1. Lots going on in Road haulage bosses have said there is a shortfall of around 100,000 drivers, partly caused by the exit from the UK during the pandemic of thousands of EU drivers who have not yet returned.
Unite – Drivers Manifesto
Unite have said there’s a shortage of around 75k lorry drivers in the UK. Without them the country stops. Unite’s drivers’ manifesto for change demands a dramatic improvement in pay and welfare facilities to make the industry more attractive to work in.
Read the manifesto here 🔽
Meanwhile, DHL in Dartford are willing to strike over pay.
GMB. Yodel faces a complete network standstill has GMB ballots lorry drivers over strike action. At a time of mass shortages, the delivery giant faces its LGV1 drivers walking out over pay and conditions. The strike ballot opens on August 25 and closes on September 15 – meaning industrial action could take place during Yodel’s busiest time over Christmas.
GMB and Uber pledge to end the exploitation of more than 200,000 drivers. The ground-breaking deal between GMB and Uber was the first step towards a fairer working life for millions of people.
Under the deal – struck in May – Uber will formally recognise GMB, which will now be able to represent up to 70,000 Uber drivers across the UK.
Earlier this year, the Supreme Court determined Uber drivers are not self-employed, but are workers entitled to workers’ rights including holiday pay, a guaranteed minimum wage, and an entitlement to breaks.
But with more than 300,000 drivers working in the ride-hailing and the PHV industry, an estimated 230,000 are still not receiving their legal rights from companies like Bolt and Addison Lee.
2. Labour Party
a. GMB and Unite – Indicative ballot on Labour Party compulsory redundancies.
The indicative ballot, began on Monday 23 August and ended on Tuesday 31 August. Members were asked if they were willing to take strike action if compulsory redundancies are announced. At the time of writing this report I was unable to find out the result of the ballot. UPDATE. 75% in favour of strikes. 80% turn out. https://www.unitetheunion.org/news-events/news/2021/august/unite-to-ballot-labour-party-staff-over-compulsory-redundancies/
The Bakers, Food and Allied Workers’ Union (BFAWU) has set a timeline for the recall of its conference to debate disaffiliating from the Labour Party amid reports of possible disciplinary action against its national president.
3. Boris Johnson laughing about Margaret Thatcher closing coal mines during his Scottish trip saw widespread condemnation from Unions and MPs.
Ian Lavery MP, a former president of the National Union of Mineworkers, said: “Appalled but not at the least surprised. This charlatan Boris Johnson joined the Tory party to assist in the destruction of our mining jobs and communities now laughs and jokes about the pain and suffering the Tories viciously meted out on hard working people and their families.” https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/boris-johnson-slammed-joking-journalists-24696762
4. Climate Crisis
The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has hit out at politicians and others who are downplaying the threat of climate change or who think we can afford to act slowly, accusing them of being ‘criminally complacent’.
Remember, it was Matt Wrack, FBU General Secretary, who proposed the Socialist Green New Deal motion at the 2019 Conference. He insisted we kept the 2030 carbon neutrality date. The other Green New Deal motion that passed at the 2019 Conference was less confident about that date.
5. NHS Pay
The government’s 3% pay rise is not good enough. On Wednesday 25 August, our NHS members in England held workplace stalls and rallies to say ‘NO’ to the government’s pathetic pay rise and help their colleagues get a ballot ready. Unite’s consultative ballot of members in England opened on 27 August and closes on 24 September. Find out more
AND LAST BUT DEFINITELY NOT LEAST
6. Union General Secretary Result.
Well down the Sharon Graham for a well fought campaign. And now we have Unite’s first women General Secretary. Thank heavens it was only a 2-way split on the left vote after Howard Beckett stepped down.