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					                                    the workplace

                 REPORTER
                 The newspaper for Unite activists                                                                     April/May 2009
HELEN MAYBANKS




                                                                                                        A B AG G AG E H A N D L E R L I F T S A N
                 G20: PUT PEOPLE FIRST                                                                  ELEPHANT’S W E I G H T E V E R Y D A Y
                                                                                                                                            SO PA CK LE SS
                                                                                                                                            IN YOUR TRUNK




                                                                                                                                    LIGHTEN UP LATEST: SEE PAGE 7

                                                                                                         BARGAINING
                                                                                                         C H E C K O U T T H E FA S T FA C T S A N D D ATA
                                                                                                         HELPING YOU WIN IN THE W O R K P L A C E




                                                                           FULL STORY : PAGE 4                                                            SEE PAGE 22

                 UNITE FOR JOBS - JOIN THE MARCH AND RALLY THROUGH THE CENTRE OF BIRMINGHAM




                 MARCH ON
                 MAY 1 6
                   by MIK SABIERS

                   A MASSIVE march through the
                   UK’s manufacturing heartland has
                   been called by Unite in a major
                   effort to ensure that action to
                   protect jobs and skills is the top
                                                          These are skilled jobs that have
                                                        gone in the six months since the
                                                        slump took hold, added to the tens
                                                        of thousands more lost in financial
                                                        services and other key sectors,
                                                                                              recession but they are paying for
                                                                                              it hand over fist with their jobs.
                                                                                                 “Unemployment blights lives
                                                                                              and leaves communities in despair
                                                                                              so we will not stand by while our
                                                                                                                                   their heads, and companies cannot
                                                                                                                                   keep the lights on in factories with
                                                                                                                                   promises alone. No more delay -
                                                                                                                                   we need action now or we will see
                                                                                                                                   our skills base and vital
                   priority among the government’s      and amid fears that not enough is     jobs and the very skills that        manufacturing sector shattered
                   recession-beating policies.          being done to save jobs in critical   will help pull us out of this        for a generation.”
                     The march through central          parts of the economy.                 downturn are swept away by the
                   Birmingham in May was                  In a packed press conference to     recession tide.                         Join the march, find out more
                   announced as the jobs toll in        call the march, Tony Woodley, joint      “People desperately need some        on pages 16-17 and logon to
                   the manufacturing sector ticked      general secretary of Unite, said:     assurance that they will remain in       www.unitetheunion.com/
                   towards the 20,000 figure.           “Workers did not cause this           work and can keep a roof over            uniteforjobs for the latest
                                                                                                                                                     SEE CENTRE PAGES
02 REP OPINION
    the

                                         April/May 2009



Message from the joint general secretaries


                                                                         Join Unite’s march for jobs
                                                                         Joint general secretaries Derek
                                                                         Simpson and Tony Woodley on Unite’s march
Derek                               Tony                                 for Jobs in Birmingham and what your union is
Simpson                             Woodley                              doing for workers throughout Britain and Ireland
 Preserving jobs
                                                          way out of it.                     on May 16th.                       in our affairs.

I
   T is now clear that the                                  That is why we are                 We will be joined by               The Times and other
   entire trade union                                     demanding that the                 concerned business leaders,        Murdoch mouthpieces made
   movement, Unite                                        government puts its money          who share our belief that          a brazen attempt to interfere
 included, is facing great                                where its mouth is in terms of     action to save industry is         in the election for joint
 difficulties as a result of a                            helping manufacturing              needed now. The march is our       general secretary from the
 global economic crisis of a                              industry. We cannot stand          chance to ensure that ministers    Amicus section - without, we
 severity and sweep none of                               aside and see short-term           get the strength of our            are happy to say, much
 us have seen in our                                      problems of demand in the          message coming from all parts      success.
 industrial lifetimes.                                    economy lead to the loss of        of the community.                    Unite members ignored the
   Despite some worthwhile                                factories and skills which, once     So do all you can to ensure      media’s advice and reaffirmed
 steps taken by both our own                              gone, will never return.           the biggest possible turn-out      the arrangements they twice
 government and at the                                                                       from YOUR workplace and            approved before this
 international level, the                                                                    community in Birmingham on         unnecessary election was
 capitalist slump is touching                             Equal                              May 16.                            forced on the union.
 almost every industry in which                                                                Now is the time to Unite for       This means that we can
 we organise and represent                                access                             Jobs. Next year will be too late   now proceed in unity to
 workers, and shows no signs of                                                              for millions of workers.           address the pressing needs
 abating.
   The whole effort of your
 union is now directed towards
 securing the necessary
                                                          U    NITE is also fighting to
                                                               ensure that workers in
                                                          this country have fair
                                                                                             Murdoch’s
                                                                                                                                of the membership, using
                                                                                                                                all the industrial, political
                                                                                                                                and organising strength
                                                                                                                                at our disposal.
 measures – be it with                                    access to employment at            on our case                          As we proceed towards
 government or employers – to                             major construction                                                    the full and final integration

                                                                                             U
 ensure the preservation of jobs                          projects. We stand for                                                of our union on May 1st,
 and living standards.                                    equal rights for all workers,           NITE is being tested in       we are sure that Unite,
   While we have to address                               wherever they come from –               its first years beyond        with the support and
 each company’s situation                                 but we are not going to let        what we might have                 engagement of all
 individually we must be                                  neo-liberal dogma be used          expected. It is in these           our activists, will prove
 guided by two general                                    to justify squeezing British       difficult times that we            equal to the enormous
 principles – that ordinary                               workers out of jobs on             must prove the worth of            tasks placed
 people should not have to pay                            their own doorstep.                the instrument our                 before us.
 the price for a crisis not of                              These are urgent demands.        members have voted to
 their making; and that                                   They demand swift                  create.
 government should discard the                            government action. That is           No doubt for that reason,
 neo-liberal dogmas which have                            why Unite is calling the           the Murdoch media and other
 contributed to the economic                              national “Unite for Jobs”          right-wing press have started
 turmoil and, for sure, offer no                          demonstration in Birmingham        taking an exceptional interest



Inside this issue                                                                            Published by                       Photography by:
                                                                                             Unite the union                    Mark Thomas, Simon Clark,
                                                                                             35 King Street                     Dean Beevor, Helen Maybanks,
Pages 3-10 News                                                                              London WC2E 8JG                    Carlos Guarita and others
All the updates on how Unite is fighting                                                     www.unitetheunion.com
                                                                                             Telephone: 020 7420 8900           Printed by:
back in the workplace, the G20, marches in Coventry, and                                     Fax: 020 7420 8998                 Mirror Group Newspapers
at Fox’s plus all the news from around the UK and Ireland
                                                                                             Email (editorial and letters):     Volume 1 Edition 3
Pages 11-22 Bargaining                                                                       reporter@unitetheunion.com
Your 12 page pull out section with legal wins, updates on health                                                                The Workplace Reporter
and safety campaigns, news on growing the union and all the                                  Editorial:                         is delivered to Unite reps
latest data to help you win in your workplace                                                Managing                           across the country
                                                                                             Editor: Mik Sabiers
                                                                                                                                Advertising rates for the
Pages 23-32 Features                                                                         Contributors:                      Workplace Reporter are
Find out the latest steps in the campaign for improved redundancy                            Eddie Barrett, Hannah Blythyn,     available on request,
pay, how you can get involved in fighting back for Cowley workers                            Andrew Dodgshon; Liane             for details
and the importance of planning for forthcoming elections as well                             Groves; Keith Hatch, Andrew        email
                                                                                             Murray, and others                 reporter@unitetheunion.com
as how your branch can make a difference on the ground

          email us: reporter@unitetheunion.com                                                                                                       www.unitetheunion.com
                                                                                                                                                          NEWS REP 03
                                                                                                                                                                      the

                                                                                                                                         April/May 2009


 CONSTRUCTION WORKERS CAMPAIGN TO END EXPLOITATION


FAIR ACCESS FOR ALL
 THE       fight
 construction
                     by
                   workers
                             Unite
                                to   EQUAL TREATMENT                    non UK employees the correct
                                                                        rates, in line with the national
                                                                                                           through to other employers
                                                                                                           across the country.
                                                                                                                                                 blacklisting of workers in the
                                                                                                                                                 industry.
 demand access to jobs at
 power station sites around the      FOR ALL WORKERS                    agreement.
                                                                          That means dozens of Polish
                                                                                                             The union will continue to
                                                                                                           lobby government at the
                                                                                                                                                   Derek Simpson said: “These
                                                                                                                                                 revelations expose the rot that
 country has born fruit, as three
 sites where UK workers were
                                     DEMANDED                           workers      at    Grain
                                                                        Staythorpe have joined Unite
                                                                                                    and    highest level to ensure that
                                                                                                           there is a level playing field so
                                                                                                                                                 exists in the construction
                                                                                                                                                 business. On the basis that
 previously barred have now            The other main issue at the      and the union now has the          that skilled UK workers are           many of the employers
 started to recruit locally.         heart of the recent disputes is    opportunity to organise all        allowed to apply for jobs to          concerned will be winning
    Earlier this year, Unite         the exploitation of foreign        workers at these sites.            build the new infrastructure          billions of pounds worth of
 workers won their first victory     workers brought in to carry out      “Unite has always believed       projects in the pipeline              public and private sector work,
 when a deal was reached after       the work. Contractors told Unite   that       employers       were    including the new generation          the     government        should
 action at the Lindsey oil           that their workers were enjoying   undercutting the national          of nuclear power plants where         announce       an    immediate
 refinery offering 100 new jobs      the same pay and terms and         agreement, both in pay and         thousands of skilled workers          investigation into the practices
 for UK workers.                     conditions as per the union        terms." said Neil Willougby,       will be needed.                       that exist in the industry.
    This was after continued         negotiated national agreement      construction organiser, "we                                                “Instead of investing in
 country-wide demonstrations         which covers the construction      have won a substantial pay                                               underhand practices which
 across multiple sites.
    And Unite members stopped
                                     engineering sector.                rise for our new Polish            BOSSES BLACKLIST                      infringe basic human rights,
                                       Unite has now exposed            members at Grain and now we          The use of blacklists in            these employers should be
 attempts by the BNP and other       Remak for paying its non UK        have our foot in the door we       construction    has     been          working      with     the
 far right bully boys as they        workers well below the             will be able to ensure the         condemned by Unite after the          unions to give our
 tried to hijack the debate.         national rates of pay, as a        national agreement is upheld.”     office of the information             members some
    Unite joint general secretary,   result Alstom has committed to       Unite is now hopeful that the    commissioner        revealed          security       of
 Derek        Simpson,       said:   ensuring that Remak pays its       union’s message is getting         evidence     of   ‘rampant’           employment.”
 “Unemployed         construction
 workers demonstrated to
 demand fairness not favours.
    “No European worker should
 be barred from applying for a
 British job and absolutely no
 British worker should be
 barred from applying for a job
 in Britain.”
    Unite members’ actions at
 the Isle of Grain have won
 concessions. Alstom, the main
 contractor, employed two
 foreign owned sub-contractors,
 Remak and ZRE, to help build
 the Kent power station. Both
 sub-contractors refused to
 consider applications for work
 from UK-based labour.
    But, thanks to the publicity
 from these demonstrations at
 Grain, Remak and ZRE have
 now interviewed a number of
 locally skilled workers for jobs
 at the site.
    And Unite's pressure has
 also seen results at the
 Staythorpe power station, near
 Newark. The main contractor,




                                                                                                                                                                                    CHRIS TOFOLOS
 Alstom again sub-contracted to
 two companies, Montpressa
 and FMM, which told Unite
 they had no intention of            Unite national officer Steve Sibbald addressed hundreds of workers at last February’s demonstration at Staythorpe
 employing any local labour to
 undertake the work.
    Unite estimated that 600 jobs
 were needed to build the power
 station's turbine and boiler and
 another 250 to build the pipe
 connecting the two. None of
 these jobs were open to UK
 workers.
    Staythorpe will now open its
 doors to 20 UK based pipe
 fitters and welders with more
 employed in the weeks and
 months ahead.
    “There is now grounds for
 optimism and we hope that as
 the weeks unfold there will be
 more and more local workers
 used.” said Mike Gaskell,
 regional officer for Unite.

www.unitetheunion.com                                                                                                                    email us: reporter@unitetheunion.com
04 REP NEWS
                    the

                                                 April/May 2009



                 THOUSANDS JOIN MARCH FOR JOBS, JUSTICE AND CLIMATE


          PUT PEOPLE FIRST
HELEN MAYBANKS




                 Joint general secretaries Derek Simpson (far left) and Tony Woodley (second left) join USW leaders to lead Unite marchers through London’s streets(right)

                  CAMPAIGNERS THROW DOWN THE GAUNTLET TO WORLD LEADERS
                 ON the eve of the April G20                      rebuilding the global economy to      UK issue, it is a global issue.   avoid paying their fair share of
                 summit in London, the city’s                     create fair distribution of wealth      “Many of our key manufactur-    tax.
                 streets saw over 35,000 people                   that provides decent jobs and         ing companies are owned over-       "It is time for the leaders of the
                 march as part of the campaign                    public services for all, ends glob-   seas. Supporting skills and       G20 to act and end the culture of
                 to challenge the G20 to put                      al inequality and builds a low        employment in this country sup-   greed, which has led to the
                 people first.                                    carbon future.                        ports skills and workers in       worst economic crisis of our
                    A coalition of trade unions,                    The message from the                Europe and further afield."       times."
                 development charities, faith                     marchers was clear.                     Unite joint
                 groups, environmentalists and                      Put People First: Decent jobs       general secre-
                 other organisations, Put People                  and public services for all           tary, Derek
                 First formed to call for a fair,                   Put People First: End global        Simpson,
                 sustainable route out of the                     poverty and inequality                said: "There
                 recession.                                         Put People First: Build a           can be no
                    Even before the banking col-                  green economy                         going back to
                 lapse, the world suffered pover-                   It is simple. There can be no       business as
                 ty, inequality and the threat of                 going back to business as usual.      usual, the
                 climate chaos. That’s because                      Speaking at the rally, Leo W        world has
                 the world has followed a finan-                  Gerard, USW president, said:          changed.
                 cial model that has created an                   “Governments must begin to              “Our future
                                economy fuelled                   re-establish their role in            depends on
                                  by ever-increas-                regulating economic activity in a     creating an
                                  ing debt, both                  manner that ensures that the          economy
                                  financial and                   interests of working people are       based        on
                                   environmental.                 properly addressed.”                  the fair distri-
                                      Unite wants                   Tony Woodley, Unite joint           bution       of
                                   change. That’s                 general secretary, said: "Our         wealth and
                                    why Unite                     members came from every cor-          that means
                                    joined with                   ner of the country to send a clear    closing the
                                    these other                   message to world leaders that         tax loopholes
                                     groups to                    they want decent jobs.                that     allow
                                     demand a                       "Support for the UK's manu-         corporations
                                     sustainable                  facturing base is our members'        and super rich
                          and fairer future by                    prime concern, but it's not just a    individuals to


                          email us: reporter@unitetheunion.com                                                                                                                   www.unitetheunion.com
                                                                                                                                                   NEWS REP 05
                                                                                                                                                               the

                                                                                                                                  April/May 2009


 FINANCE WORKERS: FAT CATS?                                                          CAMBRIDGE CUTS CHALLENGED
        Russell Greig,
     Unite seconded rep
      at Northern Rock,
      explains that most
     finance workers are
         not ‘fat cats’
 ONCE upon a time £1 million sounded
 like a lot of money. Not now. Now we’re
 used to hearing sums like £38 billion,
 £50 billion, trillions or even more, we’ve
 pretty much become immune to how
 much these sums are.                                            Russell Greig
    To put things into perspective, the       pension pot of £8.4 million. Fred
 current bank bail-out valued at around       also has use of a Dassault Falcon
 £200 billion is around the same as the       900 private jet. Don’t worry if
 gross domestic product for Hong Kong         you can’t get your hands on one.
 for 2007.                                    You can buy a second hand
    As an ordinary working person it’s        Dassault Falcon 2000 with
 hard to comprehend such a vast amount        slighter better spec than the 900
 of money.                                    for a paltry $29.5 million.
    Every day we see media coverage             Let’s hope we’ve seen the last
 over the recklessness of banks,              of the laissez faire attitude to      PLANS to axe more than 150 jobs at         and the CUP in late March, Ann Field,
 forcing people from their homes              economics. Whilst the real ‘fat       the       world-famous      Cambridge      Unite national officer, said: "We made
 through repossessions, but also              cats’ walk away well-fed, and         University Press (CUP) are being           some progress. The management put
 paying large bonuses.                        wanting for nothing. The              fiercely resisted by Unite.                a revised proposal to us. The CUP
    It's little wonder that public opinion    workers in these organisations           Proposals by the profitable             said that it is looking at redeployment
 is turning against workers in the            are left to clean up after the        company to cuts the jobs in its            for affected staff to other parts of the
 finance industry viewing them as ‘fat        party.                                printing division and the publishing       press, as well as retaining in-house
 cats’, but nothing can be further from         Unite is calling for a complete     education group have been described        printing from other parts of the press'
 the truth for the majority of workers        overhaul of the regulatory            by Unite as ‘an irredeemable stain on      publishing business.
 in the industry.                             system, not only in the UK, but       Cambridge University’s reputation as         “But we should remember, CUP is
    Recently Lib Dem treasury                 across the EU and world-wide,         its celebrates its 800th anniversary’.     profitable,      the    workforce      is
 spokesman Vince Cable said that              the workers in the financial             Tony Burke, Unite assistant             dedicated, and the business is out
 Northern Rock’s decision to award            services industry are the driving     general secretary, said: "The CUP is       there. There is no reason to lose
 bonuses to its staff at the bank was         force behind this, and finally        the oldest printer in the country.         these jobs. Unite will continue to
 extraordinary, stating: "…when               people are starting to listen.        There has been a press at the              argue for the plans to axe these jobs
 millions of people are facing pay cuts         Far from being the ‘fat cats’       university for over 400 years and now      to be rescinded immediately.”
 or even unemployment, this is                that the media reports or the         the employers want to walk away -            Concluded Ann: “Our members
 indefensible. The government should          ones     who     caused      these    cut the workforce to the bone and          have been buoyed up by the extent of
 step in to stop this now…"                   organisations to fail, they are the   produce elsewhere.”                        support from the Cambridge
    Can we really compare the front           ones who have been driving for           But Unite claims this present crisis    community and we continue to make
 line workers in any financial                change even before the crisis         is a result of poor management             the point that CUP is still a profitable
 institution with the ‘City bonus             began, and instead of blaming         decisions, in particular the loss of the   organisation with a hard-working
 culture’ that Mr Cable describes?            them, blame the real fat cats.        five-year £50 million Cambridge            and dedicated work force - and that
    In the annual survey of bank                As workers, were all in this        Assessment contract.                       jobs     should       not    be    axed
 workers, the ONS reported that 60 per        together.                                Following a meeting between Unite       unnecessarily during a recession."
 cent of the 201,000 ‘counter clerks’
 surveyed for the annual ONS Annual                                                             advertisement
 Survey of Hours and Earnings earn
 less than £20,000 per year and 10 per
 cent earn less than £7,000 per year.
    These figures show that out of the
 201,000 clerks – 45,000 are men.
 What’s more, 10 per cent of these
 men, that’s 4,500 workers, earn less
 than £11,000.
    And this can also be compared to
 the 156,000 female counter clerks of
 which 30 per cent earn less than
 £11,000 per year.
    Far from being well paid ‘fat cats’,
 these workers are at the front line of
 financial services.
    They are often set unachievable
 targets in respect of business for their
 employer, but also business for other
 companies         such     as    payment
 protection insurance, household
 insurance, and investments often
 referred to as ‘cross selling’.
    Compare this to the chief executives
 of these failing organisations – former
 Northern Rock chief executive, Adam
 Applegarth, left the company in
 November 2007 with £760,000 pay-off
 and an estimated pension pot of £2.2
 million.
    Likewise Sir Fred Goodwin, CEO of
 Royal Bank of Scotland, whose pay
 soared over 700 per cent between
 1999 and 2007 has an estimated

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06 REP NEWS
  the

                               April/May 2009

                                                                                                                                  SCOTLAND



 SAVE OUR
                                                                                                                                  Unite
                                                                                                                                  welcomes
                                                                                                                                  Glasgow's
                                                                                                                                  ‘Living
                                                                                                                                  Wage’

 YOUTH CLUBS                                                                                                                      UNITE, Scotland’s largest
                                                                                                                                  trade union, welcomed the
                                                                                                                                  announcement           from
                                                                                                                                  Glasgow city council that it
                                                                                                                                  is to pay workers at the
                                                                                                                                  local authority a minimum
                                                                                                                                  of £7 an hour in a drive to
                                                                                                                                  tackle low pay across the
                                                                                                                                  city.
                                                                                                                                     The £7 rate was announced




                                                                                                                     ROY PETERS
    C OV E N T RY                                                                                                                 by Glasgow city council
                                                                                                                                  leader Steven Purcell at the
      CLUBS                                                                                                                       Scottish      Labour
                                                                                                                                  conference in Dundee ;ast
                                                                                                                                                            party

      UNDER                                                                                                                       month.
                                                                                                                                     It came into force on April
    THE COSH                                                                                                                      1st and it is expected to boost
                                                                                                                                  the wage packets of the local
  UNITE members across the city                                                                                                   authority’s lowest paid staff
  of Coventry took to the streets                                                                                                 by over £1,000 a year.
  last Valentine's Day as part of                                                                                                    Unite senior regional
  the campaign to fight the                                                                                                       officer, Jimmy Farrelly, said:
                                                                                                                                  “We warmly welcome this
  Conservative-controlled                                                                                                         progressive       development.
  council's plans which could see                                                                                                 The new £7 per hour
  the closure of the city's                                                                                                       minimum will improve the
  remaining 14 after-school clubs                                                                                                 lives of many of our members
                                                                                                                                  in Glasgow city council and
  and 23 summer play schemes.                                                                                                     their families.
    Hundreds of demonstrators                                                                                                        “It also vindicates our long
  marched through the city centre                                                                                                 held belief that low-pay is a
  to demand a stop to proposed                                                                                                    serious issue across all
  closures which Unite believes                                                                                                   Scottish local authorities.
                                                                                                                                  The Labour-run council has
  will hit some of the most                                                                                                       laid down the gauntlet to
  vulnerable families and children                                                                                                other local authorities across
  in the community.                                                                                                               Scotland.
    The youth service gives                                                                                                          "Unite now urges COSLA
                                                                                                                                  and all other Scottish local
  support and advice on sexual                                                                                                    authorities       to     follow
  health, drug and alcohol misuse,                                                                                                Glasgow’s lead and show they
  community       cohesion      and                                                                                               are serious about ending the
  employment training.                                                                                                            scourge of poverty pay and
    Unite national secretary, Doug                                                                                                inequality       in     council
                                                                                                                                  employment.”
  Nicholls, said: "Coventry is,
  unfortunately,     leading    the
  country in this systematic attack                                                                                               DEFEND
  on these vital services for                                                                                                     COUNCIL
  children and young people at a
  time of chronic recession, as well
                                                                                                                                  HOUSING
  as        undermining
  professionalism
                                the
                                and
                                                                                                                                  Tribute
  qualifications of our members."
    But Unite's opposition to the
                                                                                                                                  to Alan
  proposals was backed by the
  strong support of local people,
                                                                                                                                  Walter
                                                                                                                                  UNITE has expressed
  and Unite is calling on the                                                                                                     condolences on the early
  council’s new chief executive,                                                                                                  death of Defend Council
  Martin Reeve, who took up his                                                                                                   Housing campaign chair
  post on 1st April, to maintain                                                                                                  Alan Walter, aged 51.
  front line services for children                                                                                                  Unite assistant general
  and young people, and enter into                                                                                                secretary Gail Cartmail, said:
  ‘a meaningful dialogue’ with the                                                                                                "With      Alan’s     passing,
  trade unions.                                                                                                                   working people have lost a
                                                                                                                                  champion and this movement
    The seriousness with which
                                                                                                                                  has lost a friend.
  Unite     is   opposing     these                                                                                                 “Unite members will know
  proposals is also shown by the                                                                                                  Alan through his tireless
  next step in the campaign.                                                                                                      work to improve access to
    Unite has announced that it is                                                                                                affordable, quality housing
  considering applying for a                                                                                                      for working people.
  judicial review of the council's                                                                                                  “Alan was also a lovely man
                                                Taking the campaign to the streets: Youngsters have their say (top) as
  decision.                                                                                                                       whose        humour        and
                                                Unite marches to protect Coventry’s youth services from catastrophic cuts         generosity of spirit was a real
                                                                                                                                  asset and valued by many.”

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                                                                                                                                                                   NEWS REP 07
                                                                                                                                                                                   the

                                                                                                                                         April/May 2009




   MPs BACK LIGHTEN UP CAMPAIGN




                                                                                                                                                HELEN MAYBANKS
    UNITE has taken its                                                                                                                                          approach. Unite believes the
    ‘Lighten up’ campaign to                                                                                                                                     HSE has failed in its duty to
    parliament in a move to put                                                                                                                                  protect the health of baggage
    pressure on the government                                                                                                                                   handlers.
    to regulate the weight of                                                                                                                                       After all baggage handlers
    checked-in aircraft bags to                                                                                                                                  lift over nine tonnes a day -
    reduce the high levels of                                                                                                                                    the equivalent of two
    injuries suffered by baggage                                                                                                                                 elephants for every shift they
    handlers.                                                                                                                                                    work.
       As well as union lobbying of                                                                                                                                 Steve      Turner,     Unite
    government ministers, over                                                                                                                                   national officer, said: “We
    100 Unite members from a                                                                                                                                     have taken our message to
    dozen airports in the UK met                                                                                                                                 parliament to let government
    with their MPs to demand the                                                                                                                                 know that we will no longer
    government take action to                                                                                                                                    tolerate the unacceptably
    reduce the weight of checked-                                                                                                                                high levels of injuries
    in aircraft bags to a                                                                                                                                        suffered       by      baggage
    maximum 23kg.                                                                                                                                                handlers.
       MPs were asked to have a                                                                                                                                     "Airlines are refusing to act
    go at lifting a suitcase                                                                                                                                     alone as they feel they will
    weighing the current 32kg                                                                                                                                    lose a competitive advantage.
    limit demonstrating the heavy                                                                                                                                This is why is it essential that
    weights       members      are                                                                                                                               the industry is regulated so
    expected to lift daily. Twelve                                                                                                                               that there is a level playing
    MPs spoke to a packed                                                                                                                                        field for every airline."
    committee in the House of                                                                                                                                       The     HSE      has     also
    Commons and promised to                                                                                                                                      recommended a variety of
    support Unite's campaign.                                                                                                                                    measures to reduce injuries,
    Brian Donohoe MP agreed to                                                                                                                                   including work rotation and
    raise the issue with transport                                                                                                                               mechanical weight lifting
    minister Jim Fitzpatrick.                                                                                                                                    devices.
       Unite      member,      and                                                                                                                                  These changes require
    Edinburgh airport baggage                                                                                                                                    huge capital investment and
    handler, Alan Douglas, said:                                                                                                                                 an increase in staffing levels
    "It's time for the government                                                                                                                                and      have     simply     not
    to sit up and recognise our                                                                                                                                  happened in the highly
    problems. There are too           Edinburgh airport baggage handlers Alan Douglas (first left) and Adam Hancock (first right)                                competitive        deregulated
    many injuries as people have                                                                                                                                 market.
    to struggle with heavy bags in    challenge Jimmy Sheridan MP (centre left) and Tony Lloyd MP to lift a 32kg suitcase                                           "The cheapest and most
    cramped aircraft holds, often     in construction so why can't they industry group agreed to reduce call.                                                    straightforward       way     to
    working on their knees.           protect the workers in civil the weight of checked-in baggage         But many airlines have refused                       significantly reduce injuries
       "At the same time our sick     aviation?"                        from 32 to 23 kilograms per item. to implement the new weight limit,                     for baggage handlers is to
    pay is under attack. The HSE        Two years ago the Health and The International Air Transport saying they will only comply if                             simply reduce the weight of
    has introduced reduced limits     Safety     Executive    aviation Association has also backed the there is an industry-wide                                 individual bags." said Steve.




    Waterford Crystal                                                     TIRED OF WAITING
    sit-in scrapped


                                                                                                                                                                                               HELEN MAYBANKS
                                                                          Members of Unite from
                                                                          hotels, bars and restaurants
                                                                          descended on the House of
   A SEVEN week sit-in has             nationalise the company            Commons in February to
   come to an end after Unite          and prevent a private equity       send     a    message     to
   recommended        a    new         company from plundering            government that the loophole
   agreement to try and retain         the brand and taking it out        in the minimum wage
   production of Waterford             of Ireland is a national           regulations, which allows
   Crystal at the Kilbarry             disgrace.”                         companies to use tips and
   factory in Waterford, the             Talks chaired by the             service charges to top up
   home of the world renowned          Irish Labour Relations             salaries to the minimum
   brand.                              Commission director of             wage, must be closed and a
     Workers took direct action        conciliation, Kevin Foley,         more transparent tipping
   to occupy the factory and           have now resulted in a             system be enforced.
   visitor centre at the end of        transitional          services       Len McCluskey, Unite
   January when it was                 agreement between private          assistant general secretary,
   announced that production           equity firm KPS and the            said: “The message from
   would cease immediately.            receiver.                          workers and consumers to
     In February, the Irish              This will retain 176 jobs in     the government on tips is        John Prescott gets behind Unite’s fair tips campaign
   company's receiver, David           sales and administration.          undeniably strong.              hospitality industry give a          “Unite members welcome
   Carson, said part of the              In the next few weeks a            “The Unite campaign for       decent living wage with 100        the closing of the loophole
   group would be bought by            plan will be drawn up with         fair tips has established       per cent of tips added on          which allows restaurant
   the US private equity firm          the aim of restarting              that    everyone,     except    top. This sector has so far        staff to be paid less than the
   KPS Capital Partners.               manufacturing in Waterford         greedy bosses, believes         failed to demonstrate its          minimum wage and then
     “The       workers      of        by the end of the year.            that tips and service           commitment to a fair and           make up the difference with
   Waterford crystal have been           And while a deal has yet to      charges belong to the hard      transparent tipping system.        tips, but the government
   abandoned        by      the        be reached on pensions,            working staff.                  We will not continue to            must go further and outlaw
   government,” said Unite             KPS has also agreed a €10            “The government must          allow them to abuse                companies that take a cut of
   regional organiser, Walter          million fund for all those         ensure employers in the         customer generosity.               staff tips.”
   Cullen, “the failure to             that lose their jobs.

www.unitetheunion.com                                                                                                                   email us: reporter@unitetheunion.com
                    08 REP NEWS
                        the

                                                     April/May 2009




DOUGLAS ROBERTSON


                      D E A D LY S E R I O U S                                                                     UNITE members gathered
                                                                                                                   outside the Scottish parliament
                                                                                                                   last month to mourn the loss of
                                                                                                                   key jobs and services in
                                                                                                                   Scotland’s voluntary sector due
                                                                                                                   to funding cuts.
                                                                                                                     Dressed      in   black,    and
                                                                                                                   accompanied by a horse drawn
                                                                                                                   hearse, they were calling for the
                                                                                                                   Scottish       government       to
                                                                                                                   implement a fairer funding
                                                                                                                   system at the earliest possible
                                                                                                                   opportunity.
                                                                                                                     The demonstration coincided
                                                                                                                   with the launch of Unite’s
                                                                                                                   shocking 'Death by a Thousand
                                                                                                                   Cuts' report, which highlights the
                                                                                                                   real impact behind the funding
                                                                                                                   cuts to voluntary sector
                                                                                                                   organisations which was based
                                                                                                                   on responses to a consultation
                                                                                                                   carried out across Unite’s
                                                                                                                   membership working in the
                                                                                                                   sector.
                                                                                                                     John Quigley, Unite Scottish
                                                                                                                   regional secretary, said: “The
                                                                                                                   'Death by a Thousand Cuts'
                                                                                                                   report is our way of giving a
                                                                                                                   strong voice to our members in
                                                                                                                   the sector and ensuring that their
                                                                                                                   message is heard at the highest
                                                                                                                   level. We want to expose
                                                                                                                   Scotland’s decision makers to the
                                                                                                                   reality at the sharp end, for both
                                                                                                                   workers and service users, and
                                                                                                                   the real human cost of these cuts,
                                                                                                                   which are seriously impacting on
                                                                                                                   their lives.”
                     Launching the death by a thousand cuts report


                                                                 advertisement

                                                                                 Amnesty backs Miami 5
                                                                                 AMNESTY           Inter-   visa to visit her hus-     curiae) briefs that
                                                                                 national has launched      band being denied in       were submitted to the
                                                                                 a new letter writing       January of this year.      US court.
                                                                                 campaign targeting the       The case of the            Among the UK
                                                                                 US secretary of state,     Miami Five, which          names calling for a
                                                                                 and the Department of      Unite has been             new trial were former
                                                                                 Homeland Security.         actively campaigning       cabinet members
                                                                                   It calls for the         on, attracted the          Peter Hain, Clare
                                                                                 United States to           largest ever number        Short and Tony Benn.
                                                                                 grant entry visas to       of Supreme Court           Others to sign the
                                                                                 Adriana Perez and          briefs with the UK         briefs include former
                                                                                 Olga Salanueva to          playing a significant      London mayor, Ken
                                                                                 visit their husbands,      role as129 MPs,            Livingstone; Glenys
                                                                                 Gerardo Hernandez          MSPs, MEPs and             Kinnock MEP, George
                                                                                 and Rene Gonzalez,         other      prominent       Galloway MP and Jon
                                                                                 in US jails.               political and legal fig-   Cruddas MP.
                                                                                   Gerardo and Rene         ures added their             Tony Woodley, joint
                                                                                 are two of the Miami       names to an appeal to      general secretary,
                                                                                 Five, five Cubans          the US Supreme             said: “Our campaign
                                                                                 unjustly imprisoned        Court calling for a        for the Miami Five
                                                                                 in US jails for fighting   new trial.                 continues, join us in
                                                                                 terrorist attacks            Throughout the           demanding visitation
                                                                                 against their country.     month of February,         rights for the wives of
                                                                                   The new appeal by        the Cuba Solidarity        the Miami Five.”
                                                                                 the international          Campaign worked
                                                                                 human rights organi-       with unions, lawyers,       Make your voice
                                                                                 sation follows the         local groups and sup-        heard, visit the
                                                                                 Miami Five's recent        porters to gather the        Unite Miami 5
                                                                                 appeal to the US           signatures which            pages on the web-
                                                                                 Supreme Court for a        were included in a           site and send a
                                                                                 new trial, and Adri-       record number of           message of support.
                                                                                 ana's most recent          twelve "friends of         Go: www.unitethe -
                                                                                 request for an entry       the court" (amicus         union.com/miami5

                              email us: reporter@unitetheunion.com                                                                                www.unitetheunion.com
                                                                                                                                                NEWS REP 09
                                                                                                                                                              the

                                                                                                                               April/May 2009


 AVIATION
 Go ahead
 for third
 Heathrow
 runway
                                    SUPER SITE
 welcomed
 UNITE has welcomed
 government go-ahead
 the third runway
 Heathrow announced
 January.
    Derek     Simpson,
 general secretary, said: "This
 is the best decision, taken in
 the best interests of this
                             the
                             for
                              at
                              in
                           joint
                                    SHELVED?
 country. The challenge now is
 to set to work on building an
 international hub airport
 befitting the UK's reputation
 as a world economy. That
 must include developing the
 high-speed rail links that will
 benefit every city in the land
 and ensure that passengers
 have a genuine choice of how
 they wish to travel.
    "There are over 170,000
 people and their families who
 depend on Heathrow for their
 livelihoods, plus thousands
 more workers in other UK
 airports who need Heathrow
 to thrive so their own airport
 thrives.
    "We fully understand that
 this was not an easy decision
 to make, but we believe that
 the conditions attached to the
 construction of the third
 runway will see Heathrow
 function as a modern,
 environmentally-conscious
 airport, and inspire a project
 of national works that will
 bring       our      transport
 infrastructure      into    the
 twenty-first century.”


 FINANCE
                                    Marching on the streets of Uttoxeter as Fox’s workers and their families demand the biscuit factory stays open
 New
                                      WORKERS            at                                                                                     but we realise that
 coalition                            Fox’s
                                      biscuit
                                                 Uttoxeter
                                                      plant   12 MONTH DELAY DUE                                                                there is now another
                                                                                                                                                year of work at the
 launches                             breathed a sigh of                                                                                        very least, and

 A NEW ‘Post Bank’ to run as
                                      relief when it was
                                      announced late last
                                      month that the
                                                              TO ‘ECONOMIC CLIMATE’                                                             another year to fight
                                                                                                                                                to be chosen as the
                                                                                                                                                ‘super-site’.
 part of the post office              company          was    site’ particularly as   heart.                  has              been               "Over 800 jobs
 network is called for by             postponing          a   hundreds more local       People from across    magnificent so far                hang      on      this
 Unite and a coalition of             decision on where       jobs were dependent     the region were out     but now we must                   decision.
 trade unions, a business             to place a new          on          Uttoxeter   in force, with many     take the fight to the               “Our campaigning
 organisation, pensioner and          super-site.             remaining       Fox's   workers joined by       next level.”                      has played a big part
 pressure     groups     and                                  flagship factory in     their friends and         Commenting on
 charities.                              The workers had                                                                                        in the company’s
    The proposed Post Bank            been on tenterhooks     the UK.                 family at the event.    the delayed decision,             decision to delay
 would ensure a stable source         for the past three        A      march     of     The march was         Claire Boot, Unite                any announcement
 of finance in the heart of           months as they          hundreds of workers     seen as a fantastic     convenor,        said:            for a year, and while
 communities, particularly for        waited      for   the   through the town in     opportunity to show     "Initially, workers               the door remains
 the three million people still       company to make a       mid         February    Fox’s management        felt very let down by             open we will be
 not using banks and the many         final decision.         showed the level of     and the people of the   the decision.                     fighting for our
 small businesses looking for            Over 800 Unite       local support.          town how important        “It means another               future.
 alternative      sources      of     workers         were      The Valentine’s       the factory is to       year of anxiety and                 Fox's management
 finance.                             determined to do        themed event saw        Uttoxeter.              uncertainty, which is             now know that the
    It would also strengthen          everything       they   staff march through       Unite      national   a     poor     reward             workers at Uttoxeter
 the role of post offices and the     could to make sure      the     town     with   secretary,     Jennie   for a dedicated                   are not prepared to
 post office network - making         that Uttoxeter was      placards          and   Formby, said: "The      workforce.                        sit back and let their
 it more viable, creating new         chosen      for   the   banners holding a       campaign to save          "Obviously we are               fates be decided for
 job     opportunities,      and      brand’s new ‘super-     giant cut-out of a      Fox's at Uttoxeter      hugely disappointed,              them."
 securing its role for the
 future.

www.unitetheunion.com                                                                                                          email us: reporter@unitetheunion.com
                  10 REP NEWS
                         the

                                                      April/May 2009


                  ELECTRICAL
                  Victory                                   THOUSANDS MARCH AFTER SECTARIAN MURDERS
                  for
                  sacked
                  sparks
                  FOURTEEN sacked Unite
                  members have secured a
                  legal victory and substantial
                                                             NO GOING BACK




                                                                                                                                                                                                         KEVIN COOPER PHOTOLINE
                  compensation        following
                  their successful claim at an
                  employment tribunal in
                  Ipswich.
                    In a decision at the
                  employment tribunal the 14
                  members each secured a
                  share of compensation
                  exceeding           £132,000
                  including damages for loss
                  of statutory rights and a
                  protective award of 13
                  week's pay per member
                  following the company's
                  failure to consult with them
                  and their union.

                  SCOTLAND
                  Woodland
                  welcome
                  FORESTRY        Commission
                  workers have welcomed the
                  Scottish       government's
                  announcement to abandon
                  proposals to lease up to 25
                  per cent of Scottish
                  woodlands      to     private
                  companies.
                    Unite repeated its call
                  for      the         Scottish
                  government        to     also
                  abandon its proposals to
                  scrap      the       Scottish
                  Agricultural Wages Board
                  which protects the terms
                  and conditions and sets the
                  wage levels for 25,000
                  workers in Scotland's
                  agricultural sector.


