The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 1st June 2018
Across Britain workers in the public and private sectors are always engaged in numerous disputes with their employers. Here are just a few examples of current battles.
CNIM has been appointed by American firm Wheelabrator to deliver the project for the North Wales Residual Waste Treatment Partnership led by Flintshire county council and other county councils.
Unite has applied pressure on the local authorities involved to demand the companies involved to begin paying the correct rates and abiding by the correct construction agreement.
When the site is fully operational there will be roughly 300 workers employed on the project. Additionally to paying below industry rates, Unite believes that the contractors are undermining safety, welfare provisions, training and failing to recruit local workers.
Unite’s regional officer Steve Benson said: “It is appalling that workers are being exploited through low pay on a project ultimately funded by the taxpayer.
“Workers are receiving a pittance compared to what they should be receiving for the work they are undertaking. Local authorities need to stop pretending to look the other way and to take responsibility for the exploitation and misery that is being created on their watch.”
Staff are fighting to remain direct employees of the trust and of the NHS, and correctly fear that the proposals would put their jobs, pay and conditions at risk.
Wigan Infirmary domestic Amanda Grimes said “We have won awards for being the cleanest hospital and I am very proud to work here. The proposal isn’t fair, the NHS should provide jobs that are good and secure. We don’t want the next generation of domestics and porters and catering staff in Wigan to have worse pay and conditions than we have.” The UNISON members voted by 89 per cent for strike action. Regional organiser Sean Gibson declared: “The staff are determined to stop the WWL Solutions plan and they have done themselves proud in standing together against it.”
After a long struggle the company has finally conceded that drivers will have access to medical cover, compensation for work-related injuries, sick pay, parental leave and bereavement payments.
This was a long time coming, in October 2016, the Central London Employment Tribunal ruled that Uber drivers are not self-employed, but workers entitled to basic workers’ rights including holiday pay, a guaranteed minimum wage and an entitlement to breaks. Uber appealed to an Employment Appeal Tribunal but it upheld the ruling last November. GMB’s National Officer Mick Rix, said: “At long last it seems Uber are starting to listen to GMB members complaints regards the company’s treatment of drivers and denying them their rights. This is a major step in the right direction, but our successful court victories, winning workers’ rights for Uber drivers, could have all been avoided if they had sat down and talked with GMB from the start.
Management has also claimed to be committed to working towards paying the London Living Wage in the next four years Prospect negotiations executive Sharon Brown said: “Prospect has been working hard to ensure that our members concerns are addressed. However, members are still hopeful that management will be able to change their policy on breaks and make real progress towards achieving the London Living Wage.
A Coventry worker said: “We need to fight back because Saturdays should be as voluntary as possible. There are a lot of football, rugby and netball players who want to play on a Saturday and a lot of people who simply want to spend time with their family. This is really affecting people’s work/life balance.” t.