NSSN 252: Victory for Glasgow Homeless Case workers!  

July 23, 2015 in Bulletins

After a gruelling 17 week all-out strike Glasgow Homelessness Caseworkers have voted to return to work having secured the key demands of the strike. We have published part of the statement from the Glasgow City Unison branch below.

The NSSN has supported the striking workers from the beginning of the dispute. We were very pleased to have two of the stewards speak to out conference at the start of the month. We send our heartiest congratulations to the strikers and the Glasgow City Unison branch.

This tremendous victory, in the teeth of an intransigent employer, is an example of what can be achieved when workers are organised and prepared to fight. As trade union face up to the biggest attacks in 100 years the kind of tenacity and perseverance demonstrated by the Glasgow Homelessness Caseworkers is needed through our movement.

NSSN news

Mark Serwotka to speak at NSSN rally at TUC Conference

The NSSN is mobilising to lobby the TUC Congress to take strong action in defence of trade union freedom. We are pleased to announce that PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka will be speaking at the NSSN lobby on September 13 read more

 

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

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

 

Unison

UNISON Glasgow Branch Statement: Homeless Caseworkers Dispute (21 July)
After seventeen weeks of all-out strike action the Glasgow Homeless Caseworkers have voted by a clear majority to accept an offer from the employer. The offer was recommended to a mass meeting today (21 July) by the union branch and the striking shop stewards and secures the central demand of the dispute – parity on Grade 6 with other frontline social care staff read more

 

London Met University ALL OUT STRIKE 24 JULY – DEFEND MAX, NATASHA AND FRANK
Thank you to everyone who attended the Emergency General Meeting on Tuesday. The meeting was attended by over 40 UNISON members who voted almost unanimously (1 abstention) on a motion for further strike action to defend jobs including that of our Branch Secretary, Max Watson read more

 

RMT
Last ditch talks in Calmac dispute Wednesday and Thursday as process fails to make significant progress on key issues. (22 July)
CalMac union RMT said today that slow progress in talks in the dispute over jobs and working conditions ‎relating to the tendering of services have left negotiations scheduled for today and tomorrow as a last ditch attempt at a breakthrough before the union looks at putting suspended industrial action back into effect read more

Tube Strikes Called For August 5th and 6th
Further to my previous Circular (IR/158/15, 3rd July 2015), members are congratulated for taking part in the significant strike action on Wednesday 8th and Thursday 9th July involving all 4 trade unions, which saw every station closed and meant that not a single London Underground train ran on Thursday 9th July read more

 

Unite

Bromley council accused of targeting union reps in bid to silence privatisation critics (21 July)
Conservative-controlled Bromley council is ratcheting up the pressure on opponents of its privatisation programme by suspending a union rep in a bid to silence critics of its privatisation programme, claimed Britain’s largest union, Unite read more

Unite to fight to save jobs at Jarrow cigarette filter factory (20 July)
Unite, the country’s largest union, has pledged ‘to leave no stone unturned’ in a bid save 220 jobs under threat at cigarette filter tip producer Essentra in Jarrow, South Tyneside read more

 

PCS

Strike remains strong on second day of walk-out (21 July)
PCS members at the Universal Credit Service Centres in Bolton and Glasgow are taking their second day of strike action today read more

Big yes vote in National Museum Wales ballot (21 July)
PCS members at Amgueddfa Cymru/National Museum Wales have voted overwhelmingly for industrial action against management proposals that would cut take-home pay of the poorest-paid staff read more

 

BFAWU

Gunstone workers to strike August 6th (21 July)
Today we held talks with management regarding the ongoing pay dispute. We tabled a proposal which comes from a clear mandate the membership have given us in light of the recent 93% rejection of the revised offer from the company. Management have taken this proposal away for consideration and talks will resume in the coming days. We have submitted further dates for industrial action which are as follows:48 hour walkout from Thursday 6th Aug starting from 6am. All support is welcome.
https://m.facebook.com/Gunstonesworkers/posts/1595099700755824?fref=nf

 

 

GMB

Sellafield strike over pay (21 July)
GMB Sellafield Health Monitors In 24 Hour Strike On Tuesday 28th July In Pay Dispute read more

 

FBU

Cambridgeshire firefighters demand action to protect property as well as life as flood rescue calls soar
Firefighters have called for urgent action to tackle the soaring number of flood related emergencies they are being asked to respond to read more

 

CWU

Deutsche Post strikers win three-year deal (15 July)
Pay increases up until 2017, substantiation for fixed-term workers, guarantees on job security and a halt to outsourcing are the key features of a new national agreement that has ended a three-month industrial dispute in Germany’s postal sector read more

 

Legal Aid strikes – follow #legalaid on twitter for updates

Barristers and solicitors across UK are supporting direct action, arguing cuts will lead to miscarriages of justice and drop in quality of representation

 

United Voices of the World

2 of 4 sacked Southerby’s workers reinstated. The fight goes on!
Read more

 

 

 

Other News

Defend our unions in Coventry City Council (July 10) – Our right to Trade Union support is being threatened! From NSSN website

Proposals have been submitted on behalf of Labour controlled Coventry City Council that would significantly cut the amount of time that local union officers have to act on their members’ behalf, with many unions facing a greater than 50% reduction.

This is an attack on the trade union movement locally and an attempt by the City Council to make it more difficult for the trade unions to defend their members and the public services in the City.

These cuts will seriously affect industrial relations within the authority.

They will lead to more stress and anxiety for council employees.

They come at a time when the Tory government is planning even greater cuts and attacks on local services as well as our members pay and conditions.

The cuts to facilities time will cost more money than it saves.

Coventry Council is attempting to force this through without following proper procedure as is dictated by our collective agreements.

The Joint Trade Unions have lodged a formal dispute with the City Council about the way it is conducting its so-called consultation and in respect of the fact that they are not following proper procedure.  This dispute has the backing of UNISON, UNITE, ATL, NASUWT, and NUT at both local authority and regional level.

Sign the petition on-line and share it on Facebook and Twitter   http://tinyurl.com/q4tp625

Check out the Facebook Page, Defend trade unions in Coventry City Council – comment ‘like’ and share

Send messages of support or, for more information, e-mail Richard.Harty@coventry.gov.uk Joint Chair of trade union side

E-mail the Labour Council Leader, Cllr Ann Lucas – lucas@coventry.gov.uk

The joint unions are gathering support from across the city and from across the country.  Let’s keep the pressure up to get the council to negotiate properly!

If they get away with it in Coventry then your council will be next!

 

 

 

Blacklisting & Victimisation

 

David Cameron link to blacklist arrest – trial starts this Thursday

For over 6 years campaigners have called for the jail sentences for those
directors of multinational companies responsible for the construction
industry blacklist conspiracy. To date, not a single senior manager has
even been interviewed by the police or disciplined by their employer. But
when the Blacklist Support Group (BSG) dared to protest about safety
concerns on Crossrail and the ongoing blacklisting of union activists on
the publicly funded project, Dave Smith (BSG secretary) was arrested.

Trial starts on Thursday 23rd July
City of London Magistrates Court
1 Queen Victoria Street

(Next to Bank tube station)

Smith is charged with unlawful obstruction of the highway, when along with
40 other protesters, he stopped traffic on Park Lane outside a Construction
News Awards ceremony held at the Hilton Hotel in March this year.

Police notebooks disclosed as evidence to Guney, Clark & Ryan
(GCR) solicitors indicate a link between David Cameron and the arrest.

Smith is a leading campaigners against the blacklisting of union members in
the building industry and as co-author of the recently
published book,’Blacklisted: the secret war between big business and union
activists’ has exposed the role of undercover police spying on trade unions
http://newint.org/books/politics/blacklisted-secret-war/

Smith has repeatedly claimed that both he and the BSG continue to be spied
on by undercover police because of their campaigning activities. The BSG is
one of the groups that has made submissions to the Pitchford public inquiry
into undercover policing recently set up by Teresa May – see link:
http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-f734-Justice-at-last-f…

The Metropolitan Police have refused to supply Smith with a copy of his
police file claiming ‘national security’ and ‘ongoing investigations’ as
the reasons. FOI requests in relation to police spying on the BSG receive
the response that the Met can ‘Neither Confirm Nor Deny’ whether
surveillance is ongoing. Yet, Police Notebooks disclosed as evidence for
Thursday’s trial state that the Met Police had intelligence about the
demonstrators before the protest took place. Several police notebooks also
refer to receiving instructions at a briefing delivered by superior
officers about David Cameron in relation to the protest. Full details will
be disclosed during witness evidence at the trial.

Dave Smith commented:

“It seems that its one law for big business and another law for the rest of
us. Multinationals and the secret police can conspire against trade unions
and destroy evidence that would be used in court cases, and nothing
happens. But if we dare to protest about the human rights scandal, we get
arrested. At a time when the Tories are attacking trade unions and
increasing state surveillance, this trial is about defending the democratic
right to protest”.

Witnesses have claimed that although 40 protesters blocked the road,
that Smith was particularly targeted by the police and arrested within
seconds of the demonstration moving into Park Lane. On the night of Smith’s
arrest, John McDonnell MP repeatedly tweeted “Police refuse to tell me
where they’re holding Dave Smith. Suspicious that he was the only one
arrested at blacklist demo”.

John McDonnell MP is set to be a witness in the trial.

Smith is being represented by the barrister JC Townsend and the solicitor
Liam Dunne from GCR, both are more used to appearing in human rights cases
at the High Court rather than obstruction charges in a Magistrates Court.

Liam Dunne, from Guney, Clark & Ryan solicitors commented,

“We intend on vigorously defending, Mr. Smith’s attempts to draw attention
to the nefarious practices of the various constructions firms who have
egregiously mistreated thousands of construction workers. These workers
risk their lives to complete the infrastructure projects upon which society
and the economy depend. Construction Workers are the engine of economic
development and the “wealth creators” of our society. They should have
their rights to a safe working environment and security of employment,
safeguarded. This arrest was heavy handed and an unnecessary restriction on
Mr. Smith’s right to protest under Article 11 of the Human Rights Act 1998”.

The court will also be shown video footage and time stamped photographs of
the arrest taken by the grassroots media collective Reel News info@
reelnews.co.uk

http://youtu.be/eLuP7iYDAfg

http://youtu.be/72i1oSHOh48

For press quotes:
Dave Smith blacklistsg@gmail.com
Liam Dunne ldunne@guneyclarkryan.com

Notes:
Attached photo shows Dave Smith handcuffed inside the police van – Hi-Res
versions available from Guy Smallman (NUJ) guy.smallman@btopenworld.com

Press photo opportunity outside the Court at 9am Thursday – there is also a
large public gallery.

There is currently a High Court group litigation on the blacklisting
scandal with around 700 blacklisted workers against 40 of the largest firms
in the UK construction industry. The full trial is set for May 2016 and
will last 10 weeks.

 

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)

 

International (also see Labourstart)

 

Iran: Free Esmail Abdi now read more

Bagan Hotel River View in Myanmar – stunning location, fantastic views, no room for unions read more

 

Diary (see & use false economy)

July

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

 

September

13 NSSN rally & lobby of TUC Congress in Brighton 1pm-3.30pm Grand Hotel

 

 

CONTACT US

PHONE 07952 283 558

EMAIL mailto:info@shopstewards.net

 

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