321: NSSN proud to give full support to Xmas strikes

December 20, 2016 in Bulletins

In preparation for the strikes this week, the NSSN has been attacked by the media from the BBC to the Sunday Times and Daily Mail. We stand accused of calling for co-ordinated strike action and for the Tory government to be brought down.

We have nothing to apologise for. The NSSN has a proud record of calling for the maximum joint action by the unions in face of the most brutal austerity for 90 years. We campaigned for the 2million-strong N30 public pensions strike in 2011 and lobbied TUC Congress in 2012 and 2013 to support motions voicing the need for general strike action to resist Tory cuts.

Of course, the media is trying to put the unions that have been forced into taking action this week on to the defensive. The attempt to create a witch-hunting atmosphere against the RMT and its President Sean Hoyle in particular for a speech at our rally at this year’s TUC Congress, is sheer hypocrisy. The only people who have tried to make the Southern Rail strike political are the Tories, who have had a clear agenda to attack the rail unions.

We now have Tory MPs demanding that unions be stripped of their right to strike – yet we already have the most undemocratic anti-union laws in Western Europe, which are going to be further beefed up next March. This from a Tory government that was elected by only 24% of the electorate and a prime minister that got into office without any ballot!

RMT lobby of Parliament November 1st

RMT lobby of Parliament November 1st

There is no accident that these laws have been brought in at the same time as a new wave of cuts has been unleashed – especially in the NHS. The Tories know full well that the unions are still potentially the most powerful force in society to resist their austerity. Why shouldn’t there be a general election on their cuts?

Workers are striking this week at Southern Rail, Crown Post Offices, cabin crews and baggage handlers at airports for safety and decent pay and against attacks on pensions and office closures. Low-paid cinema workers in Hackney and Brixton have been taking action for the London Living Wage. Derby teaching assistants are again taking action against pay cuts of 23%! We call on all our supporters and affiliates to support these strikes by visiting picket lines and donating to strike funds.

Our weekly bulletins have recorded that 2016 was a year when many workers took action to defend themselves, including famously the Junior Doctors. Let’s take confidence that the fighting spirit and mood shows no sign of dying out.

Season’s greetings!

Watch NSSN chair Rob Williams being interviewed on SKY News yesterday on the Christmas strikes and opposing Tory attacks on the unions here:-

RMT / ASLEF

Southern Rail strikes

Members of RMT and ASLEF are in dispute on Southern Rail over the imposition of Driver Only Operations (DOO). The NSSN sends solidarity and support to both unions and we call on our members to support the following days of strikes:-

00:01 Monday 19 December to 23:59 Tuesday 20 December (RMT)

00:01 Saturday 31 December to 23:59 Monday 2 January (RMT)

00:01 Monday 9 January to 23:59: Saturday 14 January (ASLEF & RMT drivers)

Send donations and messages of support to RMT and ASLEF via info@rmt.org and info@alsef.org.uk or through twitter @ASLEFunion and @RMTunion

RMT says Christmas Truce on Southern Rail in Government’s hands

RMT praises “incredible solidarity and determination” of Southern Guards in fight for rail safety

ASLEF – GTR Southern: DOO

Strikes loom on Tube while middle managers shown to agree with RMT following job cuts

RMT calls on Scottish Government to stop bribing the public and start moves to renationalise rail   

RMT says Merseytravel “ramming DOO down our throats

Support Action for Rail DAY OF ACTION ON 3RD JANUARY 2017 – HELP US END #RAILRIPOFF local protest details

 

CWU

Post Office bosses’ provoke Christmas Week strike – The crisis in the Post Office created by senior Post Office management has forced the CWU to announce five days of strikes in the week leading up to Christmas. Commencing Monday 19th December and including Saturday Christmas Eve, thousands of Post Office workers will be walking out on strike from workplaces across the country, in response to continuing attacks by company chiefs on their job security and pensions, and in defence of the Crown Office network read more

Support CWU members at Accrington Delivery Office who took a second day of strike action on Saturday 17th December – this was as a result of the failure of Royal Mail to implement a joint CWU/Royal Mail recommendation from a Flashpoint report published on 24th August relating to aggressive and bullying management of the office. Last Saturday’s action followed a one day strike on Saturday 10th December and if the issue remains unresolved will be followed by further one day strikes on 23rd and 31st December. Messages of support should be sent to: Martin Berry, Branch Secretary, East Lancs Amal Branch, Union Room, Delivery Office, Bank Parade, Burnley, Lancs. BB11 1DY  email: cwueastlancsamal@gmail.com

Donations should be sent clearly marked “Accrington DO Dispute” to the following account:

Bank:                              Unity Trust

Name of Account:           CWU North West Regional Fund

Acc No:                           33954055

Sort Code:                      608301

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  Clive has his pre-hearing tomorrow December 21st. If he loses this then his right to go to ET for unfair dismissal is finished. It will be held on Wednesday 21st December at 10.30am at Fleetbank House, Salisbury Square LONDON EC4Y 8JX. If anyone is about on the day, meet outside at 10am to show him support

 

Unison

Derby teaching assistants are taking a further six days of strike action over their dispute with the Labour led city council. The strike dates are 14, 15, 19 and 20th December 2016 and then again in the new year (19 and 20 January).

Unison: Derby teaching assistants to take a further six days of strike action

Donate to Derby hardship fund here

Derby Unison branch Facebook page here

 

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

Donate to the Durham TAs’ fund here

Durham TAs Facebook page here

 

Support Glasgow Unison janitors & ICT staff action disputes

Unison Glasgow City Branch Facebook group and website

To send protest letters to the leader of Glasgow City Council  frank.mcaveety@glasgow.gov.uk and the chief executive annemarie.odonnell@glasgow.gov.uk

To send a message of solidarity to the strikers at Glasgow City Unison to enquiries@glasgowcityunison.co.uk

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

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

 

Trade Union Act to come into force on March 1st – TUC call a special conference

Lobby placards

Tories confirm that the their anti-union laws, incorporated in the Trade Union Act, including new undemocratic industrial action ballot thresholds will come into force on March 1st. The NSSN calls on the TUC to implement the policy passed at this year’s TUC Congress which, moved by the RMT which includes:

“Congress believes the General Council needs to convene an urgent conference of affiliates to provide a practical forum, including workshops, as to how to best coordinate our legal and industrial response to the Act in line with policy already set by Congress.”

and an amendment from the FBU:

“Congress should discuss all options for challenging the new legislation. This should include stepping up the campaign to scrap the Act and other anti-union legislation as well as the practical steps to be taken to support any unions and groups of workers threatened by this anti-worker legislation.”

Read more

 

 

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

Unite

Choppy waters ahead for Woolwich Ferry, as workers ballot for strike action over bullying culture (20 Dec) – A culture of bullying at the Woolwich Ferry could lead to significant disruption for thousands of passengers, if workers vote for strike action, Unite, the country’s largest union, warned today (Tuesday 20 December). Unite is balloting its 36 members, working for Briggs Marine Contractors Ltd which runs the service on behalf of Transport for London (TfL), for strike action over the failure to abide by agreements, health & safety concerns, and  a culture bullying and sexual harassment. About two million passengers, as well as vehicle drivers, use the free ferry each year across the Thames. Today Unite told the company that the ballot of its crew members, traffic teams, engineers and office staff, would open on Tuesday 3 January and will close on Friday 13 January. The GMB union is also expected to ballot its members read more

Unite welcomes talks to resolve BA cabin crew dispute (18 Dec) – Commenting on the talks between Unite the union and British Airways scheduled to take place tomorrow (Monday) at 10:30 am read more   Unite warns British Airways against misleading statements on pay

Baggage handlers’ strike set to hit UK airports next week, says Unite (16 Dec) – Travellers at airports across the UK will be hit by two days of strikes as workers at Swissport, the world’s largest ground and cargo handler, go on strike for two days on 23 and 24 December. Over 1,500 check-in staff, baggage handlers and cargo crew, members of Unite, the country’s largest union, will walk out for 48 hours at 00.01 Friday 23 December in a long-running pay dispute, and plans to seriously erode terms and conditions – See more at: read more

Crossrail: union reps sacked or bumped off job – after the fantastic day of action on November 25th, three union reps have found themselves off the Crossrail project. We reported last week that the Tottenham Court Rd steward has been transferred off the site despite 4 days of action from his members. We have now learned that the suspended steward at Bow has now been sacked and Unite EC member Frank Morris has also been bumped. The union and its members are fighting back against this victimisation and blacklisting as they struggle for the 2nd tier payment. The NSSN will continue to back them.  Donate to hardship fund for victimised Unite members: Account name – Unite London Construction LE/0555 Branch, account number – 20276649, sort code – 60830, Unity trust bank. Tweet support to London Construction Branch LE/0555 @unite0555

Support Manchester Fujitsu in dispute over pay, pensions and job security dispute (9 Dec) – the workers have already taken six days of strike action read more. 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

 

PCS

Call to reopen talks on redundancy cuts (13 Dec) – We have called on the Cabinet Office to reopen talks on cuts to civil service redundancy terms after the overwhelming vote by members. The decision to impose further deep cuts to the civil service compensation scheme was rejected by almost everyone who voted last month read more

 

NUJ

Girl on the Train publisher faces battle with unions (16 Dec) – Penguin Random House, publisher of the blockbuster Girl on the Train, which has been made into a major film starring Emily Blunt, is to end its collective agreement with the unions and intends to push through changes which will erode staff members’ redundancy terms. The company has collective agreements with the National Union of Journalists and Unite and there had been talks between Penguin DK and Penguin Random House (PRH) to modernise and extend the union recognition across the Penguin Random House Group in London read more

 

GMB

End Public Sector Pay Squeeze (Dec 20) – Union begins battle with Tory Government to end decade long pay freeze which has seen vital workers £1,000s out of pocket. GMB has launched a new campaign demanding an end to the public sector pay squeeze read more

Courts Must Reject Uber Appeal (Dec 14) – Union calls on gig economy private hire firm to stop legal case following ‘damning’ original tribunal ruling. Shamed private hire firm Uber have lodged an appeal in the high court against a ruling they have denied their drivers basic workers’ rights. GMB won a monumental victory in October after bringing two tests cases to the Central London Employment Tribunal read more

 

BFAWU

Watch photos from Sheffield Fight for £10 demonstration last Saturday via twitter through #Sheff4Ten

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   BFAWU Statement On Samworth Brothers’ Sacking Of Kumaran Bose

 

NUT

Funding cuts threaten your children’s education (Dec 14) – Today’s announcement of the Government’s plans for ‘National Funding for Schools’ confirmed all that the NUT and other unions have been warning now for months – the Tories are intent on savage cuts that will threaten children’s education, as well as the jobs, pay and working conditions of thousands of school staff read more

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

UCU and the National Union of Students statement on the National Student Survey boycott (14 Dec) – UCU and the National Union of Students (NUS) have issued a statement and advice to members ahead of a planned boycott of the National Student Survey Opens new window (NSS) by students in January read more

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

 

USDAW

Weetabix staff vote overwhelmingly for industrial action over proposed shift changes (19 Dec) – Following a breakdown in discussions between Weetabix and Usdaw on the company’s proposal to vary shift patterns, the union’s members have voted by 91.7% for industrial action, on a turnout of 69.5% read more

 

UCATT

Scottish Government to call in ACAS to Forth Crossing dispute (19 Dec) – The Scottish Government will call in ACAS to audit the Queensferry construction site after UCATT revealed migrant labourers being paid well below recognised industry rates. SNP Economy Secretary, Keith Brown, who met with UCATT and Labour MSP Neil Findlay, said he would ask ACAS to carry out a pay audit at Queensferry and look at a range of other issues including the use of umbrella companies, health and safety, and the exploitation of migrant workers read more

Crossrail emails reveal untold worker abuses (19 Dec) – Crossrail contractor shockingly admits in revealing emails to:

Abuse of workforce to exhaustion levels

Toilets 1 hour walk away- No basic facilities

Targeting of employees who complain

Sinister circulation of images of employees and union officials

Basic safety laws flouted according to senior in-house engineer

Finally – after shameful delays and supposedly misplaced emails – UCATT has secured the proof that the main Crossrail contractor, the Costain-led ATC consortium, has not only been flogging its workforce to levels of exhaustion and neglecting basic welfare facilities but also illicitly the images of Crossrail workers and union activist read more

 

Nationalise Tata – support the Steelworkers

For latest developments, follow Facebook group

 

BECTU

Support Brixton Ritzy and Hackney Picturehouse Cinema workers – They have been striking for the London Living wage and have been taking action since last Friday. BECTU are also going to re-ballot for industrial action not only with our fellow workers at A Living Wage for Hackney Picturehouse Staff but also with Picturehouse Central workers, where the claim for a living wage has been rejected by management Brixton Facebook Page   Hackney Facebook Page   Support the Picturehouse Strike Fund – donate now

 

IWGB

Deliveroo – Recognise IWGB! (Dec 15) – LabourStart has begun a campaign to get the IWGB recognised by Deliveroo through a collective bargaining agreement. Recognition will secure Deliveroo Riders’ status as “workers” and give them basic employment rights read more

IWGB Couriers and Logistics Branch Facebook Group

Holidays, equal pay – Brexit threatens these rights. We are fighting to keep them

 

United Voices of the World

See photos of Justice for LSE cleaners demo on December 2 here

The LSE cleaners have declared an official dispute with Noonan/LSE following their refusal to concede the cleaners’ demands for dignity and equality or even talk to or negotiate with them or their chosen union UVW. This marks the first dispute by non-academic staff in the 126 year history of the LSE! The cleaners will soon be balloted and are expected to vote strongly, if not unanimously, in favour of strike action. Read more on United Voices of the World Facebook Group  

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 – supported by Unite https://www.facebook.com/events/1771664639725061/   http://www.healthcampaignstogether.com/index.php

SERTUC Public Services Committee Health Conference – Saturday 25 February 2017 read more

After the horrendous attack last week on a Muslim woman at Chingford Mount, we are calling another protest at this hate crime. It will be held at Albert Crescent, Chingford E4 6SH from 6.30pm on Wednesday 21 December. There has been a big response to our report about the small protest we made last Saturday (short notice) with lots of people saying they want to do something too. So make sure you come, bring friends, family, work colleagues etc. Please bring a candle if you can. There is a Facebook page for the latest news and developments at https://www.facebook.com/events/1145114115607835/

In solidarity, Waltham Forest Unite Against Fascism

 

 

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 who are having their Xmas party tonight December 13th – 7.30pm onwards Brixton Pound Café 77, Atlantic Rd SW9 8PU

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)

Open letter from blacklisted construction workers – We the undersigned, are writing this open letter in the spirit of fraternal debate amongst members of the newly merged UCATT / UNITE construction union.

The upsurge in industrial militancy in the last few years demonstrates that when the official union works alongside rank and file activists, it is possible to mobilise workers even in a hostile environment. The merger offers an opportunity to start anew the fight against the appallingly high fatality rates and casualization of the construction industry by combining the best traditions of the two unions.  However, one issue threatens to cause internal friction: possible union collusion in blacklisting read more

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

Serial rights offender Citra Mina responsible for yet another death read more

Nicaragua: Stop criminalizing labour protest, drop the charges read more

 

Diary (see & use false economy)

 

2016

December

 

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

18 National Demo: Refugees and Migrants Welcome – Stand Up To Racism, Islamophobia & Anti-Semitism read more

 

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

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ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE