• English National Opera: negotiate with Equity to keep the chorus full time on full pay
    English National Opera, the only opera company in the UK to sing all its repertoire in English, is in trouble. Its performances are critically acclaimed but its management is in free fall — recently losing its artistic director, chairman, executive director and a third of its public funding. Now the ENO chorus, who many see as the heart of the company, are threatened with job cuts and having their pay reduced to 75%. Humphrey Burton, formerly BBC head of music, called this “cultural vandalism”. Sir Antonio Pappano of the Royal Opera House added: “Plans to reduce its chorus members’ contracts and limit its productions to eight a season threaten to destroy ENO.” They are not alone — last year 14 other leaders of classical music wrote a public letter condemning the changes at ENO and calling for the chorus to be saved. When they perform the chorus gives audiences 100%, but in the future ENO management want to pay them just 75% of their wages. If you agree that whatever the recent mistakes at ENO, the chorus should not be expected to carry the cost — if you want to save ENO from a spiral of decline — Please sign our petition
    6,539 of 7,000 Signatures
    Created by Equity Campaigns
  • David Cameron: Don't threaten the right to strike
    Daisy works for the Ritzy, a very profitable cinema that wasn’t paying staff enough to live on. As the cost of rent and bills went up but their pay didn’t, Daisy and her workmates couldn’t make ends meet. As their employer refused to listen to their concerns, they decided to take strike action as a last resort. It wasn’t easy, but they succeeded in winning a significant pay rise – making a huge difference to their daily lives. The trade union bill currently going through Parliament threatens the basic right to strike. It will allow employers to bus in agency temps to break strikes, supposing of course that workers manage to get over major new voting and legal barriers to be allowed to hold a strike in the first place. It will bring in new restrictions on picketing and protests during strikes, and make it harder for unions in the public sector to recruit members and represent people who need them. The right to strike is a last resort for ordinary workers when employers won’t listen. No-one wants to go on strike – and most disputes are settled long before it gets to that point. But it’s often crucial in bringing employers to the negotiating table. Threatening the right to strike tilts the balance in the workplace too far towards the employers. And that means ordinary workers like Daisy can’t defend their jobs or pay. In a country where inequality, low pay and insecure employment are rising, the last thing we need is to restrict the rights of ordinary workers like Daisy to stand up for themselves. Please sign this to show your support and put pressure on David Cameron to think again.
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    Created by TUC Campaigns Picture
  • Stop CETA, TTIP’s dangerous cousin
    It's one year since Canada and the EU agreed a trade deal known as CETA (the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement). CETA hasn’t entered into law yet – first it needs to be voted through European and national parliaments – but this could happen as soon as early next year. This is much sooner than the EU-US trade deal TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership), which is still being negotiated. The text of CETA is public and reveals that it contains a lot of the same threats as TTIP. It would make it easier for bad deals like TTIP to be successful. This is why, when CETA comes to the European Parliament, we need our MEPs to vote against it. Reasons to stop CETA include: – The agreement contains Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), which allows foreign investors to sue governments for policies they regard as threatening future profits. This could include minimum wage policies, environmental protection, and renationalising public transport, health and education services. – US investors with bases in Canada will be able to sue our governments for billions too – so they wouldn’t need TTIP's ISDS to do damage. 80% of US companies operating in the EU have bases in Canada. – CETA contains no such provisions for workers’ rights: no compensation, no enforcement, and certainly no secret tribunals! The majority of the public in Canada are opposed to ISDS provisions in CETA and other aspects of the deal, while unions in Canada, Britain and across the EU reject CETA. On 19 October there will be an election in Canada which is likely to result in a government that is more sceptical of CETA. We need MEPs in Europe to respond to public concerns and oppose the deal. Please sign up and share this petition with as many people as possible.
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    Created by TUC Campaigns Picture
  • Sports Direct: Stop your shameful work practices
    Imagine being monitored every minute of the working day, ‘named and shamed’ over a tannoy system if your supervisor thinks you’re not working hard enough, and body searched after every shift. That's the reality for workers at Sports Direct’s Shirebrook warehouse. Most of the staff subjected to these harsh conditions are employed by two agencies – Best Connection and Transline. They are threatened with a ‘six strikes and you’re out’ disciplinary procedure. Staff can get ‘strikes’ for taking too long in the toilet, talking too much or even having time off due to sickness. It’s not just warehouse staff that are treated badly. Three quarters of the workforce at Sports Direct’s high street shops in the UK are employed on zero-hours contracts. These workers have no security, no sickness or holiday pay, no guaranteed hours of work and can’t plan for the future. Sports Direct is a hugely profitable retail giant. Latest company figures show a 7.4% increase in gross profit to £1.155 billion. We must not allow them to get away with this unacceptable behaviour. Every worker has the right to be treated fairly and with respect in their workplace. Please help us put pressure on Sports Direct – together we can make this happen.
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    Created by Unite Campaigns
  • Don’t let employers use agency temps to break strikes
    One of the most harmful proposals in the Government’s trade union reform plan is overturning the longstanding ban on using agency temp workers to break strikes. Allowing employers to use agency workers in this way would undermine all workers. The right to withdraw your labour, a right agreed across the democratic world, becomes almost meaningless if protesting workers can be replaced at the drop of a hat. Agency temps, often young workers, may feel pressured or misled into entering a stressful situation by taking on the jobs of striking workers. Using less qualified temps to cover for experienced staff in jobs from lorry driving or working heavy machinery through to our essential public services could risk their own safety as well as that of the wider public. And there could be an impact on quality of services if delivered by less experienced staff. If bad employers can draft in low paid temporary workers to break strikes, it will only drag down pay and working conditions for workers right across the economy. Fewer workers will be willing to stand up for themselves when faced with injustice at work if they know they can simply be replaced. Strikes aren't common (they're at a historically low rate), but they're an important last resort for workers when their employer is acting unfairly and won't negotiate. This measure puts all the power in the employment relationship into the hands of the employer. In the long term nobody wins. Business Secretary Sajid Javid will be putting his plans to a vote in September, alongside the Trade Union Bill. Let's send him a signal that British workers value the right to strike if they need to, and don't want to see it undermined in this way.
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    Created by TUC Campaigns Picture
  • Love it or lose it: Save the BBC!
    Whatever you may think of Eastenders, W1A or even Top Gear, set all that aside and act now to defend ‘our cultural NHS’. As members of BECTU – the media and entertainment union – we are asking you to join us and our fellow unions Equity, Musicians Union, NUJ, Unite and The Writers Guild in saving the BBC. Can you imagine a world without the BBC? The BBC makes a rich range of programmes with something for everyone, from award winning dramas & documentaries to sit–coms & soaps. The BBC is watched and listened to by 96% of the UK population. Two thirds of all UK adults listen to BBC Radio and half of all UK adults use BBC Online each week. It’s good value as the BBC licence fee costs under 40p per day (£145.50 a year) for 9 TV channels, 10 national radio stations, a network of local radio stations and an internationally acclaimed website as well as the internationally loved World Service. The top packages from Sky, Virgin Media and TalkTalk cost more than £1,000 a year. The BBC produces thousands of hours of original programming while Sky, on an income nearly double that of the BBC, makes only a tiny amount. Only on the BBC can children watch their favourite programmes uninterrupted by advertising. The BBC is free from shareholder pressure and advertiser influence with a mandate to make programmes for all interest groups. The licence fee is the single biggest investment in UK arts and creative industries with over half spent in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the English Regions. Every £1 of licence fee spent by the BBC, generates £2 of economic activity. BBC News is the largest broadcast news gathering operation in the world. The BBC is the public face of Britain abroad and has a weekly global audience of 308m. The BBC is definitely not intended to be an arm of government – if this deal goes ahead starting in 2018, the BBC will be crippled by the costs of government policies and policed in the interests of more Tory-friendly broadcasters. Senior BBC managers and the Government would like everyone to believe that this is a done deal and nothing can be reversed. This is not true. The most damaging part of this settlement is the need to meet the cost of free TV licences for the over-75s, which will cost the BBC over £650m. This decision, if unchallenged, will leave the BBC unrecognisable in less than 10 years time. Join the campaign now! The whole world wishes they had the BBC – you have it, don’t let them kill it off! This campaign was set up by BECTU - the media and entertainment union - with the support of Equity and other affected unions.
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    Created by BECTU campaigns Picture
  • Amazon.co.uk: Work with GMB to get temp workers a decent job
    Amazon offers "jobs of last resort" to the communities where they build their warehouses, currently Inverclyde, Dunfermline, Swansea, Rugeley, Bedford, Peterborough, Hemel Hempstead, Doncaster and Croydon. They employ tens of thousands of people, mostly on temporary contracts and at arm’s length through agencies. Most of the time, according to GMB members, Amazon is not helping people off benefits and into work permanently - their employment practices lock people into the revolving door of low paid temporary work and Job Seekers Allowance - making already hard hit towns and communities even poorer. In Amazon the National Minimum Wage (NMW) has become the maximum wage for most staff, who cannot get enough hours of work and live in fear of losing their job. Few Amazon staff can make ends meet without claiming ‘in work’ benefits while they work for Amazon. According to a survey of Amazon staff: 91% would not recommend working for Amazon to a friend. 70% of staff felt they were given disciplinary points unfairly. 89% felt exploited. 78% felt their breaks were too short 71% reported they walked more than 10 miles a day at work. GMB - the trade union for Amazon staff - is campaigning with local communities, tax justice groups and Amazon staff to make sure the company makes its full contribution to rebuilding the UK economy - both by paying wages its staff can live on and by paying its taxes. In the last three tax years for which information is known Amazon has paid only £4.24 million tax on £10.82 billion sales: a tax rate of less than 0.5%. Yet at the moment Amazon is heavily subsidised by taxpayers in three ways: 1. Through the Tax Credits and Housing Benefit their staff have to claim to make ends meet due to their low wages and short term jobs 2. Through the millions of pounds in grants they get from national and local government to build roads, street lighting and land clearance every time they build a new warehouse. 3. Through their exploitation of tax loopholes that means they pay Corporation Tax at a fraction of the rate their low paid staff pay. GMB say it's time to end the something for nothing culture - It's time Amazon paid their way. We urge all staff at Amazon to join GMB to protect their job, get back up when they need it and join our campaign for better pay, secure working hours and a safe workplace. We're campaigning to ensure Amazon: > Allows staff access to GMB where they work to get the employment advice and back up they need > Pays a fairer wage so that its staff don't have to claim ‘in work’ benefits > Provide more permanent contracts of employment with enough hours of work for families to have the security the need > Improves its approach to safety and long term health at work to protect employees from the effects of its work practices > Pays its taxes > Acts responsibly towards the local communities it disrupts with its activities
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    Created by GMB campaigns
  • Picturehouse Cinemas: Pay your staff a Living Wage
    Loving films and working in a cinema should not mean living on poverty wages. But that’s how it goes for the staff at the Ritzy. Kevin has worked at the Ritzy for six years. Like many of his colleagues, he loves helping to bring great films to the community. What he doesn’t love is the gritty reality of his poverty wages, particularly as he and his partner have just brought a child into the world and have been pushed out of their house by a demanding landlord. The paternity pay he received and the low rate of his wage are nowhere near enough to support a child comfortably. Enter the scene Mooky Greidinger. Mooky is the CEO of Cineworld, the corporation behind your local Picturehouse cinemas. Mooky earned £1.2 million in 2015 - which equates to £575 per hour - and the post-tax profit of the company stood at £83.8 million. Kevin and his colleagues are merely asking for £9.75 per hour! The Ritzy Picturehouse thrives when Brixton thrives. Mooky knows film lovers and Picturehouse members don’t want to see Kevin and the staff at the Ritzy cinema exploited. That’s why pressure from the customers works. When the community and the staff come together, we win! The campaign began in 2007 by Ritzy workers and their union BECTU (the Ritzy being the only Picturehouse cinema with recognition for their chosen union). Our aim was to raise ourselves off the minimum wage, and we won with the help and support from the local community. Seven years later, in 2014, we returned with 13 high-profile strikes pushing for the London Living Wage. When the workers, our union, and the community came together, we managed to win a 26% pay rise in increments over two years and an agreement to return to negotiations towards the Living Wage in June 2016. In that meeting last year, Picturehouse and Cineworld representatives backtracked on the agreement and refused to negotiate on any points in the workers’ pay claim. These include: - The London Living Wage - Company sick pay for all staff - Company maternity/paternity pay for all staff - Fair pay rises for different job roles The BECTU sector of Prospect is our chosen union and is the chosen union of workers at other Picturehouse sites. However, Picturehouse and Cineworld are working very hard to hinder BECTU’s presence at other sites. Other independent cinemas can afford to pay the Living Wage with Curzon Cinemas (where the BECTU sector of Prospect is also the recognised union for all its workers). Curzon recently implemented the Living Wage and the London Living Wage at all their cinemas both in London and across the UK. What we are asking for isn't unreasonable. Everyone deserves a real Living Wage and the right to representation by a union of their choice at their workplace. But we need your help to make this a reality. Please back the campaign by signing this petition.
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    Created by BECTU campaigns Picture