430: Join demo to stop the Swindon Honda closure!

March 26, 2019 in Bulletins

The NSSN will be joining thousands in Swindon this Saturday March 30th on the demonstration called by Unite the union against the closure of the Swindon Honda plant. The plan is for this to happen in 2021, with 3,500 Honda workers’ jobs on the line and up to 10,000 more affected in related industries. This will be devastating for the community.

We give our full support to the union and its members. The NSSN has built up a longstanding relationship with the Honda shop stewards. Plant convenor Paddy Brennan successfully won his reinstatement after being suspended in 2011.

Paddy calls for people to attend Saturday’s march: “It doesn’t matter what job you do or what union you’re in. If our plant closes, everyone will be affected. We have to send a message to these multi-national companies that you can’t just pack up and leave and devastate our communities. We’ve got no choice but to fight. There are many others in manufacturing in our position. Hopefully, our fight will galvanise others to do the same.”

The NSSN will support any action taken by the workers to defend their jobs. Saturday’s demonstration comes on the 10th anniversary of the heroic occupations by Visteon (ex-Ford) workers in Belfast, Enfield and Basildon when the company went into administration. The action won tens of millions in redundancy payments, when the workers were facing statutory terms.

As we did when Port Talbot steelworks was threatened with closure in 2016, if necessary, the plant should be nationalised to save jobs and communities.

March and rally: ‘Stand together for Honda Swindon’ – Saturday March 30th. Assemble 11am in Swindon Town FC carpark, County Road SN1 2ED Facebook event

 

Honda workers lobby Parliament on March 6th

Honda workers lobby Parliament on March 6th

NSSN Solidarity Meeting: ‘Support the Honda workers – stop the plant closure’ – 7pm Thursday April 4th in the Great Western Hotel, 73 Station Rd, Swindon SN1 1DH

Speakers: Rob Williams NSSN national chair & former Unite car convenor and a Honda shop steward

 

 

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  Facebook event

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

More Unite

Strikes averted at Gatwick airport as BA food drivers agree 18 per cent pay deal (25 March) – Strikes scheduled for this week at Gatwick airport have been called off after Unite secured an 18 per cent pay package on behalf of drivers employed by Alpha Flight, the sole supplier of inflight food for British Airways at Gatwick Airport. The 55 drivers were due to stage a strike beginning on Wednesday 27 March and ending the following day (Thursday 28 March). An initial six per cent increase in pay was rejected in a consultative ballot and then following further pay talks an improved offer was voted on and accepted by the drivers. The drivers will receive a pay increase worth a total of 18 per cent, a 30 minute reduction in the working week and each worker will receive an additional £420, as part of a two year pay deal with the final payments made in November 2019. When pay talks began the drivers were receiving £10.64 an hour and the new deal will see wage rates increase to £12.70 an hour read more

Warrington Eddie Stobart drivers in strike vote (22 March) – Members of Unite the union, employed as class one lorry drivers with Eddie Stobart, on the Walkers Snack Foods contract at Birchwood, Warrington are set to ballot for strike action over the company’s refusal to enter into meaningful discussions around workplace practices. The drivers were transferred from Walkers Snack Foods to Eddie Stobart last year under a TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings of Protection of Employment). However, since the transfer Stobart management has continued to ignore industrial agreements that are in place to protect workers’ terms and conditions. The ballot for strike action opens on Thursday 28 March and closes on Thursday 11 April read more

Unite holds consultative ballot over Dundee city council attack on workers (22 March) – Unite the union has confirmed that from today (22 March) it is holding a consultative ballot on potential industrial action at Dundee city council. The ballot which closes on 1 April comes in response to Dundee city council approving £10.3 million of cuts at its annual budget. A series of detrimental measures were also approved at a meeting of the local authority’s Policy and Resources committee last month. This included less protection of earnings afforded to all employees when a forced change to a lesser paid role arises; greater restrictions on the length of time when an employee can flexibly retire, and the threat of compulsory redundancy read more

Southampton General Hospital security staff to strike for eight days in dispute over lack of correct protective equipment (20 March) – Security staff at Southampton General Hospital, who are being attacked in the A&E department, will strike for eight days in their dispute over pay rates, sick pay, and safety concerns. The plight of the 21 security staff, who are being attacked on a regular basis by members of the public either under the influence of drink or drugs, or with mental health problems, has attracted national media attention. Unite said today (Wednesday 20 March) that its security staff members would strike for eight days in April, May, and June, as well as starting an overtime ban on 5 April read more

Hackney council blamed for planned strikes which will affect bussing disabled children to school – Hackney council is being blamed for four days of planned strikes by drivers and passenger escorts on the school buses for disabled children in a dispute over payments for working split shifts. Unite said its 33 members, who drive and assist the children to and from school on a daily basis, will stage four 24 hour strikes on 19 and 26 March and then on 2 and 4 April. The dispute centres on a £50 a week claim for compensation for the split shifts, backdated to July last year when the issue was first raised. Unite said this claim is based on the next grade in the Green Book national agreement which the union believes is the correct one for this group of workers. Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “The last thing our members want is to cause the children any distress. However, council bosses have adamantly refused to negotiate for the last nine months and, in Unite’s opinion, are playing on the decency and humanity of our members that they won’t strike read more

Support the Newark NSK Bearings strike – NSK strikers at Newark returned to work on 26th March after three weeks on strike. Management has not made a new offer but the strike ballot has expired.

This is a disappointment as strikers had heard that production has been hit hard, putting the company under pressure.

G2 department workers, members of Unite, have been demanding an end to the shift pattern imposed two years ago.

“Due to all the hours being added colleagues have been forced to leave, relationships have broken down, and members of staff have been going off with stress and mental health related issues. It shouldn’t be a case of if you don’t like it leave. The company are bullying and harassing the workers into something that they want that is not only unethical but also borderline illegal.

“We keep being told that the company needs to change with the times. We still work the same way as we did before the recession with the lines, machines and personnel but now have more hours.”

Unite should hold meetings in every department to explain the threat all workers face if management feel they can get away with it. Links should also be made with unions at NSK factories in Peterlee, Germany and elsewhere. They are not on the same hours as G2 but could also find themselves threatened in future. A united struggle would quickly show management that flogging the workforce must stop.

Solidarity messages to andy.shaw@unitetheunion.org   Unite: Newark workers in three week strike at bearings factory in work/life balance row

 

PCS

Support the PCS national pay strike ballot – PCS: All you need to know about the pay ballot and how to vote

Tate workers balloted for strike action over pay (25 Mar) – PCS has announced a ballot for strike action by Tate staff today over pay. The union is demanding a 3.4% pay increase for the 2018 pay award for hardworking staff at the galleries. This would be in line with the rate of RPI inflation at that time. However, Tate has offered well below that rate, leading to a real terms pay cut for staff. PCS along with our sister union Prospect, will ballot its members at all Tate sites with the possibility of strike action taking place next month read more    Prospect: Tate workers to vote on strike action over pay

Support the second Ealing Tax office walkout (25 Mar) – Show support for PCS HMRC members who are holding their second walkout at noon on Tuesday March 26 to oppose the closure of their west London office. International House, in Ealing, could close as early as 2020, putting many staff with many years of experience at risk of redundancy. More than 84% voted in favour of striking, and 95% backed action short of a strike in a ballot last month. More than 150 PCS HMRC members walked out the office at noon on the first day of ction last Wednesday greeted by applause and support from the public and our general secretary Mark Serwotka…A rally is planned on a green near the office shortly after noon. Messages of support can be sent to saveealingtaxoffice@gmail.com and you can donate to the PCS Fighting Fund read more

The following action is planned:

  • a second half-day strike commencing at noon on 26 March
  • a one-day strike on 3 April
  • a 3-day strike commencing on 10 April read more

 

RMT

RMT to prepare strike ballot of Interserve Network Rail station staff in fight for workplace justice (26 Mar) – RAIL UNION RMT confirmed today that it is beginning preparations for an industrial action ballot of Interserve staff working on Network Rail station contracts. The ballot comes just weeks after the collapse of the out-sourcing outfit into administration. The list of issue sparking the ballot for action include:

  1. Dignity and Respect at work.
  2. Cultural Awareness and an Agreed Holiday System.
  3. Improved Health & Safety at work.
  4. The bullying and harassment of staff and victimisation of RMT Representatives read more

London Overground Vinci Cleaners to take 48 Hour strike action on 4-6 April (22 March) – Rail union RMT today has announced that members working on the London Overground for Vinci as cleaners on the Arriva Rail Contract will take a further 48-hour strike action next month after voting overwhelmingly for strike action over pay and conditions.

The union has instructed members:

  • Not to sign on for any shifts commencing between 21:00 hours on Thursday 4th April 2019 and 20:59 hours on Saturday 6th April 2019.

The cleaners, who formerly worked for Carillion before its collapse and were transferred to outsourcing company Vinci, will also mount a mass demonstration outside Arriva Rail London’s head office in Swiss Cottage on April 5 at 10.00am read more

 

ASLEF

Croydon Tramlink strike (25 March) – Talks at ACAS, on our pay and conditions dispute with FirstTram Operations, who operate the Croydon Tram system, have ended without agreement. So ASLEF members will strike on Thursday 28 March. Finn Brennan, ASLEF’s District Organiser on Tramlink, said: ‘Our members showed their reaction to the company’s pay offer by returning a Yes vote of 99.1% in favour of strike action, on a turnout of almost 90%. Management have not changed the offer. Despite six months of talks, management are not prepared to make an offer that recognises that our members do a difficult and stressful job and deserve to be properly rewarded. Staff on Tramlink have seen their pension benefits slashed and are paid much less than those in similar roles in other TfL modes. They want to see real improvements to reflect the responsible job they do read more

 

TSSA

DB Cargo – Industrial Dispute over TUPE to Maritime Transport (20 March) – TSSA has formally declared a trade dispute over DB Cargo’s appalling treatment of their RTS staff at Trafford Park and Wakefield Terminals who are due to TUPE transfer to Maritime Transport, an anti-trade union employer. DB Cargo have chosen to enter into a “partnership agreement” with Maritime Transport which will secure the future of their Inter-modal business. A condition of this “partnership agreement” ensures DB Cargo continue to run trains in and out of these terminals, thus ensuring the success of DB Cargo in this area 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/

 

FBU

Union marks 30th anniversary of Peterborough firefighter death (21 March) – The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) today unveiled a memorial plaque marking the 30th anniversary of the death of local firefighter John Humphries. On 22 March 1989, John, a firefighter in Stanground fire station’s blue watch, lost his life attending a blaze in an industrial estate after a lorry carrying explosives caught fire. The blast injured a further 107 people read more

 

UCU

Strikes still on at five colleges as progress is made in some disputes (19 March) – UCU members at West Thames College, South Bank College, Croydon College, Bradford College and Harlow College will be on strike on Wednesday 20 March in a row over pay. Members at West Thames College walked out for three days on Monday 18 March and they will be joined by colleagues at the four other colleges as they walk out from Wednesday 20 March until Friday 22 March. The union said those colleges only had themselves to blame for the latest wave of disruption as a number of other colleges either reached agreement with the union to end the dispute or had made enough progress to allow for the strikes to be suspended. The strikes are part of a third wave of action after UCU members at six colleges took action in November and staff at 12 colleges walked out at the end of January. The dispute centres on the failure of college bosses to make a decent pay offer to staff or address key issues such as excessive workloads read more

 

NEU

Solidarity with Valentine Primary School striking to stop school cuts – Southampton council, have told the school it must make significant cuts to its budget, which has forced the school to announce proposals to make redundancies to teaching and support staff. The school has already made numerous cuts to resources, teaching staff, the librarian, speech and language support and occupational therapy amongst other things. At a time when the school needs to focus on raising standards, further cuts will damage the education of all our children. Valentine Primary School is expanding but it is not being given the additional income it needs to support that growth. The school also provides excellent specialist support for children with special educational needs and has a much higher than average number of SEND pupils who require additional support. Further cuts to this support will not only fail SEND children, but it will have a negative impact on every pupil in the school.

The school budget has also suffered due to the poorly thought out Minimum Funding Guarantee and we call on the council to write off the £648,000 that has been unfairly added to its budget deficit as a result. At a public meeting that was held at the school last November, it was clear that staff and parents are united in opposition to any further cuts to staffing levels in the school. Members of the National Education Union and other teacher and support staff unions are being balloted to take strike action over the proposed job losses and whilst nobody wants to see strike action, parents support Valentine staff in fighting to keep the teaching and support staff posts that our children’s education needs. We call on you, the council, to solve the funding crisis and prevent this strike action from taking place. Discuss the historical underfunding of Valentine Primary School associated with the decision to amalgamate two predecessor primary schools four years ago.

Southampton NEU members at Valentine are calling on Southampton Council to:

  • Address a funding gap caused by a situation where the school has on its roll a disproportionate number of children with an Education and Health Care Plan (EHCP). There are 4.2% of pupils with an EHCP compared to a national average of 1.8%. The situation has arisen due to the lack of alternative suitable SEN provision in the city. The school has to meet the first 20% of these additional costs.
  • Remove the funding cap associated with the minimum funding guarantee.
  • Restore £648,000 to the schools budget lost though this underfunding.
  • Accept the school’s deficit reduction plan including no further cuts for three years.

Southampton NEU are also asking the council to work with us on a city-wide workload charter, and to promote the school cuts campaign, focused on the national funding crisis, as the council has done in Brighton and Hove.

Please send messages of support to soto.fffas@gmail.com and post solidarity pictures and messages of support on Hands Off Valentine Facebook Page

 

POA

See video from last week’s POA march and rally against soaring levels of violence, an end to private prisons, and a fair retirement age of 60 https://twitter.com/i/status/1108991884087701504

 

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

 

NUJ

Solidarity protest outside Belfast court for No Stone Unturned journalists (20 March) – Journalists Trevor Birney and Barry McCaffrey were met by a large number of supporters outside court this morning in a joint event organised by the NUJ and Amnesty International read more

 

UVW

Kelly Rogers, UVW member, wins Picturehouse tribunal! (March 19) – The former Ritzy worker was ruled to have been unfairly dismissed, with Picturehouse breaching her trade union rights and also her human right to assemble freely. Kelly Rogers, UVW member, former Ritzy worker and lead organiser of the Living Wage strikes at the Ritzy and Picturehouse, has been found by an employment tribunal to have been unlawfully dismissed for her trade union activities and in breach of her right to Freedom of Assembly under Art. 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights! Read more

 

 

 

Other news

Donate to the film: ‘Wapping – the workers’ story’ – During the 1986 battle between News International and the print trade unions, the strikers were sustained by the solidarity of thousands of workers in the UK and abroad. In this country, 50 Print Workers’ Support Groups were set up, some of them directly linked to local Trades Councils which played a key role, organising public meetings, raising money to sustain the strikers and picketing sites connected with News International.

We are now appealing to Trades Councils and others for donations towards the completion of: ‘Wapping – the workers’ story’ a film about the momentous year-long industrial dispute which began when Rupert Murdoch plotted to move production of his papers overnight from central London’s Fleet Street to a secretly equipped and heavily guarded plant at Wapping, a docklands district in east London.

5,500 men and women lost their jobs and centuries of tradition in one of London’s last manufacturing industries came to an end.

Military-style police tactics, the use of new laws which shackled the unions’ hard won freedoms and strike-breaking organised by the electricians union led to a Murdoch victory.

The dispute had international ramifications for Murdoch’s expanding press and broadcasting empire in the United States and around the world.

It took place as the Thatcher government broke with the post-war consensus and embraced monetarism – deregulating finance, privatising key industries and undermining local democracy.

You can watch the film’s TRAILER here: https://vimeo.com/311110278

Ken Loach has written this about the film: ‘We need to know the story of the print workers’ battle against Murdoch. We can understand our enemies and see our strengths. Chris Reeves is a fine film maker and a true friend of the workers movement. I know this film will be good and necessary. Please help get it made.’

Ann Field (retired Unite print sector national officer and a founder member of the News International Dispute‎ Archive) said: ‘From the 1980s conspiracy to get rid of an entire workforce of 5,500 workers to the notorious phone hacking and corruption scandals 30 years later – this film exposes the deep-seated and enduring immorality at the heart of the Murdoch-led News International empire.  Please help to finance the completion of this film to ensure a wider audience learns of the impact on the workers, their unions and the media.’

Tony Burke (Unite Assistant General Secretary ) said: ‘During the dispute between the print unions and Rupert Murdoch’s News International in 1986 the media provided only fragments of the ‎real issues at stake and virtually nothing of the effects on the sacked workers, their families and our unions. Only a small number newspapers supported our members.

Unite are proud to be associated with this film to tell the real story of the workers’ struggle with Murdoch, the police, the Tory Government and the right wing media.

Your donation and support will help to ensure the film is completed and the voices of working people and those directly involved is available to set the record straight.’

The documentary is being made with the News International Dispute Archive group whose  publications, website and travelling exhibition have given a voice to the sacked workers and their families.

We have filmed 20 interviews with sacked printworkers and the ‘refusenik’ journalists who joined them, and have made a rough cut of the film. But we need £ 20,500 (£4,000 for editing, £2,500 for on-line editing, and £14,000 for archive material transfers and copyright clearance).

We would appreciate any support you can provide. All donors will receive a DVD and be credited in the final film.

Yours fraternally,

Chris Reeves – Platform Films

You can donate on our website: http://www.platformfilms.co.uk

Or cheques, made out to Platform Films, can be sent to:

Platform Films, Marx Memorial Library, 37a Clerkenwell Green, London EC1R 0DU

 

 

 

 

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

China: Release Jailed Labour Rights Activists Exercising Rights to Freedom of Association read more

 

 

 

Diary

 

2019

April

4 NSSN Solidarity Meeting: ‘Support the Honda workers – stop the plant closure’ – 7pm Thursday April 4th in the Great Western Hotel, 73 Station Rd, Swindon SN1 1DH

Speakers: Rob Williams NSSN national chair & former Unite car convenor and a Honda shop steward

 

July

6 NSSN Conference Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL Facebook event

 

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