North West Region Update December 2014

UCATT protests against umbrella companies on national day of action

UCATT activists and organisers demonstrated outside the Alder Hey hospital development on 26 November as part of a national day of action in protest at construction workers being forced to work via umbrella companies. Being paid through an umbrella company is costing workers up to £100 a week.

The Labour MP for Liverpool West Derby Stephen Twigg threw his weight behind the campaign saying: “UCATT’s report on umbrella companies is an important contribution to debates on workers’ rights and highlights some of the problems associated with the extensive use of agency labour.  I met with UCATT North West again recently to discuss a range of issues and was given the report. At our meeting UCATT also asked me to seek a meeting as soon as possible with Laing O’Rourke which I have done.”

umbrella company demonstration north west nov 26 2014.jpg

UCATT activists and organisers demonstrating against the use of umbrella companies outside the Alder Hey hospital development as part of the national day of action.

More photographs of the demonstrations from around the country can be seen at: http://www.ucatt.org.uk/umbrella-company-day-action

UCATT activists Build a Stronger Union

Following a successful one-day event in Northern Ireland (see http://www.ucatt.org.uk/northern-ireland) a Building a Stronger Union weekend school took place in Warrington at the end of November. This focused on how improving communication skills, including using social media, could increase the recruitment and organisation of workers in the sector. On the political front, activists discussed how to strengthen the Labour-trade union link and their priorities for UCATT’s Regional Development Plans. The course also highlighted the link between learning and organising.

“We had an excellent turnout and it was great to see a cross section of public and private sector workers engaging with the union at both the one-day event and the weekend school,” said North West Regional Secretary Andy Fisher. “We put a clear focus on the political aspect of the union’s work on day two of the weekend school in advance of what will be a hugely important general election. Feedback was really positive – activists really enjoyed that part of the weekend.”

North West Region Building a Stronger Union Weekend School November 2014

UCATT activists taking part in the North West Region Building a Stronger Union Weekend School in Warrington

It pays to be in UCATT

UCATT has worked with OH Parsons solicitors for many years, fighting to get the compensation our members deserve for injuries and illnesses they have sustained, often simply by going to work.

“The recent detrimental changes imposed by this Tory-led government, designed to restrict or reduce claims and the level of compensation, has not halted this excellent work,” said UCATT North West Regional Secretary Andy Fisher. “As a union we still provide a free legal package of benefits for members and their families. UCATT and OH Parsons have been able to absorb the unreasonable costs introduced for personal injury claims as well as unjustifiable tribunal charges, imposed in our view, to stop working class people gaining justice and adequate levels of compensation.”

He added: “This quarter’s figures show that this good work continues, with our members benefiting from settled claims made through OH Parsons and UCATT’s legal support package.”

The figures show that:

  • Over £300,000 in personal injury settlements has been won;

  • Many members are taking advantage of the free wills offer; and

  • Over 100 free legal advice consultations have been provided.

“Add the large number of tribunal claims taken on and paid for by UCATT and represented by OH Parsons and it all points to why workers need to be members of a trade union,” said Andy.

“Extra touch” is a small price to pay for long and loyal service to UCATT

After the Region reported on Mick Fitzpatrick’s 50th year membership award presentation (http://www.ucatt.org.uk/north-west-regional-update-october-2014) UCATT Blackburn UD 025 Branch President & Treasurer Danny Joyce found that Mick had no internet access. Danny downloaded and printed the report and photograph from the website and framed them so Mick could have a personal record of his achievement and award.

“The extra little touch is a small price to pay for a long serving and loyal member,” said Danny.

Three UCATT members from Everton UD.088 branch Mr D Milner, Mr N Clements and Mr P Arnold also recently celebrated 50 years of union membership.

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