Unite the union
Issue 6  
FB Live We held our second Facebook Live coronavirus legal advice session on Wednesday, with nearly 11 thousand views. If you missed it you can still watch it over on our FB page. Watch this space for news of another session.  
Rolling blog
We’ve launched a new UNITElive online rolling blog covering all our daily coronavirus news. Take a look here   Safety  
Unite gets behind Daily Mirror PPE campaign  
Unite general secretary Len McCluskey has backed the Mirror’s campaign for the government to give all health and care workers adequate personal protective equipment.

Speaking to the Mirror he said: “Not another hour should go by with these heroes being left without the kit they need to keep themselves safe. Let’s get behind this campaign. We cannot rest until our people have the PPE they need to stay protected.”   Read more  

Unite calls for a Minister for PPE and Testing   Writing in the Daily Mirror as part of the PPE campaign launch, Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner said: “We need leadership on PPE for frontline workers… Unite is calling for a Minister for PPE and Testing, responsible to the PM, to knock the government machine into shape.” We reproduced his article in full on UNITElive.   Read more  

Blaming logistics is “unacceptable” Adrian Jones, Unite’s national officer for road transport has slammed the government for blaming logistics for the shortages of PPE.   WATCH his video here     

Top tweet   Unite’s twitter ‘thread’ using the words of a nurse member whose colleague had just died from coronavirus and who wanted to respond to comments by health secretary Matt Hancock about NHS staff misusing PPE received hundreds of likes and retweets. Read it here, and share it if you haven’t already.     

Wages   Unite wins wage security for redundant workers   In the first legal test of the government’s job retention scheme (JRS), Unite has secured clarification that the scheme can be used by companies in administration during the Covid-19 crisis.

We are now calling on Carluccio’s workers who were made jobless in March when the restaurant chain went into administration to respond to the administrator’s offer or get in touch with their union so that they can access the scheme and establish some wage security.

The ruling also offers some hope to other workers who have been made redundant because their employers called in the administrators during this crisis, such as those at Beale’s and Debenhams.     Read more  

Unite wins day one full company sick pay for London’s bus workers   We have secured company sick pay from day one for all London’s 20,000 bus workers through intense pressure on bus operators, Transport for London (TfL), the London Mayor Sadiq Khan and the national government.

Unite had been appalled that some bus workers felt that they had to go on working when exhibiting signs of having caught coronavirus because of the lack of company sick pay.   Read more  

Jobs   Unite stops Cardiff based company sacking workers during Covid 19 crisis   A Unite campaign has stopped a Cardiff based food wholesaler from sacking over 100 low paid workers.

Global Foods in Cardiff laid off all its 117 workers days after the government’s furlough scheme was announced. But a handful of workers who belonged to Unite contacted their union and initiated a hard-hitting campaign which ensured the workers were furloughed instead.
Read more

Terms and conditions protected   Unite secured agreement to protect the terms and conditions of members at Walstead printers in Peterborough. Members were told their 36-hour contracts would be cut to just 12 a week for up to six months, but were instead furloughed after their union’s intervention. Unite has since has a 10 per cent increase in membership at the site and is now supporting members in the offices across all the company’s plants. Members working for National Express have been furloughed on either 90 per cent of base pay, or 80 per cent of average pay after negotiations led to a collective agreement. The jobs of 58 school supply staff in Waltham Forest have been saved and their full salaries protected to the end of term, moving to 80 per cent of salary after that.  

Unite in the Community   Kit it Out, a charity which provides old and used football kits to young people through community centres in Liverpool, founded by Unite organisers, raised £12,000 through fundraising and the auctioning of shirts donated by ex-Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher.

They’ve donated some of the funds to Fans Supporting Foodbanks and to the purchase of stationary and craft materials for school children in lockdown across the city.   Meanwhile Leicester GPM branch has been making up care packages for NHS workers in the high dependency unit of Leicester General Hospital.    

Online guidance   Covid-19 and European Works Councils   Unite has issued new guidance on the work of European Works Councils (EWCs) during the coronavirus crisis.

For our members in multinational companies their involvement in company decision making through EWCs is more important than ever in this dramatic situation. The guidance covers three key issues that need to be addressed during the crisis: the use of video-conferencing, proactively engaging with other EWC colleagues about the situation in other countries and actions post crisis.
The guidance can be found on our dedicated Covid-19 advice webpages.   Read more  

Updated employment rights guidance   Your employer is obliged under the law to provide you with a safe place of work. Unite is receiving daily reports of workplaces failing to operate the very basic requirements of social distancing.

There are some protections for employees from being subjected to a detriment or dismissal contained in the Employment Rights Act. We explain these in our updated guidance.   Read more    

To catch up with all Unite’s statements, stories and actions on #coronavirus go to our News and Events page HERE

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