NSSN 534: Support the fightback in schools and colleges

May 11, 2021 in Uncategorized

We headline this week’s NSSN bulletin with the growing number of disputes in education.

In schools, teaching and support staff are fighting cuts under the guise of restructuring and an increasing number of union reps being victimised. Clearly, management are striking back at NEU reps in particular after the Tory government was pushed back in the New Year over the premature re-opening of schools.

But victories are being won. Huddersfield NEU rep and union NEC member Louise Lewis has just been reinstated after four days of strike action and it appears a victory has been won at Beal High School in Redbridge after six days of strikes.

NEU strike at Beal School, Redbridge

NEU strike at Beal School, Redbridge

This is from NEU Joint General Secretary Kevin Courtney: “Just hearing VERY GOOD NEWS from the Beal school dispute in Redbridge. Members voting in a meeting tonight have agreed to suspend the industrial action planned for next week because of very good progress in negotiations. We had been demanding that  ill-health should be separated from the disciplinary process and  the ending of a two tier ill health policy. Looks like we have won on both demands. Congratulations to our fantastic reps and members at Beal school and to the Redbridge NEU officers. And thank you to everybody that sent a message of support – this is your victory too!”

UCU have members taking strike action in prisons and at Liverpool University.

Please support the strikes and the victimised union reps.

 

NEU

Support these NEU strikes:-

Leaways School /Hackney
(TU Victimisation and Abuse of Disciplinary Procedures)
Tuesday 11 May
Wednesday 12 May
[email protected]
The John Roan School / Greenwich (Victimisation of Rep) Wednesday 12 May
Thursday 13 May
[email protected]
Capital City College/Islington
(Terms & Conditions)
Wednesday 12 May [email protected]
Victoria Education Centre/Poole
(Terms & Conditions)
Wednesday 12 May
Thursday 13 May
[email protected]
Nottingham Academy/Nottingham
(Restructure)
Tuesday 11 May [email protected]

Support Kirstie Paton Greenwich NEU

Please act to support Kirstie – Kirstie’s disciplinary hearing part II is on Friday 14 May.

John Roan NEU members will be showing their solidarity at Westcombe Park entrance from 7.45 to 8.10 before work. If you are local join them.

Attend the protest at Kirstie’s hearing on Friday 14 May 8.30-10.00 am at Bacon’s College Timber Pond Rd, London SE16 6AT.

You can support Kirstie in the following ways:

📷 Take a picture #IAmKirstiePaton and tweet to @DefendPaton share on FB https://www.facebook.com/defendkirstiepaton/

✒️ Write messages of support to Kirstie and John Roan NEU members to [email protected].

✒️ Send a letter to the Head Cath Smith, Steve Belk (COG) and Jon Coles (CEO, UL):

https://actionnetwork.org/letters/defend-neu-exec-member-kirstie-paton-support-the-right-of-trade-unionists-to-speak-out/

🖥️  Tweet messages of  support for Kirstie  @TheJohnRoan and @thejohnroanNEU

@joncoles01

@UnitedLearning

@DefendPaton

📌 Keep up to date with the campaign at www.defendreps.co.uk

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

Sign petition to support Redbridge NEU Rep Keiran Mahon

Watch Reel News video: Huddersfield teachers strike to defend Louise Lewis

Defend NEU Exec member Tracy McGuire. Stop the victimization of Tracy!

Support Leaways School strike in Hackney – reinstate sacked NEU rep – come to demonstration 12noon Saturday 22nd May, assemble outside Leaways School, Theydon Road E5 9NZ

March for Moulsecoomb 2.0! Moulsecoomb Primary School is being threatened with being forced to become an academy against the wishes of the community AGAIN – 9.30am Saturday 15th May – assemble Moulsecoomb Primary School, The Highway, Brighton Facebook event

 

NASUWT
NASUWT comments on the Government’s pledge to boost mental health support in schools (10 May) –
Commenting on the Government’s pledge of more than £17 million to go towards upgrading mental health support in schools, Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, said: “Additional funding to train thousands of senior mental health leads in schools is long overdue. The number of children with clinically significant mental health conditions has risen year on year and by 50% compared in the last three years alone. Last year saw a 35% increase in referrals to children’s mental health services, but only a 4% increase in children actually receiving support…” read more

 

EIS

Dispute at Forth Valley College Continues as Management Refuse to Negotiate – EIS-FELA lecturers at Forth Valley College are taking part in a further 3 days of strike action this week as part of a long running dispute regarding the downgrading of 27 lecturing posts to Instructor Assessor posts. EIS-FELA members at Forth Valley College have been engaged in strike action since 10th November, 2020 read more

 

UCU

Updates on latest UCU disputes

Petition calling for fair funding and online learning

Two-day strike begins at 49 prisons (10 May) – Unprecedented strike action is set to begin in prisons in England. Around 600 UCU members working in prison education are set to walk out of 49 prison and young offender institutions* across England on Tuesday 11 and Wednesday 12 May. The walkouts have been called after over 68% of UCU members who voted in an industrial action ballot said they were prepared to take strike action over Covid health and safety concerns read more

Three-weeks of strikes announced at the University of Liverpool (10 May) – The University of Liverpool will be hit with three weeks of strikes, as nearly 1300 University and College Union (UCU) members are expected to down tools from Monday 24 May to Friday 11 June, unless the university halts planned job cuts. Staff will be on strike every working day during the following weeks:

  • Monday 24 May – Friday 28 May
  • Tuesday 1 June – Friday 4 June
  • Monday 7 June – Friday 11 June read more

The strikes are set to go ahead during the crucial end of year examination period, meaning disruption for the university will be especially severe. Action short of strike also begins today, which includes only working to contracted hours and boycotting all voluntary activities. The action comes after 84% of members who voted in a ballot last month backed strike action to fight the university’s plans to slash teaching and research jobs in the faculty of health and life sciences. The university originally intended to sack up to 47 staff. This has now been revised down to 32 after UCU threatened industrial action read more

UCU criticises university re-opening exercise (10 May) – UCU has criticised the government’s decision to resume in-person teaching at universities from 17 May saying it makes little sense for staff and students as most lessons will have already finished read more

Kate Green MP pulls out of university event due to course closures and job cuts (7 May) – Shadow Secretary of State for Education Kate Green MP has given UCU members a boost in their fight against cuts to jobs and courses by pulling out of an event organised by two universities planning to close courses read more

  • Survey shows widespread LGBT+ discrimination in higher education (6 May) – New report suggests over three-quarters (77%) of LGBT+ staff have considered leaving the sector.
  • 29% of respondents said promotion criteria negatively impact LGBT+ staff.
  • Three in 10 (30%) said they have experienced homophobic language.

A report published by UCU, exploring the working conditions of LGBT+ staff in higher education, found that homophobic, biphobic and transphobic discrimination remain widespread in UK universities read more

Global boycott of University of Leicester begins – UCU has announced a global boycott of the University of Leicester as the union hit the institution with the ultimate sanction of being greylisted. The announcement comes as Leicester staff also begin a marking and assessment boycott. The greylisting sanction is part of a long running dispute over redundancies at the university. The sanction means UCU is asking its members, other trade unions, labour movement organisations and the international academic community to support its members at Leicester in any way possible 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.

 

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]

Support Gary Carney RMT rep on London Underground  read more

Defend Adrian Mitchell RMT driver on London Underground

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

Woolwich Ferry workers overwhelmingly vote to strike over victimised rep – Workers operating the Woolwich Ferry, now run by Transport for London (TfL), will strike for eight days in May and June over the victimisation of a union rep, Unite the union announced today (Friday 30 April). Unite’s 57 members have voted by an overwhelming 97 per cent for strike action which will take place on 14, 24, 28 May and 1, 4, 7, 11, 21 June. The ferry has been so dogged by poor employment relations in recent years – leading to TfL taking over its operation from the discredited Briggs Marine Contractors Ltd – that the latest episode has been dubbed the ‘Groundhog Day’ dispute read more

St Mungos management escalate dispute by suspending Unite rep

Watch Reel News video: Victimised union reps: Act like it’s you and fight back

 

NSSN Conference 2021: 11am Sunday 20th June online via Zoom Facebook event

 

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 (read April’s HCT bulletin)

Watch Reel News video – NEU: Solidarity with NHS pay campaign

 

The Sparks force 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 ‘Electrical Support Operatives’ (ESO) 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 recently there was the first demonstration at Hinkley. Recently, workers walked off the NG Baileys job at Whitby Hospital in North Yorkshire and Sparks blockaded a site in Cardiff. Unite now report that EDF have backed off at Hinkley and Balfours are also moving away from the ESO, which if confirmed represents a great victory. But the fight goes on, particularly targeting NG Baileys until de-skilling is totally off the agenda.

Solidarity to the Sparks!

See Reel News video of last week’s protest – Sparks occupy Land Securities offices over deskilling

See Reel News video – Sparks invade Balfour Beatty job over deskilling

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 and is now attacking the right to protest through its Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.

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

RMT to fight London Underground plans (10 May) – RMT to fight London Underground plans to abolish Night Tube Train Drivers grade. TUBE UNION RMT said today that it will fight plans by London Underground to abolish the Night Tube Train Drivers grade – if necessary through a campaign of industrial action. LU propose to axe the grade from the 16th May in what the union says is a cash led move aimed at shunting staff around the combine at will which will threaten the jobs of 200 Night Tube staff and destroy the work life balance of 3000 Tube drivers read more

RMT ScotRail strike action solid again today (9 May) – RMT strike action solid again today as Abellio Scotrail stand accused of playing fast and loose with safety in conductors and examiners dispute‎s. RAIL UNION RMT said today’s conductors and examiners strike action remains rock solid again this morning as Abellio stand accused of playing fast and loose with safety on their trains rather than meeting with the union to settle the long running disputes over equality and justice in respect of enhanced payments for rest day working. RMT has revealed that Abellio are using volunteers as scab labour to act as a second person on trains who are unqualified and do not have the knowledge, experience and safety competencies required of the job. The union says that collecting revenue is the driving force behind this reckless decision during a pandemic where public safety and confidence should be the overriding priority read more

RMT launches petition demanding pay justice and equality for ScotRail workers (11 May) – RAIL UNION RMT has today launched an online petition demanding pay justice and equality for ScotRail workers in light of Dutch state-owned operator Abellio’s failure to treat all grades of workers equally in respect of rest day working arrangements. Sign the RMT petition HERE read more

RMT accuses Abellio of playing fast and loose with safety as conductors and examiners prepare for next day of strike action on Sunday (7 May)

RMT on cancelled services on LNER and Great Western today (8 May) – RAIL UNION RMT on cancellation of services on LNER and Great Western today as cracks in fleet are investigated. General Secretary Mick Lynch said: “RMT is fully aware of the issues that have led to the cancellation of services on LNER today and that similar problems with cracks appearing in the fleet on Great Western are also emerging. Hitachi needs to ensure the highest safety standards and properly investigate and rectify the issues. This situation demonstrates once again that it is reckless for the rail companies and the DfT to move the industry to diluted, risk-based maintenance regimes which extends maintenance cycles on rolling stock or on the infrastructure, whether that be on the mainline railway or on the tube and metro services, to cut costs and strip out staff…” read more

RMT demands top level meeting over Irish Ferries threat to jobs in Dover (6 May) – FERRIES UNION RMT has written today to the Managing Director of Irish Ferries, Andrew Sheen, to demand a meeting to discuss the impact on local seafarer jobs of the Irish Ferries plan for a new Dover-Calais service 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

 

TSSA

Anger at West Midlands Trains as “crass” clickbait Covid scam backfires! (11 May) – WMT have made headlines for all the wrong reasons. A PR disaster played out across social media and mainstream news this week following our union’s reports of a “cynical and shocking stunt”. Members were promised a bonus for working to keep trains running during the pandemic only to find they were victims of a cruel company con trick to test IT security read more

Anger Over Shocking Covid Bonus Stunt At West Midlands Trains (10 May) – TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has hit out at West Midlands Trains (WMT) for a “cynical and shocking stunt” which saw the company falsely promise bonuses to employees for their hard work during the pandemic read more

TSSA Urges Safety First Approach After Train Cracks Halt Services (8 May) – TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has praised engineering staff for finding hairline cracks in trains and said services must not resume until it’s “one hundred per cent safe” to do so. The issue found in the Hitachi 800 series trains, used by Great Western Railway (GWR), London North Eastern Railways (LNER) and Hull Trains has sparked major disruption to services read more

Shapps must come up with the cash so travel doesn’t become preserve of the rich – Cortes (7 May) – TSSA General Secretary Manuel Cortes today urged Transport Minister Grant Shapps to provide financial support to the travel trade to fund covid-related refunds so holidaymakers can book with confidence read more

TSSA Welcomes Inquest Into Belly Mujinga’s Death (7 May) – TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has welcomed the decision to hold an inquest into the death of union member Belly Mujinga describing it as “a step forward in the fight for justice” in the case. Belly – a TSSA member – died on 5 April 2020 just two weeks after it was reported she was coughed on by a customer at London’s Victoria station (21 March). A BBC Panorama investigation subsequently raised serious questions about the inquiries into her death carried out by her employer, GTR (Govia Thameslink Railway) and the police. Senior North London Coroner, Andrew Walker, today ruled an inquest will be held into Belly’s death saying there is reason to suspect her death was “unnatural” read more

TSSA Members Balloted Over Balfour Beatty Pay Dispute (6 May) – TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has warned of “looming industrial action” at Balfour Beatty where members of the union are being balloted in a dispute over pay. Union members at Balfour Beatty aren’t being offering any pay increase for 2020 and only a rise of two per cent from this April. This comes at a time when the infrastructure company is paying out nearly £2m in bonuses to senior managers and turning a profit close to £50m read more

 

Unite

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

Go Ahead offers deal to Manchester bus drivers – but workers remain on strike for now – Bus drivers employed by Go North West in Manchester have been taking all-out, continuous strike, since 28 February. The company is trying to fire and rehire its workers on vastly inferior contracts. Speaking at the Manchester May Day rally on 1 May, Unite branch secretary Colin Hayden said: “Today marks the start of the tenth week of our industrial action against fire and rehire. Our members decided they will not stand for the industrial terrorism of fire and rehire. Now we have had a deal from the Go Ahead group. It says fire and rehire has been withdrawn. Two sacked members will be given their jobs back. Sham, bogus disciplinaries have been stopped. But the deal is not done yet. We will return to work if and when our members vote for the deal. Until then we will be on strike.”

London bus strikes called off as drivers accept new pay offer (6 May) – The long running London bus strike has concluded after bus drivers employed by London United, a subsidiary of French company RATP, voted to accept a revised pay offer. The drivers, based at seven bus depots in South and West London, who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, took a total of 10 days strike action in a dispute over pay and conditions. Strikes scheduled for tomorrow (Friday 7 May) and Saturday 8 May have now been called off. As a result of the strike action the company withdrew all of its proposals to weaken the workers’ terms and conditions. With regards to pay, Unite members have accepted an offer of 2.25 per cent over 2 years and a one off payment of £400 for 2020. Both the 2019 and 2020 pay increases will be backdated to the relevant anniversary date. In addition, members now have a transfer agreement that will further protect their terms and conditions when moving within the company and subsidiaries of RATP London read more

First Group Pensions: Coast Capital can’t be allowed to prevent black hole being plugged (10 May) – Unite, the UK’s leading union, which represents thousands of members at transport company First Group, is demanding that venture capitalists Coast Capital Management are thwarted in attempting to block a planned move to plug the deficit in the company’s pension fund. First Group recently sold its US division First Bus for $4.6 billion. As a result the parent company First Group is proposing to pay shareholders 10 pence a share as a bonus as well as spending £360 million in plugging the company’s pension deficit. However Coast Capital which has previously tried to purchase various First Group divisions is opposing the plan and is seeking to secure the support of other shareholders to oppose the pension payments. Coast Capital are instead arguing that the £360 million should be paid to shareholders as a form of dividend read more

Woolwich Ferry workers overwhelmingly vote to strike over victimised rep (30 Apr) – Workers operating the Woolwich Ferry, now run by Transport for London (TfL), will strike for eight days in May and June over the victimisation of a union rep, Unite the union announced today (Friday 30 April). Unite’s 57 members have voted by an overwhelming 97 per cent for strike action which will take place on 14, 24, 28 May and 1, 4, 7, 11, 21 June. The ferry has been so dogged by poor employment relations in recent years – leading to TfL taking over its operation from the discredited Briggs Marine Contractors Ltd – that the latest episode has been dubbed the ‘Groundhog Day’ dispute. 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: “It is a sad indictment of the TfL bosses that they seem to be following the same course as Briggs Marine Contractors which meted out some appalling employment practices to the workforce in the recent past. Our members have returned an overwhelming mandate for strike action at the Woolwich Ferry in support of their victimised shop steward and over a myriad of other employment issues…” read more

Chivas Brothers workers across Scotland vote for strike action (10 May) – Unite Scotland has today (10 May) confirmed that its membership at Chivas Brothers across Scotland have voted ‘emphatically’ for strike action by 82% on a 62% turnout. The industrial action ballot follows the rejection of an offer, equivalent to a pay freeze, by Unite’s hundreds of members at the company’s Kilmalid, Strathclyde Grain Distillery, Southern Operations and Northern Operations. Strike action is now set to begin from the end of May unless Chivas Brothers return to the negotiating table with an improved offer. Chivas Brothers employs around 1,600 workers in Scotland read more

Warnings of possibility of bread shortages in Northern Ireland as Unite members in Hovis vote overwhelmingly for strike action (May 10) – Pickets set to be deployed at Hovis’ South Belfast site from 6am Friday May 14th with commencement of all-out strike action. Bread production workers who are seeking a 10 percent pay increase, vote with a 90.5 percent majority for strike action read more

Workers take to Thames to call for Queen’s Speech end to fire and rehire (10 May) – Workers under threat from fire and rehire pay cuts of up to £12,000 will join MPs on a boat on the Thames tomorrow (Tuesday 11 May) to sail past parliament and demand the pernicious practice is outlawed in the Queen’s Speech. Photo and worker interview opportunity:

WHEN: 10:30am Tuesday 11 May   WHERE: Westminster Pier, Victoria Embankment, London, SW1A 2JH

Onboard the boat will be workers from JDE (Jacobs Douwe Egberts). JDE is attempting to dismiss and re-engage 291 employees at its Banbury coffee factory on new contracts that could see some workers lose between £7,000 and £12,000 a year. Staff from London-based letting services firm Goodlord, who are striking over £6,000 fire and rehire cuts, as well as other workers being impacted by the practice, will also be in attendance. The boat-based protest comes after Unite members staged demonstrations today in Birmingham, Leeds, Crewe, Mansfield, Wolverhampton and Stoke-on-Trent calling for an end to the practice read more

XPO boss accused of receiving multi million pound bonus while receiving millions of UK furlough cash (10 May) – Unions representing workers at XPO Logistics are calling for a full investigation after it emerged the American chief executive of the company received an incentive award of up to $80 million (£57 million), while the company is estimated to have received more than £100 million from the UK government in furlough payments. The pandemic bonus payment to Bradley Jacobs, XPO chief executive, comes amid growing scrutiny of paying senior managers large bonus and dividend payments while their companies are receiving government support. XPO employs more than 25,000 workers in the UK and carries out transport and logistics work for many of the leading supermarkets including Morrisons, Co-op, Waitrose and Iceland read more

Unite statement on Attleborough Town Council (10 May) – Unite regional officer Miles Hubbard said today (Monday 10 May): “Unite was completely justified in standing by our members over allegations that a number of councillors had waged a systematic and sustained campaign of bullying and harassment against staff employed by Attleborough Town Council. We stood by them then and do so now. “It is the legitimate role of a trade union to defend its members when they raise serious allegations read more

RSA accused of introducing ‘essential worker’ self-declaration without consultation (May 9) – Unite warns that ability of learner drivers to self-declare may undermine public health measures. Driving instructors concerned at GDPR implications of new system read more

Re-opening of travel is chink of light but alone doesn’t end aviation crisis, warns Unite (7 May) – Following the government’s announcement today (Friday May 7) that air travel for leisure purposes can resume later this month, Unite, the UK’s premier aviation union, warned that the aviation sector will need transparent decision-making, effective logistics and further assistance in order to recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic read more

Cheshire ENCIRC strikes postponed as workers vote on contract offer (6 May) – Strikes at Cheshire glass manufacturing and logistics company ENCIRC Ltd over working patterns and contracts of employment have been postponed following an offer from the company, Unite said today (Thursday 6 May). Unite, the UK’s leading union, said a strike scheduled to go ahead today has been cancelled while the offer is put to members. The union, which more than 170 members at ENCIRC, said it is recommending a vote in favour of the offer. The dispute involves workers in ENCIRC’s glass manufacturing section, who believe that they are being treated in a less favourable manner compared to the company’s other departments read more

Talks tomorrow in Banbury coffee workers’ ‘fire and rehire’ row, as Unite announces new strike dates (6 May) – Crunch talks are being held tomorrow (Friday 7 May) in a bid to resolve the ‘fire and rehire’ dispute involving nearly 300 workers at JDE (Jacobs Douwe Egberts) in Banbury, Oxfordshire. Talks between Unite the union and the management, under the auspices of the conciliation service Acas, come as the union plans to ramp up strike action later this month, following the decision by the Dutch-owned company to issue notice of dismissal and engagement for 291 employees. An already announced 24 hour strike will be held between 07:00 on Saturday (8 May) and 07.00 on Sunday (9 May). This will be followed by newly announced dates for a 24 hour strike on 15 May starting at 07.00 and ending at 07.00 on 16 May; and then a 72 hour strike starting at 06:00 on 26 May and running until 07.00 on 29 May. A continuous overtime ban also started on 1 May. Other developments include another demo, following strict Covid-19 protocols, outside JDE’s Ruscote Avenue site, Banbury OX16 2QU from 10.30 on Saturday (8 May) – this follows on from the successful protest last week which was well supported by the local community read more

Devonport naval base faces 96 hours of strike action by tugboat crew in rota row – Devonport naval base faces 96 hours of disruption next week when tugboat crews strike in the continuing rostering dispute, Unite the union said today (Wednesday 5 May). About 40 tractor tug crew members employed by Serco Marine at the naval base will strike from 07:00 on Saturday 15 May until 06:59 on Wednesday 19 May. This follows two well-supported 24 hour strikes last month. The long-running dispute centres on the imposition of a new three weeks ‘on’ and three weeks ‘off’ roster introduced in December, which Unite has repeatedly warned poses serious health & safety risks for its members, including excessive tiredness. It also has adverse implications for their annual leave entitlement. Unite members are currently being balloted to extend the mandate which will ensure that they will be covered by the full 12 week period of immunity from being dismissed for taking part in lawful industrial action, which will now cover all action until early July. The ballot closes on Wednesday 19 May read more

Birmingham GKN Melrose workers present alternative business plan to keep site open (7 May) – Members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, employed at GKN Birmingham yesterday (Thursday 6 May), along with the joint consultative committee, presented an alternative business plan to the company’s senior management, as part of their campaign to prevent the plant’s closure. The 500 plus workforce at the Chester Road plant, which produces automotive parts, were left shocked and fearing for their futures when GKN Automotive, owned by Melrose,  announced in January that the plant was earmarked for closure in 2022, with work being transferred to plants in Europe read more

Serco civil enforcement strikes set to bring Ealing ‘election day parking chaos’ – Strikes by Serco civil enforcement officers over union busting on 6 May are set to bring ‘election day parking chaos’, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Friday 30 April). More than 40 civil enforcement officers will strike after the company offered severance to elected Unite representatives and activists in order to undermine trade union organisation. Unite called on Ealing Council to force Serco to resolve the dispute and prevent parking disruption during the mayoral election and three by-elections being held on 6 May. The dispute is linked to a botched and unjustified restructuring and redundancy programme that Serco tried to instigate in late 2019, with minimal consultation with Unite. Serco is also refusing to negotiate a new absence management policy for employees working on the Ealing contract. Unite believes the present policy is being used to unfairly dismiss employees and should be renegotiated. The civil enforcement officers will take part in two 72-hour strikes, with the first beginning on 5 May and ending on 7 May, and the second beginning on 12 May and ending on 14 May read more

Biomedical scientists will stop night and weekend shifts in month-long strike over Lancashire trust’s ‘bad faith’ in reneging over pay upgrade – Biomedical scientists, who have been on the frontline of Covid-19 testing at a Lancashire NHS trust, will stop doing night, weekend and late shifts as part of a month-long strike action after ‘bad faith’ by bosses who reneged on an upgrading pay agreement. Unite the union warned that the impact could mean the accident and emergency department at the Royal Blackburn Hospital will close at night and weekends. Unite said that its 21 members working for East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust were owed back pay of between several hundred pounds to £8,000, as managers had failed to honour an agreement to upgrade them from band 5 to band 6 on the Agenda for Change (AfC) scale. The back pay issue goes back as far as 2010 for some members. Now the biomedical scientists, who analyse patient blood samples at the Royal Blackburn Hospital and the Burnley General Teaching Hospital will strike continuously from Friday 7 May until Friday 4 June, after they voted by a majority of 85 per cent for strike action read more

Security guards at Reading hospital to be balloted again for strike action in ‘David and Goliath’ pay battle read more

Support striking Reading hospital security guards – 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

Support Thurrock bin strike! – Strike dates set as Thurrock council heroes resist cuts to pay and conditions – Council workers providing essential services through the health crisis to the residents of Thurrock have escalated their action after three weeks of strikes because of Thurrock Council’s plans to brutally cut their pay and conditions. Refuse workers, highway maintenance and street cleaners will take full days of strike action from Monday 10 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 read more

See Reel News video – Thurrock refuse workers strike: solidarity from Birmingham

Donate to strike hardship fund – Unite 1/1152, sort code 60-83-01, accpunt number 20216557

Follow Justice For Refuse Workers & Cleansers on Facebook

Sign petition: Thurrock Residents Please Support Key Workers Pay & Terms & Conditions

Life Residential and Featherstone Leigh estate agents ‘facing further pain’ with fresh Goodlord strike ballot – 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 – 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 Mungos management escalate dispute by suspending Unite rep – Orwellian move at St Mungos: management suspend Unite rep for grievance about bullying. In an Orwellian escalation of the crisis at St Mungo’s, management have suspended a union rep who had raised a grievance concerning bullying management.  The grounds include that senior managers were distressed by the suggestion of a bullying management style. Astounding 44% of reps already facing formal processes regarding own employment. This twist follows a vote for strike action by this team following a failure to adequately investigate bullying management! Read more

Donate to strike hardship fund – Unite LE/1111, sort code 60-83-01, account number 204183

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

 

PCS

Striking DVLA members persist despite intimidation on picket lines (7 May) – PCS members faced picket line intimidation on the fourth day of the second week of strike action over Covid safety, which was rounded off by a well-attended public rally on Facebook live. Pickets faced intimidation and management threats that they would be removed by police on the fourth day of the second week of strike action over safety at the DVLA. Members on the picket lines, who were deployed six per site abiding by legal requirements, were absolutely flabbergasted. As was Aberavon MP, Stephen Kinnock who was visiting them. The pickets were further angered by false accusations of ‘theft’ of £5 food vouchers given to DVLA staff going into work. Members have continued to remain steadfast in their support of the action read more

Wide support for DVLA strike on third day of second week of action over Covid safety (6 May)

Hundreds more join PCS as DVLA members walk out again over Covid safety (4 May) – PCS membership in the DVLA branch is now over 3,500. Many more strike fund donations and messages of support have been coming in – see how you can help members win this dispute. Early reports are that the first of four days of action in the second week of walkouts at the DVLA has been better supported than the first. PCS membership in the DVLA has now risen beyond 3,500, with new members joining to be part of the action and the campaign. In the last week close to a hundred more have joined the union read more    Sign our DVLA e-action

Members share their worries about jobcentre safety (10 May) – From 12 April DWP extended services in jobcentres, asking more staff to come into work to carry out face-to-face interviews with claimants. Since the plans were announced, PCS has opposed them and been trying to negotiate with management to overturn them, as we do not believe that this work can be done safely due to Covid or that the necessary risk assessments and safety measures have been put in place. In a recent survey, only a fifth of staff said they felt safe returning to work in jobcentres, while 58% said they felt unsafe read more

Use your vote in the PCS DWP safety ballot (7 May) – PCS is asking DWP members to share their views in a consultation ballot about the safety risks caused by the extension of services in jobcentres and rushed plans for video calling. Are you worried about being forced back into a jobcentre when your work can be done from home? Then you need to vote yes in our safety ballot. This ballot, which ends on 21 May, is not just about work coaches and face-to-face work. It is equally about the safety of all staff in jobcentres read more

New campaign launched to improve working conditions for cleaners (7 May) – Cleaners United has launched a listening campaign to get the views of cleaners on common issues affecting them at work. Cleaners United is a new alliance of trade unions including PCS, Unite, and the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB), and community organisations that are working together to improve the working conditions of cleaners. The listening campaign has been launched to improve working conditions for cleaners and to tackle issues like low pay, discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace, which cleaners say is rife in their industry according to a recent report. Despite being key workers, cleaners face some of the worst working conditions in the UK read more

PCS demands a fair and public sector focussed Queen’s Speech (7 May) – Ahead of the Queen’s Speech on Tuesday (11) PCS is demanding the government ‘levels up’ the pay, terms and conditions and pensions of civil servants across the UK. We are also calling for new measures which will drastically reform procurement practices across government departments to ensure ‘in-housing’ is a key focus for the legislative calendar going forward read more

Big win for PCS in OCS as members vote to accept pay offer (6 May) – Members in OCS vote overwhelmingly in favour of pay offer following successful PCS campaign. Members who are court security officers have voted overwhelmingly to accept the two-year pay settlement offer which improves pay, terms and conditions after the PCS OCS consultative ballot over pay, terms and conditions closed at noon today (6 May). This is a huge achievement for our members and a victory worth celebrating: OCS made the offer only after members had voted in favour of strike action, which after the offer did not need to take place read more

 

GMB

More than three quarters of public want fire and rehire to be made illegal (10 May) – Ahead of the Queen’s Speech GMB and Labour call on Government to bring forward a much-delayed Employment Bill and outlaw fire and rehire. More than three quarters of the public want fire and rehire to be made illegal, exclusive polling shows. The poll, conducted by Survation on behalf of GMB shows that 76% of those questioned said the practice of fire and rehire should be against the law – including 71% of Conservative voters. Figures from the poll of more than 1,000 adults also show that 67% would be less likely to buy goods or services from a company which used fire and rehire read more

Three quarters of public think school support staff not paid enough (10 May) – School support staff members are the glue that keeps children’s education together but they are paid a pittance. Three quarters of the public think teaching assistants aren’t paid enough, exclusive new data shows. The poll, conducted by Survation on behalf of GMB shows that 74% of those polled said that the average teaching assistant’s earnings of £13,856 last year was too low, with half (48%) saying that it was much too low 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

 

Unison

Removing the need for masks in schools “too much, too soon”, says UNISON (10 May) – Return to normality must be done safely. Commenting on the announcement today (Monday) that the government will no longer recommend the use of face coverings in secondary schools and colleges in England, UNISON head of education Jon Richards said: “This is a case of too much, too soon. Everyone wants to get back to normality, but any change has to happen safely. Otherwise, all the care taken over the past few months in schools could be undone. Face masks will still be needed in other indoor spaces like shops, restaurants and cinemas. Schools and colleges shouldn’t be treated any differently…” read more

UNISON introduces new mental health bargaining guide (10 May) – ‘Unless policies are put in place, increased home working and pressures placed on staff are liable to act as detonators of mental health problems for those delivering vital public services’ read more

Higher education employers make ‘disappointing’ final offer (7 May) – The offer is for a 1.5% pay rise for most pay points, with higher percentage increases for those on lower pay points. The joint higher education trade unions have expressed “disappointment” today, after the employers made a final offer of just 1.5% for staff in the sector for the year 2021-2022, which begins for the workforce on 1 August. The unions met the employers, Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA), at the third and final pay negotiation meeting for the pay settlement yesterday read more

It’s “never been clearer” that Mitie can afford to pay, as Cumberland Infirmary workers begin third round of strike action – More than 150 porters, cleaners, switchboard and catering staff employed by Mitie at Cumberland Infirmary are set to begin a further three days of strike action tomorrow (Friday) over missing payments for working unsocial hours. The hospital workers have already taken four days of strike action in recent months. While the strike action escalates, trade union UNISON says that it has “never been clearer” that Mitie can afford to pay NHS rates to the Infirmary workers it employs 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

‘Once HQ push the button, South Wales CWU is ready to ballot’ (May 7) – Eugene Capaross and his fellow CWU South Wales Branch activists received “a massively positive reaction” as they toured telephone exchanges in the area this morning, building solidarity with striking RPE members and growing support for the Count Me In campaign. “We started at Bridgend at 7am, then headed onto Swansea and Cardiff,” reports branch secretary Eugene “and everywhere we went the feeling was rock-solid behind this union” read more

Come clean on site strategy, BT Consumer and EE told, as members unite against a wider ‘race to the bottom’ (May 7) – Multiple concerns over job security, deskilling and attacks on terms & conditions are fast drawing to a head in BT Consumer and EE – and this week it was the turn of members in Consumer to vent their anger at management’s current trajectory. Just days after a blatant company attempt to deflect well-grounded  workforce worries over which contact centres could be vulnerable under BT’s much vaunted  site rationalisation programme, more than 4,000 participated in  a special CWU Facebook Live event on Tuesday in which members were warned against being lulled into a false sense of security read more

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

 

NIPSA

QUB Crèche – Dispute Intensifies – On International Workers Memorial Day our members in QUB Crèche have intensified their industrial action campaign in pursuit of protection of their terms and conditions of employment. As previously advised QUB Crèche Workers commenced industrial action on 8 March 2021, International Women’s Day. Unfortunately to date the dispute has not been resolved and in an effort to bring the employers back to the negotiating table our brave QUB Crèche members have unanimously agreed to take 4 half day strikes on the following dates:-

28 April (afternoon), 6 May (morning), 14 May (afternoon), 19 May (morning). The morning strikes will run until 1pm with the afternoon strikes commencing at 1pm read more

Education Welfare Officers to Commence Industrial Action – Education Welfare Officers employed by the Education Authority will commence a period of industrial action from Tuesday 4 May 2021. This will commence with various actions short of strike action which is in furtherance of a long dispute in relation to their pay. While a lunchtime protest will be held on Tuesday 4 May 2021 this will be for Education Welfare Staff only to ensure that we comply with Covid 19 restrictions. However, I am asking that Branches consider sending solidarity messages to the 100 plus members who will be engaged in this action. The solidarity messages should be sent by email to Alan Law and Alan will arrange for these to be forwarded to the members read more

 

POA

Pay Award Recommendation 3 – Judicial Review update (7 May) – Steve Gillan updates members on Pay Award Recommendation 3 – Judicial Review read more

 

NAPO

Unions submit 3 year pay claim for NPS members (7 May) – Napo, UNISON and GMB/SCOOP have submitted the following 3 year pay claim for members in NPS.

  • A three-year award to cover the 2021, 2022 and 2023 pay years
  • An increase in the value of all pay points above the Retail Prices Index (RPI) of inflation on 1 April 2021, 1 April 2022 and 1 April 2023
  • An increase in the value of all NPS allowances above the Retail Prices Index (RPI) of inflation on 1 April 2021, 1 April 2022 and 1 April 2023
  • Shorter Pay Bands to allow staff to reach the top of Pay Band in a shorter time
  • Removal of Pay Band Overlaps read more

Napo guidance on work related stress (7 May) – What is work-related stress? What should your employer be doing about it? How can Napo help? All these questions and more are answered in Napo’s latest work-related stress guidance created to support members to:

  • gain a little understanding of what stress is.
  • recognise some of the signs and symptoms of stress.
  • provide guidance on how to start to address the issue of work-related stress
  • signpost them to other resources which may provide help and support read more

 

FBU

Fire Brigades Union responds to Poplar cladding fire (7 May) – The Fire Brigades Union has responded after a cladding fire broke out at a 19-storey block of flats in East London. Twenty fire engines and 125 firefighters attended the incident at the New Providence Wharf in Poplar early this morning. FBU general secretary Matt Wrack said: “It is extremely alarming to see another high-rise building in the heart of London light up in flames. A huge thank you to the firefighters who responded and got the fire under control so quickly and our thoughts are with all of those affected. It should shame this government that four years on from Grenfell there are people across the country living in buildings wrapped in flammable cladding. Time and time again we’ve warned that another Grenfell could be just around the corner unless they prioritise making people’s homes safe. The pace of removing flammable cladding has been glacial and it’s putting people’s lives at risk. The government must intervene and take quick and decisive action to end our building safety crisis once and for all” read more

 

BFAWU

‘Almost one in five food workers have gone hungry’ study finds – A new study has suggested almost one in five food workers may have run out of food because of a lack of money during the pandemic. The shocking figure comes from a new report being launched by the Bakers and Allied Food Workers Union which found that:-

  • 19% had run out of food because of a lack of money
  • 40% had eaten less than they should because of a lack of cash
  • Over a third (35%) ate less to make sure others in the house got a meal
  • 21% relied on food from friends and relatives
  • More than 7% had experience of using food banks

The scale of food poverty amongst food workers is shameful and represents a clear need to enshrine the right to food in law read more

 

NUJ

NUJ calls on government to end fire and rehire schemes (7 May) – The NUJ has joined a coalition of sister unions and politicians calling on the government to introduce new measures to prevent fire and rehire schemes. The NUJ has dealt with fire and rehire tactics within the media industry, by companies using the threat of job losses, or actual dismissals, to force through inferior terms and conditions. The government should use the Queen’s speech next week to introduce legislative amendments that prevent fire and rehire tactics being used and thereby drive-up basic employment standards in business read more

 

Prospect

Even with publication of the green list, aviation sector needs more support (7 May) – Prospect has responded to the announcement of the traffic light system for international travel to England from 17 May. Thousands of Prospect members’ jobs in aviation and other sectors depend on international travel read more

 

Equity

Open letter to Education Secretary opposing funding cuts in creative higher education (6 May) – As the union for performers and creative practitioners in the UK, Equity openly writes to you in opposition to the proposed funding cuts to creative and performative arts subjects in the Higher Education Teaching Grant budget for 2021–2022. In your Guidance letter to the Office for Students of 19 January 2021, you highlight the Government’s plans to prioritise the allocation of funding to “subjects vital to the economy and labour markets”. You will be aware that the creative industries of the United Kingdom generate £111 billion for the UK economy each year, with the creative sector in 2020 growing five times faster than the UK economy as a whole prior to the Coronavirus crisis. However, the 2021-2022 T-Grant budget proposes a 50% reduction in funding for the performative and creative arts subjects that fuel this vital economic growth. Creative and performative courses form the spaces in which each generation of the UK’s creative workforce trains and prepares to enter our industry. The proposition to halve their allocated funding is to take a sledgehammer to the health and diversity of our multi-billion pound creative industry read more

Call for Birmingham City Council to end unfair charges on creative workers (5 May) – Equity are calling on Birmingham City Council to drop unfair double charges facing creative workers employed in the Birmingham Clean Air Zone (BCAZ). Currently, those performing or working in the BCAZ in the early evening pay £8 upon arrival at work. They are then hit with a second £8 charge if they leave work after midnight, as they are charged for a second day. Cultural workers are often employed in the nighttime economy and are unable to use public transport – either due to the need to transport equipment or because of the time of night they are travelling. Equity Midlands Official Ian Bayes has signed a letter to Birmingham City Council, together with the Musicians Union, the TUC and Bectu. The letter asks the council to look at concessions for their members. Ideally the BCAZ implementation should be put back to allow for the recovery of the cultural sector, the letter goes on to argue. But, at the very least, the double charging structure should be scrapped and potentially replaced with a rolling 24 hour charging period instead read more

 

USDAW

Three-quarters of key workers say they were anxious about working through the pandemic an Usdaw survey finds (10 May) – Retail trade union Usdaw has today, at the beginning of Mental Health Awareness Week, released findings from a survey showing that almost three quarters (74.2%) felt anxious about going into work last year. By far the biggest factor contributing to members’ anxiety is a fear of contracting the virus, with seven out of ten of all respondents identifying this as the cause. The survey was circulated by email and paper copies were available in workplaces. Over 4,000 members responded, over two-thirds are women and three-quarters work in the retail sector, two-thirds of these in food retail read more

 

Mandate (Ireland)

Mandate condemns treatment of ex-Debenhams workers on Parnell Street – Mandate Trade Union has condemned the heavy-handed tactics of Gardai last night (Apr 22) on Parnell Street, Dublin where ex-Debenhams workers were forcefully removed from picket line at the request of KPMG, the Debenhams liquidator. Mandate General Secretary Gerry Light said the incident was entirely unnecessary and preventable. “This incident should never have happened. The workers had decided to ballot for a potential resolution to this dispute at 4:30pm yesterday and then we see these traumatic videos last night where female retail workers, who were treated abysmally by their employer and left without their agreed redundancy packages, are being manhandled and dragged away from their picket line.” He added, “We need legislation to prevent this from ever happening again, and we need it now. This government have been dwelling on this long enough. We know what needs to change, and they need to change it, immediately” read more

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

 

SIPTU

SIPTU members express outrage at deferral of ERO for security industry (29 Apr) – SIPTU members in the security industry have expressed outrage at a decision to defer the implementation of pay increases contained in a new Employment Regulation Order (ERO) for the sector until 1st September, 2021 read more

SIPTU calls on Kerry Group to attend WRC to avoid industrial dispute (26 Apr) – SIPTU members at the Kerry Group have called on management to attend at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) to seek a resolution to a dispute concerning redundancies. Following an announcement by the Kerry Group in March to outsource 150 jobs to Malaysia and Mexico from its business centers in Naas and Charleville, SIPTU representatives engaged with the company to try and secure an acceptable agreement on behalf of union members. The jobs affected are primarily in the finance, human resource, data management and regulatory functions read more

 

Other News

Tamil Solidarity trade union newsletter and model motion

 

Fight blacklisting and victimisation of union reps

#SPYCops Inquiry exposes state surveillance of workers movement

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

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

Unison: British and Irish trade unions condemn Colombian state violence. Letter notes human rights abuses on a ‘massive scale’, with up to 37 people reported killed read more

 

Diary

NSSN Conference 2021: 11am Sunday 20th June online via Zoom Facebook event

 

 

 

CONTACT US

PHONE 07952 283 558

EMAIL mailto:[email protected]

 

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