Unite the Union: London facing standstill as exhausted bus drivers prepare for strike action

Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest union, is warning that London could face gridlock if exhausted bus drivers take industrial action later this year.

Unite will begin a consultative ballot of over 20,000 members employed as London bus drivers later this month and, provided a yes vote is secured, a full industrial action ballot will then follow.

Decisive action

Unite is demanding that London bus operators and Transport for London (TfL) take decisive action to tackle chronic levels of fatigue being experienced by bus drivers.

Unite is sharply critical of individual bus operators who have suggested that the solution is simply about ensuring drivers get more sleep.

Driving revolution

Unite is instead demanding a revolution in how bus driving is scheduled to ensure that drivers can finish on time, are able to utilise all of their breaks, work to proper schedules, have enough running time to complete their journey, are treated with respect and receive proper training.

A survey by Loughborough University which was commissioned by TfL, and published last August, discovered that 21 per cent of bus drivers had to ‘fight sleepiness’ at least two or three times a week and 17 per cent had actually fallen asleep at the wheel at least once in the past year.

Loughborough report 

Since the publication of the Loughborough report, TfL has attempted to deflect responsibility for the fatigue being suffered by bus drivers and has said that it is the responsibility of individual bus operators to resolve the situation. Unite believes this position is entirely unacceptable.

A survey of over 5,000 Unite bus driver members in September found 44 per cent of bus drivers work six days a week and long hours created severe physical, mental and relationship problems. A total of 79 per cent of drivers reported that in the past year they had made errors while driving due to tiredness.

Drivers had enough

Unite regional officer John Murphy said: “London bus drivers have had enough; they are permanently fatigued and at risk of being a danger to other road users, bus passengers and themselves.

“Unite will shortly be conducting a consultative ballot and provided our members endorse industrial action, strikes will follow later this year unless action is taken to ensure that the problems causing chronic fatigue for our members are resolved.

“TfL cannot simply sweep this problem under the carpet. It must act decisively and stop trying to pass the problem onto bus operators who have consistently failed to resolve the issue and have instead allowed it to worsen.

“For the last 25 years bus operators have been failing to deal with this problem. Unite members are saying enough is enough.”

AMAZON PROTEST- CYBER MONDAY 2ND DECEMBER 2019

Tis the season to hurt Amazon, falalaa laa la la la. They are mean there’s no comparison, falalaa laa la la la.

This 2nd of December at 10.45 am GMB would appreciate your assistance and attendance at Amazon office’s from 10.45 am for approximately 3 hours. Your welcome to attend during this period when you can, but the greater the number the louder the message. We hope to have frontbench speakers from the Labour Party as well as our famous rat.

Please get the message out far and wide so we can make the difference.

Details of the location is below.

Amazon HQ, 1 Principle Place, Worship Street, London, EC2A 2FA (Shoreditch/City of London) Farringdon and Barbican stations are around five minutes walk.

Please feel free to contact me should you have further questions in relation to this important event

The hashtags (#) we will be using for the day are: #AmazonWeAreNotRobots #AmazonPayYourTaxes #AmazonActOnClimate

CWU reacts to High Court Judgement

The CWU is extremely disappointed at the ruling and we have no doubt our members and representatives will feel the same way. Following 18 months of negotiations, including external mediation, the company’s actions are nothing more than a desperate delaying tactic from a board who are increasingly out of touch with the views of its workforce.

Legal proceedings and Royal Mail’s court room politics will not solve the company’s problems. The union has nothing to fear from mediation and unless there is significant movement from the company on a range of issues and a satisfactory agreement is concluded, the union will be calling further strike action once the mediation process has been completed. Furthermore, we will not allow Royal Mail to string out the process beyond the minimum required period.

CWU General Secretary Dave Ward said “The company are deluded if they believe their court room politics will resolve this dispute. Instead the company’s actions will have the complete opposite effect. Postal Workers’ attitude towards the company will harden and it makes us more determined than ever to defend our members pensions, jobs, service and achieve our objectives.”

“Unless the company significantly shifts its position on a range of issues and we can quickly conclude a good agreement for our members then strike action is inevitable. “

“We walked into the court today with a massive 90% yes vote for strike action – we walked out of the court today with a massive 90% vote for strike action. We want an agreement and will comply with the injunction to undertake further external mediation. But sooner rather than later Royal Mail Group will have to confront the harsh reality that they are completely out of touch with the views of its workforce.“

CWU Deputy General Secretary Terry Pullinger said “We saw today that Royal Mail Group would rather spend time, money and resources playing politics than engaging with this union to reach an agreement. Our members are square behind the CWU and from this moment we are putting Royal Mail on notice of further action should the mediation fail. Let me be clear – we will not stand by and see this once great institution run into the ground. Our members will stand up and save it by whatever means are necessary.”

“We will use the mediation process to seek an agreement but also to galvanise support amongst our members and the public. Be in no doubt though, if Royal Mail Group are not serious about reaching an agreement we will not hesitate to call strike action immediately after the mediation period closes.”

#mcstrike: The start of something big

On Tuesday, McDonald’s workers took strike action to demand a fair wage and a union to represent them. Thousands of supporters backed their call and made sure McDonald’s know they’re up against a powerful movement. 

In more than 35 locations across the country, supporters organised McStrike solidarity actions, speaking to the public about the campaign. Their conversations are critical in building public support and putting pressure on McDonald’s.

And you couldn’t pick up a newspaper yesterday without reading about McStrike. There was coverage in The Mirror, The Guardian, The iThe Daily Mail and many more. 

And this is just the beginning. McDonald’s will not back down easily, which is why your support is so important. Our movement will grow and these workers will strike again.

We will fight until these workers, and workers everywhere, get what’s fair.

This campaign will be long, so anything you can chip in will help our movement win.

Chip in to support McDonald’s workers and the McStrike

CWU Supporters: FIGHT against exploitative employers

The fight against exploitative employers, dodgy contracts and insecure work requires the support of every single community across the country.

Our recent vote for strike action in Royal Mail Group was secured by connecting with our membership in every corner of the UK – both online and on the ground.

Now we need your help to take our message to the public. By joining CWU Supporters you will be contacted with campaign materials and resources that will help us win this battle – and the others we are fighting

Be one of the first to join us by signing up below. Once you have joined us, don’t forget to hit share so that you can alert your social media networks to our new network.

Join CWU Supporters now

WAR ON WANT: McDonald’s workers are striking, 12 November!


McDonald’s workers are going on strike again! Join a group organising call with workers and Owen Jones to plan action in solidarity.

In the largest strike yet, workers from six stores in south London have been balloted and will take on their multinational employer in a strike on 12 November, as part of a global day of action for fast food rights.

The workers I’ve met are both nervous and excited. They’ve come together into a union to win the respect they deserve. Will you take action to show your solidarity?

Together with the TUC, we’ve organised a group call with War on Want patron Owen Jones, where the McDonald’s workers will share their plan to win and together we can build the biggest ever show of solidarity with fast food workers.

JOIN THE CALL

These brave workers are taking on the second largest private employer in the world to demand basic things that every worker should have: a wage they can live on, secure hours and a union so their employer has to listen to their concerns.

Workers have told me how the demonstrations of support from War on Want supporters like during previous McStrikes meant that when they walked back into their stores, they could hold their head up high.

Lewis, a McDonald’s worker in Crayford store told me that McDonald’s was telling the workers that the public wouldn’t support them, that they would be on their own. He said:

“Every message of support builds our confidence as we stand up to this bullying company and demand a fair wage and respect on the job.”

So let’s make this not only the biggest McStrike yet with the number of stores going on strike, but also the biggest show of solidarity with McDonald’s workers ever.

JOIN THE CALL

On 12 November, trade unions all around the world will be taking action to demand respect for fast food workers. McDonald’s is global, but so is our movement. Sign up now, join the call and let’s organise to win respect for McDonald’s and fast food workers all around the world.

When we win for McDonald’s workers, we win for everyone. That’s the meaning of solidarity.

Owen Espley
Labour rights campaigner
War on Want

PCS win London Living Wage at BEIS after months of indefinite strike action

ISS staff working at BEIS have won “gold standard” terms and conditions, including the London Living Wage after 3 months of indefinite strike action.

Porters, security, post room, cleaners and receptionist staff have all taken rolling strike action in the long running dispute since ISS took over the contract in January this year.

And cleaners took the decision to take indefinite strike action for 3 months in order to win a just settlement.

Members of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) won better pay, sick pay and increased annual leave following the action.

Caterers working for Aramark who were also on indefinite strike won their dispute last month.

The protracted dispute saw huge picket lines, a foodbank being set up in the department because pay was so low and solidarity from across the trade union movement.

Reacting to the win by workers at BEIS, PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “This has been a heroic effort by our members from start to finish.

“They have shown the entire trade union movement that when you stick together and strike together, anything is possible.

“Our members who are mainly migrant workers, have endured immense hardship with the local branch having to set up a food bank to support workers due to pay being so low.

“ISS have been a very intransient employer and if wasn’t for the steadfastness of our striking members, they would not have won a just settlement.

“This whole episode underlines the clear need for all private contracted out staff in government departments to be immediately brought back in house and given civil service pay and conditions.”

Follow PCS on Twitter @pcs_union 

Don’t sack 12,000 Asda workers just before Christmas

Asda workers have been told to sign the contracts – which will see them lose all their paid breaks and forced to work bank holidays – or be sacked on November 2 in the run up the Christmas.

Asda workers have been protesting outside stores up and down the country, while more than 1,000 turned out for a protest in August.

Today we are back in the birth place of Asda – once a proud, family company – calling on bosses to respect workers and offer them a better deal.

Gary Carter, GMB National Officer

Latest company accounts show directors trousered a whopping £12million last year – and profits rocketed more than £92 million – at the same time Asda slashed 5,000 jobs

Gary Carter, GMB National Officer, said:

“Tens of thousands of members of the public are backing our Asda workers in their fight against these Draconian contracts.

“Contract 6 is shocking – the changes are forcing our members to choose between looking after their families, or being able to support them. It’s a disgrace.

“Today we are back in the birth place of Asda – once a proud, family company – calling on bosses to respect workers and offer them a better deal.”

Stand with Asda workers – sign our petition

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