Author: Paul

Cross Rail speculation

RMT  demands Government stop using TFL and its workers as a political football
 
Responding to reports that the Capital’s Crossrail line could be mothballed without immediate funding transport union RMT today called on the Government to stop using TFL as a political football. 
 
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
 
“What’s happening between the Government and TFL is nothing short of a disgrace. As we approach next year’s London Mayoral Election it’s clear the Government are using TFL and our members as a political football and rather than stick to their pledge of “Building Back Better” they’re starving TFL of vital funds and playing games with worker’s livelihoods. 
 
“London transport and its workforce are vital to the economic recovery from Covid-19 and RMT will not be afraid to do whatever is necessary to protect our member’s jobs and livelihoods”

New Inflation rates for year to October 2020

New Inflation rates for year to October 2020
 
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) have published inflation rates for the year to October 2020. The Retail Prices Index (RPI) has risen to 1.3%, which is 0.2% up on the year to September 2020. The alternative measures of CPI and CPIH were 0.7% (up 0.2%) and 0.9% (up 0.2%) respectively.
 
Your union’s policy is to use the RPI rate for all pay negotiations. Should an employer attempt to use alternative inflation measures during pay talks, please inform the National Policy department as soon as possible.
 
I would be grateful if you could bring the content of this circular to the attention of all members in your Branch.

Undercover Policing Inquiry: Outrage at “Brick Wall of Silence”

Undercover Policing Inquiry: Outrage at “Brick Wall of Silence”

 

Outrage at wall of silence, watch video here

 

 

Last week, on the first day of the Undercover Policing Inquiry hearings, The Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance demonstrated over the “brick wall of silence”.

 

The “public” Inquiry is hearing evidence behind closed doors, with no access to the public – thousands of whom will have been spied on by the members of a political secret police unit that infiltrated over 2,000 left wing organisations and campaigns (but only 3 far-right ones) between 1968 and 2010.Join the growing pressure for activists to see the files held on them, for undercover police’s cover names to be revealed, and for a complete list of groups spied on – and get daily reports on the proceedings at the

 

Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance’s website.

Dave Smith from the Blacklist Support Group gave evidence to the inquiry this morning. In a blistering performance he:

 

  1. accused SpyCop Mark Jenner of interfering with the internal democratic process of trade union UCATT accused SpyCop Carlo Neri of deliberately attempting to entrap union members by inciting them to commit arson called on the Inquiry to force the police to publish the names of Special Branch ‘key industry contacts’
  2. called on the Inquiry to force the police to publish names of any trade union officials who supplied information to the police
  3. slammed the Inquiry for lacking transparency and being unaccessible
  4. accused the police of protecting big business and capitalism, not democracy

 

Click here to read Dave’s full statement

 

Click here to read Union News report

LUEngineering APP – ‘My APP’ nears launch

The new LUEngineering APP and website is nearing its official launch and will be a replacement to our existing app and website.

 

We are in BETA testing and also updating text (hence why there is still some text filler, ‘Lorum Ipsum’) and content but thought people might like a quick look at the work we are doing.

 

We are looking to improve functionality to our APP and website and also introduce anonymous and confidential incident reporting that we believe will be beneficial to all our members especially those that are classified as vulnerable.

 

We want to engage and talk to our members and we hope that once working, that you will see it as an essential part of your trade union membership.

 

We also hope that it becomes a platform for other branches and grades to also produce further and more diverse ways to communicate with you all.

 

 

Sneak APP view

Blacklist Support Group opening statement to public inquiry Tuesday 17th November

The Blacklist Support Group opening statement at the public inquiry to be delivered by Dave Smith has been rescheduled to take place at 10am Tuesday 17th November.  Smith’s original statement was postponed due to a legal challenge to the content of his speech and the inquiry chair has now made a  ruling on what is permitted to be said in the rescheduled opening statement.

 
The BSG opening statement will be live streamed and can be viewed via this link:

Meet the General Secretary Candidates: Mick Lynch

Dear Friends,
Re: Nomination for election of RMT General Secretary
               
I am standing as a candidate in the forthcoming election for General Secretary and I would be honoured to receive your branch nomination.
 
The Covid-19 health crisis has amplified the many challenges we face.  The employers and the government will be seeking dilutions of pay & conditions, pensions, and health & safety standards in order to restore profits and make working people pay for the crisis.  They will also be seeking job cuts in our sectors.
 
Added to this are the existing challenges of new technology, outsourcing, and casualisation.
 
In the face of this, our members expect the RMT to be a united, professional and assertive union, ready to negotiate, but prepared to fight in order to protect them.
 
A united RMT is a powerful force capable of winning for our members. We can campaign, fight, and win as we have shown over the years. But our members need good campaigns they believe in, and will take action in support of their agenda.
 
In the period ahead we need to ensure that RMT is a strong and united Industrial Union that is entirely focused on our members’ needs rather than turning in on ourselves and being distracted from the real tasks our members need us to focus on.
 
Our union must evolve to suit the challenges before us.
 
We must develop our union so that we are fully suited to the campaigns ahead, but also so that we are vigorously engaged in the equality agenda – fighting racism, fighting discrimination.
 
We must bring forward new activists that reflect our diverse membership, our industrial sectors, and their real-life issues.
 
As General Secretary I will be fully committed to our members’ agenda, building and developing our union for the future, and bringing unity of purpose and action across the organisation.
 
I was blacklisted from the construction industry for trade union activity so joined the railway and RMT and my record is one of organising, building our strength, campaigning and negotiating good deals.
 
As an activist and elected RMT national official, I have always sought to do the best for our members and their causes. I believe I am a person that can bring our members together and take forward their campaigns and issues.
 
In my 42 years of trade union activism and as a national officer I have developed the ability and experience to articulate the RMT’s case and policies – in the branch room, at the negotiation table and in the broadcast media.
 
The members have to trust the union, believe in us and what we are doing. To identify with RMT from the shopfloor to the national leadership.
 
I believe that I am a national officer that unites RMT members across grades, sectors, regions and backgrounds.  Throughout my time as a trade union activist and officer, workers and members have trusted me to take their issues forward.
 
We are rightly proud that our members and activists have made RMT a leading force in the working-class movement.  We have shown the way through effective campaigns and industrial action, and by being a union that is brave enough to decide its own independent political outlook.
 
Our members have shown courage and commitment to their union and I am committed to RMT being at the service of our members and that the RMT can go on to further success – to grow and to win.
 
But that needs maximum unity in our ranks – all grades, all sectors.  A united RMT can go on to achieve much more for our members.
 
I hope that as General Secretary I can play my part for this great union and in the campaigns ahead. I have the skills, knowledge and experience that members can trust in the times ahead and to take this union forward.
 
Therefore, I would be grateful if your branch would consider my name for nomination as RMT General Secretary.
 

Meet the General Secretary Candidates: Steve Hedley

Dear colleagues,

 

I am standing for the position of General Secretary and would ask that your branch considers supporting my nomination.

I am the current Senior Assistant General Secretary of our great union and have done this job for 6 years.Before that I was a
assistant  General Secretary for over two years a regional organiser for four years ,a regional council and branch secretary, a tier two and local rep. All in all I’ve spent 32 years  in the service of our members in the RMT/NUR and have represented all grades in  some capacity in that time.

 

In Standing for RMT General Secretary I wish to make it clear from the outset that I will be fighting my campaign on policies not personalities.

 

I will not attack my opponents and would ask all my supporters to refrain from destructive personal attacks.

 

When this is all over we need to rebuild unity with everyone in our great union to fight the massive attacks coming our way .

 

 

I’m standing for a members led union where as General Secretary (servant of the members)I will work closely with the NEC, officers and reps to defend jobs, safety, terms and conditions and pay.

 

I want the RMT leading the trade union movement industrially and politically.

 

I want our union free from influences in the TUC and Labour Party who want to stifle action and instead promote partnership with the very bosses who are attacking us. The Covid crisis has provided the government with a smokescreen to attack us and the whole union movement,we must build the largest possible coalition of unions ,trades councils, community, disabled and passenger groups to defend ourselves against this.

 

I know the right wing establishment hate me and I see this as a badge of honour. I also know they fear me as someone who will fight to the end to defend our members and our class.I am expecting them to attack and slander me during the General Secretary campaign and whilst this won’t be pleasant with your support we will prevail.

 

Since becoming Senior Assistant General Secretary I have not taken a pay rise but have  donated around £15,000 pounds a year to our RMT fighting fund instead.If elected General Secretary I again  will not take a pay rise and will keep donating to our strike fund .In my opinion if a Union leader takes a huge pay cheque they forget what it’s like for our members and this is why I don’t now and never will do that .

 

We as workers are in an unprecedented situation we need a clear militant industrial strategy to beat off  the forthcoming government attacks .We need to call on all forces friendly to the workers movement to fight by our side .Most of all we need unity in our own union and someone able to inspire our members and make them believe they can win.

 

I have a track record of 32 years union activity always at the forefront of the struggle.The bosses will fear me as General Secretary as they know I cannot be bought or intimidated.

 

I am not motivated by money or ego but by love of the working class and a burning desire to better the lives of all our members. For these reasons I humbly ask that you support me in the General Secretary’s election.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Steve Hedley
Senior Assistant General Secretary

 

 

RMT CONTRIBUTION RATES 2021

RMT CONTRIBUTION RATES 2021
As you know, the cost of providing members with the benefits of RMT membership increases every year and contribution rates increase in line with inflation to help us to maintain and improve those benefits and services.
With effect from the 1st January 2021 members whose basic salary or equivalent earnings are above £23,200 per annum will pay £5.30 per week
Members whose basic salary or equivalent earnings are below £23,200 per annum will pay £2.28 per week
The new contribution rates effective from 1st January 2021 will be:
      
Period
Full Rate
Low Rate
Weekly
£ 5.30
 £ 2.28
4 Weekly
£ 21.20
 £ 9.12
Monthly
£ 22.97
 £ 9.88
                                         

Spycops public inquiry finally starts

After a five and a half year delay, the public inquiry into the abuses carried out by the UK’s undercover political police has finally started. 
The Blacklist Support Group plus the three unions in the inquiry; UNITE, FBU and NUM will be making their opening statements on Friday 6th November. Watch all the union strand opening statements via this link: https://www.ucpi.org.uk/hearing/opening-statements-5/
10:00 AM
James Scobie QC (Core Participants represented by Paul Heron)
12:15 PM
Ruth Brander (Non-Police, Non-State Core Participant Group)
2:00 PM
Lord Hendy QC (Fire Brigades Union and Unite [Category E Core Participants])
3:45 PM
Gareth Pierce (National Union of Mineworkers [Category E Core Participant])
4:15 PM
Dave Smith (Blacklist Support Group [Category E Core Participant])
Some of the press coverage so far:

RMT General Secretary Announces his early retirement

LUEngineering Branch is saddened to hear that Mick Cash has decided to retire early.

 

We have asked him to take some time and reconsider his position but ultimately, it is a decision that he has made and we therefore have to accept his wishes.

 

Our branch has told Mick that he is always welcome to attend our meetings and we hope he comes to our branch socials in future and happier times.

 

We wish him all the best for the future

 

LUL Circular 3rd November 2020

WORKING CONDITIONS, HAMMERSMITH SERVICE CONTROL CENTRE – LONDON UNDERGROUND – (LUL/14/2)
 
Further to my previous (Circular IR/391/20, 1st  October 2020) and following the recent vote in favour of taking industrial action in this dispute the Lead Officer and Representatives held further dispute resolution talks with LUL but a number of key issues and questions that were raised were not addressed. These included a failure to provide the necessary detail and assurances regarding members’ working conditions and as a result the Lead Officer and Reps had planned to call for Industrial Action.
 
On Saturday 24th October the Lead Officer received correspondence from LUL that point by point answered the demands that RMT had put to them as necessary following the outcome of our earlier dispute meeting. The dispute from the very beginning has been over LUL’s refusal to act and address the varied and serious facility issues and management of Health and Safety at Hammersmith Service Control Centre. Nothing less than LUL’s complete commitment to rectifying these issues would be acceptable and the measures LUL have now agreed to take will be subject to our Representatives’ full consultation and oversight.
 
The outcome we now have, our demands met in full and with the requisite detail and Union oversight, has been achieved through our members’ voice and the mandate they gave in the ballot for Industrial Action. Without members voicing their commitment for the right to a safe and dignified workplace this victory would not have been possible.
 
Our National Executive Committee has met to consider two reports from the Lead Officer. The NEC has congratulated the members involved on their determination to ensure a safe workplace. RMT remains in dispute with LUL and with a mandate for Industrial Action, the NEC have instructed that a meeting is convened of LUL Service Control L2/T2 Reps, NEC and myself in attendance to discuss the progress made in this dispute.
 
I have been instructed to begin the process of engagement offered by LUL to ensure that our demands are met in full and by the dates provided. The Lead Officer will be making the necessary arrangements for this important work to begin and ensure the outcome members want.
 
As I have mentioned above, the position we are in now is down to members and the mandate they gave their Representatives in voting to take Industrial Action. The Representatives will remain engaged in this dispute and in ensuring that LUL meet the commitments they were given so that members at Hammersmith Service Control Centre have the safe and dignified workplace they are entitled to.
 
I trust this keeps you fully advised and I will provide updates on all future developments.
 
REORGANISATION AND JOB CUTS – SODEXO (TFL CONTRACT) (LUL/15/4)
 
Further to my previous Circular (IR/383/20, 24th September 2020), Sodexo has now given formal notice that it will make 30 redundancies out of its total workforce of 108 with the process concluding the week prior to Christmas, while it will also continue with its reorganisation plans.
 
It is a disgraceful way to treat a workforce, some of whom have worked for Sodexo for over 20 years, while the company makes millions of pounds of profits every year. And, despite the best efforts of our RMT representatives and Regional Organiser, Sodexo has refused to even delay the redundancy and reorganisation process to allow for further discussions to take place on the matter.
 
The National Executive Committee has considered this matter again and instructed me to inform Sodexo that an industrial dispute now exists between our organisations, and to commence with a ballot for strike action of Sodexo members.
 
The ballot will commence shortly and I would be grateful for Branches to ensure that all Sodexo members’ details including job title, workplace, home and e-mail address are correct. I will keep Branches advised of all further developments.
 
WORKING TIMETABLE 44/45 (WT44), TRAIN OPERATORS, BAKERLOO LINE
LONDON UNDERGROUND (LUL/14/2)
 
Further to my previous Circular (IR/474/19, 22nd November 2019), the National Executive Committee recently considered an update report from the Lead Officer and noted that these matters are no longer in dispute and were overtaken by the introduction of Covid working. The National Executive Committee also commended our Train Operator members and Reps for their refusal to accept the imposition of WT44/45.
 
DISMISSAL, K. LAWLOR, DRIVER, ARNOS GROVE – LONDON UNDERGROUND (LUL/4/1)
 
Further to my previous Circular (IR/023/20, 15th January 2020), Brother Ken Lawlor has now been reinstated to his substantive role as a Train Operator and this issue is now resolved. The National Executive Committee extends its congratulations to the Lead Officer, our LUL Train Reps and Bro. Lawlor for achieving this outcome.
 
TEMPORARY SALARY REDUCTION, COVID-19 – MACE (TFL CONTRACT) (LUL/9/17)
 
Further to my previous Circular (IR/143/20, 22nd April 2020), the National Executive Committee has considered a report from the Lead Officer that the proposed pay cut from MACE only applied to senior management and does not affect our members.
 
FURLOUGH ARRANGEMENTS, CORONAVIRUS – WILSON JAMES (EAL CABLE CAR SECURITY CONTRACT) – TFL (TFL/14/3)
 
Further to my previous Circular (IR/159/20, 1st May 2020), the National Executive Committee noted a report from the Lead Officer that only one manager was furloughed, and thanked the Lead Officer for his conclusion of this matter.

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