120 – Can they have all the cake & eat it?!

December 6, 2012 in Bulletins, Reports, Strikes

 Bulletin 120 – Can they really have all the cake & eat it?

As we face another barrage of cuts from Osborne’s Autumn Statement – a ritualistic exercise in re-cutting the national cake!  The Coalition makes out they’ve got goodies for all – to ease the pain they envisage lasting at least until 2018. The problem is that this year that cake has shrunk. Total wealth (GDP) has actually gone down slightly in 2012; and debt also has not fallen as a share of that smaller cake.  Tory Chancellor Osborne first slices out a huge chunk – because that is for the rich and not to be messed with. He adds to their plate an extra chunk – another corporation tax cut of 21% and other financial measures to ease the bosses’ so-called “problems”. This of course has to be balanced by a similar cut in the share going to workers and the poor. He then proceeds to re-cut the rest of the cake. A bigger slice for workers here is paid for by a smaller slice for workers there i.e. civil servants have their departmental budgets cut by 1% and then 2%, meaning job cuts – while slight improvements to tax thresholds appear to ease things for low wage earners. They steal £1billion off the education budget revealed a few weeks ago, and then they announce increased funding for school buildings! Even this spending will be on the Free Schools and Academies that benefit Osborne’s fat cat friends….again.

We have no option but to struggle to stop these cuts and the other £10 billion coming down the line in the not-too distant future. This vicious millionaires’ Coalition is going for broke – slashing and cutting like there is no tomorrow and partly because they believe there is no real credible opposition.

NSSN has been to the fore in demanding that our trade unions must intensify the pressure. That means, in particular, our trade union leaders must step up to the plate. Implement the decision of TUC Congress and NAME THE DAY FOR A 24-HOUR GENERAL STRIKE that would electrify and energise mass opposition. “We don’t want a bigger share of the cake. We want the bakery.”

The General Council of the TUC has a meeting scheduled next Tuesday morning 11th December. NSSN is appealing to everyone, who can make it, to get to Congress House (very near Tottenham Court tube) at 8.30am to lobby trade union leaders to name the day for a 24-hour general strike, and to stay for the morning to make sure the leaders of the biggest unions know we are watching their deliberations. And we are not going away………

Please raise support this, bring your workmates/families and SIGN our PETITION which will be handed in on Tuesday to the TUC. If you can’t make the lobby, send a message from your union branch, shop stewards committee or trades council that we can read out. (Also distribute the new leaflet to your workmates and elists)

Linda Taaffe NSSN Sec

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Other NSSN updates: Scottish Unison now back the call for a 24 Hour day strike against cuts and austerity, this came from Glasgow City Unison resolution.  You can add your branch, workplace or groups voice to this. It’s important to discuss wherever we can.

Latest in from Lincoln Trades Council who passed this last night:- “Lincoln TUC met tonight and unanimously voted for a motion to the Midlands TUC conference which calls on the Midlands TUC to support the call by TUC Congress to consider a general strike.  It also instructs the Midlands TUC to organise 2 regional meetings (East and West Midlands) and a tour of public meetings in local areas popularising the idea of a general strike.”

NSSN in Lewisham have put together a flyer and demands on how to fight the closure of the A&E with industrial action as a key part of the strategy.  Flyer

Affiliations – CWU Portsmouth & District postal branch joins our growing list of branches supporting and linking up with NSSN this week. Your branch, Trades Council and organization is welcome to affiliate, donate and work with us.

Our final regional conference of the year went well in Yorkshire with new unions and delegates taking part and planning to build for a general strike. More

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RMT

RMT will begin balloting train managers, senior conductors and on board catering staff this week for both strike action and action short of a strike. The Cross Country service radiates out of Birmingham and covers much of England, major points in Scotland as well as Cardiff in Wales. The use of the Unsatisfactory Performance Procedure to harass and intimidate members in cases relating to sales and the continued use of target league tables. Ballot papers will be dispatched on 27th November 2012 and the ballot will close on 11th December 2012. More

RMT security and safety staff employed by STM Security Group on London Overground services were due to be taking strike action tomorrow, 6th December, in a dispute over bullying and an attempt to impose new terms and conditions. This has been suspended because talks have been gained

RMT members have voted overwhelmingly for strike action and for action short of a strike in a ballot of all First Scotrail members over the victimisation and dismissal of a member whose only “crime” was to assist a member of the public in ensuring they had the correct ticket for a journey in line with company policy. More

Balloting for industrial action over safety after a series of recent incidents shone the spotlight on corner-cutting and the drive for profit at the expense of safety on the Network Rail High-Output Electrification contract run for NR by the Amey Colas Joint Venture (ACJV).

RMT response to Virgin West Coast. Bob Crow said: “Anyone who thought the unprecedented fiasco on the West Coast Main Line franchise was over needs to think again. Although the extension announcement has been made this morning it only exposes the reckless high wire act that has taken the negotiations between Virgin and the DfT right to the very brink of the contracts’ termination this weekend.More

RMT Cleaners Strike last week – report from Manchester. Carlisle cleaners are in the RMT union and determined to achieve fair pay. The victory won through strike action by RMT members on the Virgin cleaning contract shows this is possible. Clearly TPE are worried.  More

RMT released a shocking picture which shows 5 inches of rail head crumbled away to nothing leaving a potentially lethal gap in the track on the InterCity East Coast Mainline at Colton Junction just south of York where normal running speeds at 125mph. Due to cuts it took FOUR DAYS to replace in which time a crack had become a five inch gap, leaving trains, passengers and staff at risk of a serious and potentially lethal incident. A train could have derailed, jumped the tracks and collided with an on-coming service. More

UNITE

180 Tesco drivers at the supermarket giant’s distribution hub in Doncaster have announced an indefinite strike from Thursday 7th December, after they voted to reject the latest “completely unsatisfactory” offer to settle the long-running dispute. Tesco, not content with £3.8 billion profit last year, transferred their Doncaster transport workforce in August to Eddie Stobart Ltd (ESL) to cut costs. Messages of support and donations welcome. lynncheetham@yahoo.co.uk More

Crossrail ‘blacklisting’ probe called for by Unite. Claims that Crossrail contractors have met with an organisation dedicated to compiling blacklists of construction workers needs to be urgently investigated by London’s Transport Commissioner, Peter Hendy. More

1,200 workers at the 2 Sisters Food Group in the West Midlands are being balloted for industrial action in a dispute over pay and conditions, and a culture of alleged bullying. Unite started balloting its members at the Bevan Way and Dial Lane sites in Smethwick, West Bromwich and the Lincoln Street plant in Wolverhampton on Friday, 23 November on whether they wish to take strike action or industrial action short of a strike. The ballot closes on Friday, 7 December.

Over 2000 bus drivers from nine garages across North London took 24 hour strike action last week Thursday following Arriva North’s decision not to award workers a percentage pay increase this year despite massive profits. DB Group which owns Arriva PLC made £853,665 in profit before tax in the half year to 30 June this year.

Engineering and construction workers have agreed to a 7.7 per cent pay deal over three years (2013-2015). The agreement covers 50,000 construction workers and applies to major construction projects across the UK, such as oil and gas, petro-chemical and energy projects.

MPs demand Pension Justice from Ford for thousands of former Employees.  MPs from all sides of the House joined forces to criticise the behaviour of Ford Motor Company over their treatment of thousands of former UK Ford workers in respect to the shortfalls in their pensions. The debate was timed to occur in the immediate run up to the court hearing on 12 December between former Ford workers and Ford so as to put pressure on Ford to put their hand in their pockets to make up the pension shortfall. Video

Unite expressed bitter disappointment over plans by British Airways (BA) to cut 400 senior cabin crew positions, as it vowed to fight any compulsory redundancies. The airline has started a 90 day consultation period with the first of the cuts on both long and short haul routes expected to take effect next March.

Ministers have been urged to take urgent steps to ensure the future security of the UK’s oil refining capacity by Unite. The call has come in the wake of the closure of the Coryton oil refinery in Essex earlier this year which cost nearly 3,000 jobs across the UK, with an adverse knock-on effect to the economy estimated to be up to £1bn.

Unite confirms election will be run in 2013 for the post of general secretary More

 

CWU

The CWU is lobbying Parliament this Thursday 6th December against Royal Mail privatisation and unfair competition. Committee Room 14 – House of Commons 1pm – 3pm

CWU members at Royal Mail’s Bristol South East Delivery Office have voted by over 80 per cent to take strike action amid allegations of bullying and harassment by managers, who stand accused of breaking national agreements and procedures. “We are doing everything we can to ensure that service standards to the public are maintained and improved where possible going forward – but this is not helped when managers arbitrarily make changes and do not comply with national agreements,” said national officer Bob Gibson.

CWU workers may boycott rivals post. More

CWU members working for TV Licensing company Capita to vote this week on “Stage One” of what is set to become a 15-month pay agreement.

PCS

PCS announce national strike ballot to end pay freeze and defend working conditions. More

In his autumn statement the chancellor George Osborne has confirmed further cuts in the civil service and plans to target people entitled to benefits to pay for his failed economic policies. More Buried in chancellor George Osborne’s autumn statement is the announcement that local pay will not be introduced in the civil service. More

Members of PCS protested outside their workplaces at lunchtime on Friday 30 November over the government’s plans to tear up their existing working conditions. More

PCS will be balloting across the whole of DWP for strike action and overtime ban against 43 compulsory redundancies and for full staffing. Ballot runs from 12th Dec to 10th Jan. More

Seaham pension centre in NE is balloting over restrictions over Christmas leave with a view to take action on 31st Dec.

The government needs to do much more to reflect public anger over tax avoidance, PCS says as campaigners prepare to target Starbucks. More

FBU

Nearly seventy fire stations in England are at risk of closure and scores more throughout the UK face severe downgrading if the government presses ahead, as expected with unprecedented spending cuts, the Fire Brigades Union warns. More Sign the petition for the London campaign

Six years after firefighters Geoff Wicker and Brian Wembridge were killed at Marlie Farm, the relatives of the deceased and the injured firefighters are still fighting for compensation. More

NUT

Gove goes to war on teachers Pay. More

Step up the industrial action. More  & join the LANAC conference Leicester Adult Education College, Leicester LE1 6HL More

After nine days of strikes, teachers at Stratford Academy, Newham, have suspended further strike action following management’s retreat in talks facilitated by ACAS. More

TSSA

London Transport Museum is suffering as a result of a £1.5 reduction in its grant from TfL at a time of severe cuts to arts and museums- threatening community projects and staff facing restructuring in January. Help us protect jobs and London’s heritage for all communities. -Join us at 9.00 City Hall, Wednesday 12 December to lobby TfL Board to restore the grant – Send a message to TfL Board     www.tssa.org.uk/LTMxmas . Ask your MP to sign an early day motion in support of LTM – EDM 713   

OTHER

NHS campaigners keep up the pressure after huge meetings and massive march through Lewisham. A TUSC meeting will take place on Thursday 6th Dec. More

“Solidarity with comrades and workers occupying Newcastle city council chamber ,no to all cuts”

Lincoln Prison will no longer face conversion to an Immigration Removal Centre. The conversion could have resulted in job cuts and added hundreds more to the 3,500 people who are currently unemployed in Lincoln. This follows a campaign by Public and Commercial Services union and the Prison Officers Association, who represent staff at the prison. More

Nuffield Trust report paints a world of future health inequalities, says Unite The Nuffield Trust report on squeezed NHS funding for the next decade is warning of “a world of growing health inequalities” hitting the most disadvantaged. Unite, with 100,000 members in the health service, was commenting on A Decade of Austerity: The funding pressures facing the NHS from 2010/11 to 2021/22, which is based on a model by the Nuffield Trust into the future pressures on NHS services in England.

SAVE HEATHERWOOD HOSPITAL – March and presentation of 23,000 names on our petition to the PCT at Heatherwood Hospital on Saturday 8th December. Please circulate these details and bring family and friends along. We must illustrate the strength of feeling in our community regarding saving Heatherwood Hospital and ALL its services. Terry Pearce Chair, Defend Our Community Services.

Bristol health workers protest, as cracks appear in South West pay cut plans 2000 NHS workers in Bristol demonstrate on Saturday 1 December against proposals to introduce local pay deals in the South West, as cracks begin to appear in the plans. The consortium’s plans also suffered a further blow with the withdrawal of The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust from the cartel which wants to tear up the long-established national Agenda for Change agreement and replace it with local pay deals with inferior pay, and terms and conditions.

Sheffield: The Health & Social Care Act will mean increased NHS charges and more private companies taking over NHS services.  Most local NHS services are being commissioned by a new body, the Clinical Commissioning Group with many local GPs on it.  We are asking them to protect our NHS in Sheffield  JOIN OUR LOBBY AND PROTEST OUTSIDE THE NEXT MEETING OF THE SHEFFIELD CCG . THURSDAY 6  DECEMBER 1.30pm 722 Prince of Wales Rd, Darnall.

DURHAM GALA APPEAL – The cost of the Gala is increasing year on year. £26,400 alone is spent subsidising the brass bands, which are an essential feature of the Big Meeting and give us so much pleasure on the day. It is self-evident that without a viable source of income the Durham Miners’ Association cannot fund the Gala indefinitely.  If you donate £2 a month or a one-off payment of £24 a year you will become a member of ‘The Friends of the Durham Miners’ Gala Society’ and each year you will receive a glossy magazine with photographs of the Gala and a report of the speeches. You can of course donate more than £2 per month if your circumstances allow.  PO Box 6. Red Hill, Durham, DH1 4BB. Tel: 0191 384 3515, Fax: 0191 386 6824, E.Mail: admin@durhamminers.co.uk

RMT General Secretary Bob Crow, who gave evidence to the Leveson Inquiry, said: “One thing that Leveson has uncovered is the level of collusion between press, politicians and the state to do over anyone seen as a threat to their interests and that includes the trade union movement.

“From the miners to the firefighters and right up to date with our struggles today on transport and public services, no stone has been left unturned in vilifying and slandering those with the guts to stand up and fight back. “

Leveson reports at last (part 1 anyway) with predictable reaction from the government and most of the proprietors . (Some responses and ways to get involved via Anne Field)

1) Hacked Off Petition demanding government action to implement Leveson in full; at the time of this email just over 50,000 people have signed it, please add your vote www.hackinginquiry.org;

2) Campaign for Press + Broadcasting Freedom, Coalition for Media Reform: list of basic demands;

3) Coalition for Media Reform: lobby questions for meeting or writing to your MP;

4) Trade union rights statement drawn from material issued in conjunction with the Exhibition. Please see CPBF, NUJ and Unite websites for full details and trade union responses: www.cpbf.org.uk; www.nuj.org.uk; www.unitetheunion.org;

More men than women are being pushed in to the clutches of legal loan sharks and men are borrowing on average nearly £100 a month more than women, according to survey tracking working people’s lives through the economic crisis for Britain’s largest union, Unite.  As living standards are squeezed and government austerity bites, the survey highlights a growing debt crisis among the nation’s men, with 64 per cent saying they had to borrow from lenders and legal loan sharks compared to 36 per cent of female respondents.  On average men are borrowing a massive £381 per month just to make ends meet, compared to £282 per month for women.

‘Autoworkers Under the Gun’ or other titles from Haymarket Press

you can get a 30% discount by entering the coupon code HOLIDAY30. The sale is good through January 5. More

VICTIMISATION

Reel News Film on the Defend the Four – “our long running campaign of 4 lay activists against the mighty bureaucracy of Unison”. A modern day David and Goliath. The four are Glenn Kelly Bromley Unison Branch Secretary and National Executive Committee, Suzanne Muna Branch Secretary Tenant Services Branch  Onay Kasab Branch Secretary Greenwich and Brian Debus Chair of Hackney Unison all positions they held until the ban in March 2010. More You can also support Reel News who made the video by becoming a subscriber.

Crossrail ‘blacklisting’ probe called for by Unite. Claims that Crossrail contractors have met with an organisation dedicated to compiling blacklists of construction workers needs to be urgently investigated by London’s Transport Commissioner, Peter Hendy. More

Blacklist Support Group: Some detailed information from last weeks investigation with information on convicted blacklister Ian Kerr. More

Anyone who believes they may be affected by the Consulting Association Blacklist should first contact the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) on 0303 123 1113. The ICO can quickly confirm whether or not you are on the list and can provide you with a copy of your file. 

If you find you are on the list, you should immediately contact Guney Clark & Ryan Solicitors (GCR) on 02072757788 between 8am and 8pm.

INTERNATIONAL

European dockers hold demo in Portugal against labor laws. More

Egyptian Air workers strike for pay increases. More

Israel – Public sector workers win wage increases after general strike. More

Kazakhstan massacre of unarmed men, women and children by state forces commemoration on Sunday, THE HORSE HOSPITAL. Colonnade, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 1JD Doors open at 2.30pm and close at 6pm

Korean workers at Hyundai Group continue campaign against union busting. More

Qatar – 1.2 million migrant workers are not allowed to join the join protest. More

Singapore – Singapore will deport 29 mainland Chinese bus drivers and prosecute five others for taking part in the city-state’s first strike since the 1980s. More

Sri Lanka Teachers strike. More

 

DIARY

6 Dec

Barnet’s ‘Easyjet’ Council is transferring over 500 workers to arch-exploiter of public services Capita. There is the threat of jobs being transferred out of borough. Lobby 6pm. john.burgess@barnetunison.org.uk

LOBBY AND PROTEST OUTSIDE THE NEXT MEETING OF THE SHEFFIELD CCG . 1.30pm 722 Prince of Wales Rd, Darnall.

Francis Maude MP will be at Liverpool Guild of Students from 7.

8 Dec

Unite Tesco Drivers on indefinite strike march 10am.

UK UNCUT – take action alongside women’s groups and transform tax dodger Starbucks into services women depend on, such as refuges, crèches and homeless shelters. MORE  

Anti-Workfare Superdrug Picket  2pm London Road Brighton Superdrug

Superdrug are not taking on Christmas staff because workfare gets them workers for free, yet workfare makes the people on it less likely to get paid work – Join Brighton Benefits Campaign to protest this disastrous programme! Demo Against Starbucks Tax Dodging! Meet Midday Churchill Square. Birmingham Boycott Workfare at Poundland – 2.30 Poundland B2

LANAC conference Leicester Adult Education College, Leicester LE1 6HL More

Manchester demo against cuts 12.30pm All Saints (Cavendish Rd/Oxford Rd) More

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11 Dec

NSSN lobby TUC to NAME THE DATE for a general strike.  

Please note the lobby now starts at 8.30am. Join us & also Sign the Petition. Congress House (very near Tottenham Court tube) at 8.30am

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12 Dec

Keep Our NHS Public Petition Hand In 2pm Trafalgar House near Brighton Station. Thousands of signatures have been gathered by local people to help persuade local doctors not to continue privatising services.

13 Dec

Petition Against Council Tax Benefit Cuts Presentation to the Council

Support the handing in by the Socialist Party of the petition and tell the council to say no to poll tax mark 2 and not to pass on the coalition cuts to the very poorest in Brighton and Hove. 4:30pm Hove Town Hall

16 Dec

On the first anniversary of the notorious massacre in Zhanaozen, Kazakhstan

of unarmed men, women and children by state forces there will be a commemoration on Sunday, THE HORSE HOSPITAL. Colonnade, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 1JD (2 minutes from Russell Square tube station) Doors open at 2.30pm and close at 6pm

26 Jan

 

Merseyside County Association of Trades Union Councils (MATUC) is organising a conference to be held at the Adelphi Hotel in Liverpool on 26 January 2013. The conference will look at organising a general strike in the NW region and the practicalities of organising the strike for regional trade unions and branches, trade union councils and activists for a general strike in 2013.

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Website: www.shopstewards.net

Email: info@shopstewards.net

Phone: 07952 283 558

Post: NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9D

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