of this evidence, that it was not safe for (CEV) school staff to return to workplaces from 3 December read more

Independent SAGE (27 Nov) – This is a welcome intervention by Independent SAGE, which once again exposes the enormous blind-spot that Government has towards schools read more

Spending Review 2020: Pay freeze is a body blow to education workers (25 Nov) – Commenting on the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Spending Review, Dr Mary Bousted, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said: “The Chancellor said he wants stronger public services but has delivered a body blow to staff in our schools and colleges. Education workers are key workers who have kept the country going during the pandemic, but pay cuts are their only reward from this Government…” read more

UCL research on Teacher Workload (25 Nov) – Evidence from report shows teachers are still working amongst the longest hours in Europe read more

Attendance figures update (24 Nov) – School attendance continues to fall in the face of the pandemic. The latest school attendance figures show a collapse in school attendance due to the spread of coronavirus in schools. 876,000 pupils did not attend school last week for reasons related to coronavirus. More than 1 in 5 (22%) secondary pupils were absent and 1 in 8 primary pupils (13%). Three quarters (73%) of secondary schools had pupils self-isolating up from two thirds (64%) the week before. Almost a third of primary schools (29%) had pupils self-isolating, up from a fifth (22%) the week before read more

Support Newham Little Ilford School strikes against unsafe expansion – NEU members are taking strike action at the enormous comprehensive in Manor Park, east London, which already teaches 1,470 students. Labour-run Newham Council wants it to take 1,800

Sign petition: Newham Council is trying to force Little Ilford School to expand to 1800 pupils. But expanding will mean an overcrowded school and an overwhelming environment for all staff and pupils. It will undermine the quality of education and care that can be provided to pupils. And the expansion is opposed by virtually the entire staff body

 

NASUWT

Gateshead teachers take strike action (30 Nov) – Members of NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union at Furrowfield School in Gateshead will take the first of ten planned days of strike action tomorrow (Tuesday) over management bullying which is having an adverse impact on members’ health, safety and wellbeing. Members at the school are being subjected to management practices which they believe are threatening, intimidatory and unprofessional, along with attempts to undermine their contractual entitlements read more

NASUWT comments on Spending Review (25 Nov) – Responding to the Chancellor’s Comprehensive Spending Review, Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, said: “The short-sighted decision to freeze teachers’ pay is out of step with public opinion and is a slap in the face to the teaching profession, particularly at a time when teachers have been serving on the frontline, risking their own health to maintain education and support for children and young people. The Chancellor’s claim that a public sector pay freeze is necessary as private sector wages fell by nearly 1% in the six months to September is no justification for imposing further real-terms cuts to the pay of teachers…” read more

Covid-19 workload and health and safety pressures risk damaging Welsh education (23 Nov) – More than two thirds (70%) of teachers in Wales are reporting they have colleagues who have displayed symptoms of Covid-19 in their school or college, a survey released by NASUWT – The Teachers’ Union has found read more

Teachers say Scottish Government failing to fully support school safety (23 Nov) – 85% of teachers working in level 3 and 4 areas believe schools should move to a blended or remote learning model to protect the safety and welfare of pupils and staff, and over three-quarters (77%) believe their school remaining fully open is a political decision, rather than one based on safety read more

Two thirds of Northern Ireland teachers have colleagues with Covid-19 symptoms (23 Nov) – Two thirds (66%) of teachers in Northern Ireland are reporting they have colleagues who have displayed symptoms of Covid-19 in their school or college, a survey released by NASUWT – The Teachers’ Union has found read more

 

EIS

COVID Concerns: Fewer than one-third of Teachers Surveyed feel safe in School (23 Nov) – Fewer than one-third of teachers currently feel safe from potential COVID infection in schools, a major survey carried out by Scotland’s largest teaching union has revealed. The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) surveyed teachers across Scotland on COVID safety in schools over the past week, and the results lay bare the depth of the concern held by teachers over potential risk to their and their pupils’ health read more

 

UCU

Petition calling for fair funding and online learning

Government testing plan for students is ‘recipe for chaos’, says UCU (28 Nov) – In the The Observer UCU raised “grave concerns” about the Westminster Government’s plans for student movement over the Christmas holidays. It said plans for mass-testing, which begin tomorrow, and a pre-Christmas student evacuation were a “recipe for chaos” and risked a repeat of September’s student travel turmoil read more

Staff vote to strike at Northumbria University (26 Nov) – UCU’s branch at Northumbria University has become the first union branch in the UK to win a ballot over health and safety relating to Covid-19 after staff voted to strike yesterday. In response to the ballot, the employer has already agreed to limit the amount of in-person teaching that takes place on campus. UCU said this could be the start of a wave of local industrial ballot successes on health and safety if employers continue to fail to prioritise the concerns of staff. 66.5% of members voted yes to taking strike action on a 67.3% turnout, with 89.9% of members voting yes to taking action short of a strike (ASOS) read more

Spending review a missed opportunity, says UCU (25 Nov) – Commenting on the chancellor’s spending review announcement the University and College Union (UCU) described it as a missed opportunity and called for more support for education staff, who have worked tirelessly during the current pandemic read more

Rise in insecure employment profoundly disadvantages pregnant women (25 Nov) – The University and College Union (UCU) has today called for robust government action to reverse the growth in insecure work, citing the harsh impact on mothers in the workplace. The call came as Maternity Action launched a new research report, supported by UCU and UNISON, based on interviews with pregnant women and new mothers in casualised work read more

UCU says time has come for significant pay rise in further education (24 Nov) – UCU called for colleges to recommend a significant increase in staff pay for 2020/21. The union made the call in a letter to all English college principals ahead of pay talks with the Association of Colleges (AoC), the body that represents English colleges. UCU and its sister unions submitted a pay claim last month, which included a demand for a significant move towards full restoration of college pay levels to match inflation since 2009. The unions make clear college staff have suffered a real-term pay cut of 30% since 2009. In that time funding for further education was slashed by almost half and over 24,000 teaching staff have left the sector. This year, for the first time in a decade, colleges saw a significant funding increase of £400m, this was followed by a £2.5bn National Skills Fund to support adults with retraining. The government has also set out plans for a major expansion of further education as part of the post-Covid recovery. UCU said the increases in government funding must lead to an offer of a significant staff pay increase in Thursday’s meeting read more

University of Brighton: No compulsory redundancies in IT support

Brighton members will be on strike on Wednesday 2 December in the first of five days of strike action against compulsory redundancies of IT staff. The university is refusing to redeploy UCU members into posts in a new structure in order to sack them.

Mass redundancies at Solent University

In what is regarded by the branch as an existential threat to the future of Solent University, management have put 18.5% of staff at risk of redundancy, and plans to make 109 job cuts (9.2%) with dismissal letters expected to be sent just before Christmas. Members are currently being consulted as to whether they would be prepared to take action. Please show your support:

Campus safety at the University of Birmingham

Members at University of Birmingham are being balloted for industrial action over safety concerns as staff have been forced to work on campus and deliver face-to-face teaching. The union is asking members whether they will take action short of a strike by working and teaching online only, with a move to full strike action if staff are penalised for doing so. Please show them some solidarity:

University of Manchester policy changes

Following seven months of intense negotiations with management members at the University of Manchester are being consulted on whether to accept or reject the employers’ offer on a range of changes to terms and conditions including pay, progression, redundancies, and redeployment. Send solidarity:

Northern Ireland further education

All six of Northern Ireland’s further education college branches are in a collective dispute with their employers over a below-inflation pay offer linked to unacceptable conditions which would remove workload protections and force trade unions to surrender collective bargaining rights. The changes mean there would be no limit on the number of hours a lecturer could be asked to teach each week.

University of East London (UEL): no to compulsory redundancies and NO to unmanageable workloads

In the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic UEL has placed hundreds of staff at risk of compulsory redundancy, with another 84 staff leaving with voluntary severance. The staff remaining have now been left with unsustainable workloads and the university continues to undermine and disrespect staff by attempting to impose new workload models and calculations without negotiation. UEL have backed down on the branch reps under threat, who are now allowed to serve their notice. Let’s keep the pressure on and save their jobs too.

Goldsmiths UCU restructuring dispute

Staff at Goldsmiths are balloting on industrial action over a planned restructuring which will cut investment in staff and intensify workloads.

Great result at Northumbria UCU

As announced last week, Northumbria University UCU has become the first union branch in the UK to win a ballot over health and safety relating to Covid-19. 66.5% of members voted to strike, on a turnout of 67.3%. Congratulations to Northumbria UCU, and thank you to all those who sent their support.

Support striking colleagues: donate to the UCU fighting fund

Colleagues who can afford to do so are asked to consider a donation to the UCU fighting fund. The link is here and donations to the fund are spent on supporting members involved in important disputes. As always, members are asked to contribute whatever their circumstances allow. A donation in solidarity of any amount will be gratefully received by members taking action.

 

NUJ

Journalists again threatened by loyalist paramilitaries (28 Nov) – Two journalists working for the Sunday World newspaper have been contacted by police and told of a series of “imminent threats” of attack by criminals and loyalist paramilitaries including the West Belfast Ulster Defence Association (UDA). One NUJ member was contacted in the middle of the night by the police and alerted to a threat. Another NUJ member has been issued with a shoot to kill threat and is also at risk of entrapment and attack. Both individuals have been named in various threatening social media posts and both journalists have been threatened on previous occasions read more

NUJ calls for harsher penalties for repeated attacks on journalists (27 Nov) – The NUJ today said the UK authorities must consider introducing harsher legal penalties for individuals who repeatedly threaten or attack journalists. The far-right activist James Goddard appeared at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court yesterday after being prosecuted for threatening behaviour towards The Independent’s home affairs and security correspondent Lizzie Dearden read more

NUJ welcomes final settlement for No Stone Unturned journalists (27 Nov) – The NUJ has congratulated union members Trevor Birney and Barry McCaffrey on their final settlement agreed today in Belfast’s High Court. The settlement marks a resolution of a two-year battle by the journalists arising from their investigative and award-winning film No Stone Unturned. The documentary exposes the story of the 1994 Loughinisland murders read more

NUJ publishes Freelance Charter (27 Nov) – The NUJ has published a freelance charter as part of its Fair Deal for Freelances campaign. It calls for the right to organise in a trade union, to have a written contract with fair terms and conditions, prompt payment and equal treatment at work in terms of health and safety. Freelances should get holiday pay, parental leave and allowances and a retirement pension. They should have the right to resist companies forcing them on to PAYE, to incorporate as a limited company, or work under umbrella companies read more

NUJ statement on the online abuse of Ben Hunte (27 Nov) – The NUJ’s response in support and solidarity with Ben Hunte, the the BBC LGBT’s correspondent, who has been the subject of racist and homophobic abuse read more

NUJ sounds alarm at sudden closure plan for BBC Sinhala radio (26 Nov) – The BBC World Service has announced the BBC Sinhala radio service will close this Monday on 30 November. The service has 833,000 listeners each week, representing around 7 per cent of the total Sinhala-speaking population of Sri Lanka. The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) in the UK is urging the BBC to urgently press pause on this plan and reconsider the closure, especially given the large audience and the current clampdown on media freedoms and human rights in the country read more

 

Prospect

Spending review: Sunak’s pay cut will speed up civil servant brain drain (30 Nov) – It’s hard to run a government if your best people keep leaving because they’re underpaid read more

Tate galleries announces voluntary redundancy consultation (27 Nov) – Tate has announced that due to a huge drop-off in footfall and income due to COVID, it is having to enter into a redundancy process with a view to losing 120 full time equivalent positions from across the organisation read more

By freezing thousands of public servants’ pay Sunak is undermining the public sector (25 Nov) – Chancellor Rishi Sunak has today announced a one year spending review setting out plans for government spending for the next year read more

Air traffic controllers to vote on industrial action over HIAL remote towers (24 Nov) – Prospect members in air traffic control at Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (HIAL) are to be balloted on industrial action over HIAL’s plans to push on with its remote towers project read more

Prospect secures more than £465,000 in compensation for members in the MoD (23 Nov) – Prospect has settled a long running claim for pay allowances for 32 members working for the Ministry of Defence read more

 

Equity

Equity responds to public spending announcement (25 Nov) – In response to the Chancellor’s Spending Review announcements earlier today, Equity General Secretary Paul W Fleming said: “Equity members are left with one glaring question after today: ‘What about the workforce?’ We have a DCMS budget going up, but no indication of whether that will be used to support our members who are on the brink. We have the government turning its back on public sector workers who are getting us through this crisis – and their pay freeze reducing still further access to the art and entertainment our members produce. This is a moral failing on the part of the government, and an economic wrong step which will plunge the UK into stagnation and recession…” read more

 

USDAW

BREAKING NEWS!! Debenhams liquidation is devastating for staff and the high street – Usdaw calls on the Government to act to save our shops (1 Dec) – Retail trade union Usdaw is seeking urgent meetings with Debenhams’ administrators and urges them to treat staff with fairness and dignity, after news that the company is being liquidated. Usdaw also urges the Government to work with employers and the union to develop an urgent recovery plan for retail read more

Arcadia administration: Usdaw questions how many retail companies need to fail before the Government takes action to save our shops (30 Nov) – Retail trade union Usdaw is seeking urgent meetings with Arcadia’s administrators, to engage in talks in an attempt to save jobs and ensure staff are treated fairly. Usdaw also urges the Government to work with employers and the union to develop an urgent recovery plan for retail, an industry that was already struggling before the pandemic read more

Opening stores for 24 hours is not the answer to the retail industry’s woes says Usdaw, the Government needs a recovery plan (30 Nov) – Retail trade union Usdaw has cautioned the Government against fiddling at the edges and called for substantial action as part of a retail recovery plan to help the industry through the Covid-19 pandemic read more

This year more than ever, shopworkers deserve a decent break at Christmas, says USDAW (27 Nov) – Shopworkers’ trade union leader Paddy Lillis has today written an open letter to the heads of the UK’s major retailers calling on them to reject Boxing Day trading and give the staff a decent break over Christmas read more

Devastating news for Arcadia workers just before Christmas – Usdaw urges the Government to support the high street (27 Nov) – Retail trade union Usdaw is calling on Arcadia management to engage in talks to try to save jobs and ensure staff are treated fairly. Usdaw also urges the Government to work with employers and the union to develop and an urgent recovery plan for retail, an industry that was already struggling before the pandemic read more

Minimum wage increase is not enough and Universal Credit uplift should have been made permanent says USDAW (25 Nov) – Retail trade union Usdaw is disappointed that low paid workers will not get the full minimum wage increase they were promised. The increase of 19p to £8.91 an hour doesn’t meet the union’s call for £10 per hour, the real living wage rate of £9.50 or even the Government’s previously projected rate of £9.21 read more

 

Mandate (Ireland)

Mandate welcomes government intervention on Debenhams dispute (26 Nov) – Mandate welcomes yesterday’s joint announcement by the Tánaiste and Taoiseach of the appointment of Kevin Foley, Chair of Labour Court, to conciliate on the Debenhams dispute. Gerry Light, Mandate General Secretary said he hopes this intervention will be a ‘game changer’ and help achieve a satisfactory resolution read more

Support striking Debenhams Workers: Email messages of support to the strikers via [email protected] and Mandate through [email protected]. Also, follow Stand with Debenhams Workers Facebook page

Retailers and Government must lead by example and show respect to retail workers (27 Nov) – AS WE move towards an easing of Level 5 lockdown with shops opening for Christmas, all of us – including employers, the Government and customers – must show genuine respect for frontline retail workers read more

Mandate calls on employers to abide by Covid19 regulations and for consumers to respect shop workers this Christmas (27 Nov) – Mandate Trade Union, representing almost 30,000 workers in the retail sector, has called on all employers to strictly adhere to Covid19 protocols as the retail sector reopens in the run up to Christmas. The Union has also called on consumers to respect retail workers following an increase in abusive behaviour read more

 

SIPTU (Ireland)

SIPTU confirms first round of work stoppages in Section 39 organisations (26 Nov) – SIPTU representatives have confirmed the start of a nation-wide campaign of industrial action by members in Section 39 organisations resulting from a dispute involving the failure of the HSE to honour an agreement to restore the pay of these workers. SIPTU Public Administration and Community Division Organiser, Adrian Kane, said: “The rolling campaign of industrial action will begin in Cork on Tuesday, 15th December, with a one-day work stoppage by SIPTU members in CoAction, an organisation which supports people with disabilities. This will be followed on Friday, 18th December, with a one-day work stoppage, by members in South Doc in counties Cork and Kerry” read more

Workers at Newry, Mourne and Down District Council first day of strike action set for Thursday 3rd December – All four staff trade unions, Unite, GMB, NIPSA and SIPTU, agree first twenty-four hour action to defend pay and conditions. In a joint trade union side statement, workforce representatives laid the blame for the ‘regrettable’ industrial dispute at the feet of council management who had failed to address their members’ legitimate concerns read more

 

UVW

UVW union vows to ballot cleaners to strike at world famous Great Ormond Street children’s hospital (27 Nov) – After outsourced cleaners at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital (GOSH) joined UVW in their droves and submitted a 45-page formal claim to the GOSH Board detailing the financial, industrial and clinical benefits of ending outsourcing and switching to an in-house cleaning model, the CEO of GOSH, Dr Matthew Shaw, has finally issued a statement in response to the claim, the full transcript of which can be read here

Charity worker wins full compensation in disability discrimination settlement (27 Nov) – A United Voices of the World (UVW) member, Zara, recently settled an Employment Tribunal case out of court for over £20,000. Zara worked at a charity, and experienced sustained discrimination and bullying by management. Diagnosed with multiple learning disabilities, she felt isolated and afraid to ask for help. Alongside a mental health advocacy group and UVW, she stood up to her bosses and received full compensation read more

Security guard seeks ‘groundbreaking’ injunction to stop his ‘unlawful’ sacking in what his union UVW describes as the first case of its kind for a low paid worker (23 Nov) – A security guard at the Francis Crick Institute in London is set to face off against his employer Wilson James in an injunction hearing in what his trade union, United Voices of the World (UVW), has described as an “unprecedented legal showdown”. On 11th November after only 3 weeks in his new job Cetin Avsar, the security guard from Turkey bringing the legal action, received a letter inviting him to a probationary review hearing stating “[his] conduct has not reached the required standards” citing only his membership of his trade union, his previously having participated in a strike and his views, shard by his union, that outsourcing is ‘discriminatory’. The letter warned him that he might be dismissed after the hearing read more

Read more in UVW Facebook page

 

 

Other news

From Caerphilly Trades Council – Support the ‘the Free Siyanda campaign’

Secretary: Mariam Kamish        President: Clare Gibbs        Treasurer: Jaime Davies Email: [email protected]

Dear Comrades,

Siyanda Mngaza is currently serving a four and a half year prison sentence for defending herself against a racially motivated hate crime.

Siyanda worked for South Wales Fire Service in HR – recruiting fire fighters. She had never been in trouble before.

In May 2019 at a camping site in Brecon, she was attacked, without provocation, by a family group she was socialising with. Siyanda defended herself, resulting in a slight cut to the forehead of one of the attackers. Siyanda herself was beaten badly and knocked unconscious – with stamps and kicks to her head and upper body.

I should note that Siyanda is 4 foot 10 inches tall and has suffered since childhood with health problems. For her, running away was not an option. Two of her three attackers were men nearly twice her age.

Siyanda’s attackers called the police. When they arrived, Siyanda explained what had actually happened, but instead of protecting her, the police treated Siyanda like a criminal. They did not investigate the hate crime. They even allowed her attackers to continue to verbally abuse her after she’d been arrested.

At Siyanda’s trial, it emerged that the police had not provided the CPS with photographs of her injuries – including a footprint on her face. The investigating officer told the court that his supervisor had told him not to obtain Siyanda’s medical records and not to continue to investigate the hate crime.

Self-defence is no offence. Siyanda does not belong in prison. We are building a campaign to get Siyanda released – and to ensure that no one else has to suffer from institutional racism in future at the hands the police, the CPS and the judicial system.

Please help us to get affiliations from trade union branches, trades councils and trade unions nationally. Contact the Free Siyanda campaign. http://freesiyanda.com/

You can also email Siyanda’s mother, Cammilla Mngaza – [email protected] Thank you very much for your support.

Mariam Kamish,

Secretary, Caerphilly Trades Council.

  

 

Fight blacklisting and victimisation of union reps

#SPYCops Inquiry exposes state surveillance of workers movement

The NSSN sends our solidarity and support to all those taking part in the Undercover Policing Inquiry who have suffered from state surveillance into the labour and trade union movement and a whole number of campaigns from anti-racism to environmentalism.

Keep up with developments and read and watch campaigners’ statements on the Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance (COPS) and Undercover Policing Inquiry websites and spycops info Facebook group

Blacklist Support Group opening statement to the public inquiry – Dave Smith posted this message on the BSG Facebook page:-

“I’d like to publicly thank everyone from around the globe who has sent messages of support after our opening statement at the undercover policing public inquiry. I was proud to deliver the speech on behalf of the Blacklist Support Group; but this is a collective endeavour. We got to this point by blacklisted union members working together with investigative journalists, campaigning lawyers, world class researchers, MPs, unions, anti-racist campaigns and rank & file activists. We stand shoulder to shoulder with all the non-state, non-police core participants in the public inquiry, especially our sister campaigns; Police Spies Out of Lives, Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance and the family justice campaigns. This is what solidarity looks like”.

Full text of the BSG opening statement is now online via the Hazards magazine website: https://www.hazards.org/blacklistblog/2020/11/17/blacklist-support-group-opening-statement-for-ucpi-dave-smith/

It can be watched via this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JegrwaVKRfs&feature=youtu.be

Some of the media coverage:

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/police-urged-union-members-to-bomb-shop-ll0mv8bs7

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/nov/17/police-chief-who-spied-on-activists-went-on-to-work-for-union-blacklist-inquiry-told

https://www.union-news.co.uk/i-am-a-blacklisted-construction-worker-i-will-not-be-silenced-read-dave-smiths-explosive-evidence-to-spycops-inquiry/

https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/b/former-cop-who-spied-on-trade-unionists-left-the-force-to-join-blacklist-firm

http://campaignopposingpolicesurveillance.com/2020/11/17/ucpi-daily-report-17-nov-2020/

To support the ongoing campaign for justice, please share some of the press articles on social media

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 Judith Katera Unite rep on London buses – Judith is a longstanding union rep and activist in Battersea garage in Abellio in South London. She is 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 recent 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!

Sign petition: St Mungo’s brutal treatment of BAME worker opposed by Unite – Without income for twenty-one weeks. Female worker comes to the end of a period of sickness during the pandemic. Health conditions put her at raised risk. She is also older and from a BAME background. Her normal job would expose her to further increased risk. Rather than furlough her or find her alternative work the employer simply stops her pay without going through any personnel procedure. Management reject appeals to senior levels from Unite leaving the worker without income and desperate for twenty-one weeks

Sign petition and support the strikes to Reinstate Sharon Morgan LONDON DESIGN AND ENGINEERING UTC – At the start of this term, teacher and NEU rep Sharon Morgan was summarily dismissed from her job by London Design and Engineering UTC. Sharon was sacked without due process, with no formal investigation or a hearing where she could put her case. At an employment tribunal the judge described LDE’s behaviour as “morally reprehensible” and LDE subsequently agreed to reinstate Sharon. But the next day LDE changed their mind and refused to reinstate her. In reality, Sharon was sacked for helping NEU members stand up for better working conditions for staff, in the interests of the whole school community. This is trade union victimisation and it’s unacceptable. The sacking of Sharon is an attack on all trade unionists at LDE, in Newham, and everywhere

Security guard seeks ‘groundbreaking’ injunction to stop his ‘unlawful’ sacking in what his union UVW describes as the first case of its kind for a low paid worker (23 Nov) – A security guard at the Francis Crick Institute in London is set to face off against his employer Wilson James in an injunction hearing in what his trade union, United Voices of the World (UVW), has described as an “unprecedented legal showdown”. On 11th November after only 3 weeks in his new job Cetin Avsar, the security guard from Turkey bringing the legal action, received a letter inviting him to a probationary review hearing stating “[his] conduct has not reached the required standards” citing only his membership of his trade union, his previously having participated in a strike and his views, shard by his union, that outsourcing is ‘discriminatory’. The letter warned him that he might be dismissed after the hearing read more

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 – [email protected]

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 [email protected]. 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

Indian trade unions mark Constitution Day with nationwide strike read more

 

Diary

 

 

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