TUC passes policy: Climate crisis and a just transition

Congress notes the recommendation by the Committee on Climate Change that the UK move to a net zero target for emissions by 2050 and the UK parliament’s declaration of an environmental and climate emergency following a motion tabled by Jeremy Corbyn. The Earth’s temperature has already risen by one degree above pre-industrial levels. The autumn IPCC report warned that we only have 12 years to keep global warming to a maximum of 1.5 degrees. Net zero cannot be achieved without urgent investment in new, low-carbon energy generation Congress believes climate change is a trade union issue. The future of our planet is at risk if we don’t organise now to force governments to cut emissions in line with the IPCC report.

Congress welcomes Jeremy Corbyn’s acknowledgement that it cannot be
workers and communities that pay the price for changes to the energy system
and commitment that the next Labour government “will guarantee that all energy workers are offered retraining, a new job on equivalent terms and conditions, covered by collective agreements and fully supported in their housing and income needs through transition”. The challenges of just transition will have greatest impact in regions and localities without equivalent employment opportunities.

Congress commends trade unions for the work they have done in promoting and developing an understanding of what a ‘just transition’ means, including the views of workers in the industries affected.

A just transition means:
i. a balanced low-carbon energy mix
ii. investment in skills and infrastructure
iii. education and training must be reviewed to ensure young people and workers are equipped to live and work in a just transition towards a sustainable future iv. protecting and creating high-quality jobs and employment
v. no community left behind
vi. unions must be at the heart of a reinvigorated industrial strategy.

Congress welcomes the principles developed in the TUC’s statement on a just
transition published in July 2019, namely:
a. A clear and funded path to a low-carbon economy, taxing the very wealthy and closing tax loopholes in line with Labour Party manifesto commitments.
b. Workers must be at the heart of delivering these plans.
c. Every worker should have access to funding to improve their skills.
d. New jobs must be good jobs.

Congress calls on the General Council to put these at the forefront of addressing the climate crisis and moving to a greener, fairer economy.

We must keep the pressure up. Greta Thunberg and the school students have led the way but educators and the trade union movement as a whole must now act to ensure that they don’t fight alone.

Congress resolves:
1. that the TUC calls for a 30-minute workday campaign action to coincide with the global school strike on 20 September.
2. to campaign for national and regional Just Transition Commissions including
full union and education representation to develop, monitor and implement
the process.

TUC London, East and South East (LESE) Celebrates Amigo Month

Thursday 19 September 2019 
18:30 – 20:30 

TUC Congress House, 23-28 Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LS 
Amigo Month is a five-week period that celebrates the shared cultures and experiences of the three million people who are resident in UK whose first language is Spanish or Portuguese.  

It starts each year on 7 September, which is significant as the ‘independence day’ of Brazil and Mozambique, where 90 per cent of the world’s 260 million Portuguese speakers live. And Amigo Month ends on 12 October, which is significant as the international Day of the 600 million Spanish speakers, and of the indigenous people of the Americas.  

Amigo Month promotes awareness, joint working, friendship and solidarity between communities. It promotes cultural, artistic, social, economic, tourism and educational links between communities and cultures too, on the basis of shared values. 

During these 35 days of Amigo Month many events are being organised and the importance of the event will be recognised by many key institutions, such as the Mayor of London, national Embassies and of course, the trade union movement. 

This event is hosted by the TUC region that is responsible for London, the East and the South East of England, where nearly two million trade union members live and work. 

The TUC believes that every worker in Britain should have a good job, high-quality rights at work, and fair pay. And we are confident that the best way for every worker to have a voice at work, to be respected, and to secure their full employment rights is for them to join a union and to organise to defend themselves and their workmates. 

If you are not a trade union member already there is a facility on the TUC website to help you identify which union might be the right one for you to join. 


MCSTRIKERS’ request for help

Dear friends,

Since 2017 McDonald’s workers have been organising and striking for better conditions. They are winning and have already won record pay rises and guaranteed hours. 

If McDonald’s was a country it would be the 68th biggest economy in the world, bigger than countries such as Bulgaria, Myanmar and Uruguay.  McDonald’s has enormous resources at its disposal to stop workers winning their union and a living wage of £15 an hour. Despite McDonald’s efforts, workers are getting organised, but financial instability and chaotic lives caused by low pay and insecure work make meetings of workers hard to bring together. 

Workers need your help!

The BFAWU are looking for volunteer drivers to help bring workers together so they can meet and build their strength.

  • Can you help?
  • Do you have access to a car, and some free time?

This is a great opportunity to be involved and support the McStrike. You will meet brave workers standing up and improving work for everyone,

Cost of petrol covered and food and drink provided for all volunteers

Please get in touch here: https://fastfoodrights.wordpress.com/drivers

Thanks, the McStrike [BFAWU]

16 November- Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance- Trade Union Conference

10.30am – 17.30pm

University of Greenwich, Stephen Lawrence Building, Old Naval College, 30 Park Row, London SE10 9LS

Undercover policing & trade unions: the Political and the Personal

Including sessions on:
Impact of undercover policing on the trade union movement
Women against the State
Privacy & Surveillance in the Workplace
Truth and Fiction: Representations of Spycops on Screen
Undercover policing – inquiry or cover up?

Call for a public boycott of London leisure centres as Bromley library workers dispute escalates

Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, has called for a London-wide boycott by the public of leisure centres run by social enterprise leisure services’ giant Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL).

Unite said the boycott call of GLL’s money-spinning leisure centres across the capital would support the 50 Bromley library staff who have been on strike since 6 June over pay and other issues specifically relating to GLL’s stewardship of Bromley’s 14 libraries.

The boycott will be launched on Friday (28 June) when Unite members will stage protests at three GLL venues in Woolwich. GLL has contracts with 16 London boroughs to run leisure centres and/or libraries.

The union is aiming its boycott campaign at potential new members that the GLL sales force wants to sign up for gym membership and fitness classes, as well as one-off users. It is not aimed at those with pre-paid membership plans.

Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “The call for the London-wide boycott of GLL leisure centres is aimed at putting pressure where it hurts – in the company’s coffers – to achieve a resolution of the Bromley library dispute.
“We argue that every penny that goes to GLL, generated by its money-spinning activities at its leisure centres, helps it to win further library contracts which then results in a serious erosion of library services for both users and staff.

“Our Bromley library members have been on continuous strike since 6 June and have received fantastic support from the public who are refusing to enter the libraries in a great show of support.”
The Bromley dispute relates to GLL bosses not filling vacant posts; asking staff to be managers without paying the proper rate for the job; and failing to pay wages owed.
Unite is seeking a six per cent increase in basic pay from April 2019 for its hundreds of  members working for GLL in more than 140  leisure centres and libraries in 16 London boroughs, as well as in Belfast.
The London boroughs with GLL contracts are: Barnet, Bromley, Camden, Croydon, Ealing, Greenwich, Hackney, Hammersmith and Fulham, Hillingdon, Lambeth, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea, Merton, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest and Wandsworth.

Notes to editors:

Diary of upcoming protest events organised by Unite

Friday 28 June
10.00 – Headquarters building. Middlegate House, The Royal Arsenal, Woolwich SE18  6SX
11.00 – Waterfront leisure centre, Woolwich High Street,  London SE18 6DL
12.00 – Woolwich library, Calderwood Street, London SE18 6QZ

Friday 5 July
Demonstration at 10.00 – Charlton Lido, Hornfair Park, Shooters Hill Road, SE18 4LX. The lido is a GLL showpiece venue.

Last year, Unite staged a campaign to make GLL pay the London Living Wage (LLW) to those aged 18-to-20 on a number of its contracts in the capital.

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on:  020 3371 2065 Email: shaun.noble@unitetheunion.org

We’re calling for an end to harassment at work. Please support our petition

Sexual harassment has no place anywhere in the UK. But it’s still happening every day in our workplaces.

Our laws rely on individuals reporting harassment to get action taken but this is not working. Four out of five don’t feel able to report sexual harassment to their employer.

We need a new law to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace before it happens.

We’ve launched a petition calling for immediate action. For government and MPs to take notice, we need thousands of people to add their name. 

Can you add your name and demand action?

Sign the Petition
1 in 2 women have been sexually harassed at work and 4 out of 5 of them don’t feel able to tell their employer. 2 in 3 LGBT workers have experienced sexual harassment too.

Just like health and safety rules protect us from physical dangers at work, employers needsimple rules to protect us from harassment, whether it comes from a colleague, client orcustomer.

We’re demanding a new, easily enforceable legal duty. It would require employers to take all reasonable steps to protect workers from sexual harassment and victimisation.
It’s a simple step that could stop harassment in many cases before it starts.

Join the call for the government to take immediate action. #ThisIsNotWorking.

New alliance calls on government to make employers prevent sexual harassment

‘This Is Not Working’ is an alliance of more than 20 unions, charities and women’s rights organisations – It has launched a petition calling for a new law to make employers prevent sexual harassment in their workplaces

The TUC, women’s rights organisations and charities have today (Wednesday) launched a joint campaign calling on the government to introduce a new law to make employers responsible for protecting their staff from sexual harassment at work.

TUC research found that more than half (52%) of women – and nearly seven out of ten LGBT people – have experienced sexual harassment at work.

But under current law there is no legal duty on employers to take proactive action to prevent harassment happening in their workplaces. Instead, the onus is on the victim of the sexual harassment to report it to their employer after it has happened.

Four out of five (79%) women who have been sexually harassed at work do not feel able to report it to their employer – meaning harassment continues unchecked in workplaces across the UK.

With the government set to launch its consultation on tackling sexual harassment soon, the TUC alliance – backed by organisations including the Fawcett Society, Action Aid, Amnesty and Time’s Up – wants to see the law changed so employers have a legal duty to take preventative measures to ensure their workplaces are harassment-free.

The new duty would be supported by a code of practice, explaining exactly what steps bosses need to take to prevent sexual harassment – such as carrying out mandatory training for staff and managers, and having clear policies.

This simple step would make a huge difference practically, says the alliance. It would mean that the burden of dealing with sexual harassment would be shifted from individuals to employers.

This would change workplace cultures and help end the problem once and for all.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “It’s shocking that in 2019 so many people experience sexual harassment and assault while at work.

“The government must strengthen the law to put responsibility for preventing harassment on employers.

“This would shift the burden of tackling sexual harassment away from individuals. And it would help end toxic workplace cultures that silence those who’ve been harassed.

“We’re calling on everyone who want to stop sexual harassment at work to join us and call on ministers to take action.”

Reinstate #Las9delCondestable!

Nine housekeepers at the Hotel Condestable Iranzo in Jaén (Andalusia) were dismissed in May while organizing a union and demanding the application of the collective agreement for the hospitality sector in the province. The CC.OO Services Federation is fighting for their reinstatement as unions challenge the massive growth of outsourcing which is impoverishing hotel staff.

You can support their struggle by signing the online petition initiated by the union here.

Reinstate David Muritu (UCU)

David is UCU Branch Secretary, Sandwell College.
He was summarily dismissed for writing the word “racist” on a Prevent poster.

David was a member of our NATFHE branch at Harrow College when I was Branch Secretary.
He’s a committed trade unionist and hard-working Maths lecturer.

He has support from UCU and Angela Rayner (see link below) and please circulate.

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