NSSN e-bulletin 158 – Stop cuts – Demand united action – Lobby the TUC for a 24-hour general strike (Sunday 8th September)

September 4, 2013 in Bulletins, International, News, Protest, Reports, Strikes, Video

it would be nuts not to begin without congratulating Frank Morris, sacked electrician and all those involved in supporting the campaign for his re-instatement.  The NSSN has been a longstanding practical supporter with Frank Morris and against blacklisting! (More later in the bulletin and BSG report is already on the website).

We have handed over this weeks bulletin narrative to Martin Powell-Davies, Member of the NUT teachers’ union executive and the NSSN steering committee argues FOR a general strike, but Now back to Martin:

I might be a physics teacher but it doesn’t take rocket science to work out why the trade union movement needs to start taking united strike action. The Coalition is pushing ahead with vicious cuts, privatisation of services and attacks on our pay, pensions, rights and conditions. It’s high time that they were stopped.

There is a force that can do this – trade unions taking united strike action, backed up with support from the communities whose jobs and services we are struggling to defend.

Trade unions are strongest when we act together. It’s about time that we did so. That’s the message that the lobby of the Trades Union Congress being organised by the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) will be taking to TUC delegates in Bournemouth on Sunday 8 September.

A number of trade unions are already battling in important local or national disputes. FBU members have been balloting on industrial action to defend firefighters’ pensions.

The FBU have voted for strike action, the CWU have agreed to hold a national ballot of Royal Mail workers against privatisation. UCU members in higher education are considering action over pay. PCS is consulting members across the civil service on the next stage of its campaign of industrial action.

Teachers will be leading the way this autumn. A solid strike of both NUT and NASUWT members closed schools right across the North West region in June. Now members of both unions in the rest of England and Wales will take part in one of two further days of regional strikes in September and October. That will be followed by a day’s joint national strike action in November.

Teachers have no choice but to take action. From September, the government is imposing divisive performance-pay arrangements that will allow school management to pick and choose who gets a pay-rise – and who doesn’t. It’s a scheme designed to cut the pay bill and to force teachers to work even longer hours. In the New Year, they’re planning to announce more attacks on working conditions.

There are other important events for trade unionists to support in September – not least to build a mass demonstration in Manchester outside the Tory party conference on 29 September to call a halt to the destruction of the NHS by this government in the interests of their big business backers.

However, demonstrations alone will not be enough. We need to call on the TUC to organise strike action coordinated right across our movement, a 24-hour general strike.

Some trade union leaders will continue to prevaricate but that makes it even more important that those who are up for the fight make plans for coordinated strike action.

The NUT and NASUWT have already pencilled in a date for national action in November. Let’s make it a day of coordinated national strike action that can start to push this government back at last.

Lobby the TUC Congress on Sunday September 8th – All out Together in November! Bring your union banners!!

Join us, One Housing Group strikers, the Blacklist Support Group speaker Dave Smith, Reps from the TUJCC and others on Sunday 8th Sep to  Lobby the TUC conference in Bournemouth “Name the date for a 24 hour general strike! ‘All out together in November!’

There will be a NSSN rally at the TUC Congress at Bournemouth followed by a lobby of Congress. Confirmed speakers:  Bob Crow, Mark Serwotka, Steve Gillan, Ronnie Draper and Ian Lawrence (RMT, PCS, POA, BFAWU and NAPO general secretaries respectively) Alec McFadden (North West representative on TUCJCC for trades councils and also President Merseyside County TUC), Teresa MacKay TUCJCC & Ipswich Trades Council, Unite OHG Striker, Dave Smith (Blacklist Support Group) and Linda Taaffe (NSSN). TUC AGENDA & RESOLUTIONS online now! 

The rally will take place between 12.30pm-2.30pm Hardy Suite, Hermitage Hotel, Exeter Rd, Bournemouth (opposite Bournemouth International Centre, TUC Congress venue). There will be a coach to the lobby from Hampshire. To book a seat on transport from your area, email info@shopstewards.net or if you are able to arrange some and have space, let us know!

This lobby is now supported by five TUC Joint Consultative Committee (TUCJCC) Regional Representatives, and the TUC National Unemployed Centres Combine.

Use our Model Motion to raise the need for joint action and also affiliate to the NSSN (Download from our website resources section). Consider adding ‘That their general secretaries should meet with other willing unions prior to the TUC to liaise on co-ordination (&) we fully support the 29th September NHS March in Manchester and will mobilize for this.

If you missed some of our annual conference, with a variety of trade unionists talking about their disputes have a look here and share with others. (see here)

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Union News

 BLACKLIST BEATEN

Unite / Blacklisting

Blacklist Beaten – Frank Morris reinstated on Crossrail!! (Sept 3) – FANTASTIC NEWS FROM THE BLACKLIST SUPPORT GROUP! Congrats to Frank and everyone involved in this campaign and the wider campaign against blacklisting and trade union rights. (Below is a report from the Blacklist support group) Blacklisted UNITE union shop steward Frank Morris is returning to work on the Crossrail project on 9th September. This is a massive victory, not just for UNITE but the whole of the trade union movement read more

Read joint BFK / Unite statement here with this correction from Unite: “Unite corrects Crossrail’s claims on blacklisting” – A Unite spokesman said: “Whilst we cannot comment on the resolved dispute surrounding Frank Morris, it is important to correct Crossrail’s press release which wrongly states that Unite has said there has been no blacklisting at Crossrail. “What Unite clearly said is there have been no breaches of the current regulations. We believe this indicates the weakness of the current legislation.”

MPs investigating blacklisting in the construction industry are due to hear evidence later today from the body which represents senior HR officers (Sept 3) – It comes as campaigners have called for the committee of MPs to widen its 15-month inquiry to include what they say is continuing anti-union discrimination in the North Sea oil industry, following last month’s Super Puma helicopter accident off Shetland in which four oil workers died. – See more at: Union News

POA

POA Condemn Prison Closures (Sept 4) – The POA have condemned the announcement by the Secretary of State for Justice that he intends to close Blundeston, Dorchester, Northallerton and Reading prisons at a time when 20,000 prisoners are being held in an overcrowded prison estate, alongside the unacceptable level of violence and serious assaults. The POA accuse NOMS and the Ministry of Justice of accepting institutional overcrowding in an attempt to save money at the expense of rehabilitation read more

POA branches will be organising emergency meetings at 7.30am on September 5th

Unite

Unite battle for recognition at Yorkshire Ambulance Trust (Sept 3) – Hi Colleagues, first of all a big thank you to all those that turned up to the protest this morning at YAS (Yorkshire Ambulance Service) Trust HQ. We had over 40 people plus a blow up rat at the entrance read more

One Housing Group workers go into battle again (Sept 2) – Unite members at One Housing Group (OHG) will strike for five days starting on 5 September. Following a four-year pay freeze, OHG management is slashing frontline workers’ wages by up to 25%. Some of the most skilled and experienced staff will lose £8,000 a year. Last month OHG announced record profits of £36 million, up from £13 million last year. Senior executives have posted YouTube clips of themselves boasting of their success at the same time that over 200 of their own employees are due to face severe financial hardship read more

Unite recommends settlement to end dispute with agencies providing services to JLR (30 August) – Unite will be recommending a settlement to its members to end the dispute with DHL and other agencies providing services to Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) read more

Jersey strike action averted following last ditch talks (29 August) – The threat of strike action by more than 1,100 Jersey States Manual and Parish workers has been lifted after agreement was reached between Unite, the Channel Island’s largest union and the States Employment Board (SEB) read more

Deliveries of nation’s favourite beer at risk (29 August) – Crucial talks to avoid severe disruption to the deliveries of Fosters, Heineken, Kronenbourg, John Smith’s, Strongbow plus Britvic soft drinks, to almost 30,000 drinking establishments across the UK will take place today after workers for KNDL (Kuehne + Nagel Drinks Logistics) overwhelmingly voted for strike action read more

PCS

Pickles lands taxpayers with £90,000 bill. We have won our legal fight against Eric Pickles’ latest attack on our union (Sept 3) – Taxpayers now face a £90,000 legal bill after a High Court judge ruled the communities secretary acted unlawfully by unilaterally scrapping the ‘check off’ system for collecting union subscriptions through salaries. The Department for Communities and Local Government had tried to end the decades-old arrangement even though it only costs the department £300 a year to administer. The judge ruled today the move was a breach of contract and must be reversed, and ordered DCLG to pay our legal costs as well as its own. The £90,000 bill would cover the cost of check off for the next 300 years read more

BFAWU

Hovis workers anger rises over Zero hours contracts (August 28) – Hundreds of bakers at the Hovis bakery in Wigan are on strike for seven days against zero-hour contracts and casualisation. They are demanding the company negotiate seriously, instead of ignoring existing agreements and imposing huge attacks on pay and conditions read more    more from BFAWU website

FBU

Firefighters vote to strike over government’s ‘unworkable’ pension scheme proposals (August 29) – Firefighters have voted to strike against the government’s ‘unworkable’ pension scheme proposals that could lead to thousands facing the sack simply for getting older. 78% (18,277) voted in favour of national strike action in ballot results released today read more

CWU

Action short of a strike for Post Office members (3rd Sept) – After 11 bouts of industrial action over a five-month period, members in Crown Post Offices will now prepare to take action short of a strike as the CWU served notice on the Post Office yesterday (Monday). Having delivered a vote of almost 90 per cent in favour of this kind of action, members on the counters (not Financial Specialists*) in the country’s network of 372 Crown Post Offices will withdraw from proactively selling financial service products on Monday 9th September from 14:30 – 17:30pm read more

Strike ballot for Royal Mail workers (2nd Sept) – CWU, the union representing postal workers, today (Monday) announced it will ballot for a national postal strike this month, if current ongoing talks with Royal Mail do not bring agreement. CWU is planning for ballot papers to go out on 20 September to 125,000 Royal Mail workers in what would be the first national strike ballot since 2009 read more

RMT

RMT takes motions on strike action & the EU to TUC congress (4 Sept) – RMT takes motions on EU referendum and co-ordinated strike action to TUC Congress and plans direct challenge to Ed Miliband over betrayal of working people. Transport union RMT will be taking hard-hitting motions calling for a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU (Motion 16) and co-ordination of strike action and campaigning against austerity (Motion 54) to the Trades Union Congress which assembles in Bournemouth this weekend read more

City Link Workers Vote For Strike Action over Pay & Conditions (3 Sept) –Transport union RMT announced today that hundreds of staff working for City Link have voted by more than nine to one for strike action in a dispute over pay, working conditions and an attempt by the company management to bulldoze through changes to contracts read more

Serco Barclays Cycle Hire Industrial Action Suspended (29 August) – Industrial Action Suspended – Breakdown in Industrial Relations, Serco Barclays Cycle Hire read more

J33 campaign – there is a weekly protest in support of these sacked workers – meet 8am every Monday at the Tooley Street entrance of London Bridge for further protest outside GLA HQ read more about the J33 campaign

GMB

Move to Strike Ballot at Jacobs Biscuits (August 30) – 800 GMB Members at Jacobs in Liverpool Seek Permission for Official Strike Ballot over threat to impose Changes to Existing Agreements read more

Strike Back On At Briar Chemicals Norfolk (August 29) – Strike At Briar Chemicals Norwich Back On As GMB Members Reject Latest Pay Offer. Industrial action short of a strike with begin again immediately and Shop Stewards will meet early next week to decide the dates for full strike action says GMB read more

NUT & NASUWT

Next phase of Rallies of Education:-

London Saturday 14th September 2013

Queen Elizabeth Conference Centre, Broad Sanctuary, London, Greater London SW1P 3EE 11am to 12.30pm Speakers: Christine Blower, General Secretary, NUT; Patrick Roach, Deputy General Secretary, NASUWT.Directions to venue

Nottingham Saturday 14th September 2013

Crowne Plaza Hotel, Wollaton Street, Nottingham, NG1 5RH 11am to 12.30pm

Speakers: Chris Keates, General Secretary, NASUWT and Kevin Courtney, Deputy General Secretary, NUT.Directions to venue: 

Cambridge Saturday 21st September 2013

The University Arms Hotel, Regent Street, Cambridge, CB2 1AD 11am to 12.30pm Speakers: Chris Keates, General Secretary, NASUWT and Kevin Courtney, Deputy General Secretary, NUT. Directions to venue: 

Exeter Saturday 21st September 2013

The Methodist Church Sidwell Street (nr Odeon Cinema), 60-64 Sidwell Street, Exeter, EX4 6PH

11am to 12.30pm Speakers: Christine Blower, General Secretary, NUT and Patrick Roach, Deputy General Secretary, NASUWT. Directions to venue

UNISON

Future Directions staff take 19th day of strike action (August 30) – Over 150 care-workers on strike at Future Directions in Rochdale marched through the town centre yesterday to mark their 19th day of strike action. Care-workers are suffering pay cuts of £500 per month, while their terms & conditions of employment are being ripped up. Over 100 tribunal cases have been submitted by their union, Unison. Strikers are determined to defeat “No Future” Directions and force Rochdale’s Labour-run council to step in read more

Defend Whipps Cross Hospital Services, Defend all Barts Health Services & staff – protest: 5pm, 16 September Whipps Cross main gate – demo: noon Saturday 21, The Green by Whipps Cross Hospital

UCATT

Kier concessions end pay date dispute (2 Sept) – Construction union UCATT have called off industrial action and ended their dispute with Kier Services after the company made major concessions in the dispute over changing the pay date of workers. The dispute arose after Kier failed to enter into meaningful negotiations with UCATT over the company’s proposals to change the date it paid workers from the 15th to the 28th of every month. In an industrial action ballot last month, 74.4% of UCATT members voted to support strike action and 86.3% voted to support industrial action short of strike action read more  

NUJ

Lobbying bill a disaster for free speech and gift to dodgy lobbyists (30 August) – Legislation aimed at cleaning up the lobbying industry will fail miserably and must be radically revised. The National Union of Journalists finds as worrying proposals in the bill, which receives its second reading next week, which will severely limit charities, community and church groups and trade unions from campaigning during an election year read more

 Other News

IWGB = Justice for cleaners’ emergency protest against sacking – 4pm Thursday 5thSeptember outside John Lewis HQ Partnership House, Carlisle Street, London SW1P 1BX

Do you have experience as a trade union rep; have you been a shop steward? Are you sick of injustice, inequality and bullying bosses?  Do you want to help those on poverty pay fight back?  Then you can make a difference?

The Independent Workers Union (IWGB) is appealing for volunteer union representatives. Tel:  0207 819 9600 Email:  office@iwgb.org.uk

 

International (see also labourstart)

USA car workers: Tear the Gallows Down: Live Bait & Ammo #174 – Last September active and retired autoworkers gathered in the basement of an old church in a Detroit neighbourhood that defied the three hallmarks of creative capitalism: Destitution, Dereliction, Demolition. Judy Wraight, a UAW retiree, asked the group, “Is there anyone here who doesn’t hurt?” “Doesn’t hurt?” a voice reiterated. Young and old autoworkers looked around but not a single arm was raised. Pain was our common bond. To read more click here

Canada hotel workers: Union Workers Ratify New Agreement at Toronto Plaza Hotel Ending 13 Week Strike (1 Sept) – Members of United Steelworkers (USW) Local 9466 have ratified a new 2 year agreement at the Toronto Plaza Hotel thus ending a bitter 13 week strike. The new agreement was approved by a margin of 80% and removes all the draconian concessions demanded by hotel management and even provides a wage increase. Read more

Bosnia & Herzegowina striking miners refuse to leave coal mine read more

India Motor worker unions strike in Keralsa read more)

Greece doctors strike over forced transfers and pay cuts. read more

 Diary (also see & use False Economy)_

SEPTEMBER

4 Lincoln & District TUC will be meeting from 6.30pm at the Lincoln Labour Club on Newland. On the agenda will be:•Save Lincolnshire Libraries campaign, including protest lobby and march;  •FBU strike;•NUT/NASUWT strike;•TUC congress;•TUC national demonstration;•UNITE pay campaign on Lincolnshire RAF bases

Anti-EDL protest ‘EDL not welcome in Tower Hamlets’ – Don’t let the racists divide us Assemble 11am Altab Ali Park, Whitechapel Road, London E1

Union City presents Philistines for Palestine, a night in support of Teach for Palestine – downstairs @ The Constitution, 42 St Pancras Way, Camden NW1 0QT Read more  

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

14 NUT Rallies for Education London and Nottingham

22 September Demo at the Labour Party Conference, Brighton Centre/Seafront – Details to TBC ‘Lest They Forget’ organising meeting to be arranged shortly

28 NUT Rallies for Education Cambridge and Exeter

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 McCluskey, Tony Mulhearn, Felicity Dowling, Ted Knight & Kevin Bennett. Methodist Central Hall, Oldham St. Manchester. Tel: 0161-234-1896 email james.thornton@unitetheunion.org.

October

UKUNCUT resist legal aid cuts

12 National anti-fascist demonstration in Liverpool – Assemble 12 noon, Myrtle Street (top of Hardman Street) Liverpool 7. March sets off a 1pm and ends with a rally: The Pier Head Liverpool

 

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CONTACT US

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

Phone: 07952 283 558 NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE