Category Archives: Trades Dispute

Blacklist Support Group statement on Carillion

Carillon admitted in the High Court that they blacklisted workers who complained about safety on their building sites, while at the same time milking public sector contracts for millions. Workers on projects run by Carillon need to be paid and are entitled to their pensions but no more public money should be given to the bosses of the disgraced company. In any civilized society, these people would be facing criminal charges.

When you invite blacklisting human rights abusers to run the NHS and school meals, don’t be surprised when vampire capitalism attempts to suck the taxpayer dry. The government should bail out the NHS not Carillon or their bankers. The government should nationalise Carillon now at the current market value of their shares (nothing) and go further by banning all of the construction companies involved in the blacklisting human rights conspiracy from any publicly funded contracts.

From Freedom News: Hundreds refuse to cross picket line in wildcat Crossrail strike

More than 200 workers at the flagship rail construction project have downed tools today in solidarity with more colleagues who have been sacked and locked out.

The dispute blew up after Balfour Beatty made 54 workers redundant at short notice yesterday and a further 50 were locked out, allegedly at the behest of blacklisting-linked boss Gerry Harvey.

The job cuts came just days after electricians at their Woolwich Station in London had filed for an industrial action ballot over pay and finishing bonuses via union Unite. There had also been complaints over the list of who was to be canned, with long-term workers and shop stewards made redundant while new workers were retained.

Around 150 electricians walked out in solidarity today at Woolwich, with more than 70 joining them from sites at Plumstead, City Airport and North Woolwich, according to construction industry and anti-blacklisting activist Dave Smith.

Talking to union-news.co.uk Smith said: “We are told blacklisting is a thing of the past but today’s anti-union hostility is plain for everyone to see.”

Balfour has said the redundancies were part of standard operations, saying “we have always been clear that our works would start to wind down towards the end of this year” and that consultation had started in November.

Site sources explained however that problems with pay rates had been bubbling since the summer and Balfour’s refusal to engage properly with requests for a completion bonus as work begins to wind down has left “feelings running pretty high.”

Industry reports suggest that bosses are keeping a “close eye” on the situation as they fear calls for finishing bonuses could spread to other sites.

Update: A mass solidarity picket has been called for Thursday December 14th, 6.30am at the Whitechapel station site.

PCS Driving & Vehicle Standards Agency Strike: 4 and 5 December 2017

UPDATE: PCS report that the action is so solid at Barnet they will NOT need to picket tomorrow morning.

Strike action disrupts new driving tests – picket line from 7:30 am at the Barnet Driving Test Centre, Raydean House, 15 – 17 Western Parade, Barnet. EN5 1AD, solidarity visits greatly welcomed!

Members of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) in the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) will take 48 hour strike action on Monday 4th December ending at Midnight on the 5th December. This adds to the action short of a strike which began last week (23rd) in a dispute over the new driving test and also working patterns.

This action has already led to hundreds of tests being cancelled in the first week of the action.

In a perverse move DVSA has withdrawn overtime from striking workers and also imposed leave schedules meaning that an even greater backlog of thousands of tests is inevitable due to the imposed reductions in service. 

A ballot in October saw an 84% vote for strike action on a 70% turnout.

The strike action across the DVSA which begins on the 4th December will see up to 14,000 driving tests cancelled on the day the new driving test is launched.  

Other effects of the action include reduced roadside checks on vehicles, reduced enforcement checks on lorries and other vehicles coming into the U.K and a significant reduction of tachograph testing. 

PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka commented

“PCS members in the DVSA have tried to negotiate around their concerns but the door has been slammed shut in their face. They now feel they have no alternative but to take industrial action to bring home to the public how damaging the DVSA proposals are. No one takes strike action lightly and we acknowledge the disruption to the driving tests for learner drivers keen to pass their test but the Government could avoid this strike even now at the 11th hour by agreeing to serious talks and withdrawing their most damaging proposals. I have today written to the Transport Minister Chris Grayling urging him to intervene.”

For information contact PCS National Press Officer Steve Battlemuch on 07515 605755 or via email steveb@pcs.org.uk

Other picket lines in the SERTUC region can be found here https://www.pcs.org.uk/campaigns/pcs-fighting-attacks-on-staff-in-dvsa/support-pcs-dvsa-picket-lines

Mark Serwotka is available for interviews on Monday 4th Dec from 1pm at Millbank studio.

The PCS letter to Chris Grayling is available here https://www.pcs.org.uk/sites/default/files/site_assets/campaigns/2017/Letter%20to%20Chris%20Grayling%20MP%2030%20november.pdf

PCS is one of the UK’s largest unions and represents civil and public servants in central government and in parts of government transferred to the private sector. Mark Serwotka is the general secretary and the president is Janice Godrich – on Twitter @janicegodrich

Follow PCS on Twitter @pcs_union

UCU Strike Brighton University Thursday 23rd and Friday 24th

Members of the UCU at the University of Brighton will walk out on strike on Thursday at 1pm in dispute about compulsory redundancies. They will continue their strike on Friday and then begin a work-to-contract the following Monday. Further strike action is planned for December. The action follows a ballot which returned majorities in favour of action of more than 85%.

If you can head down to any of the Uni sites from 8pm on Friday to show support on the picket lines please do.

Please send messages of support to ucubrighton@gmail.com

Defend the Right to Picket Demo – Saturday 25th November 2pm Brighton Station

As you will be aware the RMT are in a long running dispute with Southern Rail about the removal of guards from trains.

The RMT had previously been running effective pickets at the back of Brighton station that many drivers were refusing to cross. To try to stop this Southern have threatened strong legal action under the anti-union laws to move the pickets well away from the station.

Please head down to the station on Saturday at 2pm to show your support for having guards on our trains and for the right for union members to picket their own workplace without fear of victimisation.

Please do what you can to support and publicise this. Please can you bring banners flags etc!!!

McStrike Protest at McDonald’s HQ

JOIN US SAT 2 SEP, 2PM, EAST FINCHLEY MCDONALD’S HQ: BFAWU Fast Food Rights and #McStrike workers NEED YOUR SOLIDARITY!

McDonald’s UK announced in a big fanfare in the press back in April that thefastfoody would offer every one of its UK workers a guaranteed hours contract.

And yet it took 40 brave McDonald’s workers to vote for a strike before McDonald’s bothered to communicate anything to its workers about this promise.

When the 95.7 percent YES vote to strike was announced, with the first ever UK McDonald’s strike now set to take place on Monday 4 September, suddenly McDonald’s UK stated they would deliver on their promise by the end of 2017.

We say now sit down with our BFAWU bakers’ union president and m their living standards.

BFAWU Fast Food Rights and our supporters will be outside McDonald’s HQ at East Finchley on Saturday 2 September – two days before the strike – with a table, chairs and a determination to get the promise in writing – we demand that McDonald’s meet us and guarantee that this time their promise is more than a publicity stunt.

And we call on supporters from the wider trade union and social movement to join us there, with banners, with visible support for the workers taking this bold historic action in a display of solidarity before they walk out on Monday 4 September.

Facebook page here.

Support Mixed Fleet Unite Workers in Dispute

15401105_1839038679647687_8781491977068279822_nMembers of Unite working for British Airways’ mixed fleet today are engaged in 14 days of continuous strike action.

The strike running from 00:01 hours on Wednesday 19 July 2017 to 23:59 hours on Tuesday 1 August 2017 is in addition to a 16-day strike currently underway which started at 00:01 on Saturday 1 July and finishes at 23:59 on Sunday 16 July.

As part of the dispute, Unite has launched legal action against the government’s decision to give the go-ahead to the ‘wet lease’ of nine Airbus aircraft by British Airways to cover striking cabin crew strike. The union argues that the lease of aircraft and cabin crew from Qatar Airways breaches European regulations.

Since 2010 all British Airways new cabin crew employees join what is called ‘mixed fleet’, where despite promises that pay would be 10 per cent above the market rate, basic pay starts at just £12,192 with £3 an hour flying pay. Unite estimates that on average ‘mixed fleet’ cabin crew earn £16,000, including allowances, a year.

Unite the Union is calling for donations to the hardship fund:

Account name – Mixed-Fleet Unite Hardship Fund

Account # – 2037 6387

Sort Code – 60-83-01

Reference: MFU

 

 

Barnet UNISON sends solidarity & donations to grassroots members in struggle

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Last week at our branch executive meeting our reps had a report on a number of grassroots struggles taking place across the UK.

I am proud to say that there was no hesitation in wanting to send solidarity messages and donations to these grassroots campaigns. Our branch has been in ongoing struggles for over a decade. We have had tremendous acts of support and solidarity from UNISON reps and members not just in the London region but right across our union. We have learnt the importance of solidarity.

I can say from experience just how valuable it is to be able to read out messages of solidarity from other grassroots members to members on picket lines. It imbues a feeling of confidence that is badly needed when you are under attack.

Here are the campaigns we sent solidarity and or sent donations.

  • Kinsley 3 campaign
  • Derby TAs
  • Durham TA’s
  • Glasgow UNISON members: IT workers and Janitors
  • Kirklees Social Workers
  • Aslef, RMT, TSSA workers
  • PCS members working at the Employment and Human Rights Office

 

John Burgess

Branch Secretary

Barnet UNISON

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