UNITE GROWS AT THE
GREAT YORKSHIRE SHOW
Unite the union had a significant presence at this year’s Great Yorkshire Show in
Harrogate. The show, which took place on 12 – 14 July 2016, is one of the largest
events of its kind and Unite has been at the show for the past 68 years.
This year saw Unite continue to use its permanent stand at the showground to put on
an exhibition which took visitors through the story of the Luddites, mining, suffragettes
and Unite today.
This was the second year that Unite has held an exhibition at the show and the
feedback from the 2314 visitors has been extremely positive. There were also 17
school groups who went through the exhibition, with many commenting that the
content about suffrage will help them with their studies.
Unite staff and members dressed up in costumes to take visitors through the
exhibition. Actors from Red Ladder Theatre Company also joined Unite and brought to
life some of the stories contained in the exhibition.
Steve Jeffry, Unite the union retired member, said “what a great day out promoting the
best union in the world to a mainly younger generation. It was great to have repeat
visitors from 2015 and a lot more school children coming to see what we do!”.
Karen Reay, regional secretary, said “it’s vitally important that we use events like
the Great Yorkshire Show to demonstrate the work that we do for industry and the
community. It’s great to see our new exhibition growing in popularity each year”.
July saw Unite in our
region taking part in
the Great Yorkshire
Show. I’m incredibly
proud of the work that
Unite put in to making
our exhibition a great
success, and the link
between us and the
show ground grows each
July also saw us at the
Durham Miners’ Gala, but
the excitement was short
lived when we learnt
of the death of Davey
Hopper. Personally, I will
remember Davey as a man
of integrity, passion and
determination, and Unite
the union will continue to
ensure his legacy lives on.
WORKING TOGETHER IN THE FOOD
Dave Monaghan, regional officer, and Mark Hodson, shop steward from Icelandic Seachill,
recently visited Brussels to attend a meeting of the Belgium union shop stewards from the ACV
Union to share best practice. Also at the meeting were colleagues from UILA, an Italian union,
NNN, a Norwegian union, the IUF (International Union of Food workers) and EFFAT (European
Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions).
Although it became clear that the challenges shop stewards face are similar, the conditions in
Belgium were generally more favourable and relationships with the employers appeared to be
better than in the UK. Belgian colleagues were surprised to learn of the restrictions in place in
the UK, in particular regarding organising and the process for conducting ballots on industrial
ACV also organised a demonstration outside the Seafood Expo Global exhibition. The
demonstration was to highlight the poor treatment of workers at Citra Mina in the Philippines,
and Mark and Dave flew the Unite flag to show our support.
PAY TALKS CONCLUDE AT 3M
In the face of a difficult world market, pay negotiations have
been successfully concluded with membership agreeing
an increase of 1.5% and the provision of three additional
Christmas holidays for 2016.
Tim Bush, regional coordinating officer, said “this is a good
result for our members at 3M, in particular due to the
difficult trading conditions on the world market”.
ACTION CONTINUES AT
RADFORD HMY GROUP
A dispute at Radford HMY Group Ltd continues to roll on in the form
of an overtime ban and work to rule which started on 11 July 2016.
In addition to this, Unite members took part in a 24 hour strike on 14
July 2016 and the employer has been notified of a three day strike to
take place on 3, 4 and 5 August 2016.
Mark Sanderson, regional officer, said “there is a new offer from the company for our members
to consider and it will be put to them on 29 July 2016. However, the offer is very poor and is
clawed back at the end of the year by dropping pay back to current levels. This would mean that
the 2017 negotiations start from no better position than the 2016 ones. I am fully expecting
members to reject the offer and for action to continue”.
PAY TALKS UNRAVEL AT
Unite members at Westex Carpets look likely to be heading into a dispute over pay.
Following the rejection of the company’s latest pay offer, Unite members made their voices
known through a consultative ballot. Over 80% of members indicated that they would be
willing to take strike action.
At the final meeting with the company, Unite offered that, rather than escalate straight into an
industrial action ballot, we seek to use ACAS. Unfortunately, the company chose not to accept
Sharon Ramsden, Unite regional officer, said “Unite are
now beginning the process of going to a formal ballot for
industrial action at Westex. Unite believes this will be the
first time members at Westex Carpets have taken industrial
action should we have a positive outcome to the ballot”.
SUCCESS IN HOLIDAY CALCULATIONS
Unite the union entered negotiations with David Brown Gears, Huddersfield, in respect of the
way the company calculated holiday pay. Unite took this action as it felt that the holiday pay did
not reflect a normal working week’s wage.
With support from the Unite legal team and the support of members, Richard Bedford, Unite
regional officer, presented the case for the calculation to be amend to reflect a working week
(ie a 13 week average to include all overtime and shift allowance, as well as back pay, to August
The company disagreed and offered a 13 week average going forward for the first 20 days’
holiday. In consultation with the stewards, Unite disputed this and lodged 120+ cases with ACAS
for early conciliation. This prompted the company to return to the table
and agree to back pay.
Richard Beford said, “the result of our negotiations on this matter led to
an agreement giving average pay going forward on 20 holidays and back
pay was paid to 69 members between £2.71 and £2,231.30. In total, 13
workers were paid above £1,000”.
DOUBLE SUCCESS AT THE
Two nominations were entered from Unite’s NEYH region into the annual
prestigious Unionlearn Awards which were presented on 4th July at the
10th Annual Conference held at TUC, Congress House.
Richard Gilbert a Unite ULR at Kirklees Council won the ‘Highly
Commended’ Award for his dedication and hard work in supporting
Unite members with Adult Literacy needs. This was followed by retired/
Community member and volunteer Brian Clarke from the Unite Barnsley Community Centre,
gaining the accolade of ‘Winner’ for his great work in supporting disadvantage members in the
Barnsley area, especially those with ESOL and ICT needs.
FIRST CLASS COLLECTION
The regional Legal and Affiliated Services stand at the Durham Miners’ Gala
and the Great Yorkshire Show collected £138.00 in donations for Unite
members who had recently taken part in strike action at First Leeds.
A GIANT OF THE TRADE UNION
Just days after this year’s Durham Miners’ Gala, Unite, and the whole trade union movement,
was shocked to hear of the death of Davey Hopper, General Secretary of the Durham Miners’
Davey was a long-time friend and comrade of Unite and Karen Reay, regional secretary, said
“Davey will be missed throughout the trade union movement. He was truly one of the giants of
Davey’s funeral took place on Friday 29 July 2016 with Jeremy Corbyn MP, the Labour Party
Leader, and Len McCluskey, Unite general secretary, amongst the mourners.
Responding to the news of Davey’s death, Len McCluskey said “on behalf of Unite the union
I offer our deepest, most sincere condolences to Davey’s family, and to all members of the
Durham Miners’ Association.”
“Hearts will be heavy as we reflect upon the loss of this brilliant and determined man, a giant of
our movement, a man dedicated to justice, equality and the betterment of his community”.
LEGAL AND AFFILIATES
HAVE YOU OR FAMILY MEMBERS WORKED IN AN
INDUSTRY WHERE EXPOSURE TO ASBESTOS MAY
DIAGNOSED WITH AN ASBESTOS RELATED ILLNESS?
Contact your local Unite office without delay.
Asbestos exposure questionnaires can be obtained from any one of our
offices, alternatively email
Remove the killer dust - an asbestos eradication law is needed
Unite supports a global ban on asbestos. And the best way to prevent more asbestos deaths is
to remove all asbestos still present in our buildings and ensure that
it is disposed of safely and never reused.
To do this we need much stronger legislation in Britain. This is
why we support and welcome the All Party Parliamentary Group on
Occupational Safety and health’s decision in June 2015 to call for
a new law on asbestos with a clear timetable for the eradication of
asbestos from every single workplace in Britain.
We also support their call for health and safety enforcement authorities to develop workplace
inspection programmes to verify that all asbestos is marked and managed, and that asbestos
eradication plans are in place – and be properly resourced to carry out this regulatory activity.
For more information click here.
ON AIRPORT PARKING
10% ON HOTELS &
10% ON No.1 TRAVELLER LOUNGES
To book visit www.aph.com/unite or call 01342 859536 quoting ‘Unite’
LEGAL AND AFFILIATES
DO YOU OR YOUR MEMBERS NEED HELP WITH
FINANCES – FED UP OF CONTINUALLY RECEIVING
BANK CHARGES – NEED FLEXIBLE FINANCIAL HELP?
Why not explore the Unite Credit Union Service, take a look at the link below from Prince
Bishops Community Bank one of Unite’s CU’s in the North East to see what a Credit Union can do
Watch a video about Credit Unions here
The service is regionally based and you can find out more about what facilities are available to
you by contacting Unite Credit Union Service central phone line on 0333 0110 450 or by email.
You can also click on the links below which will take you to the Credit Union covering your part
of our region.
Leeds City CU
Prince Bishops Community Bank
For more information: http://www.unitetheunion.org/how-we-help/memberoffers/
If you would like to arrange a presentation from one of our CU’s then please do not hesitate to
contact Lesley at: email@example.com
Unite the union
55 Call Lane
0113 236 4830
Unite the union
Unite the union
New Oxford House
Unite the union
John Dobson Street
Unite the union
Unite the union
300 Barrow Road