NEWS DIGEST NOV 2016

  1. Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign demand for a Public Inquiry

 The Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, promised an announcement this month on whether to hold an inquiry into the policing at Orgreave on 18 June 1984 during the miners’ strike. The OTJC has confirmation from the Home Secretary the announcement will be made by the end of the month, 31st October Monday as originally stated in her meeting with campaigners in September .

There is a Home Office debate in Parliament starting at 2pm, Monday 31st Ocotber   and the 2nd question on the order paper is “When will the Home Secretary make an announcement about about an Orgreave Inquiry” to raised by Labour MP for Chester Christian Matheson.  Labour MPS are being primed to respond to this with supplementary questions but in order for a Labour Mp to be chosen a Tory has to be willing to ask a question as well.

All of this has been frustrating both the campaign, supporters and the journalists following this important story with events beyond and out of our control but importantly we have held on and continued to gather media interest. Supporters who are able to get to NUM HQ Barnsley this press conference is open to all supporters as well as the media.

On Monday 31 October the OTJC contact in London is Kate. Contact orgreavejustice@hotmail.com For more information and there will be OTJC people available for interview in response to any announcement by Amber Rudd.  They will be in Committee Room 8 in Westminster from 10.00 until 16.00.

On Tuesday 1 November at 10.00am the OTJC, in association with the National Union of Mineworkers, will hold a news conference to respond in more detail to the announcement by Amber Rudd. Please note this news conference will take place even if there is no announcement by Amber Rudd. The confirmed speakers are Barbara Jackson OTJC Secretary, Chis Kitchen NUM National Secretary and Chris Skidmore NUM Yorkshire President.

The news conference will take place at the Main Hall of the NUM Offices at  2 Huddersfield Rd, Barnsley S70 2LS.

Granville Williams is the OTJC contact for this contact orgreavejustice@hotmail.com 

For more information 

I thank you all for all the hard work, support and commitment which has taken the campaign this far and i ask you all to remain hopeful and to stay with us as events unfold.

Barbara Jackson / Joe Rollin

Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign

Joe Rollin   Tel +44 7814 336545     Email joe.rollin@unitetheunion.org

Unite the Union Organising Department NEY&H Region’ 55 Call Lane Leeds LS1 7BW

 2. GMB Wins Monumental Victory In Employment Case Against Uber

Friday, October 28, 2016

 

GMB, the union for professional drivers, has won their case against Uber as the London Employment Tribunal has determined that Uber has acted unlawfully by not providing drivers with basic workers’ rights. (see notes to editors for previous press releases)

GMB brought two test cases to the Central London Employment Tribunal on 20 July 2016 and it has decided that Uber drivers are entitled to receive holiday pay, a guaranteed minimum wage and an entitlement to breaks. The Tribunal decision will have major implications for over 30,000 drivers in London and across England and Wales and for workers in other occupations.

GMB found last year that a member working exclusively for Uber received just £5.03 per hour in August after costs and fees were taken into account, significantly below the national minimum wage of £7.20. Lawyers for the drivers also argued that Uber acts unlawfully by frequently deducting sums from drivers’ pay, often without informing the drivers in advance, including when customers make complaints.

Maria Ludkin, GMB Legal Director, said:

“This is a monumental victory that will have a hugely positive impact on over 30,000 drivers in London and across England and Wales and for thousands more in other industries where bogus self-employment is rife.

Uber drivers and other directed workers do have legal rights at work. The question for them now is how those rights are enforced in practice. The clear answer is that the workforce must combine into the GMB union to force the company to recognise these rights and to negotiate fair terms and conditions for the drivers.

This loophole that has allowed unscrupulous employers to avoid employment rights, sick pay and minimum wage for their staff and costing the government millions in lost tax revenue will now be closed.

Uber drivers and thousands of others caught in the bogus self-employment trap will now enjoy the same rights as employees. This outcome will be good for passengers too. Properly rewarded drivers are the same side of the coin as drivers who are properly licensed and driving well maintained and insured vehicles.

GMB will be getting on with the business of campaigning and recruiting at Uber to ensure our members’ rights are respected.

GMB will give evidence to the new Taylor review on terms and conditions within the sectors of the economy offering precarious employment. We will make the case that average hours worked over the past 12 weeks should be deemed to be the contracted hours of work for those on zero hours as it already is for maximum hours of work under the Working Time Directive.

GMB puts employers on notice that we are reviewing similar contracts masquerading as bogus self employment, particularly prevalent in the so called ‘gig economy’. This is old fashioned exploitation under newfangled jargon, but the law will force you to pay GMB members what they are rightfully due.”

 

Nigel Mackay, Leigh Day employment lawyer, said:

“We are delighted that the Employment Tribunal has found in favour of our clients.

“This judgment acknowledges the central contribution that Uber’s drivers have made to Uber’s success by confirming that its drivers are not self-employed but that they work for Uber as part of the company’s business.

“Uber drivers often work very long hours just to earn enough to cover their basic living costs. It is the work carried out by these drivers that has allowed Uber to become the multi-billion-dollar global corporation it is.

“We are pleased that the employment tribunal has agreed with our arguments that drivers are entitled to the most basic workers’ rights, including to be paid the National Minimum Wage and to receive paid holiday, which were previously denied to them.

“This is a ground-breaking decision. It will impact not just on the thousands of Uber drivers working in this country, but on all workers in the so-called gig economy whose employers wrongly classify them as self-employed and deny them the rights to which they are entitled.”

END

 

  1. Mental Health Action Group Sheffield (MHAGS)

Tim Jones (Project Co-ordinator)

   I would like to inform you that the Sheffield City Council has withdrawn our funding grant of £10,500 pa which ends on 31 March 2017. We provide a vital service to individuals who have suffered or are suffering from any form of mental health issues. After 25 years Sheffield City council see fit to axe this vital resource. With a long established legacy, a whole community will be dispersed into isolation. We feel this is totally unacceptable for the sake of saving the above figure of money. Members will be left to their own devices there being no similar alternative provision in the city. With this being a service-user run organisation, with no paid staff, throughout the years we have saved local authorities an huge amount of money that is incalculable. A brief history: we were a campaign group back in the 1980’s. We campaigned for mobility passes on public transport. Concessionary transport passes did not exist for people with mental health issues. Has a result It was first piloted in Sheffield and later became nationwide. In 1990 the NHS became trusts and many mental health services were casualties. We conducted a campaign around Pitsmoor Day Centre which was threatened with closure. We came to a compromise with the Local Authority that the day centre would reduce its opening hours. Soon after the campaign we were approached by numerous service users regarding staffing levels. It got to the stage where there was a demand to open our campaign group as a day centre. In 1995 we became a charity and under the council funding guidelines we were unable to participate in any political activity. As a result we were unable to achieve what we set out to achieve. Because of this funding withdrawal, we have no alternative but to return to our original aims and objectives. I hope you will support us in our campaign to restore council funding so that we can continue this vital user-led service.

 

To find out more visit. Website www.mhagsheffield.org Twitter @mhagsheffield

Facebook www.facebook.com/mhag.sheffield

Online Petition http://www.mhagsheffield.org/petition.html

 

  1. UNITE The Union calls on members to act now to save NHS

I am calling on you to act to defend our NHS from the greatest crisis it has ever faced.

 The NHS touches all of our lives wherever we are, wherever we are from. Our cradle to grave service is unique and the envy of many other countries.

Our NHS is perhaps the greatest socialist achievement of the modern age but this amazing organisation, our great social achievement, our NHS, is danger of annihilation.

 Please click the link at the end of this email to support our campaign it will only take a short moment of your time and will make a huge difference to our collective struggle.

The Governments Sustainability & Transformation Plan (STP’s) or Slash, Trash & Privatise programme has the potential to change our NHS beyond recognition. The programme is being conducted in secrecy with no consultation with staff or the public. There is no evidence to support the proposals which will result in £22 billion in cuts, massive centralisation, ward and hospital closures as well as service reconfigurations; local care at the point of need is under very real threat.

Our NHS is in danger of being destroyed. Act now support the campaign:

You can help us to campaign against this programme which will threaten the future of our NHS and butcher local services. Please sign our petition and forward it to your family, friends and colleagues. Please find attached a summary document to help explain the major issues for the campaign as well as a promotional poster for display in your workplaces. If you would like further information please do not hesitate to get in touch.

We need to defend health provision in this country for ourselves, our children and our children’s children.

 In Solidarity

David Donohue NEY&H Health Sector

Fight the Secret plans to destroy the NHS:  Sign our petition to Parliament and campaign to fight for our NHS: 

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/165948

 

  1. TUC tells Philip Green to pay up on BHS pensions

 Just hours ago, Parliament voted to strip Sir Philip Green of his knighthood. This comes on a back of terrible news coverage for the former boss of BHS. In an interview with ITV News, the billionaire said he was “very, very, very sorry” for BHS’ collapse. The demise of the company left 11,000 hard-working and loyal staff devastated and jobless. Now workers could also lose great chunks of their retirement savings. Sir Philip has vowed several times to sort out the pension problem, telling MPs in June that his advisers were working on a “resolvable and sortable” solution. Despite repeated assurances, so far he has tabled no firm offer. Usdaw, the BHS workers’ union, is calling on Philip Green to honour his promise and ‘sort’ the pension scheme. Will you join their campaign? Tell Philip Green to fully fund the BHS pension deficit. Thanks for being involved, Ali and the Going To Work team

 

6. Scottish Government ready to step in and run railways if ScotRail fails to improve

The Scottish Government has a plan in place to take over the running of the country’s railways if ScotRail fails to hit improvement targets.

More than 19,000 people have signed a petition calling on Transport Minister Humza Yousaf to ”make ScotRail bosses improve Scotland’s trains or strip them of their contract”.

Government agency Transport Scotland instructed the operator to draw up an improvement plan after the public performance measure (PPM) on trains which arrive within five minutes of timetable fell below

 

 

  1. International Centre for Trade Union Rights (ICTUR)

Greetings from the International Centre for Trade Union Rights (ICTUR) in London, an organisation that defends the human rights of trade unionists and works to promote trade union rights internationally. Our work includes monitoring labour rights worldwide, letter-writing, campaigning, awareness-raising, submissions to inquiries and political processes (see, www.ictur.org/JCHR.htm),  research, and trial observations (see, www.ictur.org/Trial.htm). We also help unions with issues around human rights and law, particularly in international contexts.

I’m contacting you today to ask for your help. We are reaching out to branch unions and Trade Union Councils, and calling for your support, which we need urgently. While our work is well known by unions and lawyers globally (see, www.ictur.org/Executive.htm) we have no large donors (no government funding, no grants from wealthy private trusts) and rely rather on a large network of supporters, including some national unions in Europe, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, and in the developing world, and many local level organisations, contributing to sustain our work.

In exchange for the support and solidarity that our affiliated organisations and subscribers give us, we provide a range of resources which provide detailed insights into the international trade union rights situation and the challenges facing trade unionists around the world.  These resources include:

– International Union Rights (print) journal, first published in 1992 and well established as the world’s leading journal on trade union rights, published 4 times per year (www.ictur.org/IUR.htm)

– World Map on Freedom of Association and Trade Union Rights, a large (A1) wall poster showing ratification of international laws protecting trade union rights, and major violations of those rights, a resource that is very popular at all levels of the trade union movement, and that is well regarded in trade union education, 5th edition just published (www.ictur.org/Map.htm)

– Trade Unions of the World, a huge (approx. 700,000 words) reference book outlining the history, context and current situation of trade unions and labour rights in 198 countries and 20 dependent territories), and giving contact details for all major unions in each country, 7th edition published 2016 (www.ictur.org/TUW.htm)

– JSTOR Online Archive for IUR journal, this online archive provides access to every copy of the journal published since 1992.

We would like to invite your Trade Union Council and local branch unions to consider any way in which you can support our work.  Various affiliation, publication purchase, and subscription rates are available on our website, but we propose a one-off donation for £125, for which we would accredit you as affiliated local level organisations for the year, provide 3 subscriptions to IUR journal (4 copies per year), 10 copies of our World Map wall poster, a single print copy of the 678-page book Trade Unions of the World, and full access to the online archive of IUR journal for one year. You can reply to this email and I’ll be happy to discuss any aspect of our work and to discuss payment options, or you can support us online at www.ictur.org/local-donation.htm

Every organisation that is able to support us makes a big difference to our financial viability for the year.  I hope that you can help us to continue our work.  And please circulate this request to anyone involved in your affiliated branches who may be interested in our work.

Many thanks for your support,

Daniel Blackburn, Director, International Centre for Trade Union Rights (‘ICTUR’), 177 Abbeville Road, London, SW4 9RL, UK, tel: +44 (0)20 7498 4700, fax: +44 (0)20 7498 0611, website: www.ictur.org, email: ictur@ictur.org

twitter: @Blackburn_ICTUR

 

  1. Motion to Support The Feminist Library – October 2016

Dear Trade Union Member,

I am writing to you on behalf of the Feminist Library, London.

The Feminist Library is the UK’s pre-eminent collection of Women’s Liberation Movement and feminist literature with an incomparable collection of over 7,000 books, 1500 periodical titles from around the world, archives of feminist individuals and organisations, pamphlets, papers, posters, and ephemera. Based in London and run by a collective of volunteers, the Feminist Library has been supporting feminist research, activist and community projects since 1975. For over 40 years, the Feminist Library has provided a space for people to learn, educate and organise around feminist issues.

Recent years have seen an unprecedented attack on public space and amenities, and library campaigners correctly predicted over 1,000 libraries would be closed by 2016*. The future of the Feminist Library is also under threat as we have faced unsustainable increases in our rent. Our landlord, Southwark Council is allowing us to stay in the premises temporarily, but in order to develop our plans, we urgently need emergency funds to relocate in 2017.

 

Southwark Council are working with us to protect the much-loved, well-used and internationally acclaimed Feminist Library, following a petition which received 17,000 signatories worldwide. There has been much national and international media coverage of our situation. The Feminist Library collective is asking the Trade Union movement to recognise the importance of the Feminist Library and support it in its campaign for a permanent and secure home to house this unique resource and community space.

 

Show your support for Women’s History and the feminist struggle for full gender equality by supporting the following motion: The Feminist Library is facing a serious funding crisis and potential eviction and so this Trade Union branch:

  • passes this motion of support for the Feminist Library
  • will help secure the future of the Feminist Library by making a financial donation to the Feminist Library emergency fund http://feministlibrary.co.uk/support/emergencyfund/
  • will ask members to support the library as individuals by joining their Friends Scheme (http://feministlibrary.co.uk/support/friends-scheme/)
  • will publicise the Feminist Library to branch members, the work they do and events they run, and ask members to also sign the Save the Feminist Library from Eviction petition, available at https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/save-the-feminist-library-from-eviction
  • will ask members to support as individuals by providing transportation and other practical help for the Library and its relocation If you have any questions, suggestions, or want to discuss further, please get in touch. 5 Westminster Bridge Road, London, SE1 7XW 020 7261 0879 solidarity@feministlibrary.co.uk
  • * http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/jul/12/library-campaigners-1000-closures-2016

 

 

  1. Retired Union Official wants your old union badges

My name is Steve Baguley, a retired union official and member of the CWU.

I collect TU and TUC badges, particularly regional and campaign badges

and hoping you can help in this regard.

I will of course meet any costs if you can.

regards

Steve stevewbaguley@gmail.com

 

 

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