                  AVIATION
                  Virgin
                  crew cut                                             UNITE members joined
                                                                       thousands of people in a
                                                                                                    response to the murder of
                                                                                                    two soldiers and one police
                                                                                                                                   protests took place in Belfast,
                                                                                                                                   Lisburn, Newry, Downpatrick
                                                                                                                                                                     heartening, with an estimated
                                                                                                                                                                     10,000 people taking to the
                  WITH         the      February                       number of rallies across     officer that were shot in      and Derry.                        streets at very short notice.
                  announcement that Virgin is
                  in talks about the possibility                       Northern Ireland after the   March.                           Unite deputy regional             The message was clear.
                  of up to 600 redundancies,                           union helped to organise a     As     part    of     the    secretary, Eugene McGlone,          There would be no return to
                  Brian Boyd, Unite national                           mass demonstration in        demonstrations,      silent    described the turnout as          the past. No going back.
                  officer, said: "Unite members
                  at Virgin have only just been
                  told that their reward for
                  another year of hard work is
                  a pay freeze. This latest
                  announcement is a real blow
                  for the loyal and hard
                  working crew at Virgin."
                                                              Unite ensures T&N claims honoured
                                                            HOT on the heels of             because if they received     Unite got together        problem would have            in because it was wrong
VIRGIN ATLANTIC




                                                            last year's significant         an award they would be     with Terry Rooney MP        remained unchecked to         that           workers
                                                            win defending the               forced to pay back         to      lobby        the    the disadvantage of           condemned       to   an
                                                            rights of asbestos              benefits      previously   government to stop this     many       mesothelioma       agonising death and
                                                            victims     from     an         received from the          change and in January       sufferers and their           their grieving loved
                                                            insurance      industry         department of work         the         government      families.                     ones were facing their
                                                            attempt     to    evade         and pensions.              reinstated the already         "This decision will        compensation being so
                                                            liability, Unite has              If the government had    agreed exemption.           benefit our members           drastically cut. It was
                                                            secured another key             done nothing then the        Joint         general     and countless other           an important point of
                                                            victory for hundreds of         former      Turner     &   secretary,        Derek     T&N asbestos victims          principle which Unite
                                                            asbestos sufferers.             Newall workers, who        Simpson, said: “We are      who have suffered             was committed to
                                                              A recent change in            are already suffering      delighted that the          serious pain and loss of      getting resolved. "
                                                            the law would have              from the threat of         government has put          life, and it will aid their
                                                            resulted in asbestos            asbestos         related   this right. Had it not      families who have to             More on Unite’s
                                                            sufferers seeing a cut          diseases, would have       been for Unite’s prompt     care for them.                 actions on asbestos
              Virgin crew under threat?                     in their compensation           been penalised twice.      intervention        this       “The union stepped              see page 12

                               email us: reporter@unitetheunion.com                                                                                                                       www.unitetheunion.com
 BRIEF
 BRIEF                                     W INNING
  BARGAINING                            IN YOUR
                                       W ORKPLACE



                                                     ORGANISING




                                                                     EQUALITIES
                                         SAFETY
                                       HEALTH &




                                                                                          FAST FACTS




April

2009
EDITION:03                             PAGES 12-13     PAGES 18-19          PAGES 20-21                   PAGE 22
email us: reporter@unitetheunion.com                                                                   www.unitetheunion.com
12 REP HEALTH&SAFETY
       the

                                                             April/May 2009




      SHATTERED LIVES CAMPAIGN CONTINUES
      Every month over a                        campaign continues. To                  the viewer that they will be     from HSE Books (priced         preventing       them     is
      thousand people suffer                    reinforce and personalise               the one with a ‘shattered        £5.00).                        important and how to tackle
      serious injuries as a result              the safety message, the HSE             life’.                             The HSE has also set up      them.     STEP      includes
      of slips, trips or falls in the           has produced a pack of A4                  It can also be used on        an e-learning package to       quizzes, videos, animations,
      workplace.                                'cling' stickers which can be           surfaces such as windows         increase awareness and         case studies and interactive
        These shattering injuries               displayed        in      your           and glass partitions in          understanding      of   the    sequences to enhance the
      can     be     avoided       by           workplace.                              offices.                         dangers in the workplace;      learning experience.
      sensible and proportionate                   The clear, see-through                  Made from non-sticky,         STEP. It is an easy way to
      management of the risks.                  poster can ideally be affixed           biodegradable materials it       learn about slips and trips,          Visit http://www.hse.
        That's why the HSE's                    to mirrors to reflect back to           is available in packs of 10      how they are caused, why              gov.uk/slips/step/
HSE




                                                                                                                                                NEIL’S STORY
                                                                                                                                                 Unite's legal services have scored a
                                                                                                                                                 win for Neil Yapp after the former
                                                                                                                                                 semi-professional footballer was
                                                                                                                                                 forced to retire early due to an injury.
                                                                                                                                                    But Neil's injury was not on the
                                                                                                                                                 field of play, instead in Spring 2007 he
                                                                                                                                                 was hurt at work when walking down
                                                                                                                                                 metal stairs at the Trinity Mirror
                                                                                                                                                 Printing plant in Watford.
                                                                                                                                                    One of the metal steps gave way
                                                                                                                                                 and the fall left Neil with serious
                                                                                                                                                 sprains to his knee and ankle.
                                                                                                                                                    The result meant Neil was unable
                                                                                                                                                 to continue his football career and
                                                                                                                                                 was forced to retire from the semi-
                                                                                                                                                 professional game.
                                                                                                                                                    Neil, who still suffers from pain in
                                                                                                                                                 his knee, explained he was
                                                                                                                                                 devastated when he was told he had
                                                                                                                                                 to give up playing football.
                                                                                                                                                    So he got in contact with Unite and
                                                                                                                                                 the union's lawyers pursued a claim
                                                                                                                                                 for compensation.
                                                                                                                                                    Neil, who can still enjoy a
                                                                                                                                                 kickabout, although he has been
                                                                                                                                                 relegated to playing for a Sunday
                                                                                                                                                 league side, said: "I was having a
                                                                                                                                                 successful career … and it was all
                                                                                                                                                 destroyed because those stairs were
                                                                                                                                                 not well maintained."
                                                                                                                                                    But, thanks to Unite's legal
                                                                                                                                                 services, last December the company
                                                                                                                                                 settled out of court with Neil
      Slips and trips can shatter lives - a hard hitting poster from the HSE                                                                     receiving £9,500 in compensation.




CALLING FOR ASBESTOS ACTION
Action Mesothelioma                      Birmingham holds an                  Trust     which    runs      What you
Day is held every year                 annual service at St                   Asbestos Support West      can do:
on the 27th February                   Philips        Cathedral               Midlands, spoke about
with the aim of raising                which saw over 150                     the     real    benefits       Are you
public awareness of                    people come together                   support groups offer,       based in the
the impact of this                     to remind people of the                telling people about his        West
terrible disease on                    dangers of the disease                 dad who lost his life to     Midlands?
ordinary      workers'                 and hold a minute's                    mesothelioma after a       Then join the
lives.                                 silence in memory of all               lifetime’s hard work         campaign
   Events, many with                   those that have died.                  raising the family who          visit
Unite involvement, are                   Birmingham's mayor                   loved him.                  www.asbest
held throughout the                    also held the first ever                  Said Steve: "The real   ossupportwm
country, and in the                    civic reception, with                  message of Action          .org or check
West Midlands Unite                    Asbestos Support West                  Mesothelioma Day is to     the Asbestos
members were out in                    Midlands, which was                    honour and remember           Victims
force to raise the                     addressed by Unite                     all those who had             Support
profile of the fight for               regional       industrial              passed and to pledge to       Groups
better research and                    officer, Steve Peacock.                raise awareness and            Forum
support for all those                    Steve, who is also a                 make sure that we see            on
suffering and their                    trustee for the West                   the end of this dreadful    www.asbest
families.                              Midlands         Hazards               disease."                   osforum.org


             email us: reporter@unitetheunion.com                                                                                                                            www.unitetheunion.com
                                                                                                                                        HEALTH&SAFETY REP 13
                                                                                                                                                                             the

                                                                                                                       April/May 2009


   NANOTECHNOLOGY
   It's the small                                                BROWN BOOK UPDATED
   things that count
   Unite    calls     for                                     Unionised workplaces             standards in their own
   information         on                                     are safer workplaces,            workplaces.
   nanotechnology and                                         and one of the key tools            The new and enlarged
   health and safety.                                         that helps reps make             Brown Book has been
     Unite is looking for                                     workplaces safer is the          expanded to include more
   members       who     are                                  HSE's 'Brown Book'.              accessible     information,
   working              with                                    A new version has              more case law, especially
   nanotechnologies,                                          recently been published,         covering rights to paid time
   particularly            in                                 this 60 page organising tool     off for training, which is
   laboratory work or in                                      is packed with features          often a very contentious
   manufacturing.        The    A nanotube, a                 including regulations and        area,    and     additional
   union is concerned about     building block for            guidance and approved            guidance emphasising that
   the health and safety        future technologies           code of practice to the          it is good for health and
   implications of working      what controls are in          Safety Representatives and       safety        management
   with these incredibly        place.                        Safety          Committees       practice     to     consult
   small or nanomaterials,        This will help Unite to     Regulations 1977.                employees      and     their
   and also with recycling      develop health and              These regulations, which       representatives.
   them.                        safety    policies    on      became law over 30 years            Unite is producing an
     So if your work            nanotechnology,      and      ago, mean that union             updated version for union
   involves         potential   discuss      appropriate      safety reps have a wide          health and safety reps and
   exposure      to    nano-    controls with the Health      range of rights and              for further information
   particles, please let        and Safety Executive          functions.                       contact Unite's health and
   Unite's health and safety    and other bodies.               Unite               invests    safety team.
   team know. Unite is                                        considerable resources in
   looking for information            Simply email            training and supporting its             Simply email
   on what work you are           healthandsafety@            elected safety reps who are         healthandsafety@
   doing, what health and       unitetheunion.com for         able to use their rights both     unitetheunion.com for
   safety information you        more details on how          to organise and to drive up        more details on how
   have been given, and             to get involved           health       and       safety         to get involved


      UNITE BACKS HEALTH & SAFETY EXECUTIVE SAFETY ON FARMS CAMPAIGN
       UNITE BACKS HSE’S SAFETY ON FARMS CAMPAIGN


   MAKE THE PROMISE
  Unite is supporting a
  new campaign targeting
                                calls on all farm workers
                                to identify the risks and
                                                              sending out 'Promise
                                                              Packs' to approximately
                                                                                              include a 'Promise Knot'
                                                                                              of farm bailing
                                                                                                                               to be used as a visual
                                                                                                                               reminder of the pledge for
                                                                                                                                                               Unite's        Landworker
                                                                                                                                                               journal, said: "This a
  farmers    and     their      act to make sure that         70,000 farmers.                 twine                            farm workers to come            campaign         that     I
  families that has been        extra care is taken when        The packs contain a                                                    home safe.              wholeheartedly support
  launched by the Health &      working with vehicles and     poster with                                                                  Ian    Beeby,       because no matter what
  Safety Executive.             moving machinery, as well     detailed                                                                   who writes a          job you do on a farm it
    Agriculture      remains    as when working at                                                                                       column       on       needs everyone to go
  one of the most dangerous     heights or with livestock.                                                                                  health and         home to their families
  occupations in the UK.          Running under the                                                                                             safety in      every night and I hope
    While less than 1.5 per     message       "Make     the                                                                                                    that the families will make
  cent of workers are           promise. Come Home                                                                                                             their loved ones think
  employed in agriculture,      Safe" the hard-hitting                                                                                                         about what they do and to
  the sector accounts for       campaign is targeting                                                                                                          do it safely."
  between 15 and 20 per         farmers and their families    information
  cent      of     workplace    with the individual stories   for    farm                                                                                          Find out more, go:
  fatalities each year.         behind the statistics and     workers on                                                                                       http://www.hse.gov.uk/a
    The top three causes of     the devastating impact of     how to come                                                                                      griculture/maketheprom
  fatalities on farms include   the sudden death of a         h o m e                                                                                                ise/index.htm
  transport, being struck by    worker on their family.       safe and
  a moving object and falls       The HSE has been
  from height.
    The
  campaign

                                                                                                                                                                                             MASSEY FERGUSON




                                                                                                                                                   Farms are dangerous places:
                                                                                                                                                 Operating advanced machinery
                                                                                                                                            like this Massey Ferguson combine
                                                                                                                                            harvester requires skill and training

www.unitetheunion.com                                                                                                                           email us: reporter@unitetheunion.com
14 REP EDUCATION
      the

                                                   April/May 2009




SAVING JOBS THROUGH EDUCATION




                                                                                                                                                                CARLOS GUARITA
A PIONEERING project,                                                                                                                                                               The training centre has
organised by union reps in                                                                                                                                                       been a great success and
Devon, has resulted in                                                                                                                                                           since opening in January
jobs being saved and                                                                                                                                                             2008, 75 of the 105
workers increasing their                                                                                                                                                         employees have received a
skills.                                                                                                                                                                          total of 1,300 hours of
  J+S        Marine       in                                                                                                                                                     training      in      literacy,
Barnstaple         produces                                                                                                                                                      employment        law,       IT,
sonar, weapons handling                                                                                                                                                          management development
and various types of                                                                                                                                                             and electronic systems.
electro-mechanical                                                                                                                                                                  The centre has also
equipment for the British                                                                                                                                                        become a hub for union
and foreign navies.                                                                                                                                                              activity. Said Phil: "We hold
  With defence budgets                                                                                                                                                           quarterly meetings with
falling, the company had                                                                                                                                                         managers, ULRs, union
been losing orders, and the                                                                                                                                                      officers and North Devon
workforce       faced    an                                                                                                                                                      College in attendance. The
uncertain future.                                                                                                                                                                progress of the project,
  However, a learning                                                                                                                                                            achievements,            future
centre in the workplace,                                                                                                                                                         training requirements and
established through the                                                                                                                                                          solutions are discussed,
hard work of Unite ULRs                                                                                                                                                          and appropriate action are
is turning things around,                                                                                                                                                        taken.
not only helping to secure                                                                                                                                                          “The facilities have also
jobs at the plant, but also                                                                                                                                                      been used for union
in the wider North Devon                                                                                                                                                         business, in the last round
area.                                                                                                                                                                            of pay negotiations we
  Phil Hammant is a                                                                                                                                                              linked up through the
project manager at the                                                                                                                                                           training centre video link
site, and a health and                                                                                                                                                           with the reps at the J+S
safety and union learning                                                                                                                                                        branch in Aberdeen.”
rep.                                                                                                                                                                                “The attitude towards
  Phil takes up the story:                                                                                                                                                       the union has changed
“The      company,      and                                                                                                                                                      considerably. The working
industry,     were    going                                                                                                                                                      relationship         between
through tough times with           Unite union learning rep, Phil Hammant, with apprentice Max Flint, (right) a new member of the union                                          unions and management is
the       possibility     of                                                                                                                                                     extremely good now, and it
redundancies. Like a lot of        Heathcliff Pettifer.             this could be a way            “The skill shortages           energy.”                                       goes to prove that
companies, training was              “At the time, we had an        forward to retrain staff     nationally means this was          The union had a major                        eventually employers do
always a last thought, due         out of date training room        and expand employees'        a huge benefit to the staff      role    in    setting    up                    see that unions are here to
to cost and lost production.       that could not handle the        skills, enabling them to     for job security, but also for   the     centre      helping                    work along side companies
  "The idea came about             latest technology.               keep pace in an ever         the company to be able to        management and reps                            to help preserve jobs as
through      conversations           "By     upgrading    the       changing         technical   expand into new areas and        come together and helping                      well as striving for fairness
with our area union officer,       training room we thought         environment.                 markets, such as wave            gain funding.                                  in the work place.”



 LEARNING SAVES LIVES A WORLD OF READING
  UNITE member Adam
  Jennis saved a man’s life
  just before Christmas as
  a direct result of an on-
                                                                                                      AT YOUR FINGERTIPS
  site Unite/Barclaycard
  joint learning project.                                                                           EVERY year, in early              Within half an hour all                    handed     out   several
     Adam, who works at                                                                             March, World Book Day          the books had gone and                        application forms. So, it
  Barclaycard in Stockton                                                                           is held to help spread the     the      two      intrepid                    was not just the gift of
  as a business support                                                                             gift of reading.               librarians could pack up                      literacy being promoted
  admin clerk, was inspired                                                                            Once again Unite has        and     reflect    on    a                    on the day, but also
  to get training in first aid                                                                      been active in supporting      successful venture.                           a means of getting
  when a work colleague in                                                                          events up and down the            But that was not all,                      ordinary workers to
  a previous job suffered a                                                                         country.                       many people also asked                        understand how unions
  heart attack; he wanted                                                                              With local branches         about joining the union                       make a difference day in
  to be able to help if                                                                             and regional offices           and John and Lynda                            day out.
  anything happened to his                                                                          coming together and
  colleagues or friends.                                                                            many events to highlight
     Said      Adam:         "I                                                                     the benefits of reading,
  approached the local                                                                              and also raise the union's
  Insight      Centre,       a                                                                      profile, 2009 was one of
  Unionlearn project, to                                                                            the most successful years
  find out how to improve                                                                           yet.
  my skills. They referred                                                                             One such event was
  me      to   an     on-site                                                                       run by two workplace
  emergency      first     aid        Adam Jennis’ training saved a man’s life                      reps in Leeds, John
  course run by Cleveland            Adam ran to help.                “Afterwards he shook          Foster and Lynda Ward,
  Fire Brigade."                       Said Alan: "My training my hand and said to me               who both work for NAG in
     Adam attended that              came straight into my 'Thanks for saving my                    products and marketing.
  course last May.                   head and I didn’t even life, I thought I was a                    The     two     budding
     Then     just     before        need to think about what goner'.                               librarians set their stall
  Christmas, Adam and                to do to help. First I tried     "The first aid course         out in the staff restaurant
  some colleagues were out           an abdominal thrust, but gave me the knowledge to              in Merrion Way where the
  for lunch in a local               this did not work as he save the man’s life, he                books were displayed
  Stockton-on-Tees cafe.             was on the floor. So I probably would have                     alongside the dish of the
  While ordering at the              pulled the man up by his been dead before an                   day.
  counter Adam noticed an            arms and tried again; ambulance could get to                      Soon John and Lynda
  elderly man choking on             that worked.                  him. That's why I'd              had people arriving for
  his food. The man got to             "I stayed with the man recommend people take                 their curry and another
  his feet, stumbled across          and around 20 minutes the course so they                       take-away - a free book,
  the cafe, and collapsed            later    he    was      fully can help in a similar            by authors ranging from
  just outside the cafe door.        recovered.                    situation."                      Ian Rankin to Sherrie
                                                                                                    Hewson snapped up.             John and Lynda sharing a joke
                                                                                                                                                                                                     www.unitetheunion.c
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                                                                                                                                                        EDUCATION REP 15
                                                                                                                                                                                      the

                                                                                                                                       April/May 2009




                                                                                                                                                                                                       HONDA
  HUNDREDS SIGN UP AT HONDA
  THE impact of the               As soon as the news            centre' with phone lines                Honda
  recession    on    the        was out, the Unite team at       and people drafted in to                  Civic
  car industry has had a        the factory and in the           help with the project.
  range of significant          region swung into action         Local Honda reps Chanda                 Type S
  repercussions, with           to see what could be done.       Singh and Sergio Fellino                (right)
  car companies facing          As well as the industrial        helped cover the phone
  pressures that have           negotiations, plans were         lines.
  led    to   temporary         put in place to make the            Chanda explained: "It
  closures, cuts in pay         best use of the freed up         was incredible, over 300
  and reduced hours for         time.                            people signed up on the
  the workforce.                  The answer? Use the            first day alone.
     Honda recently closed      time as an opportunity to           “Usually I only see the
  its     Swindon     plant     develop new and possibly         people who work in the
  temporarily          with     transferable skills.             assembly frame section                                                                                              people came
  thousands of employees          The Unite team worked          with me. Seeing the whole                                                                                        out just goes to
  facing a break on basic or    their socks off, talking to      team      mobilised   and                                                                                     show how important
  reduced pay. This shock       education colleges and           achieving      so    much                                                                                  the local workforce
  not only impacts the local    sources     of     training      together     was    mind-       it     worked                                                           feel getting new skills is,
  workforce, but also the       funding, to set up ‘open         blowing”                        together:          "This                                               workers here are hungry
  wider economy with            surgeries’ which were in            Unite organiser Alan         illustrates how teamwork        about success.”                        for               training,
  knock-on     effect    for    place within two weeks.          Tomalo, who used to work        and support from the              Jim D’Avila, Unite's                 and Unite is leading
  companies supplying the         Unite's Swindon office         at Honda, praised the           union's           various       industrial officer covering            in helping deliver on the
  factory.                      became the 'command              whole team and how              departments can bring           Honda, said: “The way                  ground."




      BOXING CLEVER AT SMURFIT KAPPA
                                                                                                 regional           learning     “I hope that our                  activity can bring to other
                                                                                                 organiser Geoff Southern,     workmates make good                 workers and sites in the
                                                                                                 members         of      the   use of it.”                         group across the UK and
                                                                                                 workforce, led by Alan,         And the company was               encourage people to join
                                                                                                 gave a presentation to the    strongly     behind     the         Unite and get involved.”
                                                                                                 company's       managing      project. Dale Roberts, the            To      celebrate     the
                                                                                                 director,           Andrew    company's          training         culmination of all this
                                                                                                 Burrows                       manager, said: “Smurfit             hard work by both the
                                                                                                   The presentation went       Kappa is a forward                  company and the union
                                                                                                 so well that Andrew           thinking and progressive            team, the company held a
                                                                                                 pledged £3,500 towards        company.                The         formal opening ceremony,
                                                                                                 establishing the learning     management here is                  which was attended by
                                                                                                 centre on site.               looking to the future               local MP, James Purnell,
                                                                                                   Together with site          through           training,         who is also secretary of
                                                                                                 maintenance engineer,         especially     in     these         state for work and
                                                                                                 Chris Sagar, and three        difficult economic times.”          pensions.
                                                                                                 union learning reps Wes         The centre will be used             Many in the workforce
        James Purnell (centre)      at the launch of Smurfit Kappa’s learning centre             Wier, Tony Wray and           to help employees of                took     this    as     the
       INTERNATIONAL box             over 13 years, has been has been pushing to set             Mick      Pollard,     they   Smurfit Kappa take                  opportunity to come and
       and packaging producer        driving training and skills up a training room.             removed years of nicotine     forward Key Skills and              look at the range of
       Smurfit      Kappa     has    for the workforce up the      When the new smoking          abuse from the room and       vocational training as              facilities and courses
       recently had a brand new      industrial and workplace rules came in Alan                 helped install broadband      well as be used as a base           available now through the
       learning centre built for     agenda.                     spotted an opportunity.         along with computers          to run company courses.             learning centre which
       its employees at the             The opening of the         He was straight in            supplied by Unite.              Unite regional learning           wouldn't have existed
       Stalybridge site thanks       learning centre was a big negotiating to put the              Said Mick: “I am proud      organiser,            Geoff         without the hard work
       to the efforts of Unite.      day for him.                room to a new and better        of the achievements we        Southern, said “We look             and perseverance of the
          Senior union convenor         For years Alan, with a use for the benefit of the        have all made together,       forward to taking this              plant's convenor and
       Alan Alcock, who has          team of like minded workforce.                              along with the input of       experience forward to               union learning rep, Alan
       worked at the site for        people at the company,        Supported by Unite            the company.                  show the benefits union             Alcock.




 CHOCKS AWAY AT BOMBARDIER
 IN January Unite launched         In making workplace           initiatives driven by Unite
                                                                                                                                                                    IT’S NOT ALL
                                                                                                                                                                    ACADEMIC
                                                                                                  KEVIN COOPER PHOTOLINE




                                                                                                                                                                    UNITE and Unison have
 a     major     educational    learning more accessible         and Northern Ireland's                                                                             negotiated a learning
 programme        to     help   and more widely available,       Department                for                                                                      agreement     and     skills
 enhance the skills of          classes will be conducted on     Employment and Learning.                                                                           pledge with the University
 workers     employed      at   the Belfast Metropolitan         In this economic climate it                                                                        of Birmingham.
 Bombardier       Aerospace,    College ‘Learning Bus’ for       is easy for companies to cut                                                                         The agreement creates
 Belfast.                       two hours a week spread          back on training and                                                                               an opportunity for those
   The launch of this joint     over 20 weeks.                   developing skills, however,                                                                        wishing to seek further
 initiative involved the           Learners      are    given    employers        such      as                                                                      and higher education
 introduction of Essential      learning      support       by   Bombardier are still leading                                                                       qualifications,          by
 Skills into the workplace,     dedicated union learning         the way to enhancing the                                                                           improving their essential
 focusing primarily on IT       reps.                            skills of the workforce.”                                                                          skills.
 classes, and the possible         Clare Caulfield, Unite                                                                                                             Ian Bayford, Unite
 introduction of numeracy       regional learning organiser,        Left-right: Carol Phillips                                                                      learning organiser, said
 and literacy courses.          said: “Better skills improve                                                                                                        “Our aim is to promote
   Classes will be conducted    the life chances of not only        (Bombardier director of
                                                                                                                                                                    and     develop      union
 at Bombardier facilities at    those who learn, but also                  human resources)                                                                         learning representatives
 Queen’s              Island,   their families. Enhanced                 with Sir Reg Empey                                                                         at the University of
 Newtownabbey, Dunmurry         skills help people get into       (Northern Ireland minister                                                                        Birmingham and give
 and Newtownards and will       work and to progress in                 for employment and                                                                          them the skills to support
 be split equally between       their workplace.”                                                                                                                   all employees taking
 company sponsored time            “This is one in a long line           learning) and Clare                                                                        them on the rewarding
 and employee voluntary         of      very       successful       Caulfield (Unite regional                                                                       journey of learning."
 time.                          workplace            learning            learning organiser)

www.unitetheunion.com                                                                                                                                    email us: reporter@unitetheunion.com
16 REP UNITE FOR JOBS
      the

                                                   April/May 2009

        JOIN THE MARCH ON MAY 16 - JOIN THE MARCH ON MAY 16 - JOIN THE MARCH ON MAY 16 - JOIN THE MARCH ON MAY 16




JOIN THE MA
FOR JOBS O
DATE SET
FOR NATIONAL
MARCH AND RALLY
UNITE'S call for thousands of workers
and their families to join a march
through the heart of the country saw                                                                                                                         Tony Woodley
business and trade unions set aside
their differences to unite for jobs.
  Such is the importance of the need to
provide support for companies and
their workers in every industry, from
the finance sector to manufacturing,
services, construction and more, that
Derek Simpson and Tony Woodley,
joint general secretaries of Unite, were
joined by Lord Digby Jones, former
trade minister and ex chief of the CBI                                                                                                                   Lord Digby Jones
and professor David Bailey from the
University of Birmingham's business
school, plus Dagenham MP Jon
Cruddas.
  Said Tony: "This is a unique and
historic press conference bringing
together senior academic, business
and political figures, all speaking with
                                          The launch of the Unite for Jobs campaign calling on all workers to join the march for jobs on May 16
one voice and all demanding and all
uniting for jobs.                         talent, and this nation has that base. If since the introduction of the short                                    Derek Simpson
  "We have a manufacturing industry Mandelson means what he said, less time working supplement, if ever that
which is in crisis and we are about to financial engineering and more real was needed it is needed now to help
reach a stage that without help engineering, then I cannot understand companies to survive this critical                               Log on to the union website:
industry may never ever recover, we why they cannot invest in keeping period."                                                    www.unitetheunion.com.uniteforjo
are already losing tens of thousands of skilled people in their roles."                                                           bs for the latest updates, and don't
                                                                                       The message is clear.                       just bring your workmates, bring
jobs and soon the danger of 100,000         "This is not a bail out, it is investing   It is critical that the government
skilled manufacturing jobs going to in people and our skills base, and if we acts; join us on the march on May 16th                your family and your friends, this
wall."                                    don’t pull it off we will pay a price."                                                     is something that affects all
                                                                                     and Unite for jobs.                             workers in all areas of the UK
  That is why is calling on everyone to     Derek Simpson added: "The
join the march for jobs.                  importance of this support is clear to
  Lord Digby Jones said: "This is about other countries. Our industry is
our country, if you have education and modern plant, producing good product,
                                                                                        WHAT UNITE IS CALLING FOR
academia, business, unions and but the market has collapsed,                            THE march is set to take place on the banks
democracy all coming together in the temporarily. It's clear that our                   Saturday      May      16th     through    3. Extra government financing for
interests of where this nation will be in European counterparts have seen the           Birmingham city centre and will be the the manufacturing sector
                                                                                        centrepiece of the union’s Unite for       4. Action to stimulate consumer
10 years time, it's about our kids and light, when the recovery comes they
                                                                                        Jobs campaign to secure urgent and demand, including a car scrappage
their future.                             will hit the ground running, with             strategic action to defend jobs          scheme coupled with improved
  "I never imagined I'd share a table production capacity maintained and                  Unite is calling for:                  access to finance for buyers;
with Derek and Tony, but this is how the labour force kept intact, but in UK              1. The urgent implementation of a        5. A national strategy for jobs to
serious it is for all of us, I have never that is challenged as people are laid off     temporary short time working ensure we have a clear road map out
been on march on my life, but I go or closures continue, we need short                  compensation scheme to save the of this recession, to create secure,
happily on 16th May                       term support for viable companies.            jobs of thousands of skilled workers, skilled work and which places
  "We are talking about highly              "And as the biggest finance sector          put simply a £1.20 billion package of manufacturing at its heart
competitive business in the UK. What union, our interest is in jobs, it is tragic       wage subsidies would save some             So join the Unite for Jobs campaign
business needs is a skills base, they that we seem to be saving banks not               600,000 jobs.                            and march through Birmingham on
                                                                                          2. Speedier access to credit from Saturday May 16th
want trained people, a reservoir of bank workers. It is 30 years to the day

        JOIN THE MARCH ON MAY 16 - JOIN THE MARCH ON MAY 16 - JOIN THE MARCH ON MAY 16 - JOIN THE MARCH ON MAY 16
            email us: reporter@unitetheunion.com                                                                                                       www.unitetheunion.com
                                                                                                                                   UNITE FOR JOBS REP 17
                                                                                                                                                                              the

                                                                                                                  April/May 2009

       JOIN THE MARCH ON MAY 16 - JOIN THE MARCH ON MAY 16 - JOIN THE MARCH ON MAY 16 - JOIN THE MARCH ON MAY 16




ARCH: UNITE
O N M AY 1 6                                                                                                                             MARCH FO
                                                                                                                                   UNITE’S
                                                                                                                                                 R FUN
                                                                                                                                                                              COOL
                                                                                                                                                                            FOR KIDS

       JOBS MUST COME FIRST
     SINCE the start of the recession car production in bringing massive improvements in efficiency,
                                                                                                                                          BIG BIRMIN
                                                                                                                                   SHOULD BE         GHAM MA
                                                                                                                                             A GREAT DA
                                                                                                                                          ALL THE FA
                                                                                                                                                     .
                                                                                                                                                    MILY
                                                                                                                                                             RCH
                                                                                                                                                       Y OUT FOR
                                                                                                                                                                        COME AND ENJOY
                                                                                                                                                                         FACE PAINTING,
                                                                                                                                                                      BOUNCY CASTLES,
                                                                                                                                                                       ICE CREAM, MUSIC,
                                                                                                                         IN
                                                                                                                          ADDITION                                      ENTERTAINERS,
     the UK has halved. In January production fell 58.7 productivity and profitability. This is no lame           MEMBERS            TO BRINGI
                                                                                                                            TO THE CIT         NG THOUSA
                                                                                                                                       Y TO DEMA           NDS OF        AND MORE
     per cent to just 61,404 cars, with a similar slump in duck or smokestack industry. Everyone in the            AND MANU
                                                                                                                              FACTURING            ND ACTION
                                                                                                                                         , THE UNION            ON JOBS ON MAY
     commercial vehicle production. Unite members industry holds the strong belief that demand will               RANGE OF
                                                                                                                             EVENTS TO                 IS PLANNI
                                                                                                                                         MAKE THE                NG A       16
     across the industry are struggling to survive the pick up again in the near future and that                         FOR CHILD
                                                                                                                                    REN AS WE
                                                                                                                                                    DAY MEMO
                                                                                                                                                                RABLE
     impact of the recession.                                 producers, that are able to hold onto their                                      LL AS ADUL
                                                                                                                                                            TS.
       Since September 8,932 jobs have been lost in workforce over the slump will be in a prime                     WITH A RO                                                   BE
                                                                                                                               UTE SHORT
                                                                                                                     LITTLEST OF           ENOUGH FO
     motor vehicle manufacture, with 6,800 jobs going position to benefit from the recovery.”                                     LEGS, THER           R EVEN TH
                                                                                                                                                                 E
                                                                                                                                                                              THERE
                                                                                                                                             E’S NO EX
     in the vehicle components sector.                          As a union we continue to campaign for the                   MISS THIS                   CUSE TO        BIRMINGHA
                                                                                                                                        GREAT DA                                   M
                                                                                                                                                  Y OUT              MARCH FO
       Redundancies, lay-offs and short time working industry with both employers and government as                                                                             R JOBS
     are rife across the industry, examples include:          we recognise that the retention of our members’                    O JOS     IN US ON
                                                                                                                                                                          ON MAY
       •       Nissan announced 1,200 redundancies jobs and skills is paramount to a successful                                                                                  16
                                                                                                                                         MAY 16
     after an extended Christmas shutdown                     industry once the recession is over.
       •       BMW axed 850 agency jobs at Oxford –             In attempting to secure our members’ jobs in
     eliminating the weekend shift and moving to a unprecedented                 circumstances       we    have
     two-shift five-day work pattern                          succeeded in reaching agreements with
       •       Ford announced up to 850 job cuts employers to remove the need for compulsory
     across its UK operations
       •       Toyota implemented extended lay-offs
                                                              redundancies.
                                                                We are lobbying government at the highest
     and introducing short time working and a level to introduce a package of measures that
                                                                                                                  VISTEON SIT-IN
     reduction in pay
       •
     shutdown from the end of January to May
                                                              include short term assistance such as a wage
               Honda introduced a four-month subsidy to protect our members during short
                                                              time working and calling for loan guarantees to
                                                                                                                  SHOWS THE WAY
       •       Jaguar/Land Rover eliminated 850 give companies access to credit to fund their                     ANGRY Unite members took                 This is yet another example
     agency jobs and 800 permanent jobs                       businesses during the period of the recession.      direct action to protect their           of our weak labour laws
       The jobs of up to 6,000 workers                                                                            jobs at car parts' firm Visteon          letting               skilled
     dependant on LDV hang in the balance                                                                         when the breakers were                   manufacturing        workers
     even though Unite members voted to
     accept a 10 per cent pay cut.
                                                   MOTOR INDUSTRY CUTS                                            called in to put the former
                                                                                                                  Ford         plants         into
                                                                                                                                                           down. Visteon has a
                                                                                                                                                           contractual obligation, as
       Unite joint general secretary Tony                                                           NISSAN        administration.                          well as a moral obligation to
     Woodley declared: “Make no mistake, we                         TOYOTA                        Sunderland         The resistance to a                   these workers."
     are now in a battle to save jobs, to save                        Derby                     1,200 job cuts    threatened 600 job losses                  Unite warned that the
     our manufacturing sector and protect our              Production suspended for                in January     kicked off in Belfast, where             closure of the Visteon plants
     communities from the ravages of                         two weeks in February                                brave workers staged a sit-              underlined the disaster
     unemployment. We can save jobs, but time                                                                     in to demand that Ford,                  facing UK manufacturing,
     is dangerously close to running out. The                                                 MINI/BMW            Visteon’s main customer                  and hammered home again
     banks are failing to do the job taxpayers           JAGUAR                             Cowley, Oxford        and former owner, honours                the need for strategic
     have funded them to do, which is get the          Birmingham                             850 agency          its commitment to continue               government support for the
     cash to needy businesses.”                        850 agency                               jobs cut          dealing with the plant.                  sector.
       On a visit to workers at BMW in Oxford                                                                        Later,      workers        at           Tony      Woodley,    joint
                                                      jobs cut, 450
     joint general secretary Derek Simpson                                                                        Basildon and Enfield in                  general secretary of Unite,
     called on the government to introduce a workers axed                                                         England’s south east staged              said: "This is a personal
     vehicle scrappage incentive scheme,                                                                          protests to protect jobs.                tragedy for each and every
     similar to the schemes introduced across             LDV                                                        Unite     joint     general           one of these workers.
     Europe that have had some success in Birmingham                                                              secretary, Derek Simpson,                Hundreds of families across
     increasing sales.                               6,000 jobs in                                                met       Ford        Europe's           Belfast,    Basildon     and
       He said: "Car producers in the UK are           jeopardy                                                   chairman, John Fleming, to               Enfield desperately need
     hanging on by a thread because of a lack                                                      FORD           urge the company to honour               assurances that their skills
     of credit from the banks and a dramatic                                                  Southampton         its moral obligations to the             and service will not go to
     fall-off in demand for cars. A scheme                         HONDA                       & Dagenham         workers at Visteon.                      waste or be lost.
     similar to the one introduced by the                          Swindon                     850 jobs cut          Further meetings with                   "This is yet a further
     Germans would be a hugely popular way                 Four month shut down                 Drop from         Visteon's                 senior         reminder      that    20,000
     to boost car sales, but only as part of a              from end of January                 double to         management are planned to                manufacturing jobs have
     wider, strategic and significant support                                                                     press      the     case      for         disappeared since the
                                                            1,000 workers taken               single shift at
     package.                                                                                                     compensation         for     the         economic slump took hold.
       “The UK car industry has, more than                       redundancy                   Southampton
                                                                                                                  workers.                                 Our manufacturing sector is
     any other in Europe, been through two Just some of the cuts and redundancies faced by                           Said     Derek:       "These          in crisis. It needs serious
     decades of punishing rationalisation motor industry workers since the start of this year                     workers must be treated                  strategic and financial help,
                                                                                                                  with dignity and respect.                and it needs it now."

       JOIN THE MARCH ON MAY 16 - JOIN THE MARCH ON MAY 16 - JOIN THE MARCH ON MAY 16 - JOIN THE MARCH ON MAY 16
 www.unitetheunion.com                                                                                                                           email us: reporter@unitetheunion.com
                 18 REP ORGANISING
                     the

                                                                  April/May 2009



                 DORSET REP WINS CAMPAIGN FOR UNITE OFFICE
CARLOS GUARITA
                                                                                                 UNITE'S public sector workers     our claim.                        a social setting. I feel the
                                                                                                 in Dorset have won a two year       "One thing I would really       social side is as important as
                                                                                                 campaign to win facility time     say to members and branches       the work side.”
                                                                                                 and office space.                 in a similar position is not to     Paul hopes that now the
                                                                                                   For Unite rep Paul Kimber,      be frightened to use national     office is in place moves to
                                                                                                 a bus driver and Weymouth &       officers.”                        empowering the membership
                                                                                                 Portland councillor, this has       Winning the right to have       will go from strength to
                                                                                                 been a long road, but one         an office is just the latest      strength.
                                                                                                 that's been worth it.             initiative within the branch.       “Its vital that members feel
                                                                                                   “At long last Unite has an      Paul has been actively            this is their office, not mine.
                                                                                                 office for public sector          encouraging members to            Its important that the feel
                                                                                                 workers in Dorset." said Paul,    become more involved: “I’m        they can come here, tell me
                                                                                                 "This campaign has taken          aiming      to    draw     the    they issues and let off steam.”
                                                                                                 years and has been helped by      membership closer to the            Now that the branch has an
                                                                                                 the merger between Amicus         union. Its important stewards     office, and time to support
                                                                                                 and the T&G, because we find      and reps really reach out to      members, there is no
                                                                                                 ourselves a much bigger and       make rank and file members        stopping Paul and his next
                                                                                                 more effective force.             feel important.                   move is to get a union
                                                                                                   “We had seven hours               “As a branch we recently        learning rep in place and
                                                                                                 facility time, but this wasn’t    took 30 members, Unite            produce a newsletter for local
                                                                                                 enough. We now have full          drivers, to a local Labour        Unite members, in both the
                                                                                                 time and an office in county      party dinner in Weymouth.         public and private sectors.
                                                                                                 hall. To get this we had to put   Jim Knight and Ed Balls             “Having this time and space
                                                                                                 the      case     to    county    addressed the audience, and       will make a proper difference,
                                                                                                 management and councillors,       our members had the               now the real campaigning can
                                                                                                 campaigning on the need to        opportunity to ask forthright,    start.” concluded a smiling
                                                                                                 provide proper support for        questions about trade union       Paul as he got back to
                                                                                                 our members. The chief            rights.                           preparing        his      latest
                                                                                                 executive was actually quite        “We’ve also linked up with a    newsletter.
                                                                                                 supportive about the idea, the    local social club in Wyke
                                                                                                 biggest resistance came from      Regis so that our members         Find out more about negotiating
                                                                                                 middle management.                get free membership. This            facilities’ agreements, paid
                                                                                                   “Support from national          deal extends to retired             time off and the use of office
                                                                                                 officers was vital, Jack          members as well, and has            equipment for stewards and
                                                                                                 Dromey was very helpful and       been a really good way of             reps by contacting Unite's
                                                                                   Paul Kimber   wrote on our behalf, boosting     bringing members together in           organising department.




                                                                                                                                                                                                         ROY PETERS
                                                             SOMETHING'S
                 UNITE members in the
                 brewing      industry      came
                 together in Birmingham to
                 launch a new combine last
                 January.
                    Working in an industry that




                                                                                           BREWING
                 faces key challenges, Jennie
                 Formby,      Unite    national
                 secretary, has been keen to
                 organise workers in view of
                 the huge challenges and
                 ongoing job losses facing the
                 beer industry.
                    Said Jennie: "This is linked
                 to organising and winning for
                 our members and making
                 sure that they can look
                 employers in the eye."
                    The course held in January
                 was a key step on the way to
                 building an organisation to
                 fight back for workers.
                    Starting with an overview
                 from the International Union
                 of     Foodworkers'       Daria
                 Cibrario on the industry and
                 its challenges, the conference
                 then heard from Unite's Andy
                 Gilchrist on the key issues of
                 organising for workers.
                    Delegates also discussed
                 the approach to building a
                 successful combine as well as
                 how they can operate on a
                 global level, something key in
                 an industry that is dominated
                 by multinational companies.
                    At the end of the
                 conference, all were agreed
                 that Unite members in the
                 brewing industry can now
                 look forward to raising a
                 glass to a new combine
                 committed to reaching the                Workers say cheers to the new
                 parts that others can't.
                                                          combine (inset: Jennie Formby)

                           email us: reporter@unitetheunion.com                                                                                                                       www.unitetheunion.com
                                                                                                                                        ORGANISING REP 19
                                                                                                                                                                       the

                                                                                                                       April/May 2009




     ORGANISING TO WIN
     THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE SHOP STEWARDS' MOVEMENT IN THE UK AND IRISH MEAT AND AVIATION SECTORS




                                                                                                                                                                                 STEVE MORGAN
       UNITE DIRECTOR
       OF ORGANISING,
       SHARON GRAHAM,
        TALKS TO THE REP
       ABOUT THE RISE OF
        WORKER POWER
       UNITE'S organising strategy is inextricably linked to
       the industrial agenda and is critically about building
       workplace organisation, via development of a shop
       stewards’ movement, by site, by company, by sector
       and ultimately globally.
         It is fundamentally the building of worker power
       to deliver the objective of continuous improvement
       to the working lives of workers in the targeted
       sectors.
         Unite's strategy is not a ‘recruitment model’, but
       seeks to deliver self sustaining long term
       organisation.
         A critical element of the Unite approach is
       delivering campaigns on a sector wide scale. This
       is done for many reasons, especially:
         •       Building sector wide trade union
       organisation creates the opportunity for effective
       and co-ordinated mobilisation and maximises
       worker power
         •       Organising and winning improvements on
       terms and conditions throughout any given sector
       helps prevent employers undercutting each other.
       This helps to build increased job security and
       reduce the possibility of consideration of               Cleaner John Jones from Manchester Airport has benefited thanks to the success of Unite’s organising
       concession bargaining.
         Two of Unite's most successful sector                  by bargaining objectives with a key focus being on   the campaign to now stand at 70 per cent core
       organising campaigns developed in aviation and           the development of an effective shop stewards        workforce
       meat processing.                                         movement.                                              •      First ever Human Rights and Equality
                                                                                                                     Commission Sector inquiry will be held in the
                                                                                                                     meat sector examining the actions of retailers in
                        Aviation                                             Meat industry                           creating a two tier labour market
                           Unite's aviation campaign has                         The meat processing industry is       The meat sector campaign has also delivered
                        led to strong membership growth,                        characterised by comparatively       many other improvements at the bargaining table.
                   significant industrial gains and the                         poor terms and conditions and a      Unite organising is based on winning industrially,
            development of effective shop steward co-                          diverse workforce. The campaign       increasing the confidence and aspirations of
       ordination through industry combines. Since the                       has delivered over 12,000 new           leading activists and building membership
       T&G section of Unite introduced its strategy in          members and critically over 300 new shop             through worker action on the issues that are
       aviation, membership has for the first time grown        stewards. The sector is rapidly becoming             important to them. Wins include:
       to over 50,000. This equates to a 5,000 NET gain in      unionised with trade union collective bargaining       •      First national dispute at Grampian
       membership, a real rise of 10 per cent, within the       coverage standing at 89 per cent in the white meat   covering over 6,000 workers and breaking an
       sector since our campaign began.                         industry alone – well above the food industry        employer imposed pay freeze
         There have been significant advances                   average.                                               •      Retailer leverage used to prevent plant
       throughout the campaign including the headline             A critical component of the campaign has been      closure – 450 Jobs – 375 Unite members
       issue of the defeat of union busters the Burke           the introduction of the lay led meat combine. The      •      Model facilities agreement adopted at
       Group to secure recognition at Flybe – the first         combine currently comprises over 50 delegates        Moy Park and advancements on facilities made
       time that the Burke Group had lost a campaign in         representing more than 18,000 workers. This is       throughout the sector
       Europe. Some of the other successes include:             the essential bedrock of shop steward co-              •      In key areas worker turnover is down
         •      An agreement on sector pay while on             ordination across the sector with real efforts       from 48 per cent to just 12 per cent
       holiday signed for cabin crew                            being made to develop a sector wide co-ordinated       The campaign has also developed a global
         •      CAC ballots won for call centre                 bargaining strategy.                                 dimension. UK and Irish shop stewards are
       recognition                                                Shop steward action has already led to the         seeking in the medium term to create a global
         •      Unite now also has collective bargaining        “minimum standards for agency workers”               combine - the co-ordination of global shop steward
       coverage in cleaning, security and catering. Over        campaign being fought with the UK’s largest          activity in response to the demands from an
       75 per cent of these contractor areas are covered        retailers. This has led to real gains for real       increasingly globalised industry.
       and it is important to note these were mostly            workers:
       Greenfield areas in airports                               •      Over 1,500 agency workers already in
         •      Unite began sector negotiations related to      permanent work as a result of the “minimum           Conclusions
       a rate for the job by airport, taking the labour cost    standards for agency workers” campaign                 Organising works.
       out of the contract                                        •      Minimum standards agreements signed           Where Unite is organised, workers come
         •      Improved facilities - On the back of            with suppliers/supermarkets                          together and win, and they win because all
       organised labour, Unite has signed facilities              •      Agreement with M&S on “minimum              workers are united behind the aim of delivering
       agreements that afford stewards by airport, by           standards” in its supply chain (parity and           continuous improvements for people in the
       contractor paid time off every week in addition to       permanency)                                          workplace.
       union duties                                               •      The mix between agency workers has
         This campaign, while achieving significant and         been reversed from 70 per cent agency workers            Find out more: contact your Unite
       sustainable membership growth, has been driven           and 30 per cent core workforce at the beginning of     organising department in your region


www.unitetheunion.com                                                                                                                     email us: reporter@unitetheunion.com
20 REP EQUALITIES
     the

                                                  April/May 2009




LGBT: ‘ALL WE WANT IS                                                                         UNITE SECURES
DIGNITY AND RESPECT’                                                                          BREAKTHROUGH
                                                                                              RULING ON AGE
THE results of Unite’s lesbian, gay,              work’ with almost one in six
bisexual and transgender workers                  respondents ranking this as they top
‘Have Your Say’ survey were                       issue.
announced during last February's                    The second most important issue
LGBT history month.
  Unite asked the LGBT community to
tell the union what was the number
one issue for change in their
                                                  was        for    campaigns     against
                                                  homophobic bullying and harassment,
                                                  followed by a desire to tackle domestic
                                                  violence and homophobic hate crime.
                                                                                              DISCRIMINATION
workplaces.                                         Collette Cork-Hurst, Unite national
  The top issue was to have ‘dignity              secretary for equalities, said: "It’s not
and respect at                                      too much to ask, LGBT workers
                                                     deserve fair treatment just like
                                                     everybody else. We have to take this
                                                     issue seriously and continue our
                                                      union campaign for our LGBT
                                                      members to achieve equality at
                                                      work and in society."
                                                          Unite LGBT members believe
                                                       that to eliminate homophobia and
                                                       tackle unfair treatment, trade
                                                        unions must use education to
                                                        raise awareness on these issues.
                                                           Betty Gallacher, chair of the
                                                        national LGBT committee, said:
                                                         "On a positive note, we have
                                                         moved on and legislation has
                                                          progressed to stamp out
                                                          discrimination and hatred and to
                                                          promote respect at work.
                                                             "We have to educate workers,
                                                           parents, children and young
                                                           people if we want to get real
                                                           equality in the workplace. We
                                                           are valuable members of our
                                                            communities and no different
                                                            to anyone else, we just love
                                                            differently."                     Vulnerable older workers now have greater protection thanks to Unite


                                      Advertisement                                            UNITE has secured a landmark ruling       landmark ruling sets a precedent for
                                                                                               from the High Court in one of the first   protecting older workers from the
                                                                                               cases on age discrimination to be         effects of redundancy. We believe
                                                                                               considered by the courts.                 that Rolls Royce was effectively
                                                                                                 The union is committed to equal         trying to use age discrimination
                                                                                               opportunities in all workplaces,          legislation to remove agreements
                                                                                               including fighting discrimination         which are designed to protect older
                                                                                               based on age. However, some               workers.
                                                                                               employers are using the age                 "When an economic downturn
                                                                                               regulations to remove benefits that       bites, older workers often find it
                                                                                               were negotiated in order to protect       harder     to   find     alternative
                                                                                               vulnerable workers.                       employment when they are made
                                                                                                 That was the situation at Rolls-        redundant. This landmark ruling
                                                                                               Royce. The company claimed that           will give many older workers extra
                                                                                               part of a long-standing redundancy        protection during these difficult
                                                                                               selection agreement was unlawful in       times."
                                                                                               the light of the 2006 regulations
                                                                                               which outlawed certain types of age        NOTES FOR REPS:
                                                                                               or service-related discrimination.         This ruling does not mean that
                                                                                                 This would have had the effect of        all provisions based on age or
                                                                                               automatically discounting long             service will be lawful.
                                                                                               service in future rounds of                It is vital that you seek
                                                                                               redundancy.                                assistance from your full time
                                                                                                 The High Court flatly rejected that      officer if an issue of this kind
                                                                                               argument, accepting the union’s            arises.
                                                                                               case that the service element in the       If you do not, you might be
                                                                                               redundancy procedure was lawful            exposing the union to the risk of
                                                                                               as it was a benefit that was               legal claims.
                                                                                               effectively a reward for loyalty to the    Full time officers have full
                                                                                               company, especially as older               access to the union’s expert
                                                                                               workers typically have more                legal advice, and will assist you
                                                                                               difficulty finding new work after          in identifying whether any of
                                                                                               being made redundant, and that             your own contractual terms are
                                                                                               seeking to protect them in                 genuinely at risk of breaching
                                                                                               redundancy       agreements        was     the age regulations and how
                                                                                               legitimate even under the 2006 age         those existing terms can be
                                                                                               regulations.                               defended most effectively if they
                                                                                                 Unite joint general secretary,           are considered by the union to
                                                                                               Derek Simpson, said: "This                 be lawful.


           email us: reporter@unitetheunion.com                                                                                                                  www.unitetheunion.com
                                                                                                                                         EQUALITIES REP 21
                                                                                                                                                                       the

                                                                                                                        April/May 2009




     SENDING A MESSAGE                                                                  HOPE NOT HATE BEFORE
                                                                                        IT’S TOO LATE
       UNITE'S legal team has won a         health much worse during this
       significant five figure sum for a    stressful period.                          The HOPE not hate           not         hate
       member who was forced to resign        “At no stage during the process,         tour kicks into gear in     campaign.
       because     she     faced   direct   did the company put the second             mid-May with a 16-day       Friday 15 May
       discrimination      and    sexual    respondent, a manager, on                  bus tour of Britain.        is       'Union
       harassment at Midlands based         preventive suspension to allow an          Supported by the Daily      Friday' a day
       Parkstone Construction Limited.      investigation. This was despite            Mirror, and sponsored       trade     union
         The female Unite member, who       repeated requests by Mr Walsh              by Unite, the tour          branches are
       previously worked at a leading       and the union’s solicitors."               seeks to spread the         encouraged to
       car company, joined Parkstone          Even worse was the fact that             anti-BNP       message      target     their
       Construction as a machine            the company was relying on                 throughout the country      members and
       operative in summer 2006.            advice from a legal company,               ahead of the European       explain why
         But she was soon facing severe     Peninsula Business Services, that          elections.                  the BNP has no
       harassment including sexist          seemed to glorify this bad                    Starting in London       answers to the key                  produced
       comments, physical touching and      practice.                                  on Friday 15 May, the       issues facing workers               in conjunction with the
       unsolicited text messages.             Said John: "One of the                   old London bus will         today.                              Daily Mirror.
         Unite helped her lodge a           company’s directors admitted in            make its way through           Nick Lowles, HOPE                  "Union members can
       grievance according to the           evidence that as long as they              the           Midlands,     not hate co-ordinator,              make the difference in
       company's procedures, but these      carried out the advice of                  Yorkshire and the           said: "Trade unionism               these elections. If we
       were not taken seriously and she     Peninsula, any compensation                North East before           is all about solidarity,            can spread the anti-
       was even named as being 'the         would be paid out by Peninsula.            ending up with five         the concept that we are             BNP message and
       problem' by the company.               "That's why I'm calling on               days in the North West,     stronger         united,            convince           union
         This left her no option but to     Parkstone Construction to retrain          the key battleground        regardless of colour or             members and their
       resign on constructive dismissal     its managers to ensure no more             region where BNP            religion, than divided.             families to vote, then
       grounds.                             female employees have to suffer            leader Nick Griffin is      We will be saying that              the BNP, with its
         John Walsh, Unite regional         in such circumstances.                     standing. Along the         BNP stand for the very              politics of hate, can be
       industrial organiser, said: "This      "Unite will not sit back and             way the bus will be         opposite      –    fear,            stopped.
       was without doubt the worst case     allow our female members to be             linking up with trade       scapegoating        and               “HOPE not hate has
       I have ever dealt with in over 20    subjected to such disgraceful              unionists,         local    hatred.                             been set up to do just
       years as a full-time officer. The    behaviour and would vigorously             community groups and           "We are also holding             that.
       employer’s male macho attitude       pursue such employers, however             sports     stars    and     big days of action                    “I hope you will join
       actually made our member’s           long it takes."                            celebrities.                across the country,                 us by signing up at
                                                                                          The tour is just one     where we will be                    www.hopenothate.org.
                                                                                       part of the HOPE            distributing material               uk."



  BUILDING THE NEXT GENERATION OF ACTIVISTS
  IF unions are to grow       ebulletins on workplace      Goddard, also focused      with      their   senior     union.                               the increasing number
  and remain relevant to      issues and we ran a          on getting existing reps   workplace rep who               And      the     young            of young activists will
  working people, then        series     of     training   to    encourage      and   would then take on the       members’         structure           recruit more young
  it's important that         seminars so they could       support     this    new    role of mentoring that       within Unite means they              members and that the
  unions recruit young        find out more about          generation.                young member with the        have their own arena to              young           members’
  workers and encourage       how to get involved            "But     the    union    aim of them standing for     shape and influence                  network, committees
  them to become active       in            influencing    couldn't just sit back     election as a union rep if   Unite’s      campaigning             and         campaigning
  union reps.                 workplace issues, such       after the seminars,"       that was what they           and industrial work,                 activity will continue to
     Siobhan       Endean,    as      job      security,   continued Siobhan, "all    wanted to do."               especially important in              grow. After all if we are
  Unite's      head      of   apprenticeships        and   attendees          were      A direct result of the     the current economic                 going to have successful
  equalities, told the Rep    access to skills and         subsequently contacted     project has been an a        climate       as    young            unions in the years to
  what Unite has been         training      and      the   by the project team to     increase in the number       workers are often the                come we must ensure
  doing to attract young      importance              of   discuss     how     they   of young reps, many          most vulnerable and                  that we have a new
  members:           "Unite   organising      in     the   wanted to get more         who have now been            first to go when cuts are            generation of trade
  launched      a     major   workplace."                  involved and what          trained so that they can     made.                                union activists ready to
  project in 2007 to get        The project, which         support the unioncould     speak at schools about          "Unite will continue to           step in to build and grow
  more young people           was headed up by                            provide.            trade unions and     build on this project’s              the      trade      union
  involved in the             deputy             general                   M a n y             go to events to     success and prioritise               movement."
  union. Young                secretary         Graham     were                                 promote     the    the organisation of
  members                                                  put in                                                  young members,"                                               More
  could sign up                                            contact                                                  said Siobhan, "the                                         details:
  for regular                                                                                                                 aim     is                                      siobhan.
                                                                                                                                                                               endean
                                                                                                                                                                             @unitethe
                                                                                                                                                                                union.
                                                                                                                                                                                  com
                                                                                                                                                                                      JOHN HARRIS/REPORTDIGITAL.CO.UK




   Graham Goddard (seventh-left) joins reps from Unite’s young members network
www.unitetheunion.com                                                                                                                     email us: reporter@unitetheunion.com
22 REP FAST FACTS
        the

                                                          April/May 2009



     BARGAINING FACTS@YOUR FINGERTIPS
   Pay settlement analysis                                                                                         Inflation/cost of living data
UNITE’S revised look at the               Services, March 2009).              high level settlements               IN THE year to February 2009                beef up 20.6 per cent
              median pay                     •      Unite          has        effective in November 2008           the all items retail price index           lamb up 26.7 per cent
                                                                                                                                                                                                   FOOD UP

3.5%ge
  era l
                  settlement
                  for    the
                   w h o l e
                   economy
                                          recorded 55 new deals in
                                          the pay chart this time, 31
                                          of which have effective
                                          dates in this analysis
                                                                              falling out of the analysis
                                                                              period.
                                                                                 •       Parts of the
                                                                              Private Services Sector
                                                                                                                   (RPI) rose by 0.0 per cent, down
                                                                                                                   from 0.1 per cent in the year to
                                                                                                                   January.
                                                                                                                                                            potatoes up 17.1 per cent
                                                                                                                                                               bread up 8.8 per cent
                                                                                                                                                             poultry up 11.4 per cent
                                                                                                                                                                                                11.3%
Av dea                                                                                                                Over the same period, the all           pork up 19.4 per cent                 MILK UP
pay              in      the              period. If we look at just          continue to pay relatively           items RPI excluding mortgage                vegetables up 23.8
                t h r e e
            months to the
       end of January 2009
                                          these deals, the median
                                          settlement figure is 3.3 per
                                          cent.
                                                                              high pay increases which
                                                                              have helped to stabilise the
                                                                              whole economy
                                                                                                                   interest payments index (RPIX)
                                                                                                                   rose by 2.5 per cent, up from 2.4
                                                                                                                   per cent in December.
                                                                                                                                                                    per cent
                                                                                                                                                             fish up 13.4 per cent
                                                                                                                                                            And if there’s any money
                                                                                                                                                                                                11.5%
remained at 3.5 per cent,                    •      An initial look at        median                                  The prices of many essentials      left over, the cost of a                  BREAD UP
holding steady from the                   the three months to the end         at 3.5
last look at pay settlements
at the end of November
2008      (Incomes      Data
                                          of February 2009 shows the
                                          median falling slightly to
                                          3.3%, this is due to some
                                                                              p e r
                                                                              cent.             3.4%
                                                                                             Public     sector
                                                                                                                   have been rising at a far higher
                                                                                                                    rate than RPI inflation:
                                                                                                                         Coal and solid fuels up
                                                                                                                                                         foreign holiday has gone
                                                                                                                                                         up by 7.7 per cent.
                                                                                                                                                            As far as negotiators
                                                                                                                                                                                                 8.8%
                                                                                                    average                    31.1 per cent             are concerned it is the                    VEG UP
                                                                                                                            Fuel and light up            increase in the RPI that shows


        LRD’s latest pay deals
                                                                                                                              22.3 per cent
                                                                                                                           Electricity up 18.0
                                                                                                                                per cent
                                                                                                                                                         the overall rise in the cost of
                                                                                                                                                         living for members.
                                                                                                                                                            Unite is monitoring any
                                                                                                                                                                                                23.8%
                                                                                                                         Gas up 33.8 per cent            reference by employers to the              GAS UP
THE overall mid point for                 figure stands at 3.0 per                                                      Fares and other travel           new target measure the CPI
pay deals in the three
months up to and including
                                          cent in the manufacturing
                                          sector, 3.3 per cent in the
                                                                               3.3%             average                  costs up 8.4 per cent
                                                                                                                         Bus and coach fares
                                                                                                                                                         rather than the RPI. Let Steve
                                                                                                                                                         Martin in research know please         33.8%
February 2009 is 3.3 per
cent according to LRD. The
                                          private sector and 3.6 per
                                          cent in the service sector.
                                                                                                LRD deal                    up 7.3 per cent
                                                                                                                      Food prices are also rising
                                                                                                                                                         email: steve.martin@unitethe
                                                                                                                                                         union.com. A briefing on the CPI           FUEL UP
                                                                                                                   rapidly with overall food
                                                                                                                   inflation standing at 11.3
                                                                                                                   per cent.
                                                                                                                                                         is available.

                                                                                                                                                                 For the complete               22.3%
      Earnings & employment                                                                                              eggs up 4.7 per cent
                                                                                                                         milk up 11.5 per cent
                                                                                                                                                            breakdown of how prices
                                                                                                                                                            have been rising go to the          ELECTRICITY UP
 Earnings
 M A N U FA C T U R I N G
                                           Employment
                                             The       number        of
                                                                              employment.
                                                                                The unemployment rate
                                                                              was 6.5 per cent for the
                                                                                                                        cheese up 8.2 per cent
                                                                                                                       cereals up 16.1 per cent
                                                                                                                                                         following link: www.statistics.
                                                                                                                                                            gov.uk/pdfdir/cpi0309.pdf           18.0%
 average            earnings              unemployed people, the              three months to January              Annual change          RPI               RPIX                CPI                PPI
 (excluding bonuses, not                  unemployment rate and               2009, up 0.5 over the
 seasonally adjusted) rose                the claimant count have all         previous quarter and up                Sep 2007            3.9%               2.8%               1.8%               2.9%
 1.9 per cent in the year to              increased. The number of            1.3 over the year.                     Oct 2007            4.2%               3.1%               2.1%               4.0%
 January 2009.                            vacancies has fallen. There           The        number       of
   Similar earnings rose by               has been a fall in the              unemployed           people            Nov 2007            4.3%               3.2%               2.1%               4.7%
 3.5 per cent in the whole                employment rate but the             increased by 165,000 over              Dec 2007            4.0%               3.1%               2.1%               5.0%
 economy, by 3.4 per cent in              number of people in                 the quarter and by 421,000             Jan 2008            4.1%               3.4%               2.2%               5.8%
 the private sector and 3.9               employment has increased            over the year, to reach 2.03
 per cent in the public                   slightly on the quarter. The        million.                               Feb 2008            4.1%               3.7%               2.5%               6.0%
 sector.                                  number of inactive people             The unemployment level               Mar 2008            3.8%               3.5%               2.5%               6.5%
   Average earnings in                    of working age and the              and rate have not been                 Apr 2008            4.2%               4.0%               3.0%               7.6%
 services rose by 3.8 per                 inactivity rate have fallen.        higher since 1997.
 cent, and earnings in                       The employment rate for            The claimant count was               May 2008            4.3%               4.4%               3.3%               9.1%
 private sector services                  people of working age was           1.39 million in February               Jun 2008            4.6%               4.8%               3.8%               9.8%
 rose by 3.7 per cent.                    74.1 per cent for the three         2009. It is up 138,400 over            July 2008           5.0%               5.3%               4.4%               9.9%
   Manufacturing average                  months to January 2009,             the previous month and up
 earnings (including bonus,               down 0.1 from the previous          595,600 over the year. This            Aug 2008            4.8%               5.2%               4.7%               9.0%
 not seasonally adjusted)                 quarter and down 0.7 over           is the largest monthly                 Sep 2008            5.0%               5.5%               5.2%               8.5%
 rose 1.9 per cent in the                 the year.                           increase in the claimant
 year to January 2009.                       The number of people in          count since comparable                 Oct 2008            4.2%               4.7%               4.5%               6.7%
 Similar earnings for the                 employment for the three            records began in 1971.                 Nov 2008            3.0%               3.9%               4.1%               5.1%
 whole economy rose 1.8 per               months to January 2009                The redundancies level               Dec 2008            0.9%               2.8%               3.1%               4.6%
 cent,     private     sector             was 29.38 million, up 2,000         for the three months to
 earnings rose 1.4 per cent,              over the quarter but down           January 2009 was 266,000,              Jan 2009            0.1%               2.4%               3.0%               3.5%
 public sector earnings rose              75,000 over the year.               up 86,000 over the quarter             Feb 2009            0.0%               2.5%               3.2%               3.1%
 4.0 per cent.                               There has been a fall            and up 154,000 over the                      Notes: RPI=Retail prices index; RPIX=RPI excluding mortgage interest payments;
   Average earnings rose                  over the quarter of 48,000          year.                                                                 CPI=consumer prices index; PPI=producer prices index
 2.0 per cent in services and             people       in    full-time          This is the highest figure
 private sector services                  employment and a rise of            since comparable records
 earnings rose 1.3 per cent.              50,000      in    part-time         began in 1995.
                                                                                                                       Best in practice deals
       £588.10
  average weekly earnings (all workers)
                                               £646.20
                                             average weekly earnings (male)
                                                                                   £497.20
                                                                                average weekly earnings (female)
                                                                                                                   British Gas
                                                                                                                   (Residential &
                                                                                                                   Services)
                                                                                                                                                 pot based on RPI for
                                                                                                                                                 Aug to Oct 2008 plus
                                                                                                                                                 0.9 per cent, capped
                                                                                                                                                                                  Details:
                                                                                                                                                                                  3.5 per cent
                                                                                                                                                                                  increase, effective
                                                                                                                   12,000 workers                at 5 per cent, 2nd year          date 1st January 2009
                                                                                                                   Details:                      of 3 year deal


THE
   National minimum wage
        minimum     wage                  HMRC's role can be found            getting      the      correct
                                                                                                                   4.1 per cent
                                                                                                                   increase, effective
                                                                                                                   date 1st January 2009
                                                                                                                                                 BMW Oxford
                                                                                                                                                 3,100 non
                                                                                                                                                                                  Guide Dogs for the
                                                                                                                                                                                  Blind Association
                                                                                                                                                                                  1,115 workers
applies to most adult                     on the HMRC website or              national minimum wage.                                             management workers               Details:
workers working legally in                via a telephone helpline            Unite members concerned              Barclays Bank                 Details:                         3.8 per cent increase,
the UK. The minimum                       (0845 6000 678 - available          about their entitlement to           35,000 workers                3.8 per cent                     effective date 1st
wage is enforced by                       Monday to Friday, 9am to            the minimum wage should              5.0 per cent                  increase, effective              January 2009
Revenue & Customs and                     5pm).                               contact their regional               increase, effective           date 1st January 2009
more information on the                      You can call this number         office for advice in the first       date 1st April 2009                                            Ryvita
minimum     wage      and                 if you are not sure you are         instance.
                                                                                                                   Details:                      Aero Engine Controls             222 workers
                                                                                                                   Overall pay                   800 workers                      Details: 3.5 per cent rise
              £5.73                                £4.77                               £3.53                                         Send details of best in class section deals – better pay, pensions, shorter
                                                                                                                                                     working time etc via email to reporter@unitetheunion.com
     for workers aged 22 and over             for workers aged 18 to 21              for workers under 18
               email us: reporter@unitetheunion.com                                                                                                                                             www.unitetheunion.com
                                                                                                                                    INTERNATIONAL REP 23
                                                                                                                                                                        the

                                                                                                                   April/May 2009



 ENDING THE BARBARIC                                                                                          PULP AND PAPER
 BOMBARDMENT                                                                                                  WORKERS UNITING
                                                                                                             History was made earlier this       the US and UK papermaking
 The world was shocked by the        of Palestine.                                                           year when a full video              industries.
 brutal military attacks on Gaza       "About 19 years ago I visited                                         conference of lay union reps and      Tony Burke, Unite assistant
 by the Israeli army in January      Palestine and within it Gaza                                            full time officials of the global   general secretary, said: “This
 this year. At a mass                and within Gaza, the Jabaliya                                           union Workers Uniting covering      was an historic day for pulp,
 demonstration held in London        refugee camp. In Jabaliya I met                                         the pulp, paper and packaging       paper and packaging workers
 as the bombardment was going        beautiful children - boys and                                           sector took place in London, UK,    in Unite and USW. Reps from
 on Gail Cartmail, Unite             girls - who stood on the remains                                        Pittsburgh, Ohio and Menasah,       both unions agreed to work
                                                                                                             Wisconsin, USA.                     together      to     co-ordinate
 assistant general secretary,        of their homes illegally             "The tragedy suffered by             Workers Uniting is the global     activities     on    pay     and
 called for an end to the attacks    demolished by the Israeli          generations of Palestinians          union formed in 2008 by Unite       conditions as well as issues
 on Gaza.                            Defence Force as an act of         cannot be allowed to go              in the UK and Ireland and the       such as health and safety.
   Said Gail: "We are standing in    collective punishment.             unchallenged. "                      United Steelworkers in the            "During 2009 there will be
 solidarity with our Palestinian       "And as I look at the                                                 USA and Canada. Both unions         further conferences involving
 brothers and sisters, protesting    photographs from Gaza -               What you can do:                  have substantial membership         lay reps in the sector as well as
 against      their      suffering   images the Israeli government         Support     the     Palestine     in the pulp, paper and              a cross exchange of lay union
 unimaginable misery. But let us     do not want us to see - I wonder   Solidarity     Campaign       by     packaging industries.               reps."
 not be mistaken - this outrage is   whether the children I met then    ensuring your branch and               Reps discussed the state of         “Workers       Uniting     was
 one of many and is the latest       are now the young mothers and      region is affiliated and make        the pulp and paper sector in        created to defend our members
 inflicted on top of decades of      fathers pictured cradling in       financial donations in support       the US and UK, business             in the global economy - and this
 violence, exploitation and          their arms the many children       of       urgently        needed      developments          at     key    was the first step along the way
 oppression        by      Israeli   traumatised,       injured    or   humanitarian        aid.     Go:     companies plus recent pay           to cementing our new global
 governments against the people      murdered by Israeli aggression.    www.palestinecampaign.org            negotiations and settlements in     union.”




 MORE THAN EXTRA TIME
 UNITE'S BALLS TO POVERTY SPONSORSHIP ENTERS FOURTH YEAR
  IT MAY just be a game of two       about giving footballs to          Transkei region of the             young South Africans across           young role models. Unite
  halves, but football is making a   children in Africa. The other      Eastern Cape and Cape              13 townships from Soweto,             believes that change starts at
  real difference from south         main thrust of the project is      Town. The students also            Johannesburg, Pretoria, Port          ground roots and that
  Nottingham all the way to          to encourage young people          provided football and rugby        Elizabeth and Cape Town and           powerful things can be
  South Africa thanks to the         who have almost given up on        coaching sessions to over          they have distributed 18,000          achieved by engaging with
  Balls to Poverty charity.          education to continue their        3,000 young South African          footballs     bought        by        people      through        their
    The highly successful            studies, with the best             children       from       these    fundraising                           universal experiences, be
  charity, which is run by Joe       performing students gaining        townships.                           Unite is proud to be                that through football, through
  Sargison, director of athlete      the opportunity to go to South       And having formed a              sponsoring the campaign               politics      or       people's
  performance        at     South    Africa.                            partnership with the Donald        once again in 2009.                   experiences at work.”
  Nottingham College, has gone         In early April a group of 34     Woods      Foundation,      the      Derek     Simpson,     joint          If you want to find out more
  from strength to strength          students, including four           students have also been            general secretary of Unite,           or make a donation to ‘buy a
  since Unite first sponsored it     women,       from        South     helping mark soccer pitches,       said: “Trade unions have a            ball’ for children in South
  back in 2005.                      Nottingham           College’s     put up goalposts, and help         long history of encouraging           African townships and help
    The idea is simple, a group      Football      and       Rugby      build fencing for self             and providing education for           encourage UK students to
  of students travel to South        Performance Programmes             sufficient    food     growing     members and the wider                 take up further education
  Africa and working with local      went to South Africa.              schemes and bridges that           community.                            then please visit the following
  township communities they            During their two week long       children will be able to use so      "Unite is proud to be               sites:
  distribute footballs, run          trip the students distributed      they can get to school during      associated with a project that
  coaching sessions and help         over 3,000 footballs and           the rainy season.                  encourages young people to                www.justgiving.co.uk/
  with local projects.               rugby balls in township              In the past four years           continue with their education               ballstopoverty or
    And the project is not just      communities in the former          students have coached 20,000       and to go on and become                  www.ballstopoverty.com




   Encouraging education in South Africa and south Nottingham
www.unitetheunion.com                                                                                                                      email us: reporter@unitetheunion.com
24 REP FEATURES
    the

                                             April/May 2009




BRINGING THE
A NEW WEBSITE FOR BRITAIN’S BIGGEST UNION
New                                                                                                                                             Unite
Unite                                                                                                                                           home page
website                                                                                                                                         As soon as you land on the
launched                                                                                                                                        home page (left) you’ll see a
                                                                                                                                                key splash story plus links to
UNITE the union                                                                                                                                 the rest of the site.
will     be      fully                                                                                                                             The top hand menu takes
integrated       next                                                                                                                           you to the main site
month, and to mark                                                                                                                              sections ranging from
that       milestone                                                                                                                            news to Unite sectors and
Unite     has     now                                                                                                                           regions.
launched its fully                                                                                                                                 On the right hand side
integrated and up-                                                                                                                              you have your login to My
to-date website.                                                                                                                                Unite as well as links to
  But this is no                                                                                                                                join online and the latest
ordinary website, as                                                                                                                             videos from Union TV.
well as the latest                                                                                                                                 Below the main splash
news               and                                                                                                                           story is the pods area
campaigns, the site                                                                                                                              which you can add to and
also features video                                                                                                                              expand as well as adjust
feeds from Union TV                                                                                                                              the layout.
and a whole host of
interactive elements.
  As         Britain’s                                                                                                                           Customising
biggest union Unite
represents workers                                                                                                                               your site
from all walks of life.
                                                                                                                                                  A ‘pod’ is simply a mini
Designed                                                                                                                                          page or what can be
                                                                                                                                                  considered a window to
for all                                                                                                                                           more detailed information
                                                                                                                                                  on      the
   Whether you are a
cleaner in the City or                                                                                                                            site.
a worker in an office,                                                                                                                               So the
airport,          local                                                                                                                           news
authority or more,                                                                                                                                pod
Unite represents you.                                                                                                                             (right)
Unite further covers                                                                                                                              has the
bus and lorry drivers,                                                                                                                            latest
government         and                                                                                                                            news,
public services staff,                                                                                                                            the
finance workers, food                                                                                                                             events
and rural workers as                                                                                                                              pod,
well                 as                                                                                                                            the
manufacturing and                                                                                                                                  next
construction workers                                                                                                                               few
to name just a few.                                                                                                                                events, the health sector
   So a fixed single                                                                                                                               pod        the      latest
site was never going                                                                                                                               developments in that
to meet the demands                                                                                                                                area and so on.
of     such     a     diverse                                                                                                                  You can customise which
membership that shares the               thoughts.                        Unite’ pages you can update     page to your Facebook or           pods you want to see and how
common goals of fighting                   Want to know the latest        your details with any           Digg account using the             they display by using the menu
back for members in the                  developments in the health       changes to your home            social bookmarks, or even          under the main splash story.
workplace, but also has                  sector? Add the health           address     or    telephone     email it to friends using the        By clicking the customise
specific sector and regional             sector updates ‘pod’ to your     number as well as give us       mail a friend option.              homepage option you’ll be able
issues and concerns.                     customisable home page.          your email address to sign         This page also highlights       to choose from all the available
                                           Interested    in    what’s     up for regular news             some of these key features         pods on the site ranging from
Interactive                              happening in your region?        bulletins, digimags and         in a bit more detail, and          all 24 of Unite’s industrial
                                                                                                                                             sectors and 10 regions to
  That’s why Unite designed              Add a regional ‘pod’ with the    more.                           gives you a guide to what is
an      interactive      and             latest    news,     weather,                                     where.                             specific areas like politics,
customisable site, that gives            updates and links.               Your voice                         So get surfing, get             equalities and health and
                                                                                                                                             safety.
you the power over what you                                                 Want to make a point          selective, get informed, get
want to see and also the                 Your Unite                       about a story? Then choose      interactive and have fun!            This section also allows you
                                                                                                                                             to choose a favoured colour for
opportunity to have your                   And want to adjust the         the post a comment link.           It’s as simple as that. And
say.                                     layout of your home page,        Just want to say the page is    if you have any comments or        viewing the site and all your
  So rather than just look at            then just move your pods         good or bad? Click the rate     suggestions, then just hit the     options are stored on the
the pages, the site is                   around with the click of a       this page option and rate the   contact us link on the home        computer you are using
designed     for    you    to            mouse, it’s as simple as that.   story on a scale of 1 to 5.     page,       so     go      visit   so when you come back
customise to your interests                And there’s more. When         Want to keep up to date or      www.unitetheunion.com and          later it will remember your
and also to share your                   you are logged into your ‘My     share a story? Then add the     happy surfing!                     choices.

          email us: reporter@unitetheunion.com                                                                                                                   www.unitetheunion.com
                                                                                                                                  FEATURES REP 25
                                                                                                                                                               the

                                                                                                                 April/May 2009




 WEB TO WORKERS
 LOGON NOW! GO TO                                            HTTP :\\ WWW. UNITETHEUNION . COM

 Creating your                                              Adding
 home page                                                  your voice
   The image below shows the                                  Throughout the site there are pages
 selection options available                                which allow you to add your own input
 when     you   choose     the                              as well as get your friends involved.
 customise button on the home              You can choose
 page.                                    what to show on   Rate this page
                                   your home page (be         The rate this page option allows you
                                                     low)
                                                            to give a score to a particular page
                                                            from a low of 1 to a high of 5, as long
                                                            as you are logged in you can offer a
                                                            quick view on what you think of the
                                                            page (see right).
                                                            Add comments
                                                              Got more to say, or something to
                                                            add? Then use the post a comment
                                                            option, again accessed from the
                                                            bottom of the page.
                                                            Email a friend
                                                              At the bottom of many pages
                                                            there is an email a friend link. By
                                                            clicking this you can send an
                                                            email to a friend via the site to
                                                            share information. Just signed a
                                                            petition and want to get more friends
                                                            involved, then just click the email a
                                                            friend button.                                 These
                                                                                                           sites allow you to tag and share links
                                                            Social bookmarks                               across the internet enabling you to share
                                                              You can also bookmark pages to social        these links with friends and people
                                                            sites like Facebook, this means you can        with similar interests. You can also
                                                            check for updates to a campaign page when      access your links from any computer
   The section will expand to                               details of travel are added or expanded.       you happen to be using.
 show the options you can
 choose, from the regional pod
 pages to the 24 different
 sector     pod
                         Choose pods for
                                          updates from       Playing with pods                                                        More pods
 pages.                                            low)
                                  trial sectors (be
                        Unite’s 24 indus                       Moving a pod                                                             Popular pages pod
                                                               Simply click on the top of the pod and hold down the                     Want to see what’s been
                                                             mouse to move the pod around the home page area. The                     catching the eye of visitors to
                                                             example below shows th popular pages pod being moved                     the site? Well
                                                             to the third column.                                                     this pod
                                                                                                                                      presents the
                                                                                                                                      most emailed
                                                                                                                                      and highest
                                                                                                                                      rated pages
                                                                                                                                      on the site.
                                                                                                                                      Disagree,?
                                                                                                                                      Then get
                                                                                                                                      commenting
                                                                                                                                      or rating!
                                                                                                                                        Reps zone pod
   E v e r y                                                                                                                            Sign up for this for latest
 new      pod                                                                                                                         updates on the bargaining
 will appear                                                                                                                          brief, payline and more.
 on the top
 left hand                                                                                                                              Politics pod
 side of the                                                                                                                            All the latest news and
 pod page                                                      Adjusting a pod                                                        stories from Unite’s political
 (where the                                                    To expand or collapse a pod, just click                                department.
 London       & Eastern      pod        Choose pods for      the arrow, this helps you store more pods
 appears on the above image).          updates from          on your page or let’s you tidy up the desk                                 Equalities pod
   It is possible to add as many       Unite’s 10            space. If you want to see more or less                                     Find out more on the
 pods as you like, although the        regions               items in the pod, then choose edit mode                                  equality reps project as well as
 more you have the more you            (above)               and select from 1 through to 5 items to see the                          the latest developments for
 will need to scroll down.                                   number of stories for that pod (see right).                              delivering workplace equality.

www.unitetheunion.com                                                                                                             email us: reporter@unitetheunion.com
                 26 REP FEATURES
                        the

                                                                 April/May 2009




                     BRING BMW TO RIGHTS
                     UNION outrage at BMW's decision to sack 850 agency
                     employees at its Cowley factory in Oxford, giving many of
                                                                                          agency labour at Cowley, taking advantage of the
                                                                                          workers' lack of rights to exploit working men and
                                                                                                                                                   employees and the union about the future of the plant.
                                                                                                                                                   Go: http://www.savemanufacturing.co.uk/cowley and
                     them just an hour's notice and with no intention to offer            women, throwing them on the dole without                 sign the online petition now!
                     any of them a penny in redundancy pay, prompted angry                further expense to or effort by the company.
                     Unite leaders to call it ‘an act of sheer industrial                   "The dismissal of the weekend shift - with
                     brutality’.                                                          many workers who have worked at Cowley for
                        As part of the union’s campaign to get BMW to treat               up to five years - and with only one hour's notice,
                     workers with respect, Unite has established an online                has to rank as the most outrageous form of
                     petition and is urging members, their families and                   dismissal that we have experienced in the car
                     friends to sign Unite’s online petition at                           industry in the UK.
                     http://www.savemanufacturing.co.uk/cowley. More                        "You have exploited not only our agreement
                     than 10,000 people have already signed up to support                 on the use of agency labour, but also more
                     the Cowley workers.                                                  importantly, you have exploited ordinary men
                        Joint general secretary Tony Woodley wrote to                     and women who deserve better treatment from
                     BMW management board chairman, Dr Norbert                            an employer of your standing.
                     Reithofer, to charge: "You have treated your workforce                 "My members, whether permanent or
                     with utter contempt. The difficulties of the car                     agency, are workers with families and
                     industry globally are well known, but the manner in                  responsibilities, not some asset to be cast
                     which BMW has sought to address the reduction of its                 aside as cannon fodder."
                     volumes at the Cowley plant in the UK is nothing short                 Unite is demanding that BMW reverses its
                     of disgraceful.”                                                     decision to sack the 850 workers and
                        Tony accused BMW of abusing the agreement on                      immediately enters into a dialogue with




                     TIME TO STOP THE ROT
                     ON REDUNDANCY PAY
                 UNITE is calling for urgent government
                 action to raise the cap on statutory
                                                                          secretary Derek Simpson. "Working
                                                                          people need a helping hand, and they
                                                                                                                          But when the scheme was introduced
                                                                                                                        more than forty years ago, the cap on
                                                                                                                                                                     forthcoming budget.”
                                                                                                                                                                        "All I am calling for is a fair deal during
                 redundancy pay after MPs voted to give a                 expect a Labour government to offer it.       payments was worth 203 per cent of           hard times. Redundancy pay in this
                 second reading to a private member’s bill to               “Now that we’ve had the debate, it is       weekly earnings.                             country is among the lowest in Europe and
                 bring payments into line with average pay.               time for action. Our research shows that        “The basis for calculating this pay is     this hits the working poor especially
                   The bill, from Labour MP Lindsay Hoyle                 in virtually every constituency in Britain,   years out of date,” said joint general       hard," said Lindsay Hoyle MP, sponsor of
                 and strongly supported by Unite and other                workers are dependent on statutory            secretary Tony Woodley.                      the bill.
                                  unions, got a 68 vote                   redundancy pay if they lose their jobs.         “The provisions in the bill to improve        “Today, workers are very much facing
                                   majority        in     the               “The Labour MPs who have backed this        statutory redundancy pay must be             hard times again but state redundancy
                                   Commons            debate,             measure are clearly aware of their            implemented urgently, while so many          pay is so out of step with average earnings
                                   despite       government               obligation to those constituents.”            workers face a threat to their jobs. They    it acts as a ceiling for workers, not a floor
                                    opposition. The vote                    Under the statutory redundancy              need to have that new limit for              to protect them.
                                      represented the first               scheme, employers calculate what they         redundancy pay in place to help ease            “It is time to stop this 40 year rot so that
                                      defeat for Gordon                   must pay workers being laid off on the        hardship.                                    when workers are laid off they receive
                                         Brown since he                   basis of a maximum week’s pay of £350.          “The quickest way for this to be done is   what they're rightfully owed, and to end
                                          became       prime              That represents 56 per cent of average        for the chancellor and the government to     the national shame of our workers being
                                          minister last year.             weekly earnings.                              introduce the measure through the            among the cheapest to sack in Europe."
                                              "This measure
                                             is about social
                                             justice, about
                                             making     sure
                                           that workers get
                                            a fair deal when
                                            facing      hard
                                           times," declared
                                              Unite     joint
                                                 general
HELEN MAYBANKS




                                                                                   Lindsay Hoyle MP (left) joined by MPs who backed the second reading of his bill on redundancy pay (above)

                              email us: reporter@unitetheunion.com                                                                                                                                www.unitetheunion.com
                                                                                                                                                FEATURES REP 27
                                                                                                                                                                             the

                                                                                                                               April/May 2009


  FIRST-EVER SURVEY OF DRIVERS’ OVERNIGHT WORKING CONDITIONS



 THE TRUCK
 STOPS HERE!
 UNITE’S survey of truckstop conditions in                           serious headache for Unite’s professional driver
 Britain and Ireland shows that six in ten
 professional drivers have been victims of crime
                                                                     members. Also, they cost the UK haulage industry
                                                                     some £250 million a year, which means a big cost to
                                                                                                                              DRIVERS’ DIARIES
 while parked overnight.                                             everybody.                                               Professional drivers among Unite’s
   More than 86 per cent of survey respondents said                    The provision of clean, cheap and secure               members have been keeping diaries
 they can’t get a good night’s sleep while on the road.              truckstops is a major priority for the members in the    of their experiences at truckstops and
 This is the reality of life for workers on Britain’s                road transport commercial sector of Unite.               facilities up and down Britain’s roads.
 roads.                                                                We know it is what our members want, and we also
                                                                     know it is not much to ask.                              Sometimes the truckstop map looks
     Unite assistant
                                                       MARK THOMAS




                                                                                                                              adequate, but the reality is often a lot
                                                                       After all, workers in any other industry who are       less pleasant for drivers who’ve
   general secretary,                                                expected to spend nights away from home would            already put in a long day’s work.
                                                                     consider a clean bed, a hot meal and a safe place to
  Len McCluskey, sets                                                stay as a basic right. Professional drivers are no        O        Parked at Southampton
   the scene for the                                                 different; they’ve just been taken for granted for too   docks – cost £10. No facilities
  first-ever survey of                                               long.                                                     O        Truckstop at
                                                                       But the first steps in Unite’s campaign to             Stirling closed due to holidays
     the overnight                                                   revolutionise the working conditions of Britain’s         O        Night at Crewe.
                                                                     professional lorry drivers required the active help of   Truckstop £12.50. Food poor
  working conditions                                                                                                           O        Stopped at Hartshead,
                                                                     drivers themselves.
     of professional                                                   That’s why we set up a freephone survey so drivers
                                                                                                                              stayed in cab. Services too
                                                                                                                              expensive. Used cereal and
         drivers                                                     could tell Unite just how bad conditions are.            milk from home for dinner
                                                                       For the first time, lorry drivers could tell Unite’s    O        Stopped in
   It is just after midnight on a recent winter’s night,             transport specialists about the problems they face in    layby – no food or drink
 and a professional driver is settling down in his cab               finding somewhere safe to park their valuable             O        Peterhead –
 for a night’s sleep just off a main road in the West                cargoes at night, and the high costs and poor            dirty toilet, no food
 Midlands.                                                           standards at many UK truckstops.                          O        West Thurrock £8. Food ok.
   Like many colleagues, he’s had to make the nightly                  The results of the survey give us a clearer picture    Toilet and shower disgusting
 decision not to park up in a so-called truckstop and                of how drivers are treated - vital information in our
 get a warm bed. “I can’t afford it on my allowance,”                campaign to improve conditions so drivers get a          Remember, professional drivers
                                                                                                                              deliver a service that’s vital to the
 he says, “and the last stop I looked at had filthy                  better deal on the road.                                 economy. They do a job that’s often
 toilets, manky showers and just had nothing to                        Lorry driving is a tough job, and there’s              dangerous, and they do it in all sorts
 offer.”                                                             considerable strain in the working day of                of weather conditions.
   A kindly passerby knocks on his cab to warn him                   professional drivers.
 that someone is siphoning off his petrol. As the                      It is surely not too much to ask that at the end of    It is time working conditions were
 driver goes to investigate, he is grabbed by three                  that long day’s work they should be able to enjoy a      brought up to the standard everyone
 masked men and held while an accomplice drives                      hot meal, a clean bed and a secure night’s rest.         else takes for granted. Professional
 away his truck containing a load of copper and                                                                               drivers have surely earned
 brass.                                                              Get involved with the campaign                            O
                                                                                                                               O
                                                                                                                                        A clean bed
                                                                                                                                        A hot meal
   The driver is fortunate he wasn’t seriously hurt in                 You can e-mail truckstop@unitetheunion.com with
                                                                                                                               O        And a secure night’s sleep
 the incident. Sometimes, others are not so lucky.                   any information for the campaign or visit
   Motorway crime and other thefts from lorries are a                www.unitetheunion.com/truckstop for more.




www.unitetheunion.com                                                                                                                           email us: reporter@unitetheunion.com
28 REP FEATURES
       the

                                                April/May 2009

MAKE YOUR VOTE COUNT                                              EUROPEAN ELECTIONS ROUND UP - DON’T FORGET - VOTE ON 4TH JUNE


JUNE 4TH                                                               TAKING THE FIGHT
MATTERS                        Elections to
                                                                       TO THE FASCIST BNP
                               the European                      Theresa Griffin, from           narrow-minded Tories and         exploitation. We need a           members to engage with the
                               parliament on                     Unite's Merseyside              the divisive far right BNP. We   strong group of Labour MEPs       elections and vote for the
                               Thursday 4th                      community branch, spells        cannot let that happen.          to continue to campaign to        positive European agenda we
                               June will be                      out why the European              Europe is a key mover          end the UK’s opt-out from the     need.
                                upon         us                  elections are important to      towards the better world we      Working Time Directive.              If all Unite members turn
                                before       we                  grassroots trade unionists      campaign for. More holidays,        Derek Simpson told Unite       out for Labour in the North
                                realise it.                                                      improved parental leave,         members in the north west         West, we could gain a seat.
                                   T h e y                                                       protection against long          there’s a stark choice. A         But low numbers voting and
                                come at a                                                        working hours, rights to         European parliament of            targeting by the racist BNP
                                crucial time                                                     information                and   Tories topped up with fringe      may see them get the 8 per
                                 for the UK                                                      consultation, the right to       elements like UKIP and the        cent they need under the PR
                                 and Europe                                                      return to work for women         racist BNP or the chance to       system to get MEPs elected.
                                 as         the                                                  post childbirth, pension         deliver a clear blow against      Quite apart from the damage
                                 g l o b a l                                                     reform, a new deal for           fascism and elect Labour          done to Britain’s reputation it
                                  downturn                                                       temporary       and     agency   MEPs with real experience of      would mean money, power
                                  bites. But                                                     workers - all have benefited     trade union activity.             and influence for the racists.
                                  equally                                                        trade unionists. All these and      I’m proud of my 20 years of    If people don't vote, the BNP
                                  they      will                                                 more, delivered by our           trade union activity. I’m         will win a seat. We cannot let
                                 come at a                                                       Labour government, owe           proud to be a Labour              that happen. Supporting
time when the political dividing lines                                                           their origins to a strong        candidate with a realistic        Labour helps to keep them
couldn’t be clearer. Our key political                                                           Socialist group in the           chance of winning and             out.
message is only Labour will make a                                                               European parliament.             delivering that blow to the          But wherever you are in
difference for trade unionists in Europe.                        JUNE 4TH’S European               Yet only two per cent of       racists. Unite members did        the UK voting Labour will
  Every vote will count. Really, every vote                      elections are vital to trade    people know these elections      not allow the BNP to hijack       count. It will make a
will count in the European elections in the                      unionists and nowhere more      are happening. It’s a wake-up    the protests at the Lindsey oil   difference to ensure we get
proportional representation system. Yet we                       so than here in the north       call for Unite members.          refinery. That gave us such a     more      committed      trade
know that many people won’t vote. That’s                         west. They could bring a        Without a strong Labour          boost in my region where          unionists elected to the
why it’s important to maximise the                               better future on employment     group of MEPs, we won’t get      recently the BNP had over 20      European parliament. In this
numbers of Unite members taking part in                          rights, improved social         the action we need to allow      street stalls in one weekend.     election, every vote counts.
the elections and backing Labour –                               legislation and action to       fair access to work in           It’s given heart to our              Derek also told us, “No
especially voting by post.                                       tackle climate change but       engineering construction and     campaigning        and     the    Labour MEPs, no progress.
  If all our members turn out and vote                           risk being hijacked by          for trade unions to tackle       confidence to urge Unite          Simple as that.” He’s spot on.
Labour, it could mean Labour gains in many
regions. If that happens, we could almost
double the size of the Labour group in the
European parliament. That is the
magnitude of what we can achieve. It’s what
our Labour candidates, many with a
background in Unite, deserve.
  Labour is making a difference with its
policies for action.
                                                                    A WORKERS’ EUROPE
                                                                 Glenis Willmott MEP,            them now and to help them        to stay in their homes,           third party violence were
  Labour - tackling the recession by                             leader of the Labour            in the future. They need to      protect their savings and         voted down by the Tories -
investing and supporting industries and                          group in the European           know how important it is to      create jobs. The big              and the Lib Dems. My
workers. The Tories offer cuts and carping.                      parliament, on why              back Labour this summer.         problems we face can only be      recommendations to protect
  Labour - leading in Europe on better                           we need Labour                    It is staggering that 81 per   tackled by coordinated            workers from substances
rights for people in work with more                              politicians in                  cent of people feel badly        action and working this way       which      are      toxic   for
holidays, improved parental rights, fair                         Brussels                        informed about the work of       magnifies the benefits for all    reproduction also received a
treatment for temporary and agency                                                               the European parliament.         of us.                            no vote from both parties.
workers…the list goes on. The Tories are                         EUROPE has a massive                                                So being seen as remote or     Labour MEPs and the UK
half-hearted about Europe at best,                               impact on our lives. Yet        Workers’ rights                  disengaged has to end here.       government are backing
antagonistic at worst, and opposed many of                       people don’t feel part of it.   That means over three            We have to ditch the jargon       moves to end the abuse of
the changes.                                                     We have achieved so much      quarters of working people         and start to speak in             part-time        and     agency
  Labour - taking on discrimination and                          working together. But hardly  do not know that Labour in         language people understand        workers and Tory and Lib
tackling the threat of the far right. The                        anyone is getting to hear     Europe has helped improve          about the things that matter      Dem MEPs have opposed this
Tories voted against anti-discrimination                         about it. This has to change  maternity and paternity            to them.                          too.
measures.                                                        now.                          leave, that we’ve introduced                                            And our fight against the
  Unite’s key election aims are to maximise                        We are approaching the      measures to control working        A good record                     far-right BNP cannot be
the numbers of Labour MEPs we have after                         European elections on 4th     time as well as brought in            Our record proves we fight     underestimated. They are
4th June. And with local elections in many                       June in challenging times.    equal rights for temporary         hard for fair chances, a fair     exploiting             people’s
parts of England we want to maximise the                         People need to know we are    and agency workers, that we        say and fair rules for            uncertainty with supposed
number of Labour councillors too.                                taking real action to support have boosted workers’              everyone. But since the last      solutions       which     would
  There is a warning too. The low turnout                                                                    protection           European elections in 2004,       actually cause real damage
in some English regions could let the BNP in                                                                 from cancer-         we have also had to fight a       in Britain. Yet only about
by the back door. We saw in the recent                                                                       c a u s i n g        right-wing majority in the        eight per cent of the vote
disputes over jobs in the engineering                                                                        chemicals and        European parliament.              would give them a seat in the
construction industry how Unite members                                                                      ‘accidents’ at          David Cameron and his          European parliament.
sent the opportunist BNP packing. We must                                                                    work,       that     MEPs want to pull out of the         If you still need reasons to
follow that example through into the ballot                                                                  provisions           Social Chapter - social           get out knocking on doors as
box. They are no supporters of ordinary                                                                      related to anti-     protections,        workplace     we approach 4th June, have
working people. They spread division and                                                                     discrimination       rights and environmental          a look at the European
hate. They offer nothing for the future.                                                                     have         got     safeguards are at serious         parliamentary           Labour
  Unite is taking part in a major project                                                                    better because       risk – and the Tories’ fiercely   party’s        website      (go
with all other Labour affiliated unions to                                                                   of us and that       anti-European stance means        www.eurolabour.org.uk/) for
promote postal voting. All the evidence                                                                      we         have      they regularly vote against       more information on our
shows that people who have a postal vote                                                                     helped win the       our progressive measures.         work.
use it much more than turning up to polling                                                                  right to paid           I recently drafted a report,      Or get in touch with your
stations.                                                                                                    holiday.             passed by the European            MEP direct.
  If you want to vote by post and haven’t                                                                      I        have      parliament, addressing a             Let’s protect the planet,
registered with your local council to do so                                                                  discussed with       whole host of priorities for      our homes, our jobs, our
yet, you can do it through Unite. Simply                                                                     prime minister       workplace health and safety       health, our safety and our
email your details to Andrew Dodgshon at                                                                     Gordon Brown         over the next five years. But     rights. Let’s get more Labour
andrew.dodgshon2@unitetheunion.com                                                                           how we are           my proposals to protect           politicians into the European
  Thursday 4th June – make a note in your                                           Glenis Willmott MEP helping people            thousands of workers from         parliament.
diary now and make sure you get a postal
vote and make sure you vote.

             email us: reporter@unitetheunion.com                                                                                                                               www.unitetheunion.com
                                                                                                                                             FEATURES REP 29
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                                                                                                                            April/May 2009


   E-BULLETIN LAUNCHING                             UNITE JOINS THE FIGHT ON THE FRONTLINE OF THE OBAMA CAMPAIGN

     TALKING                                        LESSONS FROM AMERICA?
     POLITICS
 THE CREDIT crunch and how it affects all of
 us – not the least of which is the issue of job
                                                    WORKING WITH THE USW
 security – is starting to mean politics is being
 talked about generally. Newspapers, TV, radio                        by
 and websites have plenty to say but tend to be
 dominated by the self-opinionated and
                                                                      Hannah
 dogmatic. How can we as Unite challenge that                         Blythyn
 and make a real difference?                                          from
    Unite members have a great deal to say
 about the world in which we live.                                    Unite’s
    We know that from the massive responses
 we’ve had to our surveys across the UK                               political
 carried out over the last year. So, we know                          department
 job security is the top workplace issue. We
 know, because you’ve told us, that crime and
 immigration are the top issues affecting           BACK in the autumn of last year,
 voting intentions locally and nationally.          it seemed like the whole world
    Branch meetings are one avenue for Unite        was struck by Obama-mania. A
 members to make their voices heard.                lot has been made of new and
 Another way, as we constantly stress, is to
 join the Labour party. But you can join in too     innovative campaign methods
 by signing up to the bulletin the union’s          used by the Obama team and the
 political department is to launch in the near      way it brought together and
 future.                                            motivated               volunteers,
    The bulletin will cover the key issues the      individuals and organisations.
 union is taking to the government. But                United Steelworkers (USW) -
 equally the issues affecting your workplace
 are important. Those are the issues we need        Unite’s partner union in the USA,
 to make government aware of. Is it about the       as part of the global merger to
 need for government aid for your industry?         create ‘Workers Uniting’ – was at the heart of the         workplaces that have a high density of union
 Is it about how temporary and agency               successful election campaign, leading the way on           members. Like wise, they took to the streets
 workers are treated as second class citizens       how unions can communicate with their members              knocking on doors in the neighbourhoods where
 by some employers? Is it about some                and illustrating the impact we can make on the             large numbers of members lived.
 employers looking to duck and dive to avoid                                                                     There was a massive daily operation calling up
 paying the minimum wage and giving your            outcome of an election.
                                                       A team from Unite went out to Pittsburgh, home of       members through the USW’s computerised phone
 proper holiday rights?                                                                                        centre. The system is well used throughout the year
    Every workplace canteen, rest room and          the Steelworkers, to volunteer for the last week of the
 social gathering will have heated                  campaign, in order to see what lessons we could            to get members’ views on particular issues and to
 discussions on how the country and the             learn from our US comrades and how we could bring          check in on their concerns, which will then be fed into
 economy are being run or how they should           what we learnt back to the UK.                             the union’s political and campaigning work. Post
 be run.                                                                                                       campaign, the USW will now be talking to members
    You can share those thoughts – and your            For the USW, political education is an integral part
                                                    of the organising agenda, something which shines           once a month, updating them on how their hard work
 solutions! – with a wider audience by                                                                         has paid off, the difference it has made to legislation
 emailing to the political bulletin to              through come major election time as activity is based
 andrew.dodgshon2@unitetheunion.com.                on a workplace and local level.                            or involving them in lobbies to call for more change.
                                                       Local unions are given training to work on                But how do we bring this back home? The key thing
                                                    elections in their home areas or workplaces. In fact,      we can learn from last year’s US presidential
                                                                                                               elections is the importance of involving, supporting
   A NEW FUTURE                                     for members that sign up to this, the union has
                                                    negotiated in their contracts that they are able to pull   and communicating with members locally and in the
 Over 800 Unite members across the UK               them out of the day jobs come election time and pay        workplace.
 attended the round of regional political           their salary for them.                                       Talking regularly with members, whether in
 conferences in January and February. That’s a         This will often focus on what the US terms              writing, by phone, email or in person to make sure
 terrific turnout when the political élite                                                                     that the union’s political ‘asks’ and ‘concerns’ come
 commentators tell us there’s only apathy and       ‘battleground States’, the key states that are a
                                                    deciding factor in the outcome of a presidential           direct from members. Unite has already started to do
 alienation.
    Instead union members turned out, many          election. In the 2008 election this totalled 400 people    this, surveying members in a number of
 in the cold snap, to elect the new regional        in 31 states.                                              constituencies and is set to roll this out further.
 and national political structures for the new         The USW targets its political campaign activity at        We can also take away a lot from our comrades in
 union. With local and European elections on        its members – something which is both governed by          the USW in terms of how we contact and involve our
 4th June and a general election on the                                                                        members before, during and after election time.
 horizon, these structures will help marshal        US law and proven to be effective. Union members
                                                    both within and outside of worksites receive direct          Door knocking may be more difficult over here,
 local and regional activities.
    Well over 1,000 Unite members have              mail, phone calls, emails and plant publications that      given how our membership is usually more spread
 joined the Labour party in the last year. The      go out to members at that particular site. All             out, but we could certainly look more at how to
 local publicity around the conferences saw         workplace activity is done through local stewards                              campaign at and in workplaces.
 more join and part of the work of the new          and reps. These communications will, throughout the                                   Yes, there are lessons we
 Regional Political Committees will be to                                                                                                can learn from America,
 encourage more Unite members to have               year, inform members on key political issues and,
                                                    come election time, will say who the union is                                           the challenge is to now
 their voices heard in the Labour party.
    Many of the conference delegates’               endorsing and why.                                                                        take this forward and
 questions asked how Unite can make a                  In the run up to the presidential election last year,                                   keep on delivering for
 difference. The answer came across loud            no stone was left unturned – as                                                             our members in the
 and clear from other delegates. We can only        the team from Unite found out                                                                UK and Ireland.
 change things and make that difference if
 more grassroots members of Unite join the          first hand, getting to grips with
 Labour party and get active in their local         ‘block       walking’,       phone
 areas. That means arguing the union’s              canvassing, leafleting and rallies
 corner over contentious issues like Royal          American style.
 Mail part-privatisation but also promoting            Volunteers and paid staff alike
 the policies and campaigns which affect our        were up at the crack of dawn
 members.
    Want to know more? Email Andrew                 leafleting those factories and
 Dodgshon in Unite’s political department at
 andrew.dodgshon2@unitetheunion.com.

www.unitetheunion.com                                                                                                                        email us: reporter@unitetheunion.com
30 REP FEATURES
       the

                                                 April/May 2009




PRIMARK PROTEST




                                                                                                                                                                                                             VCVKI MORRIS
TRADE unionists from the textile industry                Tesco and Primark, are justifying
in Bangladesh recently toured the UK to                  exploitation in the name of providing cheap
talk about the conditions they face while                goods to working people here in the UK. We
working to supply major UK clothing                      disagree that the exploitation of working
chains. The group, from the National                     women, in countries like Bangladesh, can be
Garment        Workers       Federation      of          justified by claiming it is in the interest of
Bangladesh, visited after being invited by               working women elsewhere in the world.”
campaign groups; Labour Behind the Label                    Solidarity is essential and Sam feels there
and No Sweat.                                            are a number of ways Unite branches and
   At a demonstration outside the AGM for                members can be involved.
Associated British Foods, owners of                         “Workers here are also the consumer for
Primark, in central London they explained                these companies, so can make a difference
to protesters that they represent 22,000                 both as union members and as conscious
workers in 1,000 factories across                        shoppers. For us this isn't about where you
Bangladesh, where workers are expected to                shop, but about making sure you ask
work up to 18 hours a day for as little as 14p           questions, write letters, take actions that
an hour.                                                 make clear this is an issue British
   Though a translator president Shahida                 consumers care about.
Sarkar said: “Organising in Bangladesh is                   “So distributing campaign materials,
very difficult, there is very strict anti-trade          inviting speakers, running workshops and
union legislation. Trade unionists are                   fringe events at conferences are all really
outlawed and can be imprisoned. We are                   important.”
calling for solidarity with all trade unionists             Workers in countries like Bangladesh are
to beat sweat shop labour.”                              fighting back, and organising themselves in
   The tour has been a great success, and                incredibly difficult circumstances. To know
provided a unique opportunity for UK                     they have the backing of trade union
workers to hear first hand about the                     comrades around the world is important.
working conditions facing garment workers.               Send messages of solidarity through                Salma Islam (left) and Shahida Sarkar (right). Salma Islam has worked in
   Sam Maher from Labour Behind the Label                websites or donate towards strike funds            the garment industry since she was just 13. Shahida Sarkar is the
explained the campaign: “Our central aim is                 Sam added: “Groups like us and No Sweat         President of the National Garment Workers Federation, Bangladesh.
to support garment workers themselves as                 really need the support of unions here to
they struggle to improve conditions in                   keep going. Affiliating, donating towards            As well as focusing on Primark the other       of years to get this - so we really need
workplaces producing for the UK high                     campaigns and even participating in the            big campaign at the moment is to try to          support from the UK unions for this
street.”                                                 management of the organisations are all            ensure a sweatshop free London Olympics,         campaign.”
   “It’s about education. In the current                 roles we are keen to get union members             as part of the Playfair 2012 coalition with        More info on Labour Behind the Label on
climate more and more companies, like                    more involved.”                                    the TUC. Sam said “We only have a couple         http://www.labourbehindthelabel.org/



ELECTION: UNITE JOINT
 GENERAL SECRETARY
  (AMICUS SECTION)
                                                                  A FAMILY HISTORY
                                                                                                                                          The book is ideal for the busy rank-and-file activist who
  The full results of the joint                                   The T&G story                                                         would wish to understand more about the union. A much-
                                                                                                                                        misunderstood organisation from without, it is commonplace
  general secretary election for a                                by Andrew Murray                                                      inside the T&G to compare it to a family.
  term of office commencing 23rd                                                                                                          If this has been so, it has most certainly had its share of
  December 2009 and concluding                                    (Published by Lawrence & Wishart with Unite, £14.99)                  shame, secrets, rows and illicit liaisons, along with a certain
                                                                                                                                        kind of tough, if mostly unconditional, love.
  on 23rd December 2010, which                                    GRAHAM STEVENSON praises Andrew Murray's even-                          Along with his own knowledge, as well as that of numerous
  closed at noon on Friday 6th                                    handed insider account of the history and politics of the             insiders, Murray has also made use of over 30 previously
  March 2009, were as follows:                                    Transport and General Workers Union.                                  published texts to resource the many interesting aspects of the
                                                                                                                                        story that he employs to illuminate his account.
                                                                    Unite campaigns and communications director Andrew                    The 60-odd illustrations in the some 200 pages of text
   Number of eligible voters: 1,096,511                           Murray has performed a uniquely valuable service for all who          combine with a sense of general accessibility that have eluded
                                                                  have ever been associated with or affected by the                     previous attempts.
                                                                  extraordinary union that was the Transport and General                  Murray has hit the right note at last, although there is still a
   Total number of votes cast: 159,272                            Workers Union, known to all and sundry over the last                  major job for the future in recovering the Byzantine complexity
                                                                  generation simply as ‘the T&G’.                                       of the many separate avenues that made up the major
                                                                    It is a mark of the impact of the union that, even in much of       industries of the T&G over much of the 20th century and much
   Turnout:                              14.5                     wider society, the triple-syllable identity was instantly             of its overarching
                                       per cent                   recognisable almost as a trademark for the clear idea of a big        political impact.
                                                                  and powerful force that had, as Murray has it, an "overweening          In a way, this
   Number of votes                                                aspiration to tell their betters how society should be ordered."      story is that of the
                                         1,031                      This T&G aspired to stand up for its members, often                 working        class
   found to be invalid:
                                                                  uncompromisingly, whenever it was needed.                             movement itself.
   Total number of                                                  Despite universal affection for the traditions that this nurtured
                                       158,241                    inside the T&G, the recent quarter-century of neoliberalism was       Graham
   valid votes to be counted:
                                                                  a challenging period.                                                 Stevenson is
                                                                    The wider, almost complete, surrender of organised labour           Unite’s national
  The final result was as follows:                                remained fiercely challenged by the union, which clung almost         organiser for
                                                                  collectively, if often with internal dissonance, to radical values    passenger
                                                                  as best as it was able to.                                            transport
   COYNE, Kevin                         30,603                      Labour history specialists are apt to dismiss accounts of the
                                                                  past that emanate from within unions as hagiographic or vain,         This is an abridged
                                                                  but Murray's rendition of the story of what was, for most of its      version of a review
   HICKS, Jerry                         39,307                    history, the biggest union in the British and Irish isles is          that first appeared
                                                                  anything but that.                                                    in the Morning Star
                                                                    Written in an entirely accessible style, it pulls no punches
   REUTER, Paul                         28,283                    and defers to no-one.                                                 Copies are
                                                                    It is nothing if not sober and realistic and yet will convey to     available from
                                       60,048                     the outsider an authentic feel of the union across the decades        Lawrence &
   SIMPSON, Derek                                                 without becoming bogged down in overfine detail or lost in            Wishart books
                                      ELECTED                     exploring the many labyrinthine byways that inevitably beckon         on 020 8533 2506
                                                                  for attention.

              email us: reporter@unitetheunion.com                                                                                                                                         www.unitetheunion.com
                                                                                                                                                                  FEATURES REP 31
                                                                                                                                                                                               the

                                                                                                                                                 April/May 2009




    Fava not REMEMBERING THE RADICALS
    favoured           A new pamphlet by
                                                    ON 17th May 1649, three soldiers were
                                                    executed on Oliver Cromwell’s orders in
                                                    Burford churchyard, Oxfordshire. They
                                                    were amongst 300 Levellers, radicals
                                                                                                     discussing
                                                                                                     e n e r g y
                                                                                                     poverty in
                                                                                                     2009.”
                                                    believing in civil rights, locked in the            B o t h
                       Jim Jeffries and Tom         church.                                          really enjoy
                       Sibley has been                 In 1975, members of the Workers’              the event,
                       published by Unite           Education Association's Oxford industrial        and would
                       in Gibraltar to mark         branch went to Burford to hold a meeting in      like to see
                       the 60th anniversary         remembrance of the Leveller soldiers, and        more trade
                       of the shameful              reclaim a piece of history missing from          unionists
                       deportation by the           school books.                                    involved,
     British authorities of trade union                Over the years the event has, with the        possibly
     leader Albert Fava.                            help of a dedicated team of volunteers,          even       by
        Fava, a Gibraltarian and                    grown. It now draws people from near and         bringing
     Communist who served in the                    far to Burford to debate, march, listen to       stalls and
     Republican cause during the                    music and remember the Levellers and their       banners and
     Spanish Civil War, was evacuated               ideals of justice and democracy.                 taking part.
     to Britain during the Second World                Unite members are very involved with             “There's a
     War where he was active in the                 Levellers day. Two volunteers at last year's     debate,      a
     AEU and the Communist Party.                   event were Van Coulter and Catharine             commem-
        In 1948 he returned to Gibraltar            Arakelian. They explained to the Rep what        oration and
     to take up his appointment as                  the day means to them and why they help          prayer next Celebrating Levellers’ day
     general secretary of the new                                                                                                                          back in the 1970s
                                                    out.                                             to         the
     Gibraltar Confederation of Labour,                Van, a long-standing trade unionist, and a    Burford church where the Levellers were               organisation and participation in unions, or
     but after three months of intensive            member of the Oxford branch centred on           imprisoned and three shot,” said Catherine,           cooperatives, are the only way that the
     and successful organising, Fava                Cowley’s BMW factory, said: ”My decision to      “this is followed by a noisy, and colourful,          working person will ever win and retain
     was summarily deported for alleged             assist with Levellers' Day is as much to do      procession from the church. There are                 their rights. The Levellers were soldiers in
     Communist activities which were                with my belief in co-operativism than            environmental and political groups of every           the New Model Army whose thoughts and
     not illegal, or even proved.                   anything else. Communities need to support       hue, good food, music and dancing.”                   actions were against the executive of the
        This pamphlet tells the story of            such events to promote awareness of                 Van added: “I would encourage fellow               day.
     how the British Labour government              working class issues. The inequalities faced     trade unionists to join in the fun; the festival        “They gave their lives for their ideas: the
     approved these savage anti-union               by fellow citizens are unhealthy for all parts   is     educational,      entertaining       and       equality of the people, and the right for
     measures and links it to current               of our society.”                                 invigorating. The procession and pageant              representation. Our civil liberties, including
     campaigns to protect civil liberties              Catherine, from Oxford, added: “I have        commemorating the execution of three                  the freedom to speak and to associate with
     and expose the activities of the               attended in the past, as someone interested      Levellers was memorable, the morning                  whoever we want, are worth defending.”
     secret services.                               in debate and wanting to hear Tony Benn,         debate informative and the concert first                Levellers Day this year takes place on
        It is available for just £3 (post           who regularly turns up and gives a 'state of     rate.”                                                Saturday 16th May. The theme is the Energy
     free) from Tom Sibley, 156 St                  the nation' speech. I signed up to help             They both feel that the spirit of The              Poverty Crisis and Tony Benn and Roy
     Stephens Road, TW3 2BW,                        organise the event, and have been to some        Levellers lives on in the trade union                 Bailey will be performing 'The Writing on
     cheques payable to Unite Gibraltar.            informal pub meetings to work out a theme        movement.                                             the Wall'.     For more info check out
                                                    and who we want to invite. We're going to be        Catherine said: “I feel strongly that              www.levellers.org.uk.




     GOING GREEN IN THE WORKPLACE
 UP TO 8,000 people marched on parliament           in explaining the issues, there’s still an       green new deal and green new jobs. The                Simply go http://cacctu.wordpress.com/ and
 last December to protest about the lack of         awful lot of confusion. Trade unions are         answer to climate change is wind turbines,            get your branch involved.
 government action on climate change. This          absolutely central to the fight to stop          it's solar power, it's railways, it's insulating
 was just one of nearly 70 demonstrations held      climate change. We have the resources and        houses. The answer is jobs!”
 across the world as part of a global day of        the industrial power to make things                 Unite is calling for environmental reps in
 action timed to coincide with United Nations       happen.”                                         the workplace, more details contact
 Climate Talks in Poznan, Poland.                      The march ended with speakers                 Caroline       Molloy       (please       email
    Swelling the crowd were large numbers of        addressing a rally in Parliament Square.         caroline.molloy@unitetheunion.com). The
 trade unionists, joining the call for more         Jonathan Neil from the campaign's trade          Campaign Against Climate Change
 green jobs, particularly in manufacturing          union group declared: “The solution is a         trade union group has a website:
 renewable technology.
    Richard Chute has been a Unite member
 for 15 years. A council worker in
 Hammersmith & Fulham, he joined the march
 “in order to persuade governments to
 promote the 'green industrial revolution' by
 investing in the creation of green sector jobs.”
    Richard feels that it is important that trade
 unionists get involved in the climate
 campaign: “Employees are affected most by
 the consequences of climate change, and we
 can have the means to take control -
 individual action is not enough. Small things
 can be done, for instance, there should be tax-
 free loans for buying bikes and workplace
 travel plans established.”
    He also feels that unions and branches
 should sign up to the Campaign Against
 Climate Change trade union group, getting
 involved at all levels: “Union leaders should
 encourage, and support the call for, statutory
 rights of recognition for environmental
 workplace representatives. Unions should be
 involved in environmental issues that happen
 outside our workplace, for example building
 decent sustainable public sector homes to
 rent, installing solar roofs, raising insulation
 in houses and reducing VAT on all home
 maintenance and repair work.”
    Medway Trades Council industrial officer,
 Steve Wilkins, said: "I think there is a big job
                                                    Richard Chute

www.unitetheunion.com                                                                                                                                             email us: reporter@unitetheunion.com
                   Unite’s support for
                    Workplace Reps
Have a look at our website                                  EDUCATION AND TRAINING
www.unitetheunion.com/services                              With a range of nationally accredited training courses
or our members’ benefit site                                available free to workplace reps, safety reps, learning
                                                            reps and equalities reps you can enjoy sector specific
www.unitewithus.org.uk/workplacesupport                     training on request. We can help you find links and
                                                            pathways to access further education, higher education
to see what we can offer you:
                                                            and technical training. We can also give you access to
                                                            Unite’s bursaries to provide possible funding that will
                                                            help assist with career development.
                                                            For further information E-mail:
                                                            education@unitetheunion.com ,
                                                            Tel: 020 8462 7755 or fax: 020 8315 8234




                              LIFELONG LEARNING (LLL)
                              LLL can improve your quality of life, working
                              conditions, promotion & employment prospects.
                              Working with the Labour government via the Union
                              Learning Fund, Unite has, arguably, the largest and
                              most effective LLL project within the British trades
                              union movement.
                              DID YOU KNOW: LLL can help your company draw
                              down funding and support, to increase the skills
                              within the workplace! With Unite’s LLL team support,
                              Union Learning Reps (ULRs) also aim to ensure that
                              access to training and learning is fair and equitable.
                              Find out how LLL can work for you and your
                              workplace:
                              www.unitetheunion.com/lifelonglearning


EQUAL RIGHTS
Equal rights are a key priority and Unite is committed
to promoting equality and advancing the interests
and improving the working conditions of members
irrespective of age, gender, sexual
orientation, ethnic or national
origin, creed or disability.
www.unitetheunion.com/equality
                                                              If you are suffering from discrimination,
                                                              harassment or being bullied at work,
                                                              please contact your workplace
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