NSSN 566: Workers start 2022 on the picket line!

January 10, 2022 in Bulletins

The NSSN sends all our supporters and affiliates New Year greetings. It’s already clear that 2022 is starting as 2021 ended – with a growing number of workers taking action to defend their living standards as inflation soars and also to ensure that their workplaces are safe in the omicron Covid wave.

The NSSN will continue to support workers in struggle and use this weekly bulletin to build solidarity.

Coventry bin strike

Coventry bin strike

 

Stop victimisation of union reps

Sign petition: Support Tracey Scholes – the 1st female Bus Driver at Queens Road, Manchester – protest Tuesday 11th January 1pm Queens Rd Depot, Cheetham Hill M8 0RX for Tracey’s final appeal 

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 and other union branches plus trades councils ([email protected])

 

 

NSSN news

We received a letter from PCS before Christmas informing us that their NEC has voted to withdraw the union’s support from the NSSN. We produced a reply answering some of their points, while at the same time asking them to reconsider and requesting a meeting with the NEC. Unfortunately, this has not been agreed to. This is very disappointing but as we say in our reply, we will continue to support PCS members in the action that they take in defence of their safety and living standards.

 

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

BREAKING NEWS!! RMT Members vote yes for Tube strike (10 Jan) – London Transport Union RMT confirms members vote yes for action as London Underground refuse to give assurances on jobs, pensions and working conditions. LONDON TRANSPORT UNION RMT confirmed that members voted yes for strike action and action short of a strike in a ballot of over ten thousand members across all grades of LU staff that closed today. 94% of members voted to strike. The ballot took place after LUL members were refused assurances on jobs, pensions and working conditions in the midst of an on-going financial crisis driven by central Government. The union’s LUL reps and executive committee are considering the result but says that it will take whatever action is necessary to prevent staff paying the price for a financial crisis that is not of their making read more

New wave of Tube strike action (10 Jan) – RMT confirms new wave of strike action by tube drivers over imposition of rosters. TUBE UNION RMT today confirmed a new wave of strike action by tube drivers over the outrageous imposition of rosters‎ by London Underground bosses. Following an overwhelming vote for action by drivers on the Metropolitan Line based at the Neasden Depot the union has announced the following programme of strikes; All members are instructed NOT TO BOOK ON for any shifts which commence between:

  • 11:30 hours on Thursday 20th January to 11:29 hours on Friday 21st January 2022
  • 11:30 hours on Thursday 10th February to 11:29 hours on Friday 11th February 2022 read more

Action solid over the weekend in night tube dispute (9 Jan) – Ongoing fight to stop the imposition of new working practices. LONDON TRANSPORT UNION RMT said today that action by drivers in a fight to stop the imposition of working practices that would rip apart work life balance remained solidly supported across the weekend. General Secretary Mick Lynch said; “Our members have remained solid and determined in support of the Night Tube action this weekend and have sent out the clearest possible signal that this issue isn’t going away. The Mayor and his officials need to wake up to that fact. With action scheduled for the next six months there is only one way forward and that’s for serious and genuine talks aimed at a negotiated settlement” read more

Further Night Tube strike action (6 Jan) – RMT confirms further strike action goes ahead on Night Tube from tomorrow through to the summer. TUBE UNION RMT today confirmed strike action goes ahead every weekend on the Night Tube from tomorrow 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 to ballot all London Transport members – London Transport Union RMT to ballot all members for strike action from Monday 7 Dec 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

 

TSSA

CalMac deserve praise not blame (6 Jan) – CalMac staff have done a heroic job keeping the lifeline services going – Cortes. Manuel Cortes today expressed his disappointment to see so many negative news stories about CalMac in the papers over Christmas and New Year. Cortes said, “A number of ferries have had to be cancelled due to bad weather over the period. This is something that happens every winter and is necessary for the safety of passengers and crew read more

TSSA warns of national rail strike (4 Jan) – TSSA has today warned of a national rail strike in 2022 as the Tory government seeks to cut jobs across the railways and workers face a deepening cost of living crisis. The rail and transport union wants rail bosses to extend the no compulsory redundancy agreement to safeguard employment for those wishing to stay in the rail industry as the twin threats of compulsory redundancies and falling living standards loom large, warning “a national rail strike in 2022 is very much on the cards” read more

