222: “Its time to resist Osborne’s escalation of the cuts!”

December 11, 2014 in Bulletins

In last week’s NSSN e-bulletin, we exposed the step change in the ConDems’ austerity offensive, announced in Osborne’s Autumn Statement. It seems our figure of £35-50billion underestimated the scale of this attack! By last weekend, it was estimated by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) and the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) that 60% of the cuts are still to be made, with £55billion to come on top of the £45billion that have already been carried out.

This represents a catastrophe for working-class people and the vast majority in society. The NSSN calls on the trade union leaders, when they meet at the TUC General Council next Wednesday, to send a clear message to the government and anyone who has ambitions to hold office next May that there will be mass resistance to deepening austerity.

That resistance should include mass co-ordinated strike action, up to and including a 24 hour general strike but we believe as a minimum, the general council should organise a national Saturday demonstration in London early in 2015 against the cuts and in defence of the NHS and in support of the NHS workers, the firefighters and PCS, who are the target of an anti-union attack by the government.

 

Model motion for trade union bodies

This (union organisation) notes that Osborne’s autumn statement is an escalation of the Con-Dems’ brutal austerity offensive.

 

This (union organisation) notes that Labour has largely accepted Tory spending limits should it come to office.

 

Therefore this (union organisation) believes that the trade union movement has a responsibility to lead the opposition to these cuts and at the same time send a clear message of defiance to all parties in the run-up to the general election.

 

We believe that it is no accident that at this time, PCS is facing a vicious attack by the Con-Dems with union facilities being withdrawn, check-off being stopped and a new rival scab union being threatened. This (union organisation) calls for the NEC to:

 

■ Demand the TUC General Council on December 17th prepares a strategy of action to fight austerity

 

■ Give full backing to, and mobilise for, current disputes, including that of the NHS workers and the firefighters

 

■ As a step to this and to support existing disputes, the TUC organise a national Saturday demonstration in London early in 2015 against the cuts and in defence of the NHS and in support of the NHS workers, the firefighters and PCS

 

■ Solidarity be mobilised to defend the PCS from the current anti-union attack by the government

 

■ That the idea of mass coordinated industrial action be moved at that meeting including preparing for a 24-hour general strike to stop any attempt by a new government to carry through these cuts

 

 

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

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

Download the new ‘Join the NSSN’ leaflet here

Midlands NSSN Conference – Saturday March 14th 2015 Unite Offices, Birmingham download leaflet

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

FBU

BREAKING NEWS!! FBU secure House of Commons debate on pensions on Monday December 15thfor details of protest keep watching FBU website or follow @fbunational on twitter

Firefighters complete 24 hours strike; march in their thousands to support sacked colleague Ricky Matthews (Dec 10) report & video from FBU website   sign petition here

NSSN video of FBU Aylesbury demo: Reinstate Ricky Matthews here

Fire fighters march to demand reinstatement of Ricky Matthews (Dec 9) – Over 1,000 fire-fighters from across the UK gathered in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, for a national demonstration on 9 December, their latest day of strike action over pensions. Banners could be seen from Northern Ireland, Devon, Hull and London, among many others. Fire Brigades Union (FBU) national executive rep Ricky Matthews was employed by Buckinghamshire Fire Authority. He was sacked for taking part in the last round of strikes read more from NSSN website

Firefighters union to take Bucks fire authority to court over Ricky Matthews sacking (Dec 9) –  The Fire Brigades Union will begin legal proceedings against Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Authority over the sacking of victimised firefighter and senior union official Ricky Matthews. Fire chiefs sacked Ricky, via a letter delivered to his wife during the middle of the night, when he took strike action with over 30,000 other firefighters in England between 31 October and 4 November. They claim the FBU incorrectly called strike action on those dates however they never challenged the union legally in court even though they had the opportunity read more

Firefighters lost around £600 of pay due to the recent 4-day strike. The National Shop Stewards Network appeals for hardship collections to be taken to local fire stations in support of the dispute. The national FBU hardship fund bank account details are: Sort code 08-60-01 Account number 20034726 FBU solidarity & financial appeal

 

RMT

Doncaster rail engineering workers to strike for a week (10 Dec) – Scores of RMT rail engineering staff working for Wabtec at the famous Doncaster rail works will strike for five days next week in a fight over pay and conditions. Following a massive “yes” vote for action the union’s Executive Committee has instructed members to take the following strike action by not booking on for any shifts commencing between:- 00:01 hours on Monday 15th December 2014 and 23:59 hours on Friday 19th December 2014 read more

RMT News November / December 2015 Edition here

 

Unite

Three day strike over pay cuts to hit national housing charity (10 Dec) – The housing charity Shelter is set to be hit by a three day strike next week as Britain’s largest union, Unite announced that 400 of its members would be walking out from Tuesday 16 December over pay cuts of up to £5,000 for frontline staff. Amid warnings that ‘cut rate pay’ will lead to a ‘cut rate organisation’, the advice and support workers are angry over the imposition of a new pay scale at the charity leading to pay cuts of up to £5,000 for new starters, with the pay of current frontline staff only being guaranteed until 2016. The action, hitting the charity’s advice and support work, was backed by two thirds (69.2 per cent) of those taking part in a recent strike ballot and follows a continued refusal by Shelter management to negotiate meaningfully read more   Please donate to the Shelter Hardship Fund by sending a cheque payable to TGWU (ACTSS) 1/0524 Central London Branch to: Mary O’Brien, Branch Secretary,174 Parkside Avenue Romford Essex RM1 4NP. Or pay directly to: Sort Code 08 60 01 Account No 30010808. Please mark all payments Shelter Hardship Fund

Arriva South London bus workers will be on strike next Tuesday 16th December over a pay dispute with the company (Dec 10) – The three garages affected are Brixton, Croydon and Norwood

Defence workers begin ‘historic’ 10 day strike over pay (8 Dec) – Strike action over a one per cent pay rise at the Defence Support Group (DSG) is set to intensify today (8 December 2014) as over 800 members of the country’s largest union, Unite, start a 10 day strike at the Ministry of Defence (MoD) facilities. The latest action, the longest in the group’s history, led to warnings of backlogs in the repair and maintenance of key military equipment as the union accused DSG management of fattening up the organisation for its sell off to preferred bidder Babcock Land read more

Police forces facing industrial action as another union backs action for police staff (5 Dec) – Members of the country’s largest union, Unite, working for police forces in England and Wales have become the latest group of workers to vote for industrial action over a below inflation pay rise. The members, who include 999 call handlers, scene of crime officers, police community support officers and custody officers, voted by 58 per cent for strike action with over three quarters (78 per cent) supporting action short of strike. The workers who have borne the brunt of the coalition’s police cuts have been offered a one per cent rise this year after seeing their pay plummet by 13 per cent in real terms since 2010. Unite’s members join GMB and Unison members in backing industrial action as they seek a 3 per cent pay rise read more

ITV workers gear up for strike ballot over below inflation pay (4 Dec) – Britain’s largest union, Unite announced it would be joining the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) and broadcasting union BECTU in balloting its members for strike action at ITV over a below inflation pay offer. The ballot, expected to take place in the New Year, follows a rejection by staff of a 2 per cent pay offer which the broadcaster is seeking to impose as revenues surge by eight per cent to £1.8 billion since the start of the year read more

 

GMB

Get involved in GMB’s campaign for £10 per hour at Next, which has been linking up with Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott Tour supporting Next workers see GMB website for details of protests in your area

Strike Ballot at M&S Swindon Postponed (Dec 10) – GMB postpone strike ballot at Marks &Spencer Swindon distribution depot after reinstatement of members sacked after being subject to racist abuse. Marks and Spencer and Wincanton must deal with racist manager and if he has not been dealt with then we will restart our campaign says GMB. GMB has agreed to postpone a consultative ballot on strike action for members employed at Marks and Spencer Distribution Centre in Swindon after the reinstatement of two members who were sacked after they were subject to racist abuse of staff by a manager. In addition GMB has postponed the protest planned for Friday 12th December outside the Marks and Spencer store in Swindon read more

 

UCU

Staff and students on the picket line – Lambeth College strike update (Dec 9) – Today saw the 2nd strike day in the second round of our campaign against the new contracts. And yet again the support has been tremendous. Around forty students joined the picket lines at Brixton as part of today’s student strike against ESOL learning conditions. We also had an early morning visit by the President of the TUC, Leslie Manasseh. He expressed his support for our cause and has pledged to contact the principal urging him to talk to the unions to put an end to the dispute read more

 

PCS

VCA sell-off plans scrapped (8 Dec) – Plans to privatise the Vehicle Certification Agency, which approves specified performance standards, have been scrapped. The Department for Transport had invited bidders for a ‘new commercial model contract’ and in July shortlisted 4 companies: British Standards Institution Motor Industry Research Association (MIRA) Ltd, Institution of Mechanical Engineers and SGS UK Ltd. The government had planned to announce the successful bidders in early 2015. But last week the remaining bidder withdrew from a project that has cost the taxpayer £2.8 million read more

Campaigners vow to keep fighting for ILF (8 Dec) – Campaigners have vowed to continue fighting for the Independent Living Fund after their legal challenge to stop the government closing it was lost. PCS, DPAC, Inclusion London and other campaigners held a vigil outside the High Court in the Strand, London this morning ahead of a judge’s ruling which said that the government’s decision to scrap the ILF was lawful. Despite the defeat the campaign must continue as the government will do everything in its power to close this vital fund which employs dozens of PCS members read more

 

Unison

Police staff set to strike over pay on 22 December (Dec 10) – UNISON police staff members working for forces in England and Wales* will stage a 24-hour strike starting at 00.01 hours on Monday 22 December. This is in support of a campaign to re-open pay talks to improve the employers’ 1% pay offer for 2014. This will be followed by four weeks of action short of strike action, from Monday 5 January 2015 to Sunday 1 February 2015, in the form of a ban on voluntary overtime. UNISON members in the police service work in jobs such as 999 call takers, police community support officers, scenes of crime officers, fingerprint experts, financial investigators, detention officers, crime reduction officers, crime analysts, enquiry desk officers, trainers, criminal justice clerks, and a wide range of vital operational and organisational support roles. 60% voted yes for industrial action and 80% for action short of strike action in a ballot which closed on 2 December 2014 read more

 

CWU

CWU serves notice for Post Office strike (Dec 6) – The CWU yesterday (Friday) served formal notice for industrial action to Post Office Ltd for 12 December, on behalf of workers responsible for the collection, handling and distribution of cash across the post office network read more

 

BECTU

ITV staff prepare for New Year strike ballot (Dec 4) – BECTU will be encouraging its members at ITV to vote ‘yes’ to strike action in a dispute over 2015 pay. BECTU members at ITV will join with their colleagues in the NUJ and Unite in a ballot for strike action after officials rejected a 2% pay offer. BECTU issued the following press release today, Thursday 4 December read more

 

BFAWU / Fast Food Rights

See video of lobby of Parliament on November 21st in support of Ian Mearns MP’s private member’s bill on zero-hour contracts here

Write to your MP to support Ian Mearns’s EDM 573 – young workers and level of national minimum wage 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

Living Wage Campaigns

Pay all workers at least the London Living Wage, £9.15 p/hour

Some employees at Foyles London based bookshops earn as little as £15,567 a year. This works out at an hourly rate of £7.47. By comparison, the London Living Wage, which has been calculated to reflect the actual cost of living in the capital, is currently £9.15 an hour. Workers who earn less than this have an income that means living in poverty. We are asking Foyles to commit to paying every employee at least the Living Wage. This iconic bookshop is part of London’s scenery, history and economy. Its workers should be able to live in London without poverty sign petition here

Lambeth living wage campaign day of action this Saturday – meet 11am outside Morleys Of Brixton, 472-488 Brixton Road, Brixton, London, SW9 8EH

 

From PCS website: Buy Still the Enemy Within on DVD now (10 Dec) – Still the Enemy Within, which is funded by unions including PCS, and tells the story of the Miners’ Strike from the communities’ perspective is out now on DVD details here

 

TUC DIPLOMA EMPLOYMENT LAW COURSE at the WEA starting January 2015 at Light Project International

1st Floor, Orkney House 195-199 Caledonian Road London N1 0AF

(The Light Project Pro International is located at the junction of Caledonian Road and Copenhagen Street and is a 10/15 minutes’ walk from King’s Cross Station, and also close to Caledonian Road & Barnsbury London Overground Station, and Caledonian Road Underground and on 17, 19 and 259 bus routes)

COURSE DATES

36 day course, one day a week, Fridays, over 3 terms – 9.30a.m – 4.30pm

Term 1 9th JANUARY – 27th MARCH 2015

Term 2 1st MAY – 17th JULY 2015

Term 3 18th SEPTEMBER – 4th DECEMBER 2015

To apply please fill in the application form overleaf and return to

Monica Gort, WEA London Region, 4 Luke Street, London EC2A 4XW

For further information please contact Monica on 0207 426 1976

or mgort@wea.org.uk

 

Blacklisting & Victimisation

Blacklist Support Group financial appeal: the Blacklist support group is desperately short of funds, to continue the incredible work in 2015 we need more finance, would you please consider making a donation, raise it at your branches and trade councils . Please make cheques payable to Joint sites committee and send to 70 Darnay Rise Chelmsford Essex CM1 4XA. Please forward onto your contacts many thanks Steve Kelly (JSC Treasurer)

New Site Worker blogpost on agency employment at Heathrow – http://siteworker.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/pitfalls-of-being-employed-by-iis.html?m=1#more

 

Season Greetings from the Blacklist Support Group

Blacklist Support Group – End of Year Event

Wednesday 17th December 2014

 

Thank you to everyone who spotted my mistake – correct times and dates below:

 

  1. Thursday 11th December 6pm

Manchester Industrial Relations Society meeting

speaker: Peter Cheese – Chief Executive CIPD

Lecture Theatre G35

Manchester Metropolitan University Business School

All Saints Campus

Oxford Road

 

Peter Cheese is the head of the professional body that represents the Human Resources and industrial relations managers. CIPD have supposedly carried out an investigation on the 30 members named in parliament as blacklisting us – not one of them faced any sanction.

Anyone in Manchester fancy popping along to the event to ask him a few questions?

 

Thursday 11th December

Reasons to be cheerful – Reel News end of year brinks

Video night and festive beer

Ryan’s Bar

181 Stoke Newington Church Street

London

N16 0UI

Speakers include: Ian Bradley (UNITE rank & file), St. Mungos strikers

Come and join us for a mince pie

 

  1. Saturday 13th December 11am – 3pm

Construction Safety Campaign AGM

Friends Meeting House

6 Mount Street

Manchester

M2 5NS

 

Speakers: Steve Acheson (BSG chair), Hilda Palmer (Hazards Campaign)

All construction workers, union members and safety campaigners welcome

 

  1. Wednesday 17th December – all day

9:30am High Court blacklisting trial

Royal Courts of Justice

The Strand

Nearest tube: Holborn or Temple

 

4:30pm Blacklist Support Group parliament meeting

Committee Room 17

Houses of Parliament

Westminster

 

This will provide an update for all blacklisted workers & supporters from the High Court legal action plus ongoing campaigning including the compensation scheme, progress towards a public inquiry, police collusion, publicly funded contracts.

Invited speakers: John McDonnell MP, Dave Smith (BSG sec), Steve Acheson / Steve Kelly (BSG co-chairs), Gail Cartmail (UNITE AGS), Justin Bowden (GMB), Liam Dunne (GCR solicitors)

 

7pm BSG Festive drink

Westminster Arms

Storey’s Gate

Westminster

London

SW1H 9NH

Join us in raising a glass to what the blacklisting campaign has achieved over the past six years and what we are going to achieve in 2015

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

Blog: www.hazards.org/blacklistblog

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

 

 

International (also see Labourstart)

Ireland: to get photos of mass demo against water charges, follow #Right2Water on twitter

Peru: Attack on trade union rights on eve of climate change summit read more

Colombia: Free Huber Ballesteros read more

Belgium: there is a nationwide general strike in on December 15

 

Diary (see & use false economy)

December

13 Construction Safety Campaign AGM – 11.00am to 3.00pm.

Friends Meeting House, 6 Mount Street, Manchester, M2 5NS

Speakers include: Steve Acheson – Blacklist Support Group & Hilda Palmer, Greater Manchester Hazards Campaign

https://www.facebook.com/events/384362181728266/

 

 

CONTACT US

PHONE 07952 283 558

EMAIL mailto:info@shopstewards.net

 

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ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE