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DEC 2006      Stronger Together

  Fighting betting shop abuse pages 22,23
       Word Search
Win a Free holiday                                                                                                                                                    Dear Community member

 2 or 3 nights half-board holiday for
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Farepak donation .................................................4
                                                                                                                                                                      You should be reading this edition of Stronger Together during the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  New organisers .....................................................5
                                                                                                                                                                      Christmas break and I would like to take this opportunity to wish

 2 adults at any Warner Classic Resort                                                                                                                                you and your family a Happy Christmas and Prosperous New Year.
                                                                                                                                                                      As I look forward to the New Year and the challenges facing us I also
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  End exploitation of textile workers ...............6
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Port Talbot Corus fined ......................................7
 (excluding Bank Holiday) with our prize WORDSEARCH                                                                                                                   always like the opportunity to reflect on the past year.

                                                                                                                                                                      2006 has been a momentous year for Community. In the Spring
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Regular Features
                                                                                                                                                                      members voted to elect the Union’s first National Executive                                 Wordsearch.............................................................2
                                                                                                                                                                      Committee to represent them and provide strategic direction for                             Legal ................................................................ 10/11
   Try our new Community                              MG    D   K   R Z   K   F   B   K   W   O   L   U   V   S Y   A   O   S   Q   A   I S   O   C   I   N   Y   E
                                                                                                                                                                      a new union fit for the 21st Century. That challenge for the NEC                            Member benefits ........................................ 12/13
   WORDSEARCH quiz and                                E H   I   D   U J   J   F   G   P   U   Y   N   Z   F   S K   T   Q   I   E   K   K B   V   D   E   K   A   X
                                                                                                                                                                      is shared by the whole lay representative structure and staff of
  win a fabulous 2 or 3 night                         S E   K   J   D E   O   T   N   P   I   Z   R   Y   Z   K L   T   F   A   N   A   R I   T   G   K   G   V   N                                                                                               Training and Education ............................ 14/15
  holiday for 2 adults at any                                                                                                                                         Community. In 2007 we shall put forward suggestions for high
 Warner Classic Resort. Simply
                                                      O S   U   K   H U   Y   Q   I   J   G   M   Q   E   H   P R   E   T   I   T   M   T M   A   J   X   M   L   S
                                                      C I   T   V   V C   P   M   Z   K   N   H   R   G   G   C O   L   S   O   J   S   E H   J   N   L   R   O   V   quality, professional services and structures to support members.
    fill in the details below                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Features
  and return the coupon to:                           N Z   H   F   L Y   P   D   H   R   N   D   L   M   R   XM    L   E   S   E   T   N R   E   T   N   D   Q   H   Also in the Spring, NUDAGO members voted to join Community
 Community WORDSEARCH,                                O N   A   R   D V   W   B   J   C   U   Y   A   B   R   U E   A   R   P   U   E   R D   A   K   A   E   C   U                                                                                               A rewarding evening ................................ 16/17
 324 Grays Inn Road, London                                                                                                                                           and, as you can read on pages 26 and 27 it is clear that these new
  WC1X 8DD by 22 February                             B C   Y   C   R X   U   A   I   N   F   C   E   G   B   H T   V   A   Q   P   R   E Y   K   J   A   V   I   K   members of Community work in a high tech, high skilled industry
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Organised for change ............................... 18/19
    2007 and be a winner!                             H I   C   K   GM    W   A   V   S   H   W   J   K   J   WA    D   H   O   H   D   B S   X   G   Q   N   X   V                                                                                               Age discrimination..................................... 20/21
                                                                                                                                                                      which has much to contribute to the UK economy.
                                                      M R   L   I   W E   V   Q   T   U   J   A   Y   Q   V   D U   C   C   K   I   A   I I   D   J   B   C   C   M
  Name ......................................                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Betting shop abuse ................................... 22/23
                                                      H Q   J   T   W L   Q   N   T   C   H   W   N   D   U   B T   B   U   N   O   M   C R   P   D   B   R   F   A   Likewise Community members employed in the steel sector are
  .................................................   D U   J   E   N G   I   N   L   C   L   A   O   Z   L   X F   F   B   E   L   G   R A   D   E   G   C   P   G   now part of a high skill, high value industry which is vital to the                         Kyoto climate change talks............................ 24
                                                      U N   P   G   P I   E   W   B   V   V   T   D   I   C   MA    U   I   O   X   H   L P   R   A   G   U   E   D   UK’s manufacturing economy. As this edition of Stronger Together                            Too much lolly .................................................... 25
  Address ...................................
                                                      Z G   G   O   A E   G   J   O   Z   N   U   N   I   R   T R   M   H   D   I   L   M L   M   D   M   J   Y   A   goes to press the largest UK steel company – and still Community’s                          Getting to know you ................................. 26/27
  .................................................   Y H   N   Y   E V   K   R   Z   H   I   L   O   F   D   G O   K   Z   I   J   H   I Z   L   M   I   N   Z   S   largest employer – Corus, is the subject of a takeover battle. To keep
                                                      D D   J   Q   B Y   Z   L   E   K   E   U   L   W   H   MC    O   K   M   G   N   S Y   T   A   L   F   V   F                                                                                               Toxic time bomb ........................................ 28/29
  .................................................                                                                                                                   abreast of the Union’s comments and views on this please look at
                                                      V T   L   D   C L   S   Z   E   A   U   P   Q   A   Z   OQ    O   F   T   T   K   R Y   H   F   S   D   F   F                                                                                               Playground bullying.................................. 30/31
                                                                                                                                                                      our website,
  .................................................   D T   J   Q   Y I   R   O   E   V   S   D   D   R   T   S K   G   U   R   J   B   G U   Q   F   K   A   M   T
                                                      J E   T   P   G X   Z   E   H   G   W   M   D   S   Z   H H   F   X   X   W   N   Z H   Q   G   Q   T   Y   V   2006 has also seen Community recruitment activity in the betting
                                                      C F   Q   V   S X   H   U   F   R   G   H   F   A   I   Z E   S   M   C   M   F   T L   P   U   Q   R   G   F   shop sector go from strength to strength. Betting shop employees
  Membership No.                                      N H   X   I   S Q   O   E   Q   A   R   G   U   W   S   N X   N   O   B   S   I   L E   U   O   U   S   D   L   work long hours in difficult and often dangerous conditions and          If you have any comments or suggestions for the next edition
                                                      E K   V   E   J F   Y   Z   X   Z   F   H   C   T   M   T V   K   S   F   H   E   GW    O   A   B   B   N   L   Community is determined to ensure that they are provided with
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               please contact Ken Penton on or
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               on 0207 239 1243.
                                                      D R   Z   E   R J   X   D   K   R   Z   Y   J   D   E   C B   X   C   X   I   J   L Q   E   S   A   N   T   V   the support to gain the respect and protection that they need and
  Branch Name/No.                                     HM    G   X   I K   V   N   S   I   R   M   Q   N   O   E I   I   O   G   S   A   O A   H   B   F   O   U   L   deserve.
                                                      L F   B   M   J A   Y   F   R   M   T   H   J   R   T   X S   S   W   V   B   D   D N   R   L   U   R   F   Q
                                                                                                                                                                      As we stand on the cusp of 2007 I do not under-estimate the                Supporting
                                                      H Q   B   I   W L   S   S   R   K   P   X   I   K   B   Y P   E   R   C   P   E   J T   H   F   M   V   Y   Z

The winner of our Community                           B F   O   U   U J   W   D   S   H   M   P   L   D   J   H E   U   Y   N   N   G   B D   B   U   T   J   V   H   challenges that face Community. But I also know that we have the
WORDSEARCH in the last issue                          D V   R   T   U X   N   E   B   R   X   W   U   J   C   WA    T   X   L   G   X   W J   K   S   P   N   R   G   dedication, determination and desire to improve and grow as a
was Mr S Craft from Sheffield.                        J U   Z   Q   Y A   C   A   Q   F   R   V   C   S   C   Q D   Z   O   T   H   Q   T Z   Q   R   K   A   Q   V   Union. I look forward to working with all of our members in 2007 to
He wins a free holiday from
Warners - a wonderful 2-3 night
                                                      L Z   Y   Q   Z P   P   B   K   U   D   V   M   R   K   WC    K   C   T   I   D   G C   K   U   K   G   G   N   achieve these goals.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Printed on recycled paper
luxury, half-board break in any
one of Warners Classic Resorts.                         AMSTERDAM             BUCHAREST               HELSINKI              OSLO                  STOCKHOLM           Yours sincerely,
Warner’s would like to send you                         ATHENS                BUDAPEST                LISBON                PARIS                 TIRANA
more information on their                               BELGRADE              CARDIFF                 LONDON                PRAGUE                VADUZ                                                                                        Stronger Together • December 2006 • Editor: Ken Penton.
holidays and special offers, if                         BERLIN                COPENHAGEN              MADRID                REYKJAVIK             VALLETTA                                                                                     Production: Campaign Communications Tel: 020 7924 7555.
                                                        BERNE                 DUBLIN                  MOSCOW                ROME                  VIENNA              Michael Leahy - General Secretary
you do not wish to receive them                                                                                                                                                                                                                Editorial office: 324 Grays Inn Road, London, WC1X 8DD.
then please tick the box                                BRUSSELS              EDINBURGH               NICOSIA               SOFIA                 WARSAW
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Tel: 020 7239 1200 Fax: 020 7278 8378.                                                            3
    News                                                                                                                                                    Raising the roof in region 4                                                                                               News
                                                                                                                                                            When region 4’s office roof needed fixing, they were in no doubt about
                                                                                                                                                            who to ask to do the repairs. Communitas, the education and training
                                                                                                                                                            arm of Community had just helped two ex-Corus employees Stuart
    £10,000 to help Farepak victims enjoy Christmas                                                                                                         Flemming and Mick Owen into construction training, and they fixed
                                                                                                                                                            the roof in no time.

    Community has made a donation                                                                                                                           ‘It was a pleasure to have Mick and Stuart working at our premises,’
    of £10,000 to the Farepak Response                                                                                                                      says regional secretary John Marston. ‘They were extremely courteous
    Fund. Michael Leahy General Secretary,                                                                                                                  and professional. We will always ensure that trade unionists are given
    Community, said: ‘The collapse of                                                                                                                       the opportunity to quote for work if they have the necessary skills and
    Farepak and the losses suffered by                                                                                                                      facilities to carry out such work.’
    tens of thousands of British families                                                                                                                   ‘Stuart and Mick were made redundant from their jobs at Corus last
    is a scandal. Hard-working people                                                                                                                       year and were keen to develop new skills,’ says Tom Davis, project
    who put their faith – and their money                                                                                                                   manager at communitas.
    – in the hands of Farepak to deliver
    them Christmas cheer have been left
    devastated. Those responsible for this
                                                                                                                                                            ‘First they took a block paving course and seemed to enjoy the
                                                                                                                                                            challenge of gaining new skills. Then Mick took a plastering course and    German delegates
    tragedy should be held to account.
    However that will not help those who
                                                                                                                                                            they both went on to do Mini Digger training, which also taught them
                                                                                                                                                            all the health and safety aspects of working outdoors.’                    visit region 5
    do not know how they will now pay for                                                                                                                   Now Mick and Stuart, both from Stourbridge, are running their own          The picture shows a delegation of regional union officers from
    Christmas dinner for their families.                                                                                                                    construction business and are trading under the name of M & S              Rhienland Phalz, Germany, outside Wells Cathedral during their visit to
                                                                                                                                                            property services.                                                         region 5 in October. The visit was an opportunity for reps to discuss
    ‘We know that members of our union
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       issues that face unions both in the UK and abroad such as the decline
    and their friends and family will have                                                                                                                  ‘Let’s hope they go on to bigger and better things,’ adds Tom. ‘You        in manufacturing and globalisation.
    suffered from Farepak’s collapse. That                                                                                                                  never know, we could have a couple of budding construction
    is why I was delighted when our                                                                                                                         magnates in the making – and all because they came for a simple

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Three new organisers at
    National Executive Committee voted                                                                                                                      interview with communitas!’
    unanimously to make a donation
    of £10,000 to the Farepak Response
    Fund established by the Family Fund                                                                                                                                                                                                   Community
    and promoted by Ian McCartney MP,
    Minister for Trade. This donation shows                                                                                                                                                                                               Community has recruited three organisers to help organise new
    that Community members understand                                                                                                                                                                                                     members across the country.
    what the spirit of Christmas is about,                                                                                                                                                                                                The new recruits have been working with Community since
    even if some of those in Britain’s                                                                                                                                                                                                    the end of September. They are placement students from the
    boardrooms don’t!’                                                                                                                                                                                                                    TUC’s organising academy, which runs a year long organising
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          programme including full training and employment with a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          sponsoring union.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sarah France is 24 and is organising members across the
    NSPCC says a big ‘thank                                                    been giving money to the Full Stop campaign since it began. We’ve
                                                                               raised over £50,000. We’re the only union who have kept a long term
                                                                                                                                                            Raising the roof with Stuart (left) and Mick, with John Marston (right).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          North West, including in her home town, Manchester. Prior to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          joining Community, Sarah was working at the Co-op where she
    you’ to Community                                                          commitment to the campaign and I know that the NSPCC appreciates
                                                                               all the hard work and effort our members have gone through to make
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          administered life-long learning. Sarah has been a shop steward,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          a learning rep and a branch secretary. She says: ‘I’m currently
    Back in 1999 the NSPCC launched its large scale Full Stop campaign         the campaign a success.’                                                                                                                                   organising betting shop workers. Some of the people I’m working
    with the aim of ending cruelty to children. They set up a special appeal   Now that the campaign is coming to an end it doesn’t mean that our                                                                                         with at the moment have real issues at work and I want to help
    to raise an extra £250 million over and above the money raised through
    the charity’s traditional fundraising.
                                                                               involvement has to. The NSPCC is looking to continue its work, but in a
                                                                               different way. It wants Community members to become volunteers.
                                                                                                                                                              Talks on Corus merger                                                       them by increasing union membership.’
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Wayne Bebb is 31. He is from Rhondda Valley in South Wales and
    The appeal comes to an end this year and backing has already almost                                                                                       As we went to press, General Secretary Michael Leahy was leading            is working in region 5 to organise new members. Wayne has
                                                                               They are looking for volunteers in your area who are able to give
                                                                                                                                                              a union team to discuss the future of steel giant Corus with its chief      had an active involvement in trade unions since starting work.
    doubled the NSPCC’s activities to end cruelty to children, enabling        anything from a couple of hours a month to a couple of hours a year.
                                                                                                                                                              executive Philippe Varin. And Community has also requested further          Previously, he has worked as a nursing assistant working with
    the NSPCC to be someone to turn to for children and young people,          The activities range from sending emails and prepared letters to quiz
                                                                                                                                                              meetings with senior executives of the two companies bidding for            people with disabilities and was a branch officer and steward for
    protecting them when at risk, and helping them to overcome the             nights and lunches to golf days, charity treks and bike rides.
                                                                                                                                                              Corus, Tata Steel based in India and CSN, a Brazilian producer.             Unison. ‘I want to increase awareness of Community and increase
    effects of abuse.
                                                                               You can get involved at a variety of levels, organising events yourself or                                                                                 the number of members,’ says Wayne. ‘I’ve been involved in trade
                                                                                                                                                              ‘We want to know what the two companies intend to do by way
    Community has been a supporter of the NSPCC since the launch of the        just turning up on the day and lending a hand.                                                                                                             unions since I was 18, it’s something I really believe in.’
                                                                                                                                                              of investment in the UK,’ he said. ‘It is essential we know what the
    campaign in 1999 and has raised awareness and funds at events like
                                                                               If you think you might like to volunteer or to find out more call Janet        bidders’ plans are.’                                                        Paul Cross, 23, is a law graduate from Bournemouth. He will be
    Easter raffles and having dress down days.
                                                                               Broadmore on 020 7825 2646 who will put you in contact with your               Corus had called a meeting of shareholders to discuss the two bids on       working across the midlands in regions 4 and 6. Paul decided
    Mick Barnett, research officer at Community head office said: ‘We’ve       local NSPCC representative.                                                    Wednesday December 20 but that meeting was postponed to allow               to become an organiser because he wants to help the people
                                                                                                                                                              the board and the companies more time for talks.                            he works with, ‘I’m looking forward to getting out and meeting
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          people and seeing where we can make a difference,’ he says.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Before becoming an organiser Paul worked for the Inland
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Revenue and has been a young members officer and assistant
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          secretary within his branch for the Public and Commercial
4                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Services (PCS) union.
          News                                                                  Shaping the future for                                                            Corus fined for Port Talbot                                                                                                                    News
                                                                                the disabled                                                                      blastfurnace explosion
                                                                                                                                                                  Steel giant Corus was fined £1,330,000 at Swansea Crown Court on
                                                                                Region 7 health and safety rep Bill Hardman has been taking time out of
                                                                                work to help shape the future of services for the disabled.
                                                                                                                                                                  December 15, following the blastfurnace explosion at Port Talbot
                                                                                                                                                                  Works, South Wales, in which three workers died and 15 others were
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Member heads to Latvia after
    Retailers must end                                                          Bill, 52, is an electronic engineer at the Remploy factor in Bolton. For the
                                                                                past 12 months he has been going to the University of Bolton one day per
                                                                                                                                                                  severely injured.                                                            winning health and safety
    exploitation                                                                week to help out with three projects aimed at helping disabled people into
                                                                                employment or higher education.
                                                                                                                                                                  Michael Leahy, on behalf of Community, told the media: ‘The fine is
                                                                                                                                                                  substantial but we would have expected it to be greater. It certainly        competition
    Retailers should do much more to monitor their supply chains                                                                                                  doesn’t begin to reflect the scale of suffering of the workers and their     Claire Main, 27, from Middlesborough region 2, won a competition to attend the
                                                                                Says Bill: ‘One of the best outcomes of my time at the University is seeing       families and of the traumatised community of Port Talbot.’                   annual European Hazards Conference in Riga, the capital of Latvia last October.
    to ensure that suppliers abroad do not use exploited labour to
                                                                                how the goals of disabled people can be achieved and their confidence
    manufacture clothes which sold cheaply in chains such as Primark,                                                                                             The union on the other hand had put all its resources at the disposal of     Community ran the competition which was aimed at young members. To enter,
                                                                                increased through their participation in higher education.’
    Tesco and Asda, a union chief said today.                                                                                                                     the community and over half a million pounds was spent in assistance.        members had to write an essay on a health and safety topic. The competition was
                                                                                For one of the projects, MIDAS, (Making Inclusive Design Accessible and                                                                                        run as part of Community’s aim to increase involvement of younger members in
    Bas Morris, assistant general secretary of the Community union, which                                                                                         ‘At the inquest on the deaths of our three colleagues, we pressed that
                                                                                Successful) Bill has been designing products that everyone, including                                                                                          the union.
    has in its membership British workers in the clothing and textiles                                                                                            criminal manslaughter charges be brought, but the Coroner advised
                                                                                disabled people can use. He has helped design cereal packets, bottle
    industries, said that these and other companies claim to monitor their                                                                                        the Jury they could not determine that,’ Michael Leahy added. ‘We            ‘I was absolutely ecstatic when I found out I’d won. I couldn’t believe it!’ says Claire,
                                                                                openers and a vehicle to provide dental care services for people with
    suppliers, but clearly the monitoring is ineffective. ‘The expose by War                                                                                      then pressed, as a union, for the Health and Safety Executive to bring       who is a health and safety rep and has worked as a warehouse operative for 11
                                                                                mobility problems.
    on Want, which revealed that thousands of Bangladeshi workers are                                                                                             charges against Corus, and eventually they did.’                             years. ‘I chose to write about work related stress because I think it is a problem
    being paid just over 5p an hour to make supermarket clothes, shames         The other two projects, Designing Futures and Rise and Shine, aim to                                                                                           which affects a lot of people so it’s important to understand it.’
                                                                                                                                                                  The union did all it could to both relieve suffering, represent members
    these companies,’ he said. ‘This is the slave labour of the 21st century.   identify and overcome the problems that stop disabled people from getting
                                                                                                                                                                  and push the authorities to act.                                             Claire attended the conference with Community’s health and safety officer, Rob
                                                                                into work or higher education.
    ‘One problem is that suppliers often subcontract to secondary                                                                                                                                                                              Sneddon.
                                                                                                                                                                  ‘With hot metal flying everywhere, the disaster was absolutely horrific,’
    suppliers, and secondary suppliers sometimes pass on the work to            Bill has an in-depth knowledge of disabled issues and understands the need
                                                                                                                                                                  the General Secretary recalled. ‘The scenes were indescribable. I believe    Adds Claire: ‘We had meetings on a lot of different health and safety subjects. I
    other firms. This must be stopped, and the high street chains could         to raise the aspirations amongst disabled people. He is a representative on
                                                                                                                                                                  the court’s sentence is a warning to industrial companies everywhere         found the work-related stress talks the most interesting as this is something that
    stop it dead if their contracts were specific.                              the Remploy National Consortium of Trade Unions.
                                                                                                                                                                  that their duty of care towards their employees must be paramount.’          I am already involved in. It’s definitely given me a better understanding of health
    Companies’ own codes of conduct are clearly not working and retailers       Adds Bill: ‘I have enjoyed making new friends, gained wider experience                                                                                         and safety issues and inspired me to carry on working to improve health and safety.’
                                                                                                                                                                  Corus were sentenced on two charges. The first alleged that the
    should use external auditing in their supply chains and join bodies         of business and developed a better understanding of university life. I also
                                                                                                                                                                  company did not ensure, so far as was reasonably practicable, the
    like the Ethical Trading Initiative. This would ensure workers earning a    believe that this experience has also strengthened the relationship between
                                                                                                                                                                  safety of its employees, including the three who lost their lives
    living wage in a safe environment without forced overtime and long          Remploy and the University of Bolton, as a means of helping disabled
                                                                                                                                                                  – Stephen Galsworthy, Andrew Hutin and Leonard Radford. For that
    hours.’                                                                     people into employment and education.’
                                                                                                                                                                  Corus was fined £1 million.
                                                                                                                                                                  The second charge alleged that Corus did not conduct the undertaking
                                                                                                                                                                  of the blastfurnace, blastfurnace number 5, in such a way as was
                                                                                                                                                                  reasonably practicable that persons not in its employment, namely
                                                                                     discussions are taking place strike action will be suspended, however        contractors, were not exposed to risks to their safety. For this Corus was
                                                                                     other forms of industrial action – including an overtime ban – will be
                                                                                                                                                                  fined £330,000.
                                                                                                                                                                  In addition Corus were ordered to pay £1.75 million costs.                                 Exclusive Offer!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            PET INSURANCE
                                                                                     Following talks between Community representatives and EWM at the
                                                                                                                                                                  Many Corus members recalled the terrible blastfurnace tragedy in 1978
                                                                                     end of November, EWM has agreed to negotiations with the union
                                                                                                                                                                  when the Queen Victoria blastfurnace at Scunthorpe Works exploded.
                                                                                     – something which it had refused to do until now. EWM also agreed
                                                                                                                                                                  Then 11 men lost their lives and eight suffered serious injury. The fine
                                                                                     that there needs to be a complete review of all wages, bonus and
                                                                                     conditions and these will be the subject of the negotiations. In addition,
                                                                                                                                                                  on British Steel, as the company was then known, was only £700.                  for Community Union members
                                                                                     the Company also agreed to make a one-off payment to employees,              ‘The fine this year is considerably more, but one still has to ask the                         First 28 days of cover could be FREE.
                                                                                     payable in their Christmas pay packet.                                       question, what price a life?’ Michael Leahy said.                                          FREE year’s membership of National Pet Register.
                                                                                     Willie Paterson, region 1 secretary said: ‘Our members employed by                                                                                                                Low premiums starting from
                                                                                     Mackinnon of Scotland have agreed to suspend strike action whilst talks
                                                                                     with the company take place. This is all our members have ever asked
                                                                                     for and, whilst they are glad that their resolve has been recognised, they   Award winner                                                                    £4.85 per monthly* policy for a Cat
                                                                                     would far rather that the company had agreed to sit down and talk in
                                                                                                                                                                  Congratulations to Rory Palmer (3rd from left) from Region 6 on receiving       £7.25 per monthly* policy for a Dog
            Mackinnon workers agree                                                  the first place.
                                                                                                                                                                  the TUC Award for Youth at this year’s TUC conference in Brighton.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                10% discount if you insure more than one pet
            pay talks
                                                                                     ‘Our members are high-skilled but low-paid. They have suffered whilst
                                                                                                                                                                  I was delighted to win the award on behalf of the union,’ says Rory.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           08704 022 545
                                                                                     EWM has profited. This is something that they, with the support of
                                                                                     Community, were not prepared to put up with any longer. We are               ‘We’ve been doing work with the young members forum over the last few
            Community members in Region 1 employed by Mackinnon of Scotland
                                                                                     grateful to the STUC, particularly Deputy General Secretary Graham           years and we have changed the way that the TUC youth structures work.
            – a subsidiary of Edinburgh Woollen Mills (EWM) – the Coatbridge-
                                                                                     Smith, for brokering these talks. We hope that sensible negotiations will
            based woollen clothing manufacturer who have been taking selective
                                                                                     now commence and we can resolve this matter. However, should that
                                                                                                                                                                  ‘A lot of the work has also been                                                        UK Call centre. Quote ‘Community Pet’
            strike action in pursuit of their campaign against the Company’s                                                                                      inside our own union, we developed
                                                                                     not be the case, our members have said that they would seek to be                                                                                                                   Pet insurance is underwritten and administered by
            decision to impose a pay freeze, have agreed to discussions and                                                                                       the young members strategy aimed
                                                                                     re-balloted so they can recommence and intensify industrial action if                                                                                           The Equine & Livestock Insurance Company Ltd which is authorised and reguated by the
            negotiations on terms and conditions with the company. Whilst these                                                                                   at increasing the membership and                                                                    Financial Services Authority (FSA Register No. 202748).
                                                                                                                                                                  participation of young people which                                            A lunar monthly* policy runs for and premiums are collected on, equal periods of 28 days (a lunar
                                                                                                                                                                  is now being taken forward.’                                                      month), renewing continually at the conclusion of each period subject to receipt of premium.

    Politicians back
    Community bid to make
    betting shops safer
    Community has had a concerted attack on betting shops which
    are staffed by only one person ‘Single staffing is a safety hazard,’
    says Christine Hardacre, head of organising for the union. ‘With
    so much money in the betting shops, staff are really worried. In
    fact a survey of over 500 betting shop workers carried out by
    Community found that 78% of them fear that they will become
    a victim of crime at work.’
    On Thursday 15 December, one MP in Westminster, John Mann
    the MP , one Member of the Scottish Parliament, Sarah Boyack,
    and one member of the Welsh Assembly, Carl Sargeant, laid                      Following Community pressure Ladbrokes have recognised their
    before their respective legislatures a motion (in the case of the Welsh        responsibility to improve safety and have ended planned single staffing.
    Assembly a ‘Statement of Opinion’) which are bound to get wide support.        ‘We are now calling for all other betting shops , especially the large
    These called for an end to single staffing.                                    chains such as Coral, to follow their lead and end single staffing.’

    Christine Hardacre says: ‘We welcome the support of these                      John Mann, MP for Bassetlaw, says: ‘Betting shops are the only shops on
    parliamentarians. With a Government consultation on the extention of           our high streets where cash-handling is increasing and yet many betting
    betting shop opening hours currently underway, Community believes              shops expect staff to work on their own. I was shocked when I heard the
    that all betting shops should plan to have at least two staff on duty at all   examples of robbery and violence that betting shop staff suffer on a daily
    times.’                                                                        basis. We have to do something.’

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                                                                                Community, Swinton House, 324 Grays Inn Road, London WC1X 8DD

                                                                                                                                                                           016318 VC 200x129 Bet_G.indd 1   23/11/06 5:03:27 pm
                                                                                  General Secretary Michael Leahy
                                                                                heads up our union's legal services.        Law

                            C    ommunity member Baldev Singh (pictured below) went
                                 to work as usual at Dudley Port Rolling Mills, Tipton, West
                            Midlands on 11 April 2000. Baldev was 37, a father of three
                                                                                                Despite strenuous attempts by the company to now blame
                                                                                                Baldev, the Court dismissed in full all the allegations of
                                                                                                blame against Baldev. Attempts by the company to appeal
                            children. He was hard working, well regarded and a long             further from that dismissal were after time, withdrawn by the
                            standing employee with 17 years service. He was an assistant        Defendants.
                            roller at the steel mill, frequently working long hours in
                            overtime, often double shifts to make sure the job got done.
                                                                                                Not deterred by this, the company then began lengthy
                            At 1.20pm on that day, events happened that changed
                                                                                                periods of video surveillance. That surveillance was not
                            Baldev’s life for ever and have involved him in a fight for
                                                                                                disclosed until a few months before the final court hearing.
                            justice against his former employers.
                                                                                                The earlier assurances of employment and best prosthetic
                            During the course of his duties, he had to make adjustments         limbs had now changed to arguments that Baldev should
                            to a guide box in the steel mill when his leg became trapped        have NHS inadequate prosthetic limbs (despite even the
                            and was dragged between live rolls. The accident resulted in        NHS Consultant agreeing that the NHS provision would be
                            Baldev having to have his left leg amputated.                       wholly inadequate), and that after the factory closure he
                                                                                                would have been unlikely to have been chosen to move to
                            The accident was caused by basic health and safety failings

     Member wins £800,000
                                                                                                one of the company’s other sites even if the accident had not
                            of the company, failings that should not exist in this day.
                            They included failing to put a guard on the machine.
                            The company were prosecuted by the Health and Safety                In an attempt to reduce Baldev’s damages to a minimum,
                            Executive and convicted of failing to ensure the work place         there followed a series of offers of £250,000, £400.000 and

     after long struggle
                            was safe.                                                           £563,000 over the years that followed. Refusals to make,
                                                                                                (without Court Orders), proper interim payments to enable
                            The company accepted liability and further gave assurances
                                                                                                immediate medical needs to be met.
                            to Baldev that they wished to do everything possible
                            to aid his recovery and ensure that he received the best            Baldev had to fight to the end for justice.
                            artificial limb. They acknowledged he was hard working and
                                                                                                Supported by Community and solicitors Russell Jones and
                            someone who very much enjoyed his job. They would find
                                                                                                Walker, Baldev secured financial justice part way through a
                            employment for Baldev at the factory or elsewhere within
                                                                                                two day trial on the 8 December 2006 of £800,000.
                            the company when he was ready. Sadly, those promises
                            were simply never followed through.                                 Baldev says: ‘I have worked all my life, I was hard working and
                                                                                                loyal to the company. Sadly that loyalty was not returned
                            Three years after the accident occurred, and after accepting
                                                                                                to me when my life was so devastatingly changed by this
                            fault in full, the company sought to go behind that
                            admission and blame Baldev for the accident. At the time
                            of doing so, the factory had long since closed and liability        ‘The injury and treatment I have had to suffer over the
                            evidence long gone.                                                 years has not only affected myself but also my family. The
                                                                                                compensation I have received can never replace the life I
                                                                                                had before the accident. Hopefully, it will allow me to be
                                                                                                able to afford suitable accommodation and pay for proper
                                                                                                prosthetic limbs to make my life a bit more comfortable.
                                                                                                ‘There is no doubt that without the support of my union,
                                                                                                Community, to bring this claim, and the dedication of my
                                                                                                solicitor Angela Fitzpatrick, I would not have been able to
                                                                                                achieve a proper settlement.’

10                                                                                                                                                                11
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12                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     13
     Tackling drugs and alcohol:
                                                                                                                                                  Union Education:
     course boosts
     branch official’s                                                                                                                            the key to success!
     confidence                                                                                                                                                         Announcing a new series of education courses
                                                                                                                                                                        from Branch Officials in 2007, Community              The schools are delivered
                                                                                                                                                                        Assistant General Secretary Roy Rickhuss,
                                                                                                                                                                        (pictured) said: ‘Educating and supporting our
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              on a cross-regional basis
                                                                                                                                                                        branch officials to enable them to run an effective
                                                                                                                                                                        branch is critical to the development of our new
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              as follows:
                                                                                                                                                                        union. That is why we have consulted widely and
     If people with all the problems associated with drug and alcohol       ‘We ought to dispense some drugs to those who are addicted, in                              are implementing a new structure – and new            1. Regions 1, 2, 3 and 7 education courses will take place at
     abuse come to you for help, you need to have a clear head and a        controlled conditions. It would be done by medical practicioners                            content – for Branch Officials’ education in 2007’,   Wortley Hall, Wortley, Sheffield S35 7DB.
     big heart, but most of all you need a lot of confidence in yourself.   who would dispense cannabis and heroin. You would put the                                   he explained.
     And it was a five day training course for Community union branch       dealers out of business – and they are the ones who spread drug                                                                                   The first modules will take place 18th – 22nd March. The
     officials that enabled Chris Tuck, (pictured here) who works at the    abuse – and crime would fall. Instead of breaking into a house, or   Previously our branch officials’ education course was split up in to three   second modules will be delivered 7th – 12th October.
     Corus Lackenby plant in Teesside, to gain that confidence.             stealing a handbag, or mugging someone for their mobile phone,       blocks of one, three and four day residential courses – adding up to eight
                                                                            the addict would get his or her supply from a clinic.                days training over a year. However, following the review, Community is
     ‘There’s no doubt, these training courses are terrific and I would                                                                          re-vamping the services to focus on the delivery of high quality training    2. Regions 4, 5, 6 and 8 education courses will take place at
     recommend them to anyone,’ Chris said. ‘Great training, great          ‘Now, this is going to happen one day, but right now no political    for branch officials to provide them with the skills and confidence to       the NASUWT Administration Headquarters, Rosehill, Rednal,
     confidence boosting, some brilliant tutors and a warm close            party has the courage to do it. Once we have the drugs problem       be able to represent members effectively across whole range of issues,       Birmingham B45 8RS.
     togetherness of the small group of lay officials. We bonded so well    under control we can educate and re-educate people about             including:
     together, the whole week was inspirational.’                           addiction and we will begin to see the problem subside.’                                                                                          The first modules will take place 29th April – 3rd May. The
                                                                                                                                                 • Handling grievance and disciplinary meetings                               second modules will be delivered 18th – 23rd November.
     As well as helping Chris do his work as a lay official for the union   Meanwhile, Chris is counselling those with addiction to alcohol
     in Lackenby, the course has helped him with his work with people       as well as drugs, and the five day Community course he attended      • Negotiations
     who have become dependent on drugs and alcohol. ‘I am a                in Sheffield, has strengthened his resolve not only to be a good     • Building a strong, well-organised branch.
     trained counsellor, and my dream is to set up counselling facilities   union official but to play his part in the wider community.                                                                                          Application forms for the courses can be
     either near or on the works. Drugs and alcohol abuse is a massive                                                                           The Course is accredited by OCN and those who successfully complete it
                                                                            ‘As a group we grew very close together, realising that wherever                                                                                     downloaded from the education page on the
     problem, much bigger than most people realise. Cocaine and                                                                                  will receive a Certificate.
                                                                            we came from, whichever part of our union we served, we had                                                                                          union website or can
     amphetamines are a particular problem.’                                                                                                     The 2007 Branch Officers Education Programme will primarily be                  be obtained from your Branch Secretary or
                                                                            the same kind of problems in common. That in itself was
     Chris believes that the current treatment of those addicted to         helpful, to know that others elsewhere                               delivered in two blocks of four-day residential courses. However, because       Regional Office. All completed forms must be
     heroin – giving them a substitute called methodone – simply isn’t      faced the same difficulties                                          Community recognises that not every Branch Official will be able to             returned via your Branch Secretary.
     working. ‘Believe me,’ he says, ‘it is a waste of taxpayers’ money.’   and challenges. We have all                                          attend residential courses, provision has also been made for them to be
     But something has to be done because so much crime now is              exchanged email addresses                                            delivered on one day a week over four successive weeks in the Spring
     drugs-related.                                                         and will undoubtedly stay                                            and in the Autumn.
                                                                            in touch.
     ‘You hear people say that 60 per cent of crime is caused by
     addicts who need to find money for their next drugs purchase. I        ‘I must say, I have been in
     think the percentage is much higher than that, I think it is about     the union for 15 years and
     95 per cent. It is a problem right across the board.’                  this course was one of the
     Chris is one of those who has a very special view of what needs to
     be done.

14                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1
                                                                                                                                                                                          Working as a lay organiser, the winner of           union makes a genuine difference in

      A Rewarding Evening
                                                                                                                                                                                          Organiser of the Year has been involved             people’s lives and so the more people that
                                                                                                                                                                                          in organising his fellow colleagues.                help the better. It’s good for the volunteers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              themselves because it’s such a rewarding
                                                                                                                                                                                          Says the winner: ‘I couldn’t believe it when
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              experience and it’s good for the union as
                                                                                                                                                                                          I won the award! I feel very honored. It’s the
                                                                                                                                                                                          best surprise I’ve had all year this year.’
      Community held its first annual awards evening in November. The awards
      are given to celebrate the diverse work and achievements of members                                                                                                                 As a relatively new member, the award
                                                                                                                                                                                          winner decided to get involved to help              *We have not mentioned the name or
      from across the country. Here we introduce the five award winners.
                                                                                                                                                      Name: Anonymous*                    support people in their jobs as well as             company to protect the identity of this
                                                                                                                                                      Work: Betting industry              support the union as a whole.                       member.
                                                                                                                                                      Region: 8                            ‘I’ve found it extremely rewarding being
                                                                                                                                                      Membership: 2 and a half years      involved with the union, helping other
                                           Brenda (pictured right) has been a member               ‘I would really encourage other people to get      Award: Organiser of the Year        workers and I would encourage anybody
                                           of Community since she left school at 15,               involved in voluntary work and learning with                                           else to do the same. I think Community
                                           and has been doing a lot of voluntary work              the union. That’s the only way forward isn’t it?
                                           with her local community drop in shop                   I would tell people to get involved as much as
                                           which gives advice to job seekers in the local          they can, you don’t know how far you can get
                                           area.                                                   until you start.’
                                           Says Brenda: ‘I work in the community drop              Brenda was not able to attend the award
                                           in shop across the road from my main job in             ceremony in London. Peter Crowe, region 6
                                           the corner shop. I hold a surgery three times a         secretary, accepted the award on her behalf. The                                       ‘I used to work at the Corus plant in               really nice to be nominated and receive
     Name: Brenda Clarke                   month on a Saturday morning giving advice to            award was presented to Brenda a week later by
     Work: Seven till ten – general                                                                                                                                                       Workington. Back in 2000 about 166                  it. As far as I’m concerned it’s an award
                                           job seekers. People pop in to see me at work to         Tracy Clarke, Community’s vice president.                                              people were made redundant and since                for Workington though, not just for me. I
     corner shop
                                           make their appointments!                                                                                                                       then I have been involved politically               think it’s recognition for all of us in the joint
     Region: 6
     Membership: 32                        ‘It was a complete surprise to win the award                                                                                                   trying to keep the branch open, working             branches.
     Award: Activist of the Year           because I was only doing what I’ve always done!                                                                                                with MPs and government ministers. It
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ‘I think it’s really worthwhile retaining
                                           I couldn’t come to the award ceremony because                                                                                                  was a 6 year battle but unfortunately it
                                                                                                                                                      Name: Denis Týtek                                                                       membership of Community even if you’re
                                           I’ve been having chemotherapy at hospital but                                                                                                  has now been closed.
                                                                                                                                                      Work: Previously Corus, made                                                            not working. Having the support of a union
                                           that’s finished now and we had a get together                                                              redundant August 2006               ‘I was really surprised when I got the              behind you is important and I’d like to see
                                           recently when they presented me with the                                                                   Region: 2                           award – it was a complete shock! It was             membership of Community grow.’
                                                                                                                                                      Membership: 34
                                                                                                                                                      Award: Branch Officer of the Year

                                           Rae works as a community development                   As well as helping others in the community
                                           worker, supporting people in the                       to develop their skills and training, Rae has
                                           community and helping them gain access to              always been keen to help colleagues with their
                                           information and education.                             learning.                                                                               As a health and safety rep, Claire has              and I was the TUC student of the year last
                                                                                                                                                                                          been involved in a variety of health and            year as well.’
                                           ‘I feel exceptionally honoured to get this award,      ‘I’ve delivered a lot of development work
                                                                                                                                                                                          safety activities and has been attending
                                           I’ve never won anything in my life,’ says Rae. ‘It’s   courses and a union learner reps course                                                                                                     Keen to encourage more young people
                                                                                                                                                                                          health and safety seminars. The biggest
                                           not just an award for me though, because the           through Community. I’m also a qualified tutor                                                                                               to follow her lead, Claire is hoping that
                                                                                                                                                                                          of these was the European Hazards
                                           work that I do here isn’t solely mine, the award       in community development. This award has                                                                                                    more young people will get involved
                                                                                                                                                                                          Conference held in Latvia last October,
                                           belongs to the whole team.’                            spurred me on to do more.                                                                                                                   in Community. ‘I try to get more young
                                                                                                                                                                                          which she attended after winning a
     Name: Rae Twidale                                                                                                                                                                                                                        members involved, she says. ‘It’s not always
                                           Rae has helped to get a new drop in centre on          ‘I’d definitely recommend that anyone who is                                            Community competition to submit an
     Work: Westcliff Neighbourhood                                                                                                                                                                                                            easy because it isn’t always something that
     drop-in centre                        the Westcliff estate which is in a disadvantaged       interested in doing voluntary work within the                                           essay on a health and safety related
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              the younger generation are interested in. I
                                           area of Scunthorpe.                                    community access as much as is possible in          Name: Claire Main                   topic.
     Region: 6                                                                                                                                                                                                                                think that more young people will become
                                                                                                  terms of training. There are short courses and      Work: Courtaulds UK Ltd
     Membership: 4 years                   Says Rae: ‘The organisation has developed over                                                                                                 ‘I was over the moon that I won the Young           involved in the future though, as they start
                                                                                                  accredited courses, anything that would give        Region: 2
     Award: Lifelong Learner of the Year   the last three or four years from having one                                                                                                   Member of the Year award, although my               to realise what a difference they can make.’
                                                                                                  them the knowledge to move forward.’
                                           drop in centre on the Westcliff estate to two. It                                                          Membership: 7 years                 nerves really kicked in when I went to
                                           was my idea to go for the second centre and                                                                Award: Young Member of the Year     collect it!’ says Claire. ‘I like to get involved
                                           we’ve worked hard to make it a success.’

1                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1
                                                                                                                                            Branch fact file                                                           Branch fact file
     Organised for change                                                                                                                   Name: Teesside Middle Management Branch
                                                                                                                                            Company: Teesside Cast Products, near Redcar – producing slab
                                                                                                                                            and semi-finished product.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Name: Swinden Laboratories Staff Branch
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Company: Swinden Technology Centre, Rotherham.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Branch Secretary: Lynne Vickers, since 2000
     Representing members in a company constantly in flux requires a strong, organised branch.                                              Branch Secretary: Ian Crichton, since 1991
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Representing: technicians and researchers working on
     Corus staff branch secretaries Ian Crichton and Lynne Vickers reveal the challenges they face to be                                    Representing: operational and shift managers, supervisory and              product, applications and environmental research for
     effective for their members                                                                                                            sales staff.                                                               transport and construction sectors.
                                                                                                                                            Members: 220                                                               Members: 52

     Community has over 70 staff branches around the country      next year, we’ll be working with these branches to address                Reps: 4                                                                    Reps: 5
     representing middle management, security, supervisory        their issues, improve their effectiveness and encourage their
     and technical employees, and office based administrative     members to ensure their views are heard.
     employees. While they share the challenges common to all                                                                               ‘Over the last few years, our branch has played a fundamental role         ‘Like other Corus branches we’ve seen many changes in the
                                                                  ‘Having well-organised staff branches is vital to the union.              in helping Corus set up new processes, management packages                 last few years. I think the key to weathering those and future
     branches, by nature of their membership, they have unique
                                                                  Whenever we are in discussion with companies we need                      and steering groups at this site, all against a background of              changes, is our ability to provide solid representation and to
     issues to contend with.
                                                                  to be doing so from a position of strength. It’s important                restructuring. None of that would have happened if we didn’t               communicate effectively with our members, our union and
     ‘That’s why we recently met with all staff and managerial    for companies too, especially those like Corus, whose major               have a solid and effectively organised branch.                             management.
     branches in our main companies to gain a better              restructuring has affected staff at every level. Strong branches
     understanding of their particular concerns,’ explains Roy    can help them manage that change.’                                        ‘Because our industry is in constant flux, to effectively represent        ‘In our branch we have a high rep-to-member ratio, and a
     Rickhuss, Community Assistant General Secretary. ‘Over the                                                                             our members we need to have a good working partnership with                committed team – myself, Scott Dyball (Works Rep), Mark
                                                                                                                                            the company. We have a branch negotiating team that meets                  Raffo (Health and Safety Rep) plus committee reps Simon Ellis
                                                                                                                                            with management regularly to put claims to them and discuss                (Branch Chair) and Ken Burnett. They support me and attend
                                                                                                                                            any issues. These are the usual branch issues – disciplinaries,            meetings when I’m not available so members know one of us
                                                                                                                                            grievances, performance-related pay – however, we do face our              is always there for them.
                                                                                                                                            own challenges. Most predominant are those related to meeting
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       ‘Our main focus is on representing members at disciplinaries,
                                                                                                                                            operational targets; the intense competition of our industry
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       grievances and Pay for Performance (PFP) reviews and appeals.
                                                                                                                                            puts pressure on individuals to perform and they need proper
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       As our members’ jobs aren’t production based, measuring their
                                                                                                                                            representation. Our challenge is to try and resolve these middle
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       performance is complex and sometimes contentious. We are
                                                                                                                                            management difficulties but not to the detriment of other union
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       also working with Human Resources to look at the current
                                                                                                                                            members or the company. To do that, it’s important we work
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       job evaluation system. This makes it difficult for technicians to
                                                                                                                                            closely with the other site branches and management.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       progress onto management and we’d like to change that.
                                                                                                                Lab technician Simon        ‘We are one of Community’s biggest middle management
                                                                                                                Ellis and quality manager                                                                              ‘Good working relationships are key to branch effectiveness.
                                                                                                                Lynne Vickers at Swinden    branches. This strength in numbers makes us effective in terms
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       We work with the HR department on many matters; they
                                                                                                                Technology Centre.          of our influence and profile within the company, and keeping
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       are also our inroad to new staff during induction days. We
                                                                                                                                            membership high is a challenge for our branch team. Graduates
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       have a joint consultative meeting with management every
                                                                                                                                            and workers from outside the industry are now filling many jobs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       few months to discuss site issues and members’ concerns.
                                                                                                                                            – and it is those people we are seeking to attract. In addition we
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       We also work closely with Peter Lewis, secretary of the site’s
                                                                                                                                            are working with management to create salary and promotional
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Management Branch to share information, and with regional
                                                                                                                                            structures that encourage people to move up the ladder and stay
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       office staff.
                                                                                                                                            with the company, and the union.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       ‘To be effective as a branch, your members need to know
                                                                                                                                            ‘Locally, around 10,000 jobs within the area depend on the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       what’s going on. All our members have email access at work so
                                                                                                                                            success of the Teesside Cast Products Initiative. We need to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       we can update them on an ‘as soon as we know, you’ll know’
                                                                                                                                            continue to be effective as a branch if we want to make a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       basis. To keep our branch healthy we carry out an annual audit
                                                                                                                                            constructive contribution to that success.’
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       to see what we’re doing well and where we could do better.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       We are currently working to recruit more members, especially
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       to encourage younger people to join our committee. They are
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       the future of our branch.’

                                                                                                                                                 Calling all staff branches
                                                                                                                                                 If your staff branch needs help to recruit new members or if you know of staff in your workplace who would benefit from
                                                                                                                                                 joining your branch, please contact your regional office, (numbers on the back page of this magazine). Also available in the
                                                                                                                                                 New Year, a new staff recruitment leaflet and poster. for your workplace.

1                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         1
                                                                                                                 When did the law come into force and why?                            Promotion and training – All workers under 65 now have the
                                                                                                                                                                                      same rights to apply for promotion and training, and can take
                                                                                                                 On 1 October in England, Scotland and Wales, with similar laws
                                                                                                                                                                                      legal action if denied opportunities because of their age.
                                                                                                                 being introduced in Northern Ireland. Its pension provisions
                                                                                                                 came into force on 1 December. With race, sex, disability, sexual    Pay and non-pay benefits – Where these are linked to age
                                                                                                                 orientation and religious discrimination already in existence,       and length of service the law allows differences to remain
                                                                                                                 there was a need for protection against age discrimination, too      where pay and benefits depend on less than five years’ service,
                                                                                                                 – especially the need to offer people the choice of extending        or recognise loyalty, experience and motivate staff, and in the
                                                                                                                 their working lives.                                                 case of the minimum wage. The age limits for statutory sick,
                                                                                                                                                                                      maternity, adoption and paternity pay have been removed so
                                                                                                                 What does it mean and for who?
                                                                                                                                                                                      the legislation for all four applies in the same way whatever
                                                                                                                 It means it’s against the law to discriminate against workers,       your age.
                                                                                                                 jobseekers or those applying for or in vocational training
                                                                                                                                                                                      Pensions – There are number of exemptions for many
                                                                                                                 because of their age, young or old – with certain exemptions.
                                                                                                                                                                                      age-based rules, allowing occupational pension schemes to
                                                                                                                 The law currently only applies to under-65s but in 2011 the
                                                                                                                                                                                      continue to operate without significant changes.
                                                                                                                 government will review extending its protection to over-65s.
                                                                                                                                                                                      Redundancy – The new law removes the upper and lower age
                                                                                                                                                                                      limits for statutory redundancy payments so people aged 65
                                                                                                                 Discrimination may be justified on certain legal and health and      and over are entitled to payment calculated in the same way
                                                                                                                 safety grounds, such as the need to recruit over-18s as betting      as for younger staff. Age and length of service will still be used
                                                                                                                 shop staff, or turn down a 64-year-old applicant if the job          to calculate statutory redundancy pay (and unfair dismissal
                                                                                                                 requires several years’ expensive training. It’s up to employers     compensation). So older people will continue to be paid at a
                                                                                                                 to prove that the business need outweighs the effects of             higher rate than younger people, a difference the government
                                                                                                                 the discrimination. This ‘grey area’ could be the basis of many      believes is justified. Any workplace redundancy payments
                                                                                                                 tribunals in the next few years and the role of unions like          scheme that differs from the statutory scheme must be justified
                                                                                                                 Community could be crucial in challenging age-discriminating         by the employer or could be unlawful. Firms can no longer use
                                                                                                                 behaviour.                                                           age or length of service to choose redundancy candidates.
                                                                                                                 What areas does the law cover?                                       Unfair dismissal – The upper age limit for claims has been
                                                                                                                                                                                      removed, so if you are over 65 you now have the same right as
                                                                                                                 Retirement – If your employer tries to force you to retire
                                                                                                                                                                                      younger workers to challenge for unfair dismissal, as long as
                                                                                                                 before 65, you can claim age discrimination and unfair dismissal
                                                                                                                                                                                      you meet other eligibility requirements.
                                                                                                                 if they can’t justify their actions or fail to follow notification
                                                                                                                 procedures. There is currently no national retirement age but
                                                                                                                 there is a ‘state pension age’ (60 for women and 65 for men).          What should I do if I’m being discriminated against

     Tackling the age-old
                                                                                                                 You don’t have to retire at these ages. The law creates a new          because of my age?
                                                                                                                 ‘default’ retirement age of 65 for men and women.
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Contact your union representative for advice.
                                                                                                                 Staying on – You now have the right to request to work
                                                                                                                 beyond 65 (or the firm’s given retirement age). This doesn’t           2. Gather evidence of potential discrimination, for example,

     problem of discrimination
                                                                                                                 affect voluntary retirement or your state pension age. Your            figures on redundancies or training for different age groups.
                                                                                                                 employer must consider your request. If they agree, they will          3. Follow the company’s grievance procedure, putting your
                                                                                                                 tell you whether you can stay on indefinitely or for a certain         complaint in writing.
                                                                                                                 period. If they refuse they don’t have to explain why but you
                                                                                                                                                                                        4. Meet with your employer – you have the right to have a
                                                                                                                 can appeal against their decision.
                                                                                                                                                                                        union rep or work colleague present.
     This autumn saw one of the biggest changes in UK                                                            Recruitment – Employers can no longer refuse to hire you
                                                                                                                                                                                        5. Appeal if you’re not satisfied with your employer’s decision.
                                                                                                                 because of your age or to advertise for certain age groups,
     employment law in 30 years – the Employment Equality     The new law in brief
                                                                                                                 unless they can justify it (see Exemptions above). However,
     (Age) Regulations. Here Community’s National Secretary   It is unlawful on the grounds of your age to:      if you are over 65 or within six months of retirement (or the
                                                                                                                 firm’s retirement age, if higher) you have no protection against
     for Politics and Equal Rights, Joe Mann, answers your    • decide not to employ you                         discrimination when applying for jobs.
     questions about how they could affect you…
                                                              • dismiss you

                                                              • deny you promotion
                                                                                                                 Where can I get more information?
                                                              • refuse to provide you with training
                                                              • offer you less favourable terms and conditions
                                                                                                                 Age and Employment Network – 0207 843 1590,
                                                               than others
                                                                                                                 0116 204 4200, - education and training advice
                                                              • force you to retire before 65 (or your firm’s
                                                                                                                 www,, 0800 00 99 66 (0845 125 9732, Scotland)
                                                               retirement age).

20                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         21
     Betting shop workers                                                                                                                           Membership in
     urged to report abuse                                                                                                                          independent
                                                                                                                                                    betting shops
     from public                                                           Community gave its backing to an anti-violence
                                                                           at work campaign launched by the Scottish
                                                                           Executive in October.                                                    grows
                                                                                                                                                    Since its betting shop campaign began 18 months ago,
                                                                                                                                                    Community has recruited thousands of members from the ‘Big 3’.       Community joins
                                                                                                                                                    But it hasn’t forgotten their counterparts in smaller independent
                                                                                                                                                    bookmakers, who form about 60% of the sector’s staff.                NUS to protect
                                                                                                                                                    ‘We now have members in over 10 independents, and it’s
                                                                                                                                                    growing all the time,’ adds Community organiser Ian Telford. ‘They
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         student ‘bookies’
                                                                                                                                                    hear about Community tackling issues like lone-working, unpaid
                                                                                                                                                    overtime, shop security and proper consultation, and want our        Community has joined together with the National
                                                                                                                                                    support, too. The issues that most betting shop workers face are     Union of Students to support students working part-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         time in betting shops.
                                                                                                                                                    industry wide. However, we’re aware that staff in independents,
                                                                                                                                                    based mostly in smaller towns or rural areas, can face greater       ‘Students are increasingly part of the sector’s
                                                                                                                                                    security risks and a slower police response if trouble happens.’     workforce, with firms advertising in student unions,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         job shops and recruitment fairs,’ says Community
                                                                                                                                                    ‘In Region 2, I’ve been working with independents Pagebet, Chas      Head of Organising Christine Hardacre. Of the 40% of
                                                                                                                                                    Kendall and Chisholms, with a great deal of success. There are       students taking part-time jobs to offset their term-
                                                                                                                                                    also a number of Betfred shops here in the North East where          time living costs, over 3,500 will end up working in UK
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         bookmakers this year.
                                                                                                                                                    interest and membership is taking off,’ he explains. ‘We’ve been
                                                                                                                                                    organising evening meetings so members and potential ‘joiners’       ‘While these jobs may fit in well with study timetables,
                                                                                                                                                    can discuss workplace issues outside the shop. As numbers and        more students are calling college welfare services
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         with complaints about extreme hours, lack of breaks,
                                                                                                                                                    interest grow more shop staff are actively encouraging others to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         single staffing, and in some cases, not being paid by
                                                                                                                                                    join Community. Some pop into other bookies to place a bet –         their recruitment agencies,’ explains Joe Keenan, NUS
                                                                                                                                                    which they can’t do in their own chain – and use the opportunity     Trade Union Partnership Manager. ‘That’s why we’re
                                                                                                                                                    to spread the Community message.                                     working with Community to help protect students’

     P     art of the Scottish Executive’s Bang Out of Order initiative,
           the Violence at Work campaign aims to raise awareness
     of and stamp out the abuse of workers by the public. At
                                                                           aware of their right to an ‘abuse-free’ workplace and providing
                                                                           special diaries so they can record any incidents,’ explained
                                                                           Heather. ‘We’ve also been encouraging employers to meet
                                                                                                                                                    ‘Communicating information has been challenging as there are
                                                                                                                                                    fewer independents and they are more dispersed. But we’re using
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         rights at work. We are trying to ensure that wherever
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         there are betting shop job ads Community information
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         materials are promoted alongside so that students are
     the launch Community organiser Heather Meldrum urged                  their responsibilities to protect staff. As well as an end to single     Community’s betting shop websites and newsletters to keep            aware of their rights. We are also encouraging student
     Scotland’s betting shop staff to report all incidents of abuse        staffing, we’d like to see firms training staff to deal with conflict,   people up to date with developments.’                                welfare centres to refer enquiries from students
     and promoted the work of union’s Safer Betting Shops                  informing customers that staff abuse won’t be tolerated                                                                                       working in the betting industry on to Community for
     campaign. ‘Our survey of betting shop staff in central Scotland       and setting up clear systems for reporting and monitoring                ‘Community aims to cover the whole sector,’ says Head of             advice and support.’
     revealed that almost two-thirds had been verbally abused and          incidents. Our members have also suggested creating a                    Organising Christine Hardacre. ’We want all betting shop workers
     a fifth physically assaulted by the public in the last year. Many     ‘problem customer’ register.’                                            to know that Community are campaigning to improve conditions
     victims failed to report incidents – seeing them as ‘part of the
                                                                           ‘We will continue to support staff affected by abuse. While              across the industry. We want to establish best practice across the
     job’, or believing no action would be taken.’
                                                                           Violence at Work was piloted in Scotland, it has been so                 industry - like an end to single staffing. The more members we
     The campaign also has the backing of Channel 4 racing pundit          successful we hope it will expand throughout the UK,’ said               have, the greater our voice will be with employers and industry
     and ex-bookie John McCririck, who said: ‘Punters go through           Heather. ‘Only if people come forward can we can establish the
     a range of emotions and betting shop workers are in the               scale of the problem and tackle it effectively.’
     frontline. No one deserves this level of abuse in their daily job.’                                                                            If you work in an independent bookmakers and want to join
                                                                           Betting shop staff can freephone 0800 834 640 or visit
     ‘Community has been campaigning to make employees            for advice and information.                        Community, call our freephone hotline 0800 834 640 or visit

22                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  23
     Deserts spread, lakes run dry, as                                                                                                                      Too much lolly in the game!
     world debates climate change                                                                                                                           T   o children who cross the road to Abingdon Vale School,
                                                                                                                                                                Northampton, he’s Terry the Lollypop Man. To workers in the
                                                                                                                                                            Northampton shoe company Church & Co and to members of
                                                                                                                                                            KFAT and Community he is Terry Evans, union activist. To thousands
     - And Community’s Rob Sneddon is there in the UK delegation                                                                                            of football players and football fans in amateur clubs across
                                                                                                                                                            Northamptonshire he is Mr Football.

      E   veryone’s talking about climate change these days, and while the
          developed countries of the world are struggling to meet their
      targets to cut emissions of carbon dioxide, what about the least
                                                                                 talks, for more renewable energy sources, for low carbon technologies
                                                                                 and for the transfer of technologies to the developing world.
                                                                                                                                                            And it was Terry’s dedication to football, - as player, coach, manager,
                                                                                                                                                            secretary and president of several county clubs – that led him to
                                                                                 The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change                  presented with an award from the Football Association for 50 years’
      developed countries – and what about the continent of Africa?
                                                                                 conference also discussed the Kyoto Protocol. David Milliband, the UK      service.
      That’s what Community’s health and safety and environment officer          Minister led the UK negotiations. In the Protocol the European Union
                                                                                                                                                            ‘What a night it was !’ Terry exclaimed. ‘I shall never, ever forget it.
      Rob Sneddon wanted to know when he travelled to Nairobi in Kenya           agreed to cut emissions of carbon dioxide by eight per cent below
                                                                                                                                                            There were so many friends and former players there. The
      as one of the UK representatives at the United Nations Climate Change      1990 levels. At present the emissions are cut by only 0.9 per cent – way
                                                                                                                                                            presentation was made by David Cardoza, the chairman
      Conference in November. He was one of two trade unionists from             off target. Only two counties, the UK and Sweden, are on track to meet
                                                                                                                                                            of my favourite professional club, Northampton
      the TUC who participated in the International Trade Union Congress         their Kyoto targets.
                                                                                                                                                            Town and I also received many gifts, including a
      delegation with other trade unionists from North America, Asia, Africa
                                                                                 The Kyoto protocol has three main instruments to cut global                medal, an ornament and a cup from my own
      and Europe.
                                                                                 admissions, admissions trading, clean development mechanism and            amateur club, St Margarets.’
                                                         ‘It was important to    joining implantation. Non of these are without their problems as we
                                                                                                                                                            Terry retired from his work at Church
                                                         go because climate      have seen in Europe with admissions trading.
                                                                                                                                                            & Co two years ago after a knee
                                                         change is an issue
                                                                                 In Belgium the trade unions are an integral part of the Clean              replacement. ‘But I was determined
                                                         that we cannot
                                                                                 Development Mechanism in promoting core labour standards and               to keep active,’ he says. ‘That is why,
                                                         afford to ignore any
                                                                                 a social criteria for these projects, indeed the Kenyan unions are         seven months ago, I took up this
                                                         longer’, Rob said. ‘I
                                                                                 currently working with FNV from the Netherlands on projects to clean       part time job as a Lollypop Man.
                                                         could understand
                                                                                 up water springs and assisting with aforestation.                          And I love it.
                                                         why developed
      Rob Sneddon and other trade unionists meet.        countries need to       ‘The key challenge for us in Britain is to show how it is possible to      ‘I get so much job satisfaction
                                                         cut their carbon        have growth while cutting emissions,’ Rob declared. ‘Trade unions          from it. You can imagine how
      dioxide emissions but what did the Africans themselves think? They         in the UK are doing their bit and need to throw their full weight          I felt when, just recently on
      are developing countries and they face real problems in bringing           behind this both domestically and internationally, because what            my 65th birthday the kids and
      together sustainability and growth as part of their development.’          Nairobi demonstrated was that climate change and the Millennium            some of their parents lined up
                                                                                 development goals are inextricably linked, and more so than in             across the road from me and sang
      Rob soon found out. At a meeting of international trade unionists,
                                                                                 certain areas of the world than others.’ The TUSDAC report “Greening       Happy Birthday!’
      outside the main conference, he heard from fellow trade unionists
                                                                                 the Workplace” is a start and Community have introduced their
      from South Africa, Nigeria and host country Kenya.                                                                                                    Three months ago Terry, with the
                                                                                 own environmental policy in addition to motions at a variety of
                                                                                                                                                            blessing of his wife Pat, became the
      They too were concerned about climate change, they said. It was            conferences. But more needs to be done and the UK government
                                                                                                                                                            school caretaker. ‘It’s good to be involved
      bringing drought, water shortages, the southward advance of the            could do more by legislating for trade union environmental reps.
                                                                                                                                                            in the community,’ he says.
      Sahara desert, the spread of diseases, food shortages, flash floods
                                                                                 But for Rob it is what the Africans said that will stay in his thoughts.
      and coastal erosion. Of course they were concerned, the impact on                                                                                     Terry is still a dedicated follower of football, not
                                                                                 ‘They told us of the Sahara Desert in north Africa spreading
      communities and people’s livelihoods is verging on disastrous.                                                                                        just of his beloved St Margarets and Northampton
                                                                                 southwards, of the huge reductions in their forests, about the damage
                                                                                                                                                            Town but of football generally. ‘And I am really worried
      ‘They described their problems very graphically,’ Rob said. ‘And we        weather extremes are doing to their communities, about the spread
                                                                                                                                                            about the number of foreign players coming into our game,’ he
      were left in no doubt that to them climate change is as big a problem,     of disease putting still more pressure on their inadequate health care,
                                                                                                                                                            declares. ‘It’s bad news for our youngsters. Football is a money game
      if not a bigger problem than it is to Europeans.’                          and the impact that climate change is having on employment and
                                                                                                                                                            now, I’m afraid. We used to talk of the English Premier League. Now
      For the developed countries policy choices and challenges regarding                                                                                   it’s the League of All Nations! I favour having a maximum of two
      mitigation such as admission trading and energy efficiently are in a       ‘As one of the African trade union leaders said to us: Our lakes are       foreign players per club.’
      sense a luxury in comparison with the problems of adaptation the           drying up and yet floods and droughts are happening more frequently
                                                                                                                                                            Terry is an even bigger cricket fan. ‘I love cricket even more than
      developing countries face. Africa is threatened by the effects of          and the seasons are changing …climate change is happening and it is
                                                                                                                                                            football actually,’ he reveals. ‘I’m a season ticket holder at the
      climate change now, the only choose Africa has is to adapt now. It         something we all have to confront.’
                                                                                                                                                            Northamptonshire ground. But cricket too has become a money
      is a matter of life or death. The question the develop countries have
                                                                                 United Nations chief Kofi Annan left the conference with this              game. More foreign players, fewer young British cricketers. I think we
      to ask themselves is do we stand back and watch or do we help. It’s a
                                                                                 challenge ringing in their ears: ‘Those who have been largely              shall live to regret it.’
      question Community needs to ask itself too.
                                                                                 responsible for the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere
                                                                                                                                                            Terry says he has so many good memories of his time with KFAT and
      The international trade unionists at the conference renewed their          must do much, much more to bring their emissions down.’ But then,
                                                                                                                                                            then with Community. ‘Both such fine organisations,’ he says. ‘When
      support for further government commitments to cut carbon                   perhaps thinking of the USA who refused to sign the Kyoto treaty, he
                                                                                                                                                            you are with an organisation that is contributing so much to the
      emissions in industrialised nations, for more worker involvement in        added ‘there is a frightening lack of leadership.’
                                                                                                                                                            working lives of people and to the communities they serve, then
                                                                                                                                                            it is time to be proud. I had such a wonderful time, but now I am
                                                                                                                                                            retired the one thing I am not going to do is to stagnate. There is so
                                                                                                                                                            much to enjoy in life, and I am enjoying it to the full.’

24                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     2
     Getting to know you
     With their skills and industries adding to our union’s diversity, in May Community welcomed nearly
     2000 new members from the National Union of Domestic Appliances and General Operatives
     (NUDAGO). Here we find out how two of them help keep us warm and in hot dinners!

     R   ob Billyeald (pictured here), 36, works at Vaillant Industrial
         UK in Belper, Derbyshire, assembling some of central
     heating boilers that we’re all so thankful for during the winter
                                                                          At this plant we make a wide variety of gas, electric and dual-
                                                                          fuel cookers, ranges and hobs for Stoves, Belling and New
                                                                          World brands – from top-of-the-range to cheaper models. We
     months. Belper is Vaillant’s largest UK final product assembly       make around 10,000 appliances every week.
     plant and employs around 340 staff.
                                                                          ‘I’ve been with the company for 46 years and a union
     ‘I’ve been with Vaillant (formerly Hepworth Heating) for 14          member all that time. There are around 1,250 staff here, a
     years and a NUDAGO member all that time. My dad worked               third of whom are now Community members,’ adds Paddy
     here for 40 years and my uncle was a shop steward – so               who is also vice-chair and treasurer of Community’s NUDAGO
     there’s a family tradition of both working here and joining the      section. ‘I work in the press plant and it’s my job to manually
     union,’ Rob says. ‘I started off in the spares department and        set the presses to the right specifications – the right depth,
     six years later moved into the foundry. Then I went onto the         width and length – for the cooker components we are
     assembly line, where a more experienced assembler took me            pressing out of sheet metal. These might include hobs, cooker
     through the process until I’d picked up the job. You need a fair     sides, and fascias.
     amount of dexterity and concentration to do it.’
                                                                          ‘As well as setting the presses, I also ensure that they are
     ‘After the change in legislation in April this year, we now make     in good working order and check for any problems on the
     only high-efficiency boilers – wall-hung, condensing and             previous shift. These machines can press from 30 tonnes right
     combination versions – for Glow-Worm and other brands.               up to 400 tonnes of sheet metal so they can inflict serious
     My first act of the day is to clock on for the shift. Then I get a   injury if not properly maintained. We work in teams of four
     trolley to move the chassis – the starting block for building        or five on a shift – I’m generally on 6am-2pm or 10pm-6am.’
     the boiler – onto the assembly line. The boiler has about 20         Paddy explains.
     components that need to be assembled; some are produced
                                                                          ‘After checking the presses, I make sure the first-off
     on site, others comes from Vaillant’s plants around the world.
                                                                          component meets the spec and quality we need. If not, I
     My first job in assembling the boiler is to rivet the hydroblock
                                                                          make any necessary alternations and we test it again. We work
     onto the chassis, then put on the water tank. That done, it’s
                                                                          to tight deadlines so getting it right first time is important,’
     time to add the heating engine and the pipes for the gas,’ he
                                                                          he adds. ‘I might reset the presses 30 to 40 times a day for
     explains. ‘Then I add the electrics – the control box and wire
                                                                          different components. It takes about four or so years of
     up the connecting cables. Finally I add the vent – and you
                                                                          on-the-job training to pick up the skills, and you need to be
     have the skeleton of your boiler.                                    thorough and organised to get it right.
     ‘Once I’ve finished with it, the boiler is then pushed down          ‘Once the presses are set, it’s down to the press operators to
     the line to be tested by another team member. I work with            produce the components. Once that’s done the components
     five others on the assembly track. If there are any problems,        are then sent to another part of the plant to be enamelled
     it goes back to a repairman and then back on the line where          or painted a range of colours, and then assembled, checked,
     another team members adds side panels and a door before              packed and
     it goes off to the packing department. Then it’s onto the next       transported to
     one for me. I make around 30 boilers a day and the team has a        warehouses
     target of around 340 a week. That keeps us busy!’                    and high-
     ‘Chances are that many Community members will have                   street retailers
     cooked on one of our cookers at some time,’ says Paddy               in the UK so
     Reynolds, a press setter at Glen Dimplex Home Appliances             you can take
     in Prescot, Merseyside. ‘Our company is one of the biggest           your pick.’
     electric heating and home appliance suppliers in the country.

2                                                                                                                                           2
                                                                                                                                                    Mesothelioma – the facts
                                                                                                                                                    • Affects: the linings of the lungs (pleural) and, less commonly, the abdomen (peritoneal).
     Before his death from mesothelioma, Community
                                                                                                                                                    • Cause: 90% of cases related to workplace exposure to asbestos over 10 to 50 years.
     member Peter Leary wanted others to know the
                                                                                                                                                    • Incidence: 2,000 cases in the UK each year.
     dangers of workplace asbestos and of the need to
                                                                                                                                                    • Exposure: Unlike asbestosis and lung cancer, which require extensive exposure to asbestos,
     get medical and legal support promptly when it                                                                                                   mesothelioma can be caused by breathing in only a few fibres.
     affected their health. Here we honour that wish.                                                                                               • Life expectancy: one to five years. New cancer drug Alimta is helping extend sufferers lives
                                                                                                                                                      by months.

                                                                                                                                                    • Most at risk: workers in construction, shipbuilding, extraction, energy and water supply and
                                                                                                                                                      manufacturing industries.

     the toxic time bomb                                                                                                                            Protecting yourself
                                                                                                                                                    Remember, the effects of asbestos can take many years to show up, so you need to avoid
                                                                                                                                                    breathing fibres NOW.

     C    ommunity member Peter Leary died on 21 October this
          year from the asbestos-derived cancer, mesothelioma.
     ‘Peter battled this serious illness with great courage,’ says
                                                                           It wasn’t until July 2004 that Peter started to feel breathless
                                                                           – one of the few early symptoms of mesothelioma. As it
                                                                           progresses, symptoms increase and include chest pain
                                                                                                                                                    • Talk to your union H&S rep and employer if you suspect there is asbestos around.
                                                                                                                                                    • Use a suitable face mask and wear it properly.
     Simon Allen, Partner at Community solicitors Russell Jones and        and abdominal swelling, weight loss, sweating, tiredness,                • Clean up as you go to stop waste building up.
     Walker’s Sheffield office. ‘So it was only right that we fought to    nausea, coughs and stomach upsets. In January 2005 Peter                 • Ensure waste is double-bagged and disposed of at a licensed tip.
     get him the compensation he deserved.’ With Community’s               was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma caused by his                    • Wash before breaks and going home.
     support, Peter received an out-of-court settlement of £162,000        exposure to asbestos. He stopped working in November 2004.
                                                                           Community’s legal service took up his case the following
     from steel firm Firth Rixon Rings before his death.
                                                                           February, claiming Firth Rixson had neglected to ensure Peter’s
     ‘Asbestos is the UK’s biggest workplace killer – around 3,000                                                                                  • Avoid using power tools or other methods that create lots of dust.
                                                                           work environment was safe. The firm denied liability. But a
     deaths a year,’ adds Simon. ‘While asbestos was finally banned                                                                                 • Use a Type H vacuum cleaner or wet rags rather than sweeping up debris.
                                                                           consulting engineer’s report confirmed that Peter had been
     in the UK in 1999, employers have known about its dangers                                                                                      • Don’t take home overalls used for asbestos work or reuse disposable clothing or masks.
                                                                           exposed to significant levels of asbestos during his working life.
     since the 1930s, but few did anything to protect their workers                                                                                 • Avoid eating or drinking in the work area.
                                                                           The company continued to deny liability, but just weeks before
     until the 1980s. Those exposed to asbestos as early as the 1960s
                                                                           the planned trial it offered a final settlement, which Peter
     are now potentially at risk, as mesothelioma can take up to 50                                                                                 For more information talk to your union H&S rep, or visit
     years to develop,’ he adds. ‘And, with asbestos still present in an
     estimated 1.5 million UK buildings, many workers could be at          ‘Peter was keen to publicise his illness,’ adds his Regional
     risk in the future.’                                                  Secretary Steve Stacey. ‘He wanted Community members to be
                                                                           aware of the dangers and not to put off getting treatment or
     Peter joined Firth Rixson Rings Parkgate plant in Rotherham           claiming compensation if they contracted an asbestos-related
     in 1970 as a forge hand and became forge foreman in 1987.             disease.’ If your health has been affected by or you are anxious
     In these jobs he was exposed to asbestos through the rings            about past exposure to asbestos, here the steps to take.’
     and forgings he made and working among damaged lagging
     and furnace doors. Asbestos is only a risk when damaged
     and the fibres become airborne; many people exposed to                • See your GP as soon as possible for diagnosis.
     asbestos suffer no adverse effects. While the company had a
                                                                           • Talk to Community’s legal team about pursuing a
     duty to warn Peter and his colleagues of the dangers, provide
                                                                             compensation claim. There is a statutory three-year limit for
     protective equipment, and remove the asbestos safely, it didn’t.
                                                                             making a claim, but it isn’t always strictly enforced – your
     Peter’s only protection was the ineffective paper Martindale
                                                                             Community solicitor will be able to advise you.
     dust masks that the firm gave him during the 1990s. Until
     speaking to colleagues, he didn’t know he was working around          • Contact the union for advise and support for you and your
     asbestos or at risk of its diseases                                     family.

                                                                                                                                                We regret the sad passing of Peter Leary. Unfortunately in the last issue we reported that he had
                                                                                                                                                died. This was an error for which we apologise. Our deepest regrets go to his family.

2                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   2
                                                                                                                                                                                      Helping you help your child
         Pack it in –                                                                                                                                                       Head of the NSPCC’s ChildLine in Partnership in Schools Lindsay Gilbert offers some advice if your child is being bullied:

                                                                                                                                                                                           At school                                                                At home
         helping to stop                                                                                                                                                •Inform your child’s class teacher or head of year immediately.
                                                                                                                                                                       • Ask your child to keep a ‘bullying diary’ of what happens, when
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       • Reassure them that the bullying is not their fault
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         – remind them you love them and will support

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             them, and that bullying is always wrong.
                                                                                                                                                                       and where and any evidence such as threatening text messages.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       • Invite their friends around and make time away
                                                                                                                                                                       • Make it official by putting your concerns in writing, and ask for
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          from school fun.
                                                                                                                                                                        the letter to be put on your child’s file and for a written reply of

                                                                                                                                                                                         what action the school will take.                               • Give them your full attention when they talk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        about bullying – ask questions that need more
                                                                                                                                                                       • Meet with them again after a few weeks to discuss the situation.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       than a ‘yes or no’ answer so they can explain how
                                                                                                                                                                          • If your child can’t face school, ask your local pupil support                                   they feel.
                                                                                                                                                                       department or education social worker for help. If you keep your
                                                                                                                                                                        child off school without any tutoring you could be prosecuted.

          During Anti-Bullying Week in November,
          children at a Rotherham primary school
          had lots of fun learning all about bullying
          using special Community-sponsored activity
          packs. Region 3 Secretary Steve Stacey tells
          us how that came about.

     E   arlier this year Region 3 Secretary Steve Stacey and local councillor
         and Community member Peter Thirlwall got ‘top marks’ when they
     presented a union-sponsored, anti-bullying pack to teachers and children
                                                                                       more subtle, even among small children, so we need to be more vigilant,’
                                                                                       says Flanderwell’s Head teacher Terri Hill. ‘It’s not just hitting and name-
                                                                                       calling, it can be threatening text messages, being excluded or made to
     at Flanderwell Junior and Infant School in Rotherham.                             feel uncomfortable.
     The packs were produced by the Children’s Safety Education Foundation,            Bullying is often hard to identify and that’s why we welcome the packs.
     which offers a range of resources to equip children with the skills and           They help children recognise and report it, which fits with our ethos as a
     knowledge to deal with ‘emergency’ situations                                                                ‘telling school’.
     – ranging from house fires to being offered drugs.
                                                                                                                 ‘While the Government requires all schools to
     ‘It’s the second year we’ve sponsored the packs
                                                                                                                 have an anti-bullying strategy, it can be difficult
     here in Yorkshire,’ explains Steve, ‘It’s a great way
                                                                                                                 to put into practice without the children on side,’
     to help kids stay safe and for the union to build
                                                                                                                 adds Terri. ‘That’s where the activity packs come
     relationships with other community organisations.
                                                                                                                 in. They are a great classroom resource for our
     ‘Some members had links with Flanderwell school                                                             teachers and learning mentors to use throughout
     so they proposed it should receive the pack, and                                                            the year, giving them a new way of engaging
     bullying topped the list of themes. Thousands of                                                            with children about bullying. We can use these
     kids in our communities suffer every day because                                                            fun games, activities and stories right across our
     of bullying,’ adds Steve. ‘It’s something we can’t                                                          age range (three to 11) to discuss what bullying
     ignore.’ The NSPCC estimates that about a third of                                                          is, why it’s wrong and what they can do to stop it.
     children in the UK are bullied by their peers. Whether physical violence or
                                                                                       ‘We’ll be monitoring how our teachers and children get on with the packs,
     psychological abuse, the effects on victims can be dramatic. Children can
                                                                                       and reporting back to Steve next year,’ promises Terri. ‘We want to thank
     become withdrawn and anxious, around 10% play truant to escape the
                                                                                       Community for its support. What it’s doing is very important – these packs
     torment and up to 25 commit suicide each year because they are being
                                                                                       keep bullying high on the agenda at school and in the community. People
                                                                                       often see bullying but don’t want to get involved. With the packs, we are
     Community’s concern doesn’t just stop at playground bullying. Studies             giving our children the confidence to come forward and speak out against                                                                  Useful contacts
     show that around one in five employees has been bullied or harassed at            bullying whenever and wherever they see it.’                                                                                            Children and parents:
     work in the last two years and that those who were bullied at school are                                                                                                                                  NSPCC Child Protection Helpline – 0808 800 5000
                                                                                       Region 3 members have already chosen next year’s pack theme, ‘Stay
     at the highest risk of workplace victimisation. ‘Teaching kids early on in life                                                                                                                              Childline – 0800 1111,
                                                                                       safe, play safe’, to link with the European Health and Safety week. If your
     that bullying is wrong is in all our interests,’ says Steve.
                                                                                       branch would like to get involved with the Children’s Safety Education                                 Kidscape Helpline – 020 7730 3300,
     ‘Bullying has happened to some extent in every school, home and                   Foundation, call 0161 477 5122 for contact details.                                                                         Workplace bullying:
     workplace since time immemorial. However, we’ve found it has become                                                                                                          Contact a branch official or call Community’s head office on 020 7239 1200.

30                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            31
                                                                                                   Head Office:
Administration Centre • The Grange, 108 Northampton Road, Earls Barton, Northampton NN6 0JH        Swinton House
tel: 01604 810326 fax: 01604 812496 • e-mail:                              324 Gray’s Inn Road
                                                                                                   WC1X 8DD
Region 1 • 102 Hamilton Road, Motherwell ML1 3DG                                                   Phone 020 7239 1200
tel: 01698 304567 • fax: 01698 304568 • e-mail:                           Fax 020 7278 8378
Regional Secretary: William J Paterson • Senior Organiser: John Steele                             e-mail:
Region 2 • Drinkwater House, 210-212 Marton Road, Middlesbrough TS4 2ET
tel: 01642 246040 • fax: 01642 250207 • e-mail:                           Michael J Leahy OBE
Regional Secretary: Bernard Pike • Senior Organiser: Ray Ardron                                    General Secretary

Region 3 • Phoenix House, Flash Lane, Bramley, Rotherham S66 1TS                                   Barry Morris
tel: 01709 702291 • fax: 01709 702292 • e-mail:                           Roy Rickhuss
Regional Secretary: Steve Stacey • Senior Organiser: Colin Griffiths                               Assistant General Secretaries

Region 4 • Carpet Weavers Hall, Callows Lane, Kidderminster, Worcs DY10 2JG
tel: 01562 749150 • fax: 01562 749151 • e-mail:
Regional Secretary: John Marston • Senior Organiser: Dave Marshall

Region  • Pembroke House, 20 Cathedral Road, Cardiff CF11 9LJ
tel: 02920 668800 • fax: 029 2066 8811 • e-mail:
Regional Secretary: Steve McCool • Senior Organiser: Rob Edwards • Organiser: Karl Gauden

Region  (sub office) • 41 Vestry Road, Street, Somerset BA16 0HX
tel: 01458 442105 • fax: 01458 442005 • e-mail:
Senior Organiser: Terry Meakin

Region  • 55 New Walk, Leicester LE1 7EA
tel: 0116 255 9747 • fax: 0116 255 8700 • e-mail:
Regional Secretary: Peter Crowe • Organiser: Martin Rutter

Region  (sub office)• The Grange, 108 Northampton Road, Earls Barton, Northampton NN6 0JH
tel: 01604 810326 fax: 01604 812496 • e-mail:
Senior Organiser: Roy Bennett

Region  • 94-96 Broadway, Chadderton, Oldham OL9 0AA
tel: 0161 624 9749 • fax: 0161 627 2651 • e-mail:
Regional Secretary: Colin Tait • Senior Organiser: Dave Martin

Region  • Swinton House, 324 Gray’s Inn Road, London WC1X 8DD
tel: 020 7239 1200 • fax: 020 7278 8378 • e-mail:
Regional Secretary: Joe Mann MBE • Senior Organiser: Bernard Rooney tel: 01604 810 326

NLBD Section • Swinton House, 324 Gray’s Inn Road, London WC1X 8DD
tel: 020 7239 1262 • fax: 020 7278 0436 • Minicom: 020 7239 1264 • e-mail:
National League Secretary: Joe Mann MBE

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