397: NSSN conference – Mood for fighting action & coordination

July 13, 2018 in Bulletins

Last Saturday saw hundreds of union reps and activists meet together in this year’s National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) conference. Below is a full report of what was a vibrant event.

NSSN 2018

“I’m sick and tired of hearing that the trade union movement is on its way out,” declared Linda Taaffe in opening the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) conference on 7 July. Part of the reason the lie can be told she said, “is the TUC itself. Where has the TUC been in the recent period?”

This set the scene for the meeting that followed, which made clear the ongoing relevance and strength of the trade unions, as well as a widely felt frustration with those right-wing leaders in the labour movement who hold back working class struggle.

The conference had been truncated to finish in time for England’s quarter final World Cup match, but still the room was full, with working class fighters having come from far and wide to hear from each other and share experiences.

Howard Beckett, assistant general secretary of Unite pointed out that he was the first Unite speaker at an NSSN conference since the union agreed to affiliate to the NSSN.

“The NSSN is an example of how true solidarity works. Everywhere there’s a dispute, the NSSN stretches out a hand of solidarity and support when our members need it most.”

Terry Pullinger, deputy general secretary (postal) of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) spoke about the political change signalled by the swelling of support for Jeremy Corbyn. Young people have backed him because they rightly believe there’s a need for politicians who fight for them. “But we know we can’t just rely on politicians… We need unions to be the strong influence and we will always be necessary – whatever party’s in government, workers’ voices need to be heard.”

Terry outlined the vibrant approach the union had taken to the recent dispute with Royal Mail, which he said has reenergised him and the union in general. “We had to be in every workplace, have a rep on every shift – it’s workplace trade unionism that makes a difference.”

Using social media videos and messaging, national union leaders could reach into every workplace, he explained. But the most important organising tools were things like ‘gate-meeting days’. The result was a 90% Yes vote for action on a 74% turnout and the company backed down on its proposals before action even needed to be taken.

BFAWU bakers’ union president Ian Hodson talked about the union’s work ‘organising the unorganised’, particularly in fast food. Ian recounted outrageous stories of McDonald’s workers being harassed after leaving abusive relationships, people with learning disabilities being told they have to put up with bullying from customers and the poverty pay resulting in workers living on friends’ sofas for long periods. The strike action against these conditions is “the start of a new movement,” he said.

Similar conditions exist in retail, as explained by Amy Murphy, newly elected president of the Usdaw shopworkers’ union. 60% in the sector are on zero-hour contracts.

The current high street crisis, which has seen a number of household names close or make big cuts, is adding to the problem: “Who suffers in the end? The workers.” But, Amy pointed out, “there are 6.5 million trade unionists. If we stand together, we can make a difference and we will make a difference.”

Joe Simpson, deputy general secretary of the POA union for prison, correctional and secure psychiatric workers, explained that prison officers have legally not been allowed to strike since 1994.

“Last year we went to the big court and now we’re under a super-injunction – we’re not allowed to do anything… since then we’ve been on strike four times!”

Joe argued that the anti-trade union laws in the 2016 Trade Union Act should be brushed aside by all unions: “Bad laws are meant to be broken.”

He described the anger felt by many workers at the lack of a lead from the TUC on this and other issues that action could be coordinated around. “Every worker from everywhere in the UK needs to go on strike to protect what is ours.”

PCS assistant general secretary Chris Baugh also highlighted the lack of leadership from the TUC, as well as the need for the left unions to act together regardless. “If the TUC is not prepared to provide leadership, we have to work together on how we use the enormous latent power of the trade union movement.”

He pointed to a number of key disputes in the recent period that show the power of the unions – the RMT’s struggle against driver-only operation, the Royal Mail dispute and the University and Colleges Union pensions battle, as well as the PCS’s own current strike ballot on pay.

“This is in many ways the most important membership ballot in our 20-year history,” Chris said. “The government doesn’t think we can achieve the 50% threshold. But their approach has generated an unprecedented level of activity in our union.”

Rob Williams, chair of the NSSN, discussed the potential role of the trade unions in social struggles on all kinds of issues, such as defending the NHS and stopping the far right, saying “the unions should be central to those struggles.”

Rob called for everyone attending the conference to help build for the NSSN’s lobby of the TUC congress in Manchester on 9 September. This will be “saying to the TUC ‘we’ve got a militant strategy and we want you to take it up, but if you don’t we’ll put it forward ourselves.'”

President of the RMT transport workers’ union Sean Hoyle agreed: “The NSSN could be the ones to say to the trade unions ‘if the TUC don’t do it, we will.'”

An excellent discussion followed these top-table contributions. Several speakers expanded on Rob’s point about the role of the trade unions in combatting the far right and reaching out to migrant workers. For example, Hugo Pierre, Unison national executive committee (personal capacity), spoke about victories won by his union fighting for migrants’ right to work, a point echoed by Lawanya of the Refugee Rights campaign.

Other campaigns in need of solidarity from the unions were raised too, such as the need to highlight the cruelty of the government’s benefit cuts. Theo from Socialist Students and Leicester school student Bethany both talked about organising for the protests against Donald Trump’s UK visit and the need for young people and older workers to fight together.

Following just two days after the 70th anniversary of the foundation of the NHS, the ongoing battles to defend the health service also featured. Tom Hunt explained the successful campaign to save Chatsworth rehabilitation ward in Mansfield, where he is a nurse. He said that NSSN support was vital in getting a quick response, media coverage and giving confidence to a workforce where none of the staff except him had been on a protest before.

Dave Byrom spoke about another recent NHS victory – against ‘wholly owned subsidiaries’ in Mid Yorkshire where a successful strike ballot forced the bosses to think again. He said: coordinated action works – that’s been shown at local level time and time again. Nationally we could immediately ballot all branches threatened with wholly owned subsidiaries.”

Many speakers expressed thanks to the NSSN for support in particular disputes and workplaces – from recycling workers in Hull to housing workers, to teachers and lecturers.

Moe, one of several London bus drivers attending the conference, explained why he had initiated the motion that led to Unite affiliating to the NSSN. “I came to NSSN conference and listening to it gave me a big boost in confidence.”

A stand-out contribution to the meeting came from Richard, a ‘McStriker’ from Watford. “Working in McDonald’s really is as shitty as people say.” He contrasted his own living conditions – 26 years old and unable to afford to leave his parents’ home – with that of fellow ‘Watford lad’ Steve Easterbrook, CEO of McDonald’s, who lives in a mansion in the US and uses a private jet to get around.

“On 1 May me and my colleagues went on strike and for the first time took some of the power back from McDonald’s… I’ve just had my first taste of fighting back and I’m hungry for more.”

This will be the experience of an increasing number of workers – young and old alike – as more and more are forced to struggle for their jobs, pay, terms and conditions. As Howard Beckett said in his introduction, “there is power in the unions – and it’s time for us to use it.”

See video of interview and speech by Chris Baugh PCS assistant general secretary

 

NSSN news

NSSN TUC Rally – We also want to give advanced notice that once again we will be organising a rally at TUC Congress. This year it will be in Manchester on Sunday September 9th and the rally will begin at 1pm.

 

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

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

Follow us on twitter via @NSSN_AntiCuts and Facebook

 

Durham Miners Gala

The NSSN sends solidarity greetings to the Gala. Our North East supporters will be marching this Saturday www.durhamminers.org/gala

 

Oppose Trump and the far-right

Stop Trump today Friday June 13th – support the protests against the racist, sexist, billionaire president of the US Donald Trump visits the UK

Walk-out against Trump! Socialist Students Facebook event

Together Against Trump: national demo – assemble 2pm BBC Portland Place, London W1A 1AA Facebook event

 

Protest against Tommy Robinson in London – Saturday July 14th read more from PCS website

 

 

Union News

PCS

The National Shop Stewards Network gives full support and solidarity to the PCS who voted at their recent annual conference to move to a national strike ballot on pay that opened on June 18 and closes on July 23rd

PCS pay logo

Final reminder: request your ballot replacement by noon 16 July (13 Jul) – This is a critical week in the PCS pay ballot which closes on 23 July so if your dog has eaten your ballot paper, your child has made a masterpiece out of it or it’s been lost forever at the bottom of your bag, don’t delay request a replacement today read more

United civil service unions issue joint statement on pay (11 Jul) – PCS, FDA and Prospect have put on a united front, pledging to work together and putting pressure on the government over the issue of pay. The three unions’ general secretaries have jointly written to chief secretary of the Treasury, Elizabeth Truss requesting an urgent meeting, following the government’s refusal to withdraw civil service pay remit guidance read more

 

Unite

Luton Airport workers on zero hours and minimum wage fight for dignity (12 July) – Workers responsible for helping disabled passengers at Luton Airport are in a battle with their employer Clece Care Services which stands accused of exploiting its own workforce while providing services to people with restricted mobility. The workers are due to take 48-hour strike action between Tuesday 17 July from 05.00 to Thursday 19 July at 04.59 read more

Aberdeen airport workers vote for strike action over pay (10 July) – Unite the union today (Tuesday 10 July) confirmed that workers at Aberdeen airport have voted for strike action, after 88 per cent of workers rejected the latest pay offer. Unite members have now rejected two below inflation wage offers on the back of below inflation increases over the last two previous years. The prospective action will involve around 170 workers at the airport include security and airfield operations, airside services, firefighters, operations officers and passenger service agents. A series of 24 hour stoppages will take place on the following days: 20 July 2018, 2 August 2018, 16 August 2018 read more

Unite announce strike days on Total’s oil and gas offshore platforms – Unite the union has today (5 July) announced a series of strike days on the North Sea oil and gas platforms operated by Total E&P. Following the overwhelming mandate for industrial action, there will be a series of 24 hour and 12 hour stoppages on the three platforms affected (Alwyn, Dunbar and Elgin), all of which will be forced to cease production. There will also be a continuous ban on overtime commencing at 00.01 hours on 23 July. The dispute concerns the company’s wage review and its plans to force workers to increase their offshore working time. A report by Robert Gordon University identified that workers on three-week, equal-time rotas were nearly twice as likely to experience ill health as those on two-on-two-off shifts. The three on/three off rota pattern is now worked by 56 per cent of the workforce offshore, compared with just 17 per cent working the same pattern in 2007.

24 Hour Stoppages

  • Starting at 06.00 hours on 23 July, 6 August and 20 August.

12 Hour Stoppages

  • Starting at 12.00 hours on 30 July and 13 August read more

Unite HCA Strike – Solid Support (12 July) – The strike at the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) has been solidly supported across all workplaces, with solidarity provided across the trade union and labour movement. Reps will now put plans for a second phase of action out to members, aiming to escalate not just strike action but other protests too. See the picket line video here. The action at the HCA (which incorporates Homes England and the Regulator of Social Housing) arose from a dispute over pay, the gender pay gap, and issues over pay progression. Further talks will be held with the Agency’s executive on Tuesday. Pictures from the picket lines in London, Birmingham and Manchester are available here. For details of how to give solidarity/donations, go to Unite Housing workers branch website

EDF Energy Workers Agree Victory!! (13 July) – Unite The Union members employed by EDF in its metering and debt sections in London, South East and South West have won a huge victory in a long running battle about the introduction of tracker devices in vehicles. Members have just voted to accept the wording of an agreement which represents a very significant win through industrial action. Unite members took eight days of strike action. Shamefully GMB, Unison and Prospect refused to ballot stating it was too early to do so and that they would engage in negotiation instead. GMB claimed that they had secured a guarantee that the evidence from the tracker system would not be used in any disciplinary process. However, as is often the case when employers smell weakness, the employer swiftly denied any such agreement. While the GMB responded with angry words, the union did not follow those words up with a ballot. Instead it was left to Unite members to do the heavy lifting

Sheffield tram workers strike against ‘derisory’ pay offer (9 July) – “Liberating” is how one Unite union member described his first day on strike against Supertram’s “derisory” pay offer. Supertram is Sheffield’s light rail tram system operated by Stagecoach who also run buses in the city. Around 180 drivers and conductors, all members of Unite, are taking strike action today (9 July) and on 12 July, the first strikes in the 24 years since Supertram first operated read more

Support Hackney parking strike – The dispute involves 40 traffic wardens employed in Hackney. The workers are members of Unite, the UK’s largest union, are employed by private contractor APCOA Parking (UK) Ltd, on an outsourced contract tendered by the council. This week has seen six continuous days of strike action beginning on Monday 9 July at 00:01hrs and ending at 23:59 on Saturday 14 July. The dispute concerns a pay claim for a five per cent increase from April 2018, unfair and discriminatory working practices, which includes: unfair implementation of sickness procedures, unfair implementation of holiday allocation and a demand to enhance the long service award read more

Messages of support for the strikers can be sent to onay.kasab@unitetheunion.org

We also need financial donations. Cheques made payable to Hackney Unite and sent to Onay Kasab at 33 – 37 Moreland St, London EC1V 8BB.

Messages of protest to the Mayor of Hackney ( APCOA run the contract for Hackney Council) and also to the Head of Parking and Markets, 136 – 142 Lower Clapton Road, Hackney, E5 OQJ

Support Ian Allinson: Protesters accuse Fujitsu of victimising whistleblowers read more. Keep up to date with Unite: Our union in Fujitsu website

 

RMT

RMT confirms further strike action on South Western Railway (13 July) – RMT confirms further strike action to go ahead on South Western Railway in dispute over guards and safety as company wreck talks. RAIL UNION RMT today confirmed further strike action will take place in the dispute over rail safety and the axing of guards on South Western Railway. The action has been confirmed after the company effectively sabotaged the talks process by confirming that they intend to roll out the extension of Driver Only Operation regardless – making a mockery of the talks that the union had entered in good faith. As a result of the SWR actions members will strike as follows by not booking on for any shifts between;

0001 Hours and 2359 hours on Thursday 26th July 2018

0001 Hours and 2359 Hours on Saturday 28th July 2018

0001 Hours and 2359 Hours on Tuesday 31st July 2018

0001 Hours and 2359 Hours on Saturday 4th August 2018

0001 Hours and 2359 Hours on Saturday 11th August 2018

0001 Hours and 2359 Hours on Saturday 18th August 2018

0001 Hours on Friday 31st August 2018 and 2359 Hours on Saturday 1st September 2018 read more

National dispute fund (DOO disputes) – If you would like to donate to the RMT National Dispute Fund which makes payments to support their striking members taking part in National DOO disputes then you can donate via PayPal using the donate button below or make a cheque payable to RMT National Dispute Fund and send it to the address below. Alternatively, you can ring their Freephone helpline on 0800 376 3706 who will be happy to process a credit card payment for you, or, if you would like to pay via internet banking, please email l.rolles@rmt.org.uk for further details. Vicky Thompson, Finance Manager RMT, 39 Chalton Street, London NW1 1JD. Tel: 020-7529-8843

RMT strike at Ruislip depot (12 July) – RMT strike at London Underground’s crucial Ruislip maintenance and engineering depot rock solid this morning. TUBE UNION RMT has confirmed that strike action by transplant train maintenance and stores staff at London Underground’s crucial Ruislip Depot is absolutely rock solid this morning. The strike action is over a dispute about pay parity and payments associated with Train Preparation based on the duties staff undertake in their role. The schedule of strike action, which runs through to Sunday, is as follows and the impact is expected to build throughout; • 07:00 hours on Thursday 12th July to 07:00 hours on Friday 13th July 2018

  • 19:00 hours on Friday 13th July to 07:00 hours on Saturday 14th July 2018
  • 07:00 hours on Sunday 15th July to 19:00 hours on Sunday 15th July 2018 read more

Piccadilly line strike action suspended as RMT secures progress in ACAS talks (11 July) – TUBE UNION RMT has confirmed today that strike action by drivers on the Piccadilly Line due to start at 2100 hours this evening has been suspended following significant progress in extensive talks through ACAS. The dispute remains on as the union monitors the agreement read more

 

FBU

Lack of resources hampered Grenfell Tower rescue efforts and continue to affect moorlands operation in North West England (10 July) – Firefighters at the Grenfell Tower fire did not have the resources required to tackle such an enormous blaze, the public inquiry into the disaster has heard. Watch manager Brian O’Keefe was on the third fire appliance dispatched to the scene. He told the inquiry how there were no BA crews left to deploy, that firefighters ran out of breaking-in equipment (used to gain entry into apartments) and they had run out of firefighting branches. (A branch is a nozzle that fits onto the end of a hose*) read more

 

NEU

Sign petition – Education Secretary Damian Hinds: urgently fund education for children with special needs

 

NEU/GMB

Support staff at the John Roan School in Blackheath hold two-day strike against academisation (10 July) – “Academies everywhere are attacking working conditions and putting more pupils through stress with results fixation”, says GMB Southern. On Wednesday 11th and Thursday 12th of July, GMB members who are support staff at The John Roan School in Blackheath will be taking strike action against proposed academisation of the school. This joins an existing run of industrial action from the teaching staff who are NEU members and have so far had five days of strike read more on GMB Southern  Watch GMB video

 

CWU

Royal Mail Swansea ‘Yes’ to strike (July 12) – A mass walkout at Swansea Delivery Office moved a step closer today, when CWU members voted by an 88.9 per cent majority for strike action over the sacking of postman Martin Henwood. The result of the ballot was announced this afternoon and, unless the company “acts quickly” to resolve the issue, nearly 200 delivery workers will be striking – with the date potentially being revealed within the next couple of days read more   BREAKING NEWS!! Martin has been reinstated! 

 

BFAWU

Support the McDonalds strikers who took their 2nd day of action on May 1stKeep sending solidarity to the BFAWU, post cheques to BFAWU, Stanborough House, Great North Road, Welwyn Garden City, Herts AL8 7TA and donate to the strike fund. Also help the fund by buying a #McStrike t-shirt. More info on the Fast Food Rights/Hungry for Justice website

 

UCU

Home secretary changes rules to ensure migrant workers can take strike action (12 July) – UCU welcomes change and says it will provide much-needed clarity for migrant workers. The government is changing rules to ensure migrant workers can participate in legal strike action without any fear of it impacting on their right to remain in the UK, home secretary Sajid Javid has announced. The issue relates to an annual 20-day limit for unpaid absence from work, which applies to migrant workers on Tier 2 visas. UCU wrote to the Home Office in March to seek clarity on the matter during 14 days of strikes at universities over pensions read more

UCU writes to government calling for funding to support pay deal (12 July) – The government must release funding to improve pay for staff working in further education said UCU ahead of pay talks. Ahead of talks with the Association of Colleges (AoC), the union has written to skills and apprenticeships minister Anne Milton saying staff will not put up with another shoddy pay deal read more

 

Unison, GMB, Unite East Dunbartonshire

East Dunbartonshire: Mass support for council workers’ strike – council workers have been on strike in East Dunbartonshire with members of Unison, Unite and the GMB taking action. This is in response to an onslaught on workers’ terms and conditions by the Tory/Lib Dem council administration. The attacks include the removal of three days of annual leave, increasing the notional working day and reducing the time when unsocial hours payments apply. Removal of enhanced overtime and cuts to the redundancy payments framework open the way to compulsory redundancies read more on Socialist Party Scotland website    read more on Unison Scotland website     See photos from the strikes

Send solidarity messages to:

Email: Sharon.Souter@eastdunbarton.gov.uk Phone 0141 578 8058

Donations to: Industrial Action Account East Dunbartonshire Unison

Sort Code: 086001 Account No. 20075332

Email Janice Campbell to let them know of your donationJanice.Campbell@eastdunbarton.gov.uk

 

Unison

FCC Strike Victory (11 July) – Hull recycling workers win historic right to sick pay. The FCC recycling workers at Wilmington, Hull have agreed to suspend their strike action after the management of FCC agreed to introduce a sick pay scheme. The Spanish based multi-national had point blank refused to negotiate on any terms and conditions at the start of the strike and despite a turnover of nearly half a billion Euros last year they refused to pay sick pay to the workforce. The strike action backed up by national and international solidarity, together with political pressure from Emma Hardy MP for Hull and Hessle West forced FCC to the table and to concede sick pay. While some of the workforce are concerned that the details fall short of the full demands of the strikers for parity with management, there is an understanding that this is nonetheless a huge victory. The strike is suspended for three months to monitor FCC ‘s integrity to operate a sick pay scheme properly.  If FCC reneges on the deal, the workers will be out again! The importance of the victory cannot be overestimated. Not only have the Hull workers got sick pay, all 2,000 of FCC’s workforce in the UK will now have some sick pay protection. While most strikes in the current period have been to protect or defend existing conditions, this is an offensive strike which has improved terms and conditions. A group of 14 workers have forced a giant multi national company to retreat. This was possible because the strikers were supported at every level of the Labour and trade union movement both nationally and internationally. (A fuller report on the strike and the victory will appear in the future) – Mick Whale (President of Hull trades council)

Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh hospital trust drops plans to outsource NHS staff to private company (6 July) – A hospital trust has reversed its decision to outsource NHS staff to a subsidiary – or ‘subco’ – company, UNISON has announced today (Friday). Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Foundation Trust (WWLNHS) has agreed to drop plans to transfer more than 900 workers including porters, cleaners and catering staff to NHS subsidiary firm WWL Solutions read more

 

BECTU

Tribunal finds that Ritzy reps were unfairly dismissed (12 July) – The Employment Tribunals have found that Picturehouse Cinemas Ltd acted unlawfully when it dismissed BECTU representatives last year. The complaints brought by BECTU representatives at the Ritzy cinema were heard in March 2018 and the judgment was finalised on 31 May 2018. BECTU issued a press release today which is reproduced below. Read the latest about the Picturehouse dispute on Brixton Ritzy Facebook Page and those of Hackney, Crouch End, Central, Dulwich East and Duke of York Brighton

Donate to the Picturehouse Cinema strike fund: https://www.crowdpac.co.uk/campaigns/250/picturehousestrike

 

Mandate (Ireland)

Support the Lloyds Pharmacy workers – three more strike days announced for July. Almost 250 workers in Ireland’s largest pharmacy chain, Lloyds Pharmacy, will participate in a third strike tomorrow (Friday, 29th June 2018) following their company’s continued refusal to accept a Labour Court recommendation. The industrial action will affect almost 40 stores as the workers participate in a work stoppage between 10am and 1pm. The Union also announced three full days of strikes should the company continue their refusal to engage with their workers. The three days include: Friday, 6th July; Thursday, 12th July; and Friday the 20th read more

Arklow TK Maxx workers strike as company refuses representation (7 July) – Mandate Trade Union members employed by TK Maxx in Arklow will strike today (7th July) following the company’s refusal to accept a Labour Court recommendation. Mandate took a case to the Labour Court in relation to banded hour contracts, pay scales and advance notice of rosters. TK Maxx, through their trade union IBEC, informed the Court that they would not be attending or heeding the Labour Court process because they had “direct employee engagement processes in place.” Mandate say the refusal of the company to allow their workers representation has left them with no alternative but to strike read more

 

IWGB

University of London’s outsourcing manager under fire for racist Facebook (July 10) – IWGB’s general secretary demand immediate action over racist and far-right posts by Cordant manager who oversees two of the University of London’s five outsourcing contracts read more

 

United Voices of the World

3 day cleaners strike at MoJ, RBKC and HCA! In an almost unprecedented move, cleaners at the Ministry of Justice, Kensington and Chelsea Town halls and 6 privately owned hospital departments and outpatient clinics run by Health Care America, will strike simultaneously for 3 days from 7-9 August demanding the London Living Wage of £10.20 per hour! That’s 3 days of stirke action at 3 companies and 11 sites! Please donate to their strike funds here if you can. Any amount will help! https://www.uvwunion.org.uk/current-campaigns/  Facebook event

 

 

Other news

Manufacturing – the bosses solution is anywhere but here! From Elaine Brunskill NSSN North East

At the start of their day shift in the back end of June management at HMY Innovation in Retail dropped a bombshell on their workforce when they announced 61 redundancies (all of their production workers). The company intends to continue trading, but with production from outside Britain.

The company have blamed the redundancies on “difficult market conditions over the last couple of years”.

Workers from the plant explained that, “Some of the lads have worked here for 30, 40 years.”  Also, because the factory is located in Burnopfield (Tyneside), which is a semi-rural location, people from the surrounding area having orientated towards working there.  In some cases 2, 3 or more family members work alongside each other. This is going to have a devastating impact.

For many years workers at the plant have felt that management have made mistakes. A couple of years ago the workers went on strike (we reported it – HMY Radford shopfitters strike against penny-pinching company).  It was the first strike action at the factory for 33years, and was about pay and conditions.

Workers are angry and dismayed at the lack of information coming from the company.  There’s rumours that production will be closed by the end of August.

There is also anger at the way workers have been treated.  In December workers from the plant were laid off just before Christmas. Then when they were re-instated in the new year management had the audacity to ask if they’d had a good Christmas.

Another time the company held a garden party for all the workers.  Then immediately afterwards workers were laid off!  There was a feeling that the workers who’d been laid off had paid the price for the party.

One of the workers who will be paid off commented, “Currently we all feel that we’re waiting in the middle of the road for a bus to come along and hit us.”

At this stage the workers feel stunned. Collectively they have given years of service – but for bosses and their rotten capitalist system this counts for nothing.

 

Swindon TUC 4th  Radical Book Fair – September 15th  2018

Swindon TUC will be hosting their 4th Radical Book Fair. The event is growing, back by popular demand the Historical Walking tour of the Swindon’s Railway Village, exciting workshops and speakers, vendors, campaign and political groups stalls and light refreshments. After the event a social will be at the local pub, more details to follow. The venue is near town centre, and a 10-minute walk from the train station. You will be able load/unload at the venue with limited parking but there is nearby parking.

Event Details            :

Date :  – Saturday 15            th  September 2018

Time :  – 1pm to 5pm (venue will be open from 12 noon to set up and will need to be cleared away by 6pm).

Venue:  – Central Community Hall,          Emlyn Square, Swindon, SN1 5BP.  The venue will be open

Stalls available are:

Vendors @ £20.00

Campaign groups & political groups @ £10.00

Stalls will measure 200x65cm.

Please make cheques payable to Swindon TUC and return as soon as possible but by the 31st August 2018 to:

Dee Curd – TUC

102 Shrivenham Road

Swindon

SN1 2NT

Email swindontuc@gmail.com

 

 

Blacklisting & Victimisation

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)

Blacklist Support Group report from private meeting with Sir John Mitting

On Wednesday 11th July, blacklisted workers and lawyers representing the FBU and UNITE the union held a 2 hour private meeting with Sir John Mitting, the judge in charge of the undercover policing public inquiry. There are legal restrictions on what can be disclosed about the discussions.

Dave Smith, Blacklist Support Group co-secretary commented:

“We had a frank exchange of views about the future direction of the public inquiry. We hope that Mitting is now fully aware of our serious concerns about a number of issues that we feel will impede the truth about the activities of the UK’s undercover political police units being fully investigated. We continue to have fundamental disagreements with many of the decisions being taken by the Chair and believe that the Home Secretary should set up a panel that will allow for a greater understanding of issues such as sex, race and class bias that are at the heart of the public inquiry. However, for a number of our specific concerns relating to state spying on trade unions, we were given assurances that we view as positive. But the proof of the pudding is in the eating and until we see concrete action rather than fine words, our view of the public inquiry remains highly sceptical”.

Blacklisted t-shirts available at: https://shop.hopenothate.org.uk/component/hikashop/product/78-blacklisted-t-shirt

Book: http://newint.org/books/politics/blacklisted-secret-war/

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNcgrNs6pB8

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/groups/blacklistSG/

Blog: www.hazards.org/blacklistblog

 

 

 

International

USA: two tobacco farmworkers fired for speaking out: tell their grower Blalock and the tobacco companies that we want justice and freedom of association read more

Turkey: Zaman journalists and columnists receive heavy prison sentences read more on NUJ website

Spain’s Amazon workers call two-day strike over wages, rights read more

 

 

Diary

 

2018

July

 

September

9 NSSN TUC Rally in Manchester from 1pm

 

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