A round up of Union News:-
■ TUC national demonstration in London, followed by rally in Parliament Square, 18 June 2022.
Enough is enough. We demand better. We deserve better.
“Let’s turn anger into hope,
and hope into action.”
More than 40,000 RMT members were balloted for strike action. This might be the biggest strike in the rail industry in modern history. The ballot closed 24 May. Result. Overwhelming support. Strikes will now take place from Mid-June. GTR area are being re-balloted as turnout was below threshold. ‘Action short of strike action’ was the result.
Network Rail intends to cut at least 2,500 safety critical jobs as part of a £2bn reduction in spending on the network. Staff employed by the 15 train operating companies have been subject to pay freezes, threats to jobs and attacks on their terms and conditions.
Rail cuts will compromise safety with loss of 670,000 maintenance hours – TUC report here:-
Meanwhile talk of Government plans for a ‘minimum staffing requirement during rail strikes’ has been slammed as “desperate nonsense”. Unions reacted with anger to an interview in a Sunday newspaper by transport secretary Grant Shapps that took place just days before the ballot result. RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said, “We are asking for job security and a guarantee of no compulsory redundancies, and we will not accept imposition of detrimental pay and conditions”.
■ GMB – Asda. Thousands of GMB members are preparing to take strike action following a 95% consultative ballot vote in favour. Asda are floating a “rob-Peter to-pay-Paul” deal which plays off a potential pay rise against a real-terms cut in sick pay. GMB’s Nadine Houghton says:
“This ballot result shows how angry Asda workers are. They’re being asked to swallow real terms pay cut while Asda’s top brass give themselves a hefty pay rise.”
The union is meeting with members to consider the next steps.
■ BIN Strikes
About to ballot:-
- Isle of Wight
- Brighton – second round
Wealden. BIFFA are trying to break the strike. Bringing in lorries from Bexhill. There was a successful blockade of these lorries recently with no Arrests.
The bin workers on strike voted to reject a new “paltry offer” of a one-off “bonus” of £600. The vote to reject was 97.8%. The GMB now expect a concerted attempt to break the picket line with probably strong police support.
Pickets are at Amberstone Road depot, Hailsham BN27 1PH
Things developed such that on 27th May there was an outrageous attack on the right to strike, police arrested and handcuffed three trade unionists on the Amberstone picket line. The striking GMB union members and their supporters blocked vans from leaving the depo. One of the GMB officers, Gary Palmer was a constant face at the Eastbourne bin strike where the Council also attempted to similarly get him arrested.
■ IWGB. Deliveroo and GMB
“The new voluntary partnership agreement, announced on Thursday, makes GMB the only union recognised by the company. But it’s the IWGB union that has organised Deliveroo workers since 2016.
Deliveroo founder Will Shu was “delighted to partner with the GMB”, claiming it would give “self-employed riders flexibility, guaranteed earnings, representation and benefits”. The GMB heralded the deal as “historic” for workers—and GMB national officer Mick Rix even said that Deliveroo deserved “praise”.”
But what does this manoeuvre say about the tactics of the larger unions in relation to the smaller grassroots campaigning unions?
■ GREENER JOBS ALLIANCE now has its newsletters available on its website.
GJA liaises with training bodies, colleges, universities, employers, local and national government, trade unions, housing associations, campaign and community groups – to build the policies, investment and partnerships needed to drive the transition to a low carbon economy.
Contents for May Newsletter
- Editorial: Four answers to the energy and climate crises.
- Green Skills confusion continues.
- NEU declares Code Red.
- DFE Walking with Dinosaurs.
- US Women’s Construction delegation to London in June
- Canadian Building Trades Conference
- Lucas type plan at Rolls Royce?
- Lucas Plan historical note
- It don’t have to be this way. Shanghai LA Green corridor.
- Forgive us our Trespasses?
- GJA Activities Round up
- Green Bites
Note particularly number 7.
Unite and GMB had combined with environmentalists and community activists to campaign against the threat of closures. In February 2022, the Unite National officer for the Aerospace sector reported that Rolls Royce might re-engage in discussions about the Just Transition / Green New Deal plans and working together with the Combine to decarbonise the business and their products. Watch this space.
Thank you to TUC LESE, News from the Frontline, and several other sources.