NSSN 515: As 2020 ends, workers keep fighting

December 13, 2020 in Bulletins

This is our last scheduled weekly bulletin of the year. A year where workers have been fighting during the COVID pandemic for their lives and livelihoods.

We have seen continuing disputes over workplace safety and now increasingly we are seeing workers fight the bosses’ offensive against our jobs, terms & conditions and pay. Included in this is the Tory announcement of a public sector pay freeze, which unions must fight together.

NSSN Coronavirus logo

The message of the NSSN has been clear: workers can’t pay the price for this crisis – work or full pay, a pay rise that we deserve and if workplaces are threatened with closures they should be taken into public ownership to save jobs and communities. Also, stop the union-busting employers who are looking to victimise union reps.

Normally, as we reach the end of the year, disputes can sometimes tail off. But not this year. We’ve seen votes of action in British Gas and British Telecom and continuing action at Heathrow and Rolls Royce in Lancashire and many other struggles.

We will continue to build support for all these fights, which you can read about as usual in this bulletin. Seasons greetings to all our supporters and solidarity to all those workers and unions taking action.

 

Reinstate sacked Unite London bus rep Judith Katera Judith a longstanding union rep and activist in Battersea garage in South London has been dismissed by Abellio. 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.

Judith K

In October, she was facing a disciplinary meeting and possible dismissal. A solidarity protest was organised and then postponed because the disciplinary process wasn’t completed. However, she has discovered that the company sacked her on December 4th! She even had to contact the company to find out that she had been dismissed! Just a few weeks before Christmas, Judith is dismissed with no income.

Unite the union are running a consultative ballot this Wednesday and Thursday – to launch the campaign to get Judith reinstated. It is vital that there is the biggest YES vote as possible to send the message to Abellio that bus drivers in Battersea will fight to for Judith’s job and stop attacks on the union. We hope that such a vote will force management to reinstate Judith but if they still refuse, the union would then be able to launch a full industrial action ballot.

The NSSN sends our support and solidarity to Judith, her members and her union Unite and pledge to do everything we can to get her reinstated. We will keep our supporters and affiliates fully informed of developments and any protests and action that are called. Stop union-busting!

 

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 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.”

 

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

BREAKING NEWS!! Ferry union RMT to begin balloting for action at Wightlink in pension and terms and conditions fight (16 Dec) – WIGHTLINK UNION RMT confirmed today that it has begun balloting over 400 ferry workers for both strike action and action short of a strike after negotiations failed to produce an offer on pensions and terms and conditions that meets the very reasonable demands of the workforce. The ballot of all grades – from seafarers to ticket office staff at Wightlink (Guernsey) and Wightlink Ltd – is over the company’s refusal to:

  • Withdraw their proposal to close the Defined Benefit Pension Scheme to existing members.
  • Withdraw their proposal to reintroduce the flexible working practices which all employees were subject to in the first six months of the pandemic read more

BREAKING NEWS!! RMT calls for an end for modern slavery in the offshore supply sector (15 Dec) – SEAFARER Union RMT today responded to news that the Maltese-registered offshore supply vessel Ben Nevis was detained in the port of Rotterdam yesterday for failure to pay crew wages for the last two months read more

BREAKING NEWS!! RMT to Ballot Stagecoach East Midlands Bus drivers for strike action over safety concerns (15 Dec) – BUS UNION RMT confirmed today that it has begun sending out ballot papers for strike action to RMT Stagecoach East Midlands Bus driver members in Mansfield and Worksop over safety concerns. Following negotiations between RMT representatives and Stagecoach East Midlands over Stagecoach’s failure to implement an exact fare policy on its buses in Worksop and Mansfield it has become apparent the company are refusing to compromise with RMT’s requests read more

RMT raise concern over P&O’s plans for the Pride of York out of Hull (10 Dec) – SEAFARERS Union RMT today registered concern over the potential impact on local jobs and the taxpayer after P&O Ferries moved the out of service Pride of York roll-on roll-off ferry from mooring in Hull to Rotterdam read more

RMT demands Government action to reverse South Western Railway’s decision to axe on-board catering and put over 130 jobs at risk (9 Dec) – RAIL UNION RMT has condemned rail operator South Western Railway’s plans to terminate its on-board catering contract with Elior, a plan which puts over 130 jobs at risk of redundancy, and demanded that the DfT intervene and reverse this reckless decision. Staff employed by Elior on the SWR contract have been told that the operator’s termination of the contract mean they are due to be made redundant on 17th January – more than two months before the Government’s Job Retention Scheme draws to a close. The union believes that this reckless decision by SWR shows complete disdain for these workers, and has no regard for the impact on passengers, who have not been consulted on SWR’s plans. RMT is today writing to the Department for Transport to demand that it intervene to reverse the decision and ensure all jobs are protected read more

RMT response to Scottish Parliament Committee Report into ferries contracts (9 Dec) – SCOTTISH FERRIES Union RMT today responded to the report from the cross-party Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee of the Scottish Parliament into the construction and procurement of ferries in Scotland, following the saga over the contract between a Scottish Government agency and Ferguson Marine for two new ferries for CalMac routes which should have both been delivered in 2018 read more

RMT warns of on-going offshore jobs massacre as Committee on Climate Change ponders the future (9 Dec) – OFFSHORE UNION RMT has warned of an ongoing jobs massacre on the UK Continental Shelf with 14,000 offshore oil and gas and seafarer jobs lost and worse to come if there isn’t urgent and immediate action, while the Committee on Climate Change ponder the distant future in their rep‎ort issued today 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

Independent TfL Report Highlights London’s Raw Deal On Funding (11 Dec) – TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has said the findings of an independent review of Transport for London’s long-term funding options shows the capital is “getting a raw deal” and called for the return of the operating grant. The report was commissioned in July this year by Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, to look at future financial sustainability of the transport network across the city, and has just been published read more

No Westminster Excuses After Scotland Travel Trade Support Package Agreement (9 Dec) – TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has given “full backing” to a multi-million-pound package aimed at helping the travel trade in Scotland and said there’s now “no more excuses” for Westminster not to follow suit. Ministers at Holyrood today confirmed £5million will be made available to travel agents as part of a wider business support package. More details of the grant schemes are expected in coming days following the announcement made during the Budget debate at the Scottish Parliament read more

Government Facing Consequences Over Travel Trade (9 Dec) – TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes has said the “terrible consequences” of the Government’s lack of action to save Britain’s travel trade are clear after the boss of one firm described being “left in an impossible situation” due to a lack of support read more

 

ASLEF

Minimum Wage Campaign (10 Dec) – ASLEF is supporting Richard Burgon MP’s campaign to ensure that nobody on furlough is paid less than the minimum wage. New official figures show that the number of workers paid less than the National Minimum Wage is nearly five times higher this year than in 2019, with over 2 million workers getting paid less than the National Minimum Wage this year. The vast majority of those are a result of the furlough scheme leaving millions of low-paid workers on less than this basic minimum pay. The campaign is seeking for a wage floor to be introduced in the furlough scheme as one way of helping to prevent this crisis being paid for on the backs of low paid workers read more

 

Unite

BREAKING NEWS!! Unions announce industrial action at International Paint in Gateshead in pay and national collective bargaining dispute (18 Dec) – Members of the Unite and GMB unions employed at International Paint in Gateshead have announced strike action and an overtime ban beginning early next year in a dispute over pay and national collective bargaining. The 400 plus workers at the company, which undertakes all aspects of the industrial process for specialised marine and industrial coatings as part of the AkzoNobel group, have announced an overtime ban beginning on Monday 4 January. The overtime ban will be combined with two 24 hour strikes on Wednesday 27 January and Wednesday 10 February read more

BREAKING NEWS!! Royal Navy vessel movements face ‘Christmas chaos’ during Plymouth tug strikes (15 Dec) – Royal Naval shipping movements around Plymouth will be plunged into ‘Christmas chaos’ when specialist tug operators at Devonport’s naval base employed by outsourcer Serco Marine go on strike, Unite, the UK’s leading union, warned today (Tuesday 15 December 2020). Around 40 tractor tug crew members will go strike from 25 December 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. The first strike, which begins at 07:00 on Friday 25 December, will continue until 06:59 on Wednesday 30 December. The second strike begins on Thursday 11 January (see notes to editors). In a ballot with a 92.3 per cent turnout, 97.2 per cent voted in favour of strike action read more

BREAKING NEWS!! Strikes at Leeds bus maker Optare to continue into January as workers vow not to give in (14 Dec) – Strikes over pay at Leeds-based bus manufacturer Optare, now in their ninth week, will continue into January, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Monday 14 December). More than 100 Optare workers, whose hourly rates are significantly less than those of staff at comparable firms, voted 73 per cent in favour of strike action that began in October over the company’s ‘broken promise’ to provide a pay increase for 2019 and 2020. Unite said the bus-maker, which is part of the Ashok Leyland group and a global leader in the design and manufacture of single and double decker buses, has failed to honour an August 2019 pledge to implement a pay rise by November of that year. Further discontinuous strike action will begin at Optare’s Sherburn in Elmet factory on 21 December and will last until 5 January 2021 read more

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

Solidarity meeting for Optare workers – hosted by Yorkshire Shop Stewards Network 10.30am Friday 18 December Facebook event

BREAKING NEWS!! Queens University Students Union workers celebrate major win as management u-turn delivers 100 percent furlough, backdated to November (14 Dec) – Unite signs agreement with University authorities after Students Union workers vote overwhelmingly to accept offer read more

BREAKING NEWS!! New approach to industrial relations by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council shows how Unite is delivering for workers (14 Dec) – Five years after council formation, management moves to resolve long-standing pay inequality dispute by extending pay uplift to disadvantaged workers. Unite welcomes moves to furlough workforce on 100 percent pay and to provide workers a special Covid-19 recognition payment to those who continued working on frontlines during lockdown read more

BREAKING NEWS!! Unions confirm escalation of industrial dispute at Newry, Mourne and Down District Council after mediated talks collapse due to management intransigence (14 Dec) – Members of all four staff trade unions, Unite, GMB, NIPSA and SIPTU, will commence work-to-rule from January 4th, second 24-hour strike date confirmed for January 27th. Councillors warned that work-to-rule will result in severe disruption to council services as authority is hugely dependent on overtime and informal working practices read more

Strikes suspended in pay injustice row that threatened deliveries to Sainsbury’s stores in London and the south east (11 Dec) – The six days of strike action by 12 outsourced drivers in the pay injustice dispute that could have hit deliveries to about 100 Sainsbury’s stores in London and the south east have been suspended, Unite the union said this afternoon (Friday 11 December). Unite said that as an result of an initial pay deal of 2.1 per cent for 2020 for the drivers employed by Harper & Guy Consulting Ltd, the strike action, due to have started on Monday (14 December), has been suspended. This is to allow for further talks on the key issue of pay disparity of thousands of pounds compared with those drivers directly employed by Sainsbury’s at the retail giant’s Waltham Abbey distribution centre read more

BA cargo workers to strike over Christmas and New Year in fire and hire dispute (11 Dec) – Cargo workers employed by British Airways at Heathrow airport have today (Friday 11 December) announced that they will take nine days of strike action beginning on Christmas Day. On Monday (December 7) the 840 plus workforce who are members of Unite, the UK’s principal aviation union, recorded a 98 per cent yes vote in favour of strike action, in a dispute over British Airways’ attempts to fire and rehire the workforce. The cargo workers face pay cuts of between 20-25 per cent of their pay as well as substantial cuts to their terms and conditions. Following the yes vote for strike action, Unite delayed announcing strike dates to allow BA a final opportunity to come forward with a meaningful offer, however it has failed to do so and therefore strike action has been announced. Strike action will begin at 00:01hrs on Friday 25 December and will end at 24:00 on Saturday 2 January. Due to the mounting fears of a no-deal Brexit and the growing congestion at the UK’s ports, BA’s cargo service has been incredibly busy with rising demand from companies bringing time-sensitive products into the UK 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

Crispmas saved as Unite delays strikes on Eddie Stobart Warrington Walkers contract (11 Dec) – As part of the season of good will, Unite, the UK’s leading union, has delayed launching strike action on the Walkers Pepsico contract operated by Eddie Stobart Ltd from its Warrington depot. Lorry drivers on the contract returned a 96.7 per cent yes vote in favour of strike action in a dispute over Stobart’s plans to impose a pay freeze and its refusal to enter into negotiations with Unite. Strike action could have legally begun before Christmas, which would have created a crisp famine and resulted in Walkers’ products disappearing from supermarket shelves. Instead of all out strike action, Unite has instead announced a three week overtime ban and work to rule which will begin at 00:01 hours on 26 December and will end at 24.00 hours on 15 January. While the overtime ban is unlikely to result in the complete disappearance of Walkers’ products from shelves, shortages are still expected. This action could also have a disruptive impact on other Stobart customers within their network. If the overtime ban does not result in Eddie Stobart entering into meaningful negotiations over pay, Unite will announce strike action in January read more

Christmas redundancy shock at L&Q housing association (11 Dec) – Workers at highly profitable housing association L&Q were shocked to be told of major restructuring and the threat of large-scale redundancies yesterday. In recent months they have been congratulated for the efforts to keep the organisation going through the pandemic but now they will face restructuring and the threat of job losses.  The rumour among workers is that 20% cuts are in the pipeline. If this is untrue Unite calls on management to level with staff and to spell out the real position immediately. While the Chief Executive makes his Christmas plans knowing that his £344,097 per year pay check is secure his workforce face an anxious festive season and the potential of a disastrous new year. The organisation declared an annual surplus of £414 million in its last published accounts read more

‘Forgotten’ maintenance staff at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital accept inflation-busting 4.5 per cent pay rise (11 Dec) – About 50 maintenance staff at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital have accepted an inflation-busting 4.5 per cent pay increase for 2020-2021. Unite the union, which represents the majority of the electricians and plumbers working on the outsourced Serco contract, said that the pay award went ‘some way’ to reducing the pay gap with directly employed NHS estates staff at other Norfolk hospitals. The basis of Unite’s claim was that its members at the hospital in Norwich had fallen behind, not only industry pay scales, but the rates paid to directly employed staff at other Norfolk NHS trusts covering the James Paget Hospital in Great Yarmouth and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn. The pay rise, backdated to 1 April 2020, also applies to maintenance staff at the Cromer and District Hospital read more

Strike action continuing at logistics giant Dachser (Dec 10) – Dates for further actions to be decided on Monday. Stoppage follows company refusal to implement Labour Court recommendation. Unite members working for German logistics giant Dachser (formerly Johnston Logistics) in Rathcoole have been taking strike action since this morning (Thursday December 10th) and the current action is set to continue until 6 am on Saturday December 12th.  The dates of further actions in the run-up to Christmas will be decided by a meeting of workers on Monday. The stoppage comes on foot of the company’s refusal to engage collectively with their workers through their union, Unite, notwithstanding a Labour Court recommendation that they do so read more

‘Forgotten’ maintenance staff at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital accept inflation-busting 4.5 per cent pay rise (11 Dec) – About 50 maintenance staff at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital have accepted an inflation-busting 4.5 per cent pay increase for 2020-2021. Unite the union, which represents the majority of the electricians and plumbers working on the outsourced Serco contract, said that the pay award went ‘some way’ to reducing the pay gap with directly employed NHS estates staff at other Norfolk hospitals. The basis of Unite’s claim was that its members at the hospital in Norwich had fallen behind, not only industry pay scales, but the rates paid to directly employed staff at other Norfolk NHS trusts covering the James Paget Hospital in Great Yarmouth and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn. The pay rise, backdated to 1 April 2020, also applies to maintenance staff at the Cromer and District Hospital read more

Government must step in to protect overseas War Graves staff facing ‘halved incomes’ from Brexit (10 Dec) – The government must intervene on behalf of Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) staff serving overseas, who are facing ‘halved incomes’ due to Brexit contract changes, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Thursday 10 December) read more

London facing looming bus strikes as workers reject attacks on pay and conditions (10 Dec) – Unite the union, which represents over 20,000 London bus drivers, is warning that the capital could face a period of widespread industrial action in early 2021 as workers are set to be balloted on attacks to their terms and conditions and low pay offers, which are being pursued by different bus operators in the city. Members employed by French company RATP on West London routes, which are operated as London Sovereign and Quality Line, will shortly begin to be balloted in a dispute about pay and proposed cuts to their terms and conditions. Meanwhile, Unite is preparing to re-ballot over 3,000 members at Singapore-owned company Metroline, which operates bus routes in North and North West London, early next year over proposals to introduce remote sign on read more

DHL ‘must improve’ Covid safety procedures for drivers on JLR Halewood contract (10 Dec) – DHL has been told it ‘must improve’ coronavirus safety procedures for drivers working on its Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) contract in Halewood, Liverpool, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Thursday 10 December). Unite, which represents the majority of the 120 DHL drivers at the Halewood site, said staff have raised concerns that vehicles used by drivers who had subsequently tested positive for the virus were not being disinfected. When Unite health and safety reps brought workers’ concerns to the attention of the company, DHL dismissed the issue and accused the stewards of being on a ‘witch hunt’. Unite slammed DHL for disregarding a ‘potentially serious infection control issue’ flagged by its staff and said the company’s response indicates that Unite stewards risk being unfairly targeted for performing their roles read more

More than half the country wants the £20-a-week boost to Universal Credit made permanent, says Unite survey (9 Dec) – More than half the country wants chancellor Rishi Sunak to continue permanently with the £20-a-week uplift in Universal Credit (UC) due to end in April 2021, according to a survey carried out for Unite the union, as millions face a descent into poverty. The survey carried out by Survation revealed that 54 per cent of those polled wanted the £20 boost to Universal Credit, already claimed by six million people in the UK, to be extended beyond next April read more

Bradford bus drivers vote overwhelmingly for strike action over safety (9 Dec) – Bradford bus drivers have voted overwhelmingly for strike action over First West Yorkshire’s continuation of ‘dangerously unsustainable’ scheduling, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Wednesday 9 December 2020). Out of the 350 bus drivers at the Bowling Back Lane site entitled to vote, nearly 300 voted in favour of strike action against the company’s refusal to restore schedules to pre-pandemic levels. Unite said traffic and service levels have returned to near normal but members are still working extended shifts brought in during the initial lockdown. The working patterns currently in place are causing fatigue and stress for drivers, which is a danger to both themselves and the public. In the interests of the public, the drivers have decided to wait until after the New Year to announce strike dates read more

Lack of Scottish government support for the taxi trade is driving workers in to poverty (9 Dec) – Unite Scotland has released findings from a survey involving hundreds of taxi drivers across Scotland which confirms the hardship faced by many drivers, as the trade union repeats its calls for greater financial assistance in what is traditionally the busiest time of the year for the trade. An online survey of over 200 taxi drivers has revealed the devastating impact on the trade with many harrowing stories from drivers who are struggling to financially survive. Many drivers are regularly working 16-17-hour days with a shift being determined as having been ‘good’ if £50 is cleared read more

E&I management must meet with workers’ trade union Unite to discuss concerns over low pay and crippling shift patterns (9 Dec) – Business supplying Facebook, Google and Amazon and showing a £62 million profit last year can surely show some Christmas spirit and address workforce collective grievance issues. Unite the union, which represents workers at E&I Engineering sites in Burnfoot and Campsie in Derry/L’Derry called on management to meet. take seriously the workforce’s collective grievance and address employee concerns read more

Caterpillar must engage fully in redundancy consultation as Unite seeks to mitigate job losses (8 Dec) – While Caterpillar global profits exceed $17 billion last year, the business’ corporate management seeks to impose a penny-pinching caps on voluntary redundancy offered to Larne workforce read more

Support the #BattleforBarnoldswick – 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)

UK braced for Wagon Wheel, Jammie Dodger and curry shortage as Liverpool DHL workers take strike action – Workers employed by DHL Supply Chain in Liverpool, who undertake the Burton Biscuits and AB World Foods delivery contract, have voted for industrial action in a dispute over low pay, victimisation of workers and the complete collapse of industrial relations. The dispute will result in supplies of Burton Biscuits’ brands Wagon Wheels and Jammie Dodgers, as well as AB World Foods’ brands including Patak and Blue Dragon, vanishing from supermarket shelves across much of the UK. The 120 members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, are employed as warehouse operators and delivery drivers by DHL, at its delivery centre in Portal Way, Liverpool. As a result of the yes vote in favour of strike action, Unite has announced eight days of strike action between 19 December and 5 January read more

Heathrow Strike – Workers walkout over savage wage cuts – Unite members employed at Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL) were 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. Unite will be maintained 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. The strike action on Tuesday 1 December is highly symbolic as it is the day when the workers’ ‘poverty’ contracts begin to take effect. 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 read more

Heathrow strike: Workers to hold huge car protest on Monday 14 December as strikes deepen in fire and rehire dispute

Major concerns raised about Heathrow’s fire safety during strikes at the airport

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

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 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

BREAKING NEWS!! PCS wins Tribunal case over provision of payslips and incorrect wages (17 Dec) – Facilities management company ISS was found to have made unlawful deductions of wages and failed to provide correct pay statements. ISS, a private company that holds the facilities management contract at the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), has regularly incorrectly paid its staff and provided indecipherable and incorrect payslips.  The staff provide cleaning and security services at the department. Many members are claiming in-work benefits where accurate pay and payslips are essential to ensuring they receive the correct payments read more

BREAKING NEWS!! Southbank Centre to re-hire 40 staff following union pressure (16 Dec) – Following a PCS and Unite campaign against cuts and redundancies at the renowned Southbank Centre in London management has announced plans to re-hire 40 members of staff recently made redundant as a result of the coronavirus crisis read more

BREAKING NEWS!! PCS to launch HMCTS security ballot (16 Dec) – PCS is to ballot members working for outsourcing company OCS on the HM Courts and Tribunals Service security contract over its failure to pay the real living wage and improve terms and conditions. We launched a campaign for OCS members working on the contract to achieve improved pay, terms and conditions. OCS took over the contract on 1 April and has since failed to offer any improvement to our member’s terms and conditions read more

Government must intervene to protect War Graves staff as Brexit approaches (10 Dec) – PCS members have slammed ministers for their silence over staff at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission working in Europe, facing loss of pay and health benefits when Britain leaves the EU on 1 January. Staff were given an ultimatum of 7 December on whether to accept new inferior contacts where they work in France and Belgium or be repatriated to the UK read more

BEIS facilities management staff vote for strike action (9 Dec) – Over 90 staff at the Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) department at 1 Victoria Street have voted to walk out due to concerns about Covid safety. PCS which represents security, cleaning, porterage and postal service workers at the department accused contractor ISS which employs the staff at BEIS, of refusing to wind down support services sufficiently to enable members to stay safely at home. 95 members were balloted and 94.3% voted ‘yes’ to strike action on a 73.7% turnout 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

Health Minister Announces Reimbursement Of Strike Deductions (9 Dec) – The Department of Health have reported; “Today the Health Minister Robin Swann announced that pay deductions for the industrial action by health service workers in late 2019 and early 2020 will be reimbursed”. For NIPSA members in Health, this will mean that the brave strike action that they took on 18 December 2019 for Pay Justice and Safe Staffing will be repaid. This is a win for our members after representations were made to the Minister by NIPSA and the other Health Unions. As far as we are aware the money will be paid in December pay and we will get this confirmed as soon as possible.  Maria Morgan Assistant Secretary read more

 

GMB

BREAKING NEWS!! GMB wholly condemn the government approach to preventing Greenwich Council taking action to limit the spread of Covid (17 Dec) – GMB are extremely disappointed that the Government have threatened Greenwich Council leader and Head teachers with prosecution if they continue with online learning for the last 3 days of term read more

BREAKING NEWS!! GMB members at British Gas in overwhelming vote for strike action (17 Dec) – Shop stewards and officials to meet to consider ballot result, nature and dates of industrial action and emergency cover to get ‘fire and rehire’ off the table. British Gas were told today (17th December) that GMB members had, as predicted, responded to the fire and rehire demands of CEO Mr O’Shea with an 89% “yes” vote for strike action. This follows another landslide vote last week by 86% of gas and electrical engineers, to reject cuts to pay and conditions which for gas repair and service staff are up to 10% read more

Strike at British Gas ‘unavoidable’ as company set Xmas deadline to accept offer or be fired (11 Dec) – We will be meeting with senior representatives in the company to work out what emergency cover can be provided during the strike. Strike action at British Gas in the depths of winter is now “unavoidable” after British Gas signalled it will plough on with its fire and rehire plan, GMB union warned today. The latest twist comes as the company’s owner Centrica refused last-ditch negotiations and rejected calls to withdraw its threats. GMB said Centrica must take full responsibility for the disruption that is now unavoidable by this irresponsible confrontation with their own loyal workforce read more

Big bird tells British Gas bosses to ‘talk turkey’ (10 Dec) – British Gas engineers overwhelmingly reject proposals amounting to little more than a zero hours contract with a bonus scheme. A giant bird joined protesters outside Centrica HQ to make a serious point to British Gas bosses: stop threatening to fire and rehire workers who won’t ‘accept’ cuts, get round the table and ‘talk turkey’. The demo in Windsor came as GMB British Gas members overwhelmingly rejected proposals from parent company Centrica to cut pay and terms and conditions read more

GMB British Gas members vote overwhelmingly to reject Centrica’s proposals (8 Dec) – Protestors – including a giant rubber GMB turkey – to gather at Centrica HQ tomorrow telling bosses ’turkeys don’t vote for Christmas’. GMB British Gas members today (December 8) overwhelmingly rejected proposals from parent company Centrica to cut pay and terms and conditions. The ballot of 7,500 gas and electrical engineers saw 86% vote against the deal – which would amount to pay cuts of around 10% on much of the workforce from next year read more

BREAKING NEWS!! Ambulance worker strike at two south London hospitals moves closer (16 Dec) – Company faces wave of industrial action at St George’s and Queen Mary’s hospitals. Strike action among ambulance workers, who provide patient transport services at St George’s Hospital and Queen Mary’s Hospital moved a step closer after a decisive vote. Despite threats from management, 86% of GMB ambulance members at the two south London hospitals voted in an indicative strike ballot – with 91.8% voting in favour of industrial action in the New Year. The union will now begin a full industrial action ballot which could lead to a wave of strikes unless management immediately engage with the union with a view of resolving the numerous issues faced by staff during this critical time. The ambulance workers are employed by HATS, who have the contract for non-emergency patient transport at St George’s read more

Delivery hero who fought off knife gang ‘sacked for breaking silence on driver attacks’ (11 Dec) – GMB Union confident sacking due to overzealous local manager and Hermes will do the right thing and reinstate hero driver. A delivery driver who was attacked four times in less than a month and fought off a knife gang has been sacked after ‘breaking the silence on delivery driver robberies’, GMB Union says. Jamie Burkinshaw single-handedly fought off a gang of three, including a knifeman, just two days after being blocked in by cars on the same route in another failed robbery in November read more

Asda accepts GMBs call to give key workers family time over Christmas (9 Dec) – GMB Union pleased Asda heeded calls to give key worker heroes family time over Christmas, but dissapointed not extra days holiday. GMB, the union for Asda workers, has responded to Asda’s announcement they will shut the majority of their stores on boxing day read more

Minute silence for Avonmouth victims to be held on Thursday (8 Dec) – GMB union is hosting a minute silence on Thursday to remember the four workers tragically killed at Avonmouth last week including GMB member Brian Vickery. GMB, the union for water industry workers is hosting a minute’s silence at 11 am this Thursday (10 December) to remember the four workers tragically killed at the Avonmouth Wessex water treatment plant last week. The victims have been named as, Brian Vickery, Michael James, Raymond White, and apprentice Luke Wheaton, aged just sixteen read more

Gas workers set to strike after Covid-19 heroes offered ‘insulting’ thank you badge (8 Dec) – GMB members at Air Products have put their own lives in danger to keep the country moving and the company afloat during this pandemic. Gas workers are to be balloted for strike action after Covid-19 heroes were offered a pin badge to say thank you for their work during the pandemic. If it goes ahead, the industrial action will affect Air Products sites in Basingstoke, Bardon, Bargeddie, Stoke and Walkden in January. GMB members are angry that despite huge profits approaching £100 million over the past two years, the company are imposing a pay increase rather than negotiate further. Meanwhile the drivers and bay operators, who have worked throughout the pandemic, have been offered a pin and £240 as a thank you gesture. A recent consultative ballot saw 82% of drivers and 90% of bay operators say they would take industrial action. The strike ballot opens on December 14 and closes on December 29 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

British Gas staff vote to accept changes to their terms and conditions (10 Dec) – ‘With the firm’s prospects looking increasingly insecure, staff have reluctantly voted to try to save their jobs and livelihoods,’ says UNISON. Office and call centre staff working for British Gas have this week voted overwhelmingly to accept a series of revised proposals, negotiated by UNISON, affecting their pay, working hours and leave. In the ballot, 86% of the office-based staff voted to accept the measures. Over three quarters (76%) of employees who were eligible to vote took part read more

Support the Birmingham NHS Unison Heartlands Porters Dispute – UNSION members who are Heartland Hospital Porters are currently taking strike action about the proposed imposition of a new rota. This will result in them working detrimental rotating 8 shifts pattern. The proposed rota impacts on our members health and well being; their caring responsibilities; their work/life balance and results in a significant cut in wages for many read more on Facebook page

Carmarthenshire County Unison Branch Members Bulletin 37 | Trade Union Action needed – Mass Co-Ordinated Trade Union Action Needed To Smash the Pay Freeze read more

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

 

