No.149 – What next after the NSSN conference?

July 4, 2013 in Appeals, Bulletins, International, Reports, Strikes

NSSN e-bulletin 149 – What next after the NSSN conference?

At last September’s TUC conference, ‘Motion 5’ from the POA prison officers’ union was overwhelmingly passed. It called on the trade union movement to consider the “practicalities of a general strike” against the ConDems’ austerity offensive. The NSSN organised a lobby of the TUC conference, which saw up to 1000 union activists descend on Brighton to let their views be known about the type of mass co-ordinated strike action that is necessary to force Cameron and co back.

Yet almost a year later, that resolution still sits on the TUC table! But if anything the attacks on workers, their families and the poor have only got worse. Over 400,000 public sector workers have been sacked and the pay freeze has continued so that the average real wages of workers is 15% lower than in 2008, yet the bosses’ pay increases by 13% a year! Every month, one million families are using the loan shark pay day loan companies while 500,000 are forced to use food banks, the modern-day soup kitchens. On the day Thatcher died, the brutal Bedroom Tax and benefit cuts were doled out to the poor and disabled while the rich had their tax cut….when they actually get round to paying some!

Some union leaders have tried to argue that instead of organising a 24 hour general strike, we should ‘wait for a Labour government but Miliband and Balls have now confirmed that they will comply with Osborne’s spending cuts! But as the mass movements in Turkey and Brazil are showing, mass mobilisations of ordinary people can change everything. A mass strike in this country is not only practical; it is vitally necessary and would be hugely popular, with all those suffering from the cuts supporting it. But we don’t need to speculate how it would look like. The mass TUC demonstration of 750,000 on March 26 2011 and the 2million strong N30 public sector pensions strike showed that workers in the UK are prepared to fight, given a lead.

PCS have been waging a war of attrition this year to defend their terms & conditions. Postal workers are have overwhelmingly agreed to ballot to stop Royal Privatisation as have Unison council workers in Scotland over pay. The teachers have started rolling regional strike action that is planned to culminate in a national strike in November. We call on the union leaders to do what they did two years ago prior to N30 – get in a room and agree a date where we can all strike together. Come to our rally and lobby of this year’s TUC conference to keep up the pressure in the meantime through your branches and workplaces. This action is essential!

Lobby TUC conference in Bournemouth on September 8th – Name the date for a 24 hour general strike – ‘all out together in November!’ NSSN rally at the TUC Congress at Bournemouth on September 8th followed by a lobby of Congress. 12:30midday-3pm Hardy Suite, Hermitage Hotel, Exeter Rd, Bournemouth (opposite Bournemouth International Centre – TUC conference venue) – book a seat on transport from your area: email info@shopstewards.net

Build the TUC national demonstration outside Tory Party conference in Manchester on September 29th – march behind the NSSN banner: 24 hour general strike to stop the Tory cuts.

Model Motion – Lobby TUC September 8th –:-  The FULL affilation letter and motion can be downloaded from our website.

See the video shown at the 7th annual NSSN conference.  Also see Billy Hayes CWU leader report of conference.   Several of the speeches have been put online by others.

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Union News

Unite

‘Save the health service’ campaign taken to Trafford – ‘birthplace of the NHS’ (July 3) – As the NHS celebrates its 65th birthday this week, it faces the greatest challenge to its founding values of a universal service free for all those in need, Unite, the country’s largest union, has warned.

South London refuse workers put strike ‘on hold’ for talks

Refuse collection workers in Bromley and Croydon, due to strike next week over a paltry pay offer, have put their action ‘on hold’, while talks are held under the auspices of Acas, the conciliation service. More

Workers at Leeds facilities company ballot for industrial action in pay and pensions dispute Members at a Leeds facilities company will be voting on industrial action in a dispute over loss of earnings, which could amount to more than 40 per cent.  Workers at Morrison Facilities Services Ltd, who maintain social housing in Leeds, will start voting on Monday 1 July for strike action or industrial action short of a strike. The ballot closes on Monday 15 July. More

Unite consults on next steps after Carling workers reject deal

Employees at the Molson Coors brewery in Burton-on-Trent will be consulted on the next steps by Unite, the country’s largest union, following a narrow rejection of a deal on pay and conditions, and new shift patterns. More

Unite members at EDF Energy are fighting a determined campaign to force the employer to finally pay workers what they are owed from a pay deal agreed last year. Incredibly, the energy provider responsible for calculating energy bills claims that it did not do the math when signing up to the deal and now claims it can not afford it. We will be meeting the employer again on 15th July – if they do not pay up, we will issue notice of a strike ballot to Unite members in the London, Eastern, South East and South Eastern regions.

Portsmouth port workers to take industrial action over ‘heavy-handed’ management plans Vital Portsmouth council services, which rely on the revenues from the port, could be hit by the ‘heavy-handed’ way the port’s management has treated its staff, Unite, the country’s largest union, has warned. More

Urging talks Unite LE1111 Housing workers at Equinox have been lobbying the board and others. If no talks are forthcoming, strike dates will be announced shortly. More After intensive talks between Unite reps and management at St Mungos a deal is to be put to members protecting Project Worker jobs where the new lower paid Support Assistants or/and Housing Management Assistants are introduced. More One Housing Group members have postponed action for more talks.

Unite, along with other unions, has been taking part in the People United bus tour of England for the last fortnight asking people for their solutions to get the country moving again in a progressive direction. One of the two buses will be at Trafford general hospital – the ‘birthplace’ of the NHS in 1948 – at 14.00 on Friday 5 July to join with Save Trafford General campaigners and the local community in a linking hands celebration of NHS values. The other bus will be parked at Golden Hill Park at 15.00 where there will be a party in support of the NHS.  More 

RMT

Great Western in the frame as rail franchise chaos rages on

RAIL UNION RMT warned today that the chaotic rail franchising process has taken a further turn for the worse with reports that the timetable for the award of routes in the wake of the West Coast fiasco has slipped again and over continuing concerns over the extension of the current First Great Western deal – a shambles which has left industrial relations in complete disarray. More

East Midlands industrial action ballot underway over total breakdown in industrial relations

An RMT ballot for industrial action is now underway following a comprehensive breakdown in industrial relations between East Midlands Trains and the union. RMT has a number of issues unresolved, and with the company refusing to engage the union in meaningful talks there is no option but to ballot. More

Victoria Line Drivers To Be Balloted For Strike. More

PCS

PCS warns that 144,000 public sector jobs are at risk

In the government’s comprehensive spending review last week chancellor George Osborne announced a further 144,000 jobs would go within the next two years. More

NHS pension administrators strike for fair pay

Low-paid staff who administer NHS pensions have taken strike action for the first time. More

Protesters show cuts the red card

Tens of thousands of members sent the government a loud anti-cuts message in protests across the UK. More

Unison

Rochdale ‘Future Directions’ strike solid

The strike action by 115 care workers in Rochdale continues. Privatised to a charity in 2006, and then taken over by a private care company before Christmas 2012, every aspect of terms and conditions – holidays, sick pay, enhancements – has come under attack from the new employer Future Directions, itself a wholly owned subsidiary of Calderstones NHS Trust. More

UNISON launches consultation on further education final offer

UNISON is consulting members in further education in England on a final offer from the employers. More

NUT

Teachers strike in North West. Now escalate the action! (with pictures)

Teachers in the North West were on strike on 27 June in the first part of a programme of regional strike action against the Con-Dem attacks on teachers’ pay and working conditions and on education in general. More

NUT responds to changes to school term dates

Commenting on the proposals in the Deregulation Bill published yesterday which will allow schools to set their own term dates, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“If schools up and down the country set different term times it will cause chaos for families. Parents/ carers could find themselves in the position of their children having different holiday times from each other and will find it difficult to meet with relatives or friends in other parts of the country. More

Gove and Twigg deregulate, teachers must escalate!

Weary teachers are struggling on to the end of term but, when it comes to inventing yet more plans to attack education, our politicians certainly aren’t winding down. More

Unison

Unison higher education members have rejected the government’s pay offer and are moving to a strike ballot.

Golf course staff strike over plan to slash pay (July 3) – Seven green keepers at Hollingbury and Waterhall golf courses in Brighton and Hove are taking a second day of strike action today, as their employer refuses to budge from a plan to axe one job and slash the pay of the remaining staff.  More

GMB

GMB To Consult Members At Tata Steel As Pay Talks Make No Progress

GMB made it clear that the present situation is totally unacceptable to GMB members who are looking for new money for this year’s pay rise. More

UCU

Lunchtime protest at Oxford and Cherwell Valley College

Members of UCU and UNISON were out in force at Oxford and Cherwell Valley College holding a lunchtime protest today (2nd July) over compulsory job losses. More

Strike ballot at south London college in row over job losses and course cuts

Members of UCU at a south London college are being balloted for strike action in a row over job cuts. The result of the ballot at LeSoCo – a merger of Lewisham College and Southwark College with campuses in Lewisham, Deptford, Waterloo, Bermondsey and Camberwell – will be known on Friday (5 July). More

Strike action on at Grimsby Institute

Members of UCU at Grimsby Institute will be striking on Tuesday (2 July) in an ongoing row over job losses and cuts to staff pay and conditions. More

FBU

Fire services stretched ‘to breaking point’ by Smethwick fire and government cuts, say firefighters The ability of the fire and rescue service to respond to the Smethwick fire was stretched ‘to breaking point’ by government cuts, firefighters have said. Fire Brigades Union General Secretary, Matt Wrack, visited the site of the ongoing operation on Tuesday and spoke to firefighters about their experiences. Wrack said: “Firefighters have done a fantastic job in fighting this massive fire and deserve nothing but praise. More

New fire service budget attacks will ‘cut through bone’, says FBU

Responding to today’s announcement of a 7.5% cut to the fire and rescue service budget in the comprehensive spending review, Fire Brigades Union general secretary, Matt Wrack, said: “After three years of station closures, 3,600 job losses and a dangerous slowing of response times, these new attacks to fire services will start to cut through bone. More

NIPSA

Increments Under Attack – Spending Review Signals Ongoing Extremism

Chancellor of the Exchequer announces the details of a Spending Review 2015/6. More

TSSA

TSSA Bids to De-Rail £11m Gravy Train

A bid was launched today by the TSSA rail union to halt a new double bonus scheme for top bosses at Network Rail which could see their total earnings increase to over £11 million by 2015. More

OTHER

Mental Health Cuts kill, Salford Service users and carers group. More

Special offer from Red Pepper For members of the National Shop Stewards Network

It was inspiring to see so many committed activists at the NSSN conference on Saturday. Here at Red Pepper magazine we’ll continue to report on the fight against austerity, blacklisting, police spying & more. With upcoming protest at the Tory party conference, calls for civil disobedience and strike action, we can help you stay up to date: TRIAL subscription offer: Get 6 months of Red Pepper for just £5

INTERNATIONAL

India: – Justice for Indian PepsiCo workers! Workers who are members of Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) at West Bengal warehouses exclusively contracted by PepsiCo are fighting for fairness and justice in the face of mass dismissals as a result of exercising their right to join a union. 162 workers out of 170 have been brutally fired. More

Lebanon: – Mondelez announces instant Lebanon plant closure – with hired gunmen in attendance! (July 1) On May 17 over 100 workers employed by Mondelez in Beirut were abruptly told their plant was closed and they were all out of a job. Production is to move to Egypt where costs are cheaper and where the company smashed the union last year by firing 5 union leaders in Alexandria. More

KazakstanInternational solidarity: of the workers and the bosses. More

Egypt:- Huge protests demand the fall of Morsi (July 2) – No to the generals’ intervention! For a workers’ government! More

DIARY

5 People United bus tour: Photo opportunity event outside Trafford General Hospital to mark the NHS’ 65th birthday 2pm

People United bus tour: Party to celebrate the NHS, Golden Hill Park 3pm

6 Save the NHS March & Rally – Birkenhead. Join us for a march and rally from 12 noon at Birkenhead Park Arch to save our NHS.

Matchgirls strike festival of East London

7 Day-Mer 24th Culture and Arts Festival at Clissold Park, London

8 Public Services Alliance meeting – Gateshead. Gateshead Council, Civic Centre, Regent Street, Gateshead, NE8 1HH. 5:30 pm.

8-13th ‘Sick of your Boss?’ week of action

9 No more police dirty tricks – lobby Scotland Yard against police infiltration of protest groups 4-7pm. Supported by Mark Serwotka PCS, Bob Crow & Steve Hedley RMT.

Tolpuddle Seminar ‘Justice for Workers – A Strategy for Change’. Westminster

10 Public Services Alliance – Teesside. St Mary’s Centre, 90 Corporation Road, Middlesbrough, TS1 2RW. 5:30 pm

Lobby Southwark Council Assembly 6pm over the bedroom tax.

13 Durham Miners Gala

16 March to stop the fire cuts 11.30 The Monument, Fish street Hill, EC3R

18 Lobby Canterbury City Council over the bedroom tax – 6.30pm

19-21 Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival

19-21 Hazards Conference, Keele University. The national conference for union safety reps and community campaigners. Hazards run the online blog for the Blacklist Support Group and there will be blacklisting speakers at the Friday plenary session

24 Action for Rail Wimbledon station 5.30pm

SEPTEMBER

8 NSSN rally at the TUC Congress at Bournemouth followed by a lobby of Congress. 12:30midday-3pm Hardy Suite, Hermitage Hotel, Exeter Rd, Bournemouth (opposite Bournemouth International Centre – TUC conference venue)

29 National TUC Demonstration to save our NHS at Tory party Conference

30 Manchester Unite local government branch is hosting a showing of the exhibition about Liverpool’s socialist council 1983-87. Speakers include: Len Mcuskey, Tony Mulhearn, Felicity Dowling, Ted Knight & Kevin Bennet. Methodist Cetnral Hall, Oldham St. Manchester. Tel: 0161-234-1896 e james.thornton@unitetheunion.org.

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CONTACT US

 Info@shopstewards.net   or look on our Website for further info.

Follow us on TWITTER @NSSN_AntiCuts FACEBOOK STOP THE CUTS or NSSN Group

Secretary: Linda Taaffe
Email: lindataaffe66@btinternet.com or 

Phone: 07952 283 558

NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE