559: NSSN COP26 Forum: ‘Climate change – for workers transition’

November 2, 2021 in Bulletins

NSSN COP26 Online Forum: ‘Climate change – for a workers transition’

7pm Tuesday November 9th

The National Shop Stewards Network is hosting an online forum during COP26, which is taking place in Glasgow, to discuss how can the trade union movement fight climate change while ensuring workers keep their jobs, pay, pensions and terms & conditions

Speakers include:-
Joe Kirby RMT NEC & Offshore worker
Unite rep GKN Birmingham fighting plant closure

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

Meeting ID 8398811682

Facebook event

Take part in the Saturday November 6th Global Day of Action – details of protests here

GMB Glasgow refuse & cleansing strike 1st Nov

GMB Glasgow refuse & cleansing strike 1st Nov

Trade unions demand COP26 nations “talk to workers” (1 Nov) – 14 UK trade union leaders representing 2.3 million workers have written to the leaders of the COP26 nations, to ask them to listen to workers’ voices on climate issues “before, during and after your negotiations at COP26”. Leaders of the FBU, Unite, the NEU, the CWU, and the PCS are amongst those to sign the letter. The COP26 negotiations are set to largely exclude workers and worker representatives, with government leaders and officials set to be at the heart of them read more on FBU website

 

STAND UP FOR HEALTH AND CARE WORKERS. – ONLINE RALLY!

Hosted by Keep Our NHS Public, NHS Workers Say No and NHS Staff Voices

Thursday 4th November at 7pm

Zoom details

 

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

St Mungo’s: Unite will not tolerate victimisation and bullying

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

 

 

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

Pandemic profiteering creams off 7p in every pound (29 Oct) – RMT reveals that the Government handed fees to the private train operators equivalent to nearly 7p in every pound spent by rail passengers during the first year of the pandemic. RAIL UNION RMT today revealed that for the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Government gave the private train operators over £150m in fees for profits which the Union estimates to be equivalent to nearly 7p of every pound spent by rail passengers during the same period read more

After ScotRail deal RMT calls for Caledonian Sleeper parity (28 Oct) – After Scotrail deal RMT calls for parity for Caledonian Sleeper staff as their COP26 strikes remain on. RAIL UNION RMT today called for pay parity and justice for SERCO Caledonian Sleeper staff after a deal was secured last night for Scotrail members – proving that a similar offer for the Sleeper is entirely reasonable and affordable. Sleeper staff will be striking from this weekend and throughout COP26 but RMT is calling for urgent talks today while there is still a window of opportunity to negotiate a just settlement. 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

ScotRail RMT pay deal (27 Oct) – Joint media statement – Following further discussion between ScotRail and RMT, the following agreement was reached: A one year pay deal comprising of a 2.5 per cent pay increase backdated to 01 April 2021. A payment of £300 to all staff ensuring COP26 is fully supported (separate agreement with full details on commitments is to be signed). A 3hour book on allowance applied to each rest day worked, applicable for 12 months from the date of this agreement. By accepting this offer, it is agreed that all current disputes between RMT and ScotRail will be resolved and that all current and planned Industrial Action will be withdrawn immediately read more

RMT criticises the Chancellor for failing British seafarers (27 Oct) – RMT criticising the Chancellor for failing British seafarers in Budget. SEAFARER Union RMT today criticised the Chancellor’s proposals for Tonnage Tax reform announced in the Budget which made no reference at all to jobs or training for UK Ratings read more

 

ASLEF

We need more investment in rail, right across the country (27 Oct) – The Chancellor’s budget, announced today, was nothing more than a confidence trick. Communities across the country were looking to the government to invest in infrastructure, raise living standards and support people and families. Instead they got empty promises and ‘announcements’ that aren’t even new commitments. While there were some big numbers thrown around on ‘rail investment’, they turned out to be nothing more than a smokescreen when ASLEF looked at the detail. What we need to see is proper investment in rail infrastructure, right across the country read more

 

TSSA

TSSA statement on double train crash near Salisbury (31 Oct) – TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes has issued the following statement after reports that two trains have crashed between Andover and Salisbury. Emergency services, police, fire and the ambulance service, are at the scene, Wiltshire Police have confirmed. Commenting, Cortes said: “We will have to await further details but this is a very sobering reminder about why safety on our railways is always paramount. “The thoughts of our entire union are with the loved ones of everyone caught up in what may well turn out to be a tragic event. No doubt that over the coming days and weeks we will find out why this accident happened. A full investigation will now need to follow.” Read more

Now is the time for Scottish Government to invest in ScotRail, not cut services (28 Oct) – TSSA today (Thursday) will launch the report “A Future for Scotland’s Railways” at Holyrood, calling for better investment in rail to help Scotland reach its climate emergency targets. The report, which was jointly commissioned by TSSA, ASLEF, RMT and Unite, highlights the fact that transport is a major polluter in Scotland, accounting for one third of all Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions. Of that 40% comes from cars and 25% from light and heavy goods vehicles read more

Sunak’s Budget “The wrong budget for a climate emergency” (27 Oct) – Manuel Cortes brands Sunak’s budget “the wrong budget for a climate emergency”. TSSA today (Wednesday) condemned Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s budget as “the wrong budget for a climate emergency”. In his budget speech Sunak announced cuts to fuel duty, and a lower rate of air passenger duty for domestic flights but offered no reduction for rail ticket prices despite the growing climate crisis. TSSA General Secretary Manuel Cortes said “This is the wrong budget for a climate emergency. It will do nothing to decarbonise travel” read more

 

Unite

BREAKING NEWS!! Stagecoach pay offer forces Kent and Sussex bus drivers to strike (2 Nov) – Bus services in Kent and Sussex face severe disruption this autumn and winter as drivers employed by Stagecoach take strike action over low pay. More than 250 drivers, based at Stagecoach’s Herne Bay, Folkstone and Hastings depots, recorded an overwhelming yes vote in favour of strike action in response to the company failing to make a realistic pay offer. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Low pay is the scourge of the bus industry right across this country. Stagecoach made profits touching £60m last year and has £875m in the bank. Yet it cannot make a decent offer to its staff. “Unite will be relentless in its campaign to ensure that our members at Stagecoach receive a fair pay increase.” Strike action will take place 12, 15, 19, 22, 26 November and 3 and 6 December. The strikes were called after members rejected the latest offer by management following extensive negotiations with Unite read more

BREAKING NEWS!! Wigan Alpla UK plastics workers celebrate Unite pay victory (2 Nov) – Pay strikes at Wigan plastic manufacturer Alpla UK have been cancelled after workers voted to accept an improved pay offer worth at least 6 per cent. Nearly 150 workers at Alpla’s Golborne factory will benefit from the two-year pay deal and all scheduled strike action has now been cancelled read more

Strike days double at Weetabix Northamptonshire factories as fire and rehire taints company’s reputation (1 Nov) – Strikes over fire and rehire attacks at Weetabix’s Kettering and Corby factories will double from two days a week to four, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Monday 1 November). Around 80 Weetabix engineers have been on strike every Tuesday and Wednesday since September over cuts to their pay, terms and conditions that will cost some workers more than £5,000 a year. From 8 November, strikes will take place every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Increasing the strike action, which has already closed production lines and put orders several days behind schedule, will cause further disruption to Weetabix’s operations. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Weetabix is making bumper profits so there is no justification for these ‘fire and rehire’ attacks on our members’ wages and conditions. They are just not swallowing what in reality is a serving of corporate greed read more

Support the striking Weetabix workers – Weetabix are currently trying to fire and rehire a large group of Unite members working as engineers; they have now entered their fifth week of strike action. 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. If Weetabix get away with this it will green light a similar course of action for other firms across the Midlands to make workers in industry worse off. Unite is putting the call out for support, our members are available to attend branch meetings and speak about their dispute and any and all invitations, messages and donations would be gratefully received – email [email protected]

DHL Supply Chain operating at Spirit AeroSystems served with notice of strike action commencing next week after unanimous vote by workforce (1 Nov) – Unite the union warns strike will impact all aspects of Spirit AeroSystems production in Northern Ireland as DHL workforce handles every part from the rivets to the wings. After an industrial ballot returned a 100 percent vote for strike action at DHL Supply Chain at Spirit AeroSystems, Unite has today served notice on the company that it will commence strike action starting with a first, five-day stoppage next week read more

Attacks on public transport services, public transport workers and local communities must end (1 Nov) – Unite the union calls for those with influence to do all they can to ensure and end to attacks on public transport. Following this morning’s burning of a Translink bus in Newtownards, Unite the union deputy Regional Secretary Davy Thompson expressed his concern for the driver involved and for the local community read more

Driving Instructors to protest outside Finglas Test Centre on Thursday 4 November (1 Nov) – Road Safety Authority continues to refuse access to shelter and hygiene. November 1st: Nineteen months on from the start of the pandemic, the Road Safety Authority is still refusing driving instructors access to test centres in order to wash their hands or shelter from the rain. Unite’s Approved Driving Instructor Branch will be holding a protest outside the RSA test centre on Jamestown Road in Finglas next Thursday (November 4th) at 9 am read more

Arriva North West bus strikes suspended as new pay offer on the table (29 Oct) – Planned strike action by 2,000 Arriva bus drivers across Liverpool, Manchester and the north west of England has been suspended following an improved pay offer. Unite is recommending its members accept Arriva’s offer of a 3 per cent wage increase. 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

Unite secures increased pay, terms, and conditions for Scottish painters (29 Oct) – Unite Scotland has revealed that apprentice painters and decorators across Scotland are set to receive a ‘massive boost’ in wages of up to 8.5% in an agreement between the trade union, the Scottish Decorators Federation and the apprenticeship body. In 2021/2022, Unite members that operate under the Scottish Painting Council agreement will see rates rise by 4% (2% on 1st November 2021, with a further 2% in March 2022). Unite has also completed negotiations with the Scottish Painting and Decorating Apprenticeship Council (SPADAC), securing apprentices hourly pay rate rises of 5% for first year apprentices, 8.5% in their second year, 3.9% for their third, and 5% for their fourth.Other included aspects of the deal will see an additional week of paid sick leave, an additional days annual leave, increased bereavement leave to 5 days. It is estimated that more than 800 apprentices will benefit from the pay uplift read more

Unite hails another pay victory in HGV drivers’ campaign for improved pay and conditions (29 Oct) – Unite the union has chalked up another pay victory in its nationwide campaign to ensure that the UK’s HGV lorry drivers receive substantial pay rises and improved conditions when they are on road. This time 39 XPO drivers working on the Wavin contract in Chippenham, Wiltshire have received a 20 per cent increase in a one-year deal starting this month. This news follows hard on the heels of tanker drivers employed by Turners (Soham) Ltd on the Cargill contract in Liverpool securing a bumper 17.5 per cent pay deal and there has been an up to 23 per cent pay increase for drivers employed by GXO, formally XPO Primary Logistics, at sites across the UK. Also, about 1,000 HGV drivers employed by the Co-op on its delivery contract will receive a five per cent pay increase backdated to February and a further five per cent increase payable from 1 November 2021 read more

GB Terminals ‘underhand’ redundancy plans for Sheerness Volkswagen dockers ‘sneaky precursor to fire and rehire’ (29 Oct) – ‘Underhand’ plans to fire 50 GB Terminals workers who unload and process Volkswagens at Sheerness docks in Kent have been slammed as a ‘sneaky precursor to fire and rehire’ by Unite, the UK’s leading union. The redundancies amount to a staffing reduction of 75 per cent and will leave the company’s Sheerness operations unable to function read more

Pay freeze by Svitzer Marine could bring Teesport to a standstill as union members ballot for strike action (28 Oct) – Members of Unite the union crewing tug boats at Teesport, the UK’s fifth largest container port, are balloting for strike action in response to a pay freeze proposed by their employer Svitzer Marine Limited. The pre-Christmas disruption could bring Teesport, which is at the heart of the government’s new freeports strategy, to a standstill. The crews, who have worked throughout the pandemic to ensure shipping freight carrying essential supplies for the UK continued to dock safely, are furious as Svitzer has benefitted from a significant increase in volumes coming into Teesside over the last year read more

Tesco risks empty shelves this winter after ‘offensive’ pay offer sparks nationwide strike ballot (28 Oct) – Tesco is risking empty shelves this winter after sparking a nationwide strike ballot amongst its logistics workers with an ‘offensive’ pay offer, Unite warned today (Thursday 28 October). The ballot of 3,500 Tesco lorry driver and warehouse workers for strike action at the Belfast, Didcot, Doncaster and Thurrock regional distribution centres comes after a four per cent offer was rejected. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Tesco made more than £3 billion during the pandemic yet pretends it cannot afford to pay the workers responsible for such staggering profits a decent pay rise…” read more

Warning of empty shelves at Tescos across Northern Ireland after ‘offensive’ four percent pay offer sparks UK-wide strike ballot (28 Oct)

Arriva Cymru’s bus drivers to strike for five weeks, after bosses’ make ‘poverty pay’ offer (28 Oct) – Bus services across North Wales will face severe disruption after nearly 400 Arriva bus drivers voted overwhelmingly to strike for five weeks in a pay dispute, Unite the union said today (Thursday 28 October). Arriva Cymru bus drivers at depots, including Amlwch, Bangor, Hawarden (Chester), Llandudno, Rhyl and Wrexham, will strike continuously from 06:00 on Sunday 14 November 2021 until 01:00  on Sunday 19 December. This follows a 95 per cent vote in favour of strike action read more

Unite calls for auto sector support as supply chain woes puts jobs at risk (28 Oct) – Unite the union is calling for government support for the automotive industry, following the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) revealing today (Thursday 28 October) that the number of cars built in the UK has fallen to the worst figure for September since 1982.  A total of 67,169 cars left production lines last month, down by 41.5 per cent on the same time last year read more

Unite leader Sharon Graham’s response to the Budget (27 Oct) – Responding to chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Budget statement today (Wednesday 27 October), Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “The chancellor’s statement today makes it clear that the government wants workers to pay for the pandemic. Their incomes are under attack from tax rises and inflation while the super-rich will continue to prosper. That is not acceptable. So, workers will need unions more than ever. Union members consistently get higher pay than non-members and Unite the union will be fighting to improve our members’ real wages in the face of these attacks…” read more

‘Derisory’ Kinchbus pay offer results in Loughborough bus strikes (27 Oct) – A ‘derisory’ pay offer by Kinchbus has resulted in Loughborough drivers voting for strike action beginning in November, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Wednesday 27 October). The strikes, involving more than 50 drivers who are amongst the lowest paid in the country, will cause serious disruption to bus services in Loughborough and the East Midlands read more

Union heralds ‘historic legal judgment’ at Supreme Court on collective bargaining in Kostal case (27 Oct) – Unite General Secretary, Sharon Graham, says the legal victory means no employer can ever offer their employees inducements to undermine union collective bargaining. The Unite leader says union members have been resolute in their six-year battle to defend union rights: Their victory will affect union members everywhere across the UK. On 27 October 2021, the Supreme Court found in favour of a group of Unite members whose employer, Kostal Ltd – a car components manufacturer from Rotherham – had sought to undermine their union negotiations by offering unlawful inducements to undermine a union ballot rejecting a pay offer. The original dispute involved around 60 union members at Kostal read more

Drivers and assistants taking disabled children to school in Hackney to hold strike ballot over council ‘brush off’ (26 Oct) – Drivers and passenger assistants, who take disabled children to and from school in Hackney, are being balloted for strike action in the continuing failure of council bosses to recognise their efforts as key workers during the pandemic. Unite said Hackney council in east London has ‘brushed off’ the union’s repeated attempts to gain recognition for its members’ role as key workers during the continuing Covid crisis. Now the 37 drivers and passenger assistants will be balloted from Monday 1 November on whether they wish to take strike action. The ballot closes on Tuesday 30 November read more

Bumper pay deal of 17.5 per cent for Liverpool tanker drivers (26 Oct) – Tanker drivers employed by Turners (Soham) Ltd, on the Cargill contract in Liverpool have secured a bumper 17.5 per cent pay deal, Unite the union has announced. The 24 tanker drivers, who deliver bulk liquid food products to food manufacturers across the UK, are to receive a 17.5 percent increase in all elements of their pay for the year starting April 2021 which will be backdated. In addition, the drivers will also receive a 4.55 percent increase for paid meal breaks. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “This is an excellent result for our driver members on the Cargill contract in Liverpool. It demonstrates what can be achieved when workers are organised in Unite and take a stand read more

Stagecoach West Scotland workers accept pay offer bringing dispute to an end (26 Oct) – Unite Scotland can confirm today (26 October) that its members employed by Stagecoach West Scotland have accepted a ‘significantly improved’ pay offer bringing the dispute to an end. Around 400 Unite members at Stagecoach West Scotland accepted the new pay offer following other divisions of the Stagecoach Group across Scotland including Fife, Highland, Perth and Strathtay. Unite members will now not be taking part in any strike action following the pay deal. Stagecoach West Scotland workers had previously backed taking strike action in the pay dispute by 92% in a 73.4% ballot turnout. The bus workers cover areas including Ardrossan, Ayr, Dumfries, Kilmarnock, and Stranraer read more

Council workers across Scotland set to strike over pay – Local Government unions have today issued notices of industrial action to local authorities across Scotland in a dispute over pay for council workers. The Joint Trade Unions have between them mandates to take action in half of Scotland’s local authority areas.  Today they have notified COSLA that they have served notices to those authorities, and that they will be calling out members employed in school cleaning, school catering, school janitorial, waste, recycling and fleet maintenance services on the 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 November. It is understood that this could be the start of an escalating period of action if the employers do not change their position. The Joint Trade Unions have also written to the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Local Government and Education calling on them to intervene saying that it is not credible for the Scottish Government to wash their hands of local government workers by arguing technicalities of the bargaining machinery read more

12 days of strikes over Stagecoach North East bosses’ ‘divide-and-rule’ tactics on pay – More than 800 drivers, engineers, cleaners, supervisors and managers at Stagecoach North East have voted overwhelmingly to hold 12 days of strike action over the management’s ‘divide-and-rule’ tactics on pay, Unite the union said today (Friday 22 October). Stagecoach North East is the ‘trading’ name for Busways Travel Ltd and Cleveland Transit Ltd. There was a 92 per cent vote in favour of strike action and 94 per cent for an overtime ban. The 24 hour strikes are on 8,10,12,16 18, 20, 22, 24, 26 and 30 November and on 2 and 4 December. In the Newcastle area there are two depots at Slatyford and Walkergate with others at South Shields, Sunderland and on Teesside where there are sites at Stockton and Hartlepool read more

Oxford MINI production faces disruption over drivers’ pay dispute, warns Unite – Production of the MINI at Oxford could be severely disrupted after drivers delivering components voted to go on strike for six days in a pay dispute, Unite the union warned today (Friday 22 October). The large goods vehicle (LGV) drivers employed by Imperial Logistics International (UK) voted by 94 per cent to strike for 24 hours on 9 November and 17 November; and then for 48 hours on 23/24 November and 30 November/1 December. There will also be a continuous overtime ban. The crux of the dispute is that, while the bosses have offered a pay increase to retain their depleted workforce, it is still just under £2 less than the hourly rate being paid to those employed on an agency basis. Strike action could hit MINI production at the Cowley plant running at a 1,000 vehicles a day read more

Billingham scaffold workers at Mitsubishi Chemicals to strike over ‘shocking pay disparity’ – Scaffold workers employed by Altrad at the Mitsubishi Chemicals plant in Billingham, Teesside, will strike in November and December over a ‘shocking pay disparity’, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Thursday 21 October). The basic pay for a scaffolder at the plant is just £12.36 an hour, when the rate for their job under the National Agreement for the Engineering Construction Industry (NAECI) is £17.45 an hour. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Our members perform a dangerous and difficult role working at height within a chemical plant, which is reflected in the NAECI rate…” read more

South Yorkshire bus passengers face serious disruption if strikes at ‘penny pinching’ Stagecoach go ahead – South Yorkshire bus passengers face serious disruption this autumn and winter if Stagecoach bus drivers and depot workers vote for strike action over a pay dispute, Unite said today (Thursday 21 October). Unite, the UK’s leading union, said Stagecoach, which operates as the Yorkshire Traction Company in South Yorkshire, is refusing to offer the more than 560 workers at depots in Sheffield, Barnsley and Rotherham a reasonable pay rise read more

Strike action at Stagecoach Wales to proceed after ACAS talks fail – 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. The next strikes are November 1st-6th and 8th-9th

Evonik workers at historic Manchester chemicals site strike over pay – 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 members at Goodfish to strike over 2 year pay freeze – 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

Support striking Scunthorpe scaffolders – the scaffolders are employed by Actavo on the British Steel site in Scunthorpe and have been fighting to be paid the recognised rate for the job since 2019 read more

Donate to strike fund:-

Either via bank transfer – sort code: 60-83-01 account number: 20173962, account name: Unite North East Region 1% Fund, reference: Actavo Limited and your branch number

Or by cheque made payable to ‘Unite the Union’ and forwarded to the Leeds Regional Office, Unite the Union, 55 Call Lane, Leeds LS1 7BW marked for the attention of the Regional Secretary (Actavo Limited Dispute). Letters of support can be sent to the Regional Office

Unite members back strike action at University of Dundee over ‘pension poverty’ proposals – Unite Scotland can confirm today 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

