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.

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

General Election Day

On the day of the General Election tomorrow, myself as an NHS worker and UNITE Workplace Rep will be at work for yet another consultation launch on reorganisation

For me, this is the 9th reorganisation in 9 years

I work for an NHS organisation that came about as a direct consequence of the Tories Health & Social Care Act and a part of the NHS most affected by change since the ConDem coalition in 2010

No top down organisation of the NHS, Cameron said yet we have seen nothing but every year since

Multiple redundancies every time losing mostly the good people with the skills and knowledge

I would prefer to be out campaigning to get the vote out for Labour instead however I need to be there for my members and support them through this pain, this time also at risk myself being in a ringfenced competition which means I will have to apply for my own job

I also have moderate anxiety and depression which make these situations even more difficult for me to cope with even with tons of support available

This is why I am voting Labour on 12th December to put an end to all this misery by Labour getting into government and standing by the Labour manifesto to repeal the terrible Health & Social Care Act once and for all

Unite National Industrial Sector Conferences 2019

Unite Rank and File supporters will be gathering in Brighton next week for Unite National Industrial Sector Conferences 2019

There will not be a leaflet from Unite Rank and File

Thanks to all those who volunteered to help with leafleting

We will still however be meeting up

On Monday 18th November, we will be in the Fiddler’s Elbow post conference

On Tuesday 19th November, we will be meeting in The Bright Helm from 6.30pm onwards for discussion and food before moving on to the Fiddler’s Elbow

Come and join us there

Unite National Industrial Sector Conferences 2019

UNITE National Industrial Sector Conferences 2019 are fast approaching starting Monday 18th November 2019 in Brighton

If you are going to be in Brighton in any capacity, please do get in contact

I will be there as a delegate along with a few others from Unite Rank and File

We are hoping to meet up in the evening of Tuesday 19th November

It will be an opportunity for UNITE Rank and File supporters to meet each other and do some planning for the socialist revolution, so if you are interested, please do come along and meet us

Some of us will be here later that night
https://www.fiddlerselbow.pub/

Please also email us if you would like to contribute to or have ideas for our latest leaflet and / or if you are able to help us in Brighton with leafleting

In solidarity!

Nicola Redwood
Co-Chair
Unite Rank and File Committee

Unite Executive Council timetable

The term of office of the current Executive Council comes to an end on 30th April 2020, it is therefore necessary to hold an election to elect the new council to hold office from 1st May 2020 to 30th April 2023.

The timetable for the election was agreed as follows:

Invite branches to submit candidates contact details/statements w/c 21st October 2019

Deadline for receipt of candidate details/statements 12 noon Monday 18th November 2019

Despatch of Nomination Forms w/c 16th December 2019

Christmas – office closure 24th December 2019 – 1st January 2020

Eligibility to vote cut-off date 31st December 2019

Nominations Period Thursday 2nd January – Friday 7th February 2020

Deadline for Receipt of Nominations 12 noon Wednesday 12th February 2020

Deadline for Acceptance and Receipt of Election Address 12 noon Wednesday 19th February 2020

Voting Period 30th March to 28th April.

Voting Papers Despatched 30th March to 1st April 2020

Easter – office closure 10th April – 13th April 2020

Deadline for Voting papers to be returned to the Independent Scrutineer 12 noon Tuesday 28th April

Verification of count 29th and 30th April.

New EC takes office 1st May 2020

New EC Meets 1st to 5th June 2020

Key Unite Dates

* Tue 31 March – Thur 2 April; Unite equalities conferences in Bournemouth

* Sun 28 June – Fri 3 July; Unite policy conference in Liverpool

NHS Biomedical Scientists vote to go on strike

NHS Biomedical Scientists at Barking, Havering and Redbridge NHS Trust vote to go on strike

http://unitelive.org/pathologists-vote-to-strike-over-shifts-system/