Peter Mark abolishes new training fee following Unite campaign

unite white out of redWorkers to receive entitlements backdated to March 4th

Victory comes on eve of Unite conference 

May 12th Unite, which represents workers in the hairdressing sector, today (Sunday) welcomed Peter Mark’s decision to abolish a new ‘training fee’ which the chain had levied to claw back wage increases due to young workers under the Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2018. Following a concerted campaign by Unite, the hairdressing chain has confirmed that it is abolishing the training fee and will pay the workers concerned the proper rate backdated to March 4th, when the new legislation came into force.

Commenting, Unite Senior Officer Brendan Ogle said the news again demonstrated what workers acting collectively can achieve:

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Unite warns costs may cancel out modest wage gains for construction and electrical workers

unite-white-out-of-redMay 10th: Extending a cautious welcome for Minister Pat Breen’s decision to approve new minimum pay rates for construction and electrical contracting workers recommended by the Labour Court, trade union Unite warned that what Regional Officer for Construction Tom Fitzgerald termed “modest wage gains” could be largely cancelled out by spiralling costs in areas such as housing and childcare.

“Today’s news that Minister Breen has accepted the recommended new pay rates is some good news for workers in the construction and electrical contracting sectors.  However, if construction jobs are to be good jobs and the industry as a whole sustainable, the government will need to contain spiralling costs.

“Many construction workers cannot afford to either buy or rent the houses they build”, Tom Fitzgerald pointed out.

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New all-island Champions Cup to focus on communities

Champions Cup bannerAll sponsorship money to go to local clubs and community events

May 9th: Unite today (Thursday) announced its sponsorship of a new   ‘Unite the Union Champions Cup’. This three year sponsorship will see a two-legged play off (home and away) between the winners of the Northern Ireland Football League and the League of Ireland in November. The cup will be formally launched in the presence of Unite General Secretary Len McCluskey during the union’s Fifth Irish Policy Conference at 4:40 pm on Monday 13 May in the Grand Hotel Malahide.

Commenting, Unite Regional Secretary Jackie Pollock said his union was delighted to sponsor the new ‘Unite the Union Champions Cup’ for three years:

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Derry and Strabane city deal will be judged ultimately on the decent jobs it delivers

Unite Conference 49

Union issues call for investment to be directed at manufacturing sector, education and skills development

Unite Regional Officer, Liam Gallagher, issued the following reaction on behalf of his union to the recently announced Derry and Strabane city deal.

“We welcome the announcement of a significant financial package for Derry and Strabane; however we call for this injection to be properly targeted towards creating higher value, decent employment to replace the loss of our manufacturing base. This should not end up as another cash bonanza for speculators and developers to develop glass-fronted office blocks in order to accommodate more call centres offering only low-paid work.

“Unite is calling for the stimulus to be directed into manufacturing research and training to provide the high-end skills necessary to compete in attracting higher-value added jobs. Investment in the economy must be matched with money for primary and secondary education to deal with the fact that disproportionately high levels of our young leave school with no formal qualification. Ultimately this stimulus will be judged by the numbers of decent jobs that it creates”, Mr Gallagher said.

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Unite seeks assurances on investment and job security for Bombardier employees in Northern Ireland

148Union expresses hope that any prospective new owner will commit to local production and bring forward expanded investment

Jackie Pollock, Unite Regional Secretary in Ireland, responded to news that Bombardier was to sell its Aerostructures division globally which includes all five production sites in Northern Ireland.

“Today’s announcement will come as a shock to the entire Bombardier workforce in Northern Ireland. Many of the company’s 3,600 employees will be left asking what this will mean for their long-term future of their jobs.

“Unite will be seeking assurances from Bombardier and the government around this process. It doesn’t matter whose name is above the gate – what matters is that we safeguard jobs and skills in this critical industry. The UK government must stand ready to ensure the retention of jobs and skills at these sites, Bombardier is simply too important to the Northern Ireland economy to allow anything less.

“Bombardier workers in Northern Ireland are among the most highly-skilled workers in the sector globally – we produce a world class product here with a world-class workforce. Whoever the buyer is there’s an undeniable case for investment to not only sustain but expand production and employment into the future.”

Unite assistant general secretary for manufacturing Steve Turner added: “Bombardier’s Northern Ireland workforce is world class and a global leader in aerospace. Unite’s key priorities are retaining jobs and securing investment in any sale process.

“I have spoken to the business secretary Greg Clark about securing commitments from Bombardier that it will retain its aero structures division in Northern Ireland if no interested parties come forward and expect to speak to Bombardier’s chief executive later today.

“Unite is also in close contact with other global aerospace companies which could come forward as a potential buyer for Bombardier’s aero structures. Throughout this process Unite will be working to ensure that Northern Ireland’s proud tradition in aerospace continues to be a source for decent jobs for generations to come.” 

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