428: NSSN Birmingham Rally to build solidarity for strikes

March 12, 2019 in Bulletins

 

Tonight March 12th, the NSSN is hosting a public solidarity meeting with striking Birmingham Unite binworkers and Mandy Buckley Unison Convenor for homecare workers as well as PCS Universal Credit strikers from Wolverhampton and Walsall at 6.30pm in the Birmingham Midland Institute – 9 Margaret St B3 3BS.

Speakers include striking workers from all three disputes alongside Unite Assistant General Secretary Howard Beckett and NSSN national chair Rob Williams and Greenwich Unite branch secretary Danny Hoggan

Facebook event

NSSN Brum rally

 

Unite

Birmingham bin strikes suspended as new offer on the table (7 March) – Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union has called off the Birmingham bin strike scheduled for tomorrow (Friday 8 March) after a new deal was tabled. A ‘heads of settlement agreement’ has been drawn up between Unite and Birmingham city council. This is the first time that an agreement that meets the union’s expectations has been put on the table. As a consequence and to allow Birmingham’s cabinet to discuss the proposed offer the strike action scheduled for tomorrow has been suspended. If the cabinet approves the deal than the bins strike concerning ‘secret payments and the ‘blacklisting’ of Unite members will have concluded. Unite assistant general secretary Howard Beckett said: “The heads of settlement is a real breakthrough in negotiations. “For the first time there is a deal on the table which meets Unite’s members expectations, it is now imperative that Birmingham council’s cabinet signs up to the deal…” read more

 

Unison

Support the striking Birmingham homecare workers – Please send messages of support and donations to Unison Birmingham branch, 46 The Priory Queensway Birmingham  B4 7LR. Email info@birminghamunison.co.uk    Facebook group – https://www.facebook.com/birminghamunison/

 

PCS

Great support for UC service centre strikes (11 Mar) – A strike by PCS members in Universal Credit over unmanageable workloads has been strongly supported with a great turnout on picket lines and a solidarity message from Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. The strikers at Walsall and Wolverhampton UC service centres are taking action today and tomorrow over workloads and staff recruitment. 274 DWP staff were balloted for strike action at Wolverhampton and Walsall service centres with over 90% of those who took part, voting ‘yes.” The beleaguered service has faced severe under investment, staff shortages and criticism from claimants on how they are treated. Send messages of support to leeds@pcs.org.uk and donate online to the PCS Fighting Fund   read more

 

 

More NSSN news

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

Date for your diaries:

  • 2019 NSSN Conference – 11am-4.30pm Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL – Saturday July 6th. Please use this letter in your union and trades council to help us finance the conference and affiliate to the NSSN 

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

 

 

 

Union News

RMT

Freightliner staff to strike on 15th March in on-going fight over pension scheme – Rail union RMT has confirmed members working for Freightliner Ltd and Freightliner Heavy Haul Ltd will be taking strike action on Friday 15th March. Members have given an overwhelming mandate to support strike action in defence of their pension scheme as it currently operates. The union is calling for the company to commit to maintaining the current scheme and honour past promises made to members to keep the scheme intact. Members working for Freightliner Ltd and Freightliner Heavy Haul Ltd are instructed to take strike action by not booking on for any shifts that commence between:

00:01 hours and 23:59 hours on Friday 15th March 2019 read more

 

ASLEF

Freight drivers to strike to protect pensions – Drivers at two of the big five rail freight companies in Britain have voted overwhelmingly to strike in a bid to protect their pensions. ASLEF’s executive committee today called two 24-hour strikes for Friday 15 March and Friday 29 March. Members of ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, were balloted after management at Freightliner Intermodal and Freightliner Heavy Haul sought to change the terms of the companies’ pension scheme. Mick Whelan, general secretary of ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, said: ‘We regret the need to ballot our members – we should not have been forced into this position – and we regret the need to go on strike but we are determined to protect the interests of our members and, therefore, delighted by the decision of our freight drivers to defend their pension scheme.’ Drivers will walk out on Friday 15 March and Friday 29 March. Freight trains won’t run and stock will not be moved read more

 

TSSA

Strike looms at Córas Iompair Éireann (8 March) – TSSA members in Córas Iompair Éireann have voted overwhelmingly for strike action in a pay dispute after the company failed to comply with a Labour Court decision. The TSSA members had previously voted to accept the decision of Labour Court which recommended a 2.5% pay rise backdated to 1st December 2018 and a further 2.5% from 1st December 2019, along with a €500 voucher. But the CIÉ rejected the decision demanding further concessions from the workers read more

 

More Unite

Support the Honda Workers – the NSSN calls on all our supporters and affiliates to attend the ‘Stand together for Honda Swindon’ March and Rally on Saturday 30 March 2019 read here for details

Sign the petition: To: Honda president and CEO Takahiro Hachigo Honda, stay in the UK #SaveHondaSwindon Honda Swindon workers head to parliament urging closure rethink

London and Belfast workers at Greenwich Leisure in united pay claim (11 March) – A campaign to give a big pay boost to workers employed by social enterprise leisure services’ giant Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) in London and Belfast has been launched by Unite. Unite is seeking a six per cent increase in basic pay from April 2019 for its hundreds of  members working for GLL in more than 140  leisure centres and libraries in 16 London boroughs, as well as in Belfast. Unite said the campaign will be the first time that there has been a coordinated pay campaign at GLL, bringing together all the London contracts and Belfast. Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “This is the first time that Unite has organised a coordinated campaign that has the pay claims covered by the 16 London borough and Belfast contracts under one umbrella…” read more

Unite The Union Members On Woolwich Ferry Vote For Strike Action (8 Mar) – Unite The Union members have voted to strike in a ballot where 100% of those taking part voted for industrial  action. The dispute centres around a restructuring of the service following the introduction of new hybrid boats. Workers have also complained of a culture of bullying. The union is making the announcement today to coincide with International Women’s Day in order to commemorate strike action that took place on the Ferry in 2017 against sexual harassment and bullying where the union hailed an important victory, which led to the removal of bullying managers from the site. The current dispute was triggered when the employer refused to meaningfully negotiate on changing staffing roles, pay, safety and staffing. Greenwich Unite Branch Secretary Danny Hoggan stated “It is fitting and proper that today we pay tribute to Unite members who have taken action in the workplace against sexual harassment. But it is also sad yet predictable that management on the Woolwich Ferry appear not to have learnt any lessons. The management claim that they apply a zero tolerance policy towards bullying. Words are cheap – it is action that counts. I am proud that it is our members who are prepared to take action.” Unite Regional Officer Onay Kasab stated “Briggs Marine have once again mismanaged the Ferry leading to a vote for strike action. Transport For London (TFL) now need to seriously consider if this is the best company to run the service. The record speaks for itself – bullying and sexual harassment allowed to run riot until the union had to intervene in 2017. A proven inability to manage industrial relations. A failure to manage the introduction of the new service and to do it on time. Now we are in dispute because the employer has failed to meaningfully negotiate pay and new roles – instead it has introduced new procedures which seriously impact our members ability to earn a decent wage and has cut staffing back so that there is serious traffic congestion. Now to top things off, the employer has formally informed the union that it has had to dismiss yet another manager for bullying and discrimination – yet this manager only started a few months ago. Aside from raising questions about the recruitment process, it also strongly indicates that no lessons have been learnt”

Support the Newark NSK Bearings strike (11 Mar) – from a local NSSN supporter: “Even in Victorian times workers got a day off each week. NSK expects us to have just one full weekend off every three weeks.” 24 Unite members in the G2 Finish and Grind department have been on strike since 4th March. Pickets at the Newark factory, making super-precision machine bearings. In 2016 management imposed a new contract just on this department. A strike was defeated, workers having to accept the contract or be out the door. Banked hours at basic rate replaced voluntary overtime at time and a half. Within a year management abused the new system, making split weekend working compulsory without consultation. The afternoon shift week now finishes on Friday at 11.40pm instead of 7.40pm, followed by a week of day shifts starting at 6am on Sunday. Some workers have up to an hour commute. Taking a day off at weekends is marked as absence, resulting in disciplinary procedures. Breaks were cut from 50 to 35 minutes. The average working week is now 48 hours. Whether workers have families or not, young or older, everyone needs proper time away from work. Senior managers are never seen in the factory at weekends, but might be spotted at the golf course! Picket line morale is high although the other 500 workers on site are not in dispute and are still working. All production has to go through the G2 department. Non-stop hooting from passing traffic shows support. NSK is owned by a Japanese corporation that made £323million net profit in the last nine months of 2018. Send messages of support to andy.shaw@unitetheunion.org   Unite: Newark workers in three week strike at bearings factory in work/life balance row

rhdr

Strike action by 400 lift engineers suspended as they vote on new pay offer (11 March) – About 400 lift engineers, employed by Otis Ltd, have suspended six weeks of strike action as they vote on a revised pay offer. Unite announced today (Monday 11 March) that the six weeks of strike action due to have started on Wednesday (13 March) had been suspended, while members vote on a new pay offer. The offer follows a meeting between Unite and Otis management last Friday (8 March). Members are being balloted on the revised deal from today and the ballot closes on Friday 22 March read more

Gatwick Airport strike action averted as Unite wins inflation busting increase for security guards (6 March) – Strike action which would have disrupted all vehicles entering Gatwick Airport has been averted after Unite an inflation busting pay increase for security guards. Unite warned in January that the guards, who had recently joined the union and who are employed to staff all the vehicle barriers into the airports’ services areas were considering strike action over low pay. The guards who are employed by OCS Manned Guarding were only being paid £8 an hour, the same rate as they were receiving 12 years ago. However following a consultative ballot and detailed pay negotiations a 12.5 per cent pay increase backdated nearly a year to 1 April 2018 was tabled read more

 

More Unison

Home carers told they will not need to work ‘horror show’ shifts which would have slashed wages by up to £4,50 (12 Mar) – Care staff looking after some of Dundee’s most vulnerable residents have been told they will not be forced to work “horror show” shift patterns which would have slashed wages by up to £4,500 read more from The Courier

Liverpool Women’s Hospital staff escalate strike over unfair pay (11 Mar) – Second week of action as private company refuses to pay agreed national NHS rate of pay – despite managers’ pay having risen. Liverpool Women’s Hospital staff employed by the private company OCS have resumed their strike this week, taking action today (Monday) with more planned for Wednesday. The staff previously took one day of action on 25 February after a unanimous vote in favour of striking. More than 40 staff who work as cleaners, catering staff, porters and security officers joined the strike, which has been provoked by the refusal of OCS to pay them the NHS rate for the job. OCS staff on the minimum wage are paid £1 an hour less than if they were on the NHS rate – which costs them up to £2,150 this year alone read more

 

More PCS

21 March watch pay ballot special Facebook Live (11 Mar) – To coincide with the opening of the PCS postal pay ballot next Monday (18) we are holding a Facebook Live broadcast from Cardiff at 5.30pm on 21 March. PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka will be on hand to talk about the pay campaign and ballot, including answering members’ questions read more

Members at Historic Royal Palaces accept revised pension offer (6 Mar) – PCS members have voted overwhelmingly to accept the recent revised offer from Historic Royal Palaces over the closure of the defined benefits pension scheme. After members working at Tower of London, Kensington Palace and Hampton Court Palace took 2 days of industrial action in defence of their pension provisions, their employer agreed to reopen negotiations read more

 

FBU

Union urges firefighters to reject unrestricted contract (6 March) – The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has recommended that firefighters reject an offer to expand their role without any restrictions on the specific nature of their work. The union has been in discussions with fire service employers, exploring the ways in which the fire service role has already changed and could change in the future. The proposed list of new duties was compiled by the employers and contains a stipulation that it was a “non-exhaustive” list. The union argues that this would effectively enter firefighters into an open-ended contract, where employers could unilaterally expand a firefighter’s job role at will read more

 

UCU

University of Surrey staff say controversial plans to axe jobs are unjustified (7 March) – UCU says reasons presented for the drastic cuts are “too vague” and calls for “spectre of uncertainty” to be removed. UCU members at the University of Surrey have demanded a transparent examination of vice-chancellor Max Lu’s controversial plans to axe staff in an effort to make savings. In a letter* to Professor Lu, UCU said the reasons presented for the drastic cuts are “too vague” and calls for an evidence-based case to “justify such swingeing cuts” read more

Launching the latest wave of the FE fights back campaign. Strike action at 13 colleges – Please show your support: send messages, post photos of picket lines and supporters on social media using #FEfightsback and #FEpay or email us. Colleges taking part: Abingdon and Witney College; Bath College; Bradford College; Bridgwater and Taunton College; City of Wolverhampton College; Croydon College; East Sussex College; Harlow College; Lambeth College; Petroc and West Thames College. The next wave of strikes is 20, 21 and 22 March so please keep your messages of support coming. Tower Hamlets College and Redbridge College are balloting to join the action read more

 

NEU

Teachers prepare to strike at Valentine Primary School, Southampton (11 Mar) – A SOUTHAMPTON school is to close following strike action from the teachers and support staff at the school. Staff at Valentine Primary School are to strike this week over the threat of redundancies and increased workload at the school. Members of the National Education Union have voted for strike action on March 14 for one day, with two days the following week and three the week after that. In a ballot of its members, 100 per cent voted for the action on a turnout of 75 per cent read more from Southern Daily Echo    Send messages of support via Southampton Fair Funding for All Schools Facebook page

Teachers strike against Enfield school’s academy plans – Teachers are striking again this Wednesday and Thursday to oppose Galliard School governors’ decision to form a multi-academy trust (MAT) with four other schools in the borough read more from the Enfield Independent

Shrewsbury College: Teachers walk out for six days over lesson grading – Talks between staff and teachers broke down over plans to introduce a graded lesson observation plan for all staff. Teachers at a sixth-form college are taking six days of strike action over proposals to bring in graded lesson observations for more staff. Around 100 NEU members, more than 40 per cent of the college’s 250 teaching staff, were ballotted for strike action read more from tes. The latest strikes are today and tomorrow

 

EIS

Strong Support for College Strike Continues Across Scotland (6 Mar) – College lecturers across Scotland have today taken part in a third day of strike action as a long-running dispute over pay intensifies. Lecturer members of the Educational Institute of Scotland – Further Education Lecturers’ Association (EIS-FELA) are campaigning for a fair cost of living increase, in line with current public sector pay policy. However, the employers’ association, Colleges Scotland, has offered only 2% (consolidated) over a 3-year period, while also seeking to tear-up existing (and recently agreed) commitments on lecturers’ working conditions. In an escalation of the dispute, EIS-FELA has also opened a statutory ballot on industrial action short of strike. Should members vote in favour of the action, the escalating action will include a boycott of college results systems and a withdrawal of goodwill. This action, if approved by members in the ballot, will run concurrently with the ongoing programme of strike action read more

 

POA

POA March and Rally 20th March – Violence, Pension Age, Privatisation – Support This Campaign, Join us in London on the 20th read here for details

 

BECTU

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

 

 

 

Other news

From Unite website: Unity demo – March against racism – this Saturday 16 March 2019

United Nations Anti-racism day
Join us in: LONDON | CARDIFF | GLASGOW

Come and celebrate our union’s diversity and say no to hate. Unite is proud to support this important event. In the face of growing evidence of hate crimes, march with us to defend our shared values of solidarity, equality and tolerance. The demo is a Stand up to Racism event, supported by the TUC, Unite and our sister unions. Share your messages of solidarity on Twitter #Unions4Unity

Demo details:
London: 12:00-16:30 Park Lane, near the Dorchester Hotel  W1K 1QA (Nearest Tube Hyde Park). See map
Sign up on Facebook: www.facebook.com/events

Cardiff: Grangetown,  map
Sign up on Facebook events Cardiff 

Glasgow: 11:00-14:00 George Square, Glasgow G2. See map 

Sign up on Facebook events Glasgow

More details here – including for transport

 

 

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)

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

IWD: Strikes and mass demonstrations in every major Italian town and city read more

 

 

Diary

 

2019

March

12 The NSSN is hosting a public solidarity meeting with striking Birmingham Unite binworkers and Unison homecare workers in at 6.30pm on Tuesday February 12th in the Birmingham Midland Institute – 9 Margaret St B3 3BS. Speakers include striking workers from both disputes and PCS Universal Credit strikers alongside Unite Assistant General Secretary Howard Beckett, NSSN national chair Rob Williams

 

July

6 NSSN Conference 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