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Unite Legal Services: Weekly coronavirus COVID-19 latest news round-up – 31 January 2022

red rectangle on cream background with black text  CORONAVIRUS COVID-19

At Unite Legal Services, we’ve collated the latest news and information regarding employment matters and workers’ rights in relation to coronavirus COVID-19 developments.

25 January 2022

Unite vows to fight threat to axe 700 Royal Mail manager jobs

Unite pledged to fight plans by the Royal Mail to axe 700 managerial jobs, after a £400 million giveaway to key shareholders.

The union said its members were being made the scapegoat for the bosses’ failure to maintain deliveries during the two-year old pandemic, which has led to the possibility of fines from the regulator Ofcom.

Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham, said: “Coming on top of a record turn-around in the company’s fortunes, which resulted in the board handing over a £400 million giveaway to certain shareholders, this is cold comfort for those long months when postal employees were being badly hit by coronavirus at its worst.

“Unite will be giving maximum support to our members in fighting these unjust job cuts and this includes the possibility of an industrial action ballot. Now is the time for the top executives to reconsider their proposals.”

27 January 2022

Unite’s NHS members question Pay Review Body’s ability to recommend a ‘cost of living’ crisis pay award

The credibility of the NHS Pay Review Body (PRB) for England is under fire after a survey of Unite’s NHS members revealed that a vast majority did not believe it was truly independent when it came to recommending the annual pay award.

Unite said 88 per cent of the 2,950 members in England who replied to its survey earlier this month felt the PRB was not recommending fair pay increases for staff and was failing to value their individual contributions.

The health trade unions, including Unite, submitted their joint written evidence to the PRB arguing for an increase for their members that reflects the coming cost of living crisis, as well as their efforts in combating the pandemic in a NHS which has an estimated 93,000 staff vacancies in England.

30 January 2022

British Airways and Heathrow airlines facing half term chaos as refuellers and ground handlers announce strike action

Passengers booked on half term breaks and skiing trips from Heathrow are set for severe delays as a result of ground handling and refuelling company, Menzies Aviation, refusing to enter into pay negotiations after previously firing and rehiring 810 of its workforce.

Four hundred workers, who are members of Unite, will take three days of strike action beginning on Friday 11 February at 00:01hrs and finishing at 23:59 on Sunday 13th February 2022.

Tensions have been greatly heightened as a result of Menzies firing and rehiring hundreds of its workers at the peak of the pandemic, which resulted in them experiencing huge pay cuts. In the most extreme cases, workers saw pay rates fall by £9,000 a year.

Get more support

For more information on how we are fighting to protect the health and safety, and economic stability of our members during the coronavirus COVID-19 crisis, please visit the Unite the Union advice hub.

If you are in need of further advice on an employment law query during the crisis, you can visit the Unite Legal Services coronavirus COVID-19 page, or call Unite’s dedicated coronavirus COVID-19 Legal Advice Line on 0333 202 6557.

COVID-19 personal injury claims

Unite has set up a specialist legal team to advise and represent members who have suffered injury as a result of COVID-19

If you have suffered injury from developing COVID-19, or have tragically lost a family member to the condition, then please call Unite’s COVID-19 PI team on 020 8799 4023.