Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A word in your Shell-like

Monday afternoon books organiser Sue Harris and I met with reps at Pearson in Oxford where we are about to start negotiating a new agreement. It's a chapel which has built itself up from just 3 members last year and is looking at doing a pay survey alongside other activity in the build-up to a meeting with the new management in early July.

This morning it was to the TUC Executive - on the agenda was updates on the Employment Bill, the Agency Workers' Directive, Zimbabwe, TUC Finances and the latest stats on union membership - which may well show a rise this year.

Tony Woodley, the Unite/T&G General Secretary updated us on the tanker drivers' dispute. There are further talks taking place today but it was interesting to find out that during the 1990's the drivers lost up to £7000 a year and their final salary pension scheme (they will now have to work 10 years extra to get the same pension) after being bribed to take on new contracts. It happened in the media industry a lot at the time too. People signed what looked like good new contracts for a one-off payment but actually over the years lost substantial sums. Many in our industry have never recovered from that.

The T&G were also derecognised on the back of the ditching of the existing contracts.
Now those drivers are seeking to recoup some of their lost monies.

Hopefully there will be a quick solution to the dispute and the drivers get a fair pay award amid profiteering from Shell.

I've fired off a few reports this afternoon for NEC sub-committees taking place later this week - three in three days before heading off this evening to the Amnesty International Media Awards which I was one of the judges for this year.

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