247: March against austerity on Saturday…prepare to strike back!

June 17, 2015 in Bulletins

The National Shop Stewards Network is calling on all its supporters and affiliates to attend the People’s Assembly national anti-austerity protest this Saturday June 20th in London.

This march needs to be as big as possible to send a clear message to the Tories that there will be mass opposition to their planned new swathe of cuts that Osborne will announce in the July 8th budget.

It is no accident that at the same time that austerity is ramped up, this fat cat government is bringing in new anti-union laws. They understand perhaps better than many in the union movement itself that the trade unions with over 6½million members are potentially the barrier to further attacks on the most vulnerable in society.

Therefore, the unions must be at the heart of the action to confront the cuts and the anti-union laws. The NSSN conference in London on July 4th will be discussing how our movement fights back against this twin attack. We have already called for the TUC and the unions to call a national midweek demonstration in London when the Tories bring their Trade Union Bill to Parliament with the promise of mass joint strike action on the scale of a 24-hour general strike.

Join Saturday’s demonstration but then come back to London in a fortnight for the NSSN conference. ‘Stop the Tory union-busters! Fight the cuts together!’

END AUSTERITY NOW – NATIONAL DEMONSTRATION SATURDAY 20TH JUNE Assemble 12pm, Bank of England (Queen Victoria St) City of London – March to Parliament Square More info including transport

 

NSSN News

‘Stop the Tory union-busters! Fight the cuts together!’ 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, Peter Pinkney RMT President, Helen Pattison Youth Fight for Jobs, Dave Smith anti-blacklisting campaigner and Isai Priya Tamil Solidarity trade union co-ordinator. Download new leaflet   It is £6 to attend. Pay on the day or post us a cheque (details below). To register in advance, email: info@shopstewards.net

Please share the Facebook event for NSSN conference – https://www.facebook.com/events/1056499494377353/1056507344376568/

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

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   Strike rally Thursday 18 June 5.45pm Glasgow City Chambers, George Square

 

National Tata Steel strike June 22

As we go to press the four unions – Community, Unite, GMB & UCATT – have suspended an overtime ban and work to rule to consider a new offer from the company but the planned strike on June 22 has not been cancelled. If the strike goes ahead, it will be the first national stoppage for 35 years. The NSSN gives full support to the steelworkers and their unions and their fight to protect their hard-won pensions read more

 

BFAWU

BFAWU Members Strike at Gunstones Bakery, Sheffield! – The BFAWU strike at Gunstones (Sheffield) taking place from June 15th 2015 was called following the company’s decision to force through a pay freeze on staff at the site. BFAWU members and officials had initially agreed with the company to keep any pay negotiations in abeyance due to over four-hundred redundancies being made. However, the company refused to offer staff an increase following the redundancy consultation period, citing the overall cost of the redundancies as a reason for non-movement on pay. BFAWU members at the site subsequently balloted for industrial action, but gave the company a window of six weeks in order to negotiate further. Five days before the strike was due to take place, Union members at Gunstones met and made a proposal to the company that involved a pay increase of 4% over two years with no back pay. The company refused this proposal and made it clear to BFAWU members and officials that any movement on pay would have to be ‘self-financing’, meaning that employees at the site may have to sacrifice existing terms and conditions in order to secure any increase. The BFAWU sees this as unacceptable and hopes that the company can review its position to avoid potential bitterness, resentment and the possibility of further action at the site. Send messages of support and donations to John Higgins Tel: 07739326012; email john.higgins@bfawu.org  read more

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

 

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

Reinstate Candy after tribunal success (11 June) – Our sacked National Gallery rep Candy Udwin should be reinstated we say, after a judge agreed it was likely she was dismissed for her union activities. While we are still awaiting a full hearing, Candy yesterday won an interim appeal at the employment tribunal. The judge found it was likely a full tribunal will rule her actions in raising concerns about the cost of a private company were legitimate in her role as a union rep and it was unreasonable of the gallery to categorise it as gross misconduct. Gallery bosses still refused to reinstate Candy so the tribunal has made a ‘continuation of employment’ order. This means, while she remains off work, she will receive full pay and benefits from the date of her dismissal pending the full hearing in October read more

Next National Gallery 10 days strike action between 20 June – 02 July

 

Unite

Rolls-Royce workers give backing to industrial action ‘war chest’ (11 June) – Workers at Rolls-Royce have voted for the first time to set up an industrial action fund to defend UK jobs at the company it was announced today (Thursday 11 June). The unprecedented move by members of Britain’s biggest union, Unite, saw 84 per cent vote in favour of paying an extra £1 a month on their union subs to form the fund, on a turnout of 71 per cent. The war chest is expected to grow to £150,000 a year and comes amid warnings of industrial action over Rolls-Royce’s continued failure to offer guarantees over compulsory redundancies read more

 

RMT

Ballot opens in London Underground disputes (16 June) – Balloting will begin amongst RMT members today in a series of disputes on London Underground, including the dispute over pay and night running, as the union warned that working conditions, pay, jobs and safety are facing an almost unprecedented assault which has united all four tube unions in a campaign of resistance. Ballot papers will be distributed today, with voting closing on the 30th June, in separate industrial action votes over the following… read more

Ballot for action underway on First Great Western (15 June) – RAIL UNION RMT’s ballot for both strike action and action short of a strike of all First Great Western members over the threat to jobs and safety from the introduction of the new Hitachi Inter-City trains is well underway with voting papers dispatched to members at the end of last week. The balloting process is now in full swing. At the end of May the union confirmed that it had entered into dispute with First Great Western over the introduction of Super Express Trains on their franchise read more

Lorne Stewart staff on Merseyrail to strike (11 June) – Lorne Stewart cleaners and maintenance staff on Merseyrail stations to strike over sackings. RMT CLEANERS and maintenance staff working on Merseyrail stations for contractor Lorne Stewart are to strike on Friday (June 12) in support of two long-standing colleagues and union activists sacked on trumped-up charges read more

RMT members vote for action at CalMac (10 June) – RMT members at CalMac have voted overwhelmingly for both strike action and action short of a strike in a ballot result confirmed by the union today in a dispute over jobs, pensions and working conditions. Members voted 92% for strike action and 98% for action short of a strike on a 60% turnout. 55% of the total number eligible to vote voted yes for strike action and 58% of total eligible voted yes for action short of a strike read more

 

Unison

Support the Barnet Council members (June 15) – Branches are asked to make financial donations and send messages of support to UNISON members currently locked in a bitter dispute with Barnet Council. More than 200 members employed by the council have taken four days of strike action to date over the outsourcing of council services read more    Cheques should be made payable to UNISON and sent to the regional office, c/o Helen Chater marked ‘Barnet Dispute’, UNISON, First Floor Congress House, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LS. Send messages of support to the members and the branch. These can be sent to the branch contactus@barnetunison.org.uk

Delegates rally to support Glasgow gardener Robert O’Donnell (June 14) – UNISON local government members today rallied in support of a sacked Glasgow gardener. Robert O’Donnell was employed for 12 years at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre in Glasgow, where UNISON’s local government conference is taking place, but was dismissed from his job in May. He thanked members for their support at the rally, where hundreds shouted for his reinstatement. The SECC conference centre is 91% owned by Glasgow City Council, but unlike other parts of the council it does not recognise UNISON for the purposes of collective bargaining read more

School dinner ladies win a living wage (June 12) – Hundreds of the lowest-paid workers in school kitchens across the north London borough of Camden will be paid an extra £2.55 an hour, following a four-month UNISON-led campaign. Around 300 dinner ladies at 51 schools will be paid the London Living Wage of £9.15 from September, thanks to the campaign which saw Camden Council and school meals contractor Caterlink come under increasing pressure to end poverty pay. The agreement will mean 232 of the lowest-paid school kitchen workers will be around £1,500 better off. Other staff, including supervisors, will also see their pay increase as a result read more

 

UCU

College staff and students to lobby MPs over adult learning funding cuts (June 15) – Hundreds of people working and studying in further education colleges will take part in a mass lobby of Parliament on Tuesday in protest over funding cuts for further education and adult learning. Staff and students will meet on Parliament Square at 2pm before moving over to the Houses of Parliament to lobby their MPs between 3pm and 5pm read more   NSSN photo of lobby

 

NUJ

Support the 12-day London Newsquest strike (16 June) – Journalists in south London have voted for a 12-day strike over pay and conditions and need your support. Some of the journalists employed on these titles are not paid the London living wage, yet Gracia Martore, the CEO of Gannett, Newsquest’s American parent company, is paid £7.5m a year, a sum which would pay the salaries of 454 reporters.  Newsquest is one of the UK’s largest regional newspaper publishers with more than 200 newspapers, magazines and trade publications, including 17 dailies and made profits of £52.8m read more

Rotherham Advertiser FoC reinstated (10 June) – A 24-hour strike in protest at the redundancy of Phil Turner, the NUJ FoC at the Rotherham Advertiser, has been called off after management rescinded its decision on appeal and agreed to sign a new house agreement with the union read more

News From Palestine: A meeting with photojournalist Abed Qusini – I’m a Photographer Not a Terrorist, NUJ London Independent Broadcasting and New Media, NUJ London Photographers Branch Tuesday, 23 June 2015 from 18:30 to 20:30 NUJ Headland House, 308-312 Grays Inn Rd, London WC1X 8DP (King’s Cross tube) read more

 

FBU

Essex fire service putting public safety at risk as strikers protesting against biggest jobs cut ever are punished (Feb 12) – Bullish fire chiefs in Essex are sending the normal professional fire and rescue force home without pay from 6pm today (Friday 12th June) until 9am on Monday morning (l5th June) to punish firefighters who are going on strike for a single night shift on Saturday (13th June). The firefighters are striking against plans to cut 179 firefighter and 999 control jobs across Essex, Southend and Thurrock which would constitute one quarter of the firefighter workforce, making it the biggest cut ever made not just in Essex County fire and rescue service history, but across the whole of the UK read more

 

CWU

‘Keep Wednesbury Working’, CWU tells Dixons Carphone (June 11) – CWU activists and members protested outside Dixons Carphone’s logistics and distribution centre in Wednesbury today (Friday) in a bid to persuade the company to reconsider its decision to close the site read more

 

NUM

Orgreave: Truth and Justice – Who Cares? – The announcement by the IPCC today that they are not intending to pursue an enquiry into what happened at Orgreave comes as no surprise to the NUM.  At the time that South Yorkshire Police self-referred to the IPCC it was the NUM’s belief that this was nothing more than a delaying tactic and this has now been confirmed.  The action of self-referring to the IPCC has served to delay by 2 and a half years and run up another bill for the tax payer. The NUM’s original call for a full public enquiry stands. The NUM has always maintained that there should be a full public enquiry into the policing of the entire dispute, including the events at Orgreave and that an IPPC investigation was not the appropriate vehicle to address the Union’s serious concerns about the police operations.  South Yorkshire Police would have been aware that the IPCC did not have adequate jurisdiction to conduct an investigation into what happened at Orgreave read more from NUM website    More from Orgreave Truth & Justice Campaign

 

IWGB

Press coverage so far of this week’s Couriers demo (June 12) read more

 

Ireland – Justice for Clerys Workers

Workers in Dublin’s iconic Clerys Department Store were locked out of their employment on Friday 12th June. Clerys Workers demand justice now www.facebook.com/justiceforclerysworkers?fref=ts

 

Other News

Youth Fight for Jobs are calling ‘Youth Fight Austerity’ protests on Budget Day July 8th

If you can’t see a protest taking place near you, why not organise one yourself? Drop YFJ an email: youthfightforjobs@gmail.com – and we’ll help you out! Plus check back later, as more protests are added.

Birmingham – 6pm Victoria Square B1 1BB 07530429441

Coventry – 5:30pm Lady Godiva Statue Broadgate Square CV1 1LL 07530429441

Glasgow – 5pm corner of Union and Argyle Street MacDonalds

Liverpool – 12 noon Church Street McDonalds 07769 611 320

London – 5pm Downing street Helen 07540189052

Manchester – 12 noon Piccadilly Gardens by Queen Victoria statue 07769 611 320

Nuneaton – 12:30pm The George Eliot Statue Newdigate St CV11 4ER 07530429441

Southampton – 5:30pm Bargate Nick 07 833 681 910

Hanley (Stoke) – 4pm Clock Tower outside Potteries Shopping Centre ST1 1PS Liat 07900880146

Wolverhampton – 12:30pm The Man on the Horse Statue Queen Square WV1 1TL 07530429441

More info

 

UCU Wales petition: Defend Adult education! Save lifelong learning!

Dear All,

Below are links, in both Welsh and English, to UCU Wales e-petition to the Welsh Assembly outlining concerns about the savage funding cuts to FE in Wales and asking them to rethink their decision and to invest properly in lifelong learning opportunities for all.

Welsh Government have launched a barbaric act of vandalism on the very ethos of further education.  2013 saw the reduction of £65m from the post 16 budget, followed by a further £26m last year, with a prediction of further cuts next year.  They keep assuring us that full time provision for 16-19 will be protected; as will adult numeracy and literacy, but colleges still face a 2.6% reduction in funding to full time courses.  UCU fails to see how the quality of provision can be maintained, as colleges are forced to make decisions to cut courses, increase class sizes and reduce the number of staff.  Approximately 1000 FE staff may lose their jobs across Wales at the end of the academic year, and compulsory redundancies look likely at Coleg Gwent.

In addition there is nothing to safeguard the vital role that Further Education plays in adult education. The 50% reduction in part time courses, seems to indicate a lack of understanding as to the role of FE colleges.  In 2013/14 just over 70% of students that enrolled in FE courses were over 19 and 58% of all students were enrolled on part time courses.  These cuts are just the tip of the iceberg.  Millions have also been cut from FE contingency funds and from work based learning contracts which the Welsh Government has awarded to private sector providers.

FE workers are constantly bombarded with the mantra of reskilling and upskilling and of concern about perceived falling educational standards in Wales.  They’re told that education is an integral part of a competitive economy in Wales and that FE must deliver on numeracy, literacy, vocational education and any other given skills gaps that have been identified by employers. FE does deliver; it is undoubtedly the backbone of the Welsh economy.  But there are many reasons adults return to learning. There are far more important indicators of success; improved confidence and self-esteem, a love of learning for learning’s sake.  Attacking adult education is misguided morally and economically. Any government, whether in Cardiff or Westminster should be ashamed of writing off a section of society because they didn’t succeed at 18.

Please sign the petition and forward to trade unionists, community activists, friends and family.

https://www.assembly.wales/en/gethome/e-petitions/Pages/petitiondetail.aspx?PetitionID=798

https://www.assembly.wales/cy/gethome/e-petitions/Pages/petitiondetail.aspx?PetitionID=798

Guy Stoate, UCU Wales lay negotiator and UCU Coleg Y Cymoedd Branch Chair, will be handing this petition to the Assembly’s Petition Committee on Tuesday 30th June.  He is retiring following decades of tirelessly fighting for his members and has been a stalwart socialist and trade unionist.  We are hoping to turn this day into a lobby of the Assembly.  More details to follow.

Comradely, Clare Gibbs

 

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 16 June

  1. Police collusion in blacklisting goes back decades & other press coverage

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/undercover-with-paul-lewis-and-rob-evans/2015/jun/16/evidence-of-police-complicity-in-blacklisting-of-trade-unionists-stretches-back-decades?CMP=share_btn_fb

 

http://labourlist.org/2015/06/we-cant-ignore-the-unjust-practice-of-blacklisting/

 

  1. Blacklisting firms derisory compensation offers to try and buy us off

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/jun/09/former-electrician-industry-blacklist-offered-compensation

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/blacklisting-scandal-construction-firms-offer-5854907

 

  1. Armed police on Teeside construction protest this week were heavy handed throwing their weight around and manhandling older workers standing up for their rights (photo attached). The attack on the collective agreements by firms at the Redcar plant has seen huge early morning protests and marches through the town – all of them peaceful. Now the police are using bully boy tactics and guns to try and intimidate us. It won’t work. We are not prepared to accept that kind of behaviour from the police for carrying out peaceful democratic union activities.

 

Next Sita / Sembcorp protest

5:30am start 19th June

Willton Complex

Teeside

TS10 9RF

 

Please support and attend this important protest.  Please pass this message to activists.

#PayTheRate

 

  1. SNP – Trade Union Group inaugural conference

The first ever conference organised by the Scottish National Party Trade Union Group will take place in Stirling on Saturday 20th June.

A number of motions on the issue of blacklisting have been submitted by trade unionists and blacklisted workers attending the conference. The following clauses appear in some of the motions:

  • “Conference calls upon the Scottish government to hold a full open and transparent Scottish inquiry into blacklisting”.
  • “Conference calls upon all public authorities in Scotland to refuse to award contracts to firms who subscribed to the Consulting Association unless they comply with the STUC demand to ‘self-cleanse’ and fully compensate blacklisted workers”.
  1. More deaths on London building sites – our thoughts are with the families of the construction workers killed.

http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/irishman-killed-tragically-on-london-construction-site-was-fatherofone-31299790.html

http://www.highlandradio.com/2015/06/13/dunfanaghy-man-dies-in-accident-on-london-construction-site/

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/worker-crushed-to-death-by-falling-pane-of-glass-on-roof-of-paddington-office-block-10304510.html

 

  1. Blacklist book tour continues:

Blacklisted book has now officially sold out of its first print run. With reviews in this month’s Red Pepper, Socialism Today, Hazards magazine and more coming soon, the second print run is being prepared now.

June

Fri 19th – Worcester – alongside ‘Salt of the Earth’ film

http://worfs.org/?tribe_events=worf-screening-3

25-29 Glastonbury Festival – Speakers Forum & Leftfeild stages

http://www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk/line-up/line-up-2015/?stage#speakersforum

July

2nd – Unite the Resistance, ULU – with John McDonnell MP, Mark Serwotka, Michelle Stanistreet, Candy Udwin, Chris Stephens MP

4th – National Shop Stewards Network Conference, Conway Hall, Holborn – wih Matt Wrack, Mark Serwotka, Ronnie Draper

9th – Tunbridge Wells (flyer attached)

 

  1. Big contracts won by blacklisting firms recently:

Carillion have been awarded the extension to Anfield stadium for Liverpool FC.

Bam have been awarded the refurbishment of the Admiralty Building in Horse Guards Parade.

 

  1. Labour Party leadership election

Jeremy Corbyn has spoken in support of the Shrewsbury Pickets and blacklisted workers at events organised by the Blacklist Support Group in Islington and has signed a number of Early Day Motions in parliament supporting the campaign in parliament. BSG wish him well – Has anyone got any photos of Jeremy at the BSG events, so we can use them in publicity?

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)

Greece: Solidarity needed with Vodafone strike 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

22 Cuts to our community public meeting at Stockport Town Hall – 7.00pm.  Guest Speaker Owen Jones

27 Rally in Stockport Saturday 12.00pm Bear Pit, Mersey Sq against the closure of the Well Being Centre in Chestergate

 

 

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