NSSN 530: British Gas workers strike for 43rd day against lock-out

April 12, 2021 in Bulletins

This week’s NSSN bulletin leads with the heroic fight of the GMB members in British Gas against the imposition of new terms & conditions through Fire and Rehire. They will be taking their 43rd day of strike action this Wednesday 14th April. We continue to give our full support and solidarity to the workers and their union, the GMB. The NSSN believes that British Gas should be brought back into public ownership.

GMB Sidcup strike protest

GMB Sidcup strike protest

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: 43rd Day of British Gas strike action to coincide with mass sackings of engineers who refused to submit to bully boy O’Shea (12 Apr) – It’s clear British Gas doesn’t give a toss for either customers or staff is shown by the mass sacking of the engineers it badly needs to service these customers, says GMB. On Wednesday, (14 April 2021) British Gas will go ahead with a mass sacking of striking gas engineers who have refused to be bullied into “accepting” a 15% cut in pay rates and other imposed changes in terms and conditions. This mass sacking will take place as gas engineers take part in their 43rd day of strike action on Wednesday, 14 April in this long-running and deadlocked dispute. British Gas announced in July last year that staff in the Field staff bargaining group – who refused to accept imposed 15% cuts in pay rates and other detrimental changes – would be sacked. The letters confirming the sackings were sent out last week. The date for the sackings with pay in lieu of notice was changed from Thursday, 1 April to Wednesday, 14 April with no explanation. GMB members at British Gas have already taken 42 days of strike action against the imposition of the 15% cuts in pay rates and other changes via “fire and rehire” notices. In addition, an official national lockout dispute between British Gas and GMB will become effective from 14 April and will include further strike action and action short of a strike. The strikes have led to a backlog to date of millions of customers waiting for planned service visits and hundreds of thousands having to wait for emergency repairs. British Gas has suspended sale of the standard boiler service insurance read more

 

Stop victimisation of union reps

Donate to the reinstatement campaign of Declan Clune RMT bus driver in Southampton (on behalf of Declan Clune and all RMT Southampton District Bus and Coach Branch members). Email message of support: [email protected]

RMT to ballot for action over victimisation and sacking of leading bus activist (25 Mar)

Support Gary Carney RMT rep on London Underground

Donate to solidarity campaign of Moe Muhsin Manir Unite bus rep   Email messages of support to Moe: [email protected]

Support Kirstie Paton Greenwich NEU

Sign petition: Overturn Final written warning for John Boken (NEU Representative at Shrewsbury Colleges Group)

Unite: Groundhog Day as Woolwich Ferry workers hold strike ballot over victimised rep (7 Apr)

St Mungos management escalate dispute by suspending Unite rep

 

Fight Tory 1% NHS Pay Insult

For more information: Nurses and Midwives say NO! to Public Sector pay inequality, Keep Our NHS Public, Health Campaigns Together

 

 

The Sparks launch fight that forces bosses back de-skilling at Hinkley Point but struggle continues

Rank and file construction electricians have launched a struggle against what they see as multi-skilling by bosses at the massive site Hinkley Point to build the nuclear power station, estimated to cost £22.5 billion.

It is reported that an agreement to employ about 500 electrical apprentices had been reneged on and instead a training course for ‘Support Operatives’ is being put on. This would mean lower-paid unskilled workers being employed instead of skilled electricians.

The campaign has already seen protests in London, Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle, Scotland and Wales and two weeks ago there was the first demonstration at Hinkley. Unite now report that the training course at Hinkley has been stopped, which is a great victory. But the fight goes on, particularly targeting NG Baileys and Balfour Beatty, until de-skilling is totally off the agenda.

Solidarity to the Sparks!

See Reel News video of last week’s protests as Sparks march to Parliament

See Reel News video of recent protest at Hinkley Point

Read latest Siteworker bulletins of the Rank & File

For details of Sparks protests, follow NO TO ESO (UNSKILLED LABOUR) Facebook page

Sign petition: Permanently BAN the practice or notion of de-skilling professional trades!

 

Support the NSSN

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 from last September and follow us on twitter via @NSSN_AntiCuts and Facebook

 

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

 

Union News

RMT

Third day of strike action by ScotRail conductors (11 Apr) – Third day of strike action by ScotRail conductors in fight for equality solidly supported again today. RAIL UNION RMT said that‎ a third day of strike action by ScotRail conductors in a fight for equality and workplace justice over enhanced payments for rest day working is being solidly supported again today:-

  • 00.01 hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 28th March 2021
  • 00.01 hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 4th April 2021
  • 00.01 hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 11th April 2021
  • 00.01 hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 18th April 2021
  • 00.01 hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 25th April 2021
  • 00.01 hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 2nd May 2021 read more

ScotRail ticket examiners vote yes for action (8 Apr) – ScotRail ticket examiners vote yes for action in growing fight for workplace justice. RAIL UNION RMT has confirmed that ticket examiners on Abellio ScotRail have voted overwhelmingly for action in a dispute around equality and justice ‎over enhanced payments for rest day working. The vote means that the ticket examiners now join their conductor colleagues in the fight for workplace justice and fairness. The ballot result will now be considered by RMT’s executive who will decide the next steps in the dispute read more

London Labour politicians support bringing Tube cleaners back in-house (8 Apr) – Poll of London Labour politicians finds overwhelming support to end privatisation of Tube cleaning in wake of COVID – 19 pandemic. In the week that London Mayor Sadiq Khan made a firm manifesto commitment to explore bringing the London Underground’s multi – million-pound cleaning contract in house, a new poll of London Labour councillors has found overwhelming support to end the privatisation of the tube cleaning when the current contract ends in 2022 read more

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

RMT demands to meet Dover MP over threat to local jobs (8 Apr) – FERRIES Union RMT has written to Natalie Elphicke, Tory MP for Dover and Deal, seeking an urgent meeting on the threat to local seafarer jobs and the local economy from Irish Ferries’ plans to operate passenger ferry services between Dover and Calais from June read more

RMT members to take industrial action at Unipart Rail Doncaster – RMT members working at Unipart Rail Doncaster will be taking industrial action next month following a ballot after a derisory pay offer from the company. Unipart Rail’s Doncaster warehouse supplies parts to the rail industry. With effect from 00:01 hours on Friday 2nd April 2021, until further notice, RMT members working at Unipart Rail Doncaster are instructed:-

  • Not to work any non-contractual overtime
  • Not to work on a rest day read more

Fight job cuts at Queens Park – In January, LU announced a plan to cut train driver jobs at Queen’s Park depot. They’ve refused to back away from that, so our driver members will now ballot for industrial action. The ballot opens on 25/03 and closes on 08/04. Resist the cuts, vote yes! Read more

Sign this petition: RMT steps up campaign for TfL funding

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

ASLEF slams the Sewell Report on racism (8 Apr) – ASLEF has slammed the ill-informed Sewell report on racism as an abdication of responsibility to those men, women, and children who suffer abuse at the hands of racists. Mick Whelan, ASLEF’s general secretary, said: ‘The best thing you can say about the Sewell report is that it is totally inadequate. The worst is that Boris Johnson chose the right man for the job – to write the report he wanted to see. Because, proverbially, there are none so blind as those who will not see. And this government does not want to see the structural and systemic racism that is still, sadly, rampant in this country. It is, frankly, shameful, if not especially surprising, that the Conservative Party – a party historically riddled with racists – turns a cheerful blind eye to problems endemic in Britain” read more

 

TSSA

Travel trade still in need of support, says TSSA (9 Apr) – Travel and transport union TSSA welcomes today’s travel update but says the sector is “on its knees” and in need of support, while also criticising the delay of the announcement and cost of tests to travel read more

TSSA opposes BTP “crackpot” pension proposals (8 Apr) – Transport union TSSA has written to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps asking him to withhold authority for changes to British Transport Police (BTP) pensions which the union says “fail the tests of cost reduction, fairness and common sense” read more

 

Unite

Support the indefinite bus strike in Manchester – follow Go Ahead STOP the attacks on Queens Road Facebook page

Go North West negotiations collapse without agreement as Manchester bus strikes set to continue (1 Apr) – Protracted peace talks between management at Go North West and Unite, the UK’s leading union, have collapsed without agreement today (Thursday 1 April), meaning that the long running bus strike is set to continue for the foreseeable future. The dispute is a result of the company deciding to fire and rehire its bus drivers and attempt to force them to accept vastly inferior contracts. Over 400 drivers who are members of Unite, the UK’s largest union, have been on all out strike since Sunday 28 February. Saturday (4 April) will mark the end of the fifth week of strike action. Under Go North West’s (which is part of the multi-billion pound Go Ahead group) fire and rehire plans, bus drivers who earn on average of £24,000 will be forced to work longer for no additional pay. Unite has calculated that Go North West is expecting its drivers to undertake 130 hours of unpaid work per annum, resulting in drivers being £2,500 a year worse off. Go North West is intent on tearing up the existing sick pay policy, which will result in a 67 per cent cut in sick pay for workers with over five years’ service read more

Bus drivers vote for strike action over Metroline’s controversial ‘remote sign-on’ policy in London (12 Apr) – More than 4,000 bus drivers working for Metroline in London have overwhelmingly voted for strike action over the controversial ‘remote sign-on’ policy, Unite the union, said today (Monday 12 April). Unite said that unless ‘remote sign-on’ is scrapped dates for strike action will be announced soon, as Metroline has stated it is only pausing the introduction of ‘remote sign-on’. London’s mayor Sadiq Khan instructed the bosses at Transport for London (TfL) last month to introduce an immediate moratorium, which will not be lifted until detailed research into ‘remote sign on’ is completed. A total of 96 per cent of Metroline West and 97 per cent of Metroline Travel members have voted for strike action on Metroline routes which cover north and west London. The company employs about 16 per cent of all bus drivers in the capital. ‘Remote sign-on’ means drivers do not report to a depot, but meet their bus at an alternative location, such as a bus stop. It forces drivers to start work away from the depot, reducing costs and boosting the company’s profits. The policy raises concerns over lack of toilets and canteens; increased driving hours; and waiting for the bus in unpredictable weather. Unite regional officer Mary Summers said: “The bus drivers at Metroline have delivered a massive mandate for strike action over ‘remote sign-on’ which has serious health & safety implications for our members. This unpopular policy should be jettisoned immediately…” read more

London United bus strikes to intensify as new depots join strike action (1 Apr) – The increasingly bitter dispute, involving London United, a subsidiary of the French owned company RATP, is set to intensify, after bus drivers at two more garages voted to join the industrial action over pay and attacks on conditions. Drivers at both Stamford Brook and Hounslow Heath have voted to join the industrial action. It will mean that further strikes beginning on Thursday 15 April will involve London United drivers at all seven of its garages. The five depots already taking strike action are Fulwell, Hounslow, Park Royal, Shepherd’s Bush and Tolworth garages. These five garages are on strike today (Thursday 1 April) and will also be on strike on Wednesday 7 April read more

Joint Unite-GMB-Translink statement: Translink services impacted by civil unrest in N Ireland (8 Apr) read more

Victory for striking Leicester SPS workers after agreement ends £3,000 ‘fire and rehire’ threat (12 Apr) – Strikes at aerospace parts firm SPS Technologies have been called off after a deal was reached to end ‘fire and rehire’ threats that would have resulted in its Leicester staff losing up to £3,000 a year, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Monday 12 April). Out of around 200 Unite members at SPS’s Barkby Road site, more than 90 per cent voted to accept the deal, which sees the initial reductions proposed by the company slashed by more than half. The new agreement covers a range of terms and conditions (T&Cs), including overtime pay, sick pay, paid breaks and shift premiums. SPS workers have taken more than 10 days of strike action since 12 March but will now return to work as normal…Unite regional officer Lakhy Mahal said: “Striking in the midst of the economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic is not an easy thing to do. But our members would not roll over and accept SPS’s fire and rehire demands. Their strength and solidarity has resulted in a deal that protects their incomes and that allows them to return to work with their heads held high…” read more

Unite steps up campaign to tackle employment abuses of Turkish/Kurdish community in London (12 Apr) – Unite the union is stepping up its campaign to eradicate pay and employment abuses of members of the Turkish and Kurdish communities in London that have surfaced during the pandemic. The union will hold a socially distanced event, conforming to Covid-19 regulations, outside the library at 187-197A High Rd, Wood Green, London N22 6XD at 15.00 on Friday (16 April) when a newly translated leaflet in Turkish will be distributed outlining the employment rights available to the community. Last year, as the pandemic took hold, Unite joined forces with community organisation Day-Mer to kick-start a workers’ rights campaign aimed at the Turkish/Kurdish community in the boroughs of Enfield, Hackney, Haringey and Islington…Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “Friday’s socially distanced event builds on the campaign launched last year as the true impact of the pandemic for working people became apparent. We want to build links with the army of non-unionised, unorganised workers within these boroughs from the Turkish and Kurdish communities. These workers have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic…” read more

As construction sites re-open, Unite seeks NPHET guidance on testing regime (Apr 11) – April 11th: Unite, which represents construction workers throughout Ireland, has written to NPHET seeking guidance on the optimum testing regime for construction sites.  Although approximately 30% of construction sites have remained open throughout Level 5 restrictions, non-essential construction sites have been closed since January 8th and will start re-opening on a phased basis from tomorrow (Monday April 12th) read more

Life Residential and Featherstone Leigh estate agents ‘facing further pain’ with fresh Goodlord strike ballot (8 Apr) – London estate agents using services from Goodlord are ‘facing further pain’ after striking workers from the lettings software provider were balloted for fresh industrial action over £6,000 pay cuts. More than 20 members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, employed in Goodlord’s referencing department have been on strike since 22 February over fire and rehire plans that would see their pay plummet from £24,000 to £18,000. Goodlord provides services for a number of estate agents in London, including Life Residential, Best Estate Agents, Andrews and Featherstone Leigh. The ballot for another round of strike action takes into account not just the pay cuts, but the dismissal and hostile targeting of union members while on strike, as well as Goodlord’s use of agency labour during the industrial action. It opens on 14 April and closes on 26 April read more    See Reel News video of Goodlord strike Messages of support to [email protected]

  • Email complaints to [email protected]; tweet complaints to @sogoodlord
  • Strike fund donations to Unite LE/7098L London ITC Branch, sort code 60-83-01, account 20303680, reference Goodlord

St Mungo’s maintenance strikes called as concern at charity’s ‘bullying and anti-union culture’ grows (8 Apr) – Maintenance workers at the St Mungo’s housing charity will begin indefinite strike action from Thursday 22 April in response to ‘appalling treatment’ by senior management, Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, said today (Thursday 8 April). The all-out strike follows a warning in March by Unite, which has more than 500 members at St Mungo’s, that a ‘bullying and anti-union culture’ amongst the management at the London-based charity needed to be addressed. St Mungo’s staff staged walk-outs last year, in part due to the charity’s unbalanced and unfair use of disciplinary procedures. Unite pointed to the targeting of the 44 per cent of workplace reps at the charity, who are currently engaged in formal processes concerning their own employment, as evidence of an anti-union bias by management. Staff relations have become so bad within St Mungo’s property services department that 12 Unite members will begin indefinite strike action on 22 April. The strike was called after a number of staff grievances against property services senior management were dismissed read more

St Mungo’s maintenance strikes called as concern at charity’s ‘bullying and anti-union culture’ grows (8 Apr) – Maintenance workers at the St Mungo’s housing charity will begin indefinite strike action from Thursday 22 April in response to ‘appalling treatment’ by senior management, Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, said today (Thursday 8 April). The all-out strike follows a warning in March by Unite, which has more than 500 members at St Mungo’s, that a ‘bullying and anti-union culture’ amongst the management at the London-based charity needed to be addressed. St Mungo’s staff staged walk-outs last year, in part due to the charity’s unbalanced and unfair use of disciplinary procedures. Unite pointed to the targeting of the 44 per cent of workplace reps at the charity, who are currently engaged in formal processes concerning their own employment, as evidence of an anti-union bias by management. Staff relations have become so bad within St Mungo’s property services department that 12 Unite members will begin indefinite strike action on 22 April. The strike was called after a number of staff grievances against property services senior management were dismissed read more

Groundhog Day as Woolwich Ferry workers hold strike ballot over victimised rep (7 Apr) – Workers operating the Woolwich Ferry, now run by Transport for London (TfL), are holding a ballot for strike action over the victimisation of a union rep, Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, announced today (Wednesday 7 April). Unite said the ballot of its 57 members will open on Wednesday 14 April and close on Thursday 29 April. The ferry has been dogged by poor employment relations in recent years which led TfL to take over its operation from the discredited Briggs Marine Contractors Ltd. Besides the victimisation issue, the staff are angry at the failure to agree a new pay and reward scheme; the excessive use of agency staff; and the failure to provide adequate health and safety training to new employees. Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “Unfortunately, we are experiencing a Groundhog Day scenario at the Woolwich Ferry…” read more

Strike dates set as Thurrock council heroes resist cuts to pay and conditions (1 Apr) – Council workers providing essential services through the health crisis to the residents of Thurrock will strike for three weeks because of Thurrock Council’s plans to brutally cut their pay and conditions. Refuse workers, highway maintenance and street cleaners will take strike action from Tuesday 13 April until Friday 7 May, excluding 3 May. The very workers who have been supporting residents, by providing key services throughout the current health crisis, are furious that they are now the target of proposed cuts of between £2,000 – £3,500 a year for refuse workers, highway maintenance and street cleaners.  Meanwhile, the council has not proposed any cuts to the pay and conditions of senior management. Lyn Carpenter, the chief executive earns almost £200,000 a year. https://www.yourthurrock.com/2019/04/09/thurrock-council-rich-list-exposes-top-bosses-pay/   read more

Sainsbury’s faces South East Easter shortages as DHL strikes over ‘union busting’ loom – Sainsbury’s is facing Easter shortages at its stores across the South East, including parts of London, after DHL staff at its Dartford regional distribution centre voted for strike action over ‘union busting’, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Friday 12 February). The Dartford strike ballot was called after a Unite steward, who was providing support to a member of staff during an investigation hearing, was suspended for challenging a DHL managers’ version of events. The reason given for the suspension by the manager was that the Unite steward was being aggressive – an accusation flatly contradicted by a neutral member of staff who was present at the meeting as a third party. After the vote in favour of strike action, more than 350 DHL staff are now poised to stage walk out’s throughout March, April and May read more

NHS bosses probed on profit margins of £755,000 contract for Reading hospital security guards – NHS bosses are being quizzed on the profit margins of the outsourced contract for the security guards at Reading hospital, who are currently locked in a ‘David and Goliath’ pay battle. Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust is paying Kingdom Service Group Ltd a total of £755,763-a-year to provide security for the trust. The security guards are currently on strike until early March over the Kingdom management’s failure to make a decent pay offer for 2020. Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, is now questioning whether the contract is ‘value for money’ and how big the profits margins are for Kingdom Service Group – a major corporate service provider with a £100 million plus turnover. Unite wants to know if it would not be better value for the taxpayer if the contract was brought back in-house which would then eradicate the hefty built-in profit margins that the outsourced company now enjoys…The 20 security guards have been taking strike action since mid-December and the third wave of strike action 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 today (Monday 8 February) until 19.00 on Friday 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

Scunthorpe scaffolders step up strike action at British Steel site – The British Steel plant in Scunthorpe faces further disruption this month as scaffolders based at the site, announced a further six days of strike action in a dispute over pay. The workers have already taken four days of strike action and will mount a further 48 hour strike beginning at 05:30 on Monday 8 February. Unite has now announced a 48 hour strike to begin at 05:30 on Monday 15 February, a 24 hour hours strike beginning at 05:30 on Thursday 18 February, then a further 48 hour strike beginning at 05:30 on Monday 22 February and finally a 24 hour strike from 05:30 on Thursday 25 February. The 50 plus scaffolders, involved in the strike action are employed by contractor Brand Energy to undertake maintenance on over 500 scaffolding structures that are on the British Steel site read more

Read document by Unite Community Cumbria branch: ‘Covid and the Tories – a world beating catastrophe’

 

PCS

Strike action not ruled out as DWP reopens jobcentres, PCS warns (12 Apr) – PCS has condemned the decision to fully reopen jobcentres today warning that it will increase the likelihood of avoidable Covid-19 infections. Pre-lockdown opening hours for jobcentres will resume allowing a huge increase in face-to-face appointments for people to claim Universal Credit and other benefits. However, the union has said that the move unnecessarily risks further outbreaks of Covid 19 and pointed out that DWP staff were delivering services to claimants successfully, working from home read more

Sign the PCS e-action to support safe jobcentre working (8 Apr) – Despite ongoing PCS safety concerns large numbers of our members working in jobcentre services face an immediate return to work on Monday (12) following the DWP’s decision to operate as ‘business as usual’ and resume face-to-face operations. We believe this approach is dangerous, particularly given the departments focus on 18-24 year-olds for face-to-face interviews, a group which is yet to be vaccinated. We have therefore launched an e-action calling on secretary of state Thérèse Coffey to urgently halt the extended opening of jobcentres until it is entirely safe to do so and with the full cooperation of PCS and our members read more

DVLA strike grows in strength (9 Apr) – Huge public support as 1,400 staff in DVLA strike for four days. Sign up for a public rally at noon today (9 April). The strike action taken by PCS DVLA members from 6 April got off to a fantastic start, with more than 1,400 operational staff who have been forced to work on site striking for 4 days. More members joined the strike action on 7 and 8 April after seeing the success and the outpouring of support from the local community, MPs and other unions. This phase of the industrial action is now in its fourth and final day. As the dispute gathers even more public attention, the strike fund has seen donations from across the country. Over £3,000 in donations to support DVLA workers taking action have come in over the last few days read more   Sign our DVLA e-action

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

Virus fears over hospital cleaning cutback (12 Apr) – Lewisham Hospital, are asking for the support of local residents to stand with GMB Union members as they protest a cut to cleaning within the hospital. Private contractor ISS who hold the cleaning, portering and catering contract within Lewisham and Greenwich NHS have revealed that they plan to cut 495 hours out of the cleaning contract. This is the second hours and jobs cull the company have introduced since they took over the contract in February 2020… Helen O’Connor, GMB Regional Organiser said: Our members will be protesting outside the hospital at 3pm on Monday 12th April and they are asking the local community to stand with them and fight to protect services in their hospital” read more

Lambeth Council signs up to GMB Stop Domestic Abuse Charter (6 Apr) – Lambeth Council joins fight against domestic abuse protecting more than 2,000 of staff. Lambeth Council has become the latest employer to sign up to GMB’s Stop Domestic Abuse Charter. More than 2,512 staff will now be protected by the charter. GMB’s ‘Work to Stop Domestic Abuse’ charter was launched in Parliament in November 2018 read more

Council faces rubbish pile up as GMB Refuse Collectors to strike over pay – “Council happy to allow dispute to escalate into full blown strike action even at risk of deeply upsetting residents”, say GMB Union. Reigate and Banstead faces rubbish pile ups after GMB council workers voted to strike over pay. Talks between the union and the local authority stalled after council bosses refused to meet with mediators ACAS without other parties being present. The majority of GMB members in the council work in refuse collection. Following the breakdown in talks, GMB has now confirmed the following dates for industrial action: Thursday April 8, Friday April 9, Thursday April 15 read more

 

Unison

Calling all outsourced members in the NHS (12 Apr) – UNISON survey will strengthen its One Team Us2 pay campaign for outsourced healthcare workers read more

UNISON wins U-turn over hospital parking charges (8 Apr) – West Midlands trust criticised for reimposing parking charges that were meant to be free during the pandemic Thousands of NHS hospital staff in the West Midlands will receive refunds for car parking charges while at work, after a successful campaign by UNISON. The U-turn by University Hospitals Birmingham (UHB) NHS Foundation Trust follows a challenge by the union on behalf of its 6,000 members working at Queen Elizabeth Hospital and other sites run by the trust. The union says that some could receive as much as £800, backdated to last summer when UHB scrapped a commitment to offer free parking during the pandemic read more

Pay dispute at Cumberland Infirmary takes ugly turn for worse ahead of second round of strike action this week – A pay dispute at strike-hit Cumberland Infirmary has taken an ugly turn for the worse. Whilst hospital workers are planning to begin a second 48-hour strike on Friday (26 March), a new row has erupted over the way hospital domestics say they’re being punished for joining the picket lines. The domestics were among 150 frontline staff employed by private contractor Mitie who took two days of strike action in February and March over missing wages read more

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.

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

 

CWU

Openreach strike intensifies as management adopts ‘ostrich position’ (Apr 12) – Five more days of strike action have been announced in Openreach, with the CWU’s small but fiercely loyal membership of repayment project engineers (RPEs) more resolute and determined than ever to intensify their battle against the imposed regrading of their role. The 170-strong group have already notched up 10 days of industrial action over the company’s refusal engage with the union over legitimate concerns that the move creates a dangerous mismatch of responsibilities – detracting from their ability to act as ‘honest brokers’ in complex negotiations with third party organisations over who pays for what in situations where the network is disrupted by major developments. Despite heartfelt warnings to Openreach that placing the RPE role on the lowest rung of the managerial ladder – thereby applying performance related pay and targets to a function that primarily depends on impartial technical judgements based on advanced engineering knowhow –  is misguided, bosses are still refusing to even contemplate the possibility that the regrading risks huge reputational damage and even regulatory penalties. With the latest of many CWU efforts to engage with management summarily rebuffed – despite indications that workstacks are now at breaking point following the five consecutive days of industrial action that concluded on March 24 – the decision has now been made to step the dispute with a solid week of industrial action commencing a week today (April 19-23) read more

Full steam ahead to industrial action ballot as members see through BT cash ‘bribe’ – Members across BT, Openreach and EE have delivered a resounding message of defiance after BT’s surprise attempt to kick this year’s pay review into touch by fobbing off employees with one-off cash ‘bung’. Within minutes of management’s disingenuous announcement yesterday (Wednesday) of “an exceptional package for an exceptional year” – and the simultaneous release of a CWU counter-message to members exposing the company’s “desperate move” for exactly what it is – there was no doubting which argument was winning amongst those who really count. Throughout the day all the CWU’s social media channels were bombarded with renewed messages of support from members for the union’s ‘Count Me In’ campaign of resistance against ruthless attacks on job security and hard won terms & conditions that have erupted across the whole of BT Group. In addition to countless furious social media posts, hundreds of emails were also received by the union from members expressing their astonishment and dismay at management’s apparent belief that employee anger over compulsory redundancies and looming site closures can be ‘bought off’ with a £1,000 ‘bribe’. Yesterday evening, no fewer than 14,000 tuned in to a special CWU Facebook Live session across the union’s social media channels – a record breaking real-time viewing figure which has continued to grow throughout today with catch-up views. Poignantly the Facebook Live broadcast took place at the end of the tenth day of industrial action by the unions small but fiercely loyal membership of Repayment Project Engineers (RPEs) in Openreach – themselves fighting against that division’s steadfast refusal to listen to genuine workforce concerns about  the imposed regrading of their role. With anger now reaching boiling point across the whole of BT Group at the similar disregard being shown by top bosses to employee dismay at the company’s current trajectory, the union has now set up a special CWU solidarity fund to provide financial support for the 170-strong group of brave RPE strikers. “We will not leave this small group of members isolated,” stresses CWU general secretary Dave Ward.  See full details here

Sign petition: Keep BT desk based sites open in London and the South East

Ericsson members urged to accept ‘final’ pay offer that delivers inflation-plus for most (Apr 12) – Pay negotiations with Ericsson have yielded a ‘full and final’ offer that, if accepted,  will see the majority of members in Field Service Operations (FSO) receive fully consolidated increases ranging from 2% to 3.5%. The proposed settlement, which was thrashed out in detailed talks that commenced in February, is “strongly recommended” for acceptance by the union’s Ericsson National Team in a consultative ballot that opens today (Monday) read more

Don’t add insult to injury to Belfast redundancies, Fujitsu urged (Apr 7) – Fujitsu is being urged to rethink its “penny-pinching” decision to pay nothing more than statutory redundancy terms to loyal workers in Belfast who’ve stuck with the company through thick and thin – but have now reached the end of the road on account of the impending closure of their site read more

 

NIPSA

NIPSA Condemns Attacks on Workers and Calls for the Violence to Cease (8 Apr) – NIPSA members across the union will no doubt have been sickened and saddened by the scenes of violence over the last few days and the attacks on workers including a bus driver and journalist/photographer who were doing their jobs. While NIPSA appreciates there are tensions and disaffections in communities the answers to these deep seated issues are not to turn to violence. Violence destroys communities and destroys lives. Workers be they police officers, bus drivers and journalists do not go to work to be attacked and NIPSA will stand with all workers and oppose violence from whatever quarter read more

QUB Creche Workers Commence Industrial Action – Sixteen NIPSA members employed in QUB Crèche commence industrial action today in defence of their terms, conditions and employment. It is ironic on International Women’s Day low paid women workers’ have been forced to take industrial action. Despite being engaged in conciliation via the Labour Relations Agency unfortunately that process did not deliver anything that would have allowed the action to be called off. The action today commences with Action Short of Strike Action – but messages of support to these brave NIPSA members will be passed on read more

 

BFAWU

The Fundamental Right to Safe and Healthy Work – #IWMD21 – This year as I write about International Workers Memorial Day 2021, I would like to record thanks to all those BFAWU Safety Reps who have spent the last year, keeping workers safe and healthy at work.  You have not only stood up for your members, but you have saved thousands of lives and everyone owes you a huge debt of gratitude.  We know that where there is a strong organised active trade union, workers are twice as safe.  Your role has not only saved the lives of your work and trade union colleagues, but the lives of your family and others in your community read more

 

NEU

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.

Support Newham Little Ilford School strikes against unsafe expansion – NEU members have been 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
Government must monitor impact of school reopening (6 Apr)
– Commenting on the announcement that schools will re-open fully after the Easter break, Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, said: “The past year has taken its toll on the moral and the mental health of teachers, this has often been made worse by decisions made by ministers in response to the pandemic. Some of those decisions have placed teachers under great pressure, such as arrangements put in place for qualifications and the prospects of an unacceptable appeals process being imposed…” read more

 

EIS

18 days of strike action at Forth Valley college – Starting from tomorrow (16 Mar), over 200 EIS members at Forth Valley College are set to take strike action in another escalation in the dispute over the removal of 30 lecturers’ jobs. College staff will be striking across three different campuses, including Falkirk, Alloa, and Stirling for 18 days over three months, from Wednesday 17 March. The decision to take industrial action follows a strike ballot that resulted in 77% of members voting yes to the escalation, on a 55% turnout read more

 

UCU

Updates on latest UCU disputes

Petition calling for fair funding and online learning

UCU statement on online learning at English universities (12 Apr) – UCU said the UK government’s decision not to lift restrictions on in-person teaching at English universities as part of the 12 April reopening was the right call. The union said ministers have belatedly listened to the union’s demand to keep the majority of learning online, but they must now be honest with staff and students and admit most courses will stay online until the end of the academic year read more

University of Liverpool staff vote to strike against job cuts (12 Apr) – UCU members at the University of Liverpool voted overwhelmingly to take strike action over job cuts. 84% of members who voted supported strike action, with 90% backing action short of a strike, which could involve a marking and assessment boycott. The university is planning to slash up to 47 teaching and research jobs in the faculty of health and life sciences, with world-leading academics – including those doing work on Covid treatment – at risk of being made redundant read more

Strike action on the cards at United Colleges Group in row over working conditions and contract changes (9 Apr) – University and College Union (UCU) members working at London based United Colleges Group have today (Friday) voted overwhelmingly for strike action over changes to agreed contracts imposed by management that will see workloads increase. 99% of UCU members who voted said they were prepared to take strike action. 100% of members who voted said they were prepared to take action short of strike read more

UCU responds to Universities UK’s employer consultation on USS benefit changes (7 Apr) – The University and College Union (UCU) has today (Wednesday) accused Universities UK (UUK) of proposing unnecessary and damaging cuts to USS pensions at a time when the scheme and the universities supporting it could afford to take a more progressive approach. The union was responding to UUK’s consultation of employers on their response to the contribution rates proposed by the USS Trustee for the 2020 valuation 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.

 

Prospect

Aviation still facing uncertain future after Global Travel report (9 Apr) – The report from the Global Travel Taskforce regarding the safe return of international flights still leaves the aviation industry navigating huge uncertainty, putting jobs at risk in the future, a leading trade union for aviation workers has warned. Prospect, which represents air traffic controllers and other specialist aviation staff, argued that additional government support may be needed if passenger numbers do not return quickly read more

 

Equity

Equity writes open letter to protest exclusion from Operational Stakeholder Engagement Forum at DWP (9 Apr) – I am writing to you as the General Secretary of Equity, the leading union for performers and creatives in the entertainment industry. We represent over 47,000 actors, dancers, singers, comedians, stage management, theatre directors and designers and a range of other professionals within the entertainment industry the vast majority of whom are self-employed. During the COVID-19 pandemic many of these members have had to have recourse for the first time to the social security system and, in particular, many of them have claimed universal credit. Our latest survey figures suggest that as many as one in four of them have claimed universal credit read more

 

USDAW

Statutory sick pay is not enough – Usdaw calls on the Government to deliver a New Deal for Workers (6 Apr) – Retail trade union Usdaw has expressed disappointment that after today’s increase, Statutory Sick Pay, at just £96.35 per week, is still far too low. SSP does not provide the necessary financial support for millions of low-paid workers who have to take time off work because they are ill, self-isolating or shielding read more

 

Mandate (Ireland)

Ex-Debenhams workers mark one year in dispute (9 Apr) – Mandate members who previously worked in Debenhams in the Republic of Ireland have today (Friday, 9th April) marked one year since they were made redundant by their company, leading to a 365 day dispute. Almost 1,000 workers in 11 stores balloted for industrial action in an attempt to win their agreed redundancy package of four weeks pay per year of service. Since then, the liquidator of Debenhams, KPMG, and the Government have both refused to honour that agreement. Brian Forbes, Mandate National Coordinator said the union was extremely disappointed the ex-Debenhams workers have been forced to strike for so long 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

 

IWGB

Deliveroo riders strike tomorrow over pay and conditions as Deliveroo nosedives on the London Stock Exchange (6 Apr) – Deliveroo riders from the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) voted for and will take industrial action against Deliveroo tomorrow, Wednesday 7 April, to coincide with the corporation’s Initial Public Offering (IPO) on the London Stock Exchange. Riders are demanding a living wage, safety protections and basic workers’ rights. The strike fund raised almost £10,000 in just a few days last week and socially distanced protests are being organised in London, York, Sheffield, Reading, Wolverhampton. Supportive action is expected internationally in Australia (TWU), France (CGT), Netherlands (FNV), Ireland (SIPTU) and Spain (UGT). Deliveroo is now the world’s most protested app-based platform read more

 

UVW

Care workers vote for a second wave of strike action (9 Apr) – The care assistants, domestics and maintenance workers at Sage Nursing Home in North London that have overcome victimisation and union-busting to launch the boldest campaign the adult social care sector has ever seen are balloting, for a second time, for another wave of strike action! The workers are demanding parity in sick pay and annual leave with NHS rates and a £12 per hour living wage – demands their bosses say are ‘impossible’, but which the workers know are possible. Bile says “We will win and this will not only be victory for us but a victory for all care workers in the UK who have been rebranded as ‘key workers’ but who are still expected to survive on poverty pay” read more

 

 

Other News

Housing Day of Action – supported by Unite housing workers, housing campaigners and Tamil Solidarity

Stop evictions! Drop debts!

Safe, socially distanced protests with PPE and in groups of six.

Saturday 17th April 2021, 1pm March starts at

Boundary Estate in Shoreditch,

East London E2 7JR

 

 

Fight blacklisting and victimisation of union reps

#SPYCops Inquiry exposes state surveillance of workers movement

QC for blacklisted workers formally calls for Lord Tebbit gives evidence at spycops public inquiry

Imran Khan QC, acting on behalf of the Blacklist Support Group has written to Sir John Mitting, chair of the public inquiry into undercover policing calling for Lord Norman Tebbit to be called to give oral evidence (attached). The formal request comes after Tebbit revealed that when he was Secretary of State for Employment in the Thatcher government, he received regular briefings about trade unions from Special Branch, which included such detail as where individual union members went on holiday. The frank admission came during a parliamentary meeting hosted by Richard Burgon and the Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance (COPS).

 

Tebbit also told MPs and peers attending the Zoom meeting that he often held private meetings with ‘friends in the unions’ including the General Secretary of the EETPU electricians union to discuss how to deal with leftwing union activists. After the meeting Lord Tebbit told The Times:

“I got briefings from Special Branch on what some of the hard-left, communist-style leaders were up to. But I got far more briefings from my friends who were trade union leaders. Friends of mine who were trade union leaders would come to see me at the Department of Employment by arrangement. They would drive, be admitted straight into the underground car park and take the lift straight to my office, so that nobody would know that they had seen me.”

 

Dave Smith, secretary of the Blacklist Support Group commented on the letter sent to Sir John Mitting:

“We demand that Tebbit be called to give evidence to the public inquiry about these Special Branch briefings. If any official government or union documentation relating to these meetings at a Ministerial office exist, we demand that they are disclosed to the inquiry. Just as importantly, Tebbit should be forced to name his ‘friends in the unions’ who grassed up union members to a Conservative government Minister. Any union leaders or officials who colluded with a Tory government against other union members should be publicly exposed. Mitting has repeatedly allowed police officers and their managers to avoid giving evidence to this supposedly public inquiry, but any last minute excuses for Tebbit not to give evidence will be totally unacceptable.  If Tebbit is healthy enough to sit in the country’s upper legislative chamber, he is fit enough to give evidence at a public inquiry”.

 

Previous press coverage of Tebbit’s comments:

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/special-branch-spied-on-union-leaders-norman-tebbit-admits-xv20rkmzw

https://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/article/b/tebbit-lifts-lid-government-involvement-spying-trade-unionists

https://www.union-news.co.uk/thatcher-minister-tebbit-admits-receiving-special-branch-reports-about-union-activists/

https://www.vice.com/en/article/g5baz3/police-spies-told-a-minister-where-left-wing-trade-unionists-go-on-holiday

https://www.unitetheunion.org/news-events/news/2021/march/norman-tebbit-s-admission-about-government-involvement-in-spying-on-trade-unionists-must-be-fully-investigated/

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

Builders Crack: The Movie

In the current situation, this long lost film from the 1990s about rank and file union organising in the construction industry is intended to lift the spirits, but also to spark a debate in our movement. Hope the youngsters in this film put a smile on your face.

Watch – Share – Discuss https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VZ-QMA1FMg

Blacklist Support Group

Book: http://newint.org/books/politics/blacklisted-secret-war/

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNcgrNs6pB8

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/groups/blacklistSG/

Blog: www.hazards.org/blacklistblog

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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