NSSN 565: Support the Christmas strikes

December 13, 2021 in Uncategorized

In our final weekly bulletin of 2021, we wish all our supporters and affiliates season’s greetings. The last year has seen waves of strikes as workers fight back against the offensive of the bosses and their Tory government. Over the last few months there has been a growing number of disputes over pay and many winning impressive victories.

The NSSN will continue to stand in solidarity with workers and their unions, including those taking action in the next few weeks. The details of these strikes are in the bulletin and we’ll keep updating it over the festive period. Stay safe. Solidarity!

RMT Night Tube picket Nov 26 with RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch

RMT Night Tube picket Nov 26 with RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch

Public online meeting: Solidarity with the Tesco strike (hosted by USDAW Broad Left) – Tuesday 14 December 6pm. Zoom ID 841 3751 5438

 

Stop victimisation of union reps

Sign petition: Support Tracey Scholes – the 1st female Bus Driver at Queens Road

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’smodel motion

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 – 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

Victimised Tesco warehouse rep Max McGee fighting for reinstatement read more. There is now a GoFundMe to support the campaign (https://www.gofundme.com/f/reinstate-max-usdaw-rep-socialist) and Max can be invited to speak at Usdaw branches and trades councils ([email protected])

 

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]

 

Union News

RMT

New Years Eve rail strike action solidly supported (31 Dec) – RAIL UNION RMT said that strike action by members on CrossCountry Trains and by staff at Edinburgh Waverley Station is being solidly supported this morning. Train managers and senior conductors on Cross Country are out in a fight to stop the company from watering down and undermining the role of the‎se safety critical grades and the Gate Gourmet staff in Edinburgh are striking again in a long running dispute over bullying and harassment in the workplace read more

RMT Edinburgh Gate Gourmet staff united and determined today as they take strike action in fight for workplace justice (24 Dec) – RAIL UNION RMT said that Gate Gourmet staff at Edinburgh Waverley are united and determined today in a new phase of strike action in their on-going fight for respect and justice in the workplace as the company continues to fail to address the abuse and bullying of their staff. Gate Gourmet members at Edinburgh Waverly Members have been instructed not to book on for shifts as follows;

  • 0001 Hours and 2359 Hours on Friday 24th December 2021
  • 0600 Hours on Friday 31st December 2021 and 0559 Hours on Monday 3rd January 2022

This latest phase of action follows on from previous rock-solid strikes and has been called because instead of recognising the strength of the genuine grievances the company have chosen to do nothing to address the now long-term dispute read more

RMT says strike action on Cross Country trains solidly supported in all depots‎ today (24 Dec) – RAIL UNION RMT said today that strike action on Cross Country trains is being solidly supported in all depots over an assault on the safety critical role of senior conductors and train managers after the company snubbed a possible settlement in last ditch talks this week. RMT train managers and senior conductors voted overwhelmingly for action as the company has sought to draft in other staff to carry out their roles read more

RMT confirms further strike action on Night Tube from New Year through to the summer (23 Dec) – TUBE UNION RMT today confirmed strike action every weekend on the Night Tube from the start of the New Year through to June in an on-going fight to prevent the ripping up of staffing arrangements that would wreck the work life balance of drivers. RMT members on the Central and Victoria Lines will be taking strike action as follows:From Friday 7/1/22 until further notice, not booking on for any duties commencing from 20:30 on any Friday until 08:00 the next day and not booking on for any duties commencing from 20:30 on any Saturday until 08:00 the next day. The union has made it clear that the mandate extends to other lines and will consider broadening the action if LU fail to respond read more

RMT DHL strike on the Avanti West Coast contract rock solid for a second day in fight for pay justice (23 Dec) – RAIL UNION RMT said that members employed by DHL to provide vital catering services for the Avanti West Coast are solidly supporting the second day of the current strike in their fight for pay justice. This core group of staff are standing firm in their battle as analysis by RMT reveals that the companies’ parent Groups paid out nearly £2 billion in the last year to shareholders – fuelling anger at the hypocrisy from the board room as the low paid employees who generate ‎those profits get shafted read more

Labour politicians call for public ownership of London Transport cleaning services (20 Dec) – As Omicron crisis grips the capital London Labour politicians call for public ownership of London Transport cleaning services. Senior London Labour politicians have today made the case for the full public ownership and control of London Transport cleaning services on grounds of safety and efficiency read more

Night Tube action goes ahead again this weekend (17 Dec) – RMT says action goes ahead again this weekend on the Night Tube as reps slam LU for outrageous attempt to use pandemic to bully staff. TUBE UNION RMT has confirmed that strike action goes ahead again by tube drivers this weekend over the ripping up of existing agreements and working arrangements which the union says will wreck work life balance by bulldozing through additional night and weekend working. In a mass meeting of reps last night ‎LU bosses were roundly condemned for an outrageous last ditch attempt to use the pandemic to try and bully staff into accepting their plans read more

LNER ticket office cuts demo at Kings Cross (17 Dec) – RMT to take its fight against LNER ticket office cuts to London King’s Cross with demo on Tuesday 21st Dec, 8am. Rail Union RMT is continuing its campaign against proposed cuts to LNER ticket office hours next week, with a demonstration outside London King’s Cross station on Tuesday 21stDecember, from 0800 – 0930am. This demo follows successful action at affected stations across the North East. London King’s Cross is one of 13 stations where rail operator LNER is proposing to slash ticket office opening hours read more

Guards fight for their grades on CrossCountry rail – Guards are putting up a robust defence of their grades as CrossCountry management attempts to train up managers to cover guards’ duties. RMT has called out senior conductor and train manager members on 24 and 31 December, and refuse to carry out coaching and shadowing duties in defence of the role of the guard. Members delivered a massive 82% yes vote for action which clearly demonstrates strength of feeling on the issue

Stop Grinch Shapps stealing South Western Railway services‎ – protest Wednesday 15 December 1pm at Old Palace Yard Parliament – TRANSPORT UNION RMT will be protesting outside Parliament on Wednesday against “swingeing cuts” to South Western Railway (SWR) services. The protest marks twelve months until the new timetable will be implemented in December 2022 in which SWR and Network Rail are proposing to make wholesale cuts to services across the SWR Network using the Covid-19 pandemic as a cover to reduce services and launch an attack on jobs and conditions read more

MPs and Metro Mayor to join RMT Staff our Stations action across the North East next week (10 Dec) – MPs and Metro Mayor to join RMT Staff our Stations action across the North East next week in response to threats to station staff and ticket offices in the region. RAIL UNION RMT is continuing its Staff our Stations campaign across the North East this week. Following a successful demonstration at Berwick-upon-Tweed station, further demonstrations are taking place at Newcastle Central and Durham stations on the 13th December and Darlington and York stations on the 15th December read more

Strike Action on Night Tube Solid (10 Dec) – Strike action solidly supported again this evening in Night Tube fight for workplace justice. TUBE UNION RMT said that strike action in a fight for workplace justice and to stop the ripping up of Night Tube agreements and working arrangements that would wreck the work life balance of drivers is being solidly supported by members rock again tonight read more

All train operator and instructor operators working on the Central and Victoria lines are instructed not to book on for any duty commencing:

  • between 20:30 on 17/12/21 and 04:29 on 18/12/21

All train operator and instructor operators working on night-tube lines (Central, Jubilee, Northern, Piccadilly & Victoria) are also instructed not to book on for any duty commencing from 04:30 on 18/12/21 to 04:29 19/12/21 read more

To make donations to the hardship fund – account details: account name – Terence O’Neill; sort code: 60-83-71 account number: 89481380 or send cheques to RMT, Unity House, 39 Chalton St, London NW1 1JD

Govia must be stripped of all franchises (9 Dec) – Govia must be stripped of all franchises and wider review launched says RMT as ‘fatally compromised’ review into Southeastern Rail Franchise finds ‘serious errors over several years’. RMT, Britain’s specialist transport union, today demanded that Govia be stripped of its remaining rail franchise and called on the Department for Transport to launch a wider review of possible fraud in the privatised rail network read more

RMT raises North Sea safety concerns (9 Dec) – RMT raises safety concerns as Minister admits that one in four inspections found poor safety maintenance standards in the North Sea. OFFSHORE UNION RMT today raised concerns over the Government’s failure to prevent a deterioration in safety critical and environmental maintenance standards in the offshore oil and gas industry read more

RMT calls for halt to London Underground cuts (8 Dec) – TfL data shows rising crime and passenger fear on public transport. TUBE UNION RMT has called on Transport for London to step in and stop the job cuts on London Underground as new data from Transport for London has shown a rising rate of crime and anti-social behaviour and increasing passenger fear on the capital’s transport system read more

RMT pays tribute to transport workers during Storm Barra (8 Dec) – RMT pays tribute to transport workers battling to keep services moving during Storm Barra and calls on Government and employers to halt plans for mass cuts. TRANSPORT UNION RMT payed tribute this morning to workers battling in appalling conditions to keep Britain moving during Storm Barra overnight and has called on the Government and employers to halt plans for mass cuts‎ that threaten the livelihoods of those same staff and the safety-critical services they provide read more

RMT to ballot all London Transport members (7 Dec) – London Transport Union RMT to ballot all members for strike action from Monday as TfL announces first phase of mass job cuts. LONDON TRANSPORT UNION RMT confirmed today that it will begin a ballot of over10,000 members across all grades after TFL refused to give assurances on jobs, pensions and working conditions in the midst of an on-going financial crisis driven by central Government. TFL have upped the ante today by announcing plans to axe 600 staff posts in what the union says is the opening shot in a programme of jobs carnage that will target safety critical station grades. The union says that it will be campaigning for a massive yes vote in the ballot and has made it clear that it will take whatever action is necessary to prevent staff paying the price for a financial crisis that is not of their making. The ballot will close on the 10th January read more

Staff our Stations action across the North East – RMT launches Staff our Stations action across the North East from Monday in response to threats to station staff and ticket offices in the region. Rail Union RMT is stepping up its Staff our Stations campaign across the North East, with a number of demonstrations at key stations commencing on Monday 6th December at Berwick-upon-Tweed station, followed by Newcastle Central and Durham on the 13th December and Darlington and York on the 15th December read more

Rail Gourmet staff announce new strike action – RMT Edinburgh Rail Gourmet staff announce new strike action in fight for workplace justice. RAIL UNION RMT has confirmed that Rail Gourmet staff at Edinburgh Waverley will be going ahead with a new phase of strike action next month, starting on New Year’s Eve, in an on-going fight for respect and justice in the workplace as the company continues to fail to address the abuse and bullying of their staff. Members have been instructed not to book on for shifts as follows;

  • 06.00 hours on Friday 31st December 2021 until 05.59 hours on Monday 3rd January 2022

This latest phase of action follows on from previous rock-solid strikes and has been called because instead of recognising the strength of the genuine grievances the company have chosen to do nothing to address the now long-term dispute read more

Justice for North Sea contract workers – RMT serves notice for strike action in fight for justice for North Sea contract workers. OFFSHORE UNION RMT along with our Trade Union colleagues Unite and GMB have today issued notice of strike action with offshore members employed with North Sea contractors Ponticelli and Semco. RMT members at Semco Maritime and Ponticelli UK Ltd are instructed not to book on for work on the following dates between:

  • 0600 hours Monday 13th December and 0559 Tuesday 14th December
  • 0600 hours Wednesday 15th December and 0559 Thursday 16th December
  • 0600 hours Friday 17th December and 0559 Saturday 18th December
  • 0600 hours Monday 20th December and 0559 Tuesday 21st December

Additionally, action short of strike in the form of an overtime ban and no higher grade duties will be in place read more

 

ASLEF

Blue plaque for first black train driver (10 Dec) – A blue plaque dedicated to Wilston Samuel Jackson, Britain’s first black train driver. On the 25th October 2021 a blue plaque was unveiled at London King’s Cross station to honour Wilston Samuel Jackson, Britain’s first black train driver read more

London’s transport needs secure funding (9 Dec) – A London Underground train is moving into a platform and is blurred. There are some people (also blurred) standing on the platform. Mick Whelan, General Secretary, has co-signed a letter to the UK Government calling for a long-term funding settlement for Transport for London (TfL). London’s transport system has been hit by a big decline in passenger numbers. During the pandemic, the number of journeys dropped by 95%, and ridership has still not recovered to pre-pandemic levels read more

 

TSSA

‘Make TfL talks extension bring Christmas cheer’ – says TSSA (10 Dec) – London Underground tube train at a platform with a red footbridge above. Responding to reports that the deadline for talks to agree a new funding settlement for Transport for London (TfL) has been extended to 17 December, transport union TSSA calls on negotiators to “bring Christmas cheer”. TfL’s current funding settlement runs out tomorrow – 11 December – and a new settlement had been expected. TfL has had a succession of short-term funding arrangements since covid decimated passenger numbers on the back of the government pulling central funding – the only country in the world to not fund its major city’s transport network read more

TSSA says ‘hands off TfL pensions’ (10 Dec) – Responding to the interim report into the Transport for London pensions review published today, TSSA – which is the biggest union in TfL – welcomes recognition that the existing scheme is a viable ongoing option and repeats opposition to any pension cuts. The Pensions Review is headed by Sir Brendan Barber and he has authored the interim report which includes a shortlist of options for the next period of the review. TSSA has made it clear that cuts to pension provision or hikes to staff contributions are unacceptable, as backed up by 96% of staff surveyed on the issue who said the long-term future of the TfL Pension Fund in its current form is either ‘extremely important’ or ‘very important’ to them read more

Avanti Dispute Update (10 Dec) – TSSA Stations Council representatives have continued to engage in talks with Avanti management this week and have managed to resolve many of the issues which were part of the current dispute. However, some issues which affected the Catering and Train Managers’ Councils are still outstanding; once there is greater clarity on these, we expect management to submit a written form of words outlining their commitments to the joint unions and their members. When this submission is considered acceptable, we shall issue further updates on this dispute and any plans for future action read more

TSSA welcomes London transport e-scooter ban (9 Dec) – Transport and travel union – TSSA – has welcomed Transport for London’s (TfL) decision to enforce a ban on the use of electric scooters (e-scooters) across the network. The regulations, which will come into force as of Monday (13 December), follow calls by TSSA, the biggest union in TfL, for the implementation of the ban as a result of an incident at Parsons Green station (Monday 1 November). This saw an e-scooter lithium battery catch fire on an underground train and continue to blaze on the platform. An earlier incident occurred on 26 October at Stanmore where London Fire Brigade attended a station fire in staff accommodation, following ignition of an e-scooter lithium battery being held in lost property read more

TSSA Comment on Go-Ahead Failure Admission (9 Dec) – Go-Ahead admit “serious failures and errors” in the way it ran Southeastern railway. TSSA, today, responded to Go-Ahead Group’s admission of “serious failures and errors” in the way it ran Southeastern rail by calling on Transport Secretary Grant Shapps to strip the group of their other rail franchises read more

New TfL deal must end ‘sticking plaster mentality’ (8 Dec) – TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has called on the Government to end its “short-sighted short-termism” amid reports of an emerging deal with Transport for London (TfL) lasting until the end of the financial year. TSSA – the biggest union in TfL – has long been critical of short-term deals from Government, arguing that proper investment rather than deep cuts is needed across the capital to pave the way for a wider Covid recovery read more

TSSA says no to Underground staff cuts (7 Dec) – The biggest union in Transport for London (TfL), TSSA, has reacted angrily at the announcement for up to 600 jobs to be axed from London Underground stations and has vowed to resist any job cuts. TSSA has called the staffing cuts “completely unacceptable” and the pre-Christmas timing “shameful”. The announcement – made to a group of local reps without any prior warning – says that savings have to be made and that 500-600 station roles will be cut read more

TSSA gives rail industry redundancy ultimatum (7 Dec) – Rail union TSSA has today (Tuesday) warned that any move by rail bosses to force compulsory redundancies would be seen as “an act of war” and trigger industrial action ballots across the industry. A no compulsory redundancy agreement has been in place for 2021 – secured by unions in talks with employers and government through the Rail Industry Recovery Group (RIRG) forum. This agreement has enabled a period of cooperation between unions and industry while covid measures and change have been implemented read more

 

Unite

Transport for London bosses ‘declare war’ as seven workers suspended at crisis-hit Woolwich Ferry (21 Dec) – Transport for London (TfL) bosses were today (Tuesday 21 January) accused of ‘declaring war’ on the Woolwich Ferry’s workforce by Unite the union, as seven workers were suspended with no reason given. Unite also said that there needs to be an urgent investigation into so-called ‘technical issues’ that mean the troubled ferry operation will be out of action until the New Year. The union has, therefore, called off planned strike action in the first fortnight of January, due to start on Monday 3 January. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham, who has visited the ferry workers’ picket line, said: “The suspension of our seven members, including two of our reps, needs to be rescinded immediately. We won’t allow TfL management to get away with ‘declaring war’ on Unite and its members. The full weight of the union will be mobilised in support of them. We do not have details of the alleged charges yet, apart from a notification from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA). We are asking for an immediate and full explanation as to why this has happened. It is a huge and unprovoked escalation from TfL. This is more hard evidence that the years of mismanagement, involving other operators, have continued with TfL. Unite is pledged to defend our members’ jobs pay and conditions. Our members at Woolwich Ferry under TfL have had to fight the unjustified victimisation of their union reps, deal with a total failure to produce a new pay award and end the use of agency staff.” Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “We are also demanding an investigation into the on-going technical difficulties with the ferry which means there will be no ferry service until sometime in the New Year. As a result, we will be suspending at least the first two weeks of our industrial action in January. The strikes, once they commence, are due to run until the end of March…” read more

10 days of January strikes at Cambus over pay set to cause travel chaos in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Unite warns (21 Dec) – About 400 workers at Cambus, who have not had a pay rise since April 2019, have voted to hold 10 days of strike action next month, starting on Tuesday 4 January, Unite the union said today (Tuesday 21 December). Unite said its members –  drivers, engineers, cleaners and shunters –  based at Cambridge, Fenstanton and Peterborough had voted by 96 per cent to hold the strike days which will run from 4 January through to Thursday 20 January. The workers employed by Cambus Ltd, part of the highly profitable Stagecoach bus ‘empire’, have rejected a 1.5 per cent pay offer from April 2021 with a further 1.5 per cent this month for the pay year 2021/22 – at a time when the RPI rate of inflation has soared to 7.1 per cent read more

Luton airport poverty pay strikes extended into New Year (21 Dec) – Poverty pay strikes by Luton airport passenger assistance workers have been extended into the New Year, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Tuesday 21 December). A new round of strike action by workers employed by contractor Wilson James will begin on 31 December and end on 4 January. Front of house workers are paid only the minimum wage of £8.91 an hour, while the drivers who transport passengers to and from planes and are required to possess a class 2 HGV licence receive just £10 an hour. Luton airport passengers are already facing disruption to their Christmas travel plans, after the workers began their first-round of industrial action on 19 December, with the strikes ending on 23 December read more

Families of striking Scunthorpe scaffolders deliver Christmas gift to Actavo HQ – When: 11.00am Wednesday 22 December 2021; Where: Actavo HQ, Cedar Court Office Park, Wakefield, WF4 3FU, Families and friends will join striking scaffolders at Actavo’s Headquarters in Wakefield this Wednesday (22 December) to mark the 12th week of industrial action at the British Steel site in Scunthorpe. They will deliver a Christmas wrapped petition signed by 14,000 supporters calling on Actavo to “pay the rate”. The workers are losing between 10-15% in pay because of Actavo’s refusal to pay scaffolders in line with the National Agreement for the Engineering Construction Industry (NAECI). Unite has also called on the client, British Steel, to take responsibility for this long running dispute read more

Strike that could have hit deliveries to 1,500 convenience stores in London and south east suspended for pay review in January (20 Dec) – The two-day strike, including Christmas Eve, by drivers employed by the Tesco-owned Booker Retail Partners at its Thamesmead site, which could have hit deliveries to 1,500 convenience stores in London and the south east, has been suspended. Unite the union said today (Monday 20 December) that the strikes by the 45-strong workforce, due on Thursday (23 December) and Christmas Eve, were suspended until 31 January so that a review into pay, previously reneged on by the management, could now go-ahead read more

Unite calls for Government intervention to save Premier Periclase (19 Dec) – Unite, which represents members working at Louth magnesia plant Premier Periclase, has said the Government must intervene urgently to protect jobs at the plant following the appointment of an interim examiner. Pointing out that the company’s financial difficulties are largely due to the doubling of energy costs over the past year, Unite’s Willie Quigley said that the situation should spur the government to impose an energy price cap to protect households, business and jobs read more

Government making Londoners pay for pandemic as TfL faces death by a thousand cuts (17 Dec) – Unions representing London transport workers have described the government’s latest short-term funding package for Transport for London (TfL) as effectively forcing the capital’s population to pay for the pandemic. TfL’s income collapsed at the beginning of the pandemic and has not yet recovered, as a result the organisation has had to rely on short-term funding packages from the Department for Transport (DfT) to continue to operate. Once again the money that TfL has been offered is far below what is needed to keep London’s transport network operating. This latest funding package amounts to death by a thousand cuts. As a result there are increasing fears that TfL will be forced to close an entire tube line, cut one in five London buses, make hundreds of workers redundant and slash the value of staff pensions. The transport unions have warned that if there are cuts to jobs or attempts to reduce the value of TfL workers’ pensions then this is set to result in industrial action read more

Payroll chaos at GXO threatens industrial action ballot in New Year that could hit Heineken deliveries, says Unite (17 Dec) – A New Year industrial action ballot is threatened at logistics giant GXO over a ‘complete mess’ in the new payroll system that has resulted in about 1,700 workers not being paid what they are fully owed on time each month. Should Unite members vote for strike action, it could threaten deliveries of Heineken beer and lager products to more than 20,000 pubs, restaurants and clubs across the UK. Members affected by the payroll problems are employed on the GXO primary and secondary logistics contracts. A consultative ballot by Unite the union over whether its members at GXO, formerly known as XPO, wanted to proceed to a full-scale industrial action ballot, with the option to strike, returned a 99 per cent majority in favour. Unite said that for the last nine months workers had experienced consistent shortfalls in their wages and overtime payments, which had caused unnecessary stress for members trying to pay their household bills in a timely manner read more

Unite demands hospitality support package be brought forward today (16 Dec) – Unite is calling for a hospitality support package to be brought forward urgently amid a skyrocketing increase in Omicron cases, which has abruptly precipitated mass cancellations in bookings. Businesses in the sector typically make 50 per cent of their entire income in December alone. One hospitality industry body reported they expect December takings to be down by an astonishing 40 per cent – and likely double this figure in London. Although prime minister Boris Johnson has not as yet announced any additional restrictions on business such as pubs, clubs, restaurants and other hospitality venues, the huge damage to consumer confidence as Omicron cases spread exponentially has in reality left the sector no better off than under a strict lockdown read more

Unions slam college employers over 1% pay offer (16 Dec) – Five unions representing staff in English further education colleges have today (Thursday) condemned the decision by the Association of Colleges (AoC) to submit another 1% pay recommendation for staff, the thirteenth below inflation offer in a row. In a joint pay claim submitted in October this year, the unions (UCU, UNISON, NEU, Unite and GMB) called for an increase in pay that moves to restore the 35% cut in pay staff have suffered since 2009. The claim would also close the £9,000 pay gap between schoolteachers and further education lecturers. In addition, the unions called for the foundation living wage (currently £9.90 or £11.05 in London) to be the minimum for all staff across the sector, and for colleges to become accredited living wage employers. The five unions also demanded a review of the 2009 National Agreement on Regulating Working Hours in Further Education Colleges with a view to establishing a national workload agreement for all staff. The agreement would take into account the impact of changes in working practices since 2009 and during the pandemic. However, employers represented by AoC, recommended just a 1% pay rise for all staff, despite unions campaigning with employers to win additional government funding for the sector and when inflation is at a ten year high. Unions say trust must be restored now it’s become clear that the jointly won funding increase of 2020 is not being passed on to staff read more

Nottingham bus strikes on cards after NCT drivers reject ‘subpar’ pay offer (16 Dec) – Bus drivers at council-owned Nottingham City Transport (NCT) are being consulted over strike action after they rejected a ‘subpar’ pay offer, Unite, the UK’s leading, union said today (Thursday 16 December). Nearly 600 drivers, who are members of Unite, rejected a two year pay deal from NCT because it would still leave wages lower than at other nearby bus companies. NCT offered the workers a pay deal that would see wages gradually rise by £1 an hour after two years. However, the offer did not meet their absolute minimum expectation of an immediate £1 pay rise read more

Economic forecasts at risk of strike disruption (15 Dec) – Economic forecasters at the NIESR (National Institute for Social and Economic Research) are predicting a high probability of strike action at the leading think tank in a dispute over inflation. The Institute is sticking to its decision to give staff 0% in 2021 and just 2% in 2022.  The pay offer fails to keep up with the rising cost of living and represents a pay cut in real terms. The economists are being balloted for industrial action from today (15 December) and the ballot closes on 7 January read more

Unite confirms Coventry bin strike details as council ‘intransigence’ blocks negotiations (15 Dec) – Unite, the UK’s leading union, has confirmed the details of its industrial action, which will disrupt Coventry council’s refuse collection service from next week, in a dispute over pay and Christmas working. The first strike is set to begin on Tuesday 21 December ending on Friday 24 December. Unite has formally informed the council that during the strike the workers will be working for an hour, striking for an hour and then working for an hour, throughout their shift. During the periods when the workers are striking, the drivers will return their refuse collection lorry to the council depot. Coventry council has unhelpfully and wrongly claimed that it has rejected this form of strike action. This is incorrect, as an employer cannot decide what form of industrial action workers take during a legal dispute read more

Unite secures inflation busting pay increase for DHL workers ending strike action (15 Dec) – Unite the union has today (15 December) announced an ‘inflation busting’ wage deal for workers at DHL Bellshill ending strike action. Strike action planned to commence today (15 December) has been called off as members secure a significant pay rise for warehouse, shunters and drivers on the site, many of which will receive a pay increase of between 10 and 19 per cent. Talks, involving ACAS, have been protracted since April but the members stood firm with the aim to improve drivers pay for the site. An initial offer of 9% over two years was rejected because it does not address the ‘poverty pay’ experienced by the majority of the workers who earn £12.50 an hour on average. The trade union has repeatedly highlighted its concerns over the increase in the working hours of logistics and HGV drivers across the UK, driver shortages, and the need for better wages and conditions across the industry read more

Chep workers in Manchester to extend strikes as pallet shortage deepens (15 Dec) – Workers employed by pallet makers Chep UK Limited, are set to embark on all out continuous strike action from this Friday (17 December) in a dispute over pay. The workers, who belong to Unite, the UK’s leading union, have already taken four days of strike action since the strike began earlier this month. They are stepping up their action as there has been no engagement or negotiations with the company since the dispute began read more

New Year Sheerness dock strikes will impact supply of 2022 plate Volkswagen Group cars (15 Dec) – Strikes by Sheerness dock workers employed by GB Terminals will impact the supply of new plate Volkswagen Group vehicles next year, including Audi, Porsche and Skoda models, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Wednesday 15 December). Unite members, who process vehicles for dispatch that arrive in Sheerness by car transporter ferries, voted for strike action over plans by GB Terminals that will see more than 50 workers impacted by job cuts and changes to minimum overtime hours. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “GB Terminals is trying to maximise profits by targeting its hardworking staff. GB Terminals should understand that we will defend our striking Sheerness members’ jobs, pay and conditions to the hilt.” The workers will hold four 24 hour strikes in January, 21 days of strike action in February and 20 days of strike action in March read more

East Lancashire NHS Trust intransigence forces new period of strike action by biomedical scientists (15 Dec) – East Lancashire NHS Trust intransigence forces new period of strike action by biomedical scientists. Bosses at East Lancashire NHS Trust must shoulder the blame for a new 12 week strike which starts today (15 December). Blackburn and Burnley biomedical scientists will re-start strike action today (Wednesday 15 December) in a dispute over unpaid wages. Union negotiators met with the Trust on Tuesday (7 December) last week in an attempt to identify a solution to the dispute. It was an opportunity to avoid further strike action and to re-establish union / Trust relations. On the eve of the strike, the Trust had still failed to take up the opportunity to end the dispute read more

Fresh South Yorkshire bus strikes in January after Stagecoach refuses to move on pay (15 Dec) – Fresh bus strikes will hit South Yorkshire in January after Stagecoach refused to offer a ‘reasonable’ pay deal to staff, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Wednesday 15 December). More than 560 bus workers are involved in the dispute affecting Barnsley, Rotherham and Sheffield, which has intensified this week after 95 per cent rejected a revised pay offer that did not meet their expectations. Indefinite all-out strike action will begin on 1 January in Barnsley and Rotherham and 2 January in Sheffield. The workers, who earn £10.52 an hour in Sheffield and £10.80 an hour in Barnsley and Rotherham, want their pay to increase to a minimum of £11.40 an hour read more

Unite warns “callous” Go North West over treatment of 5 ft Tracey Scholes (15 Dec) – Unite has warned Go North West in Greater Manchester that it must reinstate bus driver Tracey Scholes on full pay and hours. Britain’s leading union has pledged to launch a major campaign to support the Unite member who has given Go North West 34 years of loyal service. The bus operator changed the specifications on some of their buses, essentially designing Tracey out of her job. The operator repositioned its wing mirrors resulting in five foot tall Tracey being physically unable to operate some buses. Last month, Go North West ruled that Tracey no longer had the capability to drive some buses. Following an appeal, Tracey Scholes 57 faces dismissal from her job unless she accepts losing 5 hours in pay a week. It means she’ll lose £230 a month driving school buses where the wing mirrors have not been repositioned. Tracey, a widow and a mother of three, needs the work and the money. Tracey will lodge a final appeal this week, however her union Unite is warning Go North West that it will defend Tracey’s right to keep her job. Management only needs to find Tracey one hour of work a day. Go North West is already facing widespread condemnation for its handling of the situation. Unite is pledging to ramp up its campaign to protect Tracey’s hours read more   Sign petition: Support Tracey Scholes – the 1st female Bus Driver at Queens Road

As CPI reaches 5.1 per cent, Unite leader says wage rises must at least match RPI inflation (15 Dec) – Sharon Graham says below inflation rises are a wage cut with workers paying the price of the pandemic. Unite’s general secretary Sharon Graham says the union will continue to base claims on the RPI figure rather than CPI because it better reflects the actual price rise experienced by Unite members. Speaking on today’s rising inflation figures, Sharon Graham said: “Today’s figures mean our members must fight for wage rises above the current rate of inflation, as measured by the RPI. Otherwise, they will be facing a calamitous drop in their standard of living. Current estimates suggest that costs for the typical UK family will jump by £1,700 in 2022.  Workers did not create this cost-of-living crisis so why should they pay for it?” read more

Strike against poverty pay at Luton airport means Christmas travel disruption ahead (14 Dec) – Luton airport passengers face disruption to their Christmas travel plans as workers employed by contractor Wilson James take industrial action in an effort to earn more than poverty pay. Strike action will begin at 05:00 on Sunday 19 December and end at 04:59 on Thursday 23 December. The Wilson James workers are employed to assist passengers with mobility issues to board and disembark flights. Front of house workers are paid only the minimum wage of £8.91 an hour, while the drivers who transport passengers to and from planes airside and are required to possess a class 2 HGV licence receive just £10 an hour read more

Aston Martin industrial action ballot threat as workers face ‘losing £100,000’ in pension shake-up (14 Dec) – Industrial action is threatened at the prestige Aston Martin carmaker as workers face losing about £100,000 in retirement income if the defined benefit (career average) scheme is closed from February next year. Unite the union said its members affected by the proposal at Gaydon and Wellesbourne (both in Warwickshire); Milton Keynes; Newport Pagnell; and St Athan in South Wales had voted overwhelmingly in a consultative ballot that they wanted to hold a full-scale industrial action ballot in the New Year to protect their retirement incomes. Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd wants to close the defined benefit (DB) scheme on 31 January which the union’s pension experts estimate could cost members about £100,000 over the course of their retirement, depending on their individual circumstances. The company wants to move the DB members to the existing defined contribution (DC) scheme which covers the majority of the workforce and also new employees. However, Unite argues that such DC schemes are at the mercy of sudden fluctuations in global stock markets and produce worse retirement incomes. The consultation period is due to end on Friday (17 December). The union has called for it to be extended, but that request has, so far, been declined by the management read more

UK lorry inspections ‘vanishingly rare’ raising serious safety concerns (13 Dec) – A UK based lorry can, on average, travel the equivalent of three and a half times around the world without expecting to undergo an on-the-spot check. Unite, the UK’s leading union, which represents tens of thousands of lorry drivers, has established this shocking fact after a Freedom of Information request read more

Pay victory for contract workers at Ford Dagenham hailed by Unite (10 Dec) – A significant pay victory for contract workers employed at Ford Dagenham has been notched up by Unite the union. More than 300 workers assembling engines, employed by Lineside Logistics at the Ford plant, have overwhelmingly voted to accept a one year 5.1 per cent pay deal backdated to 1 July 2021 read more

Christmas Eve deliveries to 1,500 convenience stores in London and the south east to be disrupted in bosses’ ‘bad faith’ row (10 Dec) – The dispute involving drivers employed by the Tesco-owned Booker Retail Partners at its Thamesmead site has flared up again with a two-day strike, including Christmas Eve, which will hit deliveries to 1,500 convenience stores in London and the south east. Unite the union accused the bosses of ‘bad faith’ for reneging on an agreement that the drivers’  pay would be reviewed in February 2022, after they voted to accept a 3.3 per cent pay increase in October (which is now in pay packets). The 45-strong workforce will strike from 00:01 on Thursday 23 December 2021 until 24.00 on Christmas Eve (24 December) which will hit deliveries to stores including Budgens, Londis, Premier, One Stop and many petrol stations read more

Huge mandate for strike action against low pay and exploitation at Serco and Barts NHS Trust (10 Dec) – Hundreds of key NHS workers, employed by the giant outsourcing company, Serco, have voted for industrial action across Barts Health NHS Trust in a battle against low pay and exploitation. With a 97% vote in favour of industrial action the workers are now armed with a clear mandate. Unless there is an agreement on pay and conditions, strikes will be set for January 2022. Serco Group PLC had a turnover of £3.9 billion last year but the multinational is offering staff just a 1 per cent pay hike. The mainly Black, Asian and ethnic minority (BAEM) staff, which include cleaners and porters, are paid up to 15 per cent less than directly employed NHS staff. Unite has branded the offer an “insult” to the workers who risked their lives at the height of the pandemic, and continue to put themselves at risk. Serco and Barts now have an opportunity to reach an agreement with Unite and prevent a strike in the New Year read more

Vauxhall strikes suspended after Mitie tables new pay offer (10 Dec) – Workers employed by the outsourcing giant Mitie, working on a contract at the Vauxhall factory in Luton, have suspended strike action following the offer of a new pay deal put forward by the company. Around 30 workers, who are employed in cleaning roles as well as in the jig and tool departments, were due to strike during December in a dispute over pay. After Mitie refused to make a pay increase anywhere approaching the workers’ expectations, a strike ballot was called and the workers, who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, recorded a 96 per cent vote in favour of strike action. The strikes have now been suspended following an increased backdated pay offer being made. Discussions with the company will now take place over other outstanding issues, including shift premiums, job grading and holiday entitlements. If the talks fail, new strikes to take place in 2022 will be scheduled read more

Unite members end dock strikes at Foyle Port after scoring double victory in pay dispute (10 Dec) – Striking success of industrial action by Foyle dockers and port workers shows that when workers’ fight, they win! Unite confirmed that its dual strike actions at Foyle Port, involving employees of Londonderry harbour and port commission and Burke Shipping Service, have ended after workers secured a historic double victory in their pay disputes. Foyle port workers voted to end their strike as they accepted an improved pay offer which conceded their pay claim in full. Burke Shipping dockers also voted to end their strike and accept an improved offer by Fane Valley Co-op – the owners of their employing company – which delivered in full their demands for pay parity read more

Urgent government action needed to properly protect workers following plan B announcement (9 Dec) – Unite, the UK’s leading union, is calling on the government to introduce effective measures to ensure that workers who cannot work from home are protected following yesterday’s (8 December) announcement that it is implementing Plan B, as a result of the rise of the omnicron variant. Although the government has instructed workers who can do so to work from home, that does not apply to the majority of Unite’s members who will still be expected to work normally, in sectors including: automotives, construction, food production, passenger transport, logistics and healthcare. The government has provided little or no information to employers and workers in these sectors to ensure that the danger of at work transmission is minimised read more

DIYers waiting on power tool Christmas gifts face disappointment as B&Q warehouse workers strike on ‘poverty pay’ (9 Dec) – Strikes by Wincanton warehouse workers at B&Q’s Worksop nationwide distribution centre could leave DIYers hoping for power tool presents seriously disappointed. Wincanton’s hard line on ‘poverty pay’ will mean the drills to ‘B&Q it’ won’t arrive by 25 December. 450 Wincanton staff, who make-up the vast majority of the warehouse’s workforce, are striking over pay rates as low as £9.96 an hour. Pay is so low at the warehouse that last year the local Unite branch was forced to set up a hardship fund, providing emergency grants and zero per cent interest loans, to help struggling staff. Many Unite members have had to access food banks because they can’t make ends meet on their poverty pay rates read more

Teesside port workers secure improved pay deal (9 Dec) – Workers employed by PD Ports in Teesside have secured a significantly improved pay deal following long and extensive negotiations. Unite, the UK’s leading union, which represents the workforce, has secured a two year deal worth 7.35 per cent. The company was initially offering a single year deal worth a mere 1.35 per cent read more

NHS delivery drivers call off strikes after securing ‘substantial’ pay deal (9 Dec) – NHS drivers who make nationwide hospital deliveries have called off strikes after securing a ‘substantial’ pay deal, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Thursday 9 December 2021). Around 200 HGV and van drivers, who are employed by Unipart on the outsourced contract and who deliver general NHS equipment and supplies, will benefit from a two year pay deal backdated to April 2021 read more

RNAD Coulport nuclear naval base workers set to strike (9 Dec) – Unite’s pay dispute with the ABL Alliance at the Royal Naval Armaments Depot (RNAD) Coulport is to escalate, with around 70 workers set to take strike action. Unite Scotland members, who provide specialist services for the UK’s nuclear deterrent submarines, will start 24-hour strike action on 16 and 20 December, in addition to an overtime which has been ongoing since 16 November. Further days of strike action are scheduled on 11 January, 25 January, 8 February, and 22 February 2022, if there is no progress in pay negotiations. To date, the ABL Alliance employers have refused to meet the RPI inflation pay claim (3.8% – July) made by Unite read more

Unite says TfL must act on bus pedal confusion to keep London’s roads safe (9 Dec) – Unite, the union representing over 20,000 London bus workers, is calling on Transport for London (TfL), bus operators and the mayor of London to act swiftly to resolve the problem of pedal confusion on London buses. Unite has been raising concerns about the design of pedals since the summer and the problem was again highlighted this week when pedal confusion was cited as a possible factor in the death of a commuter at Victoria bus station in August this year read more

Government must act right away to prevent disruption in schools, say unions (9 Dec) – Support staff, teachers, school leaders and families are uniting today (Thursday) to urge the government to better protect pupils and staff from Covid in schools in the lead up to Christmas. With increased uncertainty due to increasing cases of the Omicron variant and classroom absences rising, four education unions – UNISON, GMB, Unite and NASUWT – are calling on the government to act without delay to minimise disruption by introducing additional safety measures. The unions want ministers to provide schools with air filtration devices for use wherever airflow problems are detected and make face masks mandatory in all areas of secondary schools read more

Fire and Rehire: Building supplies company Marshalls branded Scrooge employer as workers face Christmas dismissal (8 Dec) – The leading building supplies company Marshalls has been labelled the ultimate Scrooge employer, by Unite, the UK’s construction union, for threatening to fire and rehire over 1,500 workers this Christmas. Marshalls has issued the redundancy notices, which relate to changes to shift patterns, without even attempting to enter into negotiations with Unite, the recognised union read more

New Year commuter chaos looms as Woolwich Ferry workers to strike over Transport for London’s ‘year of misrule’ (8 Dec) – Commuters using the Woolwich Ferry face three months of travel disruption in the New Year as workers strike after ‘a year of misrule’ by Transport for London (TfL) bosses, Unite the union has announced. Unite represents the 58 ferry workers who voted for strike action with a 90 per cent majority – and the 24 hour strikes will start on Monday 3 January and be held every Monday, Wednesday and Friday until the end of March. The continuing employment troubles at the ferry are compounded by technical problems with the new ferries which means that a full service is not currently operating. Besides the victimisation of 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 read more

Tesco strikes suspended as Unite members vote on improved pay offer (8 Dec) – The prospect of shoppers being faced with empty shelves this Christmas has receded as members of Unite have been made an improved offer in the dispute over pay. Unite, the UK’s leading union, announced earlier this week that its members employed at Tesco distribution centres in Antrim, Belfast, Didcot and Doncaster would be staging a series of strikes both before and after Christmas. Following that announcement fresh talks with the company were held and an improved offer was made. The workers have been offered a minimum of a 5.5 per cent increase backdated to July 2021 (the anniversary date for annual pay increases) and an additional 0.5 per cent from February 2022… Unite will now ballot its members on the deal and is recommending its acceptance. If the deal is rejected by the members then fresh strike action will be announced but that is unlikely to be before January 2022 read more

Tesco stores across Scotland set for Christmas shortages after Unite members vote for strike action (6 Dec) – Tesco shoppers across Scotland face empty shelves and disrupted online orders in the run-up to Christmas as members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, have announced strike action in a dispute over pay. The workers including warehouse workers and HGV drivers are based at Tesco’s Livingston Distribution Depot which provides stock to all Tesco Stores across Scotland. The strike action is a result of Tesco’s derisory four per cent pay offer which is well below the current retail price index (RPI) inflation rate of six per cent read more

1300 First Bus Glasgow drivers to receive pay rises of up to 21.5% (8 Dec) – More than 1300 First Bus Glasgow drivers are set to receive an inflation busting pay rise over the next two years. Unite drivers across Glasgow accepted the latest pay offer after months of negotiations, and previously rejected offers. The new pay deal over two years delivers:

  • Pay rises of between 6% – 21.5% over the next two years depending on length of service.
  • Drivers currently in second year of service on £10.70 per hour will now receive £11 from August 2021 – (2.8%) to £13 from October 2022 – (18.2%).
  • Improvement in rosters, unpaid break-times and a shorter working week including a 12-hours maximum length of shift.
  • £300 ‘thank you’ payment as part of a UK-wide agreement.

Unite has also secured a commitment from First Bus Glasgow to recruit and train additional drivers alongside it now taking only two years to get to the top pay rate, as opposed to the previous five years, as part of a coordinated effort to attract people into the bus industry. Unite has been highlighting the increasing number of bus drivers who are leaving the industry to find better paid jobs elsewhere which is having negative knock-on effects on the availability of bus services and routes read more

Support striking scaffolders at Scunthorpe British Steel: Campaigners warn South Shields construction company over strike breaking (8 Dec) – A giant inflatable rat will join campaigners outside a South Shields company called Rope Access Trade Solutions. The company stands accused by Unite of supplying workers to help British Steel break a strike by scaffolders employed by Actavo (UK) at its site in Scunthorpe. The protest will take place outside Rope Access Trade Solutions 9-10 Charlotte Street, NE33 4NU on Wednesday 8 December at 11.30 am. The union has warned British Steel that engaging Rope Access Trade Solutions could be in breach of criminal law which prevents workers from being supplied to cover the duties of workers engaged in lawful industrial action. 62 workers have been on continuous strike action for 9 weeks in a long running dispute with their employer Actavo (UK). They are significantly underpaying their workers. This breaks a national agreement which sets fair rates for the job and prevents a race to the bottom for construction workers. But Unite says that the client, British Steel, must also take responsibility for this long running dispute 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 calls on Peers to oppose the Health and Care Bill (7 Dec) – Unite has today (7 December) written to all Peers urging them to oppose the Health and Care Bill, which has its second reading in the House of Lords today. The letter sets out Unite’s concerns about the Bill, dubbed the NHS “Privatisation Bill”, and urges Peers to “protect our NHS”. The letter also sets out a series of amendments that the Lords should make to address the worst aspects of the Bill, including ensuring that NHS suppliers/providers are the default providers of NHS services read more

Coventry council’s pay failures set to result in Christmas bin strikes (7 Dec) – The city of Coventry is braced for Christmas bin strikes after members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, voted for industrial action in a dispute concerning pay and Christmas working arrangements. The 70 plus workers returned a yes vote of 98.5 per cent on a turnout of over 90 per cent. As a result of the overwhelming vote in favour of industrial action Unite has announced strikes on the following dates: four days of strike beginning on  Tuesday 21 December ending on Friday 24 December, then a two day strike beginning on Wednesday 5 January followed by a further four days of strike action from Tuesday 11 January ending on Friday 14 January read more

Luton’s Vauxhall factory facing disruption as Mitie workers strike over ‘poverty pay’ rates (7 Dec) – Workers employed by the outsourcing giant Mitie, working on a contract at the Vauxhall factory in Luton, will begin strike action this week in a dispute over pay. The workers, who are employed in cleaning roles as well as in the jig and tool departments, are paid as little as £9 an hour, which is just nine pence above the national minimum wage read more

Strike action by Ponticelli/Semco workers in North Sea ‘rock solid’ (6 Dec) – Unite the union today (6 December) confirmed that strike action by around 300 members working for Ponticelli UK Ltd and Semco Maritime Ltd has been ‘rock solid’ in the North Sea. The strike action is over a pay dispute with an improved pay offer being recently rejected by Unite members by 85% on an 80% return. It is scheduled to take place over a series of days until late February 2022, including a permanent overtime ban, unless there is ‘significant movement’ by Ponticelli UK Ltd and Semco Maritime Ltd (Full List of dates below). Unite’s members involved in the strike action work on the Total Energies contract on the following assets; Alisa FSO, Culzean, Dunbar, Elgin Franklin, Gryphon FPSO, North Alwyn & Shetland Gas Plant. Unite’s Ponticelli UK Ltd members previously voted overwhelmingly to take strike action by 93.6% on a return of 64.8%, and Semco Maritime Ltd members voted to take strike action by 90.3% on a 61.4% return read more

Arriva Cymru workers vote to accept £12 per hour deal (6 Dec) – Following a ballot of over 400 drivers, Unite the union members working for Arriva Cymru have voted to accept a significantly improved pay offer. The new deal achieves Unite’s aim of securing an hourly rate of £12 an hour for its members. The agreement followed a period of strike action which ran from 14 November – 18 November 2021 read more

Third day of industrial action resumes with Unite members in Burke shipping and Foyle port carrying out simultaneous strikes – Foyle port workers striking to win a cost of living increase and Burke Shipping workers demand pay parity with other dockers in Foyle and across Northern Ireland. Despite all-party council vote in support of striking dock workers employers refuse to resume pay negotiations. Unite confirmed that its members at both Foyle Port and Burke Shipping Service, based in Foyle port, will conduct their second and third days of strike action at the port tomorrow [Monday 6 December] with pickets going up from 7am read more

Prysmian Cables workers to escalate strike action – Unite members working for Prysmian Cables in Wrexham will escalate their industrial action in their fight for a decent pay rise. Prysmian workers have failed to receive a pay increase since 2019 and have undertaken six days of strike action since 4 November. Two additional 24 hour stoppages are scheduled for the 11 and 17 December. Following a complete failure by the company to engage with Unite, plans are being put in place to undertake continuous industrial action later in the month read more

East Lancashire NHS scientists vote to stage a third 12 week strike – Blackburn and Burnley biomedical scientists have voted to stage a third strike. The action will begin on 15 December and ends on 8 March in a dispute over unpaid wages. The skilled NHS staff at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust are owed on average between £8000 and £12,000. Unite has called on the Trust to meet with the union. NHS managers now have a “short window of opportunity” to finally resolve this dispute before Christmas. The Trust only needs to honour the agreement it reached with the workers back in 2019. The scientists have already been on strike in two periods this year, between 31 May and 28 July and between 20 August and 11 November read more

Stagecoach South Yorkshire bus strikes extended in poverty pay dispute, as Unite makes Christmas passenger promise – Unite, the UK’s leading union, has announced further strike dates in the ongoing pay dispute involving bus workers employed by Stagecoach in South Yorkshire. Over 560 bus workers are involved in the dispute, which is a result of Stagecoach making a poverty pay offer of just two per cent to its workers. The current initial week of strike action will end this weekend. Strike action in the Barnsley and Rotherham area will then resume on Saturday 11 December and end on Saturday 19 December. Strikes in the Sheffield area will begin the following day (Sunday 12 December) and continue until Sunday 20 December read more

Unite drivers and assistants taking disabled children to school voted unanimously to strike over Hackney council ‘brush off’ – Drivers and passenger assistants, who take disabled children to and from school in Hackney, have voted unanimously for strike action over the continuing failure of council bosses to recognise their efforts as key workers during the pandemic. Crunch talks are due to be held between Unite and Hackney council bosses on Tuesday (7 December) over what the union says is the authority’s repeated ‘brush offs’  over attempts to gain recognition for its members’ role as key workers during the continuing Covid crisis. Dates for strike action will depend on the outcome of the forthcoming negotiations. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Prior to next Tuesday’s meeting Unite members have sent a clear message to the council, with their 100 per cent vote for strike action read more

Derisory pay offer for Chep workers set to create North West pallet famine – The North West is facing severe pallet shortages in the crucial pre-Christmas period, as workers at Chep UK Limited have announced extensive strike action over pay. Chep UK, which is based in Trafford Park, Manchester, repairs and supplies pallets for supporting and transporting goods to a host of prominent companies including InBev, Heinz, Heineken, A&B Containers, Encric  and TDS. A shortage of pallets will result in deliveries having to be delayed or cancelled. The dispute is a result of the company refusing to improve on a below inflation pay offer of two per cent, despite work booming at the company. This is in reality a severe pay cut as the retail price index (RPI) currently stands at six per cent. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “It is shocking that Chep, which is enjoying a boom time, thinks it is somehow justifiable to offer its workers a below inflation pay offer which is in reality a severe pay cut. “Chep is clearly more interested in boosting profits than the wellbeing of its workers. Unite is the union which puts the jobs, pay and conditions of its members first. The union will be giving its full support to its members at Chep until a fair rate of pay is secured.” Workers, who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, recorded over a 75 per cent vote in favour of industrial action. As a consequence the union has called strike action for 3, 6, 10 and 13 December, with an overtime ban also beginning on 3 December. If the dispute is not resolved by Friday 17 December a continuous all out strike will begin read more

DHL workers set for strike action at Bellshill – Unite Scotland has announced that following an unsuccessful meeting with ACAS around 90 DHL drivers and warehouse workers based at the multi-user site in Bellshill will take strike action in a dispute over a pay and working conditions. An initial offer of 9% over two years was rejected because it does not address the ‘poverty pay’ experienced by the majority of the workers who earn £12.50 an hour on average. Following talks with ACAS on Friday (12 November) an improved offer was made to the DHL drivers and warehouse workers but this was also rejected.  88% voting to reject the offer in a ballot turnout of 95%. Unite has been engaged in negotiations with DHL through the auspices of Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas), and will meet again tomorrow (Thursday 18 November) in a bid to reach an agreement. Unite members are also in dispute with DHL over the failure to look at improving the working hours of drivers, and their wider terms and conditions. The trade union has repeatedly highlighted its concerns over the increase in the working hours of logistics and HGV drivers across the UK, driver shortages, and the need for better wages and conditions across the industry read more

Unite blasts Weetabix claims ‘fire and rehire’ tactics irrelevant to current dispute – Unite general secretary says the union has “irrefutable evidence” that Weetabix is using ‘fire and rehire’ tactics to attack the wages and conditions of Unite engineers, including the threat of sackings. Unite engineers at Weetabix factories in Kettering and Corby in Northamptonshire are currently taking strike action four days a week against company moves to attack their wages and terms and conditions. The union estimates this could cost some engineers a loss of wages amounting to £5,000 a year. This despite the fact that last year Weetabix turnover grew by 5 per cent to £325 million and profits leapt by almost 20 per cent to £82 million read more

Glen Dimplex in Portadown must end cycle of poverty pay by offering workers a decent pay rise – Unite has made a counter-offer to management to end debilitating strike and awaits management response. First day of strike action at home heater manufacturer resulted in a collapse in production. Two more strike days to follow. Nine out of ten Glen Dimplex workers voted yesterday evening to reject a last minute pay offer by management. A vote which matched the strength of the previous ballot for strike action [96 percent for strike action]. Workers’ anger at the way they have been treated is growing day by day. Workers’ pickets went up at 6am at the gates of Glen Dimplex and production at the site has collapsed as production workers joined the action. That produced a collapse in production which can only get worse as the strike action continues read more

St Mungos: still threatening worker who called out bullying – Damaging publicity – St Mungos executives have shown no willingness to address staff concerns about bullying and are pressing ahead with gross misconduct charges against a rep who raised concerns about bullying by senior managers; the key charge remains that senior managers are distressed at this suggestion. Email the Unite Housing Workers LE/1111 branch for info: [email protected]

Updates available here: http://www.housingworkers.org.uk/

The detailed account written by Unite Regional Officer Steve O Donnell is here

DHL Supply Chain operating at Spirit AeroSystems served with notice of strike action commencing next week after unanimous vote by workforce – 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 (1 Nov) served notice on the company that it will commence strike action starting with a first, five-day stoppage next week read more

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

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

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

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

Support striking Reading hospital security guards – Text solidarity messages via Jessica 07718668497 and donate to strike fund: Acc. No.: 20173991   Sort Code: 60-83-01.  Sign petition to Mark Wallace , Kingdom Service Group Managing Director: Pay Royal Berkshire Hospital security staff a wage they can live on

 

PCS

Land Registry members vote to accept business strategy agreement (23 Dec) – The new agreement is designed to provide extra protections for members. Trade union negotiators in the Land Registry have negotiated a new business strategy agreement with management. It is designed to replace existing, outdated practices and provide protections for members. The proposals were put to members in a ballot, with a recommendation from PCS that members accept the negotiated offer read more

Victory for ISS members in BEIS (20 Dec) – PCS members employed by facilities management contractor ISS in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have won major improvements to their pay and terms and conditions along with assurances on health and safety. Facilities members carrying out security, porterage and cleaning services in BEIS offices in London took 3 days of industrial action in July this year as part of a dispute covering issues such as pay, sick absence procedures, maternity and Covid safety. That action forced ISS to negotiate and discussions have continued since read more

NHS Pensions: your views are sought (20 Dec) – We want to hear your views on proposals to change member contributions. For members who are on NHS terms and conditions and a member of the NHS Pension Scheme, you should already be aware that the Department of Health and Social Care is seeking views on proposals to change member contributions in the NHS Pension Scheme which will be implemented from 1 April 2022. The consultation closes at 11:45 am on 7January. Please take some time to look at the proposals read more

PCS response to MHRA ‘Size and Shape’ (17 Dec) – PCS has written to ask the Medicines Healthcare and Regulatory Agency to urgently reconsider the timelines for implementation of the transformed agency structure. PCS believes it is unrealistic and unachievable to implement the new structure, with mapping and matching for level four to six staff, without risking mistakes and placing unreasonable pressure on the staff involved read more

PCS intervenes to win Christmas TOIL for UKHSA staff (17 Dec) – Staff in the UK Health Security Agency have a crucial role in the Covid response and may need to work over Christmas and the new year read more

PCS pressure forces DWP to reduce face to face activity in Jobcentres (17 Dec) – Our letter to the Secretary of State and the Permanent Secretary demanded that Jobcentres should be closed to all but the most vulnerable claimants. PCS met with members of the DWP executive team yesterday and the department agreed to issue communications to Jobcentre staff that would reduce footfall in Jobcentres read more

Care Quality Commission staff vote yes for action over pay (17 Dec) – The consultative, online ballot closed on 17 December. PCS members who work for the Care Quality Commission, CQC, have sent a clear message to CQC management with the result of a consultative ballot on the pay offer. Of those who voted in the online ballot, 91% voted in favour of industrial action or action short of strike action. Our pay consultation exercises with CQC have made clear how disappointed and angry members are about the lack of a pay offer, as well as with the more long-standing problems concerning the pay system and this result confirms their frustration. Following this result PCS will be looking to hold a statutory ballot in the New Year. The other unions representing colleagues in CQC are also taking the same action. Unison has already indicated that it intends to hold a statutory ballot for industrial action or action short of strike action read more

Challenging the two-tier workforce (17 Dec) – Outsourced cleaners at the Royal Parks won occupational sick pay which means they get paid their full wages when they are sick and proved it is possible for outsourced staff to have equal terms and conditions with their directly employed colleagues read more

FCDO staff react angrily to confusion about job cuts (16 Dec) – Mixed messages are being given out about staffing reductions at the Foreign, Commonwealth and development Office (FCDO). A notice on the staff intranet stated “we will become a smaller organisation. In line with our SR settlement…..we are planning on the basis of just under a 10% reduction in our overall workforce size by March 2025.” On 15 December the Prime Minster denied that there would be 10% staffing cuts at the FCDO, referring to it as ‘fake news’ read more

DVLA urged to act to keep staff safe from omicron (15 Dec) – PCS has urged the DVLA to introduce a range of measures to keep staff safe from the latest wave of the virus and the highly transmittable omicron variant. In a letter sent yesterday to chief executive Julie Lennard and HR director Louis White, we noted the changing guidance from both the Welsh and Westminster governments and stressed the need to reduce numbers on site in Swansea to keep staff safe read more

Still time to vote in the Land Registry ballot (15 Dec) – The consultative ballot closes on 21 December. Members in HM Land Registry are being consulted about whether they will accept the updated Business Strategy Agreement, which includes a commitment to no compulsory redundancies in the future and supports maximum flexibility and hybrid working.  There is also an agreement that while data can be collected, it will not be used to look at individuals and will not be linked to performance targets or used to micromanage staff. The online ballot opened on 7 December and closes at 12 noon on Tuesday 21 December. PCS is recommending you vote YES read more

Remember to vote in the Care Quality Commission ballot (14 Dec) – PCS members who work for the CQC are being consulted on possible industrial action over pay. The Care Quality Commission is an “arm’s length body” bound by the civil service pay guidelines and rules. Over the last year CQC members, as key workers, have shown how indispensable they are as part of our health and care systems, with many often putting their own health and safety at risk. The pay offer members have received for 2021 amounts to a pay freeze for most staff with only a £250 payment for those earning less than £24,000 per annum. This is inadequate, which is why PCS members are considering taking strike action.  Unison has already indicated that they are to hold a statutory ballot of their members for industrial action. The online ballot opened on 3 December and closes at 12 noon on Friday 17 December read more

PCS to hold consultative ballot on pay and pensions (13 Dec) – Our national executive committee has decided that we will be moving to a ballot of all public sector members in the new year on our national campaign to raise pay, pensions and living standards. The senior reps decided that it was time to say that the pay freeze, rising inflation, April’s National Insurance rise and pensions robbery could no longer be accepted. It cannot be right that our members struggling so bitterly, given everything that they have done to keep things afloat during the pandemic. This is not a strike ballot. It will ask members what action they would be prepared to take. A statutory industrial action ballot might follow later read more

Help share the news about the great pensions robbery (10 Dec) – Nearly 14000 PCS members have used our calculator to see how much they have overpaid in pensions contributions. PCS members have been forced to overpay into their civil service pensions over the past couple of years and have ‘lost’ an average £1,000 read more

Land Registry members to vote in consultative ballot (10 Dec) – HM Land Registry members are being balloted about an updated Business Strategy Agreement and improved protections over the use of data. The ballot opened on 7 December and closes on 21 December. The new Business Strategy Agreement includes commitments by management to consult and share information about transformation and change processes, giving PCS an opportunity to influence decisions taken. It also includes a commitment that any future office closures (although none are currently planned) will not lead to compulsory redundancies. The agreement also supports maximum flexibility and hybrid working read more

Plan B – Impact of changes in Covid Restrictions on PCS members in DWP (9 Dec) – On 8 December the Prime Minister confirmed that England will move to Plan B following the rapid spread of the Omicron COVID variant. As part of the announcement, the Prime Minister stated that, in England, from Monday, people should work from home if they can. PCS has been arguing for exactly this for weeks read more

PCS slams outsourcing of Turing Student Exchange scheme to Capita (9 Dec) – The British Council previously ran the £110m scheme but was stripped of the contract according to the Guardian in favour of the private consultancy company. The council has helped hundreds of thousands of young people find work and study placements abroad. There are now major fears the expertise of British Council’s long experience with international educational exchanges will be lost. PCS said ministers were rewarding their friends in the private sector at the expense of dedicated British council staff. The latest attack on PCS members at the council follows a consultative ballot where 80% of those British Council staff worldwide who voted, said they would support strike action. PCS is demanding an end to the 30% staff cuts planned, reassurances for those working on the Turing Exchange scheme and a decent pay rise above the current cost of living. The union also criticised the tendering out of professional services by British Council including IT, finance, and HR read more

PCS pressure wins 6,000 permanent DWP jobs (8 Dec) – DWP has finally agreed to make nearly all of the 6,000 AO grade fixed-term appointment and temporary staff permanent following months of PCS campaigning. This represents a major victory for PCS and includes getting the 1,800 former Brook Street agency workers permanent contracts in the DWP. We recognise that the decision does not include all FTA AO staff. And we will continue to press DWP to exercise more flexibility for those members who will only be offered a specified site and to make permanent the remaining staff who have been told their contracts will end in March read more

Downing Street Christmas party condemned by PCS (8 Dec) – The union has called on ministers responsible to resign for organising the event, in breach of Covid safety rules, last year read more

PCS demands urgent meeting with permanent secretary over Omicron variant (7 Dec) – The union says that the government must re-introduce working from home as a default position for civil servants across all departments. In a letter to Alex Chisholm, PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka highlights the fact, chief operating officers (COO) in the civil service have been told to “remove some or all measures associated with social distancing” in offices read more

HMCTS members vote to support industrial action over unsafe Common Platform – Hundreds of HMCTS members have said in a consultative ballot that they would support strike action over the continued use of the fundamentally flawed Common Platform digital case management system. 96.3% of members who voted said they would support strike action if HM Courts and Tribunals Services fails to act reasonably and meet our achievable demands. The turnout was 57.2%. We will write to senior HMCTS representatives, sharing the results and seeking an urgent meeting on our demands read more

 

GMB

ASDA strike moves closer after thousands of workers say they’re ready to walk out (21 Dec) – Strike action at Asda moved closer after thousands of workers said they were ready to walk out over the company’s failure to make an acceptable pay offer. GMB representatives will now meet after the next pay talks to agree the next steps in moving to a formal strike ballot after 94% per cent of warehouse and clerical workers and LGV drivers voted in favour of strike action. The dispute sparked after the supermarket giant failed to offer distribution staff a meaningful pay offer – with inflation running at a ten-year high read more

Ambulance workers told: Get lunch in McDonalds to improve response times (17 Dec) – GMB ambulance workers are furious after an ambulance trust told them to take their lunch break in the nearest McDonald’s. North East Ambulance Trust (NEAS) has announced its paramedics will – from January – be told to take lunch breaks at hospitals or their nearest ambulance station, rather than returning to base. Workers were also told to head to their nearest McDonalds or to eat in their ambulance in a bid to improve response times. GMB says ambulance workers heading to their local fast food restaurant is a covid risk and unprofessional – and the trust must address chronic understaffing and a demoralised workforce rather than dictating where they eat read more

Striking workers at Somers Forge turn up the heat (16 Dec) – GMB members at Somers forge are set for strike action tomorrow (17th December). The union has also announced further strike dates on 21st December 2021, and the 5th,12th, 21st and 24th January 2022. The move comes after members rejected the latest pay deal of 4% over two years, but with the company refusing to backdate the award to the pay anniversary of April read more

Eastbourne faces festive bin strike (15 Dec) – Eastbourne’s refuse collectors are set for a festive strike in a dispute over pay and safety. GMB members working as waste collection HGV drivers will walk out on New Year’s Eve, 7 January 2022 and 10 January 2022   – with further dates to be announced. Almost 50,000 households could be affected. All 19 drivers work for South East Environmental Services Ltd, which is owned by Eastbourne Council,  voted unanimously for industrial action during the festive period over pay and ‘barbaric’ conditions at their depot. GMB is set to meet with management next week in a bid to avoid the dispute read more

Cambo oil field pause ‘surrender of national interest’ (10 Dec) – GMB, the energy union, says the decision to pause the Cambo oil field project amounts to a ‘surrender of the national interest.’ The firm behind the development off Shetland is reported to be ‘pausing’ the project read more

Gritters in Carmarthenshire set to strike (10 Dec) – Gritters in Carmarthenshire County Council Highways department are set to strike early in the new year, after overwhelmingly voting to take industrial action. The move will see more than 50 gritters go on strike. Strike dates will be set when other unions – who have a further 20 members between them – also ballot for industrial action. In total 90% of members voted in favour of action after the council reneged on the agreement they signed with the union read more

Covid plan B: Government must make furlough and sick pay guarantees (9 Dec) – GMB Union has called for Government guarantees on furlough, sick pay and workers safety in the wake of the covid plan B measures announced by the Prime Minister read more

Government must act right away to prevent disruption in schools (8 Dec) – Support staff, teachers, school leaders and families are uniting to urge the government to better protect pupils and staff from Covid in schools in the lead up to Christmas read more

Asda faces strike threat over pay freeze (7 Dec) – Asda faces potential industrial action as GMB Union ballots workers over Asda’s failure to make a meaningful pay offer. The supermarket giant failed to offer distribution staff a meaningful pay offer – which, with inflation rampant, is a kick in the teeth for their key workers. In 2020 Asda’s directors trousered £12.6 million in pay and share based payments – a whopping 30 per cent increase on the previous year. Meanwhile the company turned an operating profit of £486 million in the year to 31 December 2020. ASDA and GMB are currently locked in a long-running equal pay claim on behalf of 40,000 Asda workers over whether the predominantly female shop floor workforce deserves equal pay to that of those in the distribution centre. The ballot closes on 20 December read more

All private hire drivers must be treated as workers after new Supreme Court ruling (6 Dec) – GMB, the drivers’ union, says today’s Supreme Court ruling confirms London private hire drivers are legally classed as workers and must be treated as such. The court today ruled it is unlawful for a Private Hire Vehicle (PHV) Operator to act as an ‘agent’ between the driver and passenger, meaning that all operators must contract directly with both drivers and riders read more

GMB Strike Ballot for NHS and Ambulance Workers Across Southern England Opens Today – Until this Government makes a serious attempt to engage, the only choice is progress with the GMB Union’s industrial action ballot. GMB Union’s strike ballot for NHS and Ambulance workers across southern England opens today [10 November 2021]. The vote comes after GMB members overwhelmingly rejected the Government’s imposition of a below inflation 3% pay award – which amounts to another real terms pay cut. Members in 55 NHS trusts across the south of England will be balloted, with the vote closing on 15 December. A positive strike vote could lead to a new year walk out of GMB’s front line nursing, ambulance, and support services staff across the whole of the NHS in the South East, South London, Dorset and Wiltshire. GMB has been campaigning for a restorative increase of 15%, or £2 per hour – whichever is highest -to replace what has been lost from NHS pay packets over the last decade. The union was the only one to reject the last NHS pay deal in 2018 read more

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

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 Follow @GMBSLU on Twitter

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

 

Unison

Open Letter to Carmarthenshire County Councillors: Winter Gritting industrial action imminent (21 Dec) – From GMB, Unison and Unite trade unions

Dear Councillor, All three local authority unions GMB, Unison and Unite are preparing our members to take industrial action in the New Year. Tomorrow (Tuesday 21st December) the trade unions will be officially notifying the council that we intend to take concerted coordinated action in January. This dispute could have been avoided many times over if the council had been prepared to adhere to the winter gritting collective agreement, the council jointly signed with the trade unions two years ago following industrial action back then. But before the ink was dry council management have been chipping away and undermining the agreement. Instead of standing down workers if they could not give them a time for winter gritting all too often workers were left waiting all night for a call read more  Industrial action starts on 5th January 2022 at 00.01 (midnight) and ending 6th Jan at 11.59, which is 48 hours of action plus a further overtime ban starting on 17th Jan 00.01 to 11.59 on the 21st of Jan and again on 00.01 starting on the 24th of Jan ending on 11.59 28th Jan

Unions slam college employers over 1% pay offer (16 Dec) – A one per cent pay offer is a joke – and not a funny one. Five unions representing staff in English further education colleges have today (Thursday) condemned the decision by the Association of Colleges (AoC) to submit another 1% pay recommendation for staff, the thirteenth below inflation offer in a row read more

Sandwell leisure employees strike again in contracts row (14 Dec) – The fourth day of action in the last 12 months comes on the back of proposals for more cuts to terms and conditions read more

Pickets outside Sandwell Leisure Centres once more (14 Dec) – Pickets were outside Portway Lifestyle Centre and Tipton Leisure Centre on 14 December 2021 on the fourth one-day strike at Sandwell Leisure Trust over their fire and rehire of staff to move them away from national pay, terms and conditions. The dispute is now over 12 months old and is the longest running dispute in Sandwell’s history. Councillor Bob Piper turned up in solidarity and UNISON urges the Council to step and fix this dispute before the Commonwealth Games in 2022 when Sandwell’s new £73million Aquatic Centre will host the Games. Despite making promises not to change more terms until March 2022, management at Sandwell Leisure Trust have tabled disturbing proposals to include COVID absence within sickness targets and triggers. UNISON, GMB and Unite the Union have also tabled a 10% pay claim for 2022 or a return to national pay, terms and conditions. UNISON members will continue to take action until this dispute is fixed read more

Government must act right away to prevent disruption in schools, say unions (9 Dec) – It’s not too late for ministers to introduce additional measures to protect pupils, staff and their families before Christmas. Support staff, teachers, school leaders and families are uniting today (Thursday) to urge the government to better protect pupils and staff from Covid in schools in the lead up to Christmas read more

UNISON warns Westminster government over NHS pay (7 Dec) – Warning comes as an indicative industrial action ballot of health service members in England sees 77% say they’d take ‘sustained’ action over pay. The Westminster government’s refusal to properly invest in pay in the NHS shows that it is not taking the problems in the service seriously, UNISON said today, after an indicative industrial action ballot on pay in the health service in England saw a majority willing to take industrial action on the issue. The ballot concerned the government’s 3% pay deal for 2021, which has already been wiped out by inflation and large increases in the cost of living read more

Salford city branch wins £19m pay rise for care workers across England (6 Dec) – After sustained campaigning from UNISON, large care provider commits to paying the real living wage to employees. After several years of campaigning from UNISON’s Salford City  branch and local care workers, Anchor Hanover – the largest provider of specialist housing and care for older people in England – have announced that they will be paying care workers the real living wage from this month (December). This means that employees will be paid at least £9.90, almost £1 an hour more than the current national minimum wage rate of £8.91 which many Anchor Hanover care workers were on. The huge uplift is thought to be worth up to £19m a year for employees of the company read more

Council and school workers deserve much more than below-inflation pay offer as strike ballot begins – Recommendation is to vote yes to strike action. UNISON will today (1 Dec) begin to ballot more than a third of a million council and school staff in England, Wales and Northern Ireland for strike action over their “inadequate” pay offer. The union is recommending employees – including refuse collectors, teaching assistants and social workers – vote ‘yes’ to strike action read more

Pension talks to resume at Dundee University as strike action pays off – After three weeks of strike action showing ‘great industrial strength’, members accept new proposals to continue negotiations. Following prolonged strike action by members of UNISON, Unite and the UCU, the joint trade unions have today struck a deal with the University of Dundee that will allow pension talks to resume. UNISON members have been on strike for three weeks, with the final three days of strike action being withdrawn read more

11 things you need to know about council and school pay – If you work in in a council or school, your voting papers will be mailed to you in December, with a freepost envelope. Local government members working in councils and schools are balloting for strike action. But why? What has happened? And what’s next? Here is everything you need to know about council and school pay… If you work in a council or school, you’ll receive an important letter and your voting papers through the post from 1 December. Keep your eyes peeled! Every member must return their vote in the free post envelope by 14 January. Your vote is vital

Hospital staff in Nuneaton and Warwick to strike over jobs move to private firm – Hospital staff in Nuneaton and Warwick will strike over a jobs move to a private firm. Some Unison members of the IT departments at both South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust and George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust have voted for strike action read more from Coventry Live

 

RCN

Next steps in our fight for fair NHS pay (16 Dec) – We will continue to build our campaigning strength to influence the pay award for 2022 and beyond read more

RCN joins other unions in launching legal action over public sector pensions (16 Dec) – We’re challenging the government over cost concerns of remedying previous age discrimination read more

Marie Curie pay ballot results announced (15 Dec) – RCN members have made their voices heard and rejected the revised offer. We can reveal the results of the consultative ballot of RCN members working at Marie Curie, which was open between 25 November to 14 December. The ballot asked eligible members whether they wanted to accept or reject an updated pay offer from Marie Curie announced at the end of October read more

RCN Scotland calls for investment in nursing to tackle NHS staffing crisis (7 Dec) – New NHS Scotland workforce statistics show nursing and midwifery vacancies have shot up by nearly 1,000 and are at a record high read more

NHS pay in England and Wales: results of indicative ballots on industrial action announced – Eligible RCN members have voted on what action they’d be willing to take in our fight for fair pay read more

 

NIPSA

Classroom Assistants being used to cover for Absent Teachers (9 Dec) – NIPSA, the largest union from the non-teaching workforce in Education, releases the results of their survey into Classroom Assistants providing cover for absent teachers read more

Pay Progression and Back Pay for Agency Workers on Assignment in the NI Civil Service (8 Dec) – NIPSA follows up pay progression and back pay for Agency members across the NICS.  Seeking information on delays and asking that money owed be paid urgently read more

NIPSA Members employed as Education Welfare Officers announce 15 days of Strike Action – NIPSA, the largest union from the non-teaching workforce in Education, announces that members employed as Education Welfare Officers will embark on 15 days of strike action commencing on 29 November. This is part of their campaign for pay parity with Health and Social Care Trust colleagues read more

 

CWU

Post Office pay dispute – union calls ‘chutzpah’ on bosses’ double standards (31 Dec) – CEO Nick Read now plays the ‘public-sector’ card to try to justify his pay freeze after arguing that the Post Office must be a profitable business read more

Post Office strike vote warning (20 Dec) – Pay freeze will provoke anger amongst hard-working Post Office staff, says CWU assistant secretary Andy Furey read more

‘Our Hours’ campaign triumph as Openreach finally calls time on PTT (21 Dec) – Concerted pressure by the CWU has secured a major win for thousands of  members across Openreach in the form of the company’s announcement that it is abandoning the hated requirement for them to give up to 60 minutes of their time for nothing at each end of the working day read more

Sad truth out on Shrewsbury at last as BT Meetings moves to cease roles and offshore the remainder (13 Dec) – Just over 70 BT Global team members in Shrewsbury have been left reeling by the pre-Christmas bombshell that their work is either time-expired or earmarked for exportation to Hungary – with the first 31 jobs to go on February 28. Those initial casualties of what the CWU believes is a callous cost-cutting decision stem from the disbanding of the team that organises audio conferencing events work read more

Hidden disabilities – why you should declare them to your union (9 Dec) – Mark Anthony Bastiani and Jonathan Bellshaw are the elected NEC leads for CWU members with disabilities. Here, they explain why it is important that members disclose their hidden disabilities to the CWU read more

 

FBU

Firefighters urged to protect themselves from toxic fire contaminants (28 Dec) – Firefighters have been urged to protect themselves from toxic fire contaminants. Research has found more than four times higher rates of cancer amongst firefighters who took part, relative to the general public read more

Almost a third of London’s fire engines out of action (17 Dec) – Rising Covid cases has left London fire and rescue with “unprecedented” staff shortages, with shortages meaning that up to almost a third of London’s fire engines have been out of action at points in the last week read more

FBU: inspectorate report doesn’t go far enough on Surrey brigade austerity effects (Dec 16) – Surrey fire and rescue is suffering from the effect of cuts more than ever, says the Fire Brigades Union, after a new inspection of Surrey Fire and Rescue service claimed to find ‘progress’. The union has pointed to low fire engine availability and a handful of concerning incidents as evidence for new cuts hitting the service hard read more

FBU responds as inspection concludes Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue requires improvement (Dec 16) – The Fire Brigades Union has said that an inspection of Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Service confirms that the fire and rescue service is not getting the funding it needs from government read more

Six trade unions including FBU seek judicial review over pension discrimination (Dec 15) – Six trade unions – the Fire Brigades Union, GMB, PCS, the Prison Officers Association, the Royal College of Nursing, and Unite – have today applied to the High Court for judicial review in relation to pension changes. The six unions say that the government is trying to make some public sector workers essentially pay for the government’s discrimination read more

1974 Paddington Worsley Hotel fire: Red Plaque for Hamish Pettit unveiled (13 Dec) – A plaque has been unveiled to remember the firefighter who lost his life fighting the 1974 Worsley Hotel fire in Paddington. Seven people died in the fire, including firefighter Hamish ‘Harry’ Pettit. He was just 25 years old at the time of his death. Prior to his death Pettit and his colleagues had rescued or assisted to safety twenty hotel residents read more

Grenfell Tower Inquiry: “agenda of deregulation” key (7 Dec) – The Fire Brigades Union lawyer for the inquiry has placed central importance on a government “agenda of deregulation, privatisation and marketisation” for causing the disaster. The comments were made as part of the opening statements for Module 6 of Phase 2 of the Grenfell inquiry. Phase 2 is focussing on the causes of the events of the night of the disaster, and Module 6 within that is focussed on government read more

FBU DECON campaign featured on BBC South Today (6 Dec) – The DECON campaign aims to help firefighters protect themselves from fire contaminants, which it is thought could be linked to various cancers and other diseases read more

 

POA

OSG consultative ballot (16 Dec) – The OSG Consultative ballot concluded on the 13th December 2021 and the Scrutineer and Teller attended Cronin House on 14th December 2021 to conduct the count and verify the ballot. On the 15th December 2021 the NEC had its normal monthly meeting and were informed of the outcome of the ballot. It was an overwhelming endorsement of industrial action up to and including strike action with those voting indicating by 90 per cent that view. The NEC will do an analysis branch by branch of the turnout, but early indications are that a significant amount of branches would or could if it went to a formal statutory ballot reach the threshold for action. The NEC fully debated the outcome and wish to place on record our gratitude to branch officials who conducted the ballot locally and to the OSG members that voted read more

 

NAPO

Further advice from Napo following announcement by PM on Plan B Covid restrictions (13 Dec) – Members who have individual risk assessments currently in place should ask for these to be reviewed in light of the Government announcement (and the evidence available to date on the possible greater transmissible rate of the new Covid variant of concern) and for consideration to be given in these to working from home as a control measure. If members don’t have these individual risk assessments in place, and feel that they have additional vulnerabilities then you can ask for this to be completed with your line manager at the earliest opportunity. Members can request trade union support in any meetings if you require read more

 

NEU

Government’s Pay Remit Letter to STRB (17 Dec) – The Government can afford to pay teachers properly and the country can’t afford it not to. Commenting on the Education Secretary’s letter to the School Teachers’ Review Body for the 2022/23 pay round, Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said: “Teacher recruitment has fallen back to pre-pandemic levels and teacher shortages exist across the curriculum. The impact of previous failures to recruit and retain are still being felt, including the loss of the skills of experienced teachers. We need to recruit and retain teachers across the curriculum to build a high-skill, high-wage economy and we can only do so by significantly improving pay for all teachers. And teacher retention is a huge problem too – with a third of beginner teachers leaving in the first five years in the profession…” read more

Education unions call for a pause to routine Ofsted inspections (9 Dec) – Education unions call for pause to resumption of routine Ofsted inspections until after February half term read more

We need a plan B for schools and colleges now (8 Dec) – The NEU is calling for the Government to introduce a plan B for schools and colleges now read more

Treasury Evidence to Pay Review Bodies (8 Dec) – The NEU thinks that this country cannot afford to even further erode the value of teachers’ pay – otherwise we will continue to fail to recruit and lose experienced teachers read more

Strike ballot in Girls’ Day School Trust’s schools (7 Dec) – Strike ballot to go ahead in Girls’ Day School Trust’s 23 independent schools. An indicative ballot of National Education Union teacher members working in the Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST)’s independent schools has shown overwhelming opposition to the employer’s plan to withdraw from the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS). 93% of members voted in favour of moving to a strike ballot, on a turnout of 93%. The union will now move to a formal strike ballot to be conducted in January 2022. Potential dates for discontinuous strike action are still to be decided. These would constitute the first days of strike action in the Trust’s entire 149-year history read more

Please sign and share the petition to support the Oaks Park, Redbridge strikers: https://www.change.org/p/redbridge-council-end-the-culture-of-bullying-at-oaks-park-high-school

Support the following NEU strike action:-

Starbank School (Hob Moor Road Site), Birmingham (Direct time/workload) – 14-15 December. Email messages of support – [email protected]

St Matthew’s C of E Primary School, Preston (Transfer of employer) – 14-16 December. Email messages of support – [email protected]

 

NASUWT

Teachers strike in pensions fight (9 Dec) – Members of NASUWT – The Teachers’ Union at Abbots Hill School, Hemel Hempstead, are taking strike action after being threatened with dismissal from their jobs unless they sign new contracts that would see them with worse pensions and working conditions. The management at the independent school, which charges as much as £19,000 per pupil per year, are attempting to get away with disgraceful ‘fire and rehire’’ tactics. Teaching staff at the school are being made to accept worse contracts which withdraw them from the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS). If they refuse to do so they face dismissal from their jobs. Members at the school are today (Thursday) taking the first of six days of strike action to fight these pernicious changes to their pensions read more

Joint union call to pause routine Ofsted inspections (9 Dec) – While it is welcome that Government has halted Ofsted inspections planned for next week, NASUWT and NEU have written an open letter to the Education Secretary today calling on him to ‘pause Ofsted’ until after the February half term. This is to allow schools and colleges the time they need to deal with the anticipated fallout of the Omicron variant over the winter period and prepare their pupils for the spring and summer terms read more

Gateshead teachers begin 19 days of strike action – Members of NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union at Furrowfield School are taking 18 days of strike action over adverse management practices which are impacting on members at the Gateshead school. Members have been subjected to poor management practices which are impacting on their health, safety and wellbeing. They have faced what they believe are intimadatory and bullying practices and attempts to undermine their employment entitlements. There have been significant issues at the school for a long period, with members taking strike action earlier this year at the school read more

 

EIS

EIS Salaries Committee Unanimously Rejects Pay Offer – Members to be Balloted – The Salaries Committee of the EIS has unanimously rejected a revised pay offer for teachers from COSLA and the Scottish Government. The Committee also agreed to ballot members on the offer, with a recommendation that members should also reject it. The ballot will open in January read more

EIS Survey Confirms Teachers want COVID Safety Mitigations to Continue – A major survey of teachers by the EIS has confirmed that Scotland’s teachers remain concerned about potential Covid spread in schools and want to see effective safety mitigations in place throughout the winter months. The EIS report is based on the views of more than 16,000 teachers across Scotland who responded to an online survey in November read more

EIS Opens Industrial Action Ballot for Members in Higher Education – The EIS has opened a statutory industrial action ballot for its members in the Higher Education Sector. Members of the EIS University Lecturers’ Association (EIS-ULA) are being asked to support a programme of industrial action, up to and including strike action, in a long-running dispute over pay. The dispute follows protracted negotiations at New JNCHES, the UK-wide negotiating body for pay in the Higher Education sector. Following the breakdown of negotiations, the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) broke the principle of negotiating pay and imposed an offer that, for most EIS members (academic staff), amounts to a 1.5%. pay uplift. The imposition of a sub-inflation pay offer, a real-terms pay cut, is not a new action on the part of UCEA, as they previously followed a similar course of action in 2019 read more

 

UCU

Unions slam college employers over 1% pay offer (16 Dec) – Five unions representing staff in English further education colleges have today (Thursday) condemned the decision by the Association of Colleges (AoC) to submit another 1% pay recommendation for staff, the thirteenth below inflation offer in a row read more

UCU response to government’s Plan B (10 Dec) – UCU has called for universities to move the final week of teaching online with colleges and universities urged to carry out new risk assessments, as concerns around the Omicron variant rise read more

UCU condemns ‘vindictive’ harassment of disabled lecturer at Northumbria University (9 Dec) – The University and College Union (UCU) has this week written to Northumbria University to raise concerns that an lecturer and disability activist employed by the institution is being victimised by management after raising concerns about her treatment as a disabled member of staff. Emma-Jane Phillips is a senior IT lecturer, UCU branch secretary and wheelchair user, who requires the aid of an assistance dog and has regularly raised legitimate concerns about working as a disabled person at Northumbria read more

Handing Turing Scheme to Capita ‘terrible’ decision, says Jo Grady (8 Dec) – Commenting on reports that the Department for Education has handed the contract to run the Turing Scheme to Capita, UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: ‘Outsourcing the scheme to Capita, who have a shocking record of failure on a range of other government contracts, is a terrible decision from the Department for Education which will further diminish the quality of student exchange programmes…” read more

Huge numbers of staff and students on campus picket lines up and down the country – University staff on the ground have reported huge numbers of staff and supportive students joining picket lines (1 Dec). Around 50,000 staff at 58 universities across the UK have a mandate to take industrial action over pensions, pay and working conditions read more

University strikes begin after bosses refuse to budge on pensions, pay & working conditions – Three consecutive days of strike action hit 58 universities today (1 Dec) after university bosses and their representatives refused to withdraw pension cuts or address falling pay and worsening working conditions read more

Support Goldsmiths strike by:

* Raising this motion of solidarity with your Trade Union branch or branch of political party (except for the Tories, obviously, as this is the realisation of their dream: austerity in action). https://goldsmithsucu.org/…/10/19/gucu-strike-fund-motion/

**Donating as much (or as little) as you can afford to the Goldsmiths Strike Fund. Hourly-paid lecturers and tutors on precarious contracts will obviously be prioritised for funds. https://goldsmithsucu.org/donations/strikefund/

***If you are in London, please join us on the picket lines. The strike starts on Tuesday 23rd November and will go until Monday 13th December (unless the Warden, Frances Corner, and her Senior Management Team see sense and agree to stop their reckless plans).

We have managed to gain some concessions in our fight, but our struggle continues. We demand zero redundancies and that this neoliberal assault on education is destroyed at root read more. Follow @GoldsmithsUCU on twitter

Support the UCU Royal College of Art strike in fight against casualization – follow the strike on UCU Royal College of Art website and on twitter – @RcaUcu. Donate to the strike fund details here

UCU fighting fund: the link is here and donations to the fund are spent on supporting members involved in important disputes.

 

NUJ

Assange decision a “hammer-blow to free expression” (10 Dec) – Court rules that the Wikileaks founder can be extradited to US to face espionage charges. Michelle Stanistreet, general secretary of the National Union of Journalists, has condemned the ruling in favour of the extradition of Julian Assange, handed down at the Royal Courts of Justice today read more

IFJ: Human Rights Day (9 Dec) – Forty five journalists were killed in 2021 and 365 are in prison. To mark International Human Rights Day on December 10, the International Federation of Journalists has published the lists of imprisoned and killed journalists in 2021. According to the federation’s statistics, 45 journalists have been killed since 1 January 2021 and 365 are still behind bars. The two lists underscore the deepening crisis in journalism, with rights and freedom of journalists under sustained threat in many regions of the world read more

NUJ statement on the Foreign Office’s handling of the evacuation of Kabul as the Taliban took control (7 Dec) – A whistleblower described the chaos and inaction at the heart of government, saying fewer than 5 per cent received help read more

A new journalists’ safety tool from the NUJ (7 Dec) – The NUJ, with support from the Google News Initiative, has launched an online interactive tool to help journalists’ deal with hostile environments and cyber threats read more

 

Prospect

Members at Natural England to start industrial action in the new year over poverty pay (17 Dec) – Prospect members at Natural England have voted overwhelmingly to take industrial action over poverty levels of pay. In the ballot, 76% voted in favour of a strike, with 84.7% voting in favour of action short of strike. Action short of a strike will commence on 4 January 2022 and if no further progress is made, then strike action will be taken. Our members at Natural England will maintain their right to take industrial action until the legal mandate ends on 21 May 2022 read more

Scottish Public Sector Pay Policy mix of positives and negatives (9 Dec) – The Scottish Public Sector Pay Policy for 2022-23 is a mixed bag of positives and negatives for Prospect members in Scotland. The Pay Policy was announced today alongside today’s Budget Statement by the Scottish Government read more

Pressure sees government extend mask mandate to museums, galleries and libraries (9 Dec) – New rules coming into force on Monday see these Prospect workplaces brought into the scope of the new rules announced as part of the government’s ‘Plan B’ restrictions in England. The new rules will apply to the public and staff in public facing areas in museums, galleries, cultural and heritage sites, zoos, libraries and public reading rooms. Unlike current voluntary restrictions in some areas, the new rules will be legally enforceable by the police read more

Natural England staff vote for industrial action over poverty pay – Natural England staff in Prospect Union have voted to take industrial action over pay thanks to years of decreasing budgets, increased workloads and stagnating wages. 76% voted in favour of a strike with 84.7% voting in favour of action short of strike. The regulatory threshold was cleared. Industrial action is planned to commence on 4 January 2022 with action short of strike. If no progress is made then strike action will be taken read more

 

Equity

We need urgent action to protect creative workers as Omicron rises (16 Dec) – This week Equity has written to Chancellor Rishi Sunak urging him to take action to protect the creative workforce in light of the rising cases of the Omicron variant of Coronavirus. The worrying situation threatens the fragile return of live performance in theatres, pubs, clubs and other venues across a critical Christmas season read more

Equity asks venues and producers to enforce mask-wearing for audiences (8 Dec) – Equity are calling on venues and producers to enforce mask-wearing among audience members. In a statement signed by General Secretary Paul W Fleming and President Maureen Beattie, we are also urging engagers to “maintain the strongest COVID protocols backstage” and encouraging all members to make sure they are fully vaccinated if they are able read more

Equity calls for worker support package as government announces “Plan B” (8 Dec) – Equity General Secretary Paul W Fleming has called on the government to provide a support package to Equity members and theatres as they face “an uncertain winter”. The call comes following the government’s announcement of “Plan B” COVID restrictions that could affect theatres’ and entertainers’ income this Christmas season read more

UK’s first ever agreement for voice artists engaged on video game recordings (6 Dec) – Agreement will protect and set terms for voice artists. We are pleased to announce that a ground-breaking industry agreement has been reached between Equity and leading voice studio OMUK. OMUK has produced recordings for titles such as Horizon Zero Dawn, Game of Thrones and Second Extinction read more

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

 

USDAW

Usdaw members overwhelmingly accept a much improved pay offer in nine Tesco distribution centres (22 Dec) – Two ballots of over 5,000 Usdaw members closed today, with nearly 90% accepting the much improved pay offer from Tesco. Usdaw recommended support for the new deal of 5.5% backdated to July and a further 0.5% from the end of February next year. The two ballots involved drivers and warehouse workers at nine Tesco distribution centres in: Daventry Clothing, Goole, Hinckley, Lichfield, Livingston, Magor (both trunk and main sites), Peterborough and Southampton read more

Usdaw ballots open for members on a much improved pay offer in nine Tesco distribution centres (15 Dec) – Two ballots of over 5,000 Usdaw members open today after the union negotiated a much improved pay offer from Tesco. Planned industrial action in the week before Christmas has been suspended pending the ballot result due on Wednesday 22 December. The two ballots involve drivers and warehouse workers at nine Tesco distribution centres in: Daventry Clothing, Goole, Hinckley, Lichfield, Livingston, Magor (both trunk and main sites), Peterborough and Southampton. Usdaw is recommending support for the new deal, which amounts to 6% in total, a significant improvement on the previously rejected 4% offer read more

Tesco distribution strikes suspended – Usdaw to ballot members on a much improved pay offer (14 Dec) – Usdaw has secured a new and much improved pay offer from Tesco and will be balloting members in nine distribution sites starting tomorrow (Wednesday). Planned industrial action in the week before Christmas Eve has been suspended pending the ballot result. The two ballots involve over 5,000 Usdaw members, employed as drivers and warehouse workers, at nine Tesco distribution centres in: Daventry Clothing, Goole, Hinckley, Lichfield, Livingston, Magor (both trunk and main sites), Peterborough and Southampton read more

Tesco agrees to reopen talks with Usdaw after members in nine distribution centres vote overwhelmingly to strike in disputes over pay (7 Dec) – Usdaw has welcomed Tesco’s offer of further talks after members in nine distribution sites voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action over pay disputes. Planned industrial action, starting on Monday 20 December and concluding on Christmas Eve, is at this stage still set to go ahead. The two disputes involve over 5,000 Usdaw members at nine Tesco distribution centres in: Daventry Clothing, Goole, Hinckley, Lichfield, Livingston, Magor (both trunk and main sites), Peterborough and Southampton. The drivers and warehouse workers had rejected a 4% annual pay increase and Usdaw is looking for the company to improve the offer to avoid pre-Christmas disruption in stores read more

Public online meeting: Solidarity with the Tesco strike (hosted by USDAW Broad Left) – Tuesday 14 December 6pm. Zoom ID 841 3751 5438

Usdaw members at nine Tesco distribution centres vote overwhelmingly for industrial action in disputes over pay (6 Dec) – In two separate ballots, Usdaw members have voted 73% and 84% in favour of industrial action as a result of disputes over pay. The two ballots separately cover nine Tesco Distribution sites. Following the result, Usdaw has today given notice of a stoppage starting on Monday 20 December and concluding on Christmas Eve read more

Victimised Tesco warehouse rep Max McGee fighting for reinstatement read more. There is now a GoFundMe to support the campaign (https://www.gofundme.com/f/reinstate-max-usdaw-rep-socialist) and Max can be invited to speak at Usdaw branches and trades councils ([email protected])

IKEA pay deal exceeds the real Living Wage and is a success for Usdaw’s campaign for at least £10 per hour (7 Dec) – Retail trade union Usdaw has welcomed IKEA’s latest pay increase, which goes beyond the new real Living Wage rates, ensuring staff will be paid at least £11.30 an hour in London and £10.10 in the rest of the country read more

 

Community

Pay rise deal secured for footwear workers! (9 Dec) – Following positive talks with representatives from the British Footwear Association, this year’s pay talks have concluded and an increase of 3.9% has been agreed on all rates including day-work contract rates. This will apply to wages earned from the first working day of January 2022. This agreement also includes a movement of the pay anniversary date to the first Monday of April of every calendar year commencing from 2023 read more

 

UVW

Security guards at Great Ormond Street Hospital to strike for six weeks in January (20 Dec) – “It is hard to believe, but I do not get sick pay. What this means is if I go to work I put myself and others in danger. If I stay at home – I don’t make rent. I do believe in the NHS, I really do. But what kind of institution treats their workers like that?” Erica Rasheed, security guard and UVW member, Security guards at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), and members of UVW, will walk out for six weeks in their ongoing fight for equality with other National Health Service (NHS) workers on 18 January 2022 red more

Racist hate against black security guards at Great Ormond Street Hospital (13 Dec) – CONTENT WARNING: RACIALLY OFFENSIVE LANGUAGE: Security guards who took to the picket line to fight for equality at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) last week have today revealed how racist slurs were used against them as part of an attempt to undermine their three-day strike read more

Security guards fight against union-busting backlash at Great Ormond Street Hospital (10 Dec) – United Voices of the World (UVW) are fighting back against union-busting attempts at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH). Security guards who took part in the recent three day strike for equal rights, have had overtime shifts mysteriously cancelled without reason

GOSH security guards begin strike and rally for equality! (8 Dec) – “Why can’t they recognise us. Someone up there is making silly decisions making sure that security guards are not taken in-house. It’s so sad,. it’s a mockery. It’s like they are telling us you guys can go to hell, we don’t care about you.” Larry Ude, security guard, Great Ormond Street Hospital. Security guards and UVW members at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) gathered for a protest rally yesterday as part of a three-day strike to demand the same basic working conditions as NHS hospital workers. Dozens of supporters, including patients and other hospital staff, joined the vibrant picket line, where there were balloons, music and leaflets and even a dancing clown. The security guards at GOSH, who have worked through the pandemic keeping staff and patients safe, are currently outsourced. They work for a third party company, Carlisle Support Services, on worse terms & conditions than other NHS workers read more

Strike averted as workers celebrate huge 25% pay rise at Harrods (6 Dec) – Restaurant workers at Harrods, London’s emblematic luxury department store, have won a huge pay rise of almost 25% for hundreds of waiting and kitchen staff. The win is one of the most significant in the history of hospitality in the UK and establishes a new benchmark for pay in the sector. How did we do it? We organised and threatened to walk out over the Christmas shopping period. Our demands were met and we cancelled the planned strike before it went ahead, proving that collective action works! Read more

 

IWGB

Worker Protections Urgently Needed to Combat Covid-19 (23 Dec) – The Covid-19 situation is rapidly getting worse in the UK. As the Omicron variant spreads and we face a new wave, the government and employers are, yet again, failing to keep workers safe. This is despite 150,000 deaths. The only way forward is to make sure every worker’s rights, health and safety are protected. Precarious workers have been on the frontlines of this crisis and the protection of their rights has been recognised as a major public health issue. They continue to play a vital role controlling the spread of the virus, whether by going out to work and providing for those most in need or making the difficult decision when sick to stay home read more

Longest continuous gig-economy strike spreads as IWGB reveals Stuart cut key worker pay 25% but gave CEO a 1000% pay rise (15 Dec) – The Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) has revealed that Stuart, which delivers for JustEat, gave its highest paid director a 1000 percent pay rise last year as the corporation made an extra £20 million profit during the height of the pandemic. The revelation that CEO Damien Phillipe Francis-Xavier Bon took home £2,232,453 in 2020 is set to spark outrage as JustEat couriers working for Stuart enter their second week of strike action over a devastating 25 percent pay cut. Despite promises to postpone made by Stuart following protests by IWGB couriers, pay was slashed from 6 December on most deliveries from £4.50 to £3.40. Last week the strike effectively shut down six McDonald’s stores in Sheffield and is now taking off in Chesterfield and Sunderland as well. The majority Black and Minoritised workforce are backed by Sheffield Labour MP Olivia Blake and demand at least £6 per delivery plus mileage and paid waiting times after 10 minutes. Their strike fund has raised almost £8000 so far read more

“Glasgow City Council is failing our most vulnerable children.” Foster Care Workers Demand Action over Devastating 20% Cut in Child Allowance (6 Dec) – as Glasgow City Council begins deliberations over its 2022 budget to be announced in February, local foster care workers with the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) are calling on them to redress its 10 year freeze to the child’s allowance which has impoverished some of Glasgow’s most vulnerable children and was revealed via a Freedom of Information Request. This launches the Fairness for Foster Carers campaign for more rights and protections for Glasgow foster carers and the children in their care. After inflation, the freeze equates to a 23.12 percent cut in the foster child allowance, leaving many foster carers struggling to subsidise costs of care themselves. In many cases this is not possible as pay has also been frozen for 13 years, resulting in a 30 percent real pay cut read more

 

Mandate (Ireland)

Early Christmas present for Dunnes Stores workers as they win 10% pay increase (23 Dec) – Almost 10,000 workers in Dunnes Stores have seen a 10% increase in their pay today after the company conceded a claim from members of Mandate Trade Union. Mandate lodged the claim with the company in March 2020 at the beginning of the pandemic. The company originally awarded the 10% pay increase as a temporary measure but following a “relentless” campaign led by Mandate members in Dunnes it has now been consolidated into pay, meaning it is reckonable for pension and annual leave purposes. The temporary staff discount of 20% has also been extended by the Dunnes workers indefinitely, according to reports read more

Retail union asks public to show renewed respect and support to shop workers in run up to Christmas (7 Dec) – Mandate Trade Union, which represents 30,000 workers in the retail sector, has received worrying reports of increased abuse towards shop workers in recent weeks. The union is calling for customers to respect essential frontline workers, including those working in shops in what is the most stressful time of the year read more

 

SIPTU (Ireland)

CE Supervisors vote to accept pension proposals (23 Dec) – SIPTU and Fórsa members working as Community Employment (CE) Supervisors have voted to accept the terms proposed by the Department of Social Protection (DSP) to pay members a retirement gratuity in settlement of their long running dispute. Members of both unions voted by an overwhelming majority to accept the proposals read more

SIPTU members in St. Patrick’s Mental Health Services secure 4% pay increase (17 Dec) – SIPTU members working in St Patrick’s Mental Health Services (SPMHS) have today (Friday, 17th December) overwhelmingly endorsed pay proposals to improve pay and conditions at the facility. The two year agreement negotiated between SIPTU and SPMHS management provides for an increase in pay worth up to 4%, with enhanced workplace protections until 2023 read more

SIPTU members suspend strike to allow talks at WRC in LES and Job Clubs dispute (Dec 16) – SIPTU members employed in Local Employment Services (LES) and Job Clubs in county Laois and county Offaly have suspended their strike action to allow for talks at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) read more

SIPTU to escalate campaign against privatisation of Local Employment Services (13 Dec) – SIPTU members working in Local Employment Services (LES) and Job Clubs will next week escalate their campaign to stop the privatisation of these essential community services read more

SIPTU calls for increased support and resources for frontline Local Authority staff (9 Dec) – SIPTU representatives have called for increased support and resources for frontline Local Authority staff who are required to work through extreme weather events such as Storm Barra, in order to maintain essential services and protect the public read more

Equity and MUI seek further financial aid for performers (9 Dec) – Following the introduction of further Covid-19 restrictions, Irish Equity and the Musicians’ Union of Ireland (MUI) have welcomed the return of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment and the continuing support available through the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) read more

SIPTU says childcare staffing crisis driven by low pay not lack of qualified staff (7 Dec) – SIPTU representatives have said that figures released by the Department of Further and Higher Education categorically confirm that the staffing crisis in childcare in not driven by a lack of qualified educators in Ireland but low pay in the sector forcing them to leave their chosen profession read more

 

 

Fight blacklisting and victimisation of union reps

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

(From NUJ website) IFJ: Human Rights Day (9 Dec) – Forty five journalists were killed in 2021 and 365 are in prison read more

 

 

The NSSN is continuing to report on how workers are organising during the coronavirus pandemic

The NSSN is opening up our weekly email bulletin, website and social media platforms of Facebook and twitter to provide a public forum for workers during the Coronavirus/COVID-19 crisis. We want to be a place where we can all share queries and experiences that workers are facing in their workplaces. These include reports of action taken by workers to defend themselves from their employers.

You can read about many of these actions in our weekly bulletin and out social media groups, especially our Facebook group: NSSN – defend workers’ rights under Coronavirus.

You can also send the NSSN your reports and queries via our website, twitter – @NSSN_AntiCuts and email – [email protected]

We welcome the information being sent to union members concerning the spread of coronavirus, including the Accord, Advance, AEP, AFA-CWA, ASLEF, BDA, BECTU Sector of Prospect, BFAWU, BOS-TU, College of Podiatry, Community, CSP, EIS, Equity, FBU, FDA, GMB, HCSA, MU, NAHT, NASUWT, National Society for Education in Art and Design (NSEAD), Nautilus International, NEU, NGSU, NUJ, PFA, Prospect, RCM, SoR, TSSA, TUC, UCU, UNISON, Unite, URTU, USDAW, WGGB and the RCN

But it is absolutely vital that unions retain their ability to organise and act independently in defence of their members and workers generally. This includes the right of unions to take industrial action. We are already aware of workers being forced to take unofficial action on health and safety grounds. We also believe that unions should have oversight of any government bans on protests and picketing. This is the same Tory government that tabled more new anti-union laws in 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

 

 

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