What kind of Unite do we want?

We are holding our next Unite Rank and File open meeting, What kind of Unite do we want? on Sunday 1st August 2021 from 4pm to 6pm

Speakers from Unite Rank and File, Go North West and NHS Workers Say No!

The meeting will take place via Zoom

Register in advance for this meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcsc-muqD0jHNJ4z8uhHtvW1Gvdp6COzqlV 

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Please feel free to share the registration link with other Unite members who might be interested

Facebook event here with the Zoom registration link to share with your networks

https://fb.me/e/4erfSNft0

We look forward to seeing some of you on Sunday 1st August!

Unite structures and participation

Guide to Unite structures and participation here

 

Unite structures and participation (July 2021)

Unite Constitutional Timetable 2022 – 2028

Details of the Unite Constitutional Timetable for 2022 – 2028 are now out following the June EC meeting

 

Details in the document here

 

Doc 11.4 constitutional timetable 22-28

 

Goodlord Referencing department strike

Workers in the referencing section of Goodlord, a lettings platform, are taking strike action between 22 February and 5 March over fire-and-rehire plans which would see many salaries reduced by £6,000 to below the real London Living Wage.

Goodlord is using the fact that employees are now working from home due to the pandemic to make this cut.

Goodlord provides services for a number of estate agents in London, including Winkworth, Best Estate Agents, Andrews and Featherstone Leigh.

 

Goodlord @sogoodlord care about their social media presence. We can put pressure on them by calling them out on social media platforms. 

Twitter sogoodlord Instagram sogoodlord Facebook sogoodlord

You can also use the hashtag #GoodLordBadLord

 

The workers are members of Unite London Digital & Tech branch (LE/7098L).

Read the Unite the Union press release: https://bit.ly/37lCCGT

Messages of support or questions can be sent to steve.o’donnell@unitetheunion.org

Follow SoBadLord on Twitter and unitelondonitc on Facebook

https://www.unitedigitaltech.org/2021/02/goodlord-lettings-platform-faces-strike-over-savage-pay-cut

 

Solidarity with Unite bus worker

Please donate to help a good Unite rep O’Neil Lewis clear his name

https://www.gofundme.com/f/legal-requirements

Email us to pass on solidarity messages

Rolls Royce and Optare

Unite members are currently involved in two crucial battles at the Rolls-Royce plant in Barnoldswick, Lancashire and the Optare bus manufacturers in Leeds.

Rolls-Royce bosses announced in August that they would be offshoring production of the Trent Engine blades, currently manufactured at the Barnoldswick plant to Singapore.

The move would see 350 workers lose their jobs, the potential closure of the factory and the further threats to the jobs of workers in the supply chain.  And this is a company that sought £1 billion in financial support from the Government.

Unite members voted 94% for a strike to stop the job losses. 

They began a 3 week strike last Friday 6 November that was due to end on 27 November – but the action will now continue until Christmas Eve.

National officer Ross Quinn told the local press 
“This dispute is not just about maintaining the viability of the Rolls-Royce factory in Barnoldswick, it is about the future prosperity of the local community.”

Workers at bus manufacturer Optare in Leeds have been taking strike action from last month.  They have been staging 48-hour strikes every week to win a pay rise that was pledged but never implemented by the company last year.  Optare can hardly plead poverty. The company is owned by the billionaire Hinduja brothers Srichand, Gopichand and Prakash, the second richest people in the UK.
Despite Unite pickets at Optare wearing masks, socially distancing and regularly using hand sanitiser, last week a police officer ordered them to stop picketing quoting new coronavirus legislation.Unite made legal representations that have been successful so the right to picket has been maintained. The stakes are high, the bosses are accommodating temporary workers in hotels and bussing them in to try and break the strike. But next week, the strike will escalate to four days a week and workers believe that this will have a major impact. 

It is clear that just as with the economic crash in 2008, the Tories and the bosses are intent on making us pay for growing pandemic and economic crises.  These strikes are crucial because if they win it shows that workers don’t have to meekly accept being thrown on the scrapheap or cuts to their pay and benefits.  But the workers at these factories could also be the key to tackling another crisis – that of the ongoing climate catastrophe.  Optare workers specialise in making electric buses. Barnoldswick workers specialise in making blades for aircraft engines – but there’s no reason why they can’t make blades for wind turbines. 

Raise solidarity for these strikes in your branch and committee meetings. Get in touch to invite a speaker or if your branch can make donations.

Send messages of solidarity to:

Rolls-Royce Barnoldswick – facebook.com/UniteNorthWest/  and tweet to @Unite_NorthWest using #BattleForBarnoldswick and #SaveOurSite hashtags

Optare Richard.bedford@unitetheunion.org

Unite EC Elections in a personal capacity by Laurence Humphries

In the recent EC Elections held on the 18th June I wanted to comment on the very low turnout in most of the sectors and analyse briefly why this happened. The URF has always campaigned for a real democratic union but at the moment it still remains in the hands of a bureaucratic elite.

In the regions there were contests in the following regions : Ireland, Scotland, North East Yorkshire and Humberside, South East, Wales and West Midlands. Of course voting in territorial elections is restricted to working members only.

In the regions there was an average of a 6.2% turnout. It was better in the Industrial sectors where there were contests in 9 of the sectors again with an average turnout of 6.2%. At the last Rules Conference it was resolved to have equality representatives elected onto the EC. There were only contests in BAEM and Retired Members. LGBT, Women and Young Members were uncontested as well 10 Industrial sectors and 4 Regions without a contest.
Of course if you are a Community Member, Unemployed or a student you do not have a vote in these Elections at all. The Retired Members sector where I stood had the highest poll 19% which shows that Retired Members are very active.

The reason for the low poll in the Industrial sectors is that in a union like Unite which has strong bureaucratic apparatus, members feel that they have no say in most decisions.
All Officers, National Officers and assistant General Secretaries are appointed either on the recommendation of the Executive Council or the General Secretary. They are not accountable to the membership because they have not been elected. Members therefore consider these elections an irrelevancy and it has nothing to do with apathy.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected Unite enormously with the threat of layoffs redundancies and sackings. BA Workers are threatened with sackings and or redundancies. In Passenger Transport, 44 Bus drivers have died from coronavirus showing inadequate PPE and protection from the virus.

It is necessary for the URF to campaign for democracy, accountability and a perspective that all members of the union irrespective of whether they work or not to have a proper democratic structure in the union and be able to participate like working members. When the pandemic is over we need to have a perspective to fight redundancies and sackings through strike action if necessary.

RSPCA workers to strike over ‘bully boy’ bosses

Staff at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) have voted by a large majority for strike action, Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, said today (Thursday 20 February).

Unite said that its members had voted by 73 per cent to strike over the management’s arbitrary imposition of new ‘performance pay’ contracts.

The union said that it would be announcing strike dates in the near future – and called for the RSPCA management to hold last-ditch talks, under the auspices of the conciliation service Acas, to avert strike action.

Unite is the only union recognised at the UK’s leading animal charity, founded in 1824.

Unite said the crux of the dispute is management’s proposals to replace the recently negotiated incremental pay scheme with a performance pay arrangement which could exacerbate plummeting staff morale in an organisation where bullying has been endemic.

https://unitetheunion.org/news-events/news/2020/february/rspca-workers-vote-to-strike-over-new-detrimental-bully-boy-contracts/

Protest in support of Unite member and London bus worker

Unite Rank and File are really shocked to hear that Moe Manir, a hard working Unite rep on London buses has got a disciplinary this Thursday at Abellio and is facing the sack

Moe, with others, has been a major campaigner for the London-wide consultative ballot on safety that took place last Friday 7th February 2020.

There is going to be a protest at 12.30pm this Thursday outside the Twickenham depot where Moe’s disciplinary is being held if anyone able to make it – Stanley Road, Twickenham TW2 5NP

Big win for Hackney bus workers

A long running dispute between Hackney Council and school bus staff has been brought to an end after workers secured increased pay and a commitment to make agency roles permanent.

The pay deal came after 38 Unite members, who are drivers and passenger escorts on school buses for children with disabilities, carried out a series of strikes in relation to the dispute during 2019.

Hackney council has agreed to yearly lump sum payments which will be backdated to April 2019 and are linked to annual National Joint Council pay increases for local government staff.

The agreement also includes a review, led by the conciliation service Acas, into improving working relationships within the bus service, as well as a commitment to review agency staff positions each term with a view to making those roles permanent.

Full story here:

Win! Hackney bus dispute called off after workers secure pay rise