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

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

St Mungo’s: Unite will not tolerate victimisation and bullying – support Unite rep Vicko Plevnik. Unite organised a protest in support of victimised union rep Vicko Plevnik and handed in a letter to St Mungo’s management today. The letter makes clear that the union will not tolerate victimisation of its reps nor a culture of bullying within the organisation. Vicko faces the possibility of being sacked for offences such as causing distress to senior managers by highlighting bullying by senior managers and, allegedly, eating a biscuit during an online meeting! To send messages of support and invite Vicko to speak at your union branch/trades council – email [email protected]

 

PCS

Union leaders write to leaders of the COP26 nations (1 Nov) – The letter, signed by 14 general secretaries, asks them to listen to workers’ voices on climate issues. The general secretaries of PCS, Unite, FBU, the NEU and ten other unions have written to the leaders of the COP26 nations. The COP26 negotiations involve government leaders and officials but largely exclude workers and worker representatives. The letter points out that “Workers keep our economies going. Without workers, there will be no transition to the economy we need for the future read more

Bailiffs’ daily record sheets (DRS) (1 Nov) – There has been an update to Caseman which HMCTS failed to consult PCS on prior to implementation. One of those changes has involved changes to the codes used by both office staff and Bailiffs. Certain codes now demand that a date and time of visit is input onto the Warrant record screen read more

Why we are voting yes in the PCS DVLA ballot (29 Oct) – Our members in DVLA have been sharing why they are voting yes for action in the PCS postal ballot, which runs until 10 November. Our members in DVLA have been sharing why they are voting yes for action in the PCS postal ballot, which runs until 10 November. In the ballot, we are asking members if they would 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 have resolved the dispute and refuse to admit there are health and safety issues left to address. Our members, who have been having their say by voting in the ballot, have shared with us why they’ve voted read more

Returning to the Office (28 Oct) – Since the start of the pandemic PCS has been demanding that all departments provide create safe working conditions for their staff. This means something different to everyone, and ranges from working at home full time to spending all their working time in an office read more

Financial help for location moves (28 Oct) – Following the Pay and Contract Reform deal, HMRC has published the arrangements for payments to assist members who are moving offices, including the reimbursement of additional weekly travel costs. New arrangements have now been introduced for calculating entitlement to assistance when you move your permanent office location. HMRC has published an update, drawing attention to the new arrangements which apply to everyone employed by the department read more

A budget of smoke and mirrors (28 Oct) – The budget and 3-year spending review announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak yesterday gives little or no comfort to the vast majority of PCS members. After 11 years of pay cuts and freezes, of which the civil service has been hit worse than any other part of the public sector, we still have no clarity if civil and public servants will get a real terms pay rise next year. The Chancellor said in interviews this morning that it was an issue for pay review bodies. The civil service does not have one! Read more

PCS responds to the spending review (27 Oct) – Chancellor Rishi Sunak delivered his spending review and budget promising to level up, grow the economy and lift the public sector pay freeze. However, Mr Sunak who has been trailing the news the freeze would end for the last few days, produced few details, saying it would be “fair and affordable” and that there would be a “return to the normal independent pay setting process.” Read more

A message to all staff in DWP Digital (25 Oct) – PCS wants to know the issues that you are concerned about. PCS is the union for all staff in DWP Digital. PCS negotiates with the DWP on behalf of all DWP staff on your pay, pensions, terms and conditions of employment. If you have a problem at work PCS can provide advice and representation including legal advice. If you have a problem outside of work PCS has free helplines for members read more

Support the Royal Parks strikers rally to lobby Trustees – the workers’ latest action was for all of October. 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

DVSA dispute – member consultation begins – PCS will begin consultation with driving examiners and driving test centre managers in DVSA on an agreement to end the dispute over the introduction of an additional eighth car driving test to the daily schedule. Nearly 400 members attended a members meeting yesterday, chaired by PCS National President, Fran Heathcote, and was addressed by General Secretary, Mark Serwotka and DfT Group President, Paul Williams. Members heard how, in 11th hour talks, union negotiators managed to move DVSA from a position of planning to impose the eight test schedule in November to an agreement. The agreement includes:

  • A guarentee the eight test schedule will not form part of DVSA’s planning for a minimum of 12-months
  • DVSA working with the union to prioritise work on the issues of trust flagged by the DVSA commissioned occupational psychology study
  • DVSA working with PCS on commissioning a new timing study

There is no doubt this agreement would not have been reached without an overwhelming mandate for industrial action from members. PCS will shortly be balloting members on our recommendation to accept the agreement with more detail to follow read more

 

BFAWU

Trade unions demand COP26 nations “talk to workers” (1 Nov) – 14 UK trade union leaders representing 2.3 million workers have written to the leaders of the COP26 nations, to ask them to listen to workers’ voices on climate issues “before, during and after your negotiations at COP26”. Leaders of the BFAWU, FBU, Unite, the NEU, the CWU, and the PCS are amongst those to sign the letter. The COP26 negotiations are set to largely exclude workers and worker representatives, with government leaders and officials set to be at the heart of them read more

 

FBU

Trade unions demand COP26 nations “talk to workers” (1 Nov) – 14 UK trade union leaders representing 2.3 million workers have written to the leaders of the COP26 nations, to ask them to listen to workers’ voices on climate issues “before, during and after your negotiations at COP26”. Leaders of the FBU, Unite, the NEU, the CWU, and the PCS are amongst those to sign the letter. The COP26 negotiations are set to largely exclude workers and worker representatives, with government leaders and officials set to be at the heart of them read more

FBU contaminants project debated in the Northern Ireland Assembly (29 Oct) – The FBU’s work to better understand fire contaminants, and their links to cancer and other diseases, has been a key focus of a debate in the Northern Ireland Assembly. The FBU’s DECON campaign, which aims to prevent and protect firefighters from the risks posed by toxic fire contaminants, was frequently mentioned in the debate, as was the University of Central Lancashire research the FBU commissioned on this subject – research which suggests that firefighters are more than four times likely to develop cancer than the general population. The debate resulted in a motion recognising the risk to firefighters, and the need to protect against it, being passed by the Northern Ireland Assembly. The motion was amended to call for engagement with the Fire Brigades Union in implementing best practice here, and called for annual cancer screening for serving firefighters read more

Budget 2021: fire and rescue could be unable to face growing challenges (27 Oct) – A lack of new funding for fire and rescue in the Budget and Spending Review could leave fire and rescue unable to deal with growing challenges including climate change, according to the Fire Brigades Union read more

 

CWU

Jobs saved at Royal Mail MDEC site thanks to the CWU (28 Oct) – Customs regulations for international mails bound for EU countries create new workstream for members at Bolton who had been facing redeployment and retraining. After several months of uncertainty about their futures, manual data entry centre (MDEC) workers employed at the company’s office in Farnworth, Bolton, will now be staying at the site due to new requirements for packets and parcels being sent from the UK to most of mainland Europe read more

Frontline reps welcome recruitment boost in RMCE (26 Oct) – News of more new permanent staff coming into Royal Mail’s Customer Experience operation has been described as ‘a positive step in the right direction’ as workloads continue to rise. Following national-level negotiations between the CWU and company bosses, 60 new starters will begin work at the company in the New Year, while 18 existing temporary-contract workers are to be made permanent. Customer Experience (RMCE) employees deal with complaints and enquiries from the public and businesses and this function has recently extended its opening hours in response to a significant increase in customer contacts since the beginning of 2020 read more

From CWU rep: *******Llanelli DO Update*******

It gives me great pleasure to announce that I’ve had confirmation that Gary Evans has been reinstated. I’m not sure when he will be returning to work as yet but I will update everyone as soon as I know

Union’s ‘firefighting’ intervention mitigates impact of another BT outsourcing decision (22 Oct) – New roles negotiated for workers in BT following its decision to outsource its customer broadband equipment test & refurbishment work to CTDI a company in Fife, have mitigated against potential redundancies upon transfer, but CWU demands earlier notifications in future and a changed company strategy read more

 

GMB

Glasgow cleansing strikes underway after council refuses “industrial relations” reset (31 Oct) – Responding to the collapse of last ditch talks between GMB and Glasgow City Council tonight, resulting in strike action across the city’s cleansing service from 00.01 hours tomorrow, GMB Scotland Secretary Louise Gilmour said: “We met the council in good faith, offering a clear set of proposals to reset industrial relations and avoid strikes. The council rejected these proposals…” read more

COP26 strike action in Glasgow to go ahead (31 Oct) – GMB has this afternoon told Glasgow City Council Chief Executive Anne Marie O’Donnell that members in the city’s cleansing service will proceed with previously planned strike action from 00.01 hours Monday 1 November read more

Victory: GMB secures landmark deal for Serco Derbyshire Dales refuse workers (29 Oct) – GMB has today welcomed the news that GMB refuse workers at Serco in the Derbyshire Dales have won their dispute, delivering a pay deal and package of support for members at the company. This is after months of industrial action, campaigning and negotiating by the GMB, culminating in strike action which saw refuse workers down tools across the district. Earlier this year Derbyshire Dales refuse workers overwhelmingly voted for strike action after the company refused to improve on a below inflation pay offer – amounting to real terms pay cut for key workers. Likewise, members were raising that they felt disrespected after management were heard describing them as ‘just legs and arms’. After a vote of members at the workplace this week, this new deal has been approved by GMB members and will see refuse workers receive a pay deal in line with inflation, as well as a package of support and commitments from company management read more

Budget ‘reeks of vacuous gesture politics (27 Oct) – GMB has responded to Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s budget speech today. Gary Smith, GMB General Secretary, said: “The Chancellor’s budget is big on headline-capturing announcements but scant on detail. Saying you will lift the pay freeze that has ground down public sector workers is meaningless if we don’t even know if wages will increase above inflation. Public sector workers must be guaranteed a proper real terms pay rise if the Conservatives are to start making up for their ruinous decade of austerity…” read more

Government U-turns on dumping raw sewage (27 Oct) – GMB, the water union, has responded to a Government U-turn on the dumping of raw sewage. Gary Carter, GMB National Officer, said: “GMB supports calls to strengthen legislation and impose duties on water companies to clear up their acts. “For too long water companies have been able to dump raw sewage in seas and rivers. “The fines imposed on water companies show legislation is to control this. Ministers and regulators must do more to make water companies invest and dramatically improve infrastructure. People deserve clean safe water and have been let down by water companies which are more interested in shareholder returns than the environment. With COP26 happening next week, it’s time to take action to tackle the effects of climate change and improve our seas, rivers and drinking water. Privatisation of water has failed and we should take back the tap.” Read more

12 days of strike-mas: Sandwell refuse workers to walk out over festive period (27 Oct) – More than 100 refuse workers will strike across for 12 days across the Christmas period at Serco Sandwell to force clean-up and maintenance of the public Household Recycling Centre on Shidas Lane. Safety issues include pools of dirty water, dilapidated fencing and trip hazards. The workers at the nearby Serco site are also contending with a lack of handwashing facilities, overflowing toilets and poor protective equipment. The dates are: 15 and 16 November; 24 and 25 November; 20, 21, 22 and 23 December; 4, 5, 6 and 7 January 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]

Doosan Babcock workers to strike over ‘worthless’ offer – Dozens of members at Doosan Babcock in Tipton voted this Monday to strike over a ‘worthless’ offer from the construction engineering firm. More than 90 per cent of staff voted for the strike, which will take place on November 2 and 3 from 8am to 12 noon read more

Cleaners, porters and caterers to strike at four Berkshire hospitals – Facilities staff at King Edward VII, Wokingham, Upton and St Marks Hospital sites to walk out over forced changes to contracts, says GMB Union. Cleaners, porters, caterers and other facilities staff are set to strike at four Berkshire hospitals over forced changes to their contracts. Facilities staff at King Edward VII, Wokingham, Upton and St Marks Hospital sites voted overwhelmingly to take strike action. The dispute is over fears that recently tupe’d facilities staff, including housekeepers face detrimental contractual changes, as their new employer forces changes to job titles and roles. NHS Property Services are implementing changes as part of their organisational review by seeking to make changes under the umbrella of required efficiencies and cost savings read more

Unions urge Goodfish to reopen talks – Striking workers at Goodfish’s North Wales plant have renewed calls for the company to come back to the table as a second 24 hour strike gets under way. The move comes after a rocky dispute that saw the plastics manufacturer cancelling staff bonuses before previous day of action on the 13th of October. Last Friday the company informed workers that they intend to implement a pay increase without agreement of the onsite unions, GMB and Unite. Both unions have criticised the move, claiming that the below inflation pay rise will fail to meet the cost of living for striking workers read more

Staff to walk out as Panasonic pull plug on pay rise in Cardiff – 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

University of the Arts London Cleaners demand equal treatment after five day strike – 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

BREAKING NEWS!! Police staff unions call on employers to reopen pay talks (2 Nov) – Resignation of chair from the employers’ side reveals scale of the crisis in the service. The unions representing police staff on the Police Staff Council for England and Wales are calling on the employers to reopen pay talks, at the same time as making plans for industrial action if necessary. In July, the employers decided that police staff earning over £24,000 a year would have their pay frozen for 2021/22, with those earning below that figure receiving an increase of just £250 a year. But in last week’s autumn statement, chancellor Rishi Sunak ended the public sector pay freeze. When the council next meets on 10 November, UNISON, the GMB and Unite will be pressing the employers to respond positively to their request for talks to resume, with the aim of reaching a negotiated pay award. In a measure of how serious a crisis there is over police pay this year, Kim McGuinness has resigned as chair of the employers’ side of the council read more

English water industry needs renationalising, says UNISON (28 Oct) – Call comes as the government is forced to back down in row over sewage dumping by water companies. UNISON has said that the Westminster government’s partial U-turn over allowing water companies to dump raw sewage in England shows that the industry should be renationalised in the fight to stop the pollution of waterways and seas. John Jones, the water, environment and transport service group member on the union’s national executive council, said: “Once again, this demonstrates that the water industry should be renationalised read more

Little to cheer on public sector pay in budget (27 Oct) – Funding increases only begin to tackle cuts. Commenting on the budget and spending review today (Wednesday) UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea said: “Public sector workers won’t be raising many glasses to the chancellor. With no certainty pay will rise above inflation, services will go on shedding experienced staff…” 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 responds to latest Budget: ‘Patient care is paying a heavy price’ (27 Oct) – Despite longstanding pressures and nursing workforce shortages, the latest budget offers little reassurance to nursing staff, warns RCN read more

 

NIPSA

UK Budget 2021 – A “new approach” Needed to deal with funding crises (29 Oct) – The UK Budget statement (27th October) was preceded by some now familiar rituals. With the days of Budget details being first released within Parliament long gone, we are now subject to days, sometimes weeks of well spun previews in pro-Government outlets with already allocated monies re-bundled into headline grabbing totals that melt under examination. In addition, those politicians who most enthusiastically supported the bulldozing of the public sphere now shamelessly use rhetoric about “levelling-up”. It is crucial that NIPSA and the wider trade union movement refuse to facilitate amnesia about the damage that was wilfully done to the mass of the population by austerity or tolerate any signal that suggests we are returning to “austerity lite” in the years ahead. Austerity was and is a human and economic catastrophe that led to unnecessary death, cruelty and indifference due to political negligence. This was a stripping away of public health in its widest sense – leaving all of us vulnerable to any societal/economic shock to the system never mind a global pandemic. We will soon know, beyond the “smoke and mirrors” of Wednesday’s announcements, the finer details of the Barnett consequentials for the Northern Ireland Executive read more

Update on 2021 NJC Pay negotiations (29 Oct) – Please find attached the latest NJC Employer response to the TUS request to come back to the negotiating table, which makes clear their refusal to improve on the “final” pay offer previously tabled to the trade unions, also attached below. The TUS is considering its response and I understand that each trade union intends to proceed to formally Ballot their members on Industrial Action. I will, of course, keep you updated as I receive any further updates read more

 

NEU

Rally for Oaks Park, Redbridge strikers – 5.30pm Monday 15th November outside London City Hall

Strikers are calling for support for a mass picket on the morning of Tuesday 2 November, when they go back out after half-term. They are also out this week on Wednesday and Thursday. Join the picket any time from 7 to 9, and bring trade union banners if possible. Email messages of support to [email protected]

Please also sign and share the petition: https://www.change.org/p/redbridge-council-end-the-culture-of-bullying-at-oaks-park-high-school

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]

Pupil Learning Loss (29 Oct) – Teachers worked hard for all their pupils throughout the pandemic and the needs of disadvantaged is of paramount importance to school and college leaders and their staff read more

Spending Review (27 Oct) – Today, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak had a historic opportunity to value education and value educators. Despite his rhetoric he has failed. Commenting on the Government’s Spending Review and the Chancellor’s Budget Statement, Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said: “Today, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak had a historic opportunity to value education and value educators. Despite his rhetoric he has failed…” read more

 

NASUWT

Teachers must be at the centre of new qualifications development (28 Oct) – Commenting on the announcement by the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills that new National Qualifications are to be developed, Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, said: “The NASUWT welcomes the announcement of the development of a new set of National Qualifications, as this is something which the NASUWT has been recommending for several years. In order for any new system of qualifications and assessment to be successful though, it is vital that sufficient time is taken over these developments and, crucially, that classroom teachers are at the heart of discussions and decisions, given their vital role in teaching and assessing National Qualification courses read more

NASUWT comments on the budget (27 Oct) – Commenting on the Budget, Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, said: “After days of behind the scenes media briefings, teachers would be right to be underwhelmed by the Chancellor’s announcements today…” read more

NASUWT comments on impact of the Budget for devolved nations (27 Oct) – Commenting on the impact of the Budget on the devolved nations, Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, said: “Today’s CSR will affect the money available to spend on education and teaching in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. “Pupils, across the UK, deserve to benefit from a commitment to increased investment in their education and the teachers that teach them. The current pressures on schools from the impact of the pandemic must be reflected when ministers come to set their own budgets for the forthcoming year…” read more

Call to end religion exemption for teaching jobs (26 Oct) – The NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union is calling for changes to equalities law in Northern Ireland to ensure no teacher can be discriminated against when applying for jobs, regardless of their religion. At the Irish Congress of Trade Unions Biennial Conference in Belfast today (Tuesday) the Union will be calling for a change to the Fair Employment and Treatment (NI) Order 1988 to remove the exemption regarding the employment of teachers in schools read more

Teachers’ pay erosion must end (26 Oct) – Commenting on the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Spending Review plans on public sector pay, Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, said: “We welcome the overdue announcement of the Chancellor’s intention to end his government’s pay freeze on teachers’ salaries next year, but we cannot overlook that this is a pay freeze that should not have been inflicted in the first place…” read more

 

EIS

Cosla’s offer of deep pay cut for Scotland’s teachers is wholly unacceptable (28 Oct) – The Salaries Committee of the EIS has condemned as “wholly unacceptable” a pay offer that would result in a significant real-terms pay cut for Scotland’s teachers. The EIS Salaries Committee, which met today, discussed the growing anger in schools over the sub-inflationary pay offer from COSLA and the Scottish Government. The EIS remains in dispute with the employers on teacher pay, with a pay settlement for teachers now more than six months overdue read more

Curriculum for Excellence Review Implementation Framework– EIS Comment (27 Oct) – The EIS has commented on today’s launch of the Curriculum for Excellence Review Implementation Framework, which was published this morning on the Scottish Government website and highlighted by the Cabinet Secretary for Education in the Scottish Parliament this afternoon. The Implementation Framework sets out how the Scottish Government intends to address the recommendations in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report, Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence: Into the Future. Commenting, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said, “The EIS welcomes the commitment to the further empowerment of schools and teachers outlined in the Framework but would also emphasise that, in order for rhetoric to become reality, those with power must be willing to surrender some of their control…” read more

Strike action at Scotland’s Rural University College (SRUC) enters 4th week (25 Oct) – Lecturing staff at Scotland’s Rural University College (SRUC) will take their fourth day of strike action today (Monday) as a programme of industrial action in a long-running dispute over pay and grading enters its 4th week. Members have already taken three days of strike action, with further strike days planned together with an ongoing programme of action short of strike read more

 

UCU

Half of UK university staff showing signs of depression, report shows (28 Oct) – A new report that reveals a widespread workload and mental health crisis in universities should ‘shame every single vice chancellor in the UK’, said UCU. The report by Education Support paints a picture of staff being pushed to breaking point with unsafe workloads resulting in one in five academic staff working an extra 16 additional hours per week, the equivalent of an extra two days’ work on top of their contracted hours. The report comes as UCU ballots staff at 146 universities over pay and working conditions. The union is demanding nationally agreed action to address excessive workloads and unpaid work; action to address the impact that excessive workloads are having on workforce stress and mental ill-health; and that workload models and planning take into account Covid related changes in working practices read more

Government must invest in staff to meet autumn budget education commitments (27 Oct) – In response to the UK government’s autumn budget, UCU said the ‘elephant in the room’ remains the lack of trained college staff to meet the budget’s ambitions. Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s budget had a number of commitments to further education, including spending on skills, lifelong learning and college buildings, as well as a new national numeracy programme. However there was no clarity on whether there would be new money to meet the commitments. The higher education sector had been expecting a long-awaited response to the 2019 Augar review of post-18 education, which called for a cut in undergraduate tuition fees and changes to student loan terms. But this was further delayed read more

UCU comment on Scottish Government response to Scottish Funding Council review of universities (27 Oct) – Commenting on the publication today of the response by Jamie Hepburn, minister for higher education and further education, youth employment and training, to the Scottish Funding Council’s review of university and college provision and sustainability, UCU Scotland official Mary Senior said: ‘We welcome the Scottish government’s commitment to multi-year funding settlements for the university sector. This needs to be matched by fair funding that meets the full costs of delivering university teaching. Failing to properly fund the sector means increasing student-staff ratios, spiralling staff workloads, and all too many university staff on precarious contracts…” read more

Deal reached to end long running Covid safety dispute at 49 prisons (26 Oct) – A long running dispute between prison educators at 49 prisons in England and employer Novus has ended after the employer agreed to UCU’s demands to address health & safety concerns raised by prison educators. Around 600 prison educators took four days of strike action between April and June 2021 after Covid-19 safety concerns were not addressed. UCU said the deal means its members will now be much safer at work. Investigations Novus had taken out against union members who raised health & safety concerns have also been dropped read more

University staff pay cut by 20%, new figures show (26 Oct) – The scale of pay cuts faced by university staff has been laid bare as new data showed 12 years of below inflation pay offers have left staff thousands of pounds worse off. Employers’ latest pay offer for 2021/22 is just 1.5% but inflation is at 4.5%. Employers have described this real terms pay cut as ‘fair’. But UCU’s modeller – launched today – shows the offer means pay has fallen 20% in real terms since 2009. The modeller also shows the effect unpaid work has had on hourly pay, as staff try to keep up with growing workloads. The news comes as UCU ballots 75k university staff across the UK over attacks on pay and pensions 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.

 

NUJ

BREAKING NEWS!! #EndImpunity (2 Nov) – Journalists’ deaths are going uninvestigated around the world. It’s time to act. More than 35 journalists have been killed this year in the course of their duty, some were hit by bomb blasts, others were personally sought out and killed in cold blood, figures from the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) show. Today (November 2) is the United Nations International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists and the NUJ has joined the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliates to demand that governments stop turning a blind eye to attacks on media workers and bring those who threaten journalists to justice read more

COP26: advice for NUJ members (1 Nov) – The union has published guidance, health and safety tips and emergency legal numbers for those covering the climate change climate in Glasgow. NUJ members covering the climate change conference need to plan accordingly and take appropriate health and safety precautions read more

NUJ Scotland welcomes journalists covering COP26 in Glasgow (1 Nov) – The union has provided guidance to members covering the conference and climate emergency demonstrations. The NUJ  has provided advice on reporting public order events, and will continue to support members throughout the fortnight. The union is also working closely with Police Scotland read more

Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff to give the Claudia Jones lecture (29 Oct) – The NUJ’s Black Members’ Council has announced that the award-winning journalist will be the speaker at the event on Thursday 2 December read more

Unions reject flawed code on bogus contracts (27 Oct) – The NUJ said strong, punitive legal measures and not a “toothless” code are needed to protect workers. Delegates at the Irish Congress of Trade Unions biennial delegate conference in Belfast have backed an NUJ motion calling for punitive measures against employers who force workers to accept bogus self-employment contracts read more

Assange charges must be dropped (27 Oct) – On the eve of the US appeal against the dismissal of its application to extradite Julian Assange, the NUJ and the International Federation of Journalists have reiterated their demand that the charges be dropped and Assange released read more

Support for inquiry into Martin O’Hagan’s death (26 Oct) – Delegates at the Irish Congress of Trade Unions biennial delegate conference, Belfast, have unanimously supported the NUJ’s campaign for an independent external investigation into the murder of Martin O’Hagan read more

 

Prospect

DfE plans on school improvement funding for local authorities could impact members and schools, says Prospect (1 Nov) – Prospect has raised its concerns following the Department for Education’s announcement that it is holding a consultation on proposals to reform how local authorities’ school improvement functions are funded read more

Prospect responds to the budget (27 Oct) – The government delivered its budget along with the long-awaited spending review which sets departmental budgets for the coming years read more

Continuously changing an already inconsistent message on masks will only increase risk (27 Oct) – Parliamentary authorities yesterday issued new guidance mandating all staff to wear masks in parliament – MPs remain exempt read more

Lifting the public sector pay cap does not mean workers will definitely get a pay rise (26 Oct) – The government has announced that in the forthcoming Budget it is going to end the public sector pay freeze read more

 

Equity

Supporting SOLT and UK Theatre’s 10 principles for safe spaces (1 Nov) – Today SOLT and UK Theatre have released an updated version of their 10 Principles for creating safe and inclusive working spaces in the theatre industry, to prevent and challenge bullying, harassment and discrimination. We at Equity along with 20 other leading industry trade bodies, membership organisations, unions and members of AAPTLE, support these Principles read more

Universal Credit campaigning update (28 Oct) – Universal Credit (UC) has been at the very centre of Equity’s lobbying strategy and recent political debate. Huge swathes of the creative workforce accessed our social security system for the first time during the pandemic and still rely on UC to stay in the industry. Crucially, the £20 UC uplift introduced last year was a vital safety net, which helped many Equity members avoid destitution. That is why we launched a campaign to oppose the government’s divisive plan to withdraw the £20 uplift. At a time when our industry is still recovering, the Conservative Party was taking money away from those at risk of falling below the poverty line. This decision also directly undermined the Culture Secretary’s commitment to level up opportunities in the arts and break the creative class divide read more

How will the Budget affect the Arts Industry? (27 Oct) – Today (27 October) in Parliament the Chancellor set out the UK government’s spending priorities over the next three years, as well as the funding settlements for the devolved nations. Ahead of this budget, Equity called on the UK government to protect the creative workforce and put our industry at the very heart of its Covid-19 recovery strategy. Unfortunately, the Chancellor’s budget falls short of our demands and risks exacerbating the creative sector’s ongoing problem of elitism read more

Sign the petition to save Stratford Circus! https://www.change.org/p/save-stratford-circus

 

USDAW

Usdaw seeks assurances for members following confirmation of the sale of AAH Pharmaceuticals and Lloyds Pharmacy businesses (1 Nov) – Usdaw, the trade union for workers at the McKesson-owned AAH Pharmaceuticals, has called for urgent discussions with the business and new owners Aurelius, the pan-European asset management group, after today’s confirmation that they have agreed to buy the following McKesson owned UK businesses: Lloyds Pharmacy brands, AAH Pharmaceuticals, MASTA and John Bell & Croyden read more

Autumn Budget fails to address the retail crisis and the rising cost of living (27 Oct) – Shopworkers’ trade union Usdaw expressed disappointment that today’s Budget fails to provide help for the struggling retail sector and avert the looming cost of living crisis read more

Usdaw deeply disappointed as the Scottish Government fails to listen to retail workers on store closures for New Year’s Day (26 Oct) – Shopworkers’ trade union leader Paddy Lillis is deeply disappointed that the Scottish Minister has refused to close large stores on New Year’s Day, something that would give thousands of retail workers a much-deserved day off read more

Central England Co-operative to close all stores on Boxing Day – Usdaw urges more retailers to follow suit (26 Oct) – Retail trade union Usdaw has welcomed Central England Co-operative decision to close stores on Boxing Day and thank staff for their hard work during the pandemic. The retailer is the latest chain to announce festive closures and joins: Sainsbury’s, Argos, Habitat, Aldi, Morrisons, Waitrose, Home Bargains, Pets at Home and Marks & Spencer read more

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 – 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

MPs write to Clarks Shoes – Today (22 Oct), Members of Parliament have written to Clarks Shoes CEO Victor Herrero calling on him to end their use of fire-and-rehire at their distribution centre in Street, Somerset read more

 

UVW

Striking SAGE workers: “the bosses are the second virus” – “The workers at Sage have given their absolute all, under impossible conditions, to take care of elders in my community. It’s extremely important that these workers are treated with dignity.” With flags billowing, banners waving and music blaring, UVW members at the Sage Nursing Home in North London were joined by dozens of supporters on a vibrant and noisy picket line on Thursday. The staff are on strike over the poverty wages at a care home which is short-staffed and mismanaged. Addressing the picket line Bile, a senior care worker at Sage and UVW executive committee member said: “They say there’s a pandemic, they say there’s Covid-19, but there’s a different Covid, the bosses are the second virus” read more

UVW members declare victory as GOSH commit to full equality – “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

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 kicked off 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

Cycling instructors stage protest cycle-ride after 50% TfL cuts leave thousands of school children without safe cycle training (27 Oct) – This Friday, cycling instructors staged a protest cycle-ride from Trafalgar Square to City Hall after TfL suddenly slashed cycling instruction funding for the third quarter of the year. Cycling instructors — who balloted to strike in July this year over a 12-year pay freeze (a 30% real-terms pay cut), unfair cancellation policies, and who are now faced with sudden job losses — are demanding the cuts be immediately reversed read more. Watch Reel News video: Cycling instructors descend on City Hall to demand action on tumbling pay and conditions

 

SIPTU (Ireland)

SIPTU campaigns to end multi-national companies using Ireland to circumvent workers’ rights (30 Oct) – SIPTU representatives have called on the Government to act to end the use of Ireland by multi-national companies seeking to circumvent the European Works Council (EWC) directive and so undermining workers in other EU states conditions of employment. At a press conference in Liberty Hall in Dublin, yesterday (Friday, 29th October), union officials and European employee representatives from the US multi-national company Verizon Communications Inc outlined their concerns about corporations moving their headquarters to Ireland to circumvent the EU directive on the operation of EWCs read more

 

 

Other News

Sign petition: Save Fernbank & Hillside Children’s Centres from closure! – Crowdfunding to stop the closure of two Children’s Centres by Hackney Council

 

‘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

Blacklist Support Group update – Sad news, awards and a new rank & file film:-

  1. A minutes silence – Two good friends, comrades and active members of the Blacklist Support Group have passed away this week.

Andrew Wilkes R.I.P.

Blacklist Support Group are sad to hear the news of the death of elecrician, Andy Wilkes. A proud Welsh rank & file union activist in the construction industry who fought for workers rights for decades. He stood on picket lines, attended meetings and drank in the pub with many of us. In June this year, Andy played a leading role in unofficial action that closed down the UK Atomic Weapons Agency. You’ll be sorely missed, brother.

 

Davey Ayre R.I.P.

BSG are sad to hear that Davey Ayre has died. Blacklisted bricklayer from County Durham, co-author of ‘The Flying Pickets’, an important book on the 1972 building workers strike and the Shrewsbury Pickets, long term secretary of Crook UCATT Branch. A genuine gentleman, with a sharp political mind & an anger at injustice till the end. Dave will be sorely missed. His funeral is provisionally taking place on 15th November at 1pm at St Thomas’ Church, Stanley Crook followed by Cremation at Durham with a wake at the Foresters.

Blacklisted workers send condolences to both Andy’s & Davey’s family, friends & comrades.

  1. “Working Class Hero’ Awards presented to Shrewsbury Pickets

Attached is a short video of the awards presented to Ricky Tomlinson and Arthur Murray by the Blacklist Support Group and Construction Rank & File during our fringe event in Liverpool last week.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=mSLM1gQJV1c&feature=youtu.be

  1. “Can’t beat the Rank & File” – new film

Some people talk about ‘rank & file union militancy’ as if it’s something from the distant past, never seen since the 1970s or 80s. In construction, it never went away. Rank & file networks of building workers (not the official unions) have been responsible for every major industry dispute in the sector for the past 50 years. This film by Reel News is a call to arms and an intervention into the debates currently taking place within UNITE and the rest of the trade union movement. Essential viewing for anyone interested in union organising in 2021. Ricky Tomlinson, Davey Ayre and Andy Wilkes all appear in the film.

Please share widely: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8vPcBPLc5c

  1. Public Health Post:

Given the increase in the number of COVID infections recently, Blacklist Support Group encourage all of our supporters to stay safe. Vaccinations work, but they do not prevent transmission, whether on a building site or in a union meeting. There have been a small number of positive COVID tests following the UNITE Policy conference in Liverpool last week. It is impossible to say exactly where the infections took place. So if any anyone attended the conference, any fringe meetings, or any social events, we encourage you to take a test if you develop any symptoms. It would be advisable to inform NHS Test & Trace if you get a positive test result.

Stay safe everyone.

Blacklisting Investigation – 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

CAMPAIGN FOR THE FREEDOM OF POLITICAL PRISONERS IN CHILE – On 27th of October 2021 a hunger strike began of the mothers of political prisoners who were imprisoned as a result of the popular revolt which began on 18th of October 2019. Millions took to the streets to say enough of Pinochets constitution and enough of governments which support the abuses carried out by the employers. Two years have passed in which a constant struggle by the families of the prisoners against their imprisonment who fought against the abuses of a system which enriches a few and maintains the majority of the population in precarious conditions.

As the mothers of the prisoners of the revolt say; “We as mothers are here for the liberty of all the prisoners of the revolt, the pain we suffer is on understood by those who live as we do.” The extreme measures of a hunger strike taken by the mothers of the prisoners is done to bring to the attention of society what is happening and to bring the issue before the authorities, above all the parliament and government, to demand the approval of the law which will pardon all of those imprisoned for participating in the revolt in 2019.

The Senate was supposed to vote on this proposal on the 2nd of November but is has been postponed without a date being put forward to put the issue on the table. This shows yet again the total disconnect of the institutions from the people and the total insensitivity they have towards us as we demand justice and liberty for all those arrested and imprisoned for participating in this struggle. The postponing of this debate in the parliament shows we must apply more pressure and protests and national and international solidarity with the mothers of the prisoners who are on hunger strike.

Today it is vital that we have class solidarity and that the world knows that in Chile we are imprisoned in poverty, that you are imprisoned if you struggle whilst at the same time the agents of the oppressor state who are responsible for toture, killings and mutilations remain free. Only with class unity and mass mobilisations can we free ourselves and stop those who want to terrorize us. Only with class unity and mass mobilization can we free the political prisoners.

We can only have confidence in ourselves and in the strength of international solidarity to win the changes we are demanding in the country. Socialismo Revolucionario appeals for letter of protest to be sent to Senators demanding the approval of a law pardoning all those arrested in conjunction with the protests. We also appeal for letters and videos of solidarity to be sent to the mothers of the youth and children imprisoned who are currently on hunger strike.

# Long live those that struggle!

#A law to pardon all those imprisoned for this struggle and immediate freedom for the political prisioners!

Gastón Ramírez Socialism Revolucionario.

Send E Mails to Chilean Senators:

[email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected];

Copies and Solidarity messages to be sent to: [email protected]; [email protected]

 

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

 

 

Diary

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

FACEBOOK NSSN GROUP   or STOP The CUTS  Likes page

ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE