NSSN 520: Tories U-turn on plan to attack workers’ rights

February 2, 2021 in Bulletins

The NSSN celebrates the Tory u-turn over their proposed review of employment laws and regulations post-Brexit.

Despite their denials, this would have looked at a whole number of workers’ rights. But the fact that they have been forced to retreat, without a real mobilisation of the trade union movement, shows the weakness of this Tory government.

GMB Sidcup strike protest

GMB Sidcup strike protest

This now needs to be built on as workers, fighting for workplace safety and their jobs and living standards, face an offensive from the Government and the bosses. We should take confidence that the brutal attacks of ‘fire and rehire’ and the public sector pay freeze can be faced down and defeated.

We have seen an increasing number of disputes, some of which have won victories or at least major concessions. BA workers have forced management back on ‘fire and rehire’, Rolls Royce workers won security for their plant in Lancashire and education staff and teachers forced Johnson to close schools. We continue to support and build solidarity for workers taking action, such as the British Gas workers and many more.

Come and discuss how to build the fight that’s necessary for our lives and livelihoods.

Come to the online NSSN Zoom Public Meeting: Fight together against the Tories and Bosses COVID offensive – 12pm Sunday February 14th

Zoom details:-

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84444708960?pwd=TXlrRlhZdkdSQzJMNGRuY0tDekVyUT09

Meeting ID: 844 4470 8960   Passcode: 889162

Facebook event

Unite welcomes government decision to ditch workers’ rights review (28 Jan) – Responding to reports that the government has dropped plans to review workers’ rights Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “Parents and the low paid will breathe a sigh of relief that the Tories are not yet coming for their rights.  The epidemic of low pay and insecure work in this country are the real problems, not the basic rights of working people.  “Kwasi Kwarteng now has to put his money where his mouth is; if he wants to improve the lot of UK workers, then pick up the phone.  We’ve got a list of desperately needed workers’ rights ready to go. He could start by outlawing the appalling fire and rehire practice that is laying waste to workers’ wages across the country, and fix sick pay so that being unwell and unable to work is not a sure path to poverty” read more

 

Reinstate sacked Unite London bus rep Judith Katera: appeal hearing imminent!! 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. 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 was dismissed with no income. An online appeal has been set up to support Judith and her family. Unite the union are ran a consultative ballot before Christmas to launch the campaign to get Judith reinstated. We understand that there was an overwhelming vote of support, which sends 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 are now 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.

Judith’s fellow Abellio rep in Walworth garage Moe Muhsin Manir is also suspended awaiting an imminent disciplinary meeting, which could see him facing dismissal. Stop union busting!

 

 

Fight together against the Tory Pay Freeze

Tory Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a public sector pay freeze last November. 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 – last year, there were demonstrations and rallies in many towns and cities. Workers in the NHS and care sector workers demand an immediate 15% pay rise that starts to close the income gap caused by a decade of pay freezes. 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’

 

 

Health Campaigns Together Conference: The Pandemic and Privatisation – how to fight backThursday February 25 2021, 6.30-8.30pm

The pandemic has been a goldmine for private contractors and management consultants. But while the private sector celebrates its new-found riches, the fiascos of failed private services have been exposed to millions. Privatised test and trace systems have become byword for failure, just as poor standards of hospital cleaning epitomised the failures of the first outsourced contracts in the 1980s. The question is how health unions and campaigners can work together and develop the right publicity and information to show the folly and expose the waste and inefficiency of privatisation and outsourcing? Join us for an online conference on February 25, called by Health Campaigns Together, working in partnership with the health unions UNISON, Unite and GMB, the PDA union, the TUC, Keep Our NHS Public, the NHS Support Federation (NHS For Sale), and The Lowdown read more

 

 

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 and you can catch up on disputes at Strike Map UK

 

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!! RMT blasts TfL for calling on staff in South African variant postcodes to come into work as normal (2 Feb) – RMT has written to TfL Commissioner Andy Byford condemning its guidance that workers in postcodes being targeted for surge testing aimed at bringing the South African variant of Covid19 to heel, should come into work as normal read more

BREAKING NEWS!! RMT statement on Labour’s call for Government to convene transport worker Covid Safety forum (2 Feb) – Commenting on Labour’s call for the Government to convene a transport worker Covid-19 safety forum with unions and operators, RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: “RMT welcomes Labour’s demands for the Government to convene a transport industry forum with unions and operators to ensure transport workers’ safety during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. An industry wide approach is already embedded in the rail sector, and RMT has long called for this to be extended to the bus sector, where it is clear that the lack of an industry wide approach continues to put bus workers at risk…” read more

RMT on Wightlink’s reluctance to take up taxpayer support (1 Feb) – RMT expresses shock and disgust at Wightlink’s reluctance to take up taxpayer support as members prepare for strike action over attack on conditions. WIGHTLINK UNION RMT expressed shock and disgust today over lifeline ferry company Wightlink’s dismissal of public funding which could help ease the financial pressure created by the pandemic. The union is currently in dispute with the company and has announced a raft of strike dates from April over an attack on pensions, terms and conditions. The union has been appalled by the cavalier attitude of the company to consultation over their plans and the failure to take up financial support ‎that could have mitigated the current situation read more

RMT launches TRANSPORT WORKERS ARE ESSENTIAL WORKERS campaign as threats of pay freezes and job cuts surface (1 Feb) – TRANSPORT UNION RMT said today that it will be launching a fresh wave of campaigning under the banner TRANSPORT WORKERS ARE ESSENTIAL WORKERS as threats of pay freezes and possible attacks on jobs and conditions emerged in Government briefings over the weekend. The new campaign, which will be rolled out through a high profile advertising blitz on social media and in press ads, will tie in with work being carried out through the TUC and an alliance of unions designed to halt the threat of pay freezes and cuts to standards of living across Britain’s public services and public sector in the wake of the COVID pandemic read more

RMT bus worker survey reveals “wild west approach” (29 Jan) – RMT bus worker survey reveals “wild west approach” to enforcing Covid-19 safety regulations just days after the Office of National Statistics publishes data showing that bus drivers were at increased risk of dying from Covid-19. Days after the ONS published figures which showed that male bus workers are at an increased risk of dying from Covid-19 a new RMT survey of bus workers reveals a “wild west approach” to enforcing Covid-19 safety regulations and measures in the bus industry read more

RMT calls on government to get serious about levelling up and save the Tyne and Wear Metro (26 Jan) – RMT General Secretary Mick Cash has called on Transport Secretary Grant Shapps to step in and approve funds that will provide long-term stability to the struggling Tyne and Wear Metro. The Metro, which carried 36 million passenger trips in 2018/19 and serves 60 stations in the North East, is forecast to lose around 75% of its revenue this year as a result of the Coronavirus. Although the Metro has had emergency funds worth £39 million to keep it afloat, it doesn’t benefit from the kind of long-term bailouts given to train formerly franchised operating companies read more

RMT members to strike at rail infrastructure firm Clarke Chapman over refusal to table pay award – RMT members working at Clarke Chapman Facilities Management will be taking strike action and action short of a strike following a ballot after the company refused to table a pay award. Clarke Chapman is infrastructure maintenance and renewals company that maintain the mobile maintenance for Ontrack plant, wagons and equipment. Members are instructed to take STRIKE action by not to booking on for any shifts that commence between:-

  • 00:01 hours on Saturday 30th January 2021 and 23:59 hours on Monday 1st February 2021.
  • 00:01 hours on Saturday 6th February 2021 and 23:59 hours on Monday 8th February 2021.

Additionally, the following industrial action has also been called:-

  • A rest day working ban and an overtime ban between 00:01 hours on Tuesday 2nd February 2021 and 23:59 hours on Friday 5th February 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

 

ASLEF

Survey: The Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on Railway Workers (27 Jan) – During the global COVID-19 pandemic, railway front line staff have had to respond with little preparation and limited resource. The impact of managing the pandemic on the psychological health of railway keyworkers is unknown. A new study from Strathclyde University will explore the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental wellbeing of railway keyworkers. ASLEF members are invited to take part in this anonymous online survey read more

 

TSSA

BREAKING NEWS!! Solidarity With Shrewsbury Pickets (2 Feb) – TSSA has sent a message of support and solidarity to the Shrewsbury 24 Campaign ahead of their case being heard at the Court of Appeal on 3 and 4 February. The appeal is the result of the long-running campaign persuading the Criminal Cases Review Commission to refer the convictions of the pickets – including actor Ricky Tomlinson – to the Appeal Court read more

Rail pay freeze “kick in the teeth for keyworkers” says TSSA (1 Feb) – Transport union TSSA has written to Rail Minister Chris Heaton Harris after the union learnt that the government plans to impose a pay freeze for rail workers, saying it would be a “kick in the teeth for keyworkers”. TSSA understands that the government has written to all Department for Transport Train Operating Companies and Network Rail saying it will not fund pay rises this year – other than for those earning £25,000 per annum or less – nor any outstanding pay claims from 2020. This will mean a pay freeze for thousands of key worker rail staff – for two years in many cases read more

Sick Pay – TSSA accepts new sick pay arrangements (28 Jan) – TSSA has now formally accepted Stena’s proposals to introduce new sick pay arrangements, having persuaded the company to considerably improve on its original proposals made in November 2020. The new arrangements apply from 1 January 2021 read more

Network Rail concedes consultation over Network Services dissolution (26 Jan) – Our Union has successfully challenged the Company’s refusal to formally consult the dissolution of Network Services. Full consultation will now happen. We expect correspondence detailing changes for our consideration to be issued on Monday 01 Feb 2021 and a meeting scheduled to discuss 2 weeks later. We will be looking for members to feedback your thoughts and input back to your Reps so we can make the relevant challenges to the Company via the consultation process read more

 

Unite

BREAKING NEWS!! Portsmouth council accused of exposing tenants and workers to Covid-19 (2 Feb) – Portsmouth council has been accused of needlessly exposing its council housing tenants and outsourced workers to potential exposure to Covid-19. Unite, the UK’s leading union, has become increasingly alarmed that workers at Comserve, Portsmouth council’s outsourced building maintenance division, who are responsible for maintaining the local authorities housing stock are being forced to continue to undertake routine maintenance work in tenant’s homes. By being forced to undertake routine maintenance work in occupied properties, tenants, workers and their families are at increased risk of being exposed to contracting and transmitting Covid-19. It will also result in higher rates of transmission in Portsmouth as a whole read more

Bradford bus strikes off after agreement reached over drivers’ safety concerns (2 Feb) – Strike action at First West Yorkshire buses in Bradford has been called off after drivers struck an agreement with the company to resolve scheduling issues, Unite said today (Tuesday 2 February 2021). Unite, the UK’s leading union, said the agreement had been reached ‘amicably’ thanks to the hard work of all involved to find a solution. In December, nearly 300 drivers voted in favour of strike action against the company’s decision not to restore regular schedules upon returning to full service. The schedules were causing fatigue and stress for drivers, which was a danger to both themselves and the public. Under the new agreement, First West Yorkshire will make adjustments to running times to reflect the return of near-normal amounts of traffic and reduce excessive duty lengths read more

Anger at GE’s ‘financial torpedo’ on workers’ pensions, says Unite (1 Feb) – Nearly 3,000 workers at industrial conglomerate GE will be taking ‘a huge financial hit’ under proposals to close the defined benefit final salary pension scheme, Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, warned today (Monday 1 February). Unite said it was ‘a financial torpedo’ for the retirement incomes of 2,800 workers who had shown ‘an incredible amount of dedication’ to keep GE businesses running smoothly during the pandemic. The company wants to close the GE Pension Plan (GEPP) and the GEAPS defined benefit pension schemes and, from 1 January 2022, move members to the GE’s existing and inferior defined contribution scheme which is at the mercy of fluctuations in global stock markets read more

Unite demands repeal of FEMPI this year (Feb 1) – Sole purpose of controversial legislation is to coerce workers. February 1st: Unite, which represents workers throughout the public sector, today (Monday) said that it has written to Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath seeking a commitment that FEMPI legislation will be repealed when it comes up for review this year read more

Low paid, frontline Thompsons’ feedmill workers insulted with pay increase of as little as seven pence an hour while millions go to shareholders in dividends (Feb 1) – Accounts confirm company profits of more than four million a year, 70 percent paid out to coupon-clippers as dividends, while workers offered a bare 0.6 percent pay increase read more

Airbus Broughton Workers Vote for Shorter Working Week to Save Jobs (1 Feb) – Unite members employed at the Airbus plant in Broughton have voted overwhelmingly to support the introduction of a shorter working week in order to save jobs. Following a ballot of Unite members at Broughton, the workforce voted overwhelmingly in support of the proposals read more

Forcing builders onto bikes is dangerous warns Unite, as TfL issues construction worker travel advice (29 Jan) – Unite, the UK’s construction union, has warned that forcing construction workers in London onto bikes is potentially dangerous. Unite issued its warning after Transport for London (TfL) issued travel advice for construction workers to avoid congestion on public transport read more

Strike ballot at historic Merseyside glassmaker Pilkington after pay promise broken (29 Jan) – Merseyside glassmakers employed by Pilkington are being balloted for strike action over the company’s failure to deliver a promised 2.5 per cent pay rise, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Friday 29 January). More than 100 Unite members at glassmaker Pilkington’s Cowley Hill and Greengate sites in Saint Helens will be balloted for strike action, after the company refused to implement the rise, which was agreed with Unite members in 2019 and set to take effect in March 2020. Unite said it believed the historic company, which was founded in 1826 and is now owned by the Japanese Nippon Sheet Glass group, had budgeted for the pay increase but had used the pandemic as an opportunity to not honour the agreement. The ballot for strike action opened on 28 January and will close on Thursday 11 February read more

Security guards at Reading hospital to stage third wave of strikes until March in ‘David and Goliath’ pay battle (29 Jan) – Security staff at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, locked in a ‘David and Goliath’ pay battle with their employer, will be staging a third wave of strikes into early March. The 20 security guards have been taking strike action since mid-December over the failure of their employer Kingdom Services Group Ltd to make a decent pay offer for 2020. They provide security for the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust. The third wave of strike action, announced today (Friday 29 January) by Unite the union, will run from 19.00 on Friday 12 February and ending at 19.00 on Sunday 7 March. This follows on from already announced strikes from 07:00 on 1 February until 19.00 on 5 February; and from 07:00 on 8 February until 19.00 on 12 February read more   Text solidarity messages via Jessica 07718668497 and donate to strike fund: Acc. No.: 20173991   Sort Code: 60-83-01.  Sign petition to Mark Wallace , Kingdom Service Group Managing Director: Pay Royal Berkshire Hospital security staff a wage they can live on

Two Hackney education disputes come to a head with three days of strikes in February – Two separate industrial disputes affecting schools in east London will lead to three days of strike action in February, Unite the union announced today (Tuesday 26 January). Ten teaching support staff at the Colvestone primary school and the Thomas Fairchild community school, part of the Hackney-based Soaring Skies Federation which educates more than 600 children, will strike over potentially more than 18 jobs being at risk out of about 30-strong teaching support staff. The 32 drivers and passenger assistants, who take disabled children to and from school in Hackney, voted unanimously to strike over the failure of their employer, the borough council, to make a one-off £500 Covid-19 payment and other health & safety issues. Both strikes will begin at 00:01 on Wednesday 10 February continuing each day up to Friday 12 February, ending at 24:00. Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “These two long-running disputes are coming home to roost for the respective employers in Hackney when ‘education’ is at the top of the political agenda…” read more

Unite seeking urgent meeting as GKN Birmingham factory is earmarked for closure (28 Jan) – Unite, the UK’s leading union, is seeking urgent meetings in order to understand the business case which underpins the announcement today (Thursday 28 January) that GKN is set to close its Chester Road factory in Birmingham. The company has said that the factory, which produces drivelines, principally for JLR and other automotive companies, will close in 18 months time. The factory currently employs over 500 workers. Since 2018, GKN has been owned by venture capitalists Melrose read more

Fresh Babcock strikes at RAF Leeming as ‘flight disruption’ over pay disparity continues (28 Jan) – Strike action by Babcock Aerospace workers at RAF Leeming, near Northallerton in North Yorkshire, over a £5,000 pay disparity will continue until the end of February, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Thursday 28 January). Around 50 Babcock workers, who provide operational and engineering services for aircraft at RAF Leeming, including the Hawk trainer aircraft, last week began three weeks of discontinuous strike action as well as a continuous overtime ban. Unite said of the fresh wave of strike action: “the disruption to training flight schedules will continue until the end of February”. The workers will be holding socially distanced picket lines outside the main entrance to RAF Leeming during the strikes (see notes to editors for strike times and dates). The Unite members voted in favour of strike action after being refused shift pay, even though their colleagues at RAF Valley in Wales receive it for performing the same duties. The difference in take home wages between those who receive shift pay and those who do not amounts to around £5,000 a year read more

Dear Unite Member – Strike action by Babcock Aerospace workers at RAF Leeming, near Northallerton in North Yorkshire will continue throughout February. Unite members voted in favour of strike action after being refused shift pay when their colleagues at RAF Valley in Wales receive it, despite workers at both sites performing the same duties. The difference in take home wages between those who receive shift pay and those who do not amounts to around £5,000 a year. Please show your support to these members by sending the below email to Rishi Sunak MP seeking his support for this groupp of workers. Rishi’s email address is [email protected]

Kind regards

Neil Howells Unite Regional Officer

“Dear Rishi Sunak MP,

I am writing, as a constituent, to draw to your attention to an industrial dispute currently taking place at RAF Leeming in your constituency, where hard working Babcock Aerospace Ltd staff are on strike.

The staff, many of whom are your constituents, provide vital operational and engineering services for aircraft at RAF Leeming and without them the fighter jet training flights would not be able to take place.

The staff have been forced to take strike action after being refused shift pay, even though their colleagues at RAF Valley in Wales receive it for performing the same duties. The difference in take home wages between those who receive shift pay and those who do not amounts to around £5,000 a year.

I know that you have been a champion of the Government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda to tackle regional disparities and so I’m sure that you will agree with me that it is just not right that a worker in North Yorkshire should be paid £5,000 per year less than a fellow worker, doing exactly the same job, in another part of the country.

Will you join the calls of the staff’s union Unite, for Babcock Aerospace to get back to the negotiating table as soon as possible with an offer so that these hard working staff get a package that they deserve similar to workers in other parts of the country and return services at the base to normal?

Kind Regards”

Latest Covid mortality for hospitality workers confirm the failure of policies which have allowed unscrupulous employers to cut corners on infection control (Jan 28) – Government must compel employers to provide full sick pay for workers forced to self-isolate in order to safeguard public health and the NHS. Unite is seeking legislation for roving trade union health and safety reps to ensure that workers in smaller and non-unionised read more

Unite ends BA ‘fire and rehire’ dispute by securing deal to avoid forthcoming cargo strike action (27 Jan) – Unite, the UK’s principal aviation union, has secured a deal (subject to a members’ ballot) to end the long running dispute over British Airways’ plans to fire and rehire the workforce in its cargo division. Members of Unite employed at BA Cargo, the majority of whom work at Heathrow Airport, undertook nine days of strike action over the Christmas/New Year period which caused overwhelming disruption to the company’s cargo services. Unite had proposed a total of a further nine days of strike action beginning on Friday 22 January but the first three days were called off at the last minute, after progress was made at the negotiations. The next round of strikes due to begin this weekend have also been called off read more

Heathrow Airport braced for fresh strikes in ‘bitter’ fire and rehire dispute – Unite members at Heathrow Airport Ltd (HAL) will undertake renewed strike action next month in the increasingly bitter dispute over the company’s decision to fire and rehire its entire workforce, which is forcing many workers into poverty. The workforce took four days of strike action last December and have now announced that they will take strike action on Friday 5 February. Different groups of workers will be striking at different times on this date. Unite members recorded an 84 per cent yes vote for strike action and the targeted action will involve: firefighters, engineers, campus security, baggage operations, central terminal operations, landside and airside operations. The dispute is a result of HAL firing and rehiring its entire 4,000 strong workforce on vastly inferior contracts, resulting in workers facing pay cuts of up to 25 per cent (£8,000 per annum) read more

Wheels fall off Wagon Wheel negotiations as DHL Liverpool contract prepares for fresh strike action – Hopes that further strike action by workers on the DHL Supply Chain contract in Liverpool could be avoided have been dashed as negotiations have collapsed. The 120 strong workforce undertake the delivery contract for Burton biscuits, which includes the Wagon Wheel and Jammie Dodger brands, and AB World Foods, including the Patak curry range and the Blue Dragon Chinese food range. The dispute is a result of low pay, with warehouse operatives being paid just above the minimum wage, as well as the systematic victimisation of workers, which has resulted in the complete breakdown in industrial relations. Strikes began on 19 December but Unite called off five days of planned strike action after DHL promised to make a ‘significantly improved offer’. However, when negotiations took place last week, it became apparent that DHL had reneged on its promise, only offering a three year deal rather than two years, with no significant pay increase being offered. As a result, the workforce will be undertaking strike action this week on Wednesday 20 and Thursday 21 January. Further strike dates have been announced for next month (2, 3, 4, 5, 8 and 9 February) with additional dates being considered read more

DHL Dartford strike ballot over suspended union rep mirrors company-wide ‘union busting’, says Unite

British Steel’s Scunthorpe site facing disruption as scaffolders take strike action over pay – The British Steel site in Scunthorpe faces disruption next week as scaffolders at the plant employed by contractor Brand Energy begin strike action in a dispute over pay. The 50 plus scaffolders, who are members of the construction union Unite, are responsible for the maintenance of over 500 scaffolding structures at the Scunthorpe site. The dispute is over pay and began in 2019. The workers are seeking to be paid in line with the National Agreement for the Engineering Construction Industry (NAECI). There is a difference of £2.00 an hour between their current pay rates and the established NAECI pay rates. Since 2019, Brand Energy has refused to engage with Unite over the pay dispute, leaving the union with no option but to ballot for strike action. The workforce delivered a resounding 100 per cent yes vote in favour of strike action. Unite has called a total of six days of strikes over the coming weeks, with the first 48 hour strike beginning on Monday 25 January at 05:30 read more

Northern England facing ‘crispstrophe’ as Eddie Stobart drivers on Walkers contract prepare for strike action – Consumers across northern England should brace themselves for a ‘crispstrophe’ as the drivers responsible for delivering Walkers crisps to supermarkets across the UK prepare to take strike action. The workers are employed by Eddie Stobart Ltd at its Warrington depot on the Walkers Pepsico contract. The workers returned a 96.7 per cent vote in favour of strike action before Christmas, as a result of Eddie Stobart trying to enforce a pay freeze on the drivers and refusing to enter into pay negotiations with Unite despite it being the recognised union. An overtime ban was instigated for a three week period which began on 26 December. However as Eddie Stobart has still declined to enter into pay talks a further overtime ban will commence from 00:01hrs on Saturday 23 January until 00:00hrs on Saturday 16 February, followed by four days of strike action from Sunday 17 February until Wednesday 20 February. Unite has also announced a further overtime ban from Saturday 20 February until Saturday 27 February and then a further three days of strike action from Sunday 28 February until Tuesday 2 March. Given the just in time nature of supermarket deliveries, Walkers products will swiftly disappear from shelves once strike action begins read more

Hull Croda workers to strike over years of missing holiday pay – Hull workers at chemical giant Croda Europe Ltd will take industrial action, including strike action, over years of missing holiday pay, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Tuesday 22 December). Around 90 Croda workers, who are members of Unite, were balloted for strike action in November over the company’s failure to incorporate holiday entitlement into their shift rotas at its Oak Road site. In a ballot with an 80 per cent turnout, nearly 90 per cent voted in favour of industrial action, which will take place in January. Shift workers at the factory have suffered miscalculations in their annual leave for as long as 21 years, with long serving staff owed thousands of pounds in holiday back pay 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

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

Sign this petition: 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

Home Office staff at Heathrow Airport vote for strike action over changes to rosters (1 Feb) – Passport control staff at one of the country’s busiest airports have voted for strike action over new “unworkable” rosters being imposed. Local management have forced the changes without agreement with the union which include ending the ability of staff to swap and request certain shifts. 412 members were balloted and 96.4% of those who voted said ‘yes’ to strike action on a 68% turnout… Strike dates will be announced in due course read more

PCS in dispute with CPS over Covid safety (1 Feb) – PCS is now in dispute with the Crown Prosecution Service following its failure to heed PCS’s calls to stop staff attending courts and tribunals until there are suitable and sufficient safety measures. We made this call as a result of growing concern for the health, safety and welfare of our members deployed to court. Transmission of Covid-19 across the HMCTS estate continues to rise at an alarming rate and the failure of HMCTS to implement suitable and sufficient safety measures means that we can no longer support the requirement for physical court attendance on safety grounds read more

PCS to ballot staff over court and tribunal Covid safety (1 Feb) – In response to Covid-19 cases rising alarmingly across HM Courts and Tribunals Service, we are holding a consultative ballot asking PCS members to back our demands for management action, including closing all courts and tribunals in England, Wales and Scotland. PCS has called for the closure to ensure the health, safety and welfare of staff, professional and lay court users remain protected. This ballot, which is a consultative vote, not a strike ballot, to get the views of all union members working in HMCTS, will run from 22 February to 15 March read more

Wallace collected urged by PCS to call off library and archive redundancies (1 Feb) – After today’s announcement that the renowned Wallace Collection has received a grant of £205k from the Weston Culture Fund, PCS is calling for the Wallace collection to immediately withdraw the threat of redundancy from our members in the library and archive. PCS continues to oppose all compulsory redundancies across the culture sector and will campaign vociferously against this attack on our member and branch secretary. We are urging our members and supporters to sign a petition to save the collection’s library and archive read more

DVLA survey shows overwhelming majority do not feel safe at work (29 Jan) – The data compiled by PCS also shows most members would favour industrial action, if safety concerns are not addressed. According to the survey so far, 86% of staff do not think it is a safe environment with suitable cleaning arrangements. Asked whether staff would be prepared to take strike action, 88% said they would, if there was a serious and imminent danger to their health and safety. General Secretary Mark Serwotka who has also been in talks with the Cabinet Office addressed a huge DVLA members Zoom meeting last night, where he gave an update on talks. Many members who attended spoke of feeling intimidated by management, scared to speak out and afraid to go into work due to the huge numbers being forced to go to the Swansea site. However, following immense pressure from PCS and accusations that CEO Julie Lennard misled a parliamentary committee earlier this week, DVLA management have agreed to negotiations with the union read more

PCS sets out demands to DVLA and DfT at crunch talks (29 Jan) – High level management from the DfT and DVLA met with senior PCS negotiators on Friday night to discuss the ongoing situation at the Swansea site, where over 2,000 people are being forced to attend an unsafe workplace every day. Chaired by Emma Ward – director general at the department for transport, the meeting was a detailed and robust exchange where PCS set out its demands to make sure DVLA staff are kept safe read more

Send DVLA staff home, says PCS (28 Jan) – DVLA must dramatically reduce staffing numbers or union action will follow, PCS warned today. The union which represents the majority of the 6,000-strong staff in Swansea, has repeatedly demanded action by DVLA management, following an outbreak of 535 Covid cases since September at the site read more

Covid-19 workplace exposure questionnaire (29 Jan) – PCS, working with Thompsons Solicitors, has launched a questionnaire on Covid-19 exposure, which will help us improve workplace health and safety. All members are encouraged to complete the questionnaire. Have you or your colleagues contracted Covid-19 as a result of your work? Read more

NI police investigating graffiti threat to border post staff (26 Jan) – Threatening graffiti against border control staff has appeared near Larne Harbour. Police are investigating graffiti painted on the wall near Larne harbour, which reads “All border post staff are targets”. The graffiti has been condemned by politicians from across the political spectrum. Border Control Posts (BCPs) have been established in Northern Ireland at Larne, Belfast and Warrenpoint. Checks and inspections on goods will be conducted at the BCPs by customs officials, vets and other workers. The BCPs are needed because of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement and the Northern Ireland Protocol. BCPs are a politically sensitive issue in Northern Ireland. PCS is clear that threats of this kind against workers are unacceptable. PCS officials and local reps will be investigating if any additional safety measures are needed to protect members, particularly in the Home Office and HMRC. Members can speak confidentially about safety concerns to their PCS reps. PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said “No worker should be threatened or targeted for doing their job. There is no place for this kind of sectarian intimidation in our society. The health and safety of our members is paramount.” 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

BREAKING NEWS!! NIPSA Calls on the Threats to Staff to be Lifted at NI Ports (2 Feb) – NIPSA, Northern Ireland’s largest public sector trade union condemns the threat to workers at the Ports of Belfast and Larne and calls for the threats to be immediately lifted from whoever is making these threats. Alison Millar, General Secretary NIPSA stated: “The threat against any worker is not acceptable and must be lifted immediately. All workers, no matter what work they do should be free to go to work and do their job without fear or threat. It is reprehensible that these threats have been made to workers and NIPSA members in both Mid and East Antrim Council and DAERA staff working at the ports who are doing their jobs. NIPSA therefore calls for the immediate lifting of these threats so that staff can go to work safely and without concern for their safety and the safety of their families.” Read more

 

GMB

TONIGHT 6.30pm: Rally for British Gas workers – LIVE! Facebook event

Pressure builds on Centrica CEO ahead of select committee hearing (1 Feb) – Multimillion pound customer Birmingham City Council calls on company to withdraw fire and rehire threat. The council leader of a local authority which has spent £18 million pounds with British Gas has put pressure on the company ahead of tomorrow’s select committee hearing read more

British Gas boss ‘lied’ about fire and rehire threat – MP tells Parliament (28 Jan) – Chris O’Shea told Stephen Doughty MP company had not issued redundancy notices when they had – as provoked strikes leave 200,000 planned annual service visits axed. The boss of British Gas ‘lied’ about a threat to fire and rehire thousands of British Gas engineers and other workers, an MP has told Parliament read more

British Gas called before select committee as workers strike over fire and rehire (27 Jan) – MP’s set to ask why the law allows a profitable British Gas to invent a crisis and provoke a strike to try to impose cuts on field engineers through the fire and rehire. GMB has accepted an invitation to appear at the BEIS Select Committee as MP’s call British Gas boss Chris O’Shea to give evidence over their fire and rehire plan. Strikes provoked by the company have now led to a repair backlog of more than 150,000 homes, with 200,000 routine annual boiler service visits cancelled so far this month, GMB will tell MP’s read more

Support the GMB strike against ‘fire and rehire at British Gas – send a message of support and donate to the GMB British Gas ‘Fire and Rehire’ Strike Fund

GMB Union condemns Frimley NHS Trust in recording Covid Vaccine related absences as normal sickness (1 Feb) – GMB is highlighting Frimley NHS Trust’s mismanagement of the sickness leave policy to discourage employees access to the lifesaving Covid vaccine. GMB, the union for all NHS workers, has strongly challenged Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust since senior management threatened disciplinary action and even dismissal against employees for any sickness absence related to Covid vaccination side effects read more

Scapegoated Nurse Exonerated (28 Jan) – Trade Union membership more important than ever. A care home was recently in the spotlight following visits from the Care Quality Commission. There were problems at the home including staff shortages and the care home manager left at short notice. One of the nurses, who is a GMB member, was then made Acting Deputy Manager read more

GMB backs socially distanced protest after care home manager sacked for cooking Christmas dinner (27 Jan) – “The residents themselves have chosen to stage a demonstration in support of our member, who has done nothing more than care for those in need”, says GMB. GMB, the union for workers in the care sector, will support residents protesting against FirstPort for sacking and evicting a supported living manager for arranging a lawful Christmas lunch. Pam Sherry, the manager at the supported living facility has been dismissed and given notice to quit her flat by FirstPort, even though the event was lawful, as has been confirmed by Wiltshire Police.  The residents share communal facilities in the buildings and have signed a letter confirming that they consider themselves to be in the same bubble. Residents at Regal Court, Trowbridge are planning to hold a socially distanced demonstration of support for their sacked manager by holding banners saying “Save our Manager”, while wearing masks and standing 2 meters apart outside their retirement home. Details of the demonstration are as follows: Wednesday 3rd February – 10am; Regal Court, Trowbridge, BA14 8HJ 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

Unison: Support the Birmingham NHS Heartlands Porters Dispute – UNSION members who are Heartlands 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. Next 3 strike dates are February 1-3

Email message of support to [email protected]

Donate to hardship fund: Unison University Hospitals Birmingham Branch 22536, Unity Trust Bank, Ac: 20403849   Sort Code: 60 83 01

Sign petition: We call upon the Chair of the Trust Jacqui Smith and the Chief Executive David Rosser to halt the imposition of the rota and to not ‘fire and rehire’ their Heartlands Hospital Porters on the 1st Feb. We urge them to ask the senior management to work with UNISON to implement a jointly agreed rota which is based upon a ‘fixed’ shift basis

UNISON raises COVID-19 concerns for members at army college (29 Jan) – Christina McAnea has written to the defence secretary seeking urgent response. UNISON members working for Compass and based at the Army Foundation College in Harrogate have expressed their fears of contracting COVID-19 on the site. Concerns were first raised on 7 January, when 800 young soldiers returned from leave, with 11 of them subsequently testing positive for coronavirus. Then on 14 January another 600 returned to the camp, of whom 53 tested positive a week later. A number of platoons were also placed in isolation. UNISON understands that there are now 100 confirmed cases. There are 23 UNISON members working for Compass at the college, in a variety of roles – catering, cleaning, admin, running the shop and looking after the electronic shooting range read more

 

CWU

Royal Mail Pathway to Change: Key Principles Framework read more

Further redundancy bombshell in Global a blatant management ‘choice’ (Feb 1) – BT Global’s main operating unit – the Digital Delivery Service Organisation, generally known as DDSO – has become the latest is part of the division to put people at risk of compulsory redundancy read more

Safer working agreement negotiated for Crown staff (Jan 29) – The CWU has reached a new agreement with the employer revising post office opening hours in order to reduce risk of Covid-19 exposure. With the key aim of keeping staff safe – while maintaining the highest standards of service to the public – these arrangements recognise the fantastic efforts of the whole workforce and meet the human and operational needs of this current period read more

Horizon Inquiry – Postmasters, Have Your Say! (Jan 29) – Are you a postmaster who encountered difficulties with the Horizon accounting system? If so, then the Inquiry currently getting under way under retired Judge Sir Wyn Williams is your opportunity to have your say. CWU assistant secretary Andy Furey told CWU.org this morning: “Sir Wyn’s team are now in the opening stages of gathering evidence and they’ve been in contact with us, asking us to publicise the ways that postmasters can make their views known. “This union fought for years – alongside others fighting for postmaster justice – to get a full inquiry into this whole affair, which was one of the biggest scandals of recent times. “So now that this is finally happening, it’s imperative that postmasters’ voices are heard. So please follow the links on here and make sure you Have Your Say! “We need to make sure those senior directors who are responsible are fully held to account for their actions” read more

Crunch time looming for Openreach as RPE industrial action ballot enters its final week (Jan) – With just one week left to run of the first statutory industrial action ballot in BT Group in more than a decade, the CWU is urging any Repayment Project Engineers (RPEs) who’ve not yet cast their vote to do so without delay. The crucial poll that is underway – triggered by Openreach management’s steadfast refusal to address the legitimate concerns of RPEs over imposed changes to the grading of their role -commenced exactly a fortnight ago, with the despatch of ballot papers taking place on Thursday January 14. Unusually, the normal two week voting period was extended to three on the advice of the ballot’s independent scrutineers on account of  possible delays in the postal service stemming from the worsening  Covid-19 pandemic read more

Anger builds as talks commence on shambolic IT outsourcing and associated redundancies (Jan 27) – Urgent answers to a host of pressing questions are being demanded for dozens of members of BT’s Digital Workplace Services Team who were last week placed at risk of compulsory redundancy just after learning they are about to be TUPE transferred  to a new employer. It was a week ago yesterday (Tuesday January 19) that the time-delayed  redundancy bombshell was dropped  on 33 members of the 86-strong team – just as the whole group were reeling from the bolt from the blue that their work is being outsourced to Computacenter on April 1 read more

CWU to bosses: ‘We will NOT let you destroy the Post Office!’ (Jan 27) – Shock news that Post Office bosses plan a return to the bad old days of ‘slash and burn’ provoked outrage from the union, when the first closure since the start of the pandemic was announced to stunned staff this morning. According to the company’s statement, the Crown Office at South Woodford in Essex is scheduled to close in May because the property owner plans to redevelop the site read more

 

NAPO

NPS Bonus Scheme causes predicted anger (27 Jan) – In the NPS members ballot on the 2020/21 pay offer it was explained that the NPS bonus payment scheme was not agreed by the unions and that we believed it was divisive and likely to leave a number of staff feeling undervalued read more

Lord Ponsonby raises Napo’s concerns in Lords Debate (27 Jan) – Debating amendments to the Counter-Terrorism and Sentencing Bill on Tuesday, Shadow Minister and Co-Chair of the Justice Unions Parliamentary Group, Lord Ponsonby raised both Napo’s and the POA’s concerns that Probation caseloads are far too high, at around 70 prisoners per officer, and that removing the hope of early release puts prison staff at risk read more

 

POA

Pay justice for prison officers (1 Jan) – Read this article from the Morning Star regarding pay justice for prison officers

 

BFAWU

Shrewsbury Pickets Case to be Heard in Court of Appeal – On 3 and 4 February 2021, the Court of Appeal will hear the appeal of the North Wales building workers who were prosecuted for picketing during the 1972 national building workers strike. Six received prison sentences and sixteen received suspended prison sentences. They have always maintained their innocence of all charges. The Shrewsbury 24 Campaign was launched in 2006 to overturn this miscarriage of justice. The Campaign represents twelve pickets including Dennis Warren (deceased), John McKinsie Jones, Kenneth O’Shea (deceased), John Clee, William Pierce, Terence Renshaw, Patrick Kevin Butcher, Bernard Williams, Alfred James (deceased), Samuel Roy Warburton (deceased), Graham Roberts (deceased) and John Kenneth Seaburg (deceased) read more

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

NEU Cymru notes plans to open schools for early years (29 Jan) – We must be mindful that everyone will be apprehensive about a potential rise in the virus levels if we open up too quickly, so a phased approach is welcome, as a safe return is essential read more

NEU launches plan for education return and recovery (28 Jan) – Today the NEU launches a new Education Recovery Plan. Today the NEU launches a new Education Recovery Plan to lead us out of lockdown in a way that is safe and sustainable for schools and colleges. Our original recovery plan, sent to the Government in June 2020, was a constructive and comprehensive roadmap out of the first national lockdown. It set out practical steps for fully reopening schools and colleges. Unfortunately, and to the risk of everyone working in education, the Government persisted with plans of its own. Whole year-group bubbles led to high numbers of pupil absences, as did too little space, inadequate PPE, no meaningful social distancing, and a lack of ventilation. ONS data has shown that school-age children as a group had the fastest rate of growth in Covid cases throughout the autumn term. This was a direct result of Government negligence on school safety. This is why the National Education Union is setting out a new recovery plan. Government has not, up to this point, made schools and colleges Covid-secure – and there was no hint of any further measures in yesterday’s announcement by Boris Johnson. Our plan, if adopted, would make the difference read more

Staff at #Sywell Primary #Northampton to strike with parents support against a takeover of their school. Press release here

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

Support Newham Little Ilford School strikes against unsafe expansion – NEU members are taking strike action at the enormous comprehensive in Manor Park, east London, which already teaches 1,470 students. Labour-run Newham Council wants it to take 1,800. Sign petition: Newham Council is trying to force Little Ilford School to expand to 1800 pupils. But expanding will mean an overcrowded school and an overwhelming environment for all staff and pupils. It will undermine the quality of education and care that can be provided to pupils. And the expansion is opposed by virtually the entire staff body

 

NASUWT

NASUWT comments on partial Wales school reopening (29 Jan) – Commenting on the First Minister’s announcement that schools in Wales will start to open more widely for younger pupils from 22 February, Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, said: “It is essential that the Wales national lockdown restrictions are supported fully in order to reduce the rates of virus transmission in the wider community and in order to ensure that schools can reopen fully as soon as it is safe to do so whilst minimising the risks to public health…” read more

Scotland: Public sector pay must adequately recognise work of teachers (28 Jan) – Commenting on the announcements on public sector pay and education funding in today’s Scottish budget, NASUWT General Secretary Dr Patrick Roach said: “While it is noted that the Scottish Government has resisted the path taken by the Westminster Government in seeking to impose a pay freeze on most public sector workers, today’s announcement of a 1% pay award is a paltry recognition of the vital work that teachers have done and are continuing to do throughout this pandemic…” read more

NASUWT comments on announcement on full school reopening (27 Jan) – Commenting on the Prime Minister’s announcement that schools in England will not start to open more widely to pupils until at least 8 March at the earliest, Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, said: “It is essential that the national lockdown restrictions are supported fully in order to reduce the rates of virus transmission in the wider community and in order to ensure that schools can reopen fully as soon as it is safe to do so whilst minimising the risks to public health…” read more

 

EIS

EIS urges caution ahead of COVID review schools announcement (1 Feb) – Ahead of the Cabinet review of the current lockdown situation, the EIS has urged the Scottish Government to err on the side of caution before planning school reopening. EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan commented, “Everyone is keen to see schools reopen as soon as possible but this can only happen when it is safe to do, both in terms of suppressing community infection levels and also operating schools safely read more

Real-terms pay Freeze lets down Scotland’s Teachers (28 Jan) – Commenting following today’s Scottish Budget announcement, which includes plans to cap public sector pay rises at 1% for those earning over £25,000 – including teachers – EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said: “Today’s announcement of an effective pay freeze will be met with deep disappointment by Scotland’s teachers, who have been working flat-out throughout the pandemic to offer as much support as possible to young people” read more

 

UCU

Petition calling for fair funding and online learning

Outrage as University of Liverpool threatens health and life science jobs during pandemic (1 Feb) – The University and College Union (UCU) today said threats by the University of Liverpool to cut research-active staff in its Faculty of Health and Life Sciences would be disastrous during Covid read more

UCU condemns government for ‘levelling down’ university teaching quality and access (28 Jan) – UCU condemned the Department for Education’s (DfE) plans to cut teaching grants for high-cost subjects and widening participation schemes. In new guidance sent to the Office for Students (OfS), the DfE announced that universities in London will no longer receive the additional London weighting portion of teaching grants. The weighting has until now been given to London institutions in recognition of the significantly higher cost of education provision in the capital, such as higher salaries, living costs and more expensive facilities. Across London universities, it is expected that its removal will lead to a loss of £64 million in grant income read more

UCU responds to prime minister’s statement on lockdown and re-opening of school sites (27 Jan) – UCU has today responded to the prime minister’s statement on the current lockdown and plans to fully reopen school sites in England. Demanding stability and safety for further and higher education staff, the union said the government needs to keep all but essential teaching online until at least April in colleges and until the end of this academic year in universities read more

Damning failures of governance and leadership at Hull College, says UCU (27 Jan) – UCU said a litany of governance and leadership errors had led to money being squandered by Hull College Group. The union was responding to a seeming revolving door between senior college staff and Hull Kingston Rovers (KR), a series of leadership changes, the threatened closure of Goole campus, and lavish marketing expenses read more

Staff vote no confidence in University of Leicester vice-chancellor and board, with 145 jobs under threat (26 Jan) – UCU members overwhelmingly backed a vote of no confidence in the University of Leicester’s vice chancellor and executive board on Monday (25 January), in response to a threat of widespread redundancies. At a meeting attended by over 200 staff, the University of Leicester UCU branch agreed the decision by university leadership to push ahead with redundancies amid the Covid crisis was ‘cruel and divisive.’ The union also unanimously passed a motion declaring its willingness to ballot for sustained industrial action to stop the job cuts read more

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

MPs back call for post-Brexit deal for media and creative industries (28 Jan) – MPs are backing a call by the Federation of Entertainment Unions for special travel rights for media and creative workers so they can continue to work across borders following Brexit. The failure of the UK government and EU to agree to such a deal has severely hampered the ability of creatives in the arts and journalists to continue to carry out business and collaboration with EU states without having to get visa for each country. Ask your MP to sign the EDM. You can contact your MP via the Write to Them website read more

 

Prospect

Library job cuts put heritage at risk/ Colli swyddi yn y llyfrgell yn peryglu treftadaeth (1 Feb) – The National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth is in consultation to cut around 30 jobs, mainly due to inadequate funding. Most of the job cuts will be through a mix of compulsory and voluntary redundancies read more

Response to flooding shows how Prospect members who are essential workers deliver through the pandemic (Garry Graham 29 Jan) – Throughout this pandemic, frontline medical workers have rightly been the focus for praise, and we have also come to appreciate people like delivery drivers and supermarket workers more than we ever did. But there is a wealth of other workers who perhaps sometimes get overlooked when we think about who enables us to function as a country at thus difficult time read more

Aviation support scheme welcome but far from comprehensive package needed (29 Jan) – Prospect, a union representing thousands of aviation workers has responded to the Airport and Ground Operations Support Scheme by the UK Government. Garry Graham, Prospect deputy general secretary, said: “The introduction of business rates relief and some support for airports and ground operations in England is welcome and long overdue. In fact Scotland introduced a similar scheme on business rates last summer. We will work to make sure employers make full and effective use of this scheme to prioritise protecting jobs and skills. These arrangements are however very far from the comprehensive package of support for the whole sector that the government has repeatedly talked about, but never actually delivered…” read more

A 1% pay award for the public sector is disappointing but progress on green jobs welcome (28 Jan) – The Scottish Government’s announcement of a 1% headline pay rise for public sector workers earning over £25k has been met with disappointment by Prospect’s nearly 2,000 members working across the sector read more

Prospect backs local MP call for HIAL meeting (26 Jan) – Prospect has backed the call from Na h-Eileanan an Iar MP Angus MacNeil for an urgent meeting between the Scottish Government, HIAL, unions, local councils and the Civil Aviation Authority to discuss the controversial remote towers project read more

 

USDAW

Another major blow for the high street as Asos takes Arcadia brands to online only – Usdaw calls on the Government to save our shops (1 Feb) – Retail trade union Usdaw is seeking urgent meetings with Arcadia administrators and urges them to treat staff with fairness and dignity, after Asos confirmed the takeover of Arcadia brands Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT. Usdaw is also calling on the Government to urgently act to save our high streets read more

 

Mandate (Ireland)

Mandate criticize Government lack of action on liquidations as 490 jobs lost in Arcadia (29 Jan) – Mandate Trade Union has criticised the Government’s lack of urgency in relation to protecting workers in liquidation scenarios following yesterdays announced 490 job losses in Arcadia. Deloitte, the liquidator of Arcadia (Topshop, Topman, Burton, Miss Selfridge, Dorothy Perkins, Burton, Outfit, Wallis and Evans), yesterday informed almost 500 workers that they have lost their jobs. Approximately 100 of the workers are not entitled to any statutory redundancy payment because they haven’t been employed for more than two years 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

 

UVW

Support the North London SAGE strike – Watch video of strike on UVW Facebook page

GET READY FOR ROUND 2! – The Sage care workers will walk out on a second strike from the 4th to the 8th of February. They’ve made it clear to Sage’s trustees that dignity in the workplace is non-negotiable. They deserve a living wage of £12 per hour, full pay sick pay and trade union recognition; and they won’t stop until they get it! If you want to support these workers in getting the respect and dignity they are long overdue, here’s what you can do:

1) Use our new letter writing tool to contact your MP calling on them to support the strike here

2) Use our new letter writing tool to send a message directly to Sage’s trustees calling on them to meet the workers’ demands here

3) Donate to the workers’ strike fund details here

“We’re one step closer to achieving a collective voice at work” declare key workers at North London care home as they head for a second round of strike action (2 Feb) – Cleaners, care workers and maintenance workers will walk out this week in what their trade union, United Voices of the World (UVW), has described as a “second wave” of strike action at Sage Nursing Home in Golders Green North London. The strikes, which will take place from the 4th to the 8th of February, will see the key workers repeat their demands for a £12 per hour living wage, and parity in sick pay and annual leave with NHS rates. Demands which UVW officials have described as “hugely significant demands, which are planting the seeds for much needed change in the care sector” read more

“There is a culture of discrimination” says trade union as it ballots school cleaners for strike action (27 Jan) – Cleaners at the prestigious Roman Catholic Girls’ School La Retraite, in Clapham South, London, are preparing to go on strike their trade union, United Voices of the World (UVW), has announced today. The dispute is understood to have emerged after the workers’ hours were cut, leading to what the union has described as a “£150 annual pay cut”, and after management refused to meet the workers’ demands for parity of sick pay and other terms and conditions with the school’s support staff. The cleaners currently only get the statutory minimum sick pay of around £95 a week. The cleaners were going to strike to be paid the London Living Wage, but this demand has already been conceded, marking the first time that the cleaners of La Retraite will receive anything more than the national minimum wage read more

 

 

Other news

BREAKING NEWS!! Emergency motion carried at South East Kent Trades Union Council last night (Feb 2nd) over the deplorable decision by Home Secretary Patel to confine people seeking asylum in Napier Barracks in Folkestone. We ask that you urgently circulate the resolution through your respective organisation, regards Eric Segal (Secretary South East Kent Trades Union Council)

This South East Kent Trades Union Council (SEKTUC) calls upon the Home Office to close down the Napier Barracks in Folkestone immediately. Napier barracks is an asylum seeker dispersal unit housing four hundred asylum seeking men. Napier Barracks is not fit for purpose and this is confirmed by the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus at the barracks.

These vulnerable people who have fled war and torture must now be moved to safe accommodation where self -isolation and appropriate social distancing is facilitated. They must have access to medical treatment for their mental and physical health.

Their asylum claims must be processed within an acceptable time frame and they should have full access to good quality legal advice and representation via legal aid solicitors.

We call on the TUC and its affiliated trade unions to support the campaign to close Napier Barracks and other military

 

Letter from Cardiff Trades Union Council to South Wales Police

Dear Mr. Michael and Mr. Vaughan – Cardiff Trades Union Council would like to express our deep concern at the death of Mohamud Muhammed Hassan and the subsequent events following his death.

Mohamud was arrested on Friday 8th January, held overnight in police custody at Cardiff Bay police station and released with injuries the following morning. He died later that day.

South Wales Police claim that he was not injured in its custody, but merely asserting that he was not harmed in their custody can never be enough to absolve the police or anyone else in such circumstances. It certainly is not enough to assuage the fears of his family, the Somali community and working people across Cardiff that Mohamud received fatal injuries at the hands of the police. At the very least the officers involved in his arrest and custody should have been suspended pending an enquiry.

We understand that the case has been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) for investigation, but given the record of the IOPC and its forerunners in not successfully investigating miscarriages of justice in South Wales in the past, there is very little confidence in the impartiality of that investigation in the communities in Cardiff.

We are therefore calling for an independent enquiry including representatives of Mohamud’s family, the local community and trade unions.

We also wish to raise concerns at the police handling of the protests calling for justice for Mohamud. One of the most vocal critics of the police has been fined for breaking Covid regulations at the protests at Cardiff Bay police station.

We are concerned that the requirement of public safety in the Covid crisis are being used by the South Wales Police to deny civil and democratic rights. We do not accept that the rights that our movement have fought for for centuries can be suspended or abolished – the right to strike, to picket, to protest, to demonstrate and to hold the police to account for their actions. We do accept that safety measures must be put in place to take account of the crisis and to be proportional to the issues concerned.

There are obviously safety concerns involved with the gathering of people during the Covid crisis, but policing of this event has to take into account the inflamed distress of the local community at the death of a young man in these circumstances. By fining participants in this way the South Wales Police is showing huge insensitivity and reinforcing the perception that it does not regard Mohamud’s death as particularly significant. It would appear to be a warning against anyone who challenges the actions of the South Wales Police. This is of particular concern given the record of police forces harassing the relatives of murdered young black men.

Our members have reported that the protests at Cardiff Bay were relatively safe, with most of the participants masked and largely socially distanced, with hand gel available – all in an outdoor environment.

The most dangerous situations arose when police officers attempted to manhandle protesters off the road, completely breaking social distancing regulations, and which if successful would have endangered the safety of the participants and helped the spread of Covid by squeezing hundreds of people onto a narrow pavement.

Our trades council has been inundated with complaints from workers who are being forced by their employers to work 37 hours a week in unsafe conditions indoors. Yet to the best of our knowledge the South wales Police has done nothing to enforce regulations against these employers, even though this is a much more dangerous and widespread practice.

It would appear therefore that the fining of participants at the protests at Cardiff Bay is motivated by an attempt to deter the public from holding the police to account for their actions rather than a desire to protect the public from Covid.

Cardiff & Vale BLM has been demanding that officers’ body-worn camera footage is made public. Cardiff Trades Council supports that demand. The entire and unedited footage needs to be made public from the time officers first came upon the scene until the time Mohamud Mohammed Hassan was released from custody. Nothing less will satisfy the family and the community.

Many of the young people on the protests asked, “Who are the police meant to be protecting?” After what has happened to Mohamud and others in police custody, they do not feel safe. Our aim must be to hold the police fully accountable to those young people, to the local community and to working people throughout Cardiff.

We would be grateful if you would respond to our concerns and ensure that action is taken to address them.

Yours sincerely.

Dave Bartlett (Secretary)

 

 

Fight blacklisting and victimisation of union reps

From PCS website: Shrewsbury pickets’ case at Court of Appeal (27 Jan) – The Shrewsbury 24 Campaign, which is seeking justice for North Wales building workers prosecuted for picketing during the 1972 national building workers’ strike, takes a potentially significant step next month when the Court of Appeal will be asked to overturn their convictions. The campaign, backed by PCS, is seeking justice for 24 trade unionists arrested and charged after the first national building workers’ strike in 1972 read more

#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

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.

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 was dismissed with no income. An online appeal has been set up to support Judith and her family.

Unite the union are ran a consultative ballot before Christmas to launch the campaign to get Judith reinstated. We understand that there was an overwhelming vote of support, which sends 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 are now 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!

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

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

From NUJ website: Netherlands – journalists’ safety increasingly under threat read more

 

 

Diary

 

 

CONTACT US

PHONE 07952 283 558

EMAIL mailto:[email protected]

 

TWITTER – https://twitter.com/NSSN_AntiCuts

FACEBOOK NSSN GROUP   or STOP The CUTS  Likes page

ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE

 

 

The NSSN celebrates the Tory u-turn over their proposed review of employment laws and regulations post-Brexit.

Despite their denials, this would have looked at a whole number of workers’ rights. But the fact that they have been forced to retreat, without a real mobilisation of the trade union movement, shows the weakness of this Tory government.

This now needs to be built on as workers, fighting for workplace safety and their jobs and living standards, face an offensive from the Government and the bosses. We should take confidence that the brutal attacks of ‘fire and rehire’ and the public sector pay freeze can be faced down and defeated.

We have seen an increasing number of disputes, some of which have won victories or at least major concessions. BA workers have forced management back on ‘fire and rehire’, Rolls Royce workers won security for their plant in Lancashire and education staff and teachers forced Johnson to close schools. We continue to support and build solidarity for workers taking action, such as the British Gas workers and many more.

Come and discuss how to build the fight that’s necessary for our lives and livelihoods.

Come to the online NSSN Zoom Public Meeting: Fight together against the Tories and Bosses COVID offensive – 12pm Sunday February 14th

Zoom details:-

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84444708960?pwd=TXlrRlhZdkdSQzJMNGRuY0tDekVyUT09

Meeting ID: 844 4470 8960   Passcode: 889162

Facebook event

 

Unite welcomes government decision to ditch workers’ rights review (28 Jan) – Responding to reports that the government has dropped plans to review workers’ rights Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “Parents and the low paid will breathe a sigh of relief that the Tories are not yet coming for their rights.  The epidemic of low pay and insecure work in this country are the real problems, not the basic rights of working people.  “Kwasi Kwarteng now has to put his money where his mouth is; if he wants to improve the lot of UK workers, then pick up the phone.  We’ve got a list of desperately needed workers’ rights ready to go. He could start by outlawing the appalling fire and rehire practice that is laying waste to workers’ wages across the country, and fix sick pay so that being unwell and unable to work is not a sure path to poverty” read more

 

 

 

 

Reinstate sacked Unite London bus rep Judith Katera: appeal hearing imminent!! 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. 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 was dismissed with no income. An online appeal has been set up to support Judith and her family. Unite the union are ran a consultative ballot before Christmas to launch the campaign to get Judith reinstated. We understand that there was an overwhelming vote of support, which sends 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 are now 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.

Judith’s fellow Abellio rep in Walworth garage Moe Muhsin Manir is also suspended awaiting an imminent disciplinary meeting, which could see him facing dismissal. Stop union busting!

 

 

Fight together against the Tory Pay Freeze

Tory Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a public sector pay freeze last November. 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 – last year, there were demonstrations and rallies in many towns and cities. Workers in the NHS and care sector workers demand an immediate 15% pay rise that starts to close the income gap caused by a decade of pay freezes. 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’

 

 

Health Campaigns Together Conference: The Pandemic and Privatisation – how to fight backThursday February 25 2021, 6.30-8.30pm

The pandemic has been a goldmine for private contractors and management consultants. But while the private sector celebrates its new-found riches, the fiascos of failed private services have been exposed to millions. Privatised test and trace systems have become byword for failure, just as poor standards of hospital cleaning epitomised the failures of the first outsourced contracts in the 1980s. The question is how health unions and campaigners can work together and develop the right publicity and information to show the folly and expose the waste and inefficiency of privatisation and outsourcing? Join us for an online conference on February 25, called by Health Campaigns Together, working in partnership with the health unions UNISON, Unite and GMB, the PDA union, the TUC, Keep Our NHS Public, the NHS Support Federation (NHS For Sale), and The Lowdown read more

 

 

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 and you can catch up on disputes at Strike Map UK

 

 

 

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

RMT on Wightlink’s reluctance to take up taxpayer support (1 Feb) – RMT expresses shock and disgust at Wightlink’s reluctance to take up taxpayer support as members prepare for strike action over attack on conditions. WIGHTLINK UNION RMT expressed shock and disgust today over lifeline ferry company Wightlink’s dismissal of public funding which could help ease the financial pressure created by the pandemic. The union is currently in dispute with the company and has announced a raft of strike dates from April over an attack on pensions, terms and conditions. The union has been appalled by the cavalier attitude of the company to consultation over their plans and the failure to take up financial support ‎that could have mitigated the current situation read more

RMT launches TRANSPORT WORKERS ARE ESSENTIAL WORKERS campaign as threats of pay freezes and job cuts surface (1 Feb) – TRANSPORT UNION RMT said today that it will be launching a fresh wave of campaigning under the banner TRANSPORT WORKERS ARE ESSENTIAL WORKERS as threats of pay freezes and possible attacks on jobs and conditions emerged in Government briefings over the weekend. The new campaign, which will be rolled out through a high profile advertising blitz on social media and in press ads, will tie in with work being carried out through the TUC and an alliance of unions designed to halt the threat of pay freezes and cuts to standards of living across Britain’s public services and public sector in the wake of the COVID pandemic read more

RMT bus worker survey reveals “wild west approach” (29 Jan) – RMT bus worker survey reveals “wild west approach” to enforcing Covid-19 safety regulations just days after the Office of National Statistics publishes data showing that bus drivers were at increased risk of dying from Covid-19. Days after the ONS published figures which showed that male bus workers are at an increased risk of dying from Covid-19 a new RMT survey of bus workers reveals a “wild west approach” to enforcing Covid-19 safety regulations and measures in the bus industry read more

RMT calls on government to get serious about levelling up and save the Tyne and Wear Metro (26 Jan) – RMT General Secretary Mick Cash has called on Transport Secretary Grant Shapps to step in and approve funds that will provide long-term stability to the struggling Tyne and Wear Metro. The Metro, which carried 36 million passenger trips in 2018/19 and serves 60 stations in the North East, is forecast to lose around 75% of its revenue this year as a result of the Coronavirus. Although the Metro has had emergency funds worth £39 million to keep it afloat, it doesn’t benefit from the kind of long-term bailouts given to train formerly franchised operating companies read more

RMT members to strike at rail infrastructure firm Clarke Chapman over refusal to table pay award – RMT members working at Clarke Chapman Facilities Management will be taking strike action and action short of a strike following a ballot after the company refused to table a pay award. Clarke Chapman is infrastructure maintenance and renewals company that maintain the mobile maintenance for Ontrack plant, wagons and equipment. Members are instructed to take STRIKE action by not to booking on for any shifts that commence between:-

  • 00:01 hours on Saturday 30th January 2021 and 23:59 hours on Monday 1st February 2021.
  • 00:01 hours on Saturday 6th February 2021 and 23:59 hours on Monday 8th February 2021.

Additionally, the following industrial action has also been called:-

  • A rest day working ban and an overtime ban between 00:01 hours on Tuesday 2nd February 2021 and 23:59 hours on Friday 5th February 2021 read more

Support RMT strike on SERCO Caledonian Sleeper – Email messages of support via [email protected]org.uk 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

 

ASLEF

Survey: The Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on Railway Workers (27 Jan) – During the global COVID-19 pandemic, railway front line staff have had to respond with little preparation and limited resource. The impact of managing the pandemic on the psychological health of railway keyworkers is unknown. A new study from Strathclyde University will explore the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental wellbeing of railway keyworkers. ASLEF members are invited to take part in this anonymous online survey read more

 

TSSA

Rail pay freeze “kick in the teeth for keyworkers” says TSSA (1 Feb) – Transport union TSSA has written to Rail Minister Chris Heaton Harris after the union learnt that the government plans to impose a pay freeze for rail workers, saying it would be a “kick in the teeth for keyworkers”. TSSA understands that the government has written to all Department for Transport Train Operating Companies and Network Rail saying it will not fund pay rises this year – other than for those earning £25,000 per annum or less – nor any outstanding pay claims from 2020. This will mean a pay freeze for thousands of key worker rail staff – for two years in many cases read more

Sick Pay – TSSA accepts new sick pay arrangements (28 Jan) – TSSA has now formally accepted Stena’s proposals to introduce new sick pay arrangements, having persuaded the company to considerably improve on its original proposals made in November 2020. The new arrangements apply from 1 January 2021 read more

Network Rail concedes consultation over Network Services dissolution (26 Jan) – Our Union has successfully challenged the Company’s refusal to formally consult the dissolution of Network Services. Full consultation will now happen. We expect correspondence detailing changes for our consideration to be issued on Monday 01 Feb 2021 and a meeting scheduled to discuss 2 weeks later. We will be looking for members to feedback your thoughts and input back to your Reps so we can make the relevant challenges to the Company via the consultation process read more

 

Unite

Bradford bus strikes off after agreement reached over drivers’ safety concerns (2 Feb) – Strike action at First West Yorkshire buses in Bradford has been called off after drivers struck an agreement with the company to resolve scheduling issues, Unite said today (Tuesday 2 February 2021). Unite, the UK’s leading union, said the agreement had been reached ‘amicably’ thanks to the hard work of all involved to find a solution. In December, nearly 300 drivers voted in favour of strike action against the company’s decision not to restore regular schedules upon returning to full service. The schedules were causing fatigue and stress for drivers, which was a danger to both themselves and the public. Under the new agreement, First West Yorkshire will make adjustments to running times to reflect the return of near-normal amounts of traffic and reduce excessive duty lengths read more

Anger at GE’s ‘financial torpedo’ on workers’ pensions, says Unite (1 Feb) – Nearly 3,000 workers at industrial conglomerate GE will be taking ‘a huge financial hit’ under proposals to close the defined benefit final salary pension scheme, Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, warned today (Monday 1 February). Unite said it was ‘a financial torpedo’ for the retirement incomes of 2,800 workers who had shown ‘an incredible amount of dedication’ to keep GE businesses running smoothly during the pandemic. The company wants to close the GE Pension Plan (GEPP) and the GEAPS defined benefit pension schemes and, from 1 January 2022, move members to the GE’s existing and inferior defined contribution scheme which is at the mercy of fluctuations in global stock markets read more

Unite demands repeal of FEMPI this year (Feb 1) – Sole purpose of controversial legislation is to coerce workers. February 1st: Unite, which represents workers throughout the public sector, today (Monday) said that it has written to Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath seeking a commitment that FEMPI legislation will be repealed when it comes up for review this year read more

Low paid, frontline Thompsons’ feedmill workers insulted with pay increase of as little as seven pence an hour while millions go to shareholders in dividends (Feb 1) – Accounts confirm company profits of more than four million a year, 70 percent paid out to coupon-clippers as dividends, while workers offered a bare 0.6 percent pay increase read more

Airbus Broughton Workers Vote for Shorter Working Week to Save Jobs (1 Feb) – Unite members employed at the Airbus plant in Broughton have voted overwhelmingly to support the introduction of a shorter working week in order to save jobs. Following a ballot of Unite members at Broughton, the workforce voted overwhelmingly in support of the proposals read more

Forcing builders onto bikes is dangerous warns Unite, as TfL issues construction worker travel advice (29 Jan) – Unite, the UK’s construction union, has warned that forcing construction workers in London onto bikes is potentially dangerous. Unite issued its warning after Transport for London (TfL) issued travel advice for construction workers to avoid congestion on public transport read more

Strike ballot at historic Merseyside glassmaker Pilkington after pay promise broken (29 Jan) – Merseyside glassmakers employed by Pilkington are being balloted for strike action over the company’s failure to deliver a promised 2.5 per cent pay rise, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Friday 29 January). More than 100 Unite members at glassmaker Pilkington’s Cowley Hill and Greengate sites in Saint Helens will be balloted for strike action, after the company refused to implement the rise, which was agreed with Unite members in 2019 and set to take effect in March 2020. Unite said it believed the historic company, which was founded in 1826 and is now owned by the Japanese Nippon Sheet Glass group, had budgeted for the pay increase but had used the pandemic as an opportunity to not honour the agreement. The ballot for strike action opened on 28 January and will close on Thursday 11 February read more

Security guards at Reading hospital to stage third wave of strikes until March in ‘David and Goliath’ pay battle (29 Jan) – Security staff at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, locked in a ‘David and Goliath’ pay battle with their employer, will be staging a third wave of strikes into early March. The 20 security guards have been taking strike action since mid-December over the failure of their employer Kingdom Services Group Ltd to make a decent pay offer for 2020. They provide security for the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust. The third wave of strike action, announced today (Friday 29 January) by Unite the union, will run from 19.00 on Friday 12 February and ending at 19.00 on Sunday 7 March. This follows on from already announced strikes from 07:00 on 1 February until 19.00 on 5 February; and from 07:00 on 8 February until 19.00 on 12 February read more   Text solidarity messages via Jessica 07718668497 and donate to strike fund: Acc. No.: 20173991   Sort Code: 60-83-01.  Sign petition to Mark Wallace , Kingdom Service Group Managing Director: Pay Royal Berkshire Hospital security staff a wage they can live on

Two Hackney education disputes come to a head with three days of strikes in February – Two separate industrial disputes affecting schools in east London will lead to three days of strike action in February, Unite the union announced today (Tuesday 26 January). Ten teaching support staff at the Colvestone primary school and the Thomas Fairchild community school, part of the Hackney-based Soaring Skies Federation which educates more than 600 children, will strike over potentially more than 18 jobs being at risk out of about 30-strong teaching support staff. The 32 drivers and passenger assistants, who take disabled children to and from school in Hackney, voted unanimously to strike over the failure of their employer, the borough council, to make a one-off £500 Covid-19 payment and other health & safety issues. Both strikes will begin at 00:01 on Wednesday 10 February continuing each day up to Friday 12 February, ending at 24:00. Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “These two long-running disputes are coming home to roost for the respective employers in Hackney when ‘education’ is at the top of the political agenda…” read more

Unite seeking urgent meeting as GKN Birmingham factory is earmarked for closure (28 Jan) – Unite, the UK’s leading union, is seeking urgent meetings in order to understand the business case which underpins the announcement today (Thursday 28 January) that GKN is set to close its Chester Road factory in Birmingham. The company has said that the factory, which produces drivelines, principally for JLR and other automotive companies, will close in 18 months time. The factory currently employs over 500 workers. Since 2018, GKN has been owned by venture capitalists Melrose read more

Fresh Babcock strikes at RAF Leeming as ‘flight disruption’ over pay disparity continues (28 Jan) – Strike action by Babcock Aerospace workers at RAF Leeming, near Northallerton in North Yorkshire, over a £5,000 pay disparity will continue until the end of February, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Thursday 28 January). Around 50 Babcock workers, who provide operational and engineering services for aircraft at RAF Leeming, including the Hawk trainer aircraft, last week began three weeks of discontinuous strike action as well as a continuous overtime ban. Unite said of the fresh wave of strike action: “the disruption to training flight schedules will continue until the end of February”. The workers will be holding socially distanced picket lines outside the main entrance to RAF Leeming during the strikes (see notes to editors for strike times and dates). The Unite members voted in favour of strike action after being refused shift pay, even though their colleagues at RAF Valley in Wales receive it for performing the same duties. The difference in take home wages between those who receive shift pay and those who do not amounts to around £5,000 a year read more

Latest Covid mortality for hospitality workers confirm the failure of policies which have allowed unscrupulous employers to cut corners on infection control (Jan 28) – Government must compel employers to provide full sick pay for workers forced to self-isolate in order to safeguard public health and the NHS. Unite is seeking legislation for roving trade union health and safety reps to ensure that workers in smaller and non-unionised read more

Unite ends BA ‘fire and rehire’ dispute by securing deal to avoid forthcoming cargo strike action (27 Jan) – Unite, the UK’s principal aviation union, has secured a deal (subject to a members’ ballot) to end the long running dispute over British Airways’ plans to fire and rehire the workforce in its cargo division. Members of Unite employed at BA Cargo, the majority of whom work at Heathrow Airport, undertook nine days of strike action over the Christmas/New Year period which caused overwhelming disruption to the company’s cargo services. Unite had proposed a total of a further nine days of strike action beginning on Friday 22 January but the first three days were called off at the last minute, after progress was made at the negotiations. The next round of strikes due to begin this weekend have also been called off read more

Heathrow Airport braced for fresh strikes in ‘bitter’ fire and rehire dispute – Unite members at Heathrow Airport Ltd (HAL) will undertake renewed strike action next month in the increasingly bitter dispute over the company’s decision to fire and rehire its entire workforce, which is forcing many workers into poverty. The workforce took four days of strike action last December and have now announced that they will take strike action on Friday 5 February. Different groups of workers will be striking at different times on this date. Unite members recorded an 84 per cent yes vote for strike action and the targeted action will involve: firefighters, engineers, campus security, baggage operations, central terminal operations, landside and airside operations. The dispute is a result of HAL firing and rehiring its entire 4,000 strong workforce on vastly inferior contracts, resulting in workers facing pay cuts of up to 25 per cent (£8,000 per annum) read more

Wheels fall off Wagon Wheel negotiations as DHL Liverpool contract prepares for fresh strike action – Hopes that further strike action by workers on the DHL Supply Chain contract in Liverpool could be avoided have been dashed as negotiations have collapsed. The 120 strong workforce undertake the delivery contract for Burton biscuits, which includes the Wagon Wheel and Jammie Dodger brands, and AB World Foods, including the Patak curry range and the Blue Dragon Chinese food range. The dispute is a result of low pay, with warehouse operatives being paid just above the minimum wage, as well as the systematic victimisation of workers, which has resulted in the complete breakdown in industrial relations. Strikes began on 19 December but Unite called off five days of planned strike action after DHL promised to make a ‘significantly improved offer’. However, when negotiations took place last week, it became apparent that DHL had reneged on its promise, only offering a three year deal rather than two years, with no significant pay increase being offered. As a result, the workforce will be undertaking strike action this week on Wednesday 20 and Thursday 21 January. Further strike dates have been announced for next month (2, 3, 4, 5, 8 and 9 February) with additional dates being considered read more

DHL Dartford strike ballot over suspended union rep mirrors company-wide ‘union busting’, says Unite

British Steel’s Scunthorpe site facing disruption as scaffolders take strike action over pay – The British Steel site in Scunthorpe faces disruption next week as scaffolders at the plant employed by contractor Brand Energy begin strike action in a dispute over pay. The 50 plus scaffolders, who are members of the construction union Unite, are responsible for the maintenance of over 500 scaffolding structures at the Scunthorpe site. The dispute is over pay and began in 2019. The workers are seeking to be paid in line with the National Agreement for the Engineering Construction Industry (NAECI). There is a difference of £2.00 an hour between their current pay rates and the established NAECI pay rates. Since 2019, Brand Energy has refused to engage with Unite over the pay dispute, leaving the union with no option but to ballot for strike action. The workforce delivered a resounding 100 per cent yes vote in favour of strike action. Unite has called a total of six days of strikes over the coming weeks, with the first 48 hour strike beginning on Monday 25 January at 05:30 read more

Northern England facing ‘crispstrophe’ as Eddie Stobart drivers on Walkers contract prepare for strike action – Consumers across northern England should brace themselves for a ‘crispstrophe’ as the drivers responsible for delivering Walkers crisps to supermarkets across the UK prepare to take strike action. The workers are employed by Eddie Stobart Ltd at its Warrington depot on the Walkers Pepsico contract. The workers returned a 96.7 per cent vote in favour of strike action before Christmas, as a result of Eddie Stobart trying to enforce a pay freeze on the drivers and refusing to enter into pay negotiations with Unite despite it being the recognised union. An overtime ban was instigated for a three week period which began on 26 December. However as Eddie Stobart has still declined to enter into pay talks a further overtime ban will commence from 00:01hrs on Saturday 23 January until 00:00hrs on Saturday 16 February, followed by four days of strike action from Sunday 17 February until Wednesday 20 February. Unite has also announced a further overtime ban from Saturday 20 February until Saturday 27 February and then a further three days of strike action from Sunday 28 February until Tuesday 2 March. Given the just in time nature of supermarket deliveries, Walkers products will swiftly disappear from shelves once strike action begins read more

Hull Croda workers to strike over years of missing holiday pay – Hull workers at chemical giant Croda Europe Ltd will take industrial action, including strike action, over years of missing holiday pay, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Tuesday 22 December). Around 90 Croda workers, who are members of Unite, were balloted for strike action in November over the company’s failure to incorporate holiday entitlement into their shift rotas at its Oak Road site. In a ballot with an 80 per cent turnout, nearly 90 per cent voted in favour of industrial action, which will take place in January. Shift workers at the factory have suffered miscalculations in their annual leave for as long as 21 years, with long serving staff owed thousands of pounds in holiday back pay 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

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

Sign this petition: 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

Home Office staff at Heathrow Airport vote for strike action over changes to rosters (1 Feb) – Passport control staff at one of the country’s busiest airports have voted for strike action over new “unworkable” rosters being imposed. Local management have forced the changes without agreement with the union which include ending the ability of staff to swap and request certain shifts. 412 members were balloted and 96.4% of those who voted said ‘yes’ to strike action on a 68% turnout… Strike dates will be announced in due course read more

PCS in dispute with CPS over Covid safety (1 Feb) – PCS is now in dispute with the Crown Prosecution Service following its failure to heed PCS’s calls to stop staff attending courts and tribunals until there are suitable and sufficient safety measures. We made this call as a result of growing concern for the health, safety and welfare of our members deployed to court. Transmission of Covid-19 across the HMCTS estate continues to rise at an alarming rate and the failure of HMCTS to implement suitable and sufficient safety measures means that we can no longer support the requirement for physical court attendance on safety grounds read more

PCS to ballot staff over court and tribunal Covid safety (1 Feb) – In response to Covid-19 cases rising alarmingly across HM Courts and Tribunals Service, we are holding a consultative ballot asking PCS members to back our demands for management action, including closing all courts and tribunals in England, Wales and Scotland. PCS has called for the closure to ensure the health, safety and welfare of staff, professional and lay court users remain protected. This ballot, which is a consultative vote, not a strike ballot, to get the views of all union members working in HMCTS, will run from 22 February to 15 March read more

Wallace collected urged by PCS to call off library and archive redundancies (1 Feb) – After today’s announcement that the renowned Wallace Collection has received a grant of £205k from the Weston Culture Fund, PCS is calling for the Wallace collection to immediately withdraw the threat of redundancy from our members in the library and archive. PCS continues to oppose all compulsory redundancies across the culture sector and will campaign vociferously against this attack on our member and branch secretary. We are urging our members and supporters to sign a petition to save the collection’s library and archive read more

DVLA survey shows overwhelming majority do not feel safe at work (29 Jan) – The data compiled by PCS also shows most members would favour industrial action, if safety concerns are not addressed. According to the survey so far, 86% of staff do not think it is a safe environment with suitable cleaning arrangements. Asked whether staff would be prepared to take strike action, 88% said they would, if there was a serious and imminent danger to their health and safety. General Secretary Mark Serwotka who has also been in talks with the Cabinet Office addressed a huge DVLA members Zoom meeting last night, where he gave an update on talks. Many members who attended spoke of feeling intimidated by management, scared to speak out and afraid to go into work due to the huge numbers being forced to go to the Swansea site. However, following immense pressure from PCS and accusations that CEO Julie Lennard misled a parliamentary committee earlier this week, DVLA management have agreed to negotiations with the union read more

PCS sets out demands to DVLA and DfT at crunch talks (29 Jan) – High level management from the DfT and DVLA met with senior PCS negotiators on Friday night to discuss the ongoing situation at the Swansea site, where over 2,000 people are being forced to attend an unsafe workplace every day. Chaired by Emma Ward – director general at the department for transport, the meeting was a detailed and robust exchange where PCS set out its demands to make sure DVLA staff are kept safe read more

Send DVLA staff home, says PCS (28 Jan) – DVLA must dramatically reduce staffing numbers or union action will follow, PCS warned today. The union which represents the majority of the 6,000-strong staff in Swansea, has repeatedly demanded action by DVLA management, following an outbreak of 535 Covid cases since September at the site read more

Covid-19 workplace exposure questionnaire (29 Jan) – PCS, working with Thompsons Solicitors, has launched a questionnaire on Covid-19 exposure, which will help us improve workplace health and safety. All members are encouraged to complete the questionnaire. Have you or your colleagues contracted Covid-19 as a result of your work? 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

 

GMB

TONIGHT 6.30pm: Rally for British Gas workers – LIVE! Facebook event

Pressure builds on Centrica CEO ahead of select committee hearing (1 Feb) – Multimillion pound customer Birmingham City Council calls on company to withdraw fire and rehire threat. The council leader of a local authority which has spent £18 million pounds with British Gas has put pressure on the company ahead of tomorrow’s select committee hearing read more

British Gas boss ‘lied’ about fire and rehire threat – MP tells Parliament (28 Jan) – Chris O’Shea told Stephen Doughty MP company had not issued redundancy notices when they had – as provoked strikes leave 200,000 planned annual service visits axed. The boss of British Gas ‘lied’ about a threat to fire and rehire thousands of British Gas engineers and other workers, an MP has told Parliament read more

British Gas called before select committee as workers strike over fire and rehire (27 Jan) – MP’s set to ask why the law allows a profitable British Gas to invent a crisis and provoke a strike to try to impose cuts on field engineers through the fire and rehire. GMB has accepted an invitation to appear at the BEIS Select Committee as MP’s call British Gas boss Chris O’Shea to give evidence over their fire and rehire plan. Strikes provoked by the company have now led to a repair backlog of more than 150,000 homes, with 200,000 routine annual boiler service visits cancelled so far this month, GMB will tell MP’s read more

Support the GMB strike against ‘fire and rehire at British Gas – send a message of support and donate to the GMB British Gas ‘Fire and Rehire’ Strike Fund

GMB Union condemns Frimley NHS Trust in recording Covid Vaccine related absences as normal sickness (1 Feb) – GMB is highlighting Frimley NHS Trust’s mismanagement of the sickness leave policy to discourage employees access to the lifesaving Covid vaccine. GMB, the union for all NHS workers, has strongly challenged Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust since senior management threatened disciplinary action and even dismissal against employees for any sickness absence related to Covid vaccination side effects read more

Scapegoated Nurse Exonerated (28 Jan) – Trade Union membership more important than ever. A care home was recently in the spotlight following visits from the Care Quality Commission. There were problems at the home including staff shortages and the care home manager left at short notice. One of the nurses, who is a GMB member, was then made Acting Deputy Manager read more

GMB backs socially distanced protest after care home manager sacked for cooking Christmas dinner (27 Jan) – “The residents themselves have chosen to stage a demonstration in support of our member, who has done nothing more than care for those in need”, says GMB. GMB, the union for workers in the care sector, will support residents protesting against FirstPort for sacking and evicting a supported living manager for arranging a lawful Christmas lunch. Pam Sherry, the manager at the supported living facility has been dismissed and given notice to quit her flat by FirstPort, even though the event was lawful, as has been confirmed by Wiltshire Police.  The residents share communal facilities in the buildings and have signed a letter confirming that they consider themselves to be in the same bubble. Residents at Regal Court, Trowbridge are planning to hold a socially distanced demonstration of support for their sacked manager by holding banners saying “Save our Manager”, while wearing masks and standing 2 meters apart outside their retirement home. Details of the demonstration are as follows: Wednesday 3rd February – 10am; Regal Court, Trowbridge, BA14 8HJ 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

Unison: Support the Birmingham NHS Heartlands Porters Dispute – UNSION members who are Heartlands 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. Next 3 strike dates are February 1-3

Email message of support to [email protected]

Donate to hardship fund: Unison University Hospitals Birmingham Branch 22536, Unity Trust Bank, Ac: 20403849   Sort Code: 60 83 01

Sign petition: We call upon the Chair of the Trust Jacqui Smith and the Chief Executive David Rosser to halt the imposition of the rota and to not ‘fire and rehire’ their Heartlands Hospital Porters on the 1st Feb. We urge them to ask the senior management to work with UNISON to implement a jointly agreed rota which is based upon a ‘fixed’ shift basis

UNISON raises COVID-19 concerns for members at army college (29 Jan) – Christina McAnea has written to the defence secretary seeking urgent response. UNISON members working for Compass and based at the Army Foundation College in Harrogate have expressed their fears of contracting COVID-19 on the site. Concerns were first raised on 7 January, when 800 young soldiers returned from leave, with 11 of them subsequently testing positive for coronavirus. Then on 14 January another 600 returned to the camp, of whom 53 tested positive a week later. A number of platoons were also placed in isolation. UNISON understands that there are now 100 confirmed cases. There are 23 UNISON members working for Compass at the college, in a variety of roles – catering, cleaning, admin, running the shop and looking after the electronic shooting range read more

 

CWU

Royal Mail Pathway to Change: Key Principles Framework read more

Further redundancy bombshell in Global a blatant management ‘choice’ (Feb 1) – BT Global’s main operating unit – the Digital Delivery Service Organisation, generally known as DDSO – has become the latest is part of the division to put people at risk of compulsory redundancy read more

Safer working agreement negotiated for Crown staff (Jan 29) – The CWU has reached a new agreement with the employer revising post office opening hours in order to reduce risk of Covid-19 exposure. With the key aim of keeping staff safe – while maintaining the highest standards of service to the public – these arrangements recognise the fantastic efforts of the whole workforce and meet the human and operational needs of this current period read more

Horizon Inquiry – Postmasters, Have Your Say! (Jan 29) – Are you a postmaster who encountered difficulties with the Horizon accounting system? If so, then the Inquiry currently getting under way under retired Judge Sir Wyn Williams is your opportunity to have your say. CWU assistant secretary Andy Furey told CWU.org this morning: “Sir Wyn’s team are now in the opening stages of gathering evidence and they’ve been in contact with us, asking us to publicise the ways that postmasters can make their views known. “This union fought for years – alongside others fighting for postmaster justice – to get a full inquiry into this whole affair, which was one of the biggest scandals of recent times. “So now that this is finally happening, it’s imperative that postmasters’ voices are heard. So please follow the links on here and make sure you Have Your Say! “We need to make sure those senior directors who are responsible are fully held to account for their actions” read more

Crunch time looming for Openreach as RPE industrial action ballot enters its final week (Jan) – With just one week left to run of the first statutory industrial action ballot in BT Group in more than a decade, the CWU is urging any Repayment Project Engineers (RPEs) who’ve not yet cast their vote to do so without delay. The crucial poll that is underway – triggered by Openreach management’s steadfast refusal to address the legitimate concerns of RPEs over imposed changes to the grading of their role -commenced exactly a fortnight ago, with the despatch of ballot papers taking place on Thursday January 14. Unusually, the normal two week voting period was extended to three on the advice of the ballot’s independent scrutineers on account of  possible delays in the postal service stemming from the worsening  Covid-19 pandemic read more

Anger builds as talks commence on shambolic IT outsourcing and associated redundancies (Jan 27) – Urgent answers to a host of pressing questions are being demanded for dozens of members of BT’s Digital Workplace Services Team who were last week placed at risk of compulsory redundancy just after learning they are about to be TUPE transferred  to a new employer. It was a week ago yesterday (Tuesday January 19) that the time-delayed  redundancy bombshell was dropped  on 33 members of the 86-strong team – just as the whole group were reeling from the bolt from the blue that their work is being outsourced to Computacenter on April 1 read more

CWU to bosses: ‘We will NOT let you destroy the Post Office!’ (Jan 27) – Shock news that Post Office bosses plan a return to the bad old days of ‘slash and burn’ provoked outrage from the union, when the first closure since the start of the pandemic was announced to stunned staff this morning. According to the company’s statement, the Crown Office at South Woodford in Essex is scheduled to close in May because the property owner plans to redevelop the site read more

 

NAPO

NPS Bonus Scheme causes predicted anger (27 Jan) – In the NPS members ballot on the 2020/21 pay offer it was explained that the NPS bonus payment scheme was not agreed by the unions and that we believed it was divisive and likely to leave a number of staff feeling undervalued read more

Lord Ponsonby raises Napo’s concerns in Lords Debate (27 Jan) – Debating amendments to the Counter-Terrorism and Sentencing Bill on Tuesday, Shadow Minister and Co-Chair of the Justice Unions Parliamentary Group, Lord Ponsonby raised both Napo’s and the POA’s concerns that Probation caseloads are far too high, at around 70 prisoners per officer, and that removing the hope of early release puts prison staff at risk read more

 

POA

Pay justice for prison officers (1 Jan) – Read this article from the Morning Star regarding pay justice for prison officers

 

BFAWU

Shrewsbury Pickets Case to be Heard in Court of Appeal – On 3 and 4 February 2021, the Court of Appeal will hear the appeal of the North Wales building workers who were prosecuted for picketing during the 1972 national building workers strike. Six received prison sentences and sixteen received suspended prison sentences. They have always maintained their innocence of all charges. The Shrewsbury 24 Campaign was launched in 2006 to overturn this miscarriage of justice. The Campaign represents twelve pickets including Dennis Warren (deceased), John McKinsie Jones, Kenneth O’Shea (deceased), John Clee, William Pierce, Terence Renshaw, Patrick Kevin Butcher, Bernard Williams, Alfred James (deceased), Samuel Roy Warburton (deceased), Graham Roberts (deceased) and John Kenneth Seaburg (deceased) read more

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

NEU Cymru notes plans to open schools for early years (29 Jan) – We must be mindful that everyone will be apprehensive about a potential rise in the virus levels if we open up too quickly, so a phased approach is welcome, as a safe return is essential read more

NEU launches plan for education return and recovery (28 Jan) – Today the NEU launches a new Education Recovery Plan. Today the NEU launches a new Education Recovery Plan to lead us out of lockdown in a way that is safe and sustainable for schools and colleges. Our original recovery plan, sent to the Government in June 2020, was a constructive and comprehensive roadmap out of the first national lockdown. It set out practical steps for fully reopening schools and colleges. Unfortunately, and to the risk of everyone working in education, the Government persisted with plans of its own. Whole year-group bubbles led to high numbers of pupil absences, as did too little space, inadequate PPE, no meaningful social distancing, and a lack of ventilation. ONS data has shown that school-age children as a group had the fastest rate of growth in Covid cases throughout the autumn term. This was a direct result of Government negligence on school safety. This is why the National Education Union is setting out a new recovery plan. Government has not, up to this point, made schools and colleges Covid-secure – and there was no hint of any further measures in yesterday’s announcement by Boris Johnson. Our plan, if adopted, would make the difference read more

Staff at #Sywell Primary #Northampton to strike with parents support against a takeover of their school. Press release here

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

Support Newham Little Ilford School strikes against unsafe expansion – NEU members are taking strike action at the enormous comprehensive in Manor Park, east London, which already teaches 1,470 students. Labour-run Newham Council wants it to take 1,800. Sign petition: Newham Council is trying to force Little Ilford School to expand to 1800 pupils. But expanding will mean an overcrowded school and an overwhelming environment for all staff and pupils. It will undermine the quality of education and care that can be provided to pupils. And the expansion is opposed by virtually the entire staff body

 

NASUWT

NASUWT comments on partial Wales school reopening (29 Jan) – Commenting on the First Minister’s announcement that schools in Wales will start to open more widely for younger pupils from 22 February, Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, said: “It is essential that the Wales national lockdown restrictions are supported fully in order to reduce the rates of virus transmission in the wider community and in order to ensure that schools can reopen fully as soon as it is safe to do so whilst minimising the risks to public health…” read more

Scotland: Public sector pay must adequately recognise work of teachers (28 Jan) – Commenting on the announcements on public sector pay and education funding in today’s Scottish budget, NASUWT General Secretary Dr Patrick Roach said: “While it is noted that the Scottish Government has resisted the path taken by the Westminster Government in seeking to impose a pay freeze on most public sector workers, today’s announcement of a 1% pay award is a paltry recognition of the vital work that teachers have done and are continuing to do throughout this pandemic…” read more

NASUWT comments on announcement on full school reopening (27 Jan) – Commenting on the Prime Minister’s announcement that schools in England will not start to open more widely to pupils until at least 8 March at the earliest, Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, said: “It is essential that the national lockdown restrictions are supported fully in order to reduce the rates of virus transmission in the wider community and in order to ensure that schools can reopen fully as soon as it is safe to do so whilst minimising the risks to public health…” read more

 

EIS

EIS urges caution ahead of COVID review schools announcement (1 Feb) – Ahead of the Cabinet review of the current lockdown situation, the EIS has urged the Scottish Government to err on the side of caution before planning school reopening. EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan commented, “Everyone is keen to see schools reopen as soon as possible but this can only happen when it is safe to do, both in terms of suppressing community infection levels and also operating schools safely read more

Real-terms pay Freeze lets down Scotland’s Teachers (28 Jan) – Commenting following today’s Scottish Budget announcement, which includes plans to cap public sector pay rises at 1% for those earning over £25,000 – including teachers – EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said: “Today’s announcement of an effective pay freeze will be met with deep disappointment by Scotland’s teachers, who have been working flat-out throughout the pandemic to offer as much support as possible to young people” read more

 

UCU

Petition calling for fair funding and online learning

Outrage as University of Liverpool threatens health and life science jobs during pandemic (1 Feb) – The University and College Union (UCU) today said threats by the University of Liverpool to cut research-active staff in its Faculty of Health and Life Sciences would be disastrous during Covid read more

UCU condemns government for ‘levelling down’ university teaching quality and access (28 Jan) – UCU condemned the Department for Education’s (DfE) plans to cut teaching grants for high-cost subjects and widening participation schemes. In new guidance sent to the Office for Students (OfS), the DfE announced that universities in London will no longer receive the additional London weighting portion of teaching grants. The weighting has until now been given to London institutions in recognition of the significantly higher cost of education provision in the capital, such as higher salaries, living costs and more expensive facilities. Across London universities, it is expected that its removal will lead to a loss of £64 million in grant income read more

UCU responds to prime minister’s statement on lockdown and re-opening of school sites (27 Jan) – UCU has today responded to the prime minister’s statement on the current lockdown and plans to fully reopen school sites in England. Demanding stability and safety for further and higher education staff, the union said the government needs to keep all but essential teaching online until at least April in colleges and until the end of this academic year in universities read more

Damning failures of governance and leadership at Hull College, says UCU (27 Jan) – UCU said a litany of governance and leadership errors had led to money being squandered by Hull College Group. The union was responding to a seeming revolving door between senior college staff and Hull Kingston Rovers (KR), a series of leadership changes, the threatened closure of Goole campus, and lavish marketing expenses read more

Staff vote no confidence in University of Leicester vice-chancellor and board, with 145 jobs under threat (26 Jan) – UCU members overwhelmingly backed a vote of no confidence in the University of Leicester’s vice chancellor and executive board on Monday (25 January), in response to a threat of widespread redundancies. At a meeting attended by over 200 staff, the University of Leicester UCU branch agreed the decision by university leadership to push ahead with redundancies amid the Covid crisis was ‘cruel and divisive.’ The union also unanimously passed a motion declaring its willingness to ballot for sustained industrial action to stop the job cuts read more

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

MPs back call for post-Brexit deal for media and creative industries (28 Jan) – MPs are backing a call by the Federation of Entertainment Unions for special travel rights for media and creative workers so they can continue to work across borders following Brexit. The failure of the UK government and EU to agree to such a deal has severely hampered the ability of creatives in the arts and journalists to continue to carry out business and collaboration with EU states without having to get visa for each country. Ask your MP to sign the EDM. You can contact your MP via the Write to Them website read more

 

Prospect

Library job cuts put heritage at risk/ Colli swyddi yn y llyfrgell yn peryglu treftadaeth (1 Feb) – The National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth is in consultation to cut around 30 jobs, mainly due to inadequate funding. Most of the job cuts will be through a mix of compulsory and voluntary redundancies read more

Response to flooding shows how Prospect members who are essential workers deliver through the pandemic (Garry Graham 29 Jan) – Throughout this pandemic, frontline medical workers have rightly been the focus for praise, and we have also come to appreciate people like delivery drivers and supermarket workers more than we ever did. But there is a wealth of other workers who perhaps sometimes get overlooked when we think about who enables us to function as a country at thus difficult time read more

Aviation support scheme welcome but far from comprehensive package needed (29 Jan) – Prospect, a union representing thousands of aviation workers has responded to the Airport and Ground Operations Support Scheme by the UK Government. Garry Graham, Prospect deputy general secretary, said: “The introduction of business rates relief and some support for airports and ground operations in England is welcome and long overdue. In fact Scotland introduced a similar scheme on business rates last summer. We will work to make sure employers make full and effective use of this scheme to prioritise protecting jobs and skills. These arrangements are however very far from the comprehensive package of support for the whole sector that the government has repeatedly talked about, but never actually delivered…” read more

A 1% pay award for the public sector is disappointing but progress on green jobs welcome (28 Jan) – The Scottish Government’s announcement of a 1% headline pay rise for public sector workers earning over £25k has been met with disappointment by Prospect’s nearly 2,000 members working across the sector read more

Prospect backs local MP call for HIAL meeting (26 Jan) – Prospect has backed the call from Na h-Eileanan an Iar MP Angus MacNeil for an urgent meeting between the Scottish Government, HIAL, unions, local councils and the Civil Aviation Authority to discuss the controversial remote towers project read more

 

USDAW

Another major blow for the high street as Asos takes Arcadia brands to online only – Usdaw calls on the Government to save our shops (1 Feb) – Retail trade union Usdaw is seeking urgent meetings with Arcadia administrators and urges them to treat staff with fairness and dignity, after Asos confirmed the takeover of Arcadia brands Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT. Usdaw is also calling on the Government to urgently act to save our high streets read more

 

Mandate (Ireland)

Mandate criticize Government lack of action on liquidations as 490 jobs lost in Arcadia (29 Jan) – Mandate Trade Union has criticised the Government’s lack of urgency in relation to protecting workers in liquidation scenarios following yesterdays announced 490 job losses in Arcadia. Deloitte, the liquidator of Arcadia (Topshop, Topman, Burton, Miss Selfridge, Dorothy Perkins, Burton, Outfit, Wallis and Evans), yesterday informed almost 500 workers that they have lost their jobs. Approximately 100 of the workers are not entitled to any statutory redundancy payment because they haven’t been employed for more than two years 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

 

UVW

Support the North London SAGE strike – Watch video of strike on UVW Facebook page

GET READY FOR ROUND 2! – The Sage care workers will walk out on a second strike from the 4th to the 8th of February. They’ve made it clear to Sage’s trustees that dignity in the workplace is non-negotiable. They deserve a living wage of £12 per hour, full pay sick pay and trade union recognition; and they won’t stop until they get it! If you want to support these workers in getting the respect and dignity they are long overdue, here’s what you can do:

1) Use our new letter writing tool to contact your MP calling on them to support the strike here

2) Use our new letter writing tool to send a message directly to Sage’s trustees calling on them to meet the workers’ demands here

3) Donate to the workers’ strike fund details here

“We’re one step closer to achieving a collective voice at work” declare key workers at North London care home as they head for a second round of strike action (2 Feb) – Cleaners, care workers and maintenance workers will walk out this week in what their trade union, United Voices of the World (UVW), has described as a “second wave” of strike action at Sage Nursing Home in Golders Green North London. The strikes, which will take place from the 4th to the 8th of February, will see the key workers repeat their demands for a £12 per hour living wage, and parity in sick pay and annual leave with NHS rates. Demands which UVW officials have described as “hugely significant demands, which are planting the seeds for much needed change in the care sector” read more

“There is a culture of discrimination” says trade union as it ballots school cleaners for strike action (27 Jan) – Cleaners at the prestigious Roman Catholic Girls’ School La Retraite, in Clapham South, London, are preparing to go on strike their trade union, United Voices of the World (UVW), has announced today. The dispute is understood to have emerged after the workers’ hours were cut, leading to what the union has described as a “£150 annual pay cut”, and after management refused to meet the workers’ demands for parity of sick pay and other terms and conditions with the school’s support staff. The cleaners currently only get the statutory minimum sick pay of around £95 a week. The cleaners were going to strike to be paid the London Living Wage, but this demand has already been conceded, marking the first time that the cleaners of La Retraite will receive anything more than the national minimum wage read more

 

 

 

Other news

Letter from Cardiff Trades Union Council to South Wales Police

Dear Mr. Michael and Mr. Vaughan – Cardiff Trades Union Council would like to express our deep concern at the death of Mohamud Muhammed Hassan and the subsequent events following his death.

Mohamud was arrested on Friday 8th January, held overnight in police custody at Cardiff Bay police station and released with injuries the following morning. He died later that day.

South Wales Police claim that he was not injured in its custody, but merely asserting that he was not harmed in their custody can never be enough to absolve the police or anyone else in such circumstances. It certainly is not enough to assuage the fears of his family, the Somali community and working people across Cardiff that Mohamud received fatal injuries at the hands of the police. At the very least the officers involved in his arrest and custody should have been suspended pending an enquiry.

We understand that the case has been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) for investigation, but given the record of the IOPC and its forerunners in not successfully investigating miscarriages of justice in South Wales in the past, there is very little confidence in the impartiality of that investigation in the communities in Cardiff.

We are therefore calling for an independent enquiry including representatives of Mohamud’s family, the local community and trade unions.

We also wish to raise concerns at the police handling of the protests calling for justice for Mohamud. One of the most vocal critics of the police has been fined for breaking Covid regulations at the protests at Cardiff Bay police station.

We are concerned that the requirement of public safety in the Covid crisis are being used by the South Wales Police to deny civil and democratic rights. We do not accept that the rights that our movement have fought for for centuries can be suspended or abolished – the right to strike, to picket, to protest, to demonstrate and to hold the police to account for their actions. We do accept that safety measures must be put in place to take account of the crisis and to be proportional to the issues concerned.

There are obviously safety concerns involved with the gathering of people during the Covid crisis, but policing of this event has to take into account the inflamed distress of the local community at the death of a young man in these circumstances. By fining participants in this way the South Wales Police is showing huge insensitivity and reinforcing the perception that it does not regard Mohamud’s death as particularly significant. It would appear to be a warning against anyone who challenges the actions of the South Wales Police. This is of particular concern given the record of police forces harassing the relatives of murdered young black men.

Our members have reported that the protests at Cardiff Bay were relatively safe, with most of the participants masked and largely socially distanced, with hand gel available – all in an outdoor environment.

The most dangerous situations arose when police officers attempted to manhandle protesters off the road, completely breaking social distancing regulations, and which if successful would have endangered the safety of the participants and helped the spread of Covid by squeezing hundreds of people onto a narrow pavement.

Our trades council has been inundated with complaints from workers who are being forced by their employers to work 37 hours a week in unsafe conditions indoors. Yet to the best of our knowledge the South wales Police has done nothing to enforce regulations against these employers, even though this is a much more dangerous and widespread practice.

It would appear therefore that the fining of participants at the protests at Cardiff Bay is motivated by an attempt to deter the public from holding the police to account for their actions rather than a desire to protect the public from Covid.

Cardiff & Vale BLM has been demanding that officers’ body-worn camera footage is made public. Cardiff Trades Council supports that demand. The entire and unedited footage needs to be made public from the time officers first came upon the scene until the time Mohamud Mohammed Hassan was released from custody. Nothing less will satisfy the family and the community.

Many of the young people on the protests asked, “Who are the police meant to be protecting?” After what has happened to Mohamud and others in police custody, they do not feel safe. Our aim must be to hold the police fully accountable to those young people, to the local community and to working people throughout Cardiff.

We would be grateful if you would respond to our concerns and ensure that action is taken to address them.

Yours sincerely.

Dave Bartlett (Secretary)

 

 

Fight blacklisting and victimisation of union reps

From PCS website: Shrewsbury pickets’ case at Court of Appeal (27 Jan) – The Shrewsbury 24 Campaign, which is seeking justice for North Wales building workers prosecuted for picketing during the 1972 national building workers’ strike, takes a potentially significant step next month when the Court of Appeal will be asked to overturn their convictions. The campaign, backed by PCS, is seeking justice for 24 trade unionists arrested and charged after the first national building workers’ strike in 1972 read more

#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

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.

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 was dismissed with no income. An online appeal has been set up to support Judith and her family.

Unite the union are ran a consultative ballot before Christmas to launch the campaign to get Judith reinstated. We understand that there was an overwhelming vote of support, which sends 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 are now 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!

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

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

From NUJ website: Netherlands – journalists’ safety increasingly under threat read more

 

 

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