CWU

CWU: ‘Push us at your peril’, BT Group warned in 97.9% consultative ballot vote on industrial action (Dec 10) – Members across BT, Openreach and EE have delivered the starkest possible warning to management that, if necessary, they are prepared to take industrial action in defence of job security and hard won terms and conditions. In what is undoubtedly the most important vote involving the CWU’s entire BT Group membership since the 1987 national strike, over 74% of the CWU members balloted across BT Group participated in the poll and of them 97.9% voted ‘YES’. The consultative ballot, which closed at noon today (Thursday) after three weeks of voting, had been initiated to allow members to register their willingness to take industrial action ahead of a formal strike ballot. If  replicated in a statutory ballot, the overwhelming ‘YES’ vote they have delivered would comfortably pass the onerous legal thresholds that need to be met. As such, CWU members have fired a very clear warning shot across BT’s bows that,  unless bosses change direction on their vicious programme of compulsory redundancies, site closures and attacks on pay, terms and conditions, the company is on a direct collision course with its workforce read more

More redundancies announced in Technology as BT Group-wide consultative ballot on industrial action enters its final hours (Dec 9)

Double-decker shame for ‘beyond belief’ BT as CWU goes on the buses (Dec 8)

BREAKING NEWS!! Media spotlight on EE after bosses fail to act on multiple CWU warnings over staff bullying (17 Dec) – A shameful litany of failure by BT bosses to heed repeated CWU warnings over the demeaning and disrespectful treatment of staff at a chain of franchised EE shops has resulted in a richly deserved media backlash read more

BREAKING NEWS!! CWU ‘Period Poverty’ campaign victory now complete in BT and EE (14 Dec) – Workplace access to free sanitary products is finally in the process of becoming universal across BT Group with the belated rollout of the CWU-inspired ‘We’ve all been there’ initiative to female engineers via the company’s stores hubs. While sustained CWU lobbying secured the provision of free sanitary products in the office/ contact centre environment way back in March, it has taken until now for the more complex logistics of distribution to field engineers and other female employees who spend all or most of their time on the road, to be full worked out. Starting last  week, however, deliveries of sanitary supplies got underway to no fewer than 43 collection sites across the country – full details of which are provided here read more

CWU will do “everything possible” to protect members after unprovoked assault on postal worker in Bangor (11 Dec) – The CWU in Northern Ireland have warned they will not tolerate their members being physically assaulted on the job, after a postal worker has been attacked in Bangor, County Down. The has gone out after Andrew Holmes, a worker based out of Bangor Delivery Office, was attacked on Thursday afternoon read more

 

FBU

Grenfell cladding lobbyists “aren’t fit to lace the boots” of firefighters (9 Dec) – Evidence seen by the Grenfell Tower Inquiry has shown that just six weeks after the fire, Kingspan, whose K15 insulation was used in the flammable cladding system mounted on to Grenfell Tower, hired PR agencies Portland and Grayling communications to convince MPs that “combustible materials are no more dangerous than non-combustible when properly installed” read more

Firefighters ready to help deliver vaccines and assist test and trace with Covid-19 agreement (9 Dec) – Firefighters are ready to assist the UK’s rollout of Covid-19 vaccines after an agreement was reached between the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) and the fire and rescue service national employers. The agreement allows firefighters to assist other public sector organisations with track, trace, and isolate measures, and to check that potential higher risk premises are Covid-secure read more

 

POA

Government betray hard working prison staff (10 Dec) – The Government has turned its back on hard working Prison Staff by rejecting recommendation 3 of the Pay Review Body recommendations. In July 2020, the review body recommended that Prison staff who were band 3 fair and sustainable grades should get a £3,000 consolidated pay rise from 1st September 2020. The Pay Review Body was set up in 2001 as a compensatory mechanism for the POA not having the right to strike. The Government also claimed in a Ministerial written statement on 21st July 2020 that there would be discussions with recognised trade unions on this particular issue to see how this uplift could be best implemented in an affordable and mutually beneficial manner alongside workforce reforms that deliver the best value for money for taxpayers. The POA were never engaged in any discussions with Government or employer since that statement was made to Parliament. The POA National Executive will be meeting at 9am on Friday 11th December 2020 to consider how best to protect our members’ interests that have been so badly let down by the Government

 

BFAWU

From Union News: BFAWU members at Greencore reject 50p pay offer (9 Dec) – BFAWU members at Greencore have rejected a 50p pay offer. Bosses at the Northampton sandwich-packaging factory offered the hourly rise to the firm’s lowest-paid workers, but it was turned down by union members angry that new-starters would be paid more than experienced staff. BFAWU branch president Bob Handley told the Northampton Chronicle & Echo: “We urged our members to turn down this offer because new contracts would be earning more money than people have been with company for years. It’s not fair one bit. The old contractors built the business. All we’re asking for is a fair pay rise.”

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

 

NEU

Leaways School Hackney: December 15-17 – messages of support to Dave Davies [email protected]

Sign petition and support the strikes to Reinstate Sharon Morgan LONDON DESIGN AND ENGINEERING UTC Newham – 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

ONS Figures (11 Dec) – The latest ONS Coronavirus survey figures should be very worrying to the Government – especially in the run up to Christmas. They show that cases are again rising in secondary and primary schools read more

Attendance Figures (8 Dec) – The latest figures from the last week of national lockdown are deeply depressing. One in five secondary pupils and one in ten primary pupils were absent last week 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. Send messages of support to Louise Cuffaro [email protected]

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

Extending lockdown to Jersey schools must be urgently considered (10 Dec) – The NASUWT has requested an urgent meeting with ministers on Jersey to discuss the situation in schools and colleges following a significant deterioration in the situation with rapidly rising numbers of cases of Covid-19 on the island read more

Decisions on Welsh schools over Christmas must not compromise safety (9 Dec) – Ministers must ensure that the decisions about the operation of schools over the Christmas period and the start of the new term do not undermine the safety and welfare of pupils and school staff, NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union has warned. The message comes amid concern from teachers about the impact of family mixing over Christmas and virus transmission in schools in the run up to and after the holidays, following the latest Technical Advisory Group (TAG) statement and the determination of the Welsh Government not to close school sites early read more

Reaction to decision to scrap Highers and Advanced Higher exams (8 Dec) – Responding to the statement by Deputy First Minister John Swinney on Highers and Advanced Higher exams, NASUWT General Secretary Dr Patrick Roach said: “This decision recognises the ongoing impact of the pandemic and the disruption it has caused in relation to the loss of learning for tens of thousands of pupils across Scotland, particularly for those in the most deprived areas…” read more

 

EIS

BREAKING NEWS!! Teachers in three local authority areas back move to dispute over school safety (15 Dec) – Teachers in three local authority areas – Glasgow, Fife and West Dunbartonshire – have today (Tuesday) voted overwhelmingly in favour of declaring a formal dispute with their employers over failure to provide a safe working environment for staff in light of the continuing threat from the COVID-19 pandemic. In West Dunbartonshire, 91% of teachers backed the move to a dispute, on a turnout of 75%. In Glasgow, 93% of teachers voted in favour, one a turnout of 63%. In Fife, 90% of teachers voted in favour, on a turnout of 53%. The EIS Local Associations in these areas will be seeking an urgent response from the Councils involved to member concerns read more

BREAKING NEWS!! Scotland’s College lecturers back industrial action to protect lecturer posts (15 Dec) – Further Education (FE) lecturers in Scotland have voted in resounding numbers to take industrial action to oppose the replacement of lecturers with instructors and other support staff grades. The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) initiated a national dispute on colleges’ plans to replace lecturers with support staff (instructors) and today’s consultative ballot result gives a clear mandate to move onto to a statutory ballot in pursuit of this dispute read more

More EIS local associations move towards ballots on school safety disputes (11 Dec) – The EIS has announced that an increasing number of its local associations are now moving towards balloting members on disputes with local authorities over school COVID-19 safety. At present, six EIS local associations are moving to ballot members with at least four others currently considering whether to take this step towards a formal dispute with employers read more

Industrial action escalates at Forth Valley College (11 Dec) – EIS members at Forth Valley College will escalate industrial action this week over cuts to 30 lecturers’ jobs. Members have been ‘working to rule’ for a month – doing no more than the minimum required by their contract, which will now include refusing to mark students’ work. This follows a recent offer to settle the dispute from college management which the Union is recommending members reject as it would still put lecturers’ roles at risk in the future and do nothing to help those members’ whose terms and conditions have already been impacted. Tensions have been building at Forth Valley College since 30 lecturers’ posts were removed and replaced by support staff on different terms and conditions, earlier this year. The new roles are lower paid, with more class contact hours, less time for preparation, and reduced annual leave read more

EIS Glasgow Ballots Members on Dispute with Employer (10 Dec) – The Glasgow Local Association of the EIS has opened a consultative ballot of all members on Thursday 10th December 2020. Glasgow City Council has rejected the EIS request to move teaching and learning to remote online platforms for the pre and post-Christmas period, in the interests of minimising infection risk. The EIS claim that the Council have further failed to consider moves to blended or remote learning as a consequence of schools operating in a Level Four area of COVID restrictions. The ballot states that the Local Association believes this to be indicative of the Council failing to fully exercise its duty of care to staff. The ballot, which has gone to all EIS members employed by Glasgow City Council – across early years, primary and secondary schools – is open until midday on Monday. Members are being consulted on whether the Local Association should declare a formal trade dispute with the employer. The Local Association Executive recommend a ‘Yes’ vote in this ballot. If there is a mandate to declare a dispute with the employer, this declaration will be made before the EIS decide on issuing a further consultative ballot on industrial action read more

EIS Campaign Tells First Minister that School Buildings Cannot Remain open at all Costs (10 Dec) – The EIS has written to the First Minister as it launches a new social media campaign with the hashtag #NotAtAllCosts to highlight teachers’ deep concern about school buildings remaining physically open even in areas of Scotland with high levels of COVID-19 infection read more

EIS Welcomes Exams Statement Clarity, says Teacher Workload must be Properly Managed (8 Dec) – The EIS has welcomed the fact that a decision has been made on next year’s Higher and Advanced Higher qualifications but has indicated that agreement must be reached on appropriate recognition of the additional workload required in any alternative assessment programme read more

 

UCU

Petition calling for fair funding and online learning

BREAKING NEWS!! Union calls for Imperial College President to resign over bullying admission (15 Dec) – University and College Union (UCU) members at Imperial College have today called for the resignation of the president, Alice Gast and chief financial officer (CFO), Muir Sanderson who this week admitted to bullying other members of staff at the college. The call for their resignation on the grounds of gross misconduct comes after a report found that they had bullied colleagues. Despite being forced to apologise for their behaviour they remain in post read more

Brighton UCU strike against IT cuts – Members at University of Brighton took strike action this week against compulsory redundancy of IT staff and the campaign received huge support with an online rally and this message of support from John McDonnell MP. Please tweet your solidarity messages to #SaveBrightonITStaff @BrightonUCU

Reverse no-notice job cuts at Macclesfield College – We’re campaigning against redundancies at Macclesfield College that came without notice, or proper consultation. Macclesfield College UCU has found support with local councillors and has written to local MPs to fight back against dreadful management decisions that abandon UCU members to redundancy in the run-up to Christmas. Please take 2 minutes to sign the UCU petition to join the call to immediately reserve these dreadful job cuts.

Manchester Metropolitan University UCU gear up for action over safety and workload – Manchester Metropolitan University UCU have pulled off a fantastic consultative ballot result in a very short ballot period with a 86.1% yes vote for ASOS and 65.1% yes vote for strike on a 64.3% turnout. The branch are in dispute over the university’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and workloads. A statutory ballot now opens on 18 December and messages support should be sent to the UCU branch secretary.

University of East London fighting redundancies – UCU members at University of East London are currently being balloted for action over redundancies and campaigning against the targeting of our reps

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

How to fund the desire for quality Welsh news (10 Dec) – The pandemic has reaffirmed the importance of quality, relevant journalism and also highlighted the Welsh media’s fragility, lack of diversity and pluralism, Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, told an online town hall meeting hosted by the union’s Welsh Executive Council and NUJ Training Wales read more

NUJ supports UN complaints against Israel’s treatment of Palestinian journalists (9 Dec) – The National Union of Journalists has backed its sister union in Palestine and the International Federation of Journalists in complaints to the UN relating to systematic targeting of journalists working in Palestine by Israel and its failure to properly investigate the killings of media workers. The complaints to the UN state that Israel’s actions are a breach of international law and amount to war crimes. They are also a violation of the right to life and freedom of expression, and show systematic targeting of media workers, the use of excessive lethal force, discrimination and impunity read more

 

Prospect

Prospect helps retired Sellafield member win back £9,600 (10 Dec) – Prospect has helped a retired Sellafield member win back £9,600 from her former employer following a dispute over erroneously paid Employment and Support Allowance. Helen Hodgson, an occupational health nurse, had worked at Sellafield for 25 years before her retirement, due to ill-health, in 2014 read more

Prospect balloting members following BT proposals to halve redundancy pay (8 Dec) – Prospect has launched a ballot on proposals by BT to cut redundancy pay for its workers. Prospect is the union for managers in BT and is recommending that its members vote to reject the changes read more

 

Equity

BREAKING NEWS!! Equity demands Basic Income Guarantee for Creative Workers (16 Dec) –  Gaps in the Self Employment Income Support Scheme and the Coronavirus Job Retention scheme have left many Equity members with no support at all since March 2020 whilst opportunities to work across our industries have remained limited. At the same time, many of the crises highlighted and exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic point to long-standing structural issues and a “pandemic of precarity” already afflicting many sectors including the creative industries. The current welfare system in the UK is not fit for purpose, and it fails to take into account the specific needs of freelance workers. Equity is calling on the Government to introduce a Basic Income Guarantee for Creative Workers, which would help to provide creative workers with the financial stability to remain in the sector during the pandemic, and ensure that creative workers are free to take work when it arises without fear of losing other forms of support and protection read more

 

USDAW

BREAKING NEWS!! BCM Fareva industrial action suspended – Usdaw to ballot members on a new pay offer (14 Dec) – Following the vote of members at BCM Fareva in favour of industrial action, the union requested a further meeting with the Company, to once again seek a negotiated resolution to the dispute. At this meeting, BCM Fareva tabled an offer, which means the industrial action planned for 16 and 17 December has been suspended, pending a ballot of members on this offer read more

Asda to close stores on Boxing Day – Usdaw urges retailers to give staff a proper festive break (9 Dec) – Usdaw is the trade union for Asda workers in Northern Ireland and has welcomed an announcement that they will close their stores on Boxing Day read more

MPs to debate the future of the high street, Usdaw calls for urgent action from the Government to ‘Save our Shops’ and protect jobs (8 Dec) – Retail trade union Usdaw has welcomed a House of Commons debate on the future of the high street, which will take place this Thursday 10 December, and urges the Government to work directly with the Union and retail employers to develop a retail recovery plan that will help an industry that was already struggling before the pandemic read more

 

Mandate (Ireland)

A New Deal for Retail & Distribution Workers (8 Dec) – Retail Workers Demand New Deal on Pay, Employment Standards & Skills to Help Rebuild the Sector. Retail & Distribution workers are demanding a ‘new deal’ that will tackle low pay and insecure work and help rebuild the sector after the Covid 19 pandemic, as part of a campaign launched by trade unions representing workers across sector 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

 

SIPTU (Ireland)

BREAKING NEWS!! Unions confirm escalation of industrial dispute at Newry, Mourne and Down District Council after mediated talks collapse due to management intransigence (14 Dec) – Members of all four staff trade unions, Unite, GMB, NIPSA and SIPTU, will commence work-to-rule from January 4th, second 24-hour strike date confirmed for January 27th. Councillors warned that work-to-rule will result in severe disruption to council services as authority is hugely dependent on overtime and informal working practice read more

STOP67 campaign welcomes removal of pension age increase in Social Welfare Bill (9 Dec) – The STOP67 campaign has welcomed the removal of the pension age increase to 67 years on 1st January next in the Social Welfare Bill which will be debated in the Dáil today (9th December, 2020) read more

 

UVW

Cleaner’s union UVW Forces Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital to end outsourcing and bring hundreds of outsourced workers into the direct employment of the NHS (10 Dec) – World renowned Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children (GOSH) has declared it will end outsourcing and bring hundreds of cleaners into their direct employment from 1st August 2021. The decision follows a successful campaign from the cleaners’ trade union United Voices of the World (UVW). Currently outsourced to OCS, the cleaners – almost all of whom are Black, Brown and/or migrants – joined UVW at the start of the Coronavirus pandemic in protest at what they described as “institutional racism” as they received far worse pay rates and terms and conditions than their majority White in-house colleagues, including only being given Statutory Sick Pay of about £19 a day rather than the  NHS’ full pay sick pay rates. The workers also reported being overworked, left without adequate equipment and uniforms and alarming incidents of what they described as bullying, harassment and discrimination at the hands of OCS managers read more

Read more in UVW Facebook page

 

IWGB

Facebook Live Event IWGB Online Rally: JUSTICE FOR KEY WORKERS! #ClappedAndScrapped 5pm Wednesday 16 December – in support of key workers who have all been dismissed, without a fair process or appeal. Join the call and demand that all app-based companies end unfair dismissals

 

 

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.

Watch video: ‘You’re Muted’ – What’s Up at the #SpyCopsInquiry? – Five minutes of highlights from the ‘Public’ Inquiry hearing evidence in secret about undercover policing  in England and Wales since 1968

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

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

NUJ: Iranian journalist Kayvan Samimi starts three-year jail term read more

NUJ condemns killing of Afghan journalist read more

NUJ: IFJ mourns 42 media workers killed in 2020 read more

 

 

Diary

 

 

CONTACT US

PHONE 07952 283 558

EMAIL mailto:[email protected]

 

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ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE