Something for nothing... Community is being inundated with calls from members in Wm Hills who are disappointed at the companies decision to leave the FOBT switched on until 21:30.
Members are concerned that they are effectively working for nothing after shop closing as there is still work to be completed before closing staff can leave!
If it takes 15 minutes to empty the machines, count and check cash then it would mean anyone doing this would be working for ·1 hour and 15 minutes unpaid work per week! ·5 hours unpaid work per month! ·60 hours unpaid work per year! Across the Wm Hills retail estate this equates to a significant financial saving for the company at your expense. Meanwhile operating profits for the 52 weeks to December 30 were £278.6m, down 3% from the 53 weeks to January 1, 2008. Chief executive Ralph Topping said the group continued to perform well despite the continued deterioration in consumer confidence. The retail business, which accounts for 82% of the group’s gross win, improved operating profits by 7% to £240.1m last year.
COMMUNITY DVD LAUNCHED
Following the successful launch of the Community 'Violence in the betting industry' DVD at Labour Party Conference, the DVD has now been launched on YouTube
4.John Park (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab): To ask the Scottish Executive what steps it is taking to monitor the impact of violence and abuse in the workplace on the mental and physical health of betting shop workers. (S3O-3562)
The Minister for Public Health (Shona Robison): Acts of violence and abuse against anyone working in a public-facing role are unacceptable. The Scottish Government is continuing to support the campaign for the protection of public service workers from violence that has been run for the past four years in partnership with the Scottish Trades Union Congress.
Responsibility for protecting workers from mental or physical harm in the workplace lies, quite rightly, with the employer, who should carry out a risk assessment for their workplaces and—importantly—put in place measures to ensure that risk of harm to their employees is minimised, including recording and reporting incidents of abuse or assault and their consequences for the victims.
John Park: The minister will be aware of the poster campaign highlighting violence against betting shop workers that has been run by the trade union Community, the Scottish Government, retailers against crime and the STUC. We have seen a successful approach in other industries, particularly in the rail and bus industries, where there has been a joint approach between trade unions, employers and Government. That sort of approach would work well in betting shops. Will the minister pursue employers in the bookmaking industry who are not prepared to display the posters and enter into dialogue with bookmakers about displaying the posters more widely throughout the country?
Shona Robison: I commend John Park for the work that he has done on the issue. He will be aware that officials from the Scottish centre for healthy working lives are already in discussions with the trade unions and employers in the betting trade on how best to tackle the abuse of workers. I look forward to betting-trade employers taking advantage of the support and assistance that is available to them from the centre, and I would certainly encourage any employers who have not displayed the posters to do so. I am sure that such encouragement can take place in the context of the discussions with the centre.
Jim McGovern MP asks for a Government debate on the increase in assaults on betting shop workers. Press release 13th December 2007 Speaking today in the House of Commons Dundee West MP Jim McGovern asked the Leader of the House for a debate on the increase in verbal and physical attacks on workers with particular focus on betting shop workers. Mr McGovern said:
‘Can we have a debate in Government time on the increase in physical and verbal assaults on workers with particular focus on betting shop workers. I have had a number of representations from the trade union Community on this issue. It is unacceptable that so many workers see such assaults as ‘part of their job’ and as an overwhelmingly female workforce this is a very important and pressing issue.’
In response the Leader of the House of Commons replied;
‘The trade unions are, I am pleased to say taking a lead on this issue through the establishment of trade union equality representatives. I will speak with the appropriate Ministry to ask for a special provision of trade union equality representatives for betting shop workers.’
After the debate Mr McGovern added;
‘I am very happy with the answer Ms Harman gave and whole heartedly agree that the trade unions do take an important lead on this issue, as I have previously said, the issue itself was initially brought to my attention by Community trade union during one of my constituency surgeries.’
‘It is unfortunate therefore, that in a recent meeting with senior representatives from Ladbrokes, who have fourteen shops in Dundee West, a representative from Community trade union, who represent the majority of betting shop staff in Dundee, was refused permission to attend.’
‘If you are or have been subjected to abuse in the workplace it is crucial that you report the incident. Everyone has a right to work in a safe environment free from the anxiety, stress and physical pain caused by abuse in the workplace’
MP Jim McGovern meets with Ladbrokes management
Dundee West MP Jim McGovern today met with Ladbrokes’ Managing Director Europe and the Director of Safety and Security to discuss the recent reports he has received regarding an increase in both verbal and physical attacks on betting shop workers.
Mr McGovern said:
‘I am glad that Ladbrokes agreed to meet with me today, and whilst I accept that Ladbrokes as a company are fairly pro-active on the issues of staff safety in the work place, I was very disappointed that they refused to allow a representative from Community union who represent the majority of betting shop staff in Dundee, to attend.’
Mr McGovern added:
‘I am pleased to report however, that as a result of the letter I wrote to Ladbrokes on the issue of increased assaults on staff, they have advanced the security planning for their Dundee shops. I was informed by Ladbrokes’ head of security today that CCTV is being installed in all their shops in Dundee.’
‘I hope that the installation of CCTV, as well as recording all activity in the betting shops, will prove a deterrent to those people who continue to verbally and physically abuse staff members.’
‘It is important to note that if you are or have been subjected to abuse in the workplace it is crucial that you report the incident. Everyone has a right to work in a safe environment free from the anxiety, stress and physical pain caused by abuse in the workplace’
A spokesperson for Community (the Trade Union for betting shop workers) said;
‘Community would also reiterate that all incidents involving verbal and/or physical abuse should be reported, as it is unacceptable that staff view this as being ‘part of their job’. Only by building a clearer picture as to the extent of these issues can the relevant measures be put in place to stop them in the future’
Mr McGovern also wrote to the Chief Executive of William Hill but is yet to receive an acknowledgement or response.
Source - Dundee Courier 11th December 2007
More money and new holiday for millions of workers From Monday 1 October 2007 more than a million workers will see their hourly rate of pay increase while two million others will benefit from 4 extra holiday's when both the minimum wage and the minimum annual leave entitlement increase.
From Monday, the adult minimum wage goes up to £5.52 an hour, while the hourly rates for 18-21 year olds and 16-17 year olds increase to £4.60 and £3.40 respectively. More holiday entitlement announced
The Government has announced that it will be illegal for employers to include bank holidays as part of workers' statutory 20 days leave entitlement.
The new law means that from October 2007, an extra four days leave will be added to employees' holiday entitlement where their employer includes bank holidays as part of their leave. This will increase by a further four days in April 2009.
Michael Leahy, General Secretary ofCommunity,said:
''This announcement is great news for nearly six million UK workers, whose employers have breached the spirit of the 20 days statutory holiday entitlement - brought in by this Labour Government in 1998 - by counting Bank Holidays as part of their statutory leave.
'I know that those Community members who work in betting shops will particularly welcome the extra quality time that they will get to spend with their family and friends as a result of this announcement. Betting shop workers - who are predominantly women - work in a stressful environment and need all the rest that they can get. Community is delighted that we have helped to deliver this for them.
Betting shop workers quiz Minister of Sport Richard Caborn
Community members working in the betting industry were able to quiz Minister of Sport Richard Caborn (pictured left) about longer opening hours, single staffing and shop safety during a one-day conference at the union's head office on 16 January 2007.
'While the Minister has talked with their employers about the new gambling laws and the media has focused on a feared rise in problem gambling, little consideration has been given to how the legislation will affect those working in the sector. This was a chance for our members to express their views and concerns to him,' explains Lesley Anne Ure, Community organiser in Regions 4 and 6, who helped facilitate the day.
The event was the first time betting shop activists from all across the UK had got together to talk about common problems and the way forward for organising betting shop workers. At afternoon workshops they discussed the progress so far and the additional support they needed from the union to boost recruitment and strengthen the organising campaign.
'It was an excellent day, a chance to share ideas and experiences,' said an activist from one of the smaller independent bookmakers. 'We went back to our areas eager to get other betting shop staff on board.'
Community is now organising regional meetings as well as another national meeting later this year to organising progress in the betting industry.
If you are a betting shop worker and want to get involved in the regional meeting, please contact your regional organiser or call the Betting Shop freephone number 0800 834 640 for details.
John Mann MP tables a Betting Shop Safety EDM
On Thursday 14th December 2006, John Mann, Labour MP for Bassetlaw tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM) on Betting Shop Safety in support of campaign being run by Community, the union representing workers in UK betting shops, to end single-staffing in betting shops.
A survey of over 500 betting shop staff conducted by the Union shows that 78% of them fear that they will become a victim of crime at work. Community believes that the risk of robbery and assault is significantly increased where employees staff betting shops on their own, commonly known as ‘single-staffing’.
Commenting on his reasons for tabling the EDM, John Mann said:
‘Betting shops are the only shops on our high streets where cash-handling is increasing and yet many betting shop expect staff to work on their own. I was shocked when I heard the examples of robbery and violence that betting shop staff suffer on a daily basis and the fact that 78% of them expect to be a victim of crime at work indicates how serious this problem is. I hope that this EDM will shame those betting shops which are currently putting their staff at risk to follow Ladbrokes example and end planned single staffing.’
Speaking in support of Mr Mann’s EDM, Christine Hardacre, Community’s Head of Organising, said
‘We welcome John Mann’s support for our campaign to end single-staffing and hope that MPs of all parties will sign to show their support for Britain’s betting shop staff. With a Government consultation on the extension of betting shop opening hours currently underway, Community believes that all betting shops should plan to have at least two staff on duty at all times. Following pressure from Community Ladbrokes have recognised their responsibility to improve safety for their employees and have ended planned single-staffing. We are now calling for all other betting shops, especially the large chains such as Coral, to follow their lead and end single-staffing.
Sarah Boyack, Labour MSP for Edinburgh Central, and Carl Sargeant, Labour AM for Alyn & Deeside, are tabling a Motion and a Statement of Opinion on this subject in the Scottish Parliament and National Assembly for Wales, respectively. For further information call: Community: Christine Hardacre, Community Head of Organising on 020 7239 1234 or Keith Bill on 077885 528 527.
The Scottish Executive are urging betting shop staff to join in its new 'Bang Out of Order' campaign, which is encouraging workers to report instances of abuse from the general public. A recent survey found that more than two-thirds of staff in betting shops have been subjected to verbal abuse in the last year with 15 per cent saying they had been physically assaulted, prompting the campaign.
As many incidents of abuse at work are currently going unreported in workplaces across Scotland, the Scottish Executive is urging all employers to review their policy on violence and ensure they have a robust reporting structure in place to effectively deal with the issue.
Backing the campaign, the nation’s favourite racing pundit John McCririck said:
“I wholeheartedly welcome the Executive’s initiative to protect betting shop workers in Scotland. I was shocked, but not surprised, to hear about the incidences of violence – with workers being shouted at, spat at, and physically threatened.
“People who work in betting shops are some of the friendliest people around and no-one in their daily job deserves this level of abuse. Having a knife pulled on you, or similar, is a terrifying life changing experience. Punters go through a range of emotions and betting shop workers are right in the frontline. I know, I used to be a bookie myself.”
Heather Meldrum, Community Organiser, said:
“We have evidence to suggest that verbal and physical threats are an everyday occurrence for many workers in betting shops and this cannot continue. No person should go to their work fearing an abusive attack from a member of the public and we are urging all workers to use their rights and ensure all incidents, however small they seem, are reported.
“We are working with the industry to drive home this message and put in place measures to protect the safety and welfare of all staff. Community will continue to monitor the effectiveness of these measures and support those staff affected by the issue.”
A spokesman for the Association of Chief Police Officers (Scotland) said:
“Getting upset at betting shop workers for whatever reason can be considered as a form of violence. Whether it is verbal abuse, gestures or physically assaulting a shop worker or damaging the shop, it can violate a number of laws.
“Scottish police do not tolerate any form of violence in the workplace. ACPOS encourages betting shop owners to plug into the Violence at Work campaign and train their staff in dealing with such forms of workplace violence. And if shop workers feel threatened by any form of workplace violence, we advise them to contact the police, if the situation warrants.”
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