Category Archives: Information


At Watford Employment Tribunal this last Tuesday (16th December 2014) I arrived in my capacity as General Secretary of the Employees Representatives union in order to observe an Employment Tribunal “preliminary hearing” being conducted on behalf of one of our members by our Executive Director Barry Blakesley.

When I arrived a lady official of the ET told me I was not allowed to enter as the proceeding was private hearing.

The case was very important from the public interest point of view, as our member is asserting a link between his dismissal and his conscientious completion of various safety checks.

I find it absolutely intolerable that the ET system is being closed down to eliminate public oversight.

The President of the Employment Tribunals should explain this & other similar decisions.

William J Spring BA (UK) MA (Ontario) PGCE

General Secretary Employees Representatives

London 18th December 2014

Libellous statements by Unite at London Sovereign Garage

The following announcement was posted on the Unite notice board @ Harrow garage of London Sovereign last Wednesday 29th January 2014 by William Spring (GS of ER)

To London Sovereign drivers /engineers


I refer to the notice placed on the Unite notice board in the London Sovereign Harrow drivers’ room sometime in November 2013.

We have concluded that parts of it are libellous.

Consequently we plan on issuing proceedings, but only after giving Unite & the officials involved an opportunity to apologise for the numerous inaccuracies in the publication.

Unite would not have published such a scurrilous & defamatory document however without the assistance of London Sovereign, which company provided the platform for this attack, by keeping Unite offices @ the yard, a monopoly union, with its own full time officials.

We will want to know about their sources of income. If indeed the officials receive funding & facility time to do their work from the company then Unite can hardly be considered an independent union.  These points and others will have to be addressed by the Unite national leadership in the coming months.

We are an admittedly small, but also we are an independent union & what is the point of a massive union, which does nothing to protect its members in terms e.g. of threatening strike action when members are dismissed?
In some cases known to us Unite has actively colluded with the company in an unfair dismissal.

Developments will be posted on our revamped web site.

Also note our email address is now

For information  call me William Spring on 02083761454 or 07988874778

To London Sovereign Harrow ER members

From William Spring Gen Sec Employees Representatives

I feel I must explain to you some of the problems we are having with London Sovereign management right now.

As you know I have been visiting the yard @ Harrow for a couple of years.

I have noticed in the last few months an abrupt change of tone, in that management seem to have lost their marbles.

People are being fired for ridiculous reasons & for those in training they are refusing to pay their wages on dismissal saying they must first pay back their training fees.

Also there have been very considerable delays on appeals, & there is also the problem of a new system which consistently pushes drivers into overtime against their wishes.

Last of all there is a religious element – a fairly relaxed attitude  about Muslim prayer times, whereby prayer was allowed as long as it didn’t disrupt the efficient functioning of the service is replaced
by an inquisitorial element provoking unnecessary confrontations..

Some of this can be put down to new management, but experience isn’t going to be obtained @ the expense of the jobs of my members.

In this new situation, this wave of anxiety spreading over LS Harrow, on account of this vicious new policy,  no doubt initiated by LS for economic reasons, (possibly  with the objective of eliminating experienced drivers to replace them with cheaper imports)  I need the help of Unite so that we all stand together.

My proposal is a demonstration outside the Harrow Garage.

I will ensure such a demonstration receives maximum media coverage.

Also I am taking all these matters up with TFL & the GLA Transport Committee, hopefully to strip LS of their franchise.

Please send me any input on these matters.

In solidarity

William Spring

Tel: 02083761454

London Bus Strike

Statement re London bus strike from Employees Representatives June 16th 2012
To members:
Re the bus strike planned for next Friday we draw members attention to the original mission statement as on the home page of our web site
Among other things we say:
“Unite has a lot of things we don’t have like strike pay, but we don’t want to be involved in strikes, generally blunt instruments for solving problems.”
Our view is that the strike next Friday could do more harm than good and our information is that the employers are planning to break the strike by moving in replacement drivers at lower rates.
We fear most strikers will lose money – but even if there are small net gains for some, the strike(s) will cause considerable economic damage with all parties being net-losers in the longer term.
The tube drivers won their bonus because of their monopoly in the labour market – a monopoly maintained because of TFL’s reluctance to automate the tube network.
Bus drivers though they have a much tougher job and that job cannot be automated do not enjoy a comparable monopoly, or wages and conditions of service.
A bus-drivers’ strike will further motivate employers to replace strikers with even lower-paid workers.
Be aware that the government intends to make arbitrary dismissal easier and cheaper.
ER members need to balance the risks and consequences of supporting the strike v working normally.
Probationary workers (and others whose employment is vulnerable) could lose their jobs if they strike.
We cannot tell members what to do, but (to quote again from our Mission Statement) “if a member refuses to cross a picket line and management then victimises him/her we will represent the member in order to protect him/her from punitive action.”
Our advice is that the strike(s)is likely to fail, or will not proceed because of legal challenges.
As a union we aren’t in the business of putting our members jobs @ risk.
See ER Mission Statement: workers should not “sacrificed @ the altar of an avoidable strike.”
Cur recommendation is to work normally, both next Friday & subsequent days.
Whatever you decide, Employees Representative will support you should you suffer work-place harms because of how you respond to the strike call.
The issues raised have to be dealt with.
The demand for an equivalent Olympic bonus for bus workers, as given to the tube drivers, is justified, but it is TFL (who used to give a bonus to drivers) who should be the target, not the companies.
We urge TFL to respond proactively so the public is not inconvenienced.
William J Spring
Barry Blakesley
Co-Executive Directors ER 
information call 02083761454 or 07988874778I

Issue with Natwest Bank

Following the June newsletter which I sent you herewith links to the story as broadcast by Press TV.
Our Muslim members shouldn’t be worried; we have now located (we think) all the payments so unreasonably withheld from ER on account of members having Muslim names & the publication of this story should we hope discourage Nat West from repeating the exercise.
On the other hand Muslim account holders with Nat West might wish to re-consider how appropriate it is for them to continue banking with a bank which so clearly discriminates against Muslims.
Watch the story on YouTube