NSSN 245: Victories show that action works!

June 3, 2015 in Bulletins

It’s just a month since the Tories won the general election and already workers are demonstrating how they can be stopped in their tracks! In the last week alone:-

  1. Education unions in Lewisham were due to take another two days of strike action this week against academisation but the plans have been deferred.
  2. Kone workers were going to continue their weekly Monday strikes against management’s attempts to use a tracking system as a disciplinary tool. But they too have won a victory.
  3. For the second time, the threat of national strike action by Network Rail workers has forced the bosses to improve a pay offer. This will now be voted on by reps.

This should give encouragement to the many other disputes developing at the moment.

We salute the indefinite Scottish strikes in Glasgow and Dundee and the lengthy strike at the National Gallery in London that is continuing after the fantastic PCS national protest last Saturday. And as you can read from this week’s NSSN bulletin, there are many disputes brewing.

This is the best answer to the Tories planned new anti-union laws. We repeat our call on the TUC and the unions to call a midweek national demonstration whenever Cameron’s laws go to Parliament with the threat of mass action if they are passed.

 

 

NSSN News

The NSSN is delighted to announce that after the FBU voted at its national conference on May 15th to affiliate to the Network, their general secretary Matt Wrack has agreed to speak at the NSSN conference on July 4th. We have worked closely with the FBU for a long period; we look forward to building a stronger and closer relationship with the FBU throughout the country. There are now 9 national unions that officially support us alongside many union branches, shop stewards committees and trades councils.

‘Stop the union-busters!’ This year’s NSSN conference, our 9th, will be on Saturday July 4th in Conway Hall in London. Confirmed speakers include Mark Serwotka PCS General Secretary, Ronnie Draper BFAWU General Secretary, Matt Wrack FBU General Secretary & Dave Smith anti-blacklisting campaigner. Download new leaflet

The famous pink NSSN £10 minimum wage t-shirts are still available. Email us to order – £8 each. However we only have women’s sizes left in the following: small, medium, large, XL

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 Affiliation letter here

Download the new ‘Join the NSSN’ leaflet 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

Scotland Unite and Unison indefinite strikes have been out for 10 weeks

Please support Dundee porters: colin.coupar@unitetheunion.org Donations to Unite, 110 Blackness Road, Dundee DD1 5PB (cheques to Unite). Facebook: Support Ninewells Porters

Please support Glasgow Homeless case workers: email enquiries@glasgowcityunison.co.uk Cheques to Glasgow City Unison 84 Bell Street, Glasgow G1 1LQ. Facebook: Glasgow Homeless Caseworkers strike    Article: Glasgow caseworkers force council to retreat but stay united until all are regraded

 

PCS

Download NSSN leaflet supporting PCS from the government’s attacks: ‘Stop the union busters!’ here  MARK Serwotka PCS General Secretary to speak at NSSN conference on July 4th

Thousands join PCS National Gallery #M30 rally (1 June) – Thousands of people called for an end to victimisation and privatisation at the National Gallery as they rallied in Trafalgar Square on Saturday afternoon read more    read social media round-up   Support the June 11th Day of action at the National Gallery. For latest news – follow #NationalGallery #ReinstateCandy

 

NUT

Breakthrough! – Consultation and conversion plans deferred at all three Prendergast schools (June 1) – strike action withdrawn for June 3-4 read more on blog of Martin Powell Davies Lewisham NUT and NEC    Latest: Morgan seeks to block opposition to impose even more unaccountable academies

 

Unite

Victory for Kone Strikers! (June 1) – The escalation of strike action across the country by around 300 engineering service workers has thwarted attempts by bosses from Kone using a tracking system as a disciplinary tool. The Finnish owned company were intent on using unreliable “spy in the cab” technology.  In one case the data showed that an engineer was supposed to have driven over 1000 miles in one day without refuelling! Previously Kone management had walked away from negotiations, which had angered workers given that it was Kone who had approached ACAS in the first place read more from NSSN website    From Unite website: Unite hails success in ‘spy in the cab’ dispute

Third wave of strikes at Bromley council, as Tories ‘run amok’ over mass privatisation plans (1 June) – Bromley council’s plans to carry out a mass privatisation of services are being challenged by members of Unite, the country’s largest union, with a third wave of strikes. The selective strikes from 10-20 June come against a background of the Conservative-dominated authority being fully committed to becoming a commissioning council and reducing the number of council employees from 4,000 to 300 – despite having £130 million in reserves. Unite members at adult services and transport workers will be striking from 10-15 June. Library staff will be on strike from 13-20 June. Unite members working for the council will strike on 16 June. The union has also organised a march to take place through Bromley in defence of services under the banner: People and Services First on 13 June, assembling at 12.00 noon at Norman Park, Bromley Common BR2 9EF read more    Unite leaflet

 

RMT

After Extensive ACAS Talks RMT Suspends Network Rail Action (1 June) – After Extensive ACAS Talks RMT Suspends Network Rail Action To Allow For Consultation With Reps On Revised Offer read more

RMT confirms strike dates on Trans Pennine Express (29 May) – Rail Union RMT has today confirmed that strike dates over the harsh decision taken by Transpennine Express management to dismiss a union member following a train despatch irregularity at Grimsby Town are well and truly on after the company refused a perfectly reasonable request to reinstate at an “avoidance of disputes” meeting with RMT this week read more

Another 48-hour strike DLR next Monday and Tuesday (1 June) read more

RMT preparing to ballot all Tube Workers read more

 

GMB

Tata Steel action vote on pensions (May 29) – GMB Members in Tata Steel vote for industrial action over closure of Steel pension scheme to future accrual. Members have sent a clear message to the company that they will not sit back and let them take away their hard earned pensions says GMB read more

May 29th Redcar Protest On Undercutting (May 28) – GMB In New Protest In Wilton On Friday 29th May Over Exclusion Of Local Workers From Teesside Waste To Energy Construction Site. Paying migrant workers £5 per hour less than agreed rates has saved SITA £4m so far in labour costs while local workers on the dole who could work there costs taxpayers at least £3 million per year says GMB read more

 

Unison

UNISON members at London Met set to strike over job cuts (June 2) – More than 250 UNISON members working at London Metropolitan University are set to take part in a one-day strike this Thursday after the university’s continuing financial issues have left many facing the threat of redundancy. They will be joined by members of UCU, who will be taking a second day of strike action. Course administrators and librarians will be among those walking out read more

Filipino nurses call for apology (June 1) – Filipino nurses – including many UNISON members – protested outside the offices of the Daily Mail at the weekend to demand an apology over its Why are the NHS still hiring Filipino nurses? article in the wake of the Victoriano Chua murder conviction read more

Barnet members stage second strike (June 1) – UNISON members working for Barnet council in north London started their second 48-hour strike against outsourcing today. The dispute involves coach escorts, drivers, social workers, occupational therapists, schools catering staff, education welfare officers, library workers, children centre workers, street cleaning and refuse workers, who still work for the council and have made it clear that they want to stay as council employees read more

Defend Robert O’Donnell, Glasgow UNISON Rep at SECC (May 29) – I write to highlight an attack on UNISON branch representative, Robert O’Donnell, who has been sacked by the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre. UNISON is supporting Robert in his appeal against dismissal. UNISON believe that Robert, a gardener and UNISON representative, was unfairly sacked by the SECC Management on 25 May. He was dismissed following an alleged unwitnessed incident with his supervisor. UNISON is totally convinced that this was a trumped up charge and that the dismissal relates to Robert’s role as a trade union activist. Over recent years the SECC, which is 91% owned by Glasgow City Council, has refused to recognise trade unions for collective bargaining purposes and has been hostile to trade union recruitment activities sign petition here

 

Community

Tata Steel workers vote overwhelmingly for strike action (29 May) – Members of Community, the biggest union in Tata Steel, have voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action read more

 

UCATT

UCATT National Living Wage and Low Pay Demonstrations (3 June) – Construction union UCATT has today held demonstrations throughout the UK (Wednesday3rd June) in protest at low pay on construction sites. The demonstrations are part of UCATT’s campaign to ensure that all construction workers earn firstly the Living Wage and then the CIJC industry minimum rates read more

UCATT members at Tata vote for strike action in pensions dispute (29 May) – UCATT members employed by Tata Steel have voted overwhelmingly for strike action over the company’s plans to close the British Steel Pension Scheme. UCATT members voted 95.1% for strike action and by 94.9% for action short of strike action on an 80% turnout read more

 

UCU

Strike on Thursday at London Metropolitan University in row over job cuts (1 June) – Staff at London Metropolitan University will be taking part in a one-day strike on Thursday (4 June) in a row over job cuts. Members of UCU and UNISON will walk out as part of a dispute over plans for 165 jobs to be axed across the university. It will be the second time that UCU members have walked out in protest at the cuts, following a one-day strike on Thursday 21 May read more

Members back strike action at University of South Wales (1 June) – Members of UCU at the University of South Wales’s Newport City and Caerleon campuses have voted for industrial action in a long-running dispute over course closures and redundancies read more

Save adult learning: #lovefe lobby of Parliament 16 June – All members are encouraged to attend the UCU lobby of parliament at Westminster on the afternoon of Tuesday 16 June 2015. The aim of the lobby is to impress upon newly elected MPs the value of adult learning and ask them to support increased investment in the further education (FE) sector

More strikes at University of Salford in row over sackings – UCU members in the school of nursing, midwifery, social work and social sciences at the University of Salford took part in a successful four-day strike this week in protest at the treatment of two colleagues who were put on forced gardening leave, sacked and refused any appeal.  Next week this will be followed by a week-long walk-out at the school of marketing and student recruitment, where the sacked pair worked. Please show your support by signing the petition here

Stop the cuts in FE: strikes announced in colleges across the country – With the sector facing unprecedented funding cuts UCU branches at Lewisham and Southwark, Kingston, Ealing Hammersmith and West London, Hackney Community, Tower Hamlets, North West London, City and Islington, South Thames, Lambeth, Westminster Kingsway, Leeds City, Bradford, Barnsley and Mid Cheshire Colleges have all announced action to defend jobs and education in FE. Staff at Lewisham and Southwark College are to embark on a series of one day strikes following management announcement of £7 million cuts, around 100 jobs losses and a major restructure of student services. A day of action will take place on 4 June with further stoppages to take place on the 18/19 and 23 of June. Please send message of support to pete.bicknell@googlemail.com UCU members at Mid Cheshire College also voted unanimously to ballot for strike action as staff are threatened with compulsory redundancy despite the college being in a good financial position, with cash reserves of £1.5million

 

NUJ

Rotherham Advertiser announce strike 11 June – The NUJ chapel at the Rotherham Advertiser have agreed to take strike action on Thursday 11 June. The 24-hour walkout is in response to the decision by the new chief executive, Nick Alexander, to target the NUJ’s Father of Chapel (FoC) for compulsory redundancy. FoC Phil Turner has worked for the company for more than 30 years and is a long-serving trade union representative read more

 

FBU

Union slams “divide and rule” Tory travel plans (June 3) – The Fire Brigades Union has expressed opposition to a proposal by Tories on the London Assembly to withdraw free travel benefits from the families of Transport for London (TfL) workers and give them to firefighters instead read more

FBU oppose emergency service merger plans (June 1) – The FBU has responded strongly to plans by the government to bring fire brigades under the control of police and crime commissioners in England and Wales read more

 

BECTU

BECTU tour guides strike action at Shakespeare’s Globe suspended (1 June) – BECTU tour guides employed by Shakespeare’s Globe agreed last week to suspend a strike scheduled for today, Monday 1 June. The decision took place during a well-attended meeting last Thursday 28 May which saw constructive discussions between General Secretary Gerry Morrissey and Globe Chief Executive Neil Constable. The proposed action on 1 June would follow a previous strike by tour guides on 18 May in support of their claim for an increase to bring their rate of pay into line with what tour guides at other venues receive read more

 

CWU

‘Intransigent’ Post Office bring dispute closer (May 29) – Post Office bosses were warned yesterday that they risk provoking yet another industrial dispute unless they honour existing pay agreements and “make a fair offer” for this year read more

 

BFAWU

A short animation including some researched facts about £10/hr can be found here

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

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

BFAWU bakers’ union General Secretary Ronnie Draper to speak at NSSN conference on July 4th

 

Other News

A federation of trade unions representing thousands of public- and private-sector workers in Lincolnshire will hold a public meeting tomorrow evening ahead of a big national demonstration against austerity later this month.

The meeting, which will be under the banner “Lincoln Against Cuts”, will take place on Wednesday 3rd June at 7pm at the Lincoln Labour Club on Newland, although the organisers are not affiliated to the Labour Party.

Lincoln & District TUC are hosting the event to promote a national demonstration against austerity organised by the People’s Assembly on June 20th and transport organised from Lincoln to London. The majority of the seats on the coach were snapped up in the first week of it being booked, although there are still a limited number of spaces available.

Nick Parker, Secretary of Lincoln & District TUC, said: “Plans for five more years of austerity cuts and privatisation will devastate working-class communities and our public services.

“Lincoln & District TUC is committed to building the widest possible movement of opposition against plans to attack our trade unions and democratic rights and destroy our welfare state.

“We hope people will come along to our meeting tomorrow evening and join us on the march in London and help us resist the cuts agenda. The fightback starts now.”

To book seats on the coach, please contact lincolntuc@gmail.com or ring Danny on 07849 385937. There is no formal charge for seats but donations are encouraged to cover costs.

 

Blacklisting & Victimisation

Buy the book ‘Blacklisted: The Secret War between Big Business and Union Activists’ Author: Dave Smith and Phil Chamberlain. Blacklisted tells the controversial story of the illegal strategies that transnational construction companies used to keep union activists away from work. See the official trailer from ReelNews

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)

Blacklist Support Group Update 29 May 2015 – 1. High Court trial

The full blacklisting trial is set to take place from May 2016 and will last 10 weeks. Expect fireworks (but the media will probably continue to ignore it as usual). In the next 12 months, there will be a series of pre-hearings to agree test cases, expert witnesses, disclosure of documents etc.. Of course the difficult is that a lot of the documentary evidence has already been destroyed. That would be per eating the course of justice if you or me did it.

http://www.hazards.org/blacklistblog/2015/05/18/high-court-hears-blacklist-firms-destroyed-evidence/

 

  1. FBU spied on by police

https://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-3ec6-POLICE-AGENTS-SPIED-ON-FIRE-UNION-CHIEF#.VVdQGEakrCR

 

  1. BSG apply for core participant status in Pitchford Inquiry into undercover policing

Guardian – http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/undercover-with-paul-lewis-and-rob-evans/2015/may/28/blacklisted-workers-seek-to-prise-open-secrets-of-covert-police-surveillance

Morning Star – http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-5a7d-Activists-demand-top-role-in-public-blacklist-inquiry#.VWiO08_BzGe

Hazards – http://www.hazards.org/blacklistblog/2015/05/26/blacklisted-workers-apply-for-core-participant-status-in-government-ordered-undercover-policing-inquiry/

 

The Consulting Association was discovered in 2009. Since that time, more and more revelations have been uncovered about the role of the police in spying on trade unions and colluding in blacklisting with debates in the Westminster, Holyrood and European parliament. In the 6 years that has past, Newsnight has not run a single story or interviewed a single blacklisted worker. The same is true for the majority of the other flagship mainstream media programmes.

 

  1. FIFA World Cup

FIFA is all over the press following the arrests by the US authorities because of alleged corruption and questions about the Qatar World Cup.

Corruption is bad but is not the main issue that we should be concerned about – thousands of migrant construction workers being killed during the construction of the stadia is much worse. 62 deaths for every single game scheduled to be played in the Qatar World Cup. These building workers are engaged in semi-slavery conditions held in huge camps, often with their passports held by their employers. Many Nepalese workers have been denied the opportunity to return to Nepal for the funerals of family members killed in the earthquake.

The biggest crime is the murder of construction workers & lack of employment rights in Qatar. FIFA executives and directors of the construction firms involved should be imprisoned for that alone.

http://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2015/may/20/slave-deaths-qatar-world-cup-2022-fifa

https://www.change.org/p/adidas-coca-cola-hyundai-kia-motors-visa-and-mcdonalds-red-card-for-fifa-stand-up-for-workers-rights-in-qatar-2

 

  1. Construction national Rank & File meeting

Sat 30 May (1pm start)

Tony Benn House

Victoria Street

Bristol (near Temple Meads station)

Agenda items include: Teeside Pay The Rate protests, Steve Barley victimisation, lack of union organisation on Crossrail

 

  1. Dates for the diary

Tues 2nd June (6:30pm) – Haldane Society / IER joint meeting  at UNITE offices in Holborn,  speakers: John Hendy QC, Gail Cartmail (UNITE), Dave Smith (BSG). (flyer attached)

Wed 10 June – GMB Conference – Blacklist Book event at Bookmarks stall

25-28 June – Glastonbury Festival – stage times to be announced

Sat 4 July – National Shop Stewards Network Conference, Conway Hall Blacklisted book http://newint.org/books/politics/blacklisted-secret-war/

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

blog: www.hazards.org/blacklistblog

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

 

 

International (also see Labourstart)

Sign petition! Release Janahan from detention now! End deportations to Sri Lanka read more    www.tamilsolidarity.org

China: Stop police violence against workers fighting for their rights read more

 

Diary (see & use false economy)

June

20 People’s Assembly anti-austerity demonstration in London details here

 

July

4 ‘Stop the union-busters!’ 9th annual NSSN conference – Conway Hall in London

11 Durham Miners’ Gala details here

17-19 Tolpuddle Martyrs’ Festival details here

 

 

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