News digest 5 February 2014

News digest 5 February 2014

05 February 2014

Today’s top reads: Stories to keep an eye out for:

·                On the tenth anniversary of the Morecambe Bay tragedy - Huff Post

·                Union pledge legal action as convenor at heart of Grangemouth refinery dispute is sacked – Record

·                Ed Miliband wins backing for union funding plan - Guardian

·                Red Ed’s reforms will make unions more powerful – Dan Hodges - Mail

·                Ex-minister targets press for exposing MP in Nazi theme party - Mail

·                Russell Brand is wrong: It’s the vote that rocks – Michael Sani - Mirror

There are just three stories in today’s digest. Today marks 10 years since the Morecambe Bay tragedy which claimed the lives of 23 Chinese cockle pickers that were cut off in the dark by a rapidly returning tide. It was the worst workplace disaster since Piper Alpha (in 1988) and one of many tragic events involving workers organised by illegal gangmasters. Jim Sheridan, the MP who brought forward the bill that would create the Gangmasters Licencing Authority in 2005, said: “This tragedy brought the shady gangmaster world to the attention of people across the world. Not all gangmasters are terrible, but we needed some way to prevent exploitation such as this. We needed the licensing system to separate the bad from the good.” 10 years on the act needs to go further, email your MP to back Jim Sheridan’s motion calling for the remit of the GLA to be widened

From gangmasters to victimisation and Unite yesterday launched legal action against Ineos over the sacking of its vice-chair and Grangemouth convenor, Mark Lyon, accusing the company of ‘hypocrisy’ and making a ‘mockery’ of justice. Pat Rafferty, Unite’s Scottish secretary, said: “Once again, a decent man and loyal employee has been hounded out of his job by Ineos. The rank hypocrisy of Ineos knows no bounds. The company withdrew its defamation action against Unite to “draw a line under the dispute”, yet at the same time it was drafting a letter dismissing a Unite convenor ... from start to finish, this has been a circus and reflects extremely poorly on Ineos ... [the company] needs to realise that this is not a time for further unrest and that it needs to get the workforce on side to deliver a successful future.” Michael Connarty MP will table an EDM on anti-trade union behaviour by Ineos today – get your MP to sign it…

And one MP that definitely won’t sign it – and one that shows no contrition – is Tory Aidan Burley who received backing from a fellow Tory who said: “We’ve all done it.” Now the fact that he was referring to Burley’s purchase of a Nazi SS uniform and praise for Hitler at a party in the French Alps shows that the Tories really are a nastier bunch than we thought, not just ‘stupid and offensive’, but a sackable offence, Aidan Burley is not fit for office and should go…

Edited by Mik Sabiers

  Morning Star

  Daily Mirror

  Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • Ministers sneak in alcohol price fix (p1)
  • Skint Labour fear (p2) (p)
  • Homes crisis to last ’10 years’ (p8)
  • Traditional supermarkets to die out (p38)
  • New boss at Microsoft (p38)



  Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • House price boom to last 10 years, signals Osborne (p1)
  • Labour reform on union cash delayed five years (p2) – Unite/Len McCluskey cited
  • ‘Thousands more nurses recruited’, says Hunt (p8)
  • We’ve all done it, says Tory about Nazi event (p8)
  • Tube strike to hit 4 million (p17)
  • The long withdrawing roar of trade unionism – Daniel Finkelstein (p23)
  • Rolls-Royce to face charges over ‘radiation exposure’ (p35)
  • BP could cut investment in independent Scotland (p39)




  FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Microsoft banks on cloud (p1)
  • Hester turns attentions to RSA (p1)
  • Scottish independence focus (p2)
  • HS2 relaunch (p3)
  • Drive to limit PPI claims snubbed (p3)
  • Leader: Labour’s union ties are still binding (p8) – Unite/Len McCluskey cited
  • If robots divide us they will conquer – Martin Wolf (p9)
  • Dr Z proves doubters wrong at Daimler (p15)
  • Ocado delivers profit delivery (p19)

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