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GMB Update - March 2015

Nearly 700,000 “Zero Hours” Workers Actually Average 25 Hours Per Week

GMB commented on the latest ONS figures on contracts with no guaranteed hours - zero hour contracts, 2014.

Paul Kenny, GMB General Secretary, said “There are nearly 700,000 workers each week that have no guaranteed hours of work while working on average 25 hours per week. What employers are offering workers has seriously decreased while workers often have little alternative but to accept what is on offer. Even skilled workers in the UK face being undercut while wages are stagnant or falling in real terms.
There are fundamental problems about Europe that we have to face up to. Whatever the European vision was on integration, harmony, economic advancement and political stability, what we currently have isn’t it.

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Directors Of Firms Not Paying NMW To Be Denied Further Directorships

Martin Smith, GMB National Organiser, said “Naming and shaming these employers is to be welcomed as far too few wage dodging employers not paying the national minimum wage have been brought to justice. Government needs to make a real commitment to making work pay by more aggressively seeking out offenders to prosecute them. The enforcement rules should also be changed so that trade unions can make complaints to HMRC on behalf of members.

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Care Quality Commission Publish New Information On Cameras In Care Homes

GMB, the union for staff in care homes, commented on the publication on 12th February by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) of information to help people make appropriate decisions on the use of hidden cameras to monitor someone’s care.

There is a degree of inevitably about cameras in care settings so five tests set out by union should be applied says GMB

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Tax Evasion By HSBC For Wealthy In Switzerland Is Systemic And Deep Rooted

Instead of tackling tax evasion, the Tory Party has colluded in covering it up as the boss of the bank, HSBC, was promoted to be a minister in the Government says GMB.

GMB Yorkshire & North Derbyshire regional secretary Tim Roache said, “This is another example of tax evasion on a massive scale that is endemic, systemic and deep rooted in the City and the wealthy classes across the country.  This is criminal activity on an industrial scale. Instead of tackling it the Tory Party has colluded in covering it up. The boss of the bank was promoted to be a minister in the Government. The credibility of this class in dealing with the deficit fairly has taken a very bad knock”

GMB Branches Recognised for Outstanding Achievements at Regional Activity Weekend

GMB branches from across the region came together for the sixth annual Branch Activity Weekend in Wakefield, 7-8 February.  The event began with a keynote address from Tim Roache, GMB regional secretary.  Workshop forums were held during the day which focused on GMB Challenges and Opportunities,  General Election 2015, Regional Democracy and Autonomy and Immigration and Integration.  Feedback from the workshop presentations will go on to help formulate a Branch Charter and way forward for the year ahead.

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GMB Reacts To RICS Report On Skills Shortages

Phil Whitehurst, GMB National Officer said, “Only when the employers wake up and own up to their failed years of non investment, and invest a real apprenticeship program will we get back on track in the UK. For years the construction industry employers have buried their heads in the sand, way before the deepest recession we have experienced in living memory, they have failed to invest in “real apprenticeships” and opting for past Government low wage alternatives, with nothing at the end of the tunnel for those employed in such schemes.

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Sheffield City Council Slam GreenCo Actions

Sheffield City Council has reacted angrily at the reports that Green Co, the company currently operating Sheffield’s Household Waste Recycling Centres, are engaged in the abuse of zero hours contracts.

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GMB Calls On Sheffield City Council To Act On Abuses At Green Co Recycling Depots

The Green Company is owned by the charity Salvaire. The dispute is over failure to secure an agreement on premium pay for weekend and overtime working, on welfare facilities and how the contract is managed. GMB secured a living wage for members in the recycling centres from the out-going senior management team effective from April 2014. All of those managers have since been dismissed or have had to leave the company. The Finance Director and Operations Manager have already been dismissed and a HR manager and others have also left after raising concerns over bullying. GMB reps have been sacked and other members have also been issued with disciplinary letters after a previous, unofficial, walk out over the bullying of a disabled worker.

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NHS Strike Action Suspended

After a week of negotiations with Govt we have emerged with a pay offer. The GMB committees agreed that should a pay offer emerge we would undertake a consultation of the membership. A pay offer has emerged. After discussions with the National Secretary, Brian Strutton we have recommended and agreed that whilst this consultation commences we suspend the NHS Strike in England. We remain in dispute in Northern Ireland.

It is fair to say the GMB NHS strike escalation, particularly in the ambulance service is what strengthened our bargaining position in these talks.

As we turn to the consultation there will be scheduled a special NHS meeting of reps. This will take place next Wednesday 4th February 11-3 at the GMB Euston office.

Further details to follow.


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