No. 138 Wearing Red & Seeing Red – Lobby TUC

April 18, 2013 in Bulletins, Reports, Strikes

It’s sad when someone dies but it was difficult not to celebrate or mark the death of Thatcher yesterday by wearing red or with action and discussion. As Thatcher ended her life in the extortionately priced Ritz hotel in London, it was revealed that she had also been given huge amounts of our money. And whilst care, social services & our NHS, which many other elderly people will need and use particularly at the end of their life, are being hammered, it particularly rubs salt into the wounds. An estimated £10million was paid out for yesterday’s funeral when we have no money? Money for them but not for us! £10 million plus paid for state propaganda to make us ‘mourn’ and literally pay for her funeral.

We would, however, pay our respects to those who died at Hillsborough 24 years ago. Lives were robbed and then blamed on the fans not the police tactics of the Thatcher government. We will also not stay silent in the campaign for justice for the 96! No cover up!

We know these are bittersweet celebrations as what we are dealing with every day is getting worse and the growing desperation for jobs and services is causing more implosions than targeted public expressions of anger. Though to say that there will be no fightback would be wrong, and part of our role as the NSSN is to reflect and list some of that and discuss our tactics and strategies on what we think would we the best way to defeat this ‘Thatcherite’ government. We are conscious a mass movement that is needed to defeat these thieves has not yet been fully formed. It’s precisely why we are arguing for our trade union leaderships to not only support the call for a general strike, but to Name the date! It would bring millions of workers and the wider community together in action that would inspire confidence in what we do every day to make this world tick and what happens when we are not there. Would a CEO do the work of at least 6 million trade unionists and many more who would support this day?!

Those lucky enough to still have a job should be allowed to take a stand to protect them and their terms and conditions, to fight for those losing theirs, and to defend the public services on which we all rely. ‘ Nicola Dodgson

‘I’ve just had a pay cut of nearly £4,000 a year and I’m having a baby in June. I’m sick and tired of all the attacks raining down on our heads and we need to stand up as working people together. A one-day general strike is the best way to start that! ‘ Nick Parker

Please sign and share our online petition and add your comments as to why you think we need a 24 General strike!These are just two of the reasons stated for this action! We have a week to build for the next TUC general council: ‘LOBBY the TUC to name a date for a General Strike’. Please ensure your representatives know how you feel about the need for action, and your members and community know we are watching there actions (or inactions!) Book your trains, time off, etc. now! If you can’t make it (& even if you can)

This weekend sees the Unison Health Sector conference and we have produced a new NSSN health bulletin to distribute, arguing for the need for a 24-hour general strike against cuts. It reflects on the wholesale privatization, huge cuts, closure of wards, services and even entire hospitals, attacks on pay and conditions and the threatened end to national pay bargaining. “All these issues demonstrate that we are living in the most tumultuous period in the history of the NHS. The next two or three years will determine the future of not just the NHS but also the pay and conditions of our members, in what will in effect be a war between trade unions and communities on the one side, and the government and employers on the other.” Another article explains how the Labour Welsh government also has major plans to reshape the NHS in Wales. By 2014/15, spending per head of the population on health in Wales will be lower than in any other part of Britain! Let us know if you want copies and we will put a PDF online very soon!

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Join us at the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) 7th national annual conference – We already have several bookings from keen trade unionists to take part.

11am-5pm, Saturday June 29th, Camden Centre, Judd Street, London, WC1H 9JE – initial speakers confirmed: union general secretaries Mark Serwotka PCS, Billy Hayes CWU and Steve Gillan POA. We have also booked space for workshops, smaller group discussions on key issues and methods for organizing.

BOOK NOW £6. Cheques can be made payable to ‘National Shop Stewards Network’ – either email info@shopstewards.net or reply to PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE Leaflet & letter for union branches, shop stewards committees, trades councils, anti-cuts campaigns. This is the conference to organise the urgent fightback in the unions with a clear NO CUTS policy!

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PCS

Action momentum building across the Home Office. Members in different areas of the Home Office are taking part in four days of strike action this week.

Escalated strikes put spotlight on Home Office failings. An escalation of strikes across the Home Office will increase pressure on a department continually criticised for serious delays and backlogs.

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Unite

Raise national minimum wage by £1-an-hour now, says Unite.  The government’s ‘derisory’ 12p-an-hour increase in the national minimum wage is ‘completely inadequate’; given the need to pump demand into the economy,

Email flood over Turning Point’s hard-line stand on staff pay and conditions.  Turning Point’s boss Lord Victor Adebowale has been deluged by more than 6,500 emails protesting at plans to cut the pay and conditions of the organisation’s 2,600 staff. The proposals by the Turning Point charity have already forced some staff members to resort to food banks to survive.

Anger over Axa’s decision to cut 453 jobs. Axa announced (15 April) it is to cease face-to-face financial advice in the branches of National Australia Group (NAG) and Co-op. Unite challenged Axa over its reasons for the closure and the company’s response is that one of the main factors leading to its decision are changes in regulation introduced as part of the ‘retail distribution review’ by the Financial Conduct Authority.

‘No debate, no vote, no democracy’ as the Agricultural Wages Board is abolished today (16 April 2013). The fact that more than 60 years of pay protection for 150,000 rural workers in England and Wales was abolished without a proper parliamentary debate is ‘a national disgrace’.

World dockers back recognition of London Gateway port workers.  Strong support for the recognition of Unite, the country’s largest union, to represent workers at the new prestige deep-sea container port in the Thames estuary – the London Gateway – has come from the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF).

NO CUTS – protest by Unite LE1111 Housing workers over pay cuts of up to 30%! A huge turnout of Unite members turned up for the protest at Equinox head office on Southwark Bridge Road on Tuesday afternoon and got lots of support from passers-by. This sent a clear message to the Chief Executive and the board of trustees that Equinox staff will not be expected to absorb attacks on existing terms and conditions up to 30 per cent of their wages and deskilling of their job titles. The Chief Executive threatened to call the police to the peaceful protest as well as telling Equinox staff that they would be sacked if they talked to any board members.

NSSN joined Ford Dagenham workers protest this morning over closures.

RMT

RMT announces tube drivers’ strike ballot. RMT confirmed a ballot for strike action of Train Operators and Instructor Operators on the Piccadilly Line in response to London Underground riding roughshod over agreements and abusing a range of agreed policies and procedures.

RMT response to Tory GLA group proposals this morning to “ban tube strikes”. RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said: “One of the first things fascist dictators like Hitler, Mussolini and Pinochet did when they seized power was to ban transport workers from taking strike action so the Tory group on the London Assembly find themselves in some high profile company on this one.

Arriva Trains Wales cleaners on Churchill’s contract to strike in fight for living wage. RAIL UNION RMT confirmed that cleaners working on the Churchill’s contract on Arriva Trains Wales, some of the worst-paid staff in the whole transport industry, will strike this week in a fight for pay and workplace justice.

NUT / NASUWT

Rallies for Education on pay

A new 2013 School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD), confirming Gove’s divisive performance-pay plans, has been released on the Department for Education website, along with a ‘Toolkit’ of dangerous advice encouraging schools to set teacher against teacher.

STRIKE DATE 27th JUNE for North West, rest of England rolling actions before autumn half term. All England & Wales National Strike by Christmas.

FBU

Fire Brigades Union defends right to compensation for injured firefighters. Firefighters who are injured at work are entitled to and should seek compensation, says the Fire Brigades Union (FBU), after recent criticisms of emergency service workers for seeking compensation for injuries sustained at work.

ASLEF

Hypocritical Tories want LU strike ban. Conservative members of the London Assembly have called for strikes on the Tube to be banned. Mick Whelan, ASLEF’s general secretary, says this demand to remove a basic human right is both extremist and hypocritical.

BECTU

Organising for recognition with Curzon cinemas. Union membership at the Curzon cinema chain is on the rise after BECTU responded to complaints from members there.

BBC tour guides to strike again. BECTU members working as tour guides at the BBC’s New Broadcasting House are to strike for 12 hours on Tuesday 23 April continuing their protest at a 17 per cent pay cut.

CWU

More strikes as Post Office refuses to negotiate 19 April half day strike.

Union welcomes probe into 4G sale shortfall. CWU general secretary Billy Hayes has welcomed an investigation into how the Government lost a billion pounds on the sale of the 4G airwaves.

GMB

Heathrow Drivers Dispute Over Pay.  GMB Heathrow drivers to take industrial action in pay dispute as real value of earnings fall by 12% over the last seven years.

UNISON

Derby care workers strike over attacks on T&Cs read here

Scots say No to pay offer. UNISON is seeking an early meeting with Scottish local government employers to reopen pay talks after a members’ ballot rejected an offer of 1%, with a living wage guarantee.

OTHER NEWS & CAMPAIGNS

“Are you sick of Your Boss?” Youth Fight for Jobs says “Get involved in the campaign that says #enoughisenough to being messed around with your hours, to not getting proper breaks, to zero-hour contracts, to bullying management and low pay!”

UnionNews Podcast

Mining communities remember Thatcher.

Blacklisting & Victimisation

URGENT DONATE to the Steve Acheson defence campaign Steve Acheson, Unite member and blacklisted electrician, was dismissed from an engineering project at a power station in Warrington in December 2008. Ever since he has made the 80-mile round trip every Friday, at his own expense, to peacefully protest at the terrible injustice of blacklisting and to expose this abhorrent practice to public view.

Support RMT member P Mihaj against Sodexo ltd at ET today 10-5pm

Scottish affairs committee shines a light on blacklisting. Unite, Britain’s biggest union, has welcomed the Scottish affairs committee’s interim report on blacklisting, which has begun to shine a light on the dark side of Britain’s construction industry.

Ban blacklisting employers from public procurement says Unite general secretary. At the STUC Congress in Perth (17 April), Len McCluskey, the general secretary of Unite, has called on the Scottish government to use the procurement reform bill to ensure that employers which practice blacklisting are banned from tendering for future public contracts.

Interim Parliamentary Report On Blacklisting. GMB welcomes interim parliamentary report on blacklisting and calls on employers to apologise and compensate workers damaged.

MPs interim report on blacklisting scandal (Video). UnionNews reports on the findings of an interim report by MPs on the Scottish Affairs Select Committee into the practice of anti-union blacklisting in the construction industry. The MPs say “major construction firms caught in illegal blacklisting are still dodging responsibility”.

International (See Labourstart)

SIPTU rejects austerity. Unions reject ‘Croke Park 2’ in ballots Joe Higgins TD press statement

Egypt Railways ground to a halt on Sunday as train drivers staged a nationwide strike

Hong Kong: Defend dockworkers’ right to strike & petition

Lebanon Bank employees to stage fresh protests on April 28  

Romania Workers of Romanian railways operator CFR go on sudden strike for unpaid salaries

Diary other events also see & update onto False Economy

APRIL

20 STOP THE CUTS/SCRAP THE BEDROOM TAX/PROTEST AS CLEGG VISITS THE LIBDEM CONFERENCE IN CARDIFF, Noon Mercure Cardiff Holland House

Bedroom Tax Protests in North Staffs, Leeds & Thanet.

‘Spirit of 45’ screening & discussion at RIO, London by Hackney & Islington TUSC 2pm

25th Reel News special report on Spain The Grosvenor 7.30pm

27  Unite exhibition to celebrate election of Liverpool 47, who would not vote or implement Thatcher cuts instead they also built 5,000 houses, froze rents and developed services & so much more. Opened by Len McCluskey, Unite, Tony Mulhearn & others.

March to Save Ealing A & E 11.30 at Ealing Hospital, UB1 3EU

Derby Trades Council annual Silk Mill March & Rally. 10.30am

Teesside Mayday March 11am

28 Workers Memorial Day

Sheffield 12.30pm – International Workers` Memorial Day, the Sheffield Trades Union Council is once again organising an International Workers` Memorial Day Ceremony at the Workers` Memorial Tree which is situated in front of the Sheffield Town Hall.

Bolton UNISON Bolton LG Branch has worked with Bolton Trades Council to organise an event on Sunday 28th April, 2013, International Workers Memorial Day. Assemble on the Town Hall Square for 11.30. There will be a piper, speakers and a minutes silence at 12.

MAY

1 International Workers day! Marches, protests and events everywhere

2 ‘The Thatcher years’ month long anti austerity festival opens with an photographic exhibition by Dave Sinclair, charting some of the fightback against Thatcher. (Richmix, E1 London– 6-8pm FREE). Speakers include: Bob Crow RMT, Suz Muna Unite & Rob Williams NSSN. From 8-11pm celebrating Mayday and a ‘Housing4All’, ‘Have I got Tax for you’ pilot & Q & A plus more satire with Flood Theatre & a dodgy mayor! (Tickets £7/£4)

4 Cardiff TC Mayday Rally & March

5 Ipswich Trades Council May Day Festival12 noon with Tony Lennon SERTUC, Peter Kavanagh Unite, Paul Moffatt CWU, Nancy Taaffe NSSN.

7 Dying for the Vote suffragette Emily Wilding Davison Centenary exhibition in Ewell, Surrey to 27 July Irene Cockrofthotshot@blueyonder.co.uk.

12 Don’t Mention the 47 Documentary & discussion at Richmix, London (£7/4) plus other events that day including Unite Housing workers, ‘How to stop the housing cuts & what are the alternatives? Radicals & Revolutionaries walk (£5/£2) of the East End, ScriptReadEast (£4).

18 Fight the NHS cuts London march londonkeepournhspublic@gmail.com

JUNE

29 7th annual conference of the NSSN

11am-5pm Camden Centre, Judd Street, London, WC1H 9JE

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CONTACT US

Info@shopstewards.net

TWITTER FACEBOOK STOP THE CUTS or NSSN Group

Secretary: Linda TaaffeEmail: lindataaffe66@btinternet.com

Phone: 07952 283 558

Website

NSSNPO Box 54498, London E10 9DE