NSSN 341: CWU members walk out to force Royal Mail back!

May 16, 2017 in Bulletins

Royal Mail workers in the Communication Workers Union (CWU) union, part of the Eastern 6 Branch, won a tremendous victory last week in Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire, despite the new Tory trade Union Act. A CWU member sent in the following report:-

“Royal Mail had suspended two representatives for allegedly claiming unauthorised overtime. CWU members took unofficial industrial action across 9 Royal Mail offices on Monday.

CWU general secretary, Dave Ward, tweeted “Offices across MK/LU postcode have walked out this morning in support of @CWUnews reps under attack. Solidarity and full support #TheCWU”.

Royal Mail May8

In the face of the militant action shown by members, and with mail centre workers also refusing to cross the picket lines, Royal Mail lifted the suspensions and an interim agreement was reached whereby the correct disciplinary procedures will be followed.

Royal Mail bosses tried to take advantage of an opportunity to target senior representatives and suspended the workers without following nationally agreed procedures.

They were caught out though by a preparedness of the members to fight due to the approach taken by management since privatisation, ruthlessly searching for profits for wealthy shareholders.

CWU regional secretary Paul Moffat supported this view, stating that “We see it [the suspensions] as an attack on our two senior reps…The members are up for a dust up at the moment — Royal Mail are attacking everything.”

The solidarity shown by members is a clear indication that a national dispute over pensions and employment terms and conditions would be supported. It also acts as an inspiration to other workers that solidarity action can get results.

The suspensions seem coincidental, with a national dispute around pensions and employment terms and conditions brewing.

CWU members working in Royal Mail are to be balloted for national strike action soon unless Royal Mail backs down over its plans to move to a less generous pensions scheme.

The willingness to walk out undoubtedly shows the underlying anger felt by members towards the approach taken by management since privatisation, ruthlessly searching for profits for wealthy shareholders.”

 

 

 

NSSN news

The NSSN supports Jeremy Corbyn’s ‘Workers Charter’ – We have produced a bulletin which we encourage our supporters to take into their workplaces. Email us on info@shopstewards.net to get some

Official PCS Annual Delegate Conference (ADC) National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) fringe meeting: ‘Fighting back under the Trade Union Act’: lunchtime Wednesday May 24th in Syndicate 1 in the Brighton Centre. Speakers – Chris Baugh PCS Assistant General Secretary, Fran Heathcote PCS DWP President/newly-elected national Vice-President and Rob Williams NSSN national chair. Chair – Katrine Williams PCS Wales chair – Refreshments Provided

 

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 Facebook event.  Speakers include: Len McCluskey Unite General Secretary (invited), Ronnie Draper BFAWU General Secretary, Steve Gillan POA General Secretary, Chris Baugh PCS Assistant General Secretary, Sean Hoyle RMT President, Linda Taaffe NSSN National Secretary, Rob Williams NSSN National Chair

This is a video of the NSSN TUC Congress Rally on 11 September 2016 – 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

RMT protest in Poole for European Maritime Day of Action on Thursday (15 May) – MARITIME UNION RMT will be protesting against low-cost crewing in the shipping industry – as practiced by local employer Condor Ferries – outside the European Maritime Day conference in Poole on Thursday. The protest will take place Thursday 18th May, 8.30am, Poole Lighthouse Arts and Conference Centre, 21 Kingland Rd, Poole, BH15 1UG read more

RMT confirms strike vote across Stagecoach South West buses over victimisation and sacking of union official (11 May) – Bus union RMT confirmed today that hundreds of drivers and other staff will be balloted for strike action over the victimisation and sacking of a branch official. Over 400 staff will take part in the ballot with the majority based in Exeter and the remainder based in Exmouth and Sidmouth.  As well as drivers, the ballot will include engineers, clerks, cleaners and controllers read more

 

PCS

First phase of renewed EHRC strike action starts in Glasgow (15 May) – A rolling programme of five-day strikes started at the EHRC in Glasgow today (15 May) in the dispute over jobs, budgets and the reinstatement of sacked staff. On 9 February, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) sacked eight staff by email whilst they were on strike in a dispute over budgets and job cuts. PCS and Unite immediately launched a campaign to lobby for the reinstatement of the sacked staff and for their redeployment into one of over 40 vacancies in the Commission read more

London protest including sacked PCS rep Finola Kelly & PCS President Janice Godrich

London protest on February 10 including sacked PCS rep Finola Kelly & PCS President Janice Godrich

IT workers fight for union recognition (12 May) – PCS members at two new government-owned companies set up to provide IT support for the DWP and HMRC are building campaigns for union recognition. This IT work was privatised by the Conservative government in the 1990s, with our members in the civil service then TUPE transferring to the private sector. Since then PCS has been recognised for collective bargaining by a series of private companies and the union has a proud record of representing IT workers in the civil service and private sector. But the 2 GovCos – Benefits and Pensions Digital Technology Services (BPDTS) and Revenue and Customs Digital Technology Services (RCDTS) – are both refusing to recognise our union read more

PCS marks 20 years of the lifting of the GCHQ trade union ban (12 May) – This month marks the 20th anniversary of the Labour government lifting the Tory-imposed ban on trade unions at the government’s communications headquarters in Cheltenham. On 25 January 1984 all GCHQ workers were ordered to leave their trade unions by 1 March or face dismissal. Those who signed away their rights received a payment of £1000, less tax. The Tory government’s ban came out of the blue and a long struggle began, turning into the second longest continuously fought dispute in UK trade union history. 130 GCHQ workers refused to sign away their union rights but it wasn’t until late 1988 that the government sacked the last 14 workers who were still holding out. The first four sackings, in November, including Mike Grindley, branch chair, and were followed by 10 more during December and into the spring of 1989. For the next 4,860 days, until the ban was overturned by the incoming Labour government in May 1997, the GCHQ trade unionists campaigned tirelessly against the ban read more

 

Unite

AWE workers strike again to defend their pensions (8 May) – next action May 18. Send messages of support to Bob.Middleton@unitetheunion.org

BMW and Rolls Royce workers strike again this week to defend pensions – workers at BMW plants in Cowley, Hams Hall in the West Midlands and Swindon will be striking on May 16 and 18 alonsgide Rools Royce workers in Googwood. The unprecedented wave of strikes are over BMW’s plans to close the final salary pension scheme read more. Send messages of support to bmw@unitetheunion.org

Striking housing workers to protest outside Manchester Town Hall (12 May) – Striking members of Unite employed on social housing maintenance contracts in Manchester will stage a demonstration outside of Manchester Town Hall, on Monday 15 May at 12pm, demanding the council steps in to resolve a dispute with private contractor Mears and joint venture company Manchester Working. The workers are staging the demonstration as they believe the dispute has partially been caused by the failure of Manchester council to step in and resolve the situation read more

Crane strikes a step closer as peace talks collapse (11 May) – The likelihood of strikes this summer at HTC Wolffkran, the UK’s largest tower crane operator, have taken a dramatic step forward after peace talks collapsed in an ongoing pay dispute. Unite, the UK’s largest construction union, warned in March that strike action at HTC Wolffkran was likely after workers unanimously rejected a pay offer, describing it as ‘derisory’ and ‘insulting’ read more

Window makers’ dispute set to spread to second company in Devon (10 May) – The strikes over pay and shift patterns at Sierra Windows in Paignton, Devon could spread to another company in Newton Abbot, part of the same Specialist Building Products group. A total of 44 workers at DB Glass at Newton Abbot are being balloted for strike action, as employees at Sierra Windows continue their rolling programme of 48 hour strikes. The workers at both sites – members of Unite, the country’s largest union – have rejected a pay deal for the year April 2016 – April 2017 of 1.5 per cent, but would have only been payable from May 2017. They are also angry that shifts have been changed unilaterally from five days of seven hours to four days of 12 hours. Workers at DB Glass – a leading manufacturer of insulated glass units – started balloting for strike action yesterday (Tuesday 9 May). The ballot closes on 23 May. Meanwhile, the workers at Sierra Windows are striking today (Wednesday 10 May) in their third 48 hour stoppage, with two further 48 hour strikes scheduled for 17 May and 24 May read more

Hinkley unions hopeful of bonus pay row solution as fresh talks planned (10 May) – Unions representing construction workers at Hinkley Point are hopeful that the dispute over bonus payments can be resolved after fresh talks were promised. The unions involved (Unite and GMB) conducted a consultative ballot of their members at the site last week, on whether to accept the proposed bonus offered by BYLOR (a consortium led by Laing O’Rourke and which also involves French company Bouygues TP) read more

Construction materials shortages loom as Cemex drivers vote for strike action (9 May) – Shortages of construction materials are expected to lead to delays on sites throughout the industry, including major projects, after HGV drivers at Cemex UK Operations Ltd, overwhelmingly voted for industrial action in a dispute over pay. The 82 HGV drivers who are members of Unite, the UK’s largest union, returned an 87 per cent vote in favour of strike action and action short of strike, after being offered just a 1.6 per cent increase on pay and allowances backdated to 1 July 2016. A continuous work to rule will begin on Monday 22 May followed by an initial 24 hour strike on Friday 26 May read more

Support striking Fujitsu workers – Workers at Basingstoke, Belfast, Birmingham, Bracknell, Crewe, Edinburgh, London, Manchester, Stevenage, Wakefield and Warrington have taken 10 days of strike action in a dispute centred on pay, pensions, job security and union recognition – and takes place against a background of Fujitsu’s plans to axe and offshore 1,800 jobs in the UK read more on Fujitsu dispute page. Send a message of support to support@ourunion.org.uk or Unite the Union, Fujitsu MAN34, Central Park, Northampton Road, Manchester, M40 5BP. Join the national day of action by organising a protest outside Sainsbury’s stores on the next 2 strikes days Thursday May 4th and Friday May 4th details. More strikes are on May 8,11 and 12

Donations payable to “Manchester IT Workers Group” can be sent c/o John Wood, 50 Brooklyn Street, Crewe, CW2 7JF. Or transfer online to Account: 00980539, Sort Code: 30-91-48 and email support@ourunion.org.uk with details. Follow and promote the campaign on social media using #FujitsuFightback. www.facebook.com/uniteatfujitsu  www.twitter.com/unitefujitsu   picket line details

Mixed Fleet cabin crew re-ballot: 90% vote for more strikes!! Keep supporting the workers! – Send messages of support and donations (make cheques out to Unite the Union and write ‘Mixed Fleet Hardship Fund’ on the back) to: Unite the Union, Ron Todd House, 33-37 Moreland Street, London EC1V 8BB. Tweet support to @MFUnite

 

Unison

Barnet Unison wins Street Scene insourcing read more

Derby Teaching Assistants have ended their 10-month dispute against 23% pay cuts after members voted to accept a new offer from the council. Their colleagues in Durham have also been taking action against similar attacks

Donate to the Durham TAs’ fund here

Durham TAs Facebook page here

Support ongoing Glasgow Unison janitors’ dispute – Facebook group and website

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

 

GMB

Hinkley Point Ballot Result (May 10) – Unions representing construction workers at Hinkley Point are hopeful that the dispute over bonus payments can be resolved after fresh talks were promised read more

 

BFAWU

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

 

UCU

Sign petition: reinstate Indro Sen immediately – Indro Sen, a maths lecturer and trade union branch officer at the College of North West London (CNWL) has been dismissed for actions in assisting a former colleague at an employment tribunal case. He was voted by students as the most popular teacher, 2014-15. We demand that the College Governors and Senior Management Team reinstate Sen immediately sign here

Over 900 jobs at risk at University of Manchester as university announces major cuts (10 May) – The University of Manchester has set out plans to axe 171 jobs, leaving 926 staff uncertain about their future. The university says it wants to cut 140 academic jobs and 31 professional support roles read more

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

 

NUT

Stop education cuts rallies:-

London – Thursday May 18, assemble 5pm Old Palace Yard opposite Parliament

Sat 20 May – Bristol March against school cuts 11am Central Bristol

Sat 20 May – Lancaster Save Our Schools, March and Rally 11am Dalton Square, Lancaster, LA1 1

Wed 24 May – East London Big School Assembly against cuts, 4.30pm Mile End Park

Newcastle – Saturday May 27, assemble 12.30pm Grey’s monument

Support the NUT London school strikes against cuts at Forest Hill Forest Hill in Lewisham and Plumstead Manor in Greenwich – Watch video of march & rally for Forest Hill School in Lewisham on April 22

 

EIS

Honour The Deal – Further Education Lecturers in colleges across Scotland are currently embarking on strike action over the refusal of College Management to honour a deal on pay and conditions that was reached more than a year ago. Having waited since March 2016 for the agreement to be implemented, lecturers have now returned to a programme of continuing strike action following a 96% vote in favour of this action in a recent ballot. A timetable of upcoming strike dates are as follows:

Tuesday 16 May and Wednesday 17 May 2017

Tuesday 23 May and Wednesday 24 May and Thursday 25 May 2017

Tuesday 30 May and Wednesday 31 May and Thursday 1 June 2017 read more

 

RCN

RCN members have given a strong and clear message that the Government’s policy on pay is not acceptable (14 May) – The statement came as Chair of Council Michael Brown announced the results of the RCN pay poll at the College’s annual Congress. Michael told delegates that more than 52,000 members working in the NHS had taken part in the quick, indicative poll which measured the member appetite for industrial action. The results of the three-week poll revealed 91% of members would take industrial action short of strike, with 78% saying they were prepared to strike read more

 

BECTU

Delegates back Picturehouse campaign at first BECTU sector conference of Prospect (9 May) – Members at Picturehouse cinemas, campaigning long and hard for the Living Wage, secured the overwhelming backing of delegates at the union’s first conference as part of Prospect. Delegates from the enlarged BECTU Sector, meeting in Brighton on 7 May, and now part of the 140K strong Prospect union, pledged their support to living wage campaigners who have been striking at regular intervals since September 2016 (the second phase of a campaign begun in 2014) read more

Brighton Duke of York strike for first time this Saturday May 18 from 1pm https://www.facebook.com/UnioniseDukes/

East Dulwich Picturehouse Strike for the Living Wage on May 27 read more

Keep supporting the Picturehouse workers: read the latest on Brixton Ritzy Facebook Page and those of Hackney, Crouch End, Central, Duke of York Brighton and Dulwich East  Picturehouse cinema strike spreads  Support the Picturehouse Strike Fund – donate now

 

IWGB

University of London security officers call second round of strikes for 16 and 17 May read more

 

London Strikes Back: UVW & IWGB solidarity march from LSE to Senate House – 7.30am Wednesday May 17th Facebook event

 

United Voices of the World union

Cleaners at the LSE vote to strike every single week indefinitely until victory! Cleaners at the LSE have today voted to take further strike action following the LSE’s failure to concede their claim for parity of terms and conditions of employment with in-house staff, or make any offer of settlement. The cleaners have voted to strike one day a week, every week, forever, until the LSE sees sense and concedes their demands. The first day of renewed strike action will be on 10th May 2017 and will continue one day a week, every week thereinafter read more

Please consider making a donation to LSE cleaners’ strike fund – http://www.uvwunion.org.uk/justiceforlsecleaners/

Website: www.uvwunion.org.uk   Facebook: www.facebook.com/uvwunion   Twitter: @UVWunion

 

 

Other News

Support the Irish anti-water charge protestors who are facing trial for a protest in Jobstown

Please send messages of protest:  https://sites.google.com/view/jobstownnotguilty/     https://www.facebook.com/Jobstown-Not-Guilty-1056889327677242/

 

 

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.

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)

Support Frank Morris who has been thrown off a job AGAIN after previously being sacked and blacklisted on the Olympics and Crossrail projects for being a member of a trade union. This time it’s the electrical contractor W.Portsmouth, working with the employment agency 1st Step Solutions – an agency notorious for blacklisting practises. Frank will be protesting every day outside W. Portsmouth’s biggest contract, weapons manufacturer MBDA in Stevenage, until he gets his job back Watch Reel News video

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

Indonesia: Coca-Cola’s bottler determined to stifle independent unions read more

Fast-food giants in Germany refuse to pay workers a living wage read more

 

Diary

 

2017

June

24 Tamil Solidarity: Solidarity Day 10.30am – 17.30pm. At Unite the Union, 128 Theobalds Rd, Holborn, London WC1X 8TN http://www.tamilsolidarity.org/solidarity-day-2/

 

July

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

8 Durham Miners Gala www.durhamminers.org

14-17 Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival www.tolpuddlemartyrs.org.uk/festival

 

September

10 NSSN rally at TUC Congress

 

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