Mark Harding victory & indefinite UCU Lambeth strike

June 3, 2014 in Bulletins

This week we take the unusual step of headlining with two disputes. We salute the indefinite strike by workers at Lambeth College and hope that the tremendous victory of Mark Harding and his union the RMT will be an inspiration to them, the Unite One Housing convenor Bryan Kennedy as his members take strike action (see below under Unite) and the rest of the trade union movement.  Let’s celebrate our victories!

 

RMT Tube union official Mark Harding found not guilty from RMT website

At Hammersmith Magistrates Court this morning (June 2nd), RMT tube union official Mark Harding was found not guilty of charges brought against him under section 241 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 as amended by Schedules 7 and 17 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 during the last phase of tube strike action.

 

Mick Cash, RMT Acting General Secretary, said

“This is an important victory, not just for RMT but for the whole trade union movement, and has significant implications for every single trade unionist taking action and seeking to picket effectively at the workplace.

“RMT always said that this prosecution was politically motivated and was just another attempt to tighten the noose of the anti-trade union laws around the necks of those sections of the working class prepared to stand up and fight.

“It shouldn’t be forgotten that this prosecution arose from the dispute on London Underground over savage cuts to jobs, services and safety and that fight continues.”   See NSSN photo

 

 

Indefinite Lambeth College strike starts on June 3rd Send messages of support and donations via the Lambeth College Strike website

In March UCU members at Lambeth College voted overwhelmingly to take indefinite strike action in protest at new contracts being brought in by management for new staff. These contracts included loss of 2 weeks’ holiday, cuts to sickness pay and extra working hours for no extra pay.  These changes leave new employees working longer hours than all but three of London’s 38 further education colleges.  We have already had two extremely successful one-day strikes but on May 1st were prevented from taking indefinite action by management, who used anti-union laws to obtain an injunction against us. Undeterred by this we re-balloted and have yet again won a massive mandate to take indefinite strike action. Unison members at the college, which represents support staff at the college, have also voted to take strike action and will be announcing strike dates shortly.

If Lambeth College management are allowed to continue with these attacks on staff working conditions it will set a dangerous precedent for the Further Education sector and more widely. Part of the college management’s defence of the contracts has been that they are for only new staff however their consultation document states “it is envisaged that the new contracts may be rolled out for existing staff”. Management have also announced that they cannot guarantee “protection” from the new contracts for existing staff after 31.8.15.  We will not accept this attempt to introduce a two tier workforce into our college; we are very concerned about the equality issues that will arise from this.

Lambeth College is a community college. It has been serving the community for many years providing a second chance to those who did not succeed in gaining the qualifications they desired at school and giving people from all parts of the community a chance to learn and improve their skills. The conditions that teachers teach in are the conditions that students learn in. These changes to our contracts will mean that staff will not be able to continue to deliver the excellent education that students deserve.

We call upon our community to support our fight to defend education by helping us defend conditions that people teach and learn in, conditions that enable us to deliver high quality education.  See NSSN photo

 

 

NSSN News

Come to the 8th Annual NSSN Conference on Saturday July 5th – ‘What recovery? We want our share! Fight Together for a Pay Rise! – Break the pay freeze, fight for a real living wage, oppose zero-hour contracts, fight for PAYE’. Leaflet – http://www.scribd.com/doc/221151679/NSSN-2014-conference-leaflet

It will be on from 11am-5pm in Conway Hall – 25 Red Lion Square, Holborn, London WC1R 4RL – delegate/visitor fee £6. Confirmed speakers include Ronnie Draper BFAWU bakers’ union General Secretary, POA General Secretary Steve Gillan, Janice Godrich PCS President and Peter Pinkney RMT President.

Confirmed workshops include:-

Fast food rights/zero-hour contracts/living wage/$15Now

Fighting NHS cuts

Construction: fighting the umbrella scam and blacklisting

Political representation for workers after the Collins Review

Housing workers fighting back

 

Email us now if you want to come as well as if you want leaflets – info@shopstewards.net.

If you want to put yourself forward for the NSSN steering committee, email us by 12noon on Thursday July 3rd

 

Get your trade union branch or trades council to affiliate to the NSSN – it only costs £50. Already affiliated? Please think about renewing it. Also, many of our supporters pay a few pounds a month. You can set up a similar standing order to ‘National Shop Stewards Network’, HSBC – sort code 40-06-41, account number 90143790. Our address is NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE. Affiliation letter here

And if you can, come to one of our regional Conferences. If there is not one in your area, get in touch to either assist in organising or have a speaker at one of your meetings or events. Contact Rob or Linda on info@shopstewards.net

 

 

Union News

Unite

BREAKING NEWS!! One Housing strike to protest the victimisation & suspension of Bryan Kennedy Unite convenor

08.00 Friday 6th June – 07.59 Tuesday 10th June 2014

Picket Lines

100 Chalk Farm Road

London

NW1 8EH

3 minutes walk from Chalk Farm Tube next to The Roundhouse

 

Friday 6th 08.00-16.00

&

Monday 9th 08.00-16.00

 

Ponders Bridge House

402A Caledonian Road

N7 8UA

Next to Caledonian & Barnsbury Overground station

5 mins walk from Caledonian Road Tube

 

Saturday 7th 12.00-14.00

 

Messages of support please to: suz.muna.unite@gmail.com

Donations to: Housing Workers Branch, Unity Trust Bank, Account number  20040639 Sort Code 03-60-01

Or cheques made payable to Unite Housing Workers Branch posted to PO Box 66701, London E119FB

Occupational therapists to strike again over ‘bullying culture’ at Greenwich council (June 3) – Occupational therapists at Greenwich council, fed up with an alleged ‘bullying culture’, are striking again on 11 and 12 June for 48 hours. The therapists, members of Unite, the country’s largest union, have already taken strike action on 21 May over alleged bullying, harassment and the suspension of a work colleague accused of being too friendly with staff. On Wednesday 11 June, the therapists will be protesting at Greenwich council’s annual general meeting at the town hall in Wellington Street, London SE18 6PW from 17.30

Leeds Optare workers strike again on June 2nd (June 2) – send messages of support to muzzy84@live.co.uk    see photo

 

PCS

Vote YES in PCS ballot for fair pay (30 May) – We are asking our civil service and public sector members to vote YES in a ballot to support our campaign for a fair pay rise, including a strike with other public sector unions on 10 July. On 12 June ballot papers will be sent out consulting members about potential coordinated strike action to break the public sector pay cap and force the government to negotiate with us on pay and other national campaign issues.

We all need a pay rise: More than a million union members in the public sector in England and Wales are preparing to take strike action on 10 July as part of a campaign to break the government’s pay cap read more

PCS members balloted over shared service offshoring (30 May) – We are balloting hundreds of members who work for Shared Services Connected Limited and Ministry of Justice for strike action against job losses, office closures and offshoring. Ballot papers go out today (Friday 30 May) to members in 9 offices located in Blackpool, Newcastle, Cardiff, Sheffield, Leeds, York, Alnwick (all SSCL) and Bootle and Newport (MOJ). The ballot closes on 18 June read more

 

RMT

Mayor`s debate on the state of London – Let him have our views on 953 jobs and ticket office closures (June 1) – Boris Johnson has asked for Londoners their views on the state of London – let’s get down there and give him them! It’s an all ticket affair, all you have to do is register for free tickets. It’s vitally important the RMT tell Johnson our views. The Mayor of London is holding his annual ‘State of London Debate’ on 25th of June at the 02 read more

Re-organisation and redundancies – Heathrow Express (28 May) – RMT calls further strike action 4-5 June read more

 

BFAWU

The new summer edition of the BFAWU’s union newsletter ‘Foodworker’ is now out here. Read about the Fast Food Rights campaign and the global day of action on May 15th. It also has a report by NSSN national secretary Linda Taaffe abut the $15Now campaign in the USA and particularly in Seattle

 

 

Unison

Vote YES in NJC local government pay strike ballot – open May 23-June 23 read more

Taking the NHS Day of Protest onto social media (June 2) – With just a few days left until the joint union NHS Day of Protest on Thursday, members around the country are preparing to demonstrate their anger at the health secretary’s treatment of them over pay – and social media is just one way that we can use to get the message across read more

Barnet Care Workers 100 % vote YES to strike action (June 2) – Barnet UNISON organised a strike ballot which closed on Tuesday 27 May 2014 in response to a 9.5% cut in pay being imposed on our members. Our members working for Your Choice Barnet have delivered a 100% vote for strike action read more

Scottish LG members consulted on possible action (June 1) – Local government members in Scotland will be consulted on possible industrial action this month after employers rejected the union pay claim for this year. UNISON had put in a claim for an increase of £1 an hour and consolidation of the living wage in Scottish local government. But the employers rejected the claim, arguing that pay has been settled until April 2015 after union members accepted a 1% rise in 2013, which the employers unilaterally turned into an award for last year and this year. The union will now consult members on the employers’ rejection of the pay claim in a postal ballot – from 9 June to 7 July – with voting papers sent to members’ home addresses. The UNISON Scotland local government committee is urging members to vote for a full industrial action ballot, and calling on union branches to hold members’ meetings between now the end of the ballot period, and campaign for a formal ballot on industrial action to win an improved offer read more

Aberystwyth university unions to ballot for strike action over attack on pensions (June 28) – Unions including UNISON, UNITE and UCU will be balloting their members for strike action at Aberystwyth university over proposals to close the current pension scheme and replace it with a significantly inferior alternative. The university is consulting on proposals to close the defined benefit pension scheme and replace it with a defined contribution scheme for staff on grade 5 and below, which will mean that workers are considerably worse off during their retirement. The employer’s consultation closes on 5 June and the trade union ballot closes on 13tJune.  The university council will then make its final decision at a meeting due ton 20 June read more

Doncaster Care UK workers – Send messages of support to admin@unison-dab.org.uk and donations/cheques made out to: “Doncaster, District & Bassetlaw Health Branch” and sent to: Jenkinson House, White Rose Way, Doncaster, DN4 5GJ.

 

NUT

Lobby of Parliament 10 June – Send postcards to your MP outlining the ten top issues which we will be lobbying about in England and Wales. Your NUT school representative will have these.

How to lobby:

Contact your MP before the lobby and arrange to meet them on Tuesday 10th June. If you don’t, you can still try to meet them on the day under the ‘green card’ system. See details here.

On the day of the Lobby:

Lobbyists can gather at the Emmanuel Centre 9.30 until 16.00 9-23 Marsham Street, London SW1P 3DW. A group photo opportunity will take place at approximately 11.00.

From the Emmanuel Centre to the Parliamentary estate is a five minute walk.

 

IWGB / 3 Cosas

3Cosas strike for 6 days to save 80 jobs starting Friday June 6th Three of the University of London’s residence halls, the Garden Halls, are due to close down on 30 June, placing over 80 people at risk of redundancy. The companies have refused to negotiate with the workers’ trade unions. Workers are striking from Friday 6th June, continuing the following Monday-Thursday read more

 

CWU

BT pay talks to continue (June 2) read more

 

BECTU

Pay talks with BBC reach critical stage (29 May) – BECTU’s talks with the BBC over the pay review due on 1 August 2014 have reached a critical stage. After extensive pay talks, begun earlier this year, an offer is now on the table however officials will be recommending rejection of this in an information roadshow set to begin later this month read more

 

NAPO

Justice for sale – latest campaign newsletter here

 

 

 

 

Blacklisting & Victimisation

 

From GMB: Blacklisting talks on brink of breakdown (June 2) – Compensation Talks on brink of breakdown over amount being offered by eight construction firms to 3,213 Blacklisted Workers. Total offer of between £15m and £20m is grossly inadequate to deal with the devastating damage inflicted on people and the colossal invasion of their privacy says GMB read more

 

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlCa8yQmZ70

Blog: www.hazards.org/blacklistblog

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/groups/blacklistSG/

 

 

Other News

Oppose EDL in Stevenage

An Urgent Appeal to all Eastern region TUC’s: The EDL have announced that they are holding a regional march in Stevenage on the Saturday 7th June.

WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT

Please ask all your affiliates to mobilise for this event (Stevenage TUC has a proud record of supporting other TUC’s in the past now we need you)

We will assemble at 1pm behind the swimming pool in the Town Centre gardens and will march to the other end of town to the vicinity of the EDL rally. This is subject to final conformation with the police and council.

On their face book page they claim 259 of their supporters coming, so we need a good turnout.

Steve Glennon

Secretary Stevenage & District TUC

 

 

International (also see Labourstart)

USA: Seattle Wins $15! (May 29) – Join 15 Now and Spread this Victory across the Country read more

Algeria: Government of Algeria must recognize NOW workers’ right to form independent trade unions (June 2) read more

Philippines:  Philippines: IUF and ITF demand justice for Citra Mina workers (May 30) read more

Norway: Strike threat brings wage increase for Norwegian fish industry workers read more

 

 

 

Diary (see & use false economy)

 

June

8 The Wakefield Socialist History Group  is holding a Kinsley Evictions Commemorative Guided Walk starts 2pm at the winding wheel outside Fitzwilliam Railway Station.

The route takes in part of what is now Fitzwilliam Country Park and ends with a pint at the Kinsley Hotel.

All welcome; no charge.

For more information call Alan Stewart on 07931927451

11 Trade unionists in Lincoln will gather next week to remember the thirtieth anniversary of the Miners’ Strike with a public rally. The meeting will be addressed by Mel Hepworth, a striking Yorkshire miner at the time, and Brenda, an activist involved in the Women Against Pit Closures movement.

Nick Parker, Secretary of Lincoln & District TUC, said “We are proud to be hosting this event to remember what was the most significant industrial dispute in modern British history. “For nearly a year, one of the most active and well-organised trade unions in the country pitted itself in a fight to defend jobs and entire communities against a Tory government that wanted to crush our movement and any opposition to its policies of austerity. I think there’s a lot of lessons for the present day.” Lincoln & District TUC is hosting the event, which is open to members of the public. It is from 7pm at Lincoln Labour Club, 32 Newland, Lincoln

13 Hands off London Transport day of action – To link up with the RMT’s national organising day on Bob Crow’s birthday, the Hands Off London Transport campaign is organising leafleting of the public and other action to raise awareness of the harmful effects of Tube cuts http://handsofflondontransport.wordpress.com/2014/05/21/holt-day-of-action-13-june/#more-224

14 Orgreave mass picket and festival on 30th anniversary of Miners’ Strike – 11am-7pm Catcliffe Recreation Ground S60 5TZ

21 “No to Austerity” demo at the BBC, 21st June….No More Austerity – Demand the Alternative National Demonstration + Free Festival, Sat 21 June 2014 – Assemble 1pm BBC HQ, Portland Place London W1 1AA Then march to Parliament

Hurrah for the Luddites: challenging the myths about Luddism – 2-4pm at the Red Shed, Vicarage Street, Wakefield WF1.

The event is about seeing the Luddites in their proper historical context.  Contrary to myth, they weren’t a bunch of head bangers.  Luddism was a genuine social movement made up of normal working people fighting for justice.  They had immense support, were well organised and for a time were immensely successful.  Come along and hear more about the true Luddites!

Speakers are:

Ken Rowley: Ken is a former Vice President of the National Union of Mineworkers.  He is a member of the Wakefield Socialist History Group.  He has spoken widely on the Luddites and their West Yorkshire connections to both the University of the Third Age and to local history groups.

Shaun Cohen: Shaun is a member of the Ford-Maguire Society.  The Society is named after two notable Leeds socialist pioneers Isabella Ford and Tom Maguire.  Shaun’s particular interest is the radical history of Leeds.  He has researched widely into the Luddite revolutionary tradition.

Admission to the event is free and there will be a free buffet.

Fraternally

Alan Stewart

Convenor, Wakefield Socialist History Group

01924 360565

July

5 8th Annual NSSN Conference – Conway Hall – 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL

12 Durham Miners Gala 2014 visit Durham Miners’ Association official website here

18-20 Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival – Tolpuddle, near Dorchester, Dorset visit Tolpuddle Martyrs museum here

October

18 TUC demonstration in London – ‘Britain Needs a Pay Rise’. It will begin with a march through central London, culminating in a rally in Hyde Park read more here

 

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EMAIL mailto:info@shopstewards.net

 

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