 

Unite

BREAKING NEWS!! Bumper profits B&Q’s supply chain hit by all out pay strikes and spreading industrial unrest (10 Jan) – More than 450 Wincanton workers at B&Q’s national distribution warehouse in Worksop have escalated previous industrial action over poverty pay to an all-out strike, severely impacting store deliveries across the country. Unite, the UK’s leading union, warned further disruption is looming at a second national B&Q distribution centre in Cambuslang, Scotland, after GXO lorry drivers voted to take strike action in response to a below inflation pay offer. HGV drivers employed on behalf of B&Q by GXO in England are also considering pay strikes, which would impact the DIY giant’s nationwide distribution centre in Doncaster as well as further disrupt the Worksop site read more

BREAKING NEWS!! Strike action set to hit Dalkeith based FLB print firm (10 Jan) – Unite the union has today (10 January) confirmed that around 110 workers at print and publishing firm FLB Group in Dalkeith, which owns the Filofax and Letts brands, will take strike action this week in a dispute over pay. The strike action will take place on Wednesday (12 January) at 6am and conclude at 05:59am on Thursday. It is the first of a series of 24 hour stoppages commencing every Wednesday into Thursday until 31 March. Some 95.7 per cent of the eligible workforce previously voted in support of strike action in late November on an 84.4 per cent turnout. The pay dispute originates from early 2021 when Unite’s members were informed by FLB that there would be no pay rise. Due to pressure from Unite, the company made several unsatisfactory offers that ended with a below inflation two-year offer of 2.75 per cent. Unite is demanding a six per cent pay increase at a time when the cost of living is at a ten-year high. The Retail Prices Index stood at 7.1 per cent in November 2021 read more

Unite says the government is playing ‘Russian roulette’ with road users’ safety (10 Jan) – Unite, which represents tens of thousands of lorry drivers, has discovered that the government is failing to monitor how many foreign lorries are entering and leaving the UK under a controversial scheme introduced last year. In a panic move aimed at tackling the HGV driver crisis, the government changed the cabotage rules at the end of October. This allowed companies from anywhere in the world to send lorries with foreign drivers to the UK to work unlimited hours, making unlimited deliveries, in any 14 day period. For that time the drivers can sleep in their cabs but after the two weeks is up they are supposed to leave the UK read more

First Manchester bus drivers to begin strike action next week (7 Jan) – Commuters in Greater Manchester have been warned to expect severe disruption to bus services from Monday (10 January) as bus drivers employed by First Manchester begin strike action in a dispute over pay and conditions. The strike on Monday and Tuesday 11 January will go ahead after last minute peace talks held today (Friday 7 January) failed to make progress. The 300 plus drivers who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, recorded a 99 per cent vote in favour of strike action. Several rounds of negotiations have been held but broke down as First Manchester failed to make an offer which met workers’ expectations read more

Coventry bin strike escalates as new strike dates announced (6 Jan) – Coventry council’s failure to address the low pay of its refuse collection drivers is set to lead to an escalation in strike action, after Unite, the UK’s leading union, announced a total of 19 new strike dates in the increasingly bitter bin dispute. The 70 drivers are currently in the second day of a 48 hour walkout that began yesterday (5 January). The strike began after Coventry council informed Unite that it would not make an improved offer and that an offer which had previously been rejected by workers was no longer on the table, at last minute talks held on Tuesday 4 January read more

Coventry bin worker’s strike fund – Unity Trust Bank; Name of Account: Unite WM/7116 Branch Coventry Local Government; Account number: 20302665 Sort code: 60-83-01; send messages of solidarity to [email protected]

Coventry bin strikes back on after council fails to lift low pay (5 Jan) – Coventry bin strikes began today (Wednesday 5 January) after the council failed to put forward an offer to lift workers out of low pay during last minute talks with Unite, the UK’s leading union. More than 70 workers, who are paid as little as £22,183 a year, began 48-hours of strike action at 0700 this morning. A further four days of strike action will take place from Tuesday 11 January to Friday 14 January. The strikes come just a day after Unite announced it had negotiated a breakthrough job reclassification for 46 HGV refuse drivers in Plymouth, from ‘unskilled’ to ‘semi-skilled’, which means a 12.5 per cent pay uplift, worth about £3,000 a year read more

Turkish/Kurdish community to call for more NHS funding at North London hospital demo on Saturday (6 Jan) – The Turkish/Kurdish community organisation Day-Mer has organised a demo at the North Middlesex University Hospital in Edmonton on Saturday (8 January) calling for more NHS funding, Unite the union said. The North London protest at 16.00 will be joined by members of the new Unite migrant, food retail and services branch which seeks to organise Turkish/Kurdish workers and improve their employment conditions. Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “The demonstration, organised by Day-Mer, is a great example of showing that the fight for the NHS is a campaign that must involve all of us – we cannot leave it to NHS workers alone…” read more

Strike action by Turners of Soham logistic drivers set to impact major aviation companies (5 Jan) – Logistic drivers working for Turners of Soham based out of Grangemouth are set to begin strike action tomorrow (6 January) in a dispute over pay. The logistic drivers work on the Q8 Aviation Deliveries contract which provides fuel services for a number of major aviation companies. The strike action follows 100% of Unite members voting to take strike action, on a turnout of 100% at the end of December 2021, following a lack of progress after months of negotiations with the company. The current wave of strike action ends on 14 January at 24:00 hours with further dates to be planned in the coming weeks. Unite’s members based at Grangemouth have been offered an 8.7% increase, despite the same company awarding its drivers in the North West of England 17.5% in October of last year read more

Government’s latest plan to extend lorry driver hours is not solving problem and is dangerous, warns Unite (5 Jan) – Unite, the UK’s leading union, which represents tens of thousands of HGV drivers, has reacted with dismay to the news that the government is intent on further relaxing regulations governing how long lorry drivers can work. The government is currently undertaking a snap consultation exercise on extending the relaxation on the driving regulations from this Sunday (9 January) for a further four weeks until 6 February, as a result of the omicron variant and an increase in sickness absence. The government has continually been operating a relaxation of the driving hour regulations since July last year, due to a chronic shortage of drivers and the effect of the pandemic. Since the Covid pandemic began in March 2020, the regulations have been relaxed for the majority of the time read more

Breakthrough Plymouth council regrading deal for HGV drivers is a ‘wake up’ call for local authorities, says Unite (4 Jan) – A ground breaking regrading deal for Plymouth city council’s HGV drivers is a ‘wake-up’ call for other local authorities to hike up pay rates in 2022, so there are enough drivers available to keep refuse collections running smoothly. Unite the union said it had negotiated a job reclassification for the 46 drivers from ‘unskilled’ to ‘semi-skilled’ which means a 12.5 per cent pay uplift, worth about £3,000 a year. The new regrading payments were implemented on 1 January 2022 read more

Transport for London bosses ‘declare war’ as seven workers suspended at crisis-hit Woolwich Ferry – 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 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 – 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 – 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

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

Chep workers in Manchester to extend strikes as pallet shortage deepens – 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 – 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 – 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 – 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

Huge mandate for strike action against low pay and exploitation at Serco and Barts NHS Trust – 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

RNAD Coulport nuclear naval base workers set to strike – 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 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

Strike action by Ponticelli/Semco workers in North Sea ‘rock solid’  – 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

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

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

 

PCS

See what the pensions overpayment is costing you (7 Jan) – Nearly 22000 PCS members have now 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

10 January 2022 onwards in Jobcentres (5 Jan) – PCS met with DWP management today to discuss Covid and the control measures put in place in Jobcentres prior to the festive period were discussed. In light of the current Covid increase in positives cases (almost 219k yesterday) PCS continues to argue for safe working environments for all our staff and the public and will continue to press for the measures to remain in place. Any relaxation of measures put in place to reduce Jobcentre footfall, or attempts to get more back of house staff back into a Jobcentre would seem to be contradictory to the government’s position that Plan B is still in place. We therefore welcome the announcement by DWP that they are extending the timescale for the announcement made on  17 December. The department will still expect members to ring customers and deliver the script issued before Christmas and offer a telephone appointment rather than face to face if the customer agrees. This will be reviewed again on 26 January. As a result managers should not be instructing staff to return to business as usual from 10 January read more

 

GMB

Eastbourne bin strike set to spread across Sussex (9 Jan) – The Eastbourne bin strike is set to spread across Sussex as GMB Union launched a consultative ballot for drivers in Adur and Worthing. Refuse collectors in Eastbourne are to take their third day of industrial action tomorrow [10 January] in a dispute over pay and conditions. Further strike dates have now been announced from January 14 – 28, which will see up to 50,000 household affected. Meanwhile a consultative ballot for refuse collectors in nearby Adur and Worthing will close on 19 January. GMB refuse collectors in Brighton successfully won improved pay, terms and conditions after a long-running strike at the end of last year read more

Eastbourne refuse collectors strike after ‘misleading’ statement from council (6 Jan) – Eastbourne’s bin strike is set to go ahead tomorrow after the council issued a ‘misleading’ public statement. 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. GMB met with council bosses yesterday, where they offered drivers approximately £12.30 per hour – a far cry from the drivers claim for £13.50 per hour – still considerably lower than the industry standard. Instead of waiting for drivers to vote on the new offer, the council made a public statement outlining the deal read more

Gritter strike: Council playing ‘Russian Roulette’ with residents’ safety (5 Jan) – GMB union has accused Carmarthenshire Council is playing ‘Russian roulette’ with residents’ safety over a gritter strike. The Union has criticised the authority’s reckless behaviour, after residents were told yesterday arrangements were in place to ‘ensure the safety of travelling residents’. Gritters in Carmarthenshire are on strike today [5 January 2022] after the council failed to adhere to a collective agreement signed with gritting staff back in 2020 read more

Major pay boost for Plymouth council drivers (5 Jan) – GMB members working in refuse at Plymouth City council are celebrating after the council agreed a whopping 12.6 percent pay rise for HGV drivers working for the council. This will see some hard pressed council staff earn almost an extra £3000. The move comes as demand for HGV drivers skyrocketed in recent months, with GMB telling the council to act quick or lose experienced drivers to other professions read more

Swissport workers accept inflation busting pay rise (4 Jan) – GMB, the union for aviation staff, today announced that members working at Swissport, who provide baggage handling and check in services at a large number of airports across the UK, have voted to accept an inflation busting pay rise. The pay rise, worth 8.54%, will be paid in January along with back pay and a retention bonus of £1,000 for staff who remain in post until October 2022. This represents a real increase to GMB members after a difficult two years, during which many have been furloughed as the industry has struggled through the pandemic. Large numbers of members will also see extra increases due to the resolution of a long-standing differential issue at some of the airports read more

More than 1,000 serious injuries reported at Amazon sites (4 Jan) – ‘Shameful’ figures reveal more than a thousand serious injuries at Amazon sites have been reported to health and safety bodies since 2016, a GMB investigation has found. Disturbingly, the number of injuries reported to health and safety bodies is rapidly increasing. 294 were reported in the financial year 2020/21 – up from 231 the year before, or an increase of 27%. This compared to 139 reports in 2016/17. The true figure could be much higher, with not all local authorities having responded to the FOI survey read more

Striking workers at Somers Forge turn up the heat – 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

 

Unison

Winter Gritting Industrial action begins (4 Jan) – All three Carmarthenshire County Council recognised trade unions GMB, Unison and Unite will be taking industrial action picketing council depots (Nantglas, Crosshands, Cillefwr, Carmarthen, and Llandovery ) from midnight tonight and tomorrow night as part of an overtime ban on winter gritting due to what the unions believe has been a regular breaking of the Winter Gritting agreement signed by the Plaid led council. Unison and the other unions believe the council has flouted the agreement that they signed two years ago following industrial action then. We feel we have been compelled to act due to the intransigence of this Plaid led council who have refused to even acknowledge they have not adhered to the agreement read more

Sandwell leisure employees strike again in contracts row – 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

 

RCN

FFP3 masks needed as standard demands RCN as sickness absence rates soar (7 Jan) – All health care workers must be provided with FFP3 masks when treating people with known or suspected COVID-19 read more

Post COVID recovery in England jeopardised by staff shortages, report finds (6 Jan) – RCN responds to outcome of cross-party inquiry into tackling the backlog of care needs caused by the pandemic, calling for the government to get a grip on workforce planning read more

 

NIPSA

Covid in Schools (5 Jan) – NIPSA, along with colleagues from the other education unions, met with Department of Education and Education Authority officials, on 31 December to receive an update on school restart plans. It was extremely frustrating to be advised that no new plans existed and the strategy of following the failed plans, which are not addressing the massive problems within schools, will continue. We were also advised that effective immediately:

  • Fully vaccinated close contacts do not have to isolate and should undertake daily Lateral Flow Device tests and only remain off work if they have a positive test / have symptoms.
  • The NI Executive has also announced a change to the rules on self-isolation for positive cases, reducing the period from 10 days to seven, providing the individual has negative LFD results on both days 6 and 7 with tests taken 24 hours apart.

The approach by the Department of Education is completely unacceptable. There has been a failure to put in place effective measures to mitigate against the spread of Covid 19 in schools. Carbon Dioxide monitors are still being distributed to schools but in insufficient numbers to ensure all classrooms and communal areas are being monitored. This is an abject failure to plan. NIPSA and colleagues from the other education unions will be discussing how we can continue to put pressure on the Department of Education to ensure that their current strategy changes to reflect the urgency of the problem 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

Invergordon posties action (6 Jan) – Communication Workers Union (CWU) members in the Royal Mail delivery office in Invergordon, north of Inverness have walked out. This is in support of a temporary worker who has had his contract terminated, outside of the agreed industrial relations framework. The CWU nationally flagged up the possibility of a flash point over this issue just before Christmas, forcing Royal Mail management back on a UK-wide basis. However, the local bosses have continued the attack, forcing the posties’ action. CWU members are determined to get the worker reinstated. This action shows that posties will continue to fight to defend their agreements

New Year’s cheer for Telefonica Retail staff as plug is pulled on failing bonus structure (6 Jan) – Members in Telefonica Retail have received a 10% increase in their base pay following the successful conclusion of constructive discussions with the company in which both management and the CWU agreed that the previous system of target-driven bonuses simply wasn’t working for either the business or employees. The New Year’s salary hike, which came into effect on January 1, sees the ‘standard’ pay point for staff in directly managed O2 stores increase from £18.705 to £20,576, and the ‘accredited’ equivalent rise from £21,043 to £23,147 read more

Santander ‘final’ pay offer out to ballot (6 Jan) – Members across Santander are being urged to accept a one- year pay offer which delivers an across the board increase of £1,000 (pro-rata for part-timers) for all apart from the lowest performing employees. The CWU-brokered deal – which covers all S1-5 employees in Santander UK and Santander Technology (including colleagues who were in Santander Operations ‘G grades’ and are now mapped to the equivalent S grades) – also includes a one-off unconsolidated lump sum payment of £250. That payment applies equally to full and part-timers, in recognition of their outstanding contribution over the last 12 months of the pandemic. Crucially, the proposed settlement maintains a pay progression scheme previously negotiated by the union for S1 and S2 grade employees in Santander UK that is unique in the banking industry – with those in scope receiving  the higher of either their pay progression payment or £1,000 read more

 

FBU

BREAKING NEWS!! “They cannot shirk their responsibility”: Fire Brigades Union responds to Gove building safety announcement (10 Jan) – The Fire Brigades Union has said that Michael Gove’s announcements on the building safety crisis still leave residents “desperately short of where they need to be”, more than four years after Grenfell read more

Omicron: London continues to be hit with fire engine shortages (29 Dec) – London has had over a third of its fire engines unavailable as Omicron hits staffing numbers, new London Fire Brigade data shows. Shortages reached 50 fire engines during the day shift of the 25th of December, and reached 42 for the day shift of the day before. There are 142 fire engines in the capital. This marks a worsened problem after data for the 10th to 16th of December had previously revealed that shortages were running at a maximum of forty. The new data, for the 24-27 December, shows that shortages were constantly close high across this period, with a majority of shifts seeing shortages of at least 40 fire engines read more

 

POA

National Chair: The Service is speeding towards a major staffing crisis and the government refuses to listen (6 Jan) – HMPPS would have you all believe that they are successfully recruiting thousands of frontline prison officers and we will soon be up to the target staff in post figures for every establishment. In fact, if you believe the hype and propaganda, people are falling over themselves to fill vacancies and training sites are full to capacity, with new recruits eagerly waiting for a starting date. Nothing to see here, everything is just fine – we are all doing so well. The gravity of the staffing crisis on the front line dispels the misinformation that our employer attempts to fool us with. Over the past few months, the dire state of our prisons has been laid bare, but only those who work within the organisation know about it read more

OSG consultative ballot – 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

 

NEU

Unions call for more government support in spring term (2 Jan) – Six trade unions representing the majority of education staff have issued a joint statement prior to the return of schools and colleges for the spring term read more

Strike ballot in Girls’ Day School Trust’s schools – 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

Watch Reel News video: Vote YES to strike action to stop GDST pulling out of the TPS

Support the following action:-

Action Date Contact
St Matthew’s C of E Primary School / Preston

(Transfer of employer)

11 January

13 January

[email protected]

 

Starbank School (Hob Moor Road Site) / Birmingham

(Direct time/Workload)

11 January

13 January

[email protected]

 

Newham Sixth Form College/Newham

(Transfer of employer)

11-13 January [email protected]

 

NASUWT

Survey shows Government failing on classroom ventilation (6 Jan) – Government plans to provide 7,000 air purifiers for schools and colleges will fall thousands short of what is needed to ensure adequate ventilation in every classroom, a survey released by NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union has found. Well over half (56%) of the nearly 2,000 teachers who responded to an NASUWT survey on ventilation said they do not have access to a CO2 monitor in their classroom. This is despite a pledge from ministers that all schools and colleges would be provided with monitors from the start of the current academic year in September 2021 as part of measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 read more

 

EIS

Teachers Report Soaring Workload Levels During Pandemic – Scotland’s teachers have faced soaring levels of workload throughout the pandemic, and at a time when they are being offered a significant real-terms cut in their level of pay by COSLA and the Scottish Government 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

University slammed as dismissed lecturer secures settlement (7 Jan) – The University and College Union (UCU) has today (Friday) slammed the University of Huddersfield after a sacked lecturer secured a £100,000 award because the institution refused to reinstate him, despite being ordered to do so by an employment tribunal. A tribunal ruled in July 2021 that Mr Jonathan Duxbury had won the right to return to work and should be reinstated by the university into his role as a senior lecturer in the department of accounting, finance and economics. However, the university ignored the ruling, refusing repeatedly to reinstate Mr Duxbury despite the union and its lawyers reminding the institution of its legal obligations under the tribunal’s ruling. This financial award comes after a multi-year battle with the University over its unfair requirement for Mr Duxbury to complete a PhD or face losing his job. This despite him having a professional qualification in accountancy and being a fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants read more

Sexual violence endemic at UK universities and colleges (22 Dec) – Sexual violence is endemic in the UK’s university and college workplaces and employers must do more to tackle it, a groundbreaking report has outlined today 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

NUJ dismisses former culture secretary John Whittingdale’s attack on the BBC (4 Jan) – The ex-minister has proposed the corporation is stripped back to providing news and children’s programmes. The National Union of Journalists has dismissed as “extremely dangerous” a suggestion by former culture secretary John Whittingdale that the BBC licence fee should be abolished, and the corporation be funded for providing a core news service read more

 

Prospect

Members at Natural England to start industrial action in the new year over poverty pay – 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

 

Equity

Equity responds to Chancellor’s announcement of inadequate support package (21 Dec) – Today Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a package of support for COVID-19 hit industries. Although it included an extra £30m to help theatres and museums, it does not provide any sort of financial support for the creative workforce read more

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

 

USDAW

Sainsbury’s and Argos pay deal: Usdaw achieves a £10 per hour basic rate in another step forward for the union’s New Deal for Workers campaign (7 Jan) – Retail trade union Usdaw has achieved at least £10 per hour basic rate for Sainsbury’s and Argos shopworkers in a ground-breaking pay deal. The offer is another step forward for the union’s New Deal for Workers campaign 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])

 

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

 

IWGB

BREAKING NEWS!! UK’s longest gig economy pay strike resumes in Sheffield this week after Stuart’s secret pay talks exposed (10 Jan) – the UK’s longest ever gig-economy pay strike resumes today as Sheffield couriers from the the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) relaunch industrial action and will picket McDonalds branches every day this week. Last week Stuart invited selected riders to closed-door meetings on pay which excluded all unionised workers. When IWGB members staged a peaceful demonstration outside the Sheffield location, they were informed by venue security that the meeting had been cancelled and Stuart staff had left the building via a ground floor fire escape. Strike action began on 6 December when Stuart slashed its base rate of pay per delivery by 24 percent from £4.50 to £3.40, with protests spreading to Chesterfield and Sunderland. The majority Black and Minoritised workforce demands at least £6 per delivery plus mileage and paid waiting times after 10 minutes and their strike fund has raised almost £14,000. The IWGB is also bringing a claim against Stuart on behalf of over 150 couriers nationwide for unlawful denial of worker status and basic rights like holiday pay and a guaranteed minimum wage 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

 

SIPTU (Ireland)

SIPTU demands Department of Social Protection attend WRC talks on LES and Job Clubs dispute (7 Jan) – SIPTU representatives have called on Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys, to reverse a decision that Department of Social Protection officials will not attend proposed talks at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) concerning the Local Employment Services (LES) and Job Clubs dispute read more

 

Other news

Doctors in Unite have produced this model resolution for local union branches to discuss airborne spread and how important it is to put protections in place.  They’ve also produced a leaflet with info about this and a checklist for reps in the workplace; Unite’s health section has had some input too. They’d be happy to meet with interested local branches or regions to discuss the issues and the practicalities of the measures. Here’s a link for the materials on their website:  https://doctorsinunite.com/health-safety/

Save St Mary’s Leisure Centre: – petition to Southampton City Council

St Mary’s Leisure Centre in Southampton is used every week by hundreds of individuals, sports and leisure groups. It is facing council funding cuts and closure at a time when we need these vital facilities. There are no other local facilities available for community use. The centre is in need of maintenance but is safe and viable for current use. We call for Southampton Council to maintain the funding of the centre, to continue as a council run community facility in line with council’s statement of priorities. No council cuts, no to privatisation. Save St Mary’s Leisure Centre – follow campaign on Facebook

 

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

Condemn the state repression of demonstrators in Kazakhstan – you can use this letter as a model of protesting about the attacks on demonstrators:-

Dear Ambassador Idrissov

I/We are a member of xxxxx Trade Union representing Xxxxxx workers in the UK.

I/We am/are writing to you to protest at the brutal repression of demonstrators throughout Kazakhstan and the state of emergency in Almaty and Mangistau. It is a basic human right to be able demonstrate. Kazakhstan is once again revealing itself as an old fashioned dictatorship rather than a modern democracy.

I/We reject the “official” view of the demonstrations as being led by “extremists terrorists and radicals” which is put forward on your web site. The demonstrators are ordinary working-class people, men women and young people who have seen their standards of living cut, while the privileged elite and oligarchs at the top of Kazakh society enjoy a lavish lifestyle. They recognise that for the last thirty years, Nazarbayev and his family and friends have corruptly run the country at the expense of the workers. Tokayev is nothing but a puppet of Nazarbayev, that is why many of the demonstrators have been shouting “Down with the old Man”.

The use of tear gas and other methods of repression must stop immediately. As Trade Unionists, I/We will be taking these issues up with UK companies that invest and work in Kazakhstan.

We urge you to end the repression now. This needs to be accompanied by a commitment to allow freedom of association and the recognition of genuinely free and independent political parties including those that challenge the ruling elite in Kazakhstan.

Yours XXXXX

Send to Kazakhstan embassy

The Ambassador

125 Pall Mall,

St. James’s,

London

SW1Y 5EA

Email [email protected]

 

(From NUJ website) Turkey: TGS union victory in Hürriyet case read more

(From NUJ website) 45 journalists and media staff killed in work-related incidents during 2021, says IFJ read more

(From NUJ website) Hong Kong: police detain seven journalists linked to Stand News after raiding newsroom 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