NSSN 557: Strikes work as workers force bosses back

October 17, 2021 in Bulletins

A clear trend is opening up as the number of disputes increase and many of these are resulting in victories or at least forcing the employers to make serious concessions.

The NSSN weekly bulletin carries reports of all the strikes and ballots that are taking place. And it’s clear that workers are more and more using their power and leverage, particularly in those areas where there are labour shortages.

The bosses and their Tory government have used Covid to go on the offensive, particularly using the brutal ‘fire and rehire’. But workers are fighting back and increasingly getting results. The NSSN will continue to stand side by side with them and their unions.

 

NSSN COP 26 Online Forum: ‘Climate change – for a workers transition’ 7pm November 9th (Zoom details to follow)

Zoom link – link is https://us02web.zoom.us/j/8398811682?pwd=ZFhUSEFFK0RUd1hmS2FlZ1d4dkZWdz09

Meeting ID 8398811682

Facebook event

 

Follow NHS Workers Say NO to Public Sector pay inequality on Facebook

 

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, TRAIN OPERATOR – LONDON UNDERGROUND

Defend Adrian Mitchell RMT driver on London Underground

Support Tim Breed RMT

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

Trade union rep victimisation at Woolwich Ferry reaches ‘obscene levels’, says Unite

Unite: Ealing’s Labour council ‘actively helping’ Serco ‘hound’ union rep from civil enforcement job

St Mungos management escalate dispute by suspending Unite repsign petition: End the culture of fear at St Mungo’s

Sign petition: Reinstate Gary Bolister sacked GMB rep at Islington Council

Sacked UCU member wins right to return to work (29 July)

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

Reinstate John Boken Shropshire NEU rep – solidarity protest Saturday 20th November in the Quarry Shrewsbury. For more details and send solidarity messages, email [email protected]

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!

Victimised Tesco warehouse USDAW rep fighting for reinstatement

 

Blacklist Support Group have joined forces with the Construction Rank & File to organise a celebratory fringe event at upcoming UNITE conference in Liverpool.

RANK & FILE UNION ORGANISING IN CONSTRUCTION: PAST – PRESENT – FUTURE

RICKY TOMLINSON – SHARON GRAHAM – JOHN McDONNELL MP plus blacklisted construction activists.

Wednesday 20th October 6pm – 8pm

The Green Room, Duke Street, Liverpool

 

This is the first time Ricky Tomlinson will have spoken in public at since the historic Shrewsbury Pickets judgement in the Court of Appeal. It is also the first time most people will have the opportunity to hear a speech from Sharon Graham, the new UNITE General Secretary. The meeting will be part celebration, part serious political intervention. Without doubt, it will be the ‘MUST SEE’ event of the entire UNITE policy conference week. All construction workers, conference delegates and union members welcome. Please share widely to your networks

 

 

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

 

 

 

Union News

RMT

As Southeastern fails RMT calls for end to privatisation (15 Oct) – As Southeastern passes into public ownership on Sunday, RMT reveals true cost of private sector failure and calls on government to ‘finish the job, cut out the spivs and stop the cuts’. Ahead of the weekend on which the Southeastern franchise passes into public ownership, following the latest catastrophic private sector failure, RMT has revealed the true cost of the government’s slavish devotion to subsidising private profit read more

Massive yes vote in ScotRail pay dispute (14 Oct) – RMT announces massive yes vote in strike ballot on Scotrail over pay dispute. SCOTLAND’S MAIN RAIL UNION RMT said today that members have voted overwhelmingly to strike in an industrial action ballot on Scotrail sparked by the on-going pay dispute. The ballot ‎recorded a yes vote for strike action of 84%. The union said that the schedule for the ballot would enable action to take place during COP26 and will now be considered by the unions executive. Over two thousand RMT members across all grades were involved. Abellio Scotrail Ticket Examiner members will take further industrial action and not to book on for any shifts that commence between:

  • hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 17th October 2021
  • hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 24th October 2021
  • hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 31st October 2021

Additionally Abellio Scotrail Ticket Examiner members have been instructed not to work any Rest Days or undertake any Higher Grade Duties remains in place until further notice read more

RMT confirms strike action on ScotRail and Caledonian Sleeper (14 Oct) – RMT confirms strike action in pay disputes on Scotrail and Caledonian Sleeper during COP26. Rail union RMT today confirmed strike action on both Scotrail and Caledonian Sleeper during COP26 in fights for pay justice for Scotland’s rail workers – staff at the sharp end of providing green transport alternatives. Scotrail staff will take the following strike action;‎

  • 0001 hours Monday 1st November 2021 until 2359 hours Friday 12th November 2021.

Sleeper staff will take the following strike action;‎

  • Sunday 31st October 2021 from 1159 hours until 1158 hours on Tuesday 2nd November 2021
  • Thursday 11th November 2021 from 1159 hours until 1158 hours on Saturday 13th November 2021 read more

RMT on Night Tube plans (14 Oct) – RMT responds to plans for limited Night Tube reopening. General Secretary Mick Lynch said: “No one has worked harder to ensure a safe environment for women on London Underground than the RMT. While Tube bosses have axed staff and left stations routinely unstaffed, with all of the obvious risks, we have campaigned relentlessly for the front line, physical ‎presence of visible staff on stations and platforms read more

RMT on rail track electrification progress (14 Oct) – RMT responds to ‘shameful and embarrassing’ lack of progress on rail track electrification as UK lags far behind European neighbours. RAIL UNION RMT today issued a scathing assessment of the Government’s record on delivering a low carbon railway as statistics released today show the UK lagging far behind our European neighbours read more

Taxpayers’ money to fund thousands of rail redundancies (14 Oct) – RMT calls on MPs to intervene. RAIL UNION RMT has today demanded that the Government intervene and withdraw a massive job cuts scheme proposed by the rail industry as it is revealed taxpayer will be funding the redundancy payments. The union has also said in a briefing to MPs (see below “Rebuilding passenger confidence through staffing”) that the proposals run contrary to the views of the Government’s own passenger watchdog, Transport Focus whose research says passengers want more, not less, staff on the railways to assist rail recovery from the pandemic read more

Bus workers strike goes ahead in the South West (13 Oct) – Bus workers strike goes ahead in the South West on Monday as RMT rejects pay offer financed by savage cuts to working conditions. BUS UNION RMT said today that a strike on Stagecoach Southwest will go ahead on Monday after rejecting a company pay offer loaded with savage cuts to conditions and benefits that would drive even more key staff out of the industry at a time when it’s already haemorrhaging drivers read more

RMT responds to rail industry job cuts plans announced today (13 Oct) – “This proposed job loss scheme across the rail industry has not been agreed with the RMT”…RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said: “This proposed job loss scheme across the rail industry has not been agreed with the RMT and we would call for it to be withdrawn ‎before serious damage is done to industrial relations at this critical point as we emerge from the pandemic…” read more

Electricity price hike threatens rail freight (12 Oct) – RMT warns that electricity price hike threatens to destroy rail freight and jack up dirty diesel use. RAIL UNION RMT warned today that a 200% increase from Network Rail on electricity charges to rail freight operators risks wrecking the industry while jacking up the use of diesel on both rail and road – making a nonsense of the Government’s CO2 targets read more

RMT announces industrial action on Stagecoach East Midlands in national pay fight – BUS UNION RMT today announced industrial action ‎on Stagecoach East Midlands as part of a national campaign to secure professional pay rates for professional drivers which includes RMT members in Yorkshire, the South West and Wessex. Members at the Mansfield and Worksop depots will be taking the following action after a massive yes vote which reflects the anger of this particular group of key transport workers;

‎N‎ot to undertake overtime and not to undertake rest day working between the following hours:

  • 00:01 hours on Friday 17th September 2021 and 23:59 hours on Friday 1st October 2021
  • 00:01 hours on Friday 8th October 2021 and 23:59 hours on Friday 22nd October 2021‎‎

RMT members on Stagecoach Yorkshire, South West and Wessex services are also engaged in the dispute and are at various stages of the balloting process read more

 

ASLEF

Omnishambles – freight forced to revert to diesel (10 Oct) – As a result of the recent shocking rise in electricity prices Freightliner, one of the UK’s biggest rail freight operators, has been forced to stop running electric locomotives and replace them with diesel. The UK Government has failed to intervene to prevent the electricity pricing crisis, failed to take account of knock-on effects like this one and failed to take a strategic overview which could see an integrated system with rail freight transporting goods long-haul across the country and transferring them to road for the final leg read more

 

TSSA

TSSA brands rail cuts – ‘ludicrous’ in climate fight (13 Oct) – TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has hit out at the Government over plans to cut thousands of jobs across the rail industry in the wake of the pandemic. The Department for Transport (DfT) has approved a Special Industry-wide Voluntary Severance Scheme (VSS) for eligible employees working for Train Operating Companies and will open this as of midday today. Cortes described the VSS announcement, which has not been agreed with any of the rail unions, as the “culmination of 11 years of Tory failure”, and “ludicrous” given the role rail can play in the fight to decarbonise read more

 

Unite

Answer to HGV driver shortage is better wages and improved conditions, says Unite (15 Oct) – Commenting the lorry driver shortages, Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “The treatment of drivers across the board has been nothing short of a disgrace. As the prime minister said recently, the answer to the driver shortage is better wages and improved conditions. This is what we demand. Now is the time for action not words. Britain’s drivers kept the nation moving during the worst crisis in living memory. It’s time for employers to pay workers a proper rate for the job. Enough is enough. Unite will be consulting its members before deciding on next steps, including exploring the options for industrial action. I will not allow workers to pay the price for the pandemic” read more

Changes to lorry cabotage will result in driver exploitation and misery warns Unite (15 Oct) – Unite, the UK’s leading union, which represents tens of thousands of lorry drivers, has warned that the government’s announcement that it intends to relax the cabotage rules will result in misery and exploitation read more

Alpla UK Wigan pay strikes postponed following improved offer (15 Oct) – Pay strikes at Wigan plastic manufacturer Alpla UK have been postponed to allow workers to vote on an improved offer tabled by the company, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Friday 15 October). Nearly 150 workers at Alpla’s Golborne factory, who are members of Unite, were due to begin two months of discontinuous strike action on 20 October read more

Council and school staff deserve increased pay offer, say unions (15 Oct) – Unions representing council and school support staff have ​today (Friday 15 October) urged employers to return to pay talks with an improved offer as they prepare for industrial action over “inadequate” pay proposals. Months of disruption to local government services could lie ahead​, but the unions say councils have it within their gift to prevent community services being badly affected if they give workers the proper pay rise they deserve. Unite, UNISON and GMB – between them representing 1.4m council and school staff ​in England, Wales and Northern Ireland – have written to ​the local government employers asking them to return to the negotiating table to improve the 1.75% offer the unions say has left staff “disappointed and angry”. In consultation ​exercises held by each of the unions, an overwhelming majority of workers who took part voted to reject the offer. Unite, ​UNISON and GMB are now preparing industrial action ballots​, asking workers to vote for strike action ​in support ​of their pay claim. In the ​joint letter, the unions say: “Over the last year these key workers have shown how indispensable they are, going over and above to provide essential services, often putting their own health and safety at risk. “The 1.75% offer is wholly inadequate, and with inflation high and rising, it represents another real terms pay cut for workers who have seen a quarter of the value of their pay wiped out since 2010”​ read more

Unite community welcomes promises of £16 million investment for Albert basin park but calls on people of Newry to continue to mobilise to keep pressure on (15 Oct) – Unite Community proposals for a 15 acre park in the Albert Basin, Newry. Union confirms rally to proceed on Saturday October 23rd at 3pm at Marcus Square, High Street, Newry. Campaigns call for mass show of strength by public support for action on a green space: to hold ‘politicians feet to the fire’ ensure their promises translate into reality read more

Strike fears on Manchester Metrolink ended as pay offer accepted (14 Oct) – Strike action planned for the Manchester Metrolink tram system, which would have resulted in severe disruption to travel throughout Greater Manchester, has been called off, as a result of members of Unite the UK’s leading union, accepting a vastly improved pay offer. The 300-plus workers, who comprise tram drivers and supervisors, have accepted a two year pay deal which is worth three per cent backdated to January 2021 and a further three per cent or the RPI inflation rate, whichever is the higher, from January 2022 read more

Chesterfield bus strikes suspended as new pay offer on the table (13 Oct) – Planned strike action scheduled for next week by Chesterfield bus staff employed by Yorkshire Traction Company (part of the multimillion pound Stagecoach group) based at the Stonegravels bus depot has been suspended following an improved pay offer. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Unite’s members have shown that by standing together in unity management has been obliged to make an improved pay offer…” read more

Strike action at Stagecoach Wales to proceed after ACAS talks fail (13 Oct) – Unite Wales members at Stagecoach are now set for significant industrial action following a breakdown in talks with ACAS. After two rounds of talks with mediators, Stagecoach refused to move towards a fair pay rate of £10.50 per hour. The company also maintained that cuts to sick pay, paid breaks alongside the introduction of destructive new starter rates would be required to achieve even a rate of £10.10 per hour read more

Lancashire bus strikes called off after drivers accept improved pay offer (13 Oct) – The threat of strike action involving bus drivers employed by Stagecoach in south Lancashire has ended after members of Unite, the UK’s leading union accepted a vastly improved pay offer. The 250 bus drivers, who are based at the company’s depots in Preston and Chorley, have accepted a one year pay increase which will see wages increase by 4.4 per cent read more

Evonik workers at historic Manchester chemicals site strike over pay (13 Oct) – Evonik workers at a 130-year-old Manchester chemicals site are to strike over pay, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Wednesday 13 October). Around 25 production and warehouse operatives at Evonik’s Clayton site, which has been a chemical plant since 1892, are taking industrial action after rejecting a 1.5 per cent pay offer read more

Unite leader: Britain’s social care crisis is another example of how low-pay Britain is abjectly failing to deliver services (13 Oct) – The Skills for Care Report published today (13 October) shows there are more than 100,000 posts in the social care sector which remain unfilled. This means that there are more vacancies in the sector than before the pandemic started read more

Ireland budget misses opportunity to tackle exploitation and low pay (13 Oct) – Unite, which represents workers throughout the economy, has said that yesterday’s Budget is “not a Budget for Ireland’s low-paid workers”, yet again failing to address workers’ rights and offering nothing to low-paid and precarious workers read more

Teesside freeport: Unite moves to ensure no race to the bottom on jobs, pay and conditions (13 Oct) – Unite, the UK’s leading union, has established a cross sector (hub) committee to protect and enhance the job, pay and conditions of workers operating within the new Teesside freeport. The vast freeport is set to be the largest in the UK, stretching to the size of ,2500 football pitches with the promise of thousands of jobs being created. Unite has stated that freeports must not be used to develop `rights-free’ zones with lower wages and poorer conditions for the workforce. The hub committee, which consists of shop stewards and reps from companies in the local area, has been set up to defend terms and conditions and ensure that the Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen delivers on his promise of creating thousands of skilled jobs read more

Inflation-busting pay rise for GXO drivers and warehouse workers (13 Oct) – An inflation-busting pay increase has been negotiated for 350 drivers and warehouse staff working for drinks logistics giant GXO, which Unite the union said was ‘a massive milestone in very difficult times’. Unite said that it had negotiated an up to 23 per cent pay increase for drivers and up to 10 per cent for warehouse staff employed by GXO,  formally XPO Primary Logistics, at sites across the UK. The 15-month award runs to 1 January 2023 read more

Greater Manchester braced for traffic turmoil as Stagecoach bus drivers vote for strikes (13 Oct) – Greater Manchester is braced for severe travel disruption later this month as over 1,000 bus drivers employed by Stagecoach begin strike action over pay. The workers recorded an overwhelming yes vote in favour of strike action in response to the company failing to make a realistic pay offer read more

Unite wins ‘significant’ pay rise for Dartford DHL lorry drivers on Sainsbury’s contract (13 Oct) – Unite, the UK’s leading union, has secured a ‘significant’ pay rise for more than 200 DHL lorry drivers employed at the Sainsbury’s regional distribution centre in Dartford. The increase, worth 6.2 per cent, equates to at least £2,200 pound a year and comes after the drivers signalled their willingness to strike over pay during a consultative ballot held in August read more

Jobs cull planned at Mayhew animal charity spurs consultative ballot for possible industrial action (13 Oct) – Howls of protest have met plans to cut staff at the long-established Mayhew animal charity in North West London, as Unite the union holds a consultative ballot on whether its members wish to proceed to a full-scale industrial action ballot with the option to strike. Unite said that industrial action is a strong possibility, as the bosses press ahead with a so-called ‘rationalisation’ plan of UK operations without consultation which could lead to a 40 per cent reduction in vet nurses, a 50 per cent cut in cleaning hours and a 75 per cent cut in reception staff, as well as a reduction in animal welfare officers read more

Unite members at Goodfish to strike over 2 year pay freeze (12 Oct) – Unite members working for Goodfish at their St Asaph site in North Wales will tomorrow take industrial action over a 2 year pay freeze imposed on them by their employer. Goodfish employs over 50 people at the plant which produces PVC mouldings. The company took over the site from Honeywell in 2019 read more

Two-tier workforce ended on Heinz distribution contract in Wigan, with workers securing major pay increases (12 Oct) – Unite the UK’s leading union, has secured an agreement to gain formal recognition and end the two-tier workforce on the Heinz distribution contract in Wigan, resulting in many drivers seeing their earnings increase by over 25 per cent. The agreement covers 26 drivers employed by distribution company Wincanton on the outsourced Heinz contract read more

Emerging news from RAF Valley gives hope on jobs and avoiding redundancies (12 Oct) – Following the announcement that the T1 Hawk is to be taken out of service next year, Unite has been campaigning for the Red Arrow maintenance, conversion and spares for Repairs T1 work to continue to be based at RAF Valley. News coming out of the base is that Valley is now the front runner for this work and that it will be formally confirmed in spring 2022 read more

Kinchbus pay dispute could lead to serious Loughborough and East Midlands bus service disruption (12 Oct) – A pay dispute at Kinchbus could lead to serious disruption to bus services in Loughborough and the East Midlands, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Tuesday 12 October). Around 50 Kinchbus drivers, who are amongst the lowest paid in the country, are being balloted for strike action by their union, Unite, over an unsatisfactory pay offer read more

Striking Scunthorpe scaffolders to hold march as fair pay battle continues (8 Oct) – Striking scaffolders working on the British Steel site in Scunthorpe will hold a march on Monday (11 October) as part of their campaign for fair pay. The scaffolders are employed by Actavo and have been fighting to be paid the recognised rate for the job since 2019 read more

Unite members back strike action at University of Dundee over ‘pension poverty’ proposals – Unite Scotland can confirm today (5 October) that its members at the University of Dundee have voted to support strike action in a dispute over workers being plunged into ‘pension poverty’. Unite’s members at the university supported taking strike action by 78 per cent in a ballot turnout of 67 per cent. Unite can also confirm that its members will now be on strike from 25 October 2021. The University of Dundee propose to replace the existing Defined Benefit Pension Scheme with a Defined Contribution Pension Scheme for those on the lowest grades (i.e., grades 1-6). Workers in grades 7 and above will have their pensions protected through the existing UK wide Superannuation Scheme, which has a Defined Benefits element. The pension proposals will mean that a clerical worker on a lower grade could lose up to 50% of their pension across the expected term of retirement. This could result in an amount of up to £150,000. The trade union also estimates that around 70 per cent of its members in the existing Superannuation Scheme are female read more

Unite announce Abellio Scotrail strike action days in response to ‘reckless’ management – Unite the union can confirm today (4 October) that a series of 24 hour stoppages will take place in the coming weeks due to the ‘reckless’ actions of Abellio Scotrail management. In response to the failure by Abellio Scotrail to make a meaningful pay offer, despite industrial action short of a strike taking place since 24 September, Unite’s engineering members will now take part in a series of 24 hour stoppages on days which also coincide with the COP26 climate change conference being held in Glasgow (31 October-12 November). The days scheduled for 24 hour strike action are as follows: 18-19 October, 1-2 November, 10-11 November, and 12-13 November. A number of rail depots, workplaces and stations will be impacted by the strike action. This includes Bathgate Depot, Corkerhill (Glasgow) Depot, Dalmuir, Glasgow Central, Glasgow Queen Street, Edinburgh Haymarket Depot, Edinburgh Waverley, Inverness Depot, Motherwell, Perth, Shields (Glasgow) Depot, and Yoker Depot. The strike action will commence at different times on the aforementioned dates at the various locations read more

5,000 sign petition in support of Lancashire biomedical scientists in back pay dispute – Five thousand people have signed a petition in support of the 21 Lancashire biomedical scientists currently on strike in a back pay dispute, which sees some of them owed up to £8,000. Unite the union said there had been ‘a fantastic wave of support’ from the community, as pressure builds on the Interim Chief Executive at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, Martin Hodgson, to meet with Unite and settle this unnecessary dispute as soon as possible. The biomedical scientists, who have been on strike since May, are owed staggering amounts of back pay. That starts at several hundred pounds up to as much as £8,000, after managers failed to honour a 2019 agreement to upgrade their pay. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham, who was on the Blackburn picket line this week, said: “The fact is that the trust has reneged on a promised pay deal for these workers who have served their community, without regard to their own health, throughout the terrible pandemic. Fact. And what do they get from the trust for that loyalty? Broken promises that’s all. Unite is not having that. We are going to back these scientists of ours to the hilt. And now it’s clear the local community agrees with that” read more

Unite leader Sharon Graham joins striking Blackburn biomedical scientists on picket line (28 Sept)

Support the striking Kettering Weetabix workers on picket line – Today, Unite general secretary Sharon Graham will join Weetabix factory engineers who are striking over Weetabix’s brutal ‘fire and rehire’ ultimatum that will slash their wages and conditions. The workers, based at the company’s factories in Kettering and Corby, face changes to their shift and working patterns that would result in some engineers losing as much as £5,000 from their yearly earnings read more

Support the GKN Birmingham workers – Planned strike action at the GKN Automotive factory in Birmingham has been suspended. The workers at the factory in Chester Road were due to begin strike action next week (Monday 27 September), in opposition to the plans of the parent company Melrose GKN to cease production and close the factory, which produces drivelines for the UK automotive sector, next year. Following a meeting this week between representatives of Unite and Melrose GKN it was agreed that there would be an immediate moratorium on work and machinery being taken out of the factory. During this time Melrose GKN has agreed to attend a meeting of the key stakeholders involved in seeking a way forward to keep the factory open and ensure it plays a key role in the UK’s car industries transition to electric vehicles. As a consequence Unite has agreed to not begin industrial action before Monday 18 October read more

Workers at Wolverhampton lock makers Henry Squire to strike over pay – Workers at the historic lock makers Henry Squire and Sons, based in Featherstone, Wolverhampton, will begin strike action next month in a dispute over pay, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Tuesday 21 September). The workers, who are members of Unite, were due to receive a pay increase in January but management refused to make an offer. Instead they have offered a 2.5 per cent increase for the period from July to December, which in real terms is worth just 1.25 per cent for the entire year. The derisory offer is a significant real terms pay cut with the RPI inflation rate currently standing at 4.8 per cent. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Workers at Henry Squire are long due a decent pay rise. The current July to December offer for 2021, is a pay cut in real terms. Understandably that has not been accepted by union members. It’s simple Henry Squire can avoid industrial action by Unite members. How? By making a decent wages offer.” The first week long strike action will begin on Monday 4 October and there are similar week long periods of industrial actions scheduled to begin on Monday 25 October, 15 November and 6 December read more

Fire and rescue workers on the Clyde Naval bases set to start overtime ban – Unite members working for Capita at Her Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde will start a continuous overtime from today (Thursday 16 September) in a dispute over cuts to fire and rescue crew levels, and a lack of consultation. Capita management reduced the specialist fire safety crew by eight positions at Coulport and Faslane, which represents a cut of 15% at the nation’s nuclear naval bases on the Clyde. Capita won the contract in 2020 for fire response services from the Ministry of Defence (MoD). Unite members at Capita have supported taking action short of a strike by 100%, while 78% supported taking strike action in a ballot turnout of 91.1% read more

Delivery disruption to 1,500 convenience stores in London and south east on cards as Thamesmead drivers vote to strike – The threat of severe disruption to deliveries to more than 1,500 convenience stores in London and the south east has moved a step closer after 40 drivers, employed by Booker Retail Partners at its Thamesmead site, voted unanimously for strike action. Unite the union is poised to issue notice to the employer for strike action, but wants to allow time for crunch talks with the bosses on 21-23 September – and the union warned that any industrial action will deepen the supply shortage crisis hitting many parts of the UK economy because of the lack of HGV drivers. The Thamesmead drivers deliver to independent retailers under the Budgens and Londis brands. The crux of the dispute is that the company, part of the Tesco ‘empire’, put in place a temporary £5 an hour pay uplift for about 40 drivers at its Hemel Hempstead depot because of the HGV driver shortage, but then refused to implement a similar uplift for the 40 drivers at the Thamesmead site read more

Talks in Woolwich Ferry rep victimisation dispute break down due to TfL’s ‘bad faith’, says Unite – Crunch talks to resolve the long-running Woolwich Ferry rep victimisation dispute yesterday (Tuesday 10 August) between Transport for London (TfL) bosses and Unite the union broke down with the union accusing TfL of ‘bad faith’. Unite, which represents 57 ferry workers, had suspended industrial action as a goodwill gesture in the run-up to the talks – but its members were back on strike today (Wednesday 11 August) and will be striking on Friday (13 August). Prior to today, there has already been 24 days of strike action. Besides the victimisation of the two Unite reps, there has also been a 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 – these are issues which have arisen since TfL took back control from the discredited Briggs Marine Contractors Ltd in January this year. Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “We were making good progress with the union agreeing to a proposal from TfL to meet through workshops to discuss a new collective agreement. However, the employers made their pay offer which was worse than the last offer – and they then refused to budge. “Our members had suspended strike action as a goodwill gesture, but feel that they have been badly let down by another abject example of TfL’s bad faith and, as a result, they are back on strike today. The management is game playing, which we feared would happen…” read more

Rolls Royce Barnoldswick protest to be held as strikes over site’s future resume – A protest at the historic Rolls Royce Barnoldswick plant will be held on Monday (9 August) as strikes resume over the company’s lack of concrete commitments to the site’s future. A group of 17 engineers began strike action in July after Rolls Royce bosses refused to provide tangible commitments to new work or to suspend work being sent elsewhere, which is taking place at an accelerated rate. A ballot for the site’s entire workforce to join the dispute closes next Friday (13 August). In January, Rolls Royce reached an agreement with Unite that guaranteed the future of the factory, including retaining a minimum of 350 workers and creating a training centre. The agreement was reached after workers and the local community mounted a huge campaign to save the factory, after the aerospace giant revealed plans to scale back production that would have spelled the plant’s closure. Following a meeting in May this year, however, Unite was forced to issue a failure to agree notice with Rolls Royce after local managers indicated that staff headcount could drop below 350 and orders would continue to be completed abroad. Unite has been attempting to resolve the matter and seek reassurances about Barnoldswick’s long-term future, which have so far failed to materialise. Unite regional officer Ross Quinn said: “This dispute could be put to bed very quickly if Rolls Royce’s leadership demonstrate to the workers that the agreement signed in January is still valid read more

Email messages of support via [email protected] and send donations online to: account name, Barnoldswick workers mutual society, sort code, 05 02 22 account number 36192613

DfI Roads workers at Woodburn depot to strike over inaction on management bullying – After 90.9 percent strike vote, workforce pickets to be deployed at Woodburn DfI Roads in Derry/Londonderry during twenty-four strike, which starts midnight on Thursday, July 22rd. Road Service workers’ union Unite warns first twenty-four hour stoppage at Woodburn likely to escalate in absence of Ministerial intervention read more

Reading hospital security guards renew strikes in July, as Unite calls on NHS bosses to take them back ‘in-house’ – NHS bosses should take the security staff at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading back ‘in house’, after the guards announced new strike dates for July against their outsourced employer Kingdom Services Group Ltd. Unite the union said the new strike dates would run from 07.00 Monday 12 July until 24.00 Saturday 31 July, after the 20 security guards voted by 84 per cent for strike action. The guards, who provide security for the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, have been locked in a ‘David and Goliath’ pay and conditions battle with their employer, resulting in a wave of strikes since December last year. Because of the way that Kingdom Services has treated its staff, Unite is urging the trust to take the security guards back ‘in house’ under NHS management when the current three-year contract ends on 31 December this year. As the NHS celebrates its 73rd birthday on Monday (5 July), campaigners wishing to keep it out of the hands of profit-hungry companies, such as Kingdom, will be staging a march and rally in Reading on Saturday (3 July), starting at 12.00 from Royal Berkshire Hospital to Forbury Gardens in the town centre where there will be speeches 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

 

PCS

PCS DVSA strike suspended (15 Oct) – The PCS strike at the DVSA, planned for Monday and Tuesday next week, has been suspended following constructive talks with senior management on our key demands over plans to introduce an eighth daily driving test schedule. Up to 1,000 PCS members had been due to take to picket lines because bosses had been pushing for a new 8 test-a day regime. Following a positive members’ meeting last night, our lead negotiators have again met with DVSA management, concluding talks at 3pm today, and we have been offered an agreement which includes:

  • A guarantee that the introduction of an eighth daily test to the schedule is removed for a minimum of 12 months
  • That DVSA will engage with PCS on the findings of the recent Robertson Cooper report with a view to implementing the recommendations of the report
  • That DVSA will conduct a full timing study, in partnership with PCS representatives, in support of future discussions – this was a key pillar of PCS demands from the beginning of negotiations.

PCS negotiators believe that this agreement represents a significant and substantial change in position on the part of DVSA and meets the key demands that we have been in dispute with DVSA over and on which members were balloted. On that basis we have notified DVSA management that we are prepared to suspend the industrial action planned for Monday and Tuesday. Ultimately, our members will have the final say on this agreement and whether this resolves the dispute we have with DVSA. We will be setting up an all-member meeting for early next week and we will put the full terms of this agreement to members as soon as possible. Following a reasonable period of consultation with members, we will then ask them to vote to accept the offer that we’re recommending read more

PCS response to DVLA statement on our ballot (13 Oct) – PCS has responded to DVLA CEO Julie Lennard discouraging our members from voting in our industrial action ballot by urging all who are eligible to take part and have their say. Ms Lennard posted on the DVLA staff intranet that if members “do not support industrial action, you will make your views felt much more effectively if you simply do not vote at all and do not return a ballot paper.” As a democratic, lay-led union we want as many members as possible to exercise their right to vote in this ballot and tell us whether they would be willing to take the following action in support of PCS’ dispute over health and safety at the DVLA:

  1. Strike action
  2. Action short of strike.

By taking part in the ballot, they will speak for themselves as a member of their trade union, whether they agree to further action or not read more

PCS demands in DVLA dispute and what could resolve it (12 Oct) – As our strike ballot of members at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency opens today we restate our demands and explain what could resolve the dispute. In the ballot, which starts today and ends on 10 November, we are asking members whether they will be prepared to take part in strike action and action short of a strike to win the dispute that has been ongoing since February. Ministers have already undone two deals to date that could resolved the dispute and refuse to admit there are health and safety issues left to address. This was confirmed at the parliamentary transport select committee where transport minister Baroness Vere and DVLA CEO Julie Lennard were questioned by MPs. Our members want nothing more than to get back to work safely and serve the public read more

Just Ask strikers protest at Royal Parks half marathon (11 Oct) – The striking members raised awareness and gained popular support for their dispute. Members employed by Just Ask Services are on strike over terms and conditions and pay, which are inferior to those of colleagues who are employed directly by the Royal Parks. They have taken 16 days of strike action since 31 July and are now on strike for the whole of October. The striking PCS members and supporters met at Hyde Park Corner on the morning of the Royal Parks half marathon on Sunday 10 October with flags and placards.  The half marathon event attracts thousands of entrants and spectators and creates a large amount of income for the Royal Parks. After a short march from Hyde Park Corner to the finish line the protestors gathered round the culture sector banner for speeches and a poem from Poetry on the Picket Line, surrounded by thousands of attendees of the half marathon. Members handed out nearly 2000 leaflets, despite objections from the Royal Parks senior management. Many people, regular users of the parks and visitors, expressed their support for the campaign. The month-long strike continues this week and the next face to face picket line will be on Friday 15 October at Marlborough Gate (St James’s Park) at 10:30. Another protest is planned for 20 October at Royal Parks headquarters for their trustees’ meeting. How you can help:-

  • Contribute to the strike fund
  • Send a message of support to [email protected]
  • Email Just Ask and Royal Parks CEO’s using the PCS e-action
  • Email your MP to support Early Day Motion 476
  • Complain about any unclean facilities to [email protected]
  • Tweet and tag Just Ask and the Royal Parks demanding they resolve the dispute

Check the PCS website and twitter account for updates and activities you can support throughout the strike read more

Watch Reel News video: Royal Parks key workers demand equality and respect On August bank holiday Monday, cleaners and attendants working in the Royal Parks of London completed a two week strike with a rally and march through Hyde Park and Kensington Park

 

CWU

Reinstate Gary Evans – support the Llanelli strike – Postal workers in the Communication Workers Union (CWU) at Llanelli Delivery Office have voted 98.6% for strike action! This is in defence of a colleague Gary Evans who has been wrongfully dismissed. Notice for industrial action has been served on Royal Mail, beginning on the 13th October. The CWU has responded with how every trade unionist should respond to wrongful dismissal: with solidarity, unity and action. We stand in solidarity with Llanelli DO workers and demand Royal Mail immediately reinstate Gary Evans                                                                                 (Download statement: https://bit.ly/CWUsolidarity)

House of Commons Asbestos Inquiry – CWU calls for complete eradication of ‘this toxic fibre’ from all UK buildings (14 Oct) – CWU health, safety & environment department welcomes launch of Department for Work & Pensions Select Committee Inquiry into asbestos management and regulation and union submits document urging ‘planned, phased, controlled removal of all asbestos-containing materials’ read more

Keeping the pipeline pumped, new hubs and driver training opportunities (14 Oct) – Assistant secretary Davie Robertson spoke to CWU News after yesterday’s divisional reps briefing, and updated us on latest developments and new opportunities across the Royal Mail operation read more

Real Living Wage win delivers 6.7% in 14forty (14 Oct) – Catering, cleaning, security post room and front of house staff employed by 14forty at Capita sites across the country are in line for a 6.7% pay rise just after Christmas. Providing good cause for some much needed New Years Cheer, the move – which will benefit scores working for the facilities services provider at the CWU-represented Capita sites in Leeds, Preston Brook and Glasgow – follows persistent lobbying of the company by the union in recent times. That concerned pressure, which began with the lodging of the union’s 2020 pay claim in 14forty in January last year, intensified following the subsequent introduction of the Real Living Wage (RLW) across Capita and was forcefully reiterated as one of the union’s key priorities for 14forty members in the very first meeting with management conducted by recently elected CWU national officer for 14forty, Tracey Fussey read more

Protecting jobs, fighting for our members and growing Royal Mail (14 Oct) – CWU divisional representatives from all across the UK met in Liverpool yesterday to discuss the latest challenges facing our Royal Mail members. And after the briefing, our deputy general secretary Terry Pullinger gave his thoughts on the day and the key issues of the moment in an interview with CWU News read more

 

GMB

Glasgow faces COP26 bins and schools strike as pay talks stall (15 Oct) – GMB Scotland members employed by Glasgow City Council have voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action over their pay, which would see strikes across the city’s cleansing service and schools during the International Climate Conference, COP 26. Pay talks with COSLA, the umbrella body that represents each of Scotland’s local authorities, have stalled, with the employer refusing to budge from an £850 flat rate offer to all local government workers – far short of the £2,000 pay claim that was submitted by the joint trade unions GMB, Unison & Unite. Following a ballot of cleansing workers and school support staff across the country, Glasgow is the largest of 5 councils in Scotland that could see strike action as soon as November 1st. 96.9% of returned ballots in Glasgow were in favour of strike action. GMB Scotland represents close to 900 workers in Glasgow’s refuse & cleansing service and a further 600 across Glasgow schools providing cleaning, janitorial and catering services read more

Derbyshire Dales refuse collectors strike over pay and ‘disresepct’ (15 Oct) – GMB members at Serco in the Derbyshire Dales have taken industrial action following ‘a pattern of disrespect and low pay’. Dozens of workers downed tools today for the first of two strike days. A second strike takes place on Monday October 18. Derbyshire Dales refuse collectors overwhelmingly voted for strike action after the company refused to improve on a below inflation pay offer – amounting to a real terms pay cut. Meanwhile workers feel disrespected after management were heard describing them as ‘just legs and arms’ read more

Council and school staff deserve increased pay offer (15 Oct) – Unions representing council and school support staff have ​today urged employers to return to pay talks with an improved offer as they prepare for industrial action over “inadequate” pay proposals read more

Almost 150,000 self-funding carers propping up ‘broken system’ (15 Oct) – GMB Union says today’s ONS figures show almost 150,000self-funding carers are propping up a ‘broken system’. Data from the Office for National Statistics this morning reveals that between 2019 and 2020, there were approximately 143,774 (36.7%) self-funded care home residents read more

West Midlands bin strikers’ fury over Sandwell Council ‘snooper cameras’ (14 Oct) – More than 100 striking refuse collectors are furious at a proposal by Sandwell Council Leader Rajbir Singh to mount cameras on bin lorries. The council claims mounting Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras on council vehicles, including bin lorries, will help prevent anti-social behaviour. Refuse workers, more than a hundred of whom have been on strike this month, were equal parts baffled and angered by the idea, with one worker branding it ‘nonsense’ read more

Workers are picketing at the Shidas Lane site in Oldbury, B69 2BP. Messages of support can be sent to the members via the Regional Secretary – Joe Morgan, GMB Regional Secretary Birmingham & West Midlands, Will Thorne House, 2 Birmingham Road, Halesowen, Birmingham B63 3HP or email to [email protected]

Staff to walk out as Panasonic pull plug on pay rise in Cardiff (13 Oct) – Staff at Panasonic’s depot in Pontprennau are set to walk out on strike action after the company withdrew from pay talks. The dispute arose after the company failed to offer a substantial pay increase for 2021, in return for staff taking a pay freeze last year to combat the worst of the covid19 pandemic. Staff overwhelmingly rejected the company’s initial 1% offer, which with inflation soaring equated to a real terms pay cut. Panasonic then responded by withdrawing the 1% and closed pay negotiations, in effect implementing a pay freeze. Infuriated members have now voted for strike action, which could see staff downing tools this autumn. GMB is consulting on strike dates soon, with action expected in the next few weeks read more

Asos boss Nick Beighton steps down (12 Oct) – GMB, the union for Asos workers, has responded to the departure of company chief Nick Beighton.

Will Dalton, GMB Organiser, said: “During his tenure Nick Beighton has seen profits soar off the backs of hard-pressed workers…” read more

GMB Union to additionally ballot Cityclean Refuse and Recycling Loaders and Street cleansing teams operatives after dispute talks break down with Brighton & Hove Council (11 Oct) – ‘It so disappointing as Friday’s meeting had left us with the impression that we had made good progress in moving towards a resolution and halting strike action, but today has seen a clear about turn and retraction of certain positional assurances by the council team’ says GMB Southern. GMB have today sought to meet with Brighton & Hove Council with the aim of reaching an agreed way forward around the on-going dispute for city clean HGV drivers. The ongoing dispute and strike which is currently entering its second week appeared to be on course to be suspended whilst final details were worked on around a solution. It was only when the meeting had commenced that the GMB were surprised to hear that in areas where we had believed an understanding in principle was in place, that in fact it was the case that the proposal from the Council had changed, and look very different one than expected and previously discussed read more

GMB boss calls for Tory councillor to be sacked after terrorism slur (15 Oct) – People horrified a public figure would use such inflammatory and offensive language about council employees, GMB General Secretary tells Conservative Party. GMB General Secretary Gary Smith has called for a Brighton City Councillor to be sacked after he compared striking bin workers to terrorists. At a special meeting of the Policy and Resource Committee of Brighton City Council, set up to discuss the on-going strike of refuse drivers in Brighton, Conservative Councillor Joe Miller said GMB was ‘holding a gun to our heads’ and ‘you can’t negotiate with terrorists’. GMB boss Gary Smith has now written to the joint chairmen of the Conservative Party – Ben Elliot and Oliver Dowden MP – calling for Cllr Miller to be removed from the party read more

Swindon Council waters down forced academy plan – but it’s still not enough, says GMB union (13 Oct) – GMB remains vigilant about potential job losses as Swindon Borough Council pushes ahead with plans to force all schools into MATs. GMB, the leading education union for school support staff, cautiously welcomes Swindon Borough Councils watering down of proposals to force schools to join Multi-Academy Trusts (MATs). But the union remains vigilant the plan ultimately remains the same read more

Goodfish cancel Christmas bonus for striking members in St Asaph – Goodfish have doubled down in a bad tempered dispute with workers at the company’s St Aspah site by cancelling the staff’s bonus for the quarter up to September 2021. The company have also warned workers that there will be no bonus leading up to Christmas. The dispute takes place as hardworking staff ask for a pay rise after accepting last year’s pay freeze due to the economic uncertainty thrown up by the covid pandemic read more.  The first date of strike action is scheduled for Wednesday 13 October

University of the Arts London Cleaners demand equal treatment after five day strike (1 Oct) – GMB, the union for higher education, is demanding members who work as cleaners within the University of the Arts London are offered pay parity with workers directly employed by the university. Bouygues, who directly employ the cleaners, do so on a contract which offers the workers inferior pay, terms and conditions than their colleagues – cleaners have just completed five days of industrial action in protest read more

Sign petition: Reinstate Gary Bolister sacked GMB rep at Islington Council   GMB pulls funding for Labour Party in London after grieving caretaker sacked

 

Unison

Police staff: More needs to be done on pay (15 Oct) – UNISON police and justice conference hears emergency motions calling for a fair pay award as staff anger rises over government’s 0% ‘rise’ read more

Council and school staff deserve increased pay offer, say unions (15 Oct) – Employers urged to increase offer ahead of industrial action plans. Unions representing council and school support staff have ​today (Friday) urged employers to return to pay talks with an improved offer as they prepare for industrial action over “inadequate” pay proposals. Months of disruption to local government services could lie ahead​, but the unions say councils have it within their gift to prevent community services being badly affected if they give workers the proper pay rise they deserve read more

Government action on pay holds the key to care staffing emergency (13 Oct) – Care is in crisis but there’s a simple solution. A proper pay rise for staff. Commenting on the state of social care report published today (Wednesday) by industry body Skills for Care, UNISON senior national officer for care Gavin Edwards said: “Care is in crisis but there’s a simple solution. A proper pay rise for staff. Otherwise, many elderly and disabled people could be without crucial support…” read more

Dundee University members appeal for strike hardship donations – UNISON members at Dundee University appeal for solidarity donations ahead of strike action. UNISON members at Dundee University who are part of, or are eligible to be part of, the university’s superannuation scheme are taking strike action later this month over the employer’s plans to close and replace the defined benefit CARE scheme with a defined contribution scheme next year. Affecting around 900 staff on grades one to six, the proposals are set to leave many members in pension poverty and will see some losing up to 40% of their pension. Those on grades higher than six fall under a different, nationally negotiated, scheme. The university needs to make payments toward the deficit and wants to move all future financial pension risks to members, leaving their financial future uncertain. Action is initially planned, with 300 members striking, for five days across the start of the new academic year, with pickets each morning as well a rally in Dundee’s City Square at noon on the first day, 29 September read more

 

RCN

RCN Wales in trade dispute with Welsh government over 3% pay award for NHS Wales nursing staff (14 Oct) – Our members have stated that 3% is not enough so we are asking for further pay negotiations read more

NHS pay in Scotland: indicative ballot on industrial action now open (12 Oct) – RCN members in Scotland have until 8 November to let us know about their willingness to take industrial action read more

NHS pay in England: members to consider industrial action (6 Oct) – We’re launching an indicative ballot to gauge members’ appetite for taking this next step in our fight for fair pay read more

 

NIPSA

Education Welfare Officers at Breaking Point (15 Oct) – NIPSA members employed as Education Welfare Officers by the Education Authority have been participating in Industrial Action since May. This in furtherance of a pay parity claim with Social Workers employed by the Health Service. NIPSA members have decided to escalate the Industrial Action due to the continued intransigence of management read more

 

 

NEU

Please support the following NEU action:

Action Date Contact
Oaks Park High School Redbridge (victimisation of rep)

 

Tuesday 19  Wednesday 20 Thursday 21 October

 

[email protected]

[email protected]

 

Reinstate John Boken Shropshire NEU rep – solidarity protest Saturday 20th November in the Quarry Shrewsbury. For more details and send solidarity messages, email [email protected]

 

NASUWT

More time needed for Welsh schools to implement major curriculum and qualification reforms (14 Oct) – The NASUWT – The Teachers’ Union is today calling for the delay of New Curriculum and Qualifications Reforms to give schools and teachers more time to prepare for such fundamental changes read more

Improve pay offer or risk further action (13 Oct) – Teachers have expressed their anger and opposition to the current pay offer, with a clear commitment to further action if the Scottish Government and local authorities do not come forward with an improved offer that addresses the year-on-year erosion of their salaries. 85% of teachers in Scotland polled by the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union oppose the current pay offer for teachers in Scotland, with 82% saying they believe it is unfair in the current circumstances. 78% say any imposition of the current 1.22% offer will have a negative impact on their morale. The overwhelming majority indicated a willingness to take further action if necessary over the pay offer read more

 

EIS

EIS Members at SRUC Continue Strike Action (12 Oct) – Lecturing staff at Scotland’s Rural University College (SRUC) will take their third day of strike action as part of a continuing programme of industrial action in a long-running dispute over pay and grading. Members have already taken two days of strike action, with further strike days planned together with an ongoing programme of action short of strike. Commenting, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said, “Lecturers at SRUC are not taking strike action lightly, but have been left little choice given the intransigence of management and its refusal to negotiate a fair pay offer to members…” read more

 

UCU

UUK must withdraw pension cuts if they want to avoid strikes, says UCU (13 Oct) – Responding to Universities UK’s (UUK) claims that they are serious about reforming USS and making progress towards ‘higher quality, lower cost’ pensions, UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: ‘All the press releases in the world cannot hide the fact that UUK are cutting USS members’ guaranteed pensions by 35%. Instead of wasting time on ridiculous PR moves like this to undermine our upcoming strike ballot, employers should withdraw their cuts and agree to a new valuation of the scheme read more

University of Sussex: UCU statement (13 Oct) – A UCU spokesperson said: ‘UCU supports the statement from UCU Sussex branch which makes clear its opposition to the harassment and bullying of staff and students. The statement is also clear that UCU is not calling for any staff to be dismissed from their post read more

Royal College of Art staff enter second week of strike in fight against casualization (11 Oct) – UCU members at the Royal College of Art (RCA) will begin their second week of strikes today in a fight against casualised contracts, to protect the terms and conditions of established academic staff and to push back against the use of unfair contracts for new staff. In total, staff are on strike for fourteen days across four weeks. Management at the RCA are shockingly reliant on precarious employment practices. In the last two academic years there have been more than 1,000 visiting lecturers working on zero hours contracts with no guaranteed work and limited employment rights. The action began with two days of strikes last week, and continues with three days of action this week (Tuesday 12 October, Wednesday 13 October and Thursday 14 October), and will also include continuous action short of a strike for six months from 4 October, entailing:-

  • boycotting all graduate and postgraduate assessments and marking
  • refusing to reschedule work cancelled due to industrial action
  • and/or to share materials in relation to such action
  • not undertaking any voluntary activities read more

Support the FE college strikes – The dispute has arisen following a pay offer of just 1% from the further education employer body, the Association of Colleges, in December 2020. Staff working in the sector have suffered real terms pay cuts of over 30% in the past decade. Strikes were suspended at City of Bristol College, Weymouth College and New College Swindon after late deals and action at South Thames College, Merton College, Carshalton College and Kingston College has been suspended whilst further negotiations take place. UCU said that if employers want to avoid further disruption they need to follow the lead of these colleges and get around the negotiating table. The union is demanding a pay increase of greater than 5% in an effort to close the school-college pay gap that currently stands at £9,000, and after more than a decade of below inflation pay increases. Staff at all affected institutions are taking action over pay, but at City & Islington College, Westminster Kingsway College and the College of North East London the dispute also includes other issues such as working conditions read more

Donate to the City of Liverpool College UCU hardship find – UCU members have been on strike fighting for fair pay for all staff at The City of Liverpool College. This action has been escalating over the last three weeks and many staff have sacrificed pay in order to fight for the principle of fair pay as the last ten years has seen cuts and deteriorating conditions. There have been picket lines on the 5 sites and we need your support to help the hardship fund for the strikers

Updates on latest UCU disputes

Petition calling for fair funding and online learning

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.

 

BFAWU

Read BFAWU Food Worker Summer 2021 here

 

NUJ

NUJ seeks clarification of Media Commission report (15 Oct) – The union has written to the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media, Catherine Martin, seeking publication of the report of the Future of Media Commission. At a meeting of the Irish Executive Council members also expressed disappointment at the absence of measures to assist the media in Budget 2021 read more

NUJ expresses solidarity with the UCU in its opposition to cuts at Goldsmiths (14 Oct) – Courses including its pioneering journalism course is under threat from redundancies. The National Union of Journalists has expressed solidarity with staff and students at Goldsmiths, University of London, where management are proposing 50 redundancies, including 20 academic posts in English and creative writing and history; 32 professional services posts are also to be axed. Goldsmiths has a long record in the study of journalism. Among the courses under threat is its pioneering BA History and Journalism degree programme, launched only four years ago. At a UCU branch meeting last week 99 per cent of those present voted to ballot for industrial action in opposition to the cuts, which UCU, Unison and Goldsmith’s Students Union say will lead to the axing of degree courses, lead to administrative chaos and worsen the experience of students at the university read more

NUJ calls for an official investigation into the reporting of police misconduct cases (12 Oct) – The Times has discovered that misconduct hearings are often surrounded in secrecy and journalists are blocked from getting information read more

 

Prospect

Unions demand action to bar MPs accused of sexual misconduct from the Houses of Parliament (15 Oct) – Parliamentary unions have written to the Speaker asking him to look again at barring MPs accused of sexual misconduct from the Palace of Westminster read more

 

Equity

Equity calls on the Government to invest in culture ahead of Autumn Budget (12 Oct) – On 27 October, the Chancellor will set out in Parliament the government’s spending priorities over the next three years. Ahead of the Autumn budget, Equity has warned that UK culture funding falls way behind European levels. We have set out ten key demands, including recommendations to invest in culture and protect jobs read more

 

USDAW

BCM Fareva, Nottingham: Usdaw members to take further industrial action over the slashing of terms and conditions – Members of Usdaw at BCM Fareva will begin a further stoppage on Sunday 10 October, which will continue into Monday. The strike follows five previous stoppages in July and August. Nottingham based manufacturer of consumer pharma and beauty products for leading brands including Boots and The Body Shop has imposed through ‘fire and rehire’ cuts to staff terms and conditions read more

Victimised Tesco warehouse rep fighting for reinstatement read more

 

Community

Industrial action begins at Clarks (Oct 4) – Employees at iconic shoe firm Clarks have today began industrial action in a dispute over fire-and-rehire. 88% of staff voted in favour of industrial action. The reduction of terms & conditions at Clarks UK is primarily targeted at legacy members of staff, who were employees before Lion Rock became majority shareholder in March 2021. Clarks UK had been in discussions with unions on terms but failed to reach an agreement. The company pushed for their employees to accept far-reaching reduced conditions, with everything from a reduction in hourly wage, sick pay and annual holidays, to a removal of 10-minute coffee breaks and complimentary hot drinks read more

 

UVW

UVW members declare victory as gosh commit to full equality (15 Oct) – “We won the fight because we voted yes for strike and GOSH gave in to us” – Gora Diop, GOSH cleaner, UVW member. Domestic staff at Great Ormond Street Hospital celebrated their campaign triumph on Friday after NHS bosses conceded to their demands for full NHS workers’ rights. Having already won a string of concessions, such as NHS pay, sick pay, pensions last year in an historic fight to end outsourcing, workers then found out that GOSH had failed to give them full NHS parity. Members of UVW vowed to continue fighting in a campaign that saw a wave of support from domestic workers and medical professionals from around the country read more

UVW members paint dire picture of working conditions as UK cleaner shortages mount (12 Oct) – “They haven’t given me more hours, they’ve just given me more work.” Cleaners bear the brunt as cleaning companies suffer labour shortages. In the past few weeks, job shortages across different sectors have been dominating the headlines, as the UK suffers an historic dearth of workers. Domestic workers at UVW and beyond are feeling the impact of those severe staff shortages reported by cleaning companies after a year of closed city centres, laid-off workers, lost accounts and Brexit. The UVW union carried out a survey asking members how they have been affected by increasing shortages. Over half said their conditions had taken a turn for the worse and that they were struggling to do the work being demanded of them read more

Support the joint PCS-UVW Royal Parks strike – On Friday 30th July migrant park attendants across London’s Royal Parks who are dual carding with UVW and PCS will be kicking off a summer of strikes in a bid to end outsourcing and be treated as equals. They will need all the solidarity they can get and donating to their strike fund is a great way to show that solidarity. So if you can, please donate

From UVW Facebook page: Royal Parks workers are on lower wages and fewer benefits than others directly employed by Royal Parks. They are striking for the month of October – because they deserve better. Help them fight for equal:

  • sick pay ✔
  • maternity pay ✔
  • annual leave ✔
  • pension entitlement ✔

United Voices of the World the union and PCS Union fighting together  for dignity, justice and equality

 

IWGB

 

SIPTU (Ireland)

SIPTU seeks urgent meeting with Lufthansa Technic concerning redundancies (12 Oct) – SIPTU representatives are seeking an urgent meeting with the management of Lufthansa Technic Shannon Ltd (LTSL) in county Clare, following the announcement today (Tuesday, 12th October) of its intention to implement up to 180 redundancies read more

 

 

Other News

Stand up to Racism international conference 2021

Mobilising the anti-racist majority: How do we defeat Johnson’s racist offensive? Online Conference | Sat 16 & Sun 17 October more info

 

‘Boris Out!’ – an evening of socialist comedy and entertainment. 3pm Sunday 14th November, Tyneside Irish Centre – 43 Gallowgate, Newcastle NE1 4SG

Racism, privatisation of the NHS, the gig economy, our youth being charged exorbitant rents, Governmental corruption and total incompetence.

We are delighted to announce a 3pm show for Boris Out! – a feast of socialist comedy and entertainment.

The 7pm show has SOLD OUT. Tickets for the 3pm show are strictly limited to 130. Tickets (only £10) from: www.borisout.eventbrite.com. Contact Ed (0191) 4550608

Please note: If you are a Tory, racist or a supporter of the royal family this is definitely not for you.

 

 

Fight blacklisting and victimisation of union reps

Blacklisting Investigation (9 Aug) – Unite the Union has commissioned an independent investigation into alleged involvement of any past of present union officers or officials in the operation of blacklists in the construction industry. The independent investigation will be conducted by Jane McNeill QC in accordance with the attached Terms of Reference. Evidence for the investigation is now being compiled by Thompsons Solicitors LLP. Any documentary evidence which any individual wishes to provide should be submitted to Thompsons either by email to [email protected] or by post to Unite Blacklisting Inquiry, Thompsons Solicitors LLP, Congress House, 23-28 Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LW, reference L213003/RH.  All evidence to be considered for the purpose of the independent report must be received by Thompsons by 9 November 2021 read more

#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 news

Protest works! Turkish political prisoner is freed on bail but still faces trial with over 100 other leaders and activists of the left-wing HDP read more in Morning Star

 

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 the Queens Speech in December 2019 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 finish but has now been extended because of the 2nd lockdown. But it’s clear that the Tories are looking to end it asap.

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

 

 

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NSSN COP 26 Online Forum – ‘How do we get a workers’ Just Transition’ – 7pm November 9th

 

 

CONTACT US

PHONE 07952 283 558

EMAIL mailto:[email protected]

 

TWITTER – https://twitter.com/NSSN_AntiCuts

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ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE