NSSN 318: Crossrail walkout – the Sparks are back!

November 30, 2016 in Bulletins

Watch video interview on Facebook   and Twitter

crossrail-nov25

Hundreds of electricians walked off construction sites on the massive Crossrail job in London last Friday demanding that management adhere to the Joint Industry Board (JIB) agreement on the payment of a 2nd tier productivity bonus . They protested outside Crossrail’s head office, in the belly of the beast of capitalism itself, Canary Wharf. They then went en masse to the Oxford Street office of one of the major contractors Laing O’Rourke/Crown House near the Tottenham Court site. Supporters of the National Shop Stewards Network brought our solidarity to the workers and suggested taking the demonstration inside the office, which saw the reception crammed with protesting electricians chanting “Crossrail Pay Up!” Also, because the company has left the JIB agreement with the union, workers also chanted “Crown House JIB!” workers found out afterwards that the Farringdon had been locked down by management because they thought they were next for a visit!

NSSN chair Rob Williams spoke at the Oxford Street protest, reminding workers about the 2012 victory over the BESNA contract that would have seen wages cut by 35% and this year’s £75million compensation won from bosses to blacklisted workers. He also called for the immediate reinstatement of the suspended Unite shop steward at the Bow site.

The stoppage was a timely warning as Unite launches a campaign this week of demands they want from Crossrail and the electrical contractors. A consultative industrial action ballot will start this week. As well as the 2nd tier payment, workers are calling for project-wide agreements on a safety committee, redundancy terms, stewards committee and full and unfettered access of union officers to workforce and a working party on working hours/breaks.

As the trade union movement marks the 5th anniversary of the massive 2-million strong N30 public sector pensions strike and awaits the implementation of the Tory (anti) Trade Union Act, this action along with the unofficial walkout of prison officers two weeks ago, is a real sign of the potential power of the organised working-class!

UCATT welcomes Early Day Motion in the Commons listing abuses on Crossrail and denying union access

 

 

Support the Durham Teaching Assistants from Unison and ATL who are taking strike action to stop wage cuts of 23%

durham-tas-nov8

BREAKING NEWS!! Tomorrow’s strike suspended as Durham Council suspends notices of dismissal and reengagement after talks with UNISON read more  and here

The next strike is tomorrow and 3 days next week 6 – 8 December – with Wednesday December 7th called as a solidarity day

Watch this new video by Reel News and subscribe and donate to this video activist collective that publicises workers’ struggles

Unison: Support and solidarity pours in for Durham teaching assistants

Donate to the Durham TAs’ fund here

Durham TAs Facebook page here

Donate to Derby hardship fund here

Derby Unison branch Facebook page here

 

NSSN news

Early notice – the 11th annual NSSN Conference will be on Saturday July 1st 2017 from 11am in Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL. It is open to all trade union and anti-cuts campaigners

This is a video of the NSSN TUC Congress Rally on 11 September – Tories Out! Keep Corbyn!

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 is below

Download the ‘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

RMT

Adelphi workers to vote on action over poverty pay (29 Nov) – LOW-PAID workers at Liverpool’s iconic Britannia Adelphi hotel are to be balloted for industrial action against their scrooge employer, raising the prospect of strikes over Christmas and New Year. Their union, RMT, issued formal notice of the ballot, which closes on December 15, after the company flatly refused to negotiate a fair pay rise and an end to zero-hours contracts – and instead lopped 20 per cent off room-cleaning times. Balloting begins today read more

The NSSN calls on all our supporters and affiliates to support RMT members who are in dispute with Southern Rail – the next strike dates are Tuesday 6th December to Thursday 8th December, Thursday 22nd December to Saturday 24th December and Saturday 31st December 2016 to Monday 2nd January 2017 read more here. Please send messages of support and donations to the RMT – info@rmt.org.uk RMT Unity House 39 Chalton Street London NW1 1JD  RMT fury as Grayling and GTR turn down offer from Brighton and Hove Albion to broker talks in Southern Rail dispute

Drivers on Piccadilly and Hammersmith and City Lines to strike on 6th and 7th December (Nov 24) – TUBE UNION RMT confirmed today that drivers on the Piccadilly and Hammersmith and City Lines are to strike for 24 hours on the 6th  and 7th December in two separate disputes over a breakdown in industrial relations, breaches of procedures and bullying and harassment of staff. The action in both disputes will run from between 21.30 hours on Tuesday 6th December and 21.29 hours on Wednesday 7th December 2016 read more

Hammersmith & City line drivers to strike over ongoing issues

Tube managers to be balloted over ‘development centres’

Ballot begins over unreasonable sacking of train driver Storey 

 

ASLEF

Southern strike dates as members vote overwhelmingly for industrial action (28 Nov) – ASLEF’s executive committee has called strikes on Southern Railways after members voted overwhelmingly for industrial action in a trade dispute over the company’s decision to force through driver only operation on the franchise. Drivers will strike on Tuesday 13 and Wednesday 14 December, Friday 16 December and Monday 9 to Saturday 14 January read more

 

TSSA

Members vote for strike action on London Underground (29 Nov) in dispute concerning: Station Staffing and Staff Safety (post implementation of Fit for the Future) in connection with staffing levels, imposed displacements, inadequate staff training, staff safety and Transfer & Promotion policy read more

 

Unison

Latest on Glasgow Unison janitors & ICT staff action disputes Unison Glasgow City Branch Facebook group

Send messages of support to unisonenquieries@glasgowcityunison.org.uk

Sign petition to support the Kinsley School cleaners in Wakefield on indefinite strike since September 6th sign here   Facebook Group  Donate to strike fund – send to Wakefield Unison, 18 Gills Yard, Wakefield WF1 3BZ

 

NUJ

Strike ballot & dismal working conditions at Newsquest South London (28 Nov) – Today marks four weeks since Newsquest South London ended their strike action and the NUJ chapel has today given notice of a new ballot for further strike action. Back at work the strikers say they are shocked by how poorly managed and unsustainable their jobs have become. The chapel has been following strict work to rule, but say that even if they were staying hours late in the office to continue working, it would be simply impossible for such a small number of reporters to continue to fill so many newspapers with journalism of any quality read more.  To send messages of support and donations to the hardship fund, email Bernard Roche at bernardr@nuj.org.uk noting the amount and send the money to Account number 20143387 Sort code 608301

 

PCS

Members vote overwhelmingly to reject civil redundancy pay cuts (29 Nov) – PCS members have voted to reject the government’s huge cuts to their civil service redundancy pay in a consultative ballot which closed yesterday.

Result of voting: Number voting yes – 50,352 (96.5% of valid vote)

Number voting no – 1,846 (3.5% of valid vote)

Number of votes found to be invalid: 340 Turnout: 32.7%

The ballot was an opportunity for the 160,000 affected members to register their disgust and strength of feeling at the government’s imposition of cuts of at least 25% to the Civil Service Compensation Scheme (CSCS) read more

Watch Reel News video of November 5 National Libraries, Museums and Galleries demo

 

Sign the petition to end privatisation at the Imperial War Museums sign here

 

CWU

Further strike action called on 3 December in fight to save the Post Office (25 Nov) – Branches will be aware of the Post Office’s continued policy of managed decline by cutting jobs and privatising Crown Offices as well as the plans to close the Defined Benefit pension scheme. Unfortunately, the Post Office has declined to get into serious negotiations with the aim of resolving the dispute. Accordingly, we will be serving formal notice on the Post Office for a one day 24 hour strike on Saturday 3rd December. On the day of the strike, our Representatives and members will be focusing on those Crown Offices which are on the franchise list, but which have not yet had a retail partner announced read more

Shock at Fujitsu bombshell (24 Nov) – The CWU’s entire membership at Fujitsu has been served notice that it is at risk of either redundancy or TUPE transfer as part of a radical corporate rethink being proposed by top-level management at the Japanese multinational read more

Reinstate Clive Walder – Clive Walder, a longstanding leading rep in the CWU was sacked last November after 38 years of service with British Telecom. Clive is chair of the CWU Birmingham, Black Country & Worcester branch. Clive worked in a BT call centre and was dismissed after an aggressive customer reported him to management just 33 seconds into a phone call. The decision was made without taking stress into account despite the local CWU branch reporting that 7% of staff at the call centre leave their jobs each month, some walking out mid shift. Management took the decision without consulting any medical advice or taking into account any mitigation. Clive is a NSSN steering committee member and we will be supporting the campaign protesting the sacking and campaigning for his reinstatement. Contact Clive to send messages of support and invite him to your union branch, shop stewards committee, trades council etc – cliverwalder@hotmail.com 07771931185

 

Unite

BREAKING NEWS!! UPS parcel strike set to disrupt Christmas deliveries (30 Nov) – Staff at UPS Parcels in central London will strike for two days next week, which will disrupt the firm’s deliveries in the run-up to Christmas, over alleged bullying, harassment and racism. The 140 workers, members of Unite, the country’s largest union, at UPS’ Camden depot will strike for 24 hours on Wednesday 7 December and Friday 9 December; both actions starting at 00.01. The workers voted by 85 per cent in favour of strike action. The union said that there was a feeling of déjà vu about this dispute similar to the one that dogged the depot – the biggest UPS depot in Europe – in late 2013. Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “This dispute centres on harassment, bullying and racism…read more

Post Office managers to strike on 3 December – the peak day for international Christmas post (28 Nov) – Overseas Christmas mail and parcels are set to be disrupted on Saturday (3 December) – the peak day for such international post – when about 720 managers stage a third 24-hour strike in their long-running pensions’ dispute. The Post Office managers, members of Unite will be joining with the Communication Workers Union (CWU) in targeting the 300 Crown Offices on what is believed to be the busiest day of the year when people send cards and parcels to relatives and friends outside the UK. The strike, starting at 03.00 on Saturday, is the latest chapter over the management’s intransigence in refusing to reconsider the closure of the defined salary pension scheme at the end of March 2017 read more

Threat of £1.8m axe to Newham council workforce’s pay and conditions sparks Unite campaign (29 Nov) – campaign to safeguard the pay and terms and conditions of Newham council’s workforce and, ultimately, the council services for the more than 300,000 residents in the east London borough is being launched by Unite, the country’s largest union. The first step in the campaign will be to fight a proposed £1.8 million axe to the pay and conditions of council workers – and if the council proceeds with its plans, the union said that an industrial action ballot was on the cards read more

AWE workers to stage 24-hour strike on 6 December over threat to pension scheme (25 Nov) – Workers at AWE plc – the Atomic Weapons Establishment – will be staging a second 24-hour strike on Tuesday 6 December in the dispute over the threat to close the defined benefit pension scheme and substitute it with an inferior alternative. Six hundred employees, members of Unite will be striking at the AWE’s two sites at Aldermaston and Burghfield in Berkshire. The first one-day strike was on 14 November read more

Support Fujitsu workers – Unite members at Fujitsu in the UK are fighting job cuts and to protect their rights when the company terminates our works council in January. In Manchester members are striking over pay, pensions and job security. Latest news: http://www.ouruniontest.wordpress.com Supporters can find the “appeal for support” leaflet and details of how to send messages of support and donate to the Manchester strike fund here: https://ouruniontest.wordpress.com/manchester-dispute/   Facebook Group

 

GMB

Topshop strike gives Sir Philip Green ‘Bloody Nose’ (Nov 28) – members brave near-freezing conditions after walking out over minimum wage dispute. Workers at a Topshop supply depot braved near-freezing conditions to form a picket a “lively, good-spirited” picket at 5am this morning. GMB members at Spectrum for Arcadia, a division of the DHL Logistics Supply Chain, walked out this morning on ‘Cyber Monday’, one of the busiest online retails days of the year, over their battle for a living wage. More than 50 workers formed up outside the depot in Solihull after accusing the former BHS boss of “breath-taking arrogance” following his alleged indifference to the strike read more

GMB to ballot school support staff in Swindon over pay cuts (28 Nov) – GMB, the union for school support staff, is balloting around 500 members over a pay cut that has been introduced by Swindon Borough Council without negotiation with the union. The proposed change is planned to take effect in April 2017, when many school staff will receive a reduced uplift to their pay. GMB is balloting members who work directly for Swindon Borough Council but is seeking clarification from Academies in Swindon whether they will implement the same changes as the council. Those Academies planning to follow Swindon Borough Council’s lead will also have their staff balloted read more

 

FBU

FBU lobby Westminster MP’s for improved professional standards (29 Nov) – Around 200 FBU activists took to Westminster today (29 Nov) to campaign for greater professional standards in the fire and rescue service to better protect firefighters. The lobby of Parliament came after the union published a 90-page report about Manchester firefighter Stephen Hunt who was killed in 2013 while responding to fire at a hair products store. His death was since found to be completely avoidable read more

‘A tragedy that must never be repeated’ – the death of Stephen Hunt (23 Nov) – On 13 July 2013 at a fire in Oldham Street, Manchester firefighter Stephen Hunt lost his life in the line of duty whilst fighting a fire. A report recently published by the Fire Brigades Union demands that lessons be learned from this incident to prevent future tragedies occuring. The FBU report makes a number of safety critical recommendations and has been sent to various stakeholders in the fire and rescue service.  In this video update, FBU executive council member for the north west Kevin Brown outlines what the findings of the report are and the FBU General Secretary Matt Wrack explains how the union will be working to ensure that all fire and rescue services, across the UK, implement the recommendations read more

 

BFAWU

Sheffield Fight for £10 living wage demonstration – 1pm Saturday December 17th Devonshire Green www.facebook.com/Sheff4Ten. Sheffield Trade Union Council has played a leading role in the calling of this protest. If your Trades Council wants to organise one on £10/hr minimum wage, contact BFAWU President Ian Hodson – @IanBFAWU on twitter

See reports from November 29th USA nationwide day of strikes and protests – follow #Fightfor15 on twitter

Reinstate Kumaran Bose – sacked by Samworths! The NSSN is supporting the BFAWU’s campaign in support of Kumaran Bose who was dismissed for speaking out and for organising a union in his workplace read more    Facebook group

 

NUT

Reinstate sacked Waltham Forest NUT rep Tobias Hayden – A decision has been made by the Governing Body of Davies Lane Primary School to dismiss NUT representative, Tobias Hayden on charges of gross misconduct.  Tobias was summarily dismissed without pay from his job at Davies Lane on 21st November at a disciplinary hearing held in his absence.  We are shocked at this decision and believe that Tobias is being victimised for trade union activities, namely:

In the Summer term, Tobias invited junior doctors to speak to the school’s NUT group.  Meetings such as this were encouraged by the NUT to show solidarity for our joint campaign.

Tobias was also vocal in his opposition to his school becoming an academy, in line with NUT policy.  As part of his opposition he approached parents at the school to discuss the academy conversion.

We urge the governors to overturn the decision to dismiss Tobias at his impending appeal and ask that he be reinstated with immediate effect sign here

Support Simon O’Hara — victimised teacher at Small Heath School in Birmingham

 

UCU

Support the reinstatement of London Met union reps: Mark Campbell and David Hardman https://uculondonmet.wordpress.com/

 

Nationalise Tata – support the Steelworkers

For latest developments, follow Facebook group

 

BECTU

Support Brixton and Hackney workers – They have been striking for the London Living wage Brixton Facebook Page   Hackney Facebook Page   Support the Picturehouse Strike Fund – donate now

 

IWGB

City Sprint Delivery firm latest in employment law line of fire. Lawyers for the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain have been at the London Central Employment Tribunal arguing that couriers working for CitySprint should be granted full rights. Read more here  and on IWGB Couriers and Logistics Branch Facebook Group  Guardian: CitySprint faces tribunal over rights of freelance workers

Deliveroo riders take legal action for workers’ rights (28 Nov) read more

 

United Voices of the World

Justice for LSE cleaners demo 12.30pm this Friday December 2 – The London School of Economics and Political Science, Houghton Street, WC2A 2 https://www.facebook.com/events/1023446681117398/

Cleaners at the LSE are poised to strike for the first time in the history of the prestigious university! Fed up with being treated like they are second class, the cleaners boldly put the LSE and their contractor Noonan on notice that if no response to their demands for equality was forthcoming by Friday 18th November then they would instruct their union UVW to declare a formal trade dispute. The LSE and Noonan did provide responses before the deadline given but unfortunately the responses were as vacuous as they were disrespectful. The cleaners’ are asking for nothing more than to be treated and paid as equals: they are asking only for equality. And yet the LSE and Noonan refused to confirm a timescale of implementation for the cleaners’ demands or even that they intended to implement them at all. In good faith and to demonstrate they are taking every possible and reasonable step to avert a strike, the cleaners have instructed UVW to extend the deadline to the LSE and Noonan, until Friday 2nd December following which the cleaners will, for the first time in history and to the LSE’s eternal shame, declare a formal trade dispute and commence the ballot for industrial action Read more on United Voices of the World Facebook Group  

Check out the trailer to “The John Lewis Lie”, a new film coming to your screens soon. The film exposes the lies behind the claim that John Lewis is a partnership. John Lewis cruelly and inexcusably excludes the cleaners who are consequently denied the annual bonus that everyone loves and celebrates, and who the cleaners are forced to watch celebrate every year

Trade union victimisation: Topshop cleaners have been sacked! Support UVW’s legal proceedings – Two cleaners at billionaire BHS buster Philip Green’s flagship brand Topshop have been sacked for campaigning for a living wage. Their union UVW have started legal proceedings on their behalf for trade union victimisation. However, legal fees can cost several thousand pounds for two big claims like this and UVW runs on a shoe string budget. Therefore, if you would like to contribute towards the legal fees of the Topshop Two’s Tribunal claims then please do so via paypal by following this link  http://www.uvwunion.org.uk/emergency-appeal (you’ll see the button at the bottom of the page) or just by transferring directly to UVW’s bank account: The Co-operative Bank Account title: United Voices of the World Sort code: 08-92-99 Account: 65755617

 

 

Other News

Defend the NHS

‘It’s Our NHS’ – National Demonstration to defend the NHS in London on March 4th 2017 – called by ‘Health Campaigns Together’ an umbrella organisation of different local campaigns against NHS cuts https://www.facebook.com/events/1771664639725061/   http://www.healthcampaignstogether.com/index.php

 

 

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 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)

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/

Donate to ReelNews – http://reelnews.co.uk/donationssubscriptions/

 

 

International

RMT reaction to the death of Fidel Castro here

USA: See reports from November 29th nationwide day of strikes and protests – follow #Fightfor15 on twitter

URGENT ACTION APPEAL – TURKEY: Request for action and financial solidarity. Turkish teachers urgently need our financial support read more

Sudan: Three day nationwide strike shuts down the country, in unique defiance of Al-Bashir’s rule read more

Settlement ends 14-week strike at South Africa’s Robertson Winery read more

PepsiCo Pakistan workers speak out: why we need the union the company refuses to recognize! read more

 

 

Diary (see & use false economy)

 

2016

 

November

 

2017

March

4 ‘It’s Our NHS’ – National Demonstration to defend the NHS in London on March 4th 2017 – called by ‘Health Campaigns Together’ an umbrella organisation of different local campaigns against NHS cuts https://www.facebook.com/events/1771664639725061/  http://www.healthcampaignstogether.com/index.php

With Banners Held High – all day workshops, debates, exhibition gig in Wakefield in support of causes such as Justice for Mineworkers and Orgreave Truth & Justice Campaign https://webmail.123-reg.co.uk/appsuite/#!!&app=io.ox/mail&folder=default0//NNIS%5B

 

July

1 11th annual NSSN Conference 11am in Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL

 

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