NSSN 214: Keep Striking Together for a Pay Rise!

October 15, 2014 in Bulletins

  • Reject the local government pay proposal
  • Name the date for the next joint pay strike

This coming Saturday’s TUC demonstration is an important next step in the struggle to break the ConDems pay freeze. It comes at the end of a week when over half a million health workers and civil servants have been on strike while the lecturers’ strike was banned by the anti-union laws.

However, it should have been much bigger but the strike of council workers that was due to take place on Tuesday was called off in light of a new pay proposal from the local government employers. Many union members are furious that this decision was taken when the proposal means that most workers will get no more than the 1% already offered in 2014-2015 and slightly less than 1.2% for 2015-16. For these terms, the opportunity of a joint 3-day strike of well over a million workers has been missed. Unfortunately, the teachers union had already mistakenly decided not to strike this week.

Rightly, many members are determined that the debacle of the pensions dispute of 2011 isn’t repeated. Then, after the magnificent 2 million-strong N30 strike, the TUC and conservative union leaders accepted the government’s deal and stalled the strike momentum that was building. This opened the door to a brutal cuts offensive that has seen hundreds of thousands of public sector jobs go along with services. Figures released by the Office for National Statistics on Thursday, show median civil service earnings have risen since 2010 by 8.3% while RPI inflation has risen by 17%!.

In the same period, average electricity bills have risen by 22% and average gas bills by 57%! No wonder record numbers are forced to go to food banks and the payday loan sharks.

The NHS workers aren’t even getting the 1% rise. But their strike on Monday showed that the mood exists to fight to break the pay freeze, set by MPs who will get a 11% rise!

If you agree with us that we have to fight to keep the mass pay strike going – come to the NSSN stage and the end of Saturday’s march. It is at Speakers Corner in Hyde Park – exit closest to Marble Arch tube station.

Fight together! Strike Together! Break the ConDem pay freeze!

 

NSSN News

The famous pink NSSN £10 minimum wage t-shirts are still available. Email us to order – £8 each. We have the following sizes: women – small, medium, large, XL and men – small, medium, large, XL, XXL. Make cheque out to NSSN and send to address below.

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

Yorkshire NSSN Conference – Saturday November 22nd Cosmopolitan Hotel Lower Briggate, Leeds, Yorkshire LS1 4AE

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

PCS

PCS strike causing disruption across the UK (15 Oct) – PCS members who have been running pickets since before dawn have been out in their thousands support our national strike for fair pay. Thousands of PCS members in the civil service and related areas are striking for fair pay. The government imposed a 2-year pay freeze in 2010 and in recent years has capped pay for all public sector workers at 1%. Civil servants on the executive officer grade, which includes thousands of PCS members, have seen their pay increase by only 2.05% since 31 March, 2010 read more

Strong support for second day of week-long Garston contact centre strike (14 Oct) – Members at Garston contact centre in Liverpool are taking a week’s strike action against plans to close their office. The week of action runs from Monday, 13 October to Friday ,17 October and follows on from two 1-day strikes on 16 May and 23 June. Members are protesting against the proposed closure of their office and the forced transfer of all staff to Bootle. Despite PCS offering a range of solutions and alternatives to the closure, the Department for Work and Pensions is pressing ahead with plans to shut the office by March 2015 read more

 

Unite

Defence workers strike today over ‘derisory’ pay offer (15 Oct) – Workers at the cash-rich Defence Support Group (DSG) started a rolling programme of strike action today (Wednesday 15 October) in the dispute over pay in the run-up to the group being sold off to the private sector next year. More than 800 employees, members of Unite, the country’s largest union, started a 24 hour strike at 00.01 today – with the prospect of more industrial action on the cards, unless the management gets around the table to negotiate a fair and equable pay settlement. The main sites are at Bovington (Dorset), Catterick (north Yorkshire) Colchester, Donnington (Shropshire), Sealand (north Wales), Stirling, and Warminster (Wiltshire).

The further action already agreed is:

  • Workers at Donnington and Sealand will strike for a further 24 hours starting at 00:01 tomorrow (Thursday 16 October)
  • Staff at Catterick and Stirling will strike action for 24 hours commencing at 00:01 hours on Thursday 23 October
  • Employees at Bovington, Warminster and Colchester will strike for a further 24 hours from  00:01 hours on Tuesday 28 October

‘Furious’ housing charity workers vote unanimously to take week long strike (13 Oct) – Unite members at housing charity St Mungo’s Broadway have unanimously voted to take seven days of strike action starting at 08.00 on Friday 17 October in a dispute over cuts to pay for new starters and changes to policies and procedures governing working conditions for all staff. The workers, members of the UK’s largest union, Unite, are furious at changes imposed by the new management team imported from Broadway, the junior partner in the recent merger read more  see details of picket lines   read article on NSSN website

Please donate to the campaign as follows:

  • By BACS: Account Name: Unite Housing Workers Branch LE1111, Account No: 20040639, Sort Code: 08-60-01.
  • By cheque made out to the Unite Housing Workers Branch LE1111, Unite LE1111, and sent to PO Box 66701, London E11 9FB.

Please mark all donations ‘St Mungos Broadway Campaign Funds’

Unite response to today’s historic NHS strike (13 Oct) – Following today’s (Monday 13 October) strike action by the nation’s NHS workers – the first in 30 years, Rachael Maskell, Unite head of health, said: “Across England and Northern Ireland today, NHS workers took to picket lines for the first time in 30 years to demand fair NHS pay. “Given the feedback from our members, we are confident that this was a very well-supported action with over 100 picket line protests outside NHS hospitals up and down the country. NHS workers were especially thankful for all the messages of support they’ve been receiving from the public read more

Greenwich library workers vote to strike (10 Oct) – Greenwich libraries (see notes) face the prospect of severe disruption or closure on Tuesday 14 October when staff strike in a dispute over staff cuts, reduction of service and pay. The 84 library assistants and senior library assistants – members of Unite, the country’s largest union – are taking strike action for 24 hours from 00.01 on Tuesday against Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL), the social enterprise company awarded the contract in 2012 to run the Royal Borough of Greenwich’s library service. The strike on Tuesday will be followed by a ‘work to rule’ from Wednesday 15 October 2014 read more   Facebook photos of strike

Umbrella Companies in Construction (Oct 9) – Unless you have been living under a rock for the last 6 months, you will know all too well about the new scourge in our industry, that is the use of umbrella companies by the majority of employment agencies since April 6th this year read more on Siteworker blog

 

RMT

RMT suspends tube action after substantial progress in ACAS (Oct 9) – Tube union RMT has confirmed that industrial action due to commence on Tuesday evening on London Underground over the threat to jobs, working and conditions and services has been suspended following substantial progress in talks hosted by ACAS yesterday. The talks have secured substantial movement in three key areas, enabling both the scheduled strike action and the on-going overtime ban to be suspended read more read more

 

Unison

Taking a break for fair pay (Oct 14) – For the rest of this week, NHS staff in England will be ‘taking a break’. Not simply because they deserve to have the well-earned rest that their employment contracts entitle them to – as UNISON head of health Christina McAnea points out: “This is part of a week of industrial action that demonstrates to the government how much NHS staff go above and beyond what’s expected of them every day and every week” read more

Care UK workers call for funds – Care UK strikers in Doncaster have launched a new appeal for solidarity funds. The workers – who were transferred from the NHS to private company Care UK – will have been on strike for a total of 90 days. Messages of support or donations should be sent to: Yvonne Butcher, branch secretary Doncaster District and Bassetlaw Health Branch, 20511 UNISON Office – Jenkinson House, White Rose Way, Doncaster DN4 5GJ. Make cheques out to ‘Doncaster, District and Bassetlaw Health Branch’.

 

GMB

Protest At Merthyr Council Over Pay Cuts (Oct) – protest at Merthyr on Wed 15th October as council is asked to consent to unilateral imposition of up to 3% pay cut for 1,700 council workers. Chief Executive is asking for delegated powers to issue a Section 188 Notice of termination and re-engagement in order to impose a pay cut of up to 3% on local council workers read more

Solid strike in NHS (Oct) – GMB members rock solid support for strike in NHS to get Government to listen to calls for decent pay rise to cope with inflation. In the NHS it takes years of incremental pay progression to achieve the rate for the job and that progression cannot be confused with uprating pay rates to keep pace with inflation read more

Brighton Cityclean 3 More Days Strike (Oct) – 3 more days of strike action by drivers at Brighton & Hove Cityclean on 16th 17th and 20th October in dispute over pay and allowances. We call on the council to concentrate on matters at hand, prioritise this issue as a matter of urgency and look to regain the confidence of the workforce says GMB read more

 

UCU

College strike off after High Court ruling (Oct 13) read more

 

BECTU

Picturehouse broken promises could force resumption of Ritzy action (Oct 13) – It is with deep regret that we inform our supporters that Picturehouse have decided to break our verbal contract of moving forward and building a positive working relationship. It has come to our attention in the last two weeks that the backpay section of our agreement has not been fulfilled by the company, leaving workers at least 2/3rd’s out of pocket. This has come about due to ‘bonus pay’ having been taken out of backpay.  At every single point of this campaign we have fought hard to make the company realise that we do not recognise bonus as pay and have consistently rejected any deal which includes bonuses. On several occasions we have made it 100% clear to senior management that we the workers deserve better PAY and nothing less.  After having disputed the decision by the company to abuse wording of our contract, we are gathering our workers and are officially  disputing the misleading way in which the company have treated their commitment to paying us backpay to October 2013.  Please be aware that this could result in industrial action.  We are hugely disappointed to have to return to this stage yet again considering the positive outcomes of our campaign and a guarantee from the company on their behalf to improve working relations.  It should also come to your attention that Picturehouse/Cineworld have employed someone with a reputation as a union buster to deal with all union relations, including BECTU’s attempts to gain union recognition at other Picturehouse branches.

Truly and best, Ritzy Strikers

 

POA

Read the latest Gatelodge magazine read more

 

FBU

Support locked-out Buckinghamshire fire-fighters – During the recent action by the FBU in England & Wales when fire-fighters took action for periods of two and one hours over 8 days, Buckinghamshire Fire Authority docked wages for the whole shifts. To contribute to Bucks FBU hardship fund:-

HSBC

Account No:     71603124

Sort Code:       40-33-33

Bucks FBU Hardship Fund

Also, email Complaints to Bucks FRS – enquiries@bucksfire.gov.uk

 

NUJ

Roll out of digital newsroom to Merseyside leads to more job cuts (13 Oct) – The introduction of Trinity Mirror’s Newsroom 3.1 to the Liverpool Echo, and Merseyside publications, could put seven jobs at risk. The company announced a 30-day consultation of the adoption of the scheme where digital content is produced during the day and repackaged into the following day’s paper. It was introduced in the north east in March and Midlands in August read more

 

BFAWU / Fast Food Rights

BFAWU’s Foodworker magazine read here

Reports of Fast Food Rights protests on Youth Fight for Jobs website   and fast Food Rights website

Please send details of any local actions to fastfoodrights@mail.com / ian.hodson@bfawu.org   see BFAWU video

 

 

Other news

The ‘Still the Enemy Within’ documentary film about the 1984-85 Miners’ Strike is showing this autumn – for details – http://the-enemy-within.org.uk/events/

 

 

Blacklisting & Victimisation

Breaking News!! Blacklisted workers protest outside Laing O’Rourke’s HQ in Dartford on Oct 15 see photo

Blacklist Support Group update – 13th October

  1. High Court

Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Costain, Kier, Laing O’Rourke, Sir Robert McAlpine, Skanska UK and VINCI PLC are the blacklisting firms facing group litigation at the High Court

16th October 2014

Royal Courts of Justice

The Strand

London

(nearest tube: Holborn or Temple)

9am: assemble wearing Blacklisted t-shirts for press photo-opportunity

Live updates on events in court throughout the day available via facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/877740195572566/ or Twitter @daveblacklist

 

  1. Police spying on Blacklist Support Group

“The police should be arresting the directors of multi-national construction companies who orchestrated the illegal anti-union blacklist NOT spying on the justice campaign set up by victims”

http://www.hazards.org/blacklistblog/2014/10/10/anger-as-met-police-neither-confirm-nor-deny-blacklisting-role-after-abetting-blacklisters/

http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-c75a-Are-anti-blacklist-campaigners-being-spied-on#.VDhuQYq9KSM

http://www.globalconreview.com/news/uk-p180olice-re2fuse-conf38irm-deny-infiltra28tion/

Art Against Blacklisting take on the latest police revelations attached

 

  1. Dundee

The redevelopment of Dundee Waterfront is a £billion project set to last 30 years. The Scottish government has passed motions and issued guidance calling on no public contracts to be awarded to blacklisting firms. Yet Dundee Council has voted through proposals that the £30m new V&A museuem should be awarded to BAM. The major civls is being carried out by Sir Robert McAlpine and the new station will be built by Balfour Beatty – all blacklisting firms. The campaign locally is being led by Dundde blacklisted workers themselves including Blacklist Support Group legends, Francie Graham and Stueart Merchant  (pic attached)

http://www.thecourier.co.uk/news/local/dundee/workers-ask-bam-construction-to-apologise-for-blacklisting-1.607080

 

  1. John Sheridan

Blacklist Support Group would like to send best wishes and put on record our admiration to John Sheridan, UNITE EC member for construction, who is standing down because of ill health. John has been a tireless supporter of blacklisted workers over many years – from Manchester Royal Infirmary, Fiddlers Ferry, BESNA, Olympics and Crossrail. John has not just talked about it in meetings; he has been on the picket lines when it mattered. It took 12 months of rank and file and official action to beat the blacklist and get dismissed UNITE steward Frank Morris reinstated on Crossail. It was a historic victory for trade unionism. John Sheridan – we salute you.

Attached photo of John Sheridan and Frank Morris signing the historic Crossrail agreement

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

Blog: www.hazards.org/blacklistblog

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

 

 

 

International (also see Labourstart)

Turkey: we have received this model motion from Day-Mer, an organisation of Turkish & Kurdish workers in the UK and SPOT (Solidarity with People of Turkey). It relates to the oppression of Kurdish refugees (and their supporters, including trade unionists) who have fled from Kobane in Syria, which is under attack from ISIS.

(Union Branch/National Executives of……..) notes:

  1. The honourable resistance of Kurdish people against ISIS in Kobane on the Turkish border with Syria.
  2. That trade unionists and other protesters in Turkey have been physically attacked for supporting the Kurdish resistance in Kobane.
  3. That Kurdish refugees fleeing into Turkey have been attacked by the Turkish authorities.
  4. That oppression by the Turkish government against Kurds inside Turkey has increased in response to protests in support of the Kurdish people in Kobane.

(Union Branch/National Executives of……..) believes: That the Kurdish and Turkish Community here in the UK and trade unions in Turkey supporting the resistance in Kobane and fighting for the unity of Turkish and Kurdish workers deserve our support.

(Union Branch/National Executives of…….) agrees to:

  1. Inform and update its members on the developments in Turkey and Kobane through SPOT and Day-Mer.
  2. Send a message of support to the Confederation of Public Workers Union in Turkey (KESK) who have been taking action in support of the Kurdish people in Kobane.
  3. Consider sending a delegation to Turkey to observe and report on developments.
  4. Sponsor a meeting with Day-Mer at Westminster to highlight the issue of Kobane and the Kurdish people in Turkey.

Contact details: email – info@daymer.org   website – www.daymer.org

 

USA: Meat multinational Hormel sacks union steward for defending workers- Justice for Jen! read more

 

 

Diary (see & use false economy)

October

13-15 public sector pay strikes

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

21 London Hazards relaunch 5.40pm for refreshments to start 6pm – 8pm Leigh Day Solicitors. Priory House 25 St. John’s Lane. London ECIM. 4LB. Farringdon tube 5 minutes away. Contact details for London Hazards ——- 0207 5275107 email —- mail@lhc.org.uk

 

November

5 Leeds Youth Fight for Jobs branch meeting

15 National construction rank and file meeting – at Newcastle Labour Club

11 Leazes Park Road, Newcastle. NE1 4PF 1.00pm until 4.00pm

 

December

3 Leeds Youth Fight for Jobs branch meeting

 

 

CONTACT US

PHONE 07952 283 558

EMAIL mailto:info@shopstewards.net

 

TWITTER – https://twitter.com/NSSN_AntiCuts

FACEBOOK NSSN GROUP or STOP The CUTS  Likes page

ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE