GKN Workers fighting back to protect jobs in the Midlands

The workers at GKN Erdington are on all out strike from 27th of September in order to save their plant from closure with a potential loss of 520 jobs.

Similarly, jobs losses in the industrial supply chain will follow.

Details of their strike fund for distribution are below:

WM 1% Fund

Unity Trust Bank

Sort Code 60-83-01 Account 20174000

Please send this message around as far and wide as possible to maximise support.

Other events to raise financial and trade union support are in the planning stages and details will be sent out very soon.

In the meantime, Birmingham Trades Council is supporting the GKN workers and is appealing to all Trade Unions affiliated to the Trades Council to do likewise.

Our next delegate meeting scheduled for Thursday 7th October will hear from GKN workers about their fight to preserve their and other jobs in the Midlands that are part of the GKN supply chain.

Details of any future plans will be on our website here over the next few days as we learn more.

About Birmingham TUC

Since its foundation in 1866, Birmingham Trades Union Council has brought together local trade union branches to support working people in their workplaces and within local communities. It continues to provide a coordinating centre for affiliated trade union branches to protect and advance the interests of workers in Birmingham.

Along with its sister trade union councils across the country, BTUC aims to:

  • raise awareness of rights at work and the role of trade unions in enforcing those rights;
  • to improve the economic and social conditions of workers and to participate in international, national and local campaigns to promote trade unionism. 
  • to combat racist, sexist or fascist ideas and oppose discrimination in all its forms.

Officers & Executive Committee members 2020-21

President – Ian Scott (Unite)
Secretary – Naeem Malik (Unite)
Vice President – Melany Cruz (UCU)
Assistant Secretary – Joseph Ward (Unison)
Treasurer – Darcy Luke (UCU)
Equalities Officer – Mohammed Mumit (PCS)
Anti-Racist Officer – Shingai Mushayabasa (Unite)
Executive Committee Members – Carl Jones (UCU), Elio Di Muccio (UCU), Stephen Booth (Unison), Stuart Richardson (NEU), Catherine Christian (Unite), Sarah Teversham (Unite), Farheen Ahmed (Unite)

How to Affiliate

BTUC meetings are held on the first Thursday of the month and are open to anyone interested in trade unionism in Birmingham, whether part of an affiliated branch or not. However, we welcome new affiliations and would encourage members across the region to ask your branch to affiliate. The annual affiliation fee rate is set out in the BTUC constitution. All enquiries regarding affiliation can be sent directly to the Secretary at btucsec@hotmail.com or at our generic email address btuc.comms@gmail.com.

Affiliated Branches 2020-21

  • Artists’ Union (1)
    • Birmingham
  • BFAWU (1)
    • Birmingham District Office (331)
  • CWU (1)
    • Birmingham
  • GMB (1)
    • Birmingham Public Services
  • MU (1)
    • Birmingham
  • NEU (1)
    • Birmingham
  • NUJ (1)
    • Birmingham
  • PCS (1)
    • EFRA
  • RMT (1)
    • Birmingham
  • UCU (3)
    • Birmingham City University
    • University of Birmingham
    • Retired Members
  • Unison (2)
    • Birmingham
    • University of Birmingham
  • Unite (11)
    • Birmingham South/6030
    • Birmingham Central/6010
    • Community WM/5112
    • Community North/5114
    • WM 7147
    • WM 7342
    • WM7685
    • LE/7076L
    • LE/975
    • 76KS
    • IA/76

Tesco Must Pay All Staff Equally Decision of Court of Justice of the European Union

As a preliminary point, the Court holds that it has jurisdiction, pursuant to Article 86 of the withdrawal agreement, 3 to reply to the request for a preliminary ruling, despite the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union.
Tesco Stores is a retailer that sells its products online and in stores located in the United Kingdom. The stores, of varying size, have a total of approximately 250 000 workers, who carry out various types of jobs. That company also has a distribution network with approximately 11 000 employees, who carry out various types of jobs. Approximately 6 000 employees or former employees of Tesco Stores, both female and male, who work or used to work in its stores, brought proceedings against it before the referring tribunal, the Watford Employment Tribunal (United Kingdom), from February 2018 onwards, on the ground that they had not enjoyed equal pay for male and female workers for equal work, contrary to national legislation and Article 157 TFEU. The referring tribunal stayed the male workers’ claims, since it took the view that their outcome depended on the outcome of the claims brought by the female claimants in the main proceedings.

As to the substance, the Court observes first of all, in respect of the wording of Article 157 TFEU, that that article imposes, clearly and precisely, an obligation to achieve a particular result and is mandatory as regards both ‘equal work’ and ‘work of equal value’. It recalls next that, according to its settled case-law, Article 157 TFEU produces direct effects by creating rights for individuals which the national courts must safeguard, in particular in cases of discrimination arising directly from legislative provisions or collective labour agreements, as well as in cases in which work is carried out in the same establishment or service, whether private or public. The Court points out that it has explained that such discrimination is among the forms of discrimination which may be identified solely by reference to the criteria based on equal work and equal pay laid down by Article 119 of the EEC Treaty and that in such a situation a court is in a position to establish all the facts enabling it to decide whether a female worker is receiving lower pay than a male worker engaged in equal work or work of equal value. 4 Thus, it is apparent from settled case-law that, contrary to Tesco Stores’ submissions, the direct effect of Article 157 TFEU is not limited to situations in which the workers of different sex who are compared perform ‘equal work’, but extends to situations of ‘work of equal value’. In that context, the Court explains that the question whether the workers concerned perform ‘equal work’ or ‘work of equal value’ is a matter of factual assessment by a court.

Furthermore, the Court holds that the objective pursued by Article 157 TFEU, namely the elimination, for equal work or work of equal value, of all discrimination on grounds of sex as regards all aspects and conditions of remuneration, bears out such an interpretation. It observes in that regard that the principle, referred to in Article 157 TFEU, of equal pay for male and female workers for equal work or work of equal value forms part of the foundations of the European Union.

Finally, the Court points out that, where the differences identified in the pay conditions of workers performing equal work or work of equal value cannot be attributed to a single source, there is no entity which could restore equal treatment, with the result that such a situation does not come within the scope of Article 157 TFEU. By contrast, where such pay conditions can be attributed to a single source, the work and the pay of those workers can be compared, even if they work in different establishments. Consequently, that provision may be relied upon before national courts in proceedings concerning work of equal value carried out by workers of different sex having the same employer and in different establishments of that employer, provided that the latter constitutes such a single source.

Read full judgement, ECoJ, https://is.gd/R6dFNe

Latest News

Relevant breaking news that may be of interest to the BTUC Community

Facebook Accused of Anti-Palestinian Bias by Digital Rights Group and Palestinian News Agencies

On Wednesday 19th May 2021, digital rights group Sada Social and a number of Palestinian News Agencies sent a formal complaint to Facebook for the arbitrary censorship of content posted on the platform by Palestinian journalists and commentators.The complaint, which was also sent to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression, requests an urgent review of and explanation for decisions made by Facebook to suspend accounts and posts which are affiliated to Palestinian news agencies and commentators.Digital rights group Sada Social has been monitoring the suspension of Palestinian content and accounts on Facebook and other social media platforms since 2017. This year the group has documented hundreds of instances of inappropriate censorship of social media content which supports the rights of Palestinians by social media platforms. They are currently investigating 159 Palestinian related Facebook accounts, which appear to have been censored without good reason.

Read more: Bindmans Solicitors, https://is.gd/8VXC3n

Elections and Compulsory Photo ID – What Effect Will it Have on Gypsies and Irish Travellers?

MAY21

Posted by John O in Uncategorized | No Comments | Edit

At the annual Queen’s Speech last week, the controversial Electoral Integrity Bill was announced. If passed, it means that voters will need to produce a valid form of photo ID when they cast their vote. The government rationale behind the legislation is to secure trust and prevent fraud in UK voting systems. It is thought the legislation will be in place by next year. 

Despite being routinely practiced in many countries, including Northern Ireland and the United States, this type of legislation has been criticised for deterring voters and, more problematically, disenfranchising poorer, minority and elderly voters. This is due to the fact that procuring approved forms of identification can be expensive and time consuming. 

Since this bill was first proposed in 2015, civil society groups and politicians have likened the proposals to voter suppression tactics in the United States, citing their ability to deter marginalised voters and prevent full democratic engagement. The criticism in the United Kingdom ranges from the negligible levels of voter personation (fraud), the cost implication of procuring valid photo ID, and the lack of free universal photographic ID. 

In the UK context, this has been the most contentious element of the new proposed bill, aside from the ideological arguments that the law is bureaucratic, unnecessary and intentionally discriminatory. A study commissioned by the Cabinet Office and published on March 31 found that 9 per cent of UK adults lacked photographic identification that was still valid and had a recognisable photograph. That’s approximately two million people (Cabinet office, 2021) . It is difficult to know what percentage of GRT do not possess photo ID, but likely the very young or the very old. 

According to the Cabinet Office’s own report those without any photo ID at the time of the survey were substantially more likely to believe the requirement for photo ID would make voting difficult (39%). 



Read more: Each Other, https://is.gd/TOt8nJ

A Sigh of Relief: Elkundi & Ors v Birmingham City Council

Hot on the heels of the decision in R (Imam) v London Borough of Croydon (2021) EWHC 739 (Admin) (see our note here) comes this altogether more satisfying decision, Elkundi & Ors, R (On the Application Of) v Birmingham City Council (2021) EWHC 1024 (Admin), on the nature and enforceability of the duty under s. 193(2) Housing Act 1996.This was a judicial review brought by four claimants who were each owed the duty under section 193(2) of the Housing Act 1996 by Birmingham City Council.

All claimants were living in temporary accommodation which Birmingham had at some point decided was unsuitable, but in which they had nonetheless remained for more than a year.

The claimants sought relief in the form of a mandatory order requiring the Council to secure accommodation, as well as declarations that the duty under section 193(2) is immediate and non-deferrable, and that the system operated by Birmingham to manage applicants in unsuitable accommodation was unlawful.

All claimants were granted declaratory relief.

Read more: Doughty Street Chambers, https://is.gd/kScvfD

Parliament is Going To Debate the Petition you Signed “

Introduce Sanctions Against Israel”

The debate is scheduled for Monday, 14 June 2021

376,505 people have so far signed; now is the time to double/treble get others to sign;

Target should be 500,000 half -a- Million by Friday 11 June.

Introduce sanctions against Israel – Sign this petition https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/585314

Support trade unionists on strike in prisons.

UCU Novus members working in prison education have been on strike Tuesday 11 May, and Wednesday 12 May in a dispute over health and safety. This covers 49 prisons and young offenders’ institutions and is the first time a prison education branch has taken industrial action.

The row centres on the employer Novus’s failure to meaningfully engage with UCU over Covid health and safety concerns and on-site provision. Also, Novus has refused to drop complaints and investigations against staff who have raised safety concerns – unfounded allegations and without reference to any formal procedures and against natural justice. As these staff are UCU’s health and safety representatives, UCU believes it is impossible for the employer to meaningfully engage in health and safety discussions until this intimidation stops.

Please support your colleagues. If ever there was a time to stand up and support your union colleagues, now is the time. Due to members’ fear of reprisals, there will be limited social media use. However you can fill this gap by taking the following actions:

Your support will give the branch a real boost – please send your messages today. You can find out more about the background to the dispute here.

28,612 Brumies Have Signed the Petition

‘Introduce Sanctions Against Israel’
Petition has Reached 356,844 Signatures and Rising Every Second.
28,612 Brumies Have Signed the Petition
Walsall South 2,144
West Brom 660
East Brom 806
Perry Barr 2,503
Erdington 1,061
Warley 1,200
Ladywood 3,313
Edgbaston 1,001
Hodge Hill  5,307
Yardley 2,932
Hall Green 5,394
Selly Oak 1.279
Solihull 1,005
Grand Total 28,612
The petition has Reached 355,466 Signatures and Rising Every Second.
https://is.gd/bvmlC https://is.gd/bvmlCD
If you have not yet signed, please do so now!

Early Day Motion 7 – Undocumented Migrants

That this House recognises that there are many barriers that prevent people from accessing and maintaining stable immigration status even when they were either born in the UK or have lived in the UK for many years; further recognises that the majority of undocumented migrants have lost their status through no fault of their own, including through an inability to pay application fees, lack of access to legal advice, mistakes on the part of decision-makers and complexity of immigration rules; understands that the harm done to individuals through hostile immigration policies extends to family members and the communities that they are part of; notes that the UK has one of the most complex and expensive routes to regularisation in Europe; further notes that all current routes to regularisation and settlement are far too long, complicated and inflexible, leaving people with no options but to live undocumented; understands that migrants who do not have access to the public safety net or the right to work are vulnerable to exploitation and; and calls on the Government to support recommendations made by Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants in its report, We Are Here: routes to regularisation for the UK’s undocumented population, published in April 2021 by introducing new routes to regularisation and removing barriers which cause migrants to become undocumented.

EDM (Early Day Motion) 7: tabled on 11 May 2021, https://is.gd/9H39N8

Put your MP to Work, get them to sign EDM 18, to find your MP go here https://is.gd/2WxrH6