Workplace In brief

Tribunal rip-off

Fees for going to an Employment Tribunal have just been introduced. It will now cost £160 for relatively minor cases, or £250 for issues like unfair dismissal, to lodge a claim and a further charge of up to £950 if the case goes ahead.

Employment Appeal Tribunal fees are £400 to lodge an appeal and another £1,200 for a full hearing.

Unison is going to a judicial review over the introduction of the charges and the GMB protested outside a tribunal in central London when they were introduced.

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey described the introduction of the fees as “a throwback to Victorian times”.

This is yet another reason for a united trade union battle against the Con-Dem attacks on workers – starting with a 24-hour general strike.

Crown Post Offices

Workers in the 371 Crown post offices were on strike for the ninth time on 29 July, over closures, jobs and pay. 4,000 workers were on strike across the network.

The Post Office wants to close or franchise out 75 Crown offices and cut 1,500 jobs. The workers have not had a pay rise since April 2011 while head office managers shared a bonus pot of £15.4 million.

The CWU members voted by nine to one to strike. The Post Office published half-year profits of £61 million in September 2012.

Strike ballot

Transport union RMT is balloting its members on London Overground for strike action after Transport for London (TfL) announced plans to introduce driver only operation across the overground network. They are trying to axe 130 guards posts.

This is a massive threat to safety on the network and the union is organising a series of public meetings and protests as well as the ballot. The ballot closes on 15 August.


The Samaritans have derecognised Unite as the union for its 110-strong workforce. At the same time management have announced that they want to make sweeping changes to policies and procedures.

Unite are consulting the membership about how to respond to this attack – this is likely to include industrial action if the Samaritans refuse to negotiate.

Pay strike

PCS members working for Equiniti on NHS contracts were on strike for the second time on 29 July.

They were out previously on 1 July in a pay dispute.

The company initially agreed to benchmark pay against comparators in the public and private sectors but they have reneged on this agreement. Instead the company pays poverty wages whilst making millions on the contract.

The well-supported picket line in Fleetwood vowed to continue to put pressure on the company to negotiate.

Lobby the TUC conference – For a 24-hour general strike!

Bournemouth, 8 September

12.30-3pm Hardy Suite, Hermitage Hotel, Exeter Road (opposite Bournemouth International Centre)

National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) rally followed by a lobby of Congress. Speakers include: RMT general secretary Bob Crow, PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka and POA general secretary Steve Gillan.

For more information and a model resolution on the lobby see: