NSSN 593: CWU strikes back!

July 20, 2022 in Bulletins

The NSSN sends solidarity to the CWU and its members in Royal Mail, British Telecom and the Post Office. 40,000 BT & Openreach workers will be striking on 29 July & 1 August with a YES vote of over 90%, while 115,000 workers in Royal Mail Group have yesterday voted for strike action by a massive 97.6% on a 77% turnout over 1500 workplaces, smashing the undemocratic Tory ballot thresholds. This is on top of being action taken by CWU members in the Post Office. The NSSN will be supporting the pay strikes and we support the call for both Royal Mail and BT to be brought back into public ownership. Follow the CWU on their websiteFacebook and Twitter at @CWUnews

CWU Leyton snip

BREAKING NEWS!! CWU serve notice of 2nd strike ballot over Royal Mail management’s change proposals (20 July)

CWU: BT Group members set to strike on 29 July & 1 August (July 18) – Over 40,000 BT Group workers to hold a two-day national strike against real-terms pay cuts, with senior management accused by our general secretary Dave Ward as having “stuck two fingers up” to key workers. The announcement followed a strike ballot, in which Openreach engineers voted for action by 95.8 per cent and members in BT returned a 91.5 per cent majority for the walkout. The dispute centres on workers opposing the imposition by the business of a far-below-inflation, flat-rate, £1,500pa pay settlement on employees, which is a dramatic real-terms pay cut when compared to RPI inflation levels of over 11 per cent. It is also in the context of BT making £1.3 billion in annual profit, with CEO Philip Jansen gaining a £3.5 million pay package – a 32 per cent wage increase – while the Big Issue and the BBC have reported instances of BT offices establishing food banks to assist employees. These members look after the vast majority of Britain’s telecoms infrastructure, from mobile phone connection, broadband internet and back-up generators to national heath systems, cyber security and data centres. The strike action is also likely to have a serious effect on the roll-out of ultra-fast broadband and may cause significant issues for those working from home. It is the first strike action at BT Group since 1987, and the first national call-centre workers’ strike. Our general secretary Dave Ward said: “For the first time since 1987, strike action will now commence at BT Group. This is not a case of an employer refusing to meet a union’s demands – this is about an employer refusing to meet us whatsoever. The serious disruption this strike may cause is entirely down to Philip Jansen and his friends, who have chosen to stick two fingers up to their own workforce…” read more

CWU: ‘Most solid strike yet’ by Crown Post Office workers (July 11) – CWU representatives around the UK report strengthening support for the union’s fair pay fight, with Crown Offices shut for the day and ‘good luck’ messages to pickets from the public. Picket lines appeared at Post Offices across the UK today, as fed-up counter staff took their third day of strike action in their ongoing struggle to ensure they and their families get a fair reward for their hard work and dedication to the public, as well as a financial recognition of the harsh effects of the sharp rise in the cost of living. CWU News spoke with some of our CWU representatives from different parts of the country as they looked back on another day of industrial action read more

New CWU strike to halt cash deliveries & collections at all 11,500 UK post offices (July 1) – Union calls out Supply Chain and Admin members and warns Post Office bosses to ‘stop the spin and get serious on pay’. Andy Furey, national officer for the CWU’s Post Office members, announced yesterday that hundreds of cash and valuables in transit (CViT) workers and their cash processing and administrative colleagues will resume strike action on Thursday the 14th July read more

 

Fight the Tory pay insult: Come to the NSSN TUC Congress Rally & Lobby #StrikeTogether – 1pm Sunday 11th September Holiday Inn Brighton Seafront Facebook event

It is vital that the unions come together in the fight for inflation-proof pay rises in the midst of the cost of living crisis. Just yesterday, the Tories made it clear that public sector pay rises will be nowhere near the RPI inflation rate, now up to 11.8%. But workers should take confidence from the Tory crisis that their pay restraint can be defeated.

Unite: Public sector pay offer a ‘kick in the teeth (19 July)

PCS: Insulting public sector pay offers show need to coordinate action (19 July)

GMB: Public sector pay: staffing black hole will become gaping chasm with another real-terms pay cut (19 July)

Unison: Delayed, disappointing pay rise will leave staff considering their futures, say health unions (19 July)

BMA: ‘Brutal pay cut will come as a bitter blow to doctors’, says BMA (19 July)

DoctorsVote Protest Against the Pay Cut – 6.30pm Monday 25th July outside Department for Health and Social Care – 39 Victoria Street, London, SW1H 0 Facebook event

NHS pay deal for England: RCN to ballot members on industrial action (19 July)

NEU: Teacher pay (19 July)

NASUWT: STRB announcement is biggest pay cut yet (19 July)

FBU: Pay consultation 2022: Unanimous rejection of 2% offer (July 18)

POA: Pay cut totally unacceptable for prison officer grades (20 July)

Prospect: It’s clear ministers value themselves more than those who work for them (19 July)

The recent NSSN Conference agreed to build support for the rally that we are again hosting to lobby TUC Congress in Brighton in September to call for co-ordinated action of unions across the private and public sectors. There will be a rally in the Holiday Inn Hotel and then a march to lobby TUC Congress delegates at the Brighton Centre. Let us know if your union organisation or campaign would like a stall table at the rally.

Please support this model motion and take it to your union branch and trades council and support the NSSN rally and lobby in Brighton:-

“This (union branch/trades council) gives our full support to workers being forced to take strike action against their employers backed by the Tory government. The cost of living crisis, fire and rehire tactics and other attacks by employers in pursuit of maintaining profits at our expense all mean workers are uniting to fight back.

We will continue to give our solidarity, building practical and financial support to all striking workers. The increasing number of disputes shows the immense power of workers. If unions act together, significant victories can be won. We also oppose the Tories’ threats to introduce further anti-union legislation to the raft of undemocratic restrictions already in existence and call on the TUC to co-ordinate opposition.

We call on unions in struggle to urgently come together to discuss and formulate a strategy to co-ordinate industrial action ballots and strikes.

We therefore agree to build the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) rally and lobby of TUC Congress in Brighton on Sunday 11 September behind this call.”

Please let us know if your union branch/trades council supports our rally and we’ll add to our list of supporting union organisations.

If you want to attend the NSSN TUC Rally and need transport and/or you want leaflets and posters to give out, email us via [email protected]. To make a donation to the NSSN and/or get your union branch/trades council to affiliate for an annual fee of £50, either make a cheque out to ‘National Shop Stewards Network’ and post to NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE or pay online: HSBC – sort code 40-06-41, account number 90143790.

Watch the video of the NSSN Conference platform speakers here

This is the video that was played before the start of the recent NSSN Conference – showing many of the disputes that we’ve supported over the last year

 

Support the rail strikes

The NSSN stands in solidarity with the RMT and the 50,000 of its members who have taken strike action nationally and on London Underground, where they were joined by 1,000 Unite members. Now ASLEF and TSSA are also taking action.

Donate to the RMT National Dispute Fund

RMT: National rail strikes set for 18 and 20 August (14 July) – RMT will take a further 2 days strike action this Summer in a row over job security, pay and working conditions. The strikes on August 18 and 20, will bring out over 40,000 workers across Network Rail and 14 train operating companies. RMT is also taking 24 hours strike action on 27 July read more

RMT calls 24 hours strike action on 27 July in national rail dispute (13 July) – RMT calls 24 hours strike action after rejecting “paltry” Network Rail offer. Railway workers will once again take strike action over job security, pay and working conditions on Wednesday July 27. The 24-hour stoppage comes after Network Rail made an offer of 4pc in the first year followed by a possible 4pc in the second year, conditional on RMT members accepting all attacks on their terms and conditions. RMT has yet to receive a pay offer or guarantees over job losses from the train operating companies (TOCs). Network Rail members will strike from 2am on Wednesday July 27 for 24 hours. And members on the TOCs will take action from 00.01 until 23:59 on the 27 July. We will also be consulting other unions that have delivered mandates for strike action in the coming days read more

ASLEF Announces 30th July Strike Date (14 July) – ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, has announced a day of strike action after train companies failed to make a pay offer to keep pace with the increase in the cost of living…ASLEF members at eight companies – Arriva Rail London; Chiltern Railways; Greater Anglia; Great Western; Hull Trains; LNER; Southeastern; and West Midlands Trains – will strike on Saturday 30 July read more

TSSA: GWR staff to take industrial action on 30th July (15 July) – TSSA members in Great Western Railways will take industrial action short of strike on Saturday 30 July in a move that will affect contingency cover for train drivers’ union Aslef’s strike action that day. TSSA represents a wide range of staff at GWR, including station and ticket office staff, clerical and admin staff, driver standards managers and other senior roles. Members voted 81% in favour of taking industrial action short of strike in a ballot which closed this week (13 July) read more

TSSA announces 27th July strike date at Avanti West Coast (13 July) – TSSA members in station grades at Avanti West Coast will hold a one day strike on Wednesday 27 July. The action covers the period from 00:01 to 23:59 on that date and coincides with the RMT strike action the same day. Avanti – the west coast mainline operator- was the first of a dozen train companies plus Network Rail which were successfully balloted for industrial action by TSSA. The dispute is over pay, job security and conditions read more

 

Stop union victimisation: support the Coventry bin strike

The Labour council has disgracefully targeted Pete Randle, one of the senior Unite shop stewards. We call on all our supporters to support Pete and his striking members

Sign petition to Councillor George Duggins – Coventry Council: Reinstate Pete Randle, stop union busting, stop strike breaking and pay the rate

100 per cent strike vote by HGV drivers sends determined message to Coventry Council (7 June) – In a resounding show of unity and determination, striking HGV drivers in Coventry have voted to renew their strike mandate and continue industrial action into the summer. Putting pressure on Coventry council to settle with the union, 100 per cent of those workers who voted support continuing strike action until an agreement is reached. The HGV drivers have been on all out-strike since 31 January in a dispute over low pay and the council’s refusal to pay the HGV refuse lorry drivers the market rate for the job read more

Follow @UniteWestMids on twitter. 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]

 

Solidarity with GMB after Wealden bin strike victory but protest against picket line arrests

Wealden bin strike ends in seventh week with massive pay deal for workers (14 June) – GMB union members have today accepted an improved pay offer to end the refuse strike within Wealden District Council. Their employer Biffa’s latest pay offer will constitute a pay rise of more than 27 per cent for some workers. The total value of the settlement is worth between 24 and 27 per cent, depending on which job they do. Kerbside collections within Wealden will recommence from tomorrow [Wednesday 15 June]. The strike ends after 6 weeks and 2 days of action which garnered many messages of support and solidarity from local residents read more

Solidarity with GMB as arrests made on Wealden bin strike picket – The NSSN like many others in the trade union movement sent solidarity to the GMB after officers and a member were arrested recently. They remained in police custody for hours but were released later that day. This was an outrageous act. The NSSN will continue to support the GMB and its members in Wealden. Donate to GMB Southern region fighting fund. There is a protest to support the three officials who got arrested last week on the Wealden Biffa picket line. Three of them have been charged with obstructing a public highway and were ordered to appear at Hastings Magistrates Court on 29th June. The case was adjourned to Brighton Crown Court on November 16th – come and support the #GMB3

GMB responding to reports of arrests on Wealden refuse strike picket line this morning (27 May)

 

Sian Ruddick RIP – the NSSN sends our deepest condolences, best wishes and solidarity to Sian’s family, friends and comrades. Sian was a longstanding rep and activist of PCS and its predecessor union CPSA and a supporter of the NSSN. We print below a tribute from the Midlands region of the PCS, which has been posted on the national PCS website:-

The sad loss of PCS activist Sian Ruddick (14 July) – PCS was saddened to hear of the death of long-standing activist Sian Ruddick. Sian was an activist in PCS for most of her adult life, and spent many years on our DWP group executive committee. She was at the centre of the Midlands PCS, playing key roles in many bodies and was branch secretary of Birmingham North DWP branch. Having spent a year recovering from her time in hospital she had returned to activity in the union, including as ever on her non-working days. She had recently involved herself in helping an ailing branch and was proud to have started recruiting reps for the branch. Sian always had time for members and reps and would regularly be fighting for their rights and helping advise other reps. With such a wealth of experience she had a lot to teach and was happy to share her knowledge. She will be missed by the Midlands PCS and we send our condolences to her family, friends and comrades

NSSN news

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!! Tory Government P&O Ferries shame (20 July) – SEAFARERS Union RMT today reacted with shock at the news that the Government has signed a contract with P&O Ferries, who sacked nearly 800 UK resident seafarers in March and immediately replaced them with agency crew, some on pay below the National Minimum Wage and required to work for months at sea. The Second Reading of the Government’s Seafarers Wages Bill, the core element of the Department for Transport’s 9-point plan in response to P&O’s actions, will take place in the House of Lords later today. RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said: “This is a new low, even by this zombie Government’s sinkhole standards read more

RMT on hottest day ever in Britain (19 July) – RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “With the hottest day in Britain’s history causing havoc on our railways, it is more important than ever that the government reverses its £2bn cut from the industry…” read more

Churchill cleaners continue their fight for a £15 per hour (16 July) – Cleaners on GTR, Network Rail, HS1 and South East Trains are back on the picket lines today on the final day of a three day strike over pay. Cleaners on GTR, Network Rail, HS1 and South East Trains are back on the picket lines today on the final day of a three day strike over pay. RMT members who are employed by the outsourcing company Churchill are campaigning for a pay rise to tackle the cost of living crisis, company sick pay and free travel for cleaning staff across the network, to bring them in line with every other railway workers on the network. Due to the cost-of-living crisis with prices rising at their fastest rate in 30 years and inflation running at 11.7 percent, these workers need a pay rise now. Churchill made a £10 million profit last year and paid a £12 million dividend in 2020 but the company is refusing to raise cleaners’ wages to a liveable standard read more

RMT calls for greater protection of railway workers following stabbing (14 July) – A staff member at Tilbury Town station was stabbed twice yesterday by a passenger after their ticket was challenged. They were taken to Basildon Hospital for treatment of minor injuries. At the time of the incident, station staff were ferried into the ticket office where they could be secure from any further attacks. The incident underlines the crucial role of ticket offices which alongside providing vital customer service, are essential safe spaces for staff who are fleeing armed attackers. There is also a responsibility on rail employers to show zero tolerance for those who assault and abuse railway workers read more

RMT secures 7% pay rise on Merseyrail (14 July) – RMT members welcomed the pay deal following intense negotiations at the rail company. The train operator which is owned jointly by Serco and Abellio agreed the deal on a no strings attached basis. Alongside Merseyrail, RMT has won pay deals on London Underground of 8.4pc, MTR Crossrail 8.2pc and 9.25pc on the Docklands Light Railway read more

Support the London Night Tube strike: every Friday and Saturday nights on Central and Victoria lines read more

 

ASLEF

Britain’s train drivers’ union announces strike action on Greater Anglia, Hull Trains and tram drivers in south London – ASLEF, the train drivers’ trade union, have announced strike action over pay:-

[i] Drivers at Greater Anglia will strike between 00:01 and 23:59 Thursday 23 June 2022.

[ii] Drivers at Hull Trains will strike between 00:01 and 23:59 on Sunday 26 June.

[iii] And tram drivers in south London will strike for a fair pay deal from 00:01 on Tuesday 28 June until 23:59 on Wednesday 29 June and from 00:01 on Wednesday 13 July until 23:59 on Thursday 14 July read more

 

TSSA

TSSA slams Shapps over Transpennine upgrade report (20 July) – National Audit Office report critical of government’s Transpennine upgrade plans. Rail union TSSA has slammed the government after a National Audit Office (NAO) report highlighted delays, nearly £200m in wasted cash and expected cost increases over the Transpennine Route rail upgrade read more

TSSA Ballot Results – Great Western Railway (GWR) Greater Anglia, TransPennine Express (13 July) – Almost seven hundred TSSA rail union members at Great Western Railway (GWR), Greater Anglia and TransPennine Express have voted for industrial action in a dispute over pay, conditions and job security. Members at Great Western Railway voted both for strike action and action short of a strike – and passed the required threshold for both. Members at Greater Anglia voted in favour of strike action and action short of a strike – however due to anti trade union laws the threshold for action was met only for action short of a strike. Members at TransPennine Express voted in favour of both strike action and action short of a strike – however due to anti trade union laws the threshold for action was met only for action short of a strike. The union is demanding a guarantee of no compulsory redundancies for 2022, no unagreed changes to terms and conditions, and a pay increase which reflects the escalating cost of living. TSSA has not yet named dates industrial action at these companies but will now consider next steps with workplace Reps. The ballot comes as part of an escalating dispute across the wider rail industry, and the growing likelihood of widespread disruption read more

 

Unite

BREAKING NEWS!! AFS Heathrow refuelling strike suspended as new offer on table (20 July) – Strike action due to be taken by members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, employed by Aviation Fuel Services (AFS) at Heathrow Airport due to begin tomorrow (Thursday 21 July) has been suspended. Following negotiations held at the conciliation service ACAS today (Wednesday 20 July) a sustainably improved offer was made and as a consequence Unite suspended the strike action to allow its members to ballot on the new offer read more

BREAKING NEWS!! Hackney Council workers to strike again on July 25, 27 and 29 read more

BREAKING NEWS!! Prestwick Airport workers support strike action as Unite fights back over rock bottom pay (20 July) – 78% vote for action in fight against pay cut. Prestwick Airport workers have overwhelmingly backed strike action in a dispute over a real terms pay cut and poverty pay, Scotland’s leading aviation trade union, Unite, confirmed today (20 July).  By 78 per cent on an 84 per cent turnout, Unite members supported strike action with Prestwick Airport now set to face disruption in the coming weeks. The action will start on Friday 5 August and will continue over four weeks on every Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The dispute centres on the refusal of Prestwick Airport’s management to pay shift allowances and meet the Real Living Wage (£9.90) rate for new starters. Unite represents more than 80 workers including airport security, firefighters, airfield operators, ground crew, ground handling, cargo, customer services, and cleaners. The workers have demanded a significant wage increase with inflation reaching a 40-year high at 11.7 per cent.  The last offer on the table for the workforce was between 4 and 6.5 percent. Unite can confirm that talks facilitated by the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) involving both parties will reconvene on Thursday afternoon in a last-ditch attempt to reach a deal that meets the aspirations of the workers before strike action occurs read more

BREAKING NEWS!! Strike threat over cuts to emergency services for Edinburgh’s vulnerable (20 July) – Unite claims ‘major incidents’ arising from outsourcing. Unite the union has confirmed today (20 July) that is balloting its members over cuts to the City of Edinburgh Council’s Monitoring and Response Service Unit. Unite’s members at ATEC24’s Monitoring and Response Service provide emergency telecare for Edinburgh’s vulnerable citizens to let them live safely at home. Vulnerable clients of the service have an alarm and other devices, such as pendants that detect if they have fallen or sensors to check if they have left the house, which then call the service to alert them that the client may need attention. The ballot involving over 20 members opens on 20 July and closes on 3 August. It could lead to strike action taking place in the coming weeks read more

BREAKING NEWS!! Cheshire fastenings factory workers ballot for strike action over ‘subsistence’ wages (20 July) – YKK profits at £399 million but tells low paid Runcorn workers to take real terms pay cut. Around 70 workers, members of Unite, are being balloted for strike action until 22 July over a 5.2 per cent pay offer that would see the lowest paid employee paid just £9.54 per hour. The real rate of inflation, RPI, is currently running at 11.8 per cent and rising read more

Bexley Countrystyle refuse workers Appeal – Countrystyle Bexley members have been out on strike since 12th July and it is likely this will continue until Countrystyle offer a pay rise that doesn’t come with a change to members’ terms and conditions. The proposal to change job and finish will mean members will have to work more and more for less and less, this is unacceptable. Henry Howe, rep: ‘It cost me £100 a week to get to work which is a huge increase, fuel bills have gone up, food costs have gone up, the cost everything has increased except for our wages. A rise in pay shouldn’t mean we lose our terms and conditions, please help members fight this battle”. Benn Smith, Rep: “I am a rep at the London borough of Bexley contacted to Countrystyle Recycling Ltd. Some if not all of you may know we have voted and won to take industrial action against Countrystyle these guys are trying to eat away at the terms and conditions of some of our longest serving staff. We went out on strike from Tuesday this week on an initial 2 week notice we have since issued a further 2 weeks. We are asking if any of you could please help out with donations for our branch so that we have the funds to keep this strike going as long as it takes for us to stop a race to the bottom of terms and conditions. If you can help out thank you. Again thank you and thanks for taking the time to read this message.”

The Bexley strikers will be protesting today Wednesday 20th July at 5.30pm outside Bexley Town Hall, 2 Watling St, Bexleyheath DA6 7AT

Our branch account details are: Unite LE/649; sort code 60-83-01; account No 20441911

Bexley bin strikes extend into August over pay and attacks on T&Cs (13 July) – Council urged to intervene over attempts to scrap ‘job and finish’ provision. Strikes at Bexley council refuse contractor Countrystyle Recycling have been extended until 7 August, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Wednesday 13 July). More than 100 workers, responsible for loading and driving bin lorries, began two weeks of continuous strike action yesterday. Another two weeks of all out strikes will now begin on 25 July read more

Unite will continue to resist attacks that make workers pay the price of the inflation crisis (20 July) – Unite will continue to resist attacks that make workers pay the price of the inflation crisis. Workers’ cost of living crisis grows – official stats show pay is falling fastest since 2001. Relentless corporate profiteering not wage rises driving inflation as the RPI climbs to 11.8% / CPI 9.4%. Unite General Secretary, Sharon Graham, says: “Workers have had the spring, summer, autumn and winter of discontent for years. We now have record inflation to match record temperatures. Average pay is now falling at the fastest rate in 20 years. Unite will not stand by and let workers take the hit for a crisis not of their making”. Unite’s latest investigation confirms where the blame lies for the real causes of current inflation and it’s not workers’ wages read more

Unite: Public sector pay offer a ‘kick in the teeth’ (19 July) – Responding to the government’s public sector pay offer, Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “The government promised rewards for the dedication of the public sector workforce during the pandemic. What they have delivered instead, in real terms, is a kick in the teeth. The so-called wage offer amounts to a massive national pay cut. We expected the inevitable betrayal but the scale of it is an affront…Unite will stand 100 per cent with our public sector members. We will defend them and we will fight for them, in all and every action they wish to take.” Read more

Lerwick Port strike action ends after pay deal (19 July) – Pay boost of up to 38 per cent for port workers. Unite the union today (19 July) confirmed that its members working at the Lerwick Port Authority have ended strike action following a pay deal which boosts wages by up to 38 per cent. The dispute revolved around pay, pension contributions and work-life balance. Unite has secured a deal worth between 34 and 38 per cent for workers at the Port. The deal will enhance the hourly wage for semi-skilled workers from £10.41 to £14 per hour, and for skilled workers from £11.62 to £16 per hour. The pay deal will increase the pension contributions for Unite members by the employer. A new 12-month working rota has also been agreed which aims to cut working hours and to support the work-life balance of Unite members with a reduction in hours worked read more

Protest march against bus cuts: Saturday 23rd July – starts 9am at Enfield bus garage Southbury Road, marching to Tottenham garage and rally at Tottenham Town Hall

Unite secures extra cost of living payment for three out of four Virgin Money UK staff (19 July) – Unite has won an £1,000 additional payment to lower paid staff through the cost of living crisis. Unite, the union representing staff working across Virgin Money UK (VMUK) has today secured a £1,000 one-off payment for three out of four staff. All those who earn less than £50,000 annually will receive the payment read more

Heathrow set for refuelling delays as workers reject pay offer and strikes imminent (19 July) – Airlines at airport including KLM, Emirates, Virgin and Delta braced for disruption as AFS workers reject pay offer. A strike by refuellers based at Heathrow airport, which will cause delays to hundreds of flights, is set to go ahead later this week, after workers rejected a revised pay offer. The workers are employed by Aviation Fuel Services (AFS), which is responsible for refuelling half of the non-British Airways traffic at Heathrow airport. Affected airlines include Virgin Atlantic, United, Singapore, KLM, American, Emirates, Air France and Delta. The three day strike will begin at 05:00 on Thursday 21 July and end at 04:59 on Sunday 24 July read more

Container company’s inadequate pay offer could cause chaos on Liverpool docks (19 July) – Dockworkers employed at MDHC container services, part of Peel Ports, in Liverpool are to be balloted for industrial action in a dispute over pay and conditions. If the 500 plus workers, who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, vote for strike action then the container port, which is one of the largest in the country, will come to a virtual standstill. The dispute is a result of MDHC failing to make a decent pay increase. The ‘final’ offer of seven per cent is far below the current real inflation rate (RPI) of 11.7 per cent. In addition, the company has failed to pay the bonus payment that was agreed in the 2021 pay deal read more

Chester-le-Street Go North East workers strike ballot over plans to close town’s bus depot (19 July) – Chester-le-Street Go North East workers strike ballot over plans to close town’s bus depot. ‘Prevailing mood’ for strike action over proposals that risk jobs and services and will damage town’s economy. A consultative ballot of 170 workers recorded a 95 per cent vote in favour of striking over the proposals. A formal industrial action ballot opened last Friday (15 July) and closes on 28 July read more

Sign petition: To Martijn Gilbert, Managing Director, Go North East – Save Chester-le-Street bus depot

Unite suspends three day strike at Royal Mail as talks continue (18 July) – Unite, the UK’s leading union, has announced that 72 hours of strike action by Royal Mail managers set from Wednesday 20 July is now off. The move follows the conclusion of a ballot of the union’s 2,400 Royal Mail members on new proposals by the employer on jobs, pay and conditions. Unite’s members have voted by almost two to one (63 per cent to 37 per cent) to accept, meaning talks resume. This vote does not end the dispute, however, and Unite will now seek further negotiations with the Royal Mail on issues that are yet to be resolved read more

UK heatwave: Unite calls on government to ‘get a move on’ with clear law on working in hot temperatures (18 July) – Unite national health and safety adviser Rob Miguel said: “Unite is pressing for a maximum temperature for safe working of 27 degrees Celsius for strenuous jobs and 30 degrees Celsius for sedentary jobs, and a trigger of 24 degrees Celsius where action should be taken to reduce temperatures indoors and strict protection measures put in place for outdoor workers. “As the climate changes, it is vital that health and safety law is updated in line with the serious challenges this presents for workers. We urge the government to get a move on with this so that there can be no ambiguities in the workplace. In the meantime, employers have a legal and moral duty to ensure workers’ health is not damaged during the current hot weather…” read more

Unite secures substantial pay increase to end Stagecoach Merseyside pay dispute (18 July) – Unite members employed by Stagecoach in Merseyside have ended their industrial dispute after agreeing a substantial pay increase. The 370 strong workforce, based at Stagecoach’s Gilmoss depot, had already taken a day’s strike action on Monday 4 July and were scheduled to begin all out strike action from this Wednesday (20 July). All strike action has now been cancelled. The deal will see bus drivers pay increase to £14.00 an hour backdated to March 2022 and to £14.20 from January 2023. The engineers will see their pay increase by 10.3 per cent, backdated to March 2022 and a further 1.45 per cent from January 2023 read more

How many more have to die on the streets before Communities minister and Housing Executive deliver on promises for supported accommodation for women? (16 July) – Unite the union claims Communities minister Deirdre Hargey and NI Housing Executive chief executive Grainia Long are ‘dodging’ requests for a meeting on issue. Former Regina Coeli House worker challenges Legion of Mary to make old building available as a hostel for vulnerable women. Following the reported death of a young homeless woman (Thursday 14 July] on the streets of Belfast, Unite the union has demanded Stormont deliver on promises to provide ‘enhanced and expanded’ women-only supported accommodation. The commitment was made by Communities minister Deirdre Hargey before elections in response to a 12-week work-in and occupation by employees opposing the closure of Regina Coeli House – which was at that time Northern Ireland’s sole women-only supported-accommodation read more

Unite ‘not confident’ fair tips bill will see workers keep their missing tips (15 July) – Commenting on the progress of the Employment (Allocation of Tips) Bill which was today (Friday) debated in the House of Commons as private member’s legislation, Unite national officer for hospitality, Dave Turnbull said: “In the six years since workers were promised action on tips an awful lot of money has been lost by low paid workers. This bill has been long in the making but it certainly cannot be the last word in tips protections. As the union fighting for reform for years, it has been the pressure of the workers that has brought even this first step towards change. It is vital that what is passed into law has the full confidence of the hospitality workforce. “Sadly, at this stage we are not confident that these measures will address the problems with tipping practices across the hospitality sector.” Read more

Wabtec Doncaster rail maintenance strikes suspended as workers ballot on new offer (15 July) – Strikes at the Wabtec rail maintenance site in Doncaster have been suspended to allow workers to vote on a new offer put forward by the company. Unite, the UK’s leading union, said strikes scheduled to begin on 19 July over the company’s ‘fire and rehire’ plans will now be postponed. The union said that if its members vote down the deal then new strike action will be scheduled read more

Tipton workers in McLaren, Aston Martin and Bentley supply chain using foodbanks (15 July) – CabAuto workers building interiors for luxury cars renew strikes. More than 100 West Midlands workers, paid just £9.90 an hour, will stage two weeks of strike action in July over a three per cent pay offer. The fresh industrial action follows on from seven days of strikes in June and at the beginning of this month. This is a significant real terms pay cut when prices are soaring and RPI inflation is running at 11.7 per cent. CabAuto’s owner, the Adler Pelzer Group, made profits of £118 million (€137.6 million) in 2020. Meanwhile, some CabAuto workers are so poorly rewarded that they have been forced to use food banks read more

Sandwell facing smelly summer as refuse workers announce strike action over pay (15 July) – Residents of Sandwell, in the West Midlands, are facing a smelly summer as refuse workers employed by outsourcer Serco have announced strike action, as the company has refused to make a reasonable pay offer. Sixty members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, employed in various roles including HGV drivers, refuse collectors and street cleaners, have voted for strike action. An initial strike has been called for Thursday 28 July and Friday 29 July with further strikes on August 4, 5 and 8. If the dispute is not swiftly resolved then additional action will be announced read more

Newham bin workers balloting for strike action in pay dispute (14 July) – Members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, employed by Newham council are currently being balloted for industrial action in a dispute over pay and conditions. The ballot is ongoing and closes on Wednesday 3 August. If the approximately 100 strong workforce opts for industrial action then strikes could begin next month read more

Eastleigh Ford and Mercedes assembly workers to strike in July and August over ‘insulting’ pay offer (14 July) – Automotive assembly contractor VFS workers wage deal amounts to a pay cut. Workers employed at the south coast firm VFS Southampton Ltd, who assemble large vehicles for Ford and Mercedes, have announced strike action in a dispute over pay. The workers, who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, voted overwhelmingly for the action in March after VFS imposed a pay award of less than four per cent. At the time the real rate of inflation (RPI) was running at 7.8 per cent but has now reached 11.7 per cent. Industrial action was previously postponed to allow for negotiations. However, an ‘insulting’ revised offer put forward by the company in June was overwhelmingly rejected by the membership. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “VFS has put forward an insulting pay offer that is in fact a real terms pay cut. Unite defends our members’ jobs, pay and conditions and our VFS membership will have the union’s full support during these strikes.” The workers will stage 24 hour strikes on 27 and 29 July and 2, 4, 8, 10 and 12 August. If the dispute is not resolved more strike action will be scheduled. During the strikes, picket lines will be in place at the company’s Chickenhall Lane factory in Eastleigh, Hampshire read more

Isle of Wight MP sides with bad bosses in call for ferry strike restrictions (13 July) – MP Bob Seeley ‘no interest’ in Red Funnel workers ‘atrocious’ pay and conditions. Responding to Bob Seeley’s calls for the upcoming Transport Bill to include restrictions on ferry strikes, Unite regional coordinating officer Scott Kemp said: “Mr Seeley knows that Red Funnel is responsible for these strikes because the minimum wage and conditions it offers are atrocious, even though its owners have billions in the bank. It is also the reason why there is a staff retention problem and crossings keep being cancelled. His comments will be music to the ears of maritime employers, such as Red Funnel and P&O, who can afford to give workers a decent wage but instead drive down pay and conditions to ever deeper depths…” read more

Isle of Wight ferry summer holiday pay strikes to hit Cowes Week regatta (11 July) – Red Funnel workers using food banks, spending days away from home with no overnight pay or expenses. Around 120 Red Funnel staff working on the Southampton-Cowes route, the majority of whom are on the minimum wage, will take 24-hour strike actions on 27 July and 1, 3 and 5 August. The strikes will impact Cowes Week, which runs from 30 July to 6 August. Further summer holiday 24-hour strike actions will take place on 9, 11, 15, 17, 19, 23, 26 and 29 August read more

Strike action at Norwich City Services Ltd averted as new pay deal agreed (13 July) – Strike action at Norwich City Services Ltd (NCSL) has been averted after workers agreed an improved pay and conditions package. The workers, who are members of Unite and Unison, had voted to take strike action in a consultative ballot, but following that vote fresh negotiations were held and an agreement was reached on an improved offer. The workers at NCSL, which is which wholly owned by Norwich City Council, will receive a 5.5 per cent increase in pay. In addition they will receive increased employer pension contributions, extra sick pay and additional annual leave. NCSL has also committed to the fast tracking of a job evaluation process and a review of working hours by March 2023 read more

Arriva Yorkshire bus strike to be suspended as act of ‘good faith’ (13 July) – The bus strike affecting Arriva’s services in West and North Yorkshire will be suspended from Friday (15 July) as an act of good faith. All out strike action, involving members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, resumed today (Wednesday 13 July) after members rejected the company’s latest pay offer. However, following the resumption of the industrial action, Unite has received assurances from senior managers at Arriva that a new substantial offer, which could be sufficient to resolve the dispute, was being prepared. Negotiations will begin on Friday read more

Workers at Derry City & Strabane district council to launch four-week strike action after they reject latest, inadequate pay offer (11 July) – Council management has been notified of a four-week strike commencing 18 July and ending 14 August. Latest pay offer provided no additional consolidated pay increase, leaving workers unprotected from surging inflation. Unite has notified bosses at Derry City & Strabane district council of a further four weeks of strike action. This industrial action follows two previous strikes by workers at local councils, the Education Authority and the Housing Executive. Workers are demanding a pay increase which will protect them from the current cost of living crisis. The dispute is in respect of pay following an inadequate national pay deal which offers workers a bare 1.75 per cent increase, an offer which was rejected by Unite members as inflation is currently surging at 11.7 per cent. The latest pay offer from management at Derry City & Strabane district council came after a second strike action by workers at the local authority. Workers suspended their action to allow space for further negotiations, however management merely offered a non-consolidated, one-off payment. While this would help meet immediate challenges, it would have left workers with no protection for inflation into the future. Unite is warning that the strike at Derry City & Strabane is likely to be followed by similar at other local authorities; indeed other trade unions are now balloting on industrial action at a number of councils read more

Workers to strike for a cost of living pay increase at Hampton Conservatories Ltd in Portrush (11 July) – Three percent increase is a disgraceful 8.7 percent wage cut; initial eight-day strike action to start 16 July. Unite has confirmed that its membership at the small Portrush-based manufacturer and installer of conservatories will commence an initial eight-day strike action starting 16 July 2022 read more

Petrol stations face pump problems as Gilbarco engineers take strike action over pay – Problems at petrol pumps throughout the UK will be left unattended as service engineers employed by Gilbarco Veeder-Root Ltd take strike action tomorrow (July 7) in a dispute over pay. The service engineers who, are home based and required to travel extensively for their work, have rejected a pay increase of just four per cent. This is in effect a substantial pay cut as the real rate of inflation (RPI) currently stands at 11.7 per cent. According to its last accounts, the Jersey-registered company has a multi-million pound turnover and recorded a gross profit of £4 million. The workers, who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union will take two days of strike action beginning at 06:00 on Thursday 7 July and ending at 18:00 on Friday 8 July read more

Heathrow major refuelling company AFS facing summer strikes as Unite members bid to end three year pay freeze – Members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, employed by Aviation Fuel Services (AFS) Ltd at Heathrow airport have today (5 July) announced strikes later this month in a dispute over pay. The workers are angry at the company’s refusal to table a decent pay offer having gone without a pay increase for three years, which has seen their incomes fall by 15.5 per cent. Unite’s members at AFS recorded a 93 per cent yes vote for strike action on a 92 per cent turnout. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “AFS needs to offer its workers a decent pay rise. Oil and gas companies are making massive profits so AFS has the wherewithal to make a proper offer. AFS workers have sustained wage cuts for three years so it’s time AFS rewarded their sacrifices. “Our members at AFS will receive Unite’s complete support until this dispute is resolved and workers receive a decent pay increase.” The workers will stage an initial 72 hour walkout beginning at 05:00 on Thursday 21 July and ending at 04:59 on Sunday 24 July read more

North West facing Arriva bus strikes over ‘pitiful’ pay offer – Bus workers employed by Arriva in the North West have voted in huge numbers for strike action in a dispute over pay. Unite, the workers’ union, says that all-out continuous strike action will begin on Wednesday 20 July. Around 1,800 workers returned a 96 per cent yes vote in favour of strike action on a 72 per cent turnout. Unite says its members are striking over a pitiful pay offer from the German-owned transport giant of just three per cent with no strings attached, or six per cent which included reductions in sick pay and loss of Saturday enhanced pay. Both the offers are far below the current real inflation rate (RPI) of 11.7 per cent and so constitute a pay cut read more

Bosch Rexroth workers to strike in dispute over pay and shift changes – Unite slams global giant’s plans that leave Scottish workers £7000 a year worse off. Unite has today (Monday 4 July) confirmed that members working at Bosch Rexroth Glenrothes, will walk out over a pay proposal that will leave workers £7000 a year worse off. The German-owned global tech and engineering giant has proposed a six per cent pay deal, which Unite says is a significant pay cut given that real inflation currently stands at 11.7 per cent. The employers are also refusing to back-date the pay award to 1 January or to reverse changes to shift patterns and shift allowances, which means the combined impact of the offer is to leave workers around £7,000 per year worse off. Workers at the site have rejected the company’s proposal by 74 per cent. Unite says that the Bosch Rexroth, a subsidiary of Bosch, is in a strong financial position and has no need to attack the workers’ pay and conditions.  In its 2021 annual report, Bosch Rexroth boasted of `reaching a new high on incoming orders’ which have generated sales of £5.4 billion (6.2 billion euros), up by nearly one fifth on the year before. The union’s members, 245 workers, will take continuous strike action from Tuesday 5 July until Tuesday 12 July inclusive. Thereafter they will strike every Monday and Tuesday going forward with an ongoing ban on overtime throughout read more

Caterpillar pays for strike-breakers to stay in five star luxury – Unite blasts firm for ‘burning through’ cash on rooms that cost up to £850 a night rather than pay workers fairly. Manufacturing company Caterpillar has been paying for the strike-breakers it brought to Northern Ireland to stay in five star luxury, Unite the union says today (22 June). The strike breakers have been staying at the Grand Central Hotel in Belfast but after their presence attracted protests, they were moved to the five-start Culloden Resort Hotel and Spa. Rooms at the Culloden Resort Hotel – which offers a `luxurious break…..at the most prestigious five-star hotel in Northern Ireland’ – can cost up to £850 a night, while a suite is £2,500 a night. Unite says that, along with the high-cost hotel accommodation costs, Caterpillar is paying the travel costs and hourly premiums to those they have brought in to cross picket lines read more

Strike at Moy Park Randalstown mill continues as employers refuse to pay the rate for the job – Randalstown workers paid ‘chicken feed’ wages – some less than £5,000 a year compared to workers at other Moy Park sites. As Moy Park profits touch £90 million Unite exposes how poverty pay at Randalstown leaves workers borrowing to ‘make ends meet’. A Unite survey of striking Moy Park workers has revealed that eight in 10 are suffering a declining standard of living; seven in 10 had trouble making ends meet in the last year; and six in 10 had to borrow money to get by. Drivers at the plant regularly work well in excess of 70 hours a week to make a living as the rates of pay at the site are more than £5,000 a year less than drivers receive at other Moy Park sites for the same work. The latest figures for 2021 show Moy Park has reported profits of £86 million, while its owner Pilgrim’s Pride banked among its highest ever margins at £478 million. So there’s cash a plenty to pay the same rate across the company. Unite reveals the shocking statistics as workers at Randalstown stand on pickets for a second week at the Moy Park owned chicken feed mill read more

Big name brands Diageo, Chivas, Bacardi, Carlsberg among those facing bottle shortages this summer as workers at Owens Illinois (O-I) Glass take strike action in pay dispute – Over 160 workers, members of Unite the union, are set to walk out in rejection of a pay offer of just four per cent, which the union says is a pay cut given the real inflation rate (RPI) currently stands 11.1 per cent. O-I Glass’s quarterly results released in March this year shows significant growth in both revenue and net income. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “O-I Glass is another shameful example of a business that can afford to pay a decent wage but won’t pay. The offer on the table is a pay cut, not a rise, and is entirely unacceptable. O-I Glass needs to return with an acceptable offer or face strike action by our members, who will have the full support of their union in this fight for fair pay.” Strike action will be across three sites: the Devilla Forest Quarry and the Glasshouse Loan which are both in Alloa, Scotland, and the company’s plant in Edinburgh Way, Harlow. Strikes will begin with a 24 hour strike at the Devilla Forest Quarry, on Wednesday 15 June, this will be followed by a 48 hour strike at the Glasshouse in Alloa, beginning on Thursday 16 June. The workers at the Harlow plant will then stage a 48 hour walkout beginning on Sunday 19 June. Further strike action is set to be announced in the near future. Hopes of progress in the dispute collapsed this week when the company simply restated their previous pay offer during negotiations read more

Carlisle can factory strikes to hit summer supplies of Coca Cola, Heineken, Brewdog and Magners – June pay strikes at Carlisle’s Crown Bevcan factory will hit summer supplies of cans of Coca Cola, Heineken, Brewdog, Magners and Bulmers, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Tuesday 24 May). Around 200 workers, who have already taken two days of strike action over a three per cent pay offer, will strike on 4, 5, 8, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17 June. The tin can production workers are seeking a pay deal that reflects rising living costs read more

Strike action continues as GE Aviation accused of ‘dirty tricks’ in Gloucester pay dispute – Workers at Gloucester’s Hurricane Road GE Aviation factory will be striking every Friday until their call for a fair wage is honoured, Unite the union has said today (Tuesday 29 March). Multinational GE Aviation has been accused of `dirty tricks’ in an attempt to undermine the workers. The 90-plus workers are employed by GE’s subsidiary Dowty Propellers. The workers have rejected a two year pay offer worth just 4.5 per cent which, with the actual level of inflation (retail price index) standing at 8.2 per cent, amounts to a real terms pay cut read more

Veolia workers across Edinburgh and Lothians set to strike over `insulting’ pay offer – Unite can confirm today (24 March) that more than 50 members working for Veolia Water across Edinburgh and the Lothians are set to take strike action in a dispute over pay. The strike action, involving plant operatives, electrical maintenance, mechanical, and administrative staff, was supported overwhelmingly by 94 per cent of Unite’s members in a ballot turnout of 83 per cent. The Veolia workers are demanding a significantly improved pay offer from the company.  With the more realistic cost of living (RPI) currently running at 8.2 per cent per cent, Veolia’s offer of 2.6 per cent for this year is a pay cut. Strike action will take place from 7-13 April, and then continuous strike action from 21 April read more

 

PCS

Insulting public sector pay offers show need to coordinate action (19 July) – Pay rises for the coming year for many public sector workers have been set at a well-below inflation 4.75%, offering little help to millions during the cost-of-living crisis and underlining the need for unions to come together to fight for decent pay. Prime minister Boris Johnson’s caretaker government made the announcement today on pay for workers including: schoolteachers, nurses, doctors and dentists, police officers, the armed forces, prison officers, the judiciary, senior civil servants, senior military, and police and crime commissioners. Civil servants were offered a miserly 2% earlier in the year which PCS rejected with inflation at over 9% and having made a pay claim of 10%…We are talking to our public sector colleagues and our aim, if we get yes votes with turnouts above 50% for industrial action, is to talk to those other unions about trying to take action together read more

Rwanda court revelations vindicate PCS legal challenge (19 July) – The fact that court documents reveal senior Home Office officials repeatedly told the government not to strike a deal with Rwanda over asylum seekers vindicates PCS’s decision to bring court proceedings opposing the policy read more

Help win the HMTCS Common Platform ballot (19 July) – PCS legal adviser and court associate members are voting for industrial action over the roll-out of the deeply flawed Common Platform case management system. You can join by 29 July and have your say. The ballot opened on 14 July and closes at noon on 11 August. Members can only vote by completing and posting back a ballot paper. Ballot papers were sent by first class post to all members for whom we held a ballot address on the 14 July. It is of vital importance that all members post back their completed ballot paper. Restrictive Tory rules require PCS to receive a response from a minimum of 50% of those balloted read more

PCS calls on British Museum to put staff and public safety first (18 July) – The museum is refusing to consider closing during the period covered by the ‘Red extreme’ heat national severe weather warning, despite high indoor temperatures and poor indoor air quality read more

Strike dates announced for OCS members in HMCTS (15 July) – Security officers in courts will take four days’ strike action over pay in July and August. PCS members employed by OCS as security officers in courts voted to take strike action over pay. They have rejected a pay offer that would have seen them paid just 27p an hour above the national minimum wage of £9.50. PCS has served notice on OCS that members will take strike action on 29 July and 2, 3 and 4 August read more

OCS court staff vote for action over pay (13 July)

ISS members in BEIS win again (14 July) – This month ISS members show the benefit of building union power by winning a 7% pay increase. There is power in the union and PCS members employed by ISS at BEIS have been demonstrating that in spades. After their ground-breaking strikes to improve their pay and employment terms in 2019 and 2021, PCS members have won again with a 7% pay rise, backdated to 1 March 2022 read more

PCS national strike ballot date confirmed (14 July) – PCS has announced its national strike ballot is to begin on 26 September and will run for 6 weeks. The ballot, over pay, pensions, jobs and redundancy terms, will finish on 7 November. PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka said: “The civil service has rarely faced such a huge number of challenges in such a condensed period of time. That it coincides with the cost-of-living crisis just makes it more devastating for our members, whose pay, pensions and redundancy terms are under attack…” read more

Progress on pay equality in Welsh devolved sector (13 July) – Many PCS members in the Welsh devolved sector are to see a pay uplift as a result of ministers agreeing to take a step towards pay equality. Funding has now been agreed to raise pay band minima in 9 arm’s-length bodies to the minima of the equivalent grades within the Welsh Government read more

Strong support for British Council strike – British Council workers on UK contracts took their first of three days of strike action yesterday (15 June). British Council members are on strike for three days over cuts, redundancies and privatisation. Picket lines took place in London and Manchester, with union members across the globe participating in the strike on social media. Members from London and Manchester travelled to Westminster to lobby members of parliament to build support for the campaign read more

 

GMB

Public sector pay: staffing black hole will become gaping chasm with another real-terms pay cut (19 July) – It can’t be right that public sector workers have been rewarded for their pandemic efforts by yet more pay cuts, says GMB Union. Today’s announcement on public sector pay in England, which for NHS workers comes four months late, is another kick in the teeth, said GMB. With RPI inflation standing at 11.7 per cent, the offer represents another real-terms cut for public sector workers. The offer would also represent a cut against the Government’s preferred CPI measure, which stands at 9.1 per cent. GMB will now consult members on the pay offer read more

Rudderless government and real pay plummeting could spell disaster for working people (19 July) – GMB Union says today’s ONS figures showing real wages dropping as inflation runs rampant could spell disaster for working people. Gary Smith, GMB General Secretary, said: “These worrying figures show that real pay is dropping fast and, with no action from a rudderless government, things are likely to get even worse for working people…” read more

Workers need protection in soaring temperatures (15 July) – Workers need protection in soaring temperatures, GMB Union has warned. With temperatures today [18 July] and tomorrow set to hit a record breaking 40 degrees Celsius, employers need to make adjustments. GMB is calling for a legal maximum temperature for work to be set at 25C. Currently there is a legal minimum, but no legal maximum, the union adds read more

Heatwave beer drought looms as Budweiser workers strike (15 July) – Budweiser workers will strike for 36 hours today [Saturday 16 July 20022] in a dispute over pay. Staff at the beer giant’s Salmesbury site will walk out in anger at a three per cent pay offer, which amounts to a real terms pay cut. Bosses also threatened workers that they wouldn’t be able to claim back pay if the deal was not agreed by 21 July. Budweiser workers, who have already walked out several times in June over the pay dispute, will down tools for 36 hours from Saturday 16 July at 7pm until Monday 16 July at 7am – with a further 12 hour stoppage on Tuesday 19 July read more

Sandwell bin strike: 125,000 households impacted during Commonwealth Games opening week (14 July) – GMB members have today voted overwhelmingly to back strike action at Serco Sandwell, the provider of refuse collection services across Sandwell Borough. 95% of GMB members, working across Serco refuse services, have backed strike action after weeks of Serco top brass failing to recognise the work and contribution of local refuse workers. Five initial strike dates have been announced for 28th July, 29th July, 4th August, 5th August and 8th August read more

Weekend strike called off at South London’s St George’s Hospital (15 July) – Action scheduled for Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday suspended so talks can take place, but next weekend’s action still due to go ahead. GMB, the union for all NHS staff, has called off the strike scheduled for this Sunday [17 July] at St George’s Hospital in order that talks can take place with trust representatives and the trust’s contractor Mitie. The members employed as cleaners and hostesses at the hospital in Tooting were due to take action on Sunday as well as Wednesday and Thursday [20 and 21 July], but these have also been suspended. The two planned days of action for next Saturday and Sunday [23 and 24 July] are still scheduled to go ahead, subject to the outcome of next week’s meeting read more

BREAKING NEWS!! GMB strike suspended Sat 23 and Sun 24

Sign petition – To St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Mitie out: Demand fair pay and conditions for staff at St George’s Hospital

Further bin strikes in Sussex as Arun District Council next in line for industrial action (12 July) – GMB union members set to take action in the Arundel, Bognor Regis and Littlehampton area unless their employer Biffa increase their pay offer. GMB, the union for all waste and recycling operatives and drivers, has announced that their members working for Arun District Council’s waste contractor Biffa have voted to take strike action over pay. The ballot saw 82 per cent of members vote in favour of industrial action off an 84 per cent turnout. The dispute started off linked to national pay bargaining talks, but has since developed locally, after the national offer of £13.50 for drivers and £10.65 for loaders/street operatives, was resoundingly rejected by members based at the Littlehampton depot. The members’ pay claim as submitted to management was asking for £15.50 for drivers and £12.50 for loaders, and this last offer falls short of that, and also of recent rates and bonuses offered to Biffa colleagues elsewhere in Sussex within a 50-mile radius. GMB have written to Biffa management, inviting them to enter meaningful local pay talks aimed at getting something nearer members’ expectations and so avoiding any industrial unrest and disruption for the public living and working within towns such as Arundel, Bognor Regis, Littlehampton and others within the West Sussex District read more

GMB union slams Wandsworth parking contractor for shunning talks (12 July) – It’s bad enough that NSL are ignoring us, but to refuse to talk to ACAS really demonstrates how seriously they are taking this dispute, says GMB

GMB, the union for local government, have slammed the decision by NSL, Wandsworth Council’s parking contractor, to avoid talks with the union. The union understands that ACAS, the government’s conciliatory body have been attempting to contact NSL management for a week, with no reply. GMB officials are once again calling for Wandsworth Council to intervene in the dispute, which is costing the council thousands of pounds per day read more

Rhondda faces bin strike after workers vote for industrial action – Rhondda residents look set to face a bin strike after GMB members in the waste and recycling department voted for industrial action. GMB members at Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council refuse and recycling dept have voted overwhelmingly to support industrial action with a majority of 95 percent. The move could see 130 people strike in May, leaving around 108,000 homes without refuse collections. The union is calling for amendments to the job evaluation scheme after the current system leaves essential workers short-changed for their work. During the pandemic, refuse workers alongside other essential service workers were put at risk, whilst council big wigs worked from home. Over the last decade local government staff have seen their wages cut by around 25 percent read more

 

Unison

BREAKING NEWS!! UNISON-supported legal victory secures new holiday rights for all workers (20 July) – Supreme Court judgment guarantees minimum paid annual leave. All workers in the UK will now receive the same minimum level of paid annual holiday leave, regardless of how many hours they work, following a landmark legal judgment by the Supreme Court today (Wednesday). The case, Harpur Trust v Brazel & UNISON, was taken by music teacher Lesley Brazel. She argued her employer was wrong to give her fewer days of annual leave than the legal minimum because she only worked during the school term read more

Delayed, disappointing pay rise will leave staff considering their futures, say health unions (20 July) – This is nowhere ​near what’s needed to save the NHS. Health unions representing more than a million NHS staff in England have ​reacted with dismay to the NHS pay rise of £1,400 announced today (Tuesday) by the government read more

UNISON campaigns to preserve the future safety of British meat (19 July) – Proposed changes by the Food Standards Agency also risk the jobs of UNISON members who are integral to meat hygiene read more

Public wants government to deliver an above-inflation wage rise for NHS staff, poll shows (18 July) – Almost three in five people would support industrial action over health pay. More than half (55%) the public believe that an above-inflation pay rise for NHS staff of more than 9% would be a fair increase, according to a Savanta ComRes poll published today (Monday). The research on behalf of 13 of the UK’s health unions – between them representing around a million NHS staff – shows this compares with just over a quarter (28%) of people who say a below-inflation rise would be fair. Seven in ten (69%) back a wage increase of more than 5%. Almost three in five (58%) UK adults believe health workers would be justified in taking industrial action if the government pay award in England is below inflation, according to the findings read more

UNISON backs abortion rights and decriminalisation (12 July) – Abortion is still illegal in the UK, with a recent report revealing that a woman was arrested straight after a stillbirth in Cornwall and remains under investigation read more

Employment tribunal classes long COVID as a disability (12 July) – ‘Staff with long COVID need reasonable adjustments and support, not to be put on the scrap heap’. In a landmark legal case for sufferers of long COVID, an employment tribunal recently ruled that the condition should be classed as a disability. Terence Burke has won a case for unfair dismissal after being sacked from his job as a caretaker in 2021. He had worked in the role since 2001, but had been unable to attend work for nine months after suffering substantial and long-term effects from COVID-19 after contracting the virus in November 2020 read more

Care staff in South West begin strike over fire and rehire plans – Workers have been left with no choice but to take action. Staff employed by Bristol-based care company St Monica Trust are to begin a series of strikes today (Wednesday) over threats to sack them if they don’t accept a pay cut, says UNISON. ​As many as 100 care workers, registered nurses and residential home staff are expected to take to the streets outside the trust’s four care homes across South Gloucestershire, North Somerset, and Bath and North East Somerset, UNISON says. Further action is planned for 2, 5, 10 and 11 July read more

Details of the pickets can be found at this link and you can pledge your support by adding your name here

There is a strike fund which is being collected for. Many of these workers are low paid and part time. With cost of living ever rising it’s essential that we can ensure no one feels like they can’t stand up with their colleagues and strike for fear of lost pay. The union will be paying strike pay and members can request hardship payments up to their full wages so no one gets left behind.

For donations please send to the following details with the reference “SMT”

Account name: UNISON South West

Account number: 49021079

Sort Code: 60-83-01

OCS LANCASHIRE: PAY UP NOW – Pay our hospital heroes what they are owed for working throughout the pandemic. We are NHS workers in Lancashire and we urgently need your support. As hospital cleaners and catering staff, we are outsourced to OCS and have worked 24/7 throughout the pandemic to keep staff and patients safe. But while OCS boasts it turned over hundreds of millions during the COVID crisis, it continues to pay us less than our NHS colleagues doing exactly the same jobs. Hospital workers employed by OCS are £2000 worse off than our colleagues working for the NHS. We also have inferior working conditions including 7 days less annual leave and lower sick pay. 45 of us submitted a collective grievance about this issue in May 2021, but EIGHT MONTHS on, we have still not been listened to. We have become increasingly frustrated and have now voted 97.8% in favour of taking strike action to resolve this issue…We think that a great way to get the Chief Executive’s attention is to flood his inbox with emails from all of us. Can you take a few minutes to email Bob Taylor? It’s easy, you just need to add your details and press send. https://www.megaphone.org.uk/petitions/ocs-pay-up-now. Post messages of support on social media: please tag @NorthWestUNISON. Use hashtags #ONENHS and #PayUpNowOCS read more

University of Leeds members prepare to strike again – Action is over the 2021-22 pay round with member resoundingly rejecting the latest offer. The University of Leeds branch is taking further strike action over the 2021-22 pay round, next week, on 20-24 June. Members have lost 20% of their pay against inflation over 12 years. They have used the pay calculator to show just how many thousands of pounds staff are being cheated in their pay read more

 

CWU

Extra 4% pay boost for Santander members (19 July) – All Santander workers earning below £35k full time equivalent will receive an extra lift to their pay this summer as an exceptional award to help with the increased cost of living. This is on top of a £1k increase in March and a £250 one off payment in February equalling a total pay increase of around 10 per cent for most employees read more

Post-Covid’ cleaning regime changes in BT buildings place 141 ‘at risk’ of redundancy (July 15) – A major shake-up of cleaning arrangements at BT sites across the country is being robustly challenged by the union amid concerns that longer-serving full-time housekeepers who worked flat out through the pandemic to keep fellow workers safe are disproportionately likely to be negatively impacted. First briefed to the CWU by ISS last month, the planned move to a ‘hygiene focussed’ approach involves a partial return of the normal cleaning regimes which existed pre-Covid and refocuses housekeeping activities on times of the day when buildings are largely unoccupied read more

 

NEU

Teacher pay (19 July) – Teachers don’t want to strike – they want to be in the classroom teaching our pupils. But we cannot stand by and watch the biggest real-terms decline in teacher pay this century. Commenting on the Government’s announcement of a new pay deal for teachers, Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said: “The Government has been forced by the NEU members’ campaign on teacher pay to drop its previous proposal of a 3% increase for experienced teachers, but it has not moved far enough.  A 5% increase would still mean yet another huge cut to the real value of teacher pay against inflation. This isn’t a 5% pay rise, it is a nearly 7% pay cut.  With RPI inflation at 11.7% according to the latest figures, experienced teachers would see a bigger pay cut than the one inflicted by last year’s pay freeze and even the increase to starting pay is below inflation so is a real-terms pay cut…” read more

Support this strike:-

Lordswood Girls School / Birmingham (Transfer of Employer) 19-20 July [email protected]

 

NASUWT

STRB announcement is biggest pay cut yet (19 July) – Speaking following the publication of the report by the School Teachers’ Pay Review Body (STRB), Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of NASUWT – The Teachers’ Union said: “Ministers have today delivered yet another pay cut for teachers. After 12 years of pay freezes, pay pauses and below inflation pay awards amounting to a 20% real-terms cut, teachers will be dismayed to hear that the Government expects them to stomach the largest real terms cut to their pay…” read more

 

UCU

College staff in England to join wave of strike action (18 July) – Staff at 29 colleges in England will join the wave of industrial action sweeping the country after huge numbers voted in favour of strike action. The ballot result comes after the employers refused to improve a pay offer of just 2.5% in negotiations. The result, in which 89.9% of UCU members voted YES to strike action on an overall turnout of 57.9%, is the biggest mandate for industrial action across English further education colleges since the 50% turnout threshold was brought into force in 2016. The 29 colleges will also be joined by four others in the North West and six across London that were balloted separately, bringing the total number of colleges set to be hit by action to 39. The six colleges in London were balloted over local pay and conditions claims (Barnet & Southgate College 2020/21 & 2021/22, New City College Group 2021/22 & 2022/23). An overwhelming 98.4% of those who voted said yes to strike action at Barnet & Southgate College with a turnout of 77.4%. An overwhelming 88.6% of those who voted said yes to strike action at Hackney, Havering, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets and Epping Forest colleges and the turnout was 65.8%. The union is demanding the colleges increase pay to meet the cost of living crisis. Employer body the Association of Colleges (AoC) has recommended a pay rise by just 2.5% despite inflation hitting 11.7%. Staff pay has now fallen 35% behind inflation since 2009 after a series of below inflation pay offers. In pay scales drawn up by the AoC, unqualified teachers can earn as little as £21,000 with qualified teachers starting on less than £26,000. Meanwhile, some college bosses earn over £200,000 read more

University strike ballot a step closer as vice-chancellors refuse to improve pay offer (15 July) – UCU has today confirmed that it will move ahead with a ballot for industrial at UK universities after vice chancellors again failed to make an improved offer on pay. The joint higher education trade unions (UCU, GMB, EIS, Unite and Unison) met with employer representatives Universities and Colleges Employers’ Association (UCEA) yesterday (14 July) and were told that despite acknowledging the impact of the cost of living crisis on staff, there would be no increase to the employers’ 3% pay offer. The formal dispute process has now concluded and UCU will now continue its preparations for an industrial action ballot which if successful would see every university in the UK hit by strike action in the autumn read more

Strike action announced at colleges across north west England (14 July) – Four colleges across the north west of England will be hit with more strike action later this year unless employers agree to raise staff pay, the UCU announced today. Staff at Burnley College, The Manchester College, City of Liverpool College, and Oldham College will walk out for two days during college induction weeks on Tuesday 6 and Wednesday 7 September. UCU says college leaders must act now if they want to avoid a repeat of the disruption of strike action in May and June, which impacted thousands students read more

Strike ballot opens at Falmouth University over 2-tier workforce (11 July) – A strike ballot will open at Falmouth University today (Monday) and will run until Friday 19 August. A successful result will pave the way for strikes to begin in the new academic year. The ballot aims to stop management forcing new members of staff onto employment contracts with a wholly owned subsidiary company with worse terms and conditions that ignore national bargaining agreements made between UCU and universities. Last month a packed UCU Falmouth branch meeting with over half of members in attendance voted by 98% to move to an industrial ballot to force the university to end its two-tier workforce read more

Richmond upon Thames College to face 14 days more strike action over fire & rehire plans – Staff at Richmond upon Thames College are set to down tools for 14 consecutive days over a three-week period in August and September over plans by management to sack every teacher at the college and force them to reapply for their jobs on worse terms and conditions if they want to stay. The announcement comes as staff take a further day of strike action today (Tuesday) aimed at disrupting an open day taking place at the college. Striking staff will be picketing and holding a rally at the Marsh Farm Lane entrance to the college at 4pm today as prospective students and their parents visit the college. The protests will include a mobile billboard outlining the college’s plans to sack over 100 members of teaching staff. Strike action in the summer will hit enrolment, induction and first week of teaching and take place on the following days: Monday 22 August, Tuesday 23 August, Wednesday 24 August, Thursday 25 August, Friday 26 August, Tuesday 30 August, Wednesday 31 August, Thursday 1 September, Friday 2 September, Monday 5 September, Tuesday 6 September, Wednesday 7 September, Thursday 8 September, Friday 9 September. Staff will be picketing the college on every morning of the strike action. The college wants to sack all 127 members of its teaching staff and make them reapply for their jobs on new contracts that would see them lose 10 days’ holiday. Management began the deeply controversial process, widely known as ‘fire and rehire’, without any prior engagement or consultation with staff. The college claims that ‘trust’, ‘integrity’ and ‘excellence’ are the values that ‘underpin everything’ it does read more

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

 

FBU

BREAKING NEWS!! Firefighters on frontline of heatwave, incidents expose fire service wrecked by government policy (July 20) – Firefighters on frontline of heatwave, incidents expose fire service wrecked by government policy. As the UK experiences record heat, firefighters and control staff have been stretched to the limit, responding to wildfires and other incidents as the country faces record temperatures. 15 fire and rescue services declared major incidents, highlighting the scale of the challenges firefighters and control have faced. Each of these services have had firefighter numbers slashed. Cuts have stretched the fire service’s ability to respond. Firefighters are working in extreme heat and conditions for excessive periods of time. Employers have had to ask people to give up leave to assist because of staff shortages. There have been a number of injuries to FBU members over the past two days, including hospitalisations. Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary said: “Firefighters are at the forefront of the climate emergency. The demands of the job are increasing but our resources have been under attack by government cuts for over a decade. 11,500 firefighter jobs have been slashed since 2010…” read more

Pay consultation 2022: Unanimous rejection of 2% offer (July 18) – The Executive Council has met today to consider the results of discussions with FBU members on the employers’ proposal for a 2% increase in pay. The result of this is that the Executive Council has voted unanimously to reject the 2% pay offer. The employers will now be informed of this. Furthermore, the Executive Council has agreed that plans should be urgently prepared to develop our campaign for decent pay, including the need to prepare for strike action. All FBU members are asked to fully participate in such discussions; all voices need to be heard. Firefighters have never taken industrial action lightly but nor can we allow this pay insult to pass without challenge. The employers’ proposal would mean a further cut to our real wages and further hardship for our members and their families. That is unacceptable in the face of the cost of living crisis read more

Firefighters respond to coordinated attack on firefighters and the fire service (July 14) – The Fire Brigades Union has formally responded to the government’s fire and rescue white paper, describing it as a coordinated attack on pay and conditions. In its consultation response submission, released publicly today, the union criticises a range of elements to what it terms a coordinated attack on firefighters’ pay and conditions and the fire and rescue service, in the middle of a cost of living crisis. These elements include an attack on firefighters’ right to have a say on their pay and conditions, including many conditions relating to safety, and proposals that could result in industrial action, a last resort to protect the fire service and firefighters’ pay and conditions, being weakened or undermined read more

Buckinghamshire firefighters slam hiring of “damaging and divisive” former chief fire officer in Northamptonshire (July 12) – Buckinghamshire firefighters have criticised the decision to hire their former chief fire officer in the same role in Northamptonshire, calling out the damaging and divisive culture he created during his tenure at Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service read more

 

POA

BREAKING NEWS!! Pay cut totally unacceptable for prison officer grades (20 July) – Prison Officers who protected the general public during the pandemic and put their own lives at risk on average are getting a 4 per cent pay rise which is not even half of the rate of inflation read more

Scotland: re Agenda for Change 2022/2023 single year pay offer (14 July) – We are about to open the ballot for the NHS AFC pay offer for 2022/2023. The pay offer has been circulated previously and I am sure you are all aware of the detail and content of the offer by now. However, it is attached to this circular for ease of reference. We are not making a formal recommendation to you on the offer, you will make that decision for yourself based on having all the information to allow you to reach an informed position personal to you. What we can say is that as a trade union we are deeply disappointed with the offer and do not feel it in any way adequately reflects either the current cost of living crisis we are all experiencing at present; or the enormous dedicated, professional contribution you have all made in yet another year of unprecedented challenges in the State hospital during the COVID crisis. These views and levels of disappointment are echoed across the NHS trade unions and have been communicated very clearly to those responsible for tabling the current offer. The ballot itself will be a workplace ballot and will be open from Monday 18th July until Wednesday 3rd August 2022. You will be able to pick up your ballot slip from your local branch committee. Please speak with them for information about the location of the ballot box to allow you to cast read more

 

BFAWU

Hot Weather Support (18 July) – Sarah Woolley: Although there is no legal maximum upper working temperature, there is protective legislation that can be applied in such situations. Temperatures in the indoor workplace are covered by the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, which place a legal obligation on employers to provide a ‘reasonable’ temperature in the workplace. In addition to the Workplace Regulations, the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 require employers to make a suitable assessment of the risks to the health and safety of their employees, and take action where necessary and where reasonably practicable. Excessive heat would be classed as a risk to health and safety and as such action needs to be taken. Under regulation 6 of the Workplace Health, Safety and Welfare Regulations, employers must ‘ensure that every enclosed workplace is ventilated by a sufficient quantity of fresh or purified air’. Under the Employment rights act Section 44 of the Act states that a worker has the right not to be subjected to any detriment where they leave work, or refuse to return to work, in circumstances where the worker reasonably believes there to be ‘serious and imminent’ danger, which they could not reasonably avoid. These protections are all year round, not just during a heatwave read more

 

NUJ

NUJ reacts to Reach’s voluntary redundancy scheme (19 July) – The union has requested “immediate information” on new proposals, following the company’s announcement. Commenting on the announcement, Chris Morley, NUJ Reach national coordinator, said: “It is disappointing that the company is looking to make widespread redundancies having trumpeted 12 months ago how success meant it was able to recruit hundreds of extra digital journalists…” read more

NUJ meets with Reach in ACAS talks (18 July) – A failure from the publisher to increase its pay offer to staff, means the union will proceed with next steps in the industrial action ballot. The National Union of Journalists has expressed its dismay following the conclusion of talks requested by Reach, through the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) on 18 July. The union had hoped Reach would provide a fair package members could accept in the ongoing pay dispute. Despite accepting the approach to meet from the publisher made last week, today’s meeting failed to offer a resolution that adequately addressed member concerns read more

NUJ submits formal ballot notice to Reach plc over pay (14 July) – The union will encourage members to vote yes to strike action and action short of strike, in the upcoming industrial action ballot read more

NUJ welcomes recognition at Verso (15 July) – The union has secured trade union recognition at publishing house Verso. Following extensive talks with the publishing company, the NUJ and Verso have agreed on this positive step. Recognition means the union can negotiate on staff pay and terms and conditions on behalf of employees at the company read more

BBC plans to create new rolling news service and close the News Channel and World News “simply won’t work” (14 July) – The plans will result in 143 journalism roles and 19 presenter positions being axed. The NUJ has told the BBC that its proposal to close the BBC News Channel and BBC World News to create a single rolling news channel with a global focus “simply won’t work” read more

NUJ slams Irish government decision to reject broadcasting reforms (12 July) – Séamus Dooley, NUJ Irish Secretary, issues a statement on the publication of the report of the Future of Media Commission and the Irish government’s response to it read more

BBC North West journalists vote for work to rule – NUJ members are making a stand about the damaging impact of job cuts on news outpt in the region. As well as working with a significantly reduced workforce, staff at BBC North West are now expected to take on more and more technical duties previously carried out by skilled technical staff. If allowed to continue, the quality of the regional news programmes will suffer and deteriorate, they say. More than 97 per cent of NUJ members in the chapel voted in favour of industrial action. It follows the BBC’s decision to cut £25m from BBC England’s budget, leading to 450 job cuts cross England. The vast majority of journalists who work for BBC North West are NUJ members read more

 

Prospect

It’s clear ministers value themselves more than those who work for them (19 July) – General Secretary of Prospect Mike Clancy, responding to the government announcement on Senior Civil Servant and other public sector pay, said: “Ministers are happy to accept the recommendation of a pay review body when it’s MPs’ pay but when it comes to Senior Civil Servants they have slashed the recommendation by a third. It’s clear they value themselves far more than those who work for them. Accompanied by the threat to cut one-in-five jobs this flies in the face of the Government’s commitment to reform the civil service by investing in capability and rewarding knowledge, skills and experience…” read more

Bectu responds to BBC News channel changes, job cuts (14 July) – Responding to reports of 70 BBC staff facing the sack as part of plans to merge BBC News and BBC World, Head of Bectu Philippa Childs said: “We welcome the BBC’s commitment to step up to the challenges of a changing media landscape and build a digital-first corporation, but once again we see the devastating impact of the Government’s poorly-judged political decisions on workers. Its decision to freeze the licence fee has necessitated these job cuts, which will hit hugely talented and dedicated people who work hard to deliver critical services to the nation and beyond…” read more

 

Equity

Advice for working during a heatwave in theatres & outdoor theatre spaces (15 July) – Health and Safety Legislation does not state any maximum indoor or outdoor temperatures for work, and the circumstances for safe working are considered on a case-by-case basis read more

Equity agrees a code of conduct with the new wrestling promotion Colosseum Wrestling (13 July) – We have recently agreed a code of conduct with new wrestling promotion Colosseum Wrestling. The code sets a standard for workplace conditions, ensuring our members and all wrestlers working with Colosseum have a safe, decent and professional working environment. This is the latest in a number of Codes of Conduct that have been agreed between the union and UK based wrestling promotions read more

 

USDAW

BREAKING NEWS!! RPI inflation hits 11.8% – Usdaw demands immediate action from Government (20 July) – Retail trade union Usdaw is again calling on the Government to take immediate action to tackle the cost of living crisis, as inflation continues to grow and wages are devalued by rising prices. The Retail Prices Index rate of inflation increased to 11.8% today and the Consumer Prices Index reached 9.4%. Usdaw argues that RPI is a more accurate measure of inflation, particularly as it includes housing costs. Results from Usdaw’s cost of living survey show that low-paid workers, many of them delivering essential services, are struggling to make ends meet read more

Stay cool as temperatures rise – workers need extra protection from the hot weather says Usdaw (15 July) – As the mercury rises, with the Met Office warning of record temperatures next week, retail trade union Usdaw is calling for a legal maximum workplace temperature to protect workers’ health and safety. Extreme temperatures, both very hot and very cold, are a familiar problem for many workers. While there is a legally enforceable minimum workplace temperature, there is not a corresponding maximum enforceable temperature. Usdaw is joining with other unions to call for a legal maximum working temperature to protect workers health and safety by supporting the TUC petition: https://www.megaphone.org.uk/petitions/we-need-a-maximum-working-temperature read more

Court of Appeal reverses High Court decision on Tesco ‘fire and rehire’ – Usdaw will fight on (15 July) – Retail trade union Usdaw and leading law firm Thompsons have expressed their disappointment at a Court of Appeal judgment today, which reversed a High Court decision on the issue of ‘fire and rehire’ at Tesco. The judgment relates to 42 Usdaw members employed by Tesco in its Daventry and Litchfield Distribution Centres. Usdaw, represented by social justice law firm, Thompsons Solicitors, won a landmark legal victory in February against the supermarket giant over its decision to dismiss a number of its staff and seek to re-engage them on inferior terms and conditions. The workers were informed that if they did not give up their entitlement to a considerable proportion of their wages, known as ‘retained pay’, they would be dismissed and then re-engaged on the less favourable terms in any event as part of a deliberate cost-saving strategy by the supermarket. The High Court had originally found that, as the parties had agreed this payment was “permanent” and “guaranteed for life”, the employer was not entitled to serve notice on the contract when its sole purpose for doing so was to remove the benefit in question. However in a deeply disappointing decision from the Court of Appeal it determined that it was unable to accept that the phrases “permanent” and “guaranteed for life” showed a mutual intention on behalf of both parties that the right to Retained Pay would continue as long as the employee in question performed the role in which they were currently employed to undertake. This was despite the very clear wording in joint statements issued by Tesco and Usdaw at the time read more

#ReinstateMax: defend sacked Tesco USDAW rep Max McGee – months on from exhausting all appeals, Max McGee is preparing to take Tesco to an Employment Tribunal over his trade union victimisation and sacking. A GoFundMe page has been set up to donate to Max’s reinstatement campaign and trade union comrades are encouraged to raise the campaign at their Trade Union branches and Trades Councils over the coming weeks. Link to the page below:

https://www.gofundme.com/f/reinstate-max-usdaw-rep-socialist

Messages of solidarity and photos can be sent to [email protected]

 

UVW

A taste of victory: union quashes bogus disciplinary against noodle-eating cleaner (14 July) – “The union was very helpful when the incidents happened and went into gear from the moment I contacted them. UVW didn’t turn its back on the case. They kept on pushing. I was very grateful for all their help as they supported me and demolished the case against me“ – Akwasi, cleaner and UVW member. A bogus disciplinary against an outsourced migrant cleaner and United of the World (UVW) member was quashed after the union threatened legal action against his employer, facilities services contractor GSA. Akwasi was accused of eating noodles from a pot without permission while on the job at a restaurant inside a major central department store. But UVW shut down the spurious process, which would have stained Akwasi’s six-year-long clean record at the company or even led to his eventual dismissal, from the get-go read more

Fighting back through the courts against sacking at St James Tavern in Brighton (8 July) – This week UVW strike leader and now former pub manager at St James Tavern in Brighton, Jake Marvin, applied to the employment tribunal for interim relief following his summary sacking just days after the workers’ first picket line on Saturday, 25th June. Interim relief is when a boss is ordered to reinstate a worker where the employment tribunal believes they have been sacked for trade union activities. Applications for interim relief are incredibly rare and even rarer to win. But the evidence that Jake was sacked for building the union in his workplace is undeniable and includes a leaked Whatsapp message from the pub landlady, Victoria, that his sacking was planned weeks in advance. And an open admission from the violent pub landlord Zakaria to the local member of parliament for Brighton, Kemptown, Lloyd Russell-Moyers, that he would sack any workers who took part in union activities read more

 

IWGB

TfL slash climate-friendly cycling training funding to zero as London swelters in record-breaking heat (19 July) – London cycling instructors were dealt a massive blow as it was announced that TfL will be cutting all funding for future cycling training. These instructors are responsible for training children in school and on holiday courses, and adults, including lorry drivers and NHS patients read more

Over 120 academics pen open letter to LSHTM demanding an end to ‘second class’ treatment of outsourced workers (12 July) – 126 academics, including London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) staff, alumni and members of the wider academic community, have published an open letter to Senior Management at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, raising concerns over “second class” treatment of outsourced workers, which “tarnishes the reputation of the School” read more

Outsourced Workers at LSHTM Set to Strike over Pay Following Escalating Union Victimisation – Outsourced cleaners, porters, post room, and security staff working at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) have voted unanimously in favour of strike action over poverty pay amidst the cost of living crisis. In April, workers from the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) launched a campaign to bring an end to a discriminatory pay gap that would pay the majority-migrant and BAME workers below the lowest grade of the university-wide pay scale. This follows only months after a damning report revealing ingrained structural racism across the prestigious university, at academic staff and student level read more

The outsourced workers will strike 18 to 20 July during LSHTM graduation celebrations over poverty pay! Support striking workers and their fight back against the #CostOfLivingCrisis by donating to the strike fund

 

Barristers take action over pay and conditions

South Eastern Circuit – Central Criminal Court (Old Bailey)

Midland Circuit – Birmingham Crown Court

Northern Circuit – Manchester Crown Court

North Eastern Circuit – Leeds Crown Court

Western Circuit – Bristol Crown Court

Wales & Chester Circuit – Cardiff Crown Court

Week 1: Monday 27th and Tuesday 28th June 2022

Week 2: Monday 4th, Tuesday 5th and Wednesday 6th July 2022

Week 3: Monday 11th, Tuesday 12th, Wednesday 13th and Thursday 14th July 2022

Week 4: Monday 18th, Tuesday 19th, Wednesday 20th, Thursday 21st and Friday July 22nd 2022.

In w/c 25th July: the days of action are suspended for 1 week.

In w/c 1st August: the days of action recommence for a further full week.

 

SIPTU (Ireland)

Care and community sector pay dispute to escalate following Government inaction (18 July) – Workers in the care, community and voluntary sector will escalate their campaign of industrial action to secure a first pay rise in 14 years after the Government failed to engage with their unions following strikes in selected workplaces earlier this month read more

 

Mandate (Ireland)

Dunnes workers lodge life-changing pay claim (20 July) – union seeks minimum 7.7% pay increase for all workers. Dunnes Stores workers today lodged a pay claim with the company seeking significant pay increases, additional annual leave days, improvements to the staff discount scheme and the creation of full-time jobs. Citing increased living costs and the positive contribution of staff to the business during the pandemic, the workers say they should be rewarded fairly for the work they do read more

 

Other news

Peterloo March for Democracy – Sunday 14th August assemble 12.30pm Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester for march to St Peters Square Facebook event

Peterloo Annual Commemoration – Tuesday 16th August – Gather at the memorial in Windmill Street, Manchester at 5:30pm for a 6:00pm start Peterloo Memorial Campaign Facebook page

  

International news

(From NUJ website) Cambodia: journalist prison sentence upheld (15 July) – The country’s appeal court has rejected journalist Kao Piseth’s case, upholding his two-year sentence. The National Union of Journalists has joined the International Federation of Journalists in condemning a decision by Cambodia’s appeal court to uphold the two-year sentence of journalist Kao Piseth read more on NUJ website

Sri Lanka: Reject the interim government – for a government of the workers and poor (13 July) read more

 

 

Fight blacklisting and victimisation of union reps

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

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])

QC appointed to lead the independent Unite inquiry into blacklisting (25 Mar) – Unite is delighted to announce that Nick Randall QC and John Carl Townsend have been appointed to investigate the possible collusion by union officers in blacklisting. Over the past months, evidence gathering by Thompsons solicitors has continued, with many blacklisted construction workers and other witnesses having already been interviewed. The work of the independent investigators is expected to start officially on 11 April 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

 

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

August

14 Peterloo March for Democracy – assemble 12.30pm Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester for march to St Peters Square Facebook event

16 Peterloo Annual Commemoration – Gather at the memorial in Windmill Street, Manchester at 5:30pm for a 6:00pm start Peterloo Memorial Campaign Facebook page

 

September

4 Burston Strike School Rally Facebook group

11 NSSN TUC Rally 1pm Brighton

 

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