150 people attended the grand opening of the Durham Miners Association (DMA) and Unite Community Support Centre on 15 November 2013 in Durham City.
Ongoing scandal of care firms breaking minimum wage law
See Guardian article on an impending catastrophic crisis in social care. www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/25/hmrc-finds-care-firms-breaching-minimum-wage-laws
Councils struggling with austerity cuts are paying less and less to private social care firms.
These in turn are loading the burden onto social care workers through zero hours contracts and pay packets below the minimum wage.
In the meantime - social care clients are trapped in the middle.
The system is no longer workable - it cannot provide for human needs.
Private energy companies – and the anti-human drive for profit
The rise in energy bills is producing a 40% rise in hypothermia cases over the last two years, Department of Health figures show.
The current debate about the Labour Party – trade union link is the most fundamental since the TUC voted back in 1899 to establish what became the Labour Party. It isn’t a debate we asked for, because we’d rather concentrate on winning back millions of voters including our own members to ensure we end austerity and restore the hope, decent jobs and social justice the British people deserve. But it is one we cannot shirk.
In three weeks our executive council is due to consider our position on this debate. Most other major unions have already agreed submissions to Ray Collins’s review, and they have much in common. Whilst they all support strengthening the link, they all strongly defend the principle of collective affiliation rather than a union voice dependent on individuals opting in to some form of individual membership. On this the left and the traditional right are agreed.
The anti-blacklisting banner blocks Leadenhall this morning.
The care sector is a fast growing area of our economy. As longevity becomes the norm, so more of us will succumb to the ravages, infirmities and disabilities associated with old age; and thus have a greater call on care and support in our later stages of life.
As family demographics change, with fewer children per family unit; as offspring are expected to work longer; and as the benefits' system begins to militate against people opting to act as unpaid carers, so we'll begin to experience a radical change in support patterns, for both disabled people and those contracting age related conditions and illnesses.
The other negative factor in this equation is of course the very future of the NHS. Like so many others born at a time when free health care at the point of need was regarded as the norm, I've spent most of my life secure in the knowledge that my health needs will be met, as and when needed, by the NHS.
Report by Martin Mayer, member for Passenger Transport
• Successful leverage campaign wins reinstatement for sacked UNITE Shop Steward Frank Morris at Crossrail
• Steve Turner appointed Assistant General Secretary
• Labour Party/Trade Union link – UNITE commences the debate
• New UNITE Credit Union to be launched in October
• Council welcomes new members Jenny Douglas and Richard Allday
• Timetable for next Executive Council elections announced
by Jim Kelly, Chair London & Eastern region (in a personal capacity).
Just as the Falkirk affair was put to bed, we were faced with a much bigger challenge; Miliband’s call to individualise party membership and end (or severely downgrade) the link between unions and Party. Unions from the GMB to USDAW are united against it, while the UL met and voted 60 to 1 to oppose it. There is a majority both within the unions and Party to maintain the link. So while it would be a major defeat for the unions if Miliband’s reforms were to go through as is this will only happen if we support change, or if unions are divided. Unions have almost half the votes at Labour’s conference, the more unified we are the firmer we are about the dangers of Miliband’s position the less damaging will be any changes. The precondition for getting the best possible outcome is a united approach by all unions.
Within all of this I am unsure as to Len’s position. I thought his presentation to the Unite delegation at LP conference at our first meeting was a little subdued and appeared to me to say we are up for trading influence on structures for policy shifts from Miliband. I hear he made a rousing speech defending the link at the Mirror fringe meeting, which many of us could not get in to, after Kenny’s tub thumping “no surrender” speech on the Monday. Yet he has welcomed Miliband’s proposals and along with other comrades, has argued `… the link is not working’; although true, the main reason it is broken is largely down to the unions and it can be mended.
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