NSSN 461: Support the 8-day UCU HE pay and pension strike

November 21, 2019 in Bulletins

In this week’s NSSN bulletin, we headline with the 8-day strike by members of the UCU union in higher education. The NSSN gives our full support and solidarity. We remember the incredible 14-day action taken by over 40,000 academic staff at 64 universities to defend their pension from attack by the employers. UCU members are striking again

UCU 2018 strike

UCU 2018 strike

UCU: UCU announces eight days of strikes starting this month at 60 universities – Sixty UK universities will be hit with eight days of strike action from Monday 25 November to Wednesday 4 December, UCU announced today (November 5). Last week UCU members backed strike action in two separate legal disputes, one on pensions and one on pay and working conditions. Overall, 79% of UCU members who voted backed strike action in the ballot over changes to pensions. In the ballot on pay, equality, casualisation and workloads, 74% of members polled backed strike action. The union said universities had to respond positively and quickly if they wanted to avoid disruption this year.

The disputes centre on changes to the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) and universities’ failure to make improvements on pay, equality, casualisation and workloads. The overall turnout in the USS ballot was 53% and on pay and conditions it was 49%. The union disaggregated the ballots so branches who secured a 50% turnout can take action in this first wave. The union’s higher education committee has now set out the timetable for the action. As well as eight strike days from 25 November to Wednesday 4 December, union members will begin ‘action short of a strike’. This involves things like working strictly to contract, not covering for absent colleagues and refusing to reschedule lectures lost to strike action. UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: ‘The first wave of strikes will hit universities later this month unless the employers start talking to us seriously about how they are going to deal with rising pension costs and declining pay and conditions…” read more

UCU accuses universities of ‘playing games’ after they offer to talk about anything but pay (19 Nov)

 

 

 

CWU organises National Gate Meeting Day this Friday to give an update on the Royal Mail dispute read more on CWU Facebook page

Email messages of support to the CWU via info@cwu.org and follow the union on their website, Facebook and twitter via @CWUnews using the #WeRiseAgain hashtag

 

Waltham Forest Trades Union Council PUBLIC MEETING: Support the Royal Mail postal workers

Tuesday 3rd December at 7pm

William Morris Community Centre,

Greenleaf Road, Walthamstow E17 6QQ

Speakers: Vinnie Micallef CWU East London branch secretary

 

CWU National Dispute – resources page

Join CWU Supporters now – The fight against exploitative employers, dodgy contracts and insecure work requires the support of every single community across the country.

Our recent vote for strike action in Royal Mail Group was secured by connecting with our membership in every corner of the UK – both online and on the ground.

Now we need your help to take our message to the public. By joining CWU Supporters you will be contacted with campaign materials and resources that will help us win this battle – and the others we are fighting

Be one of the first to join us by signing up below. Once you have joined us, don’t forget to hit share so that you can alert your social media networks to our new network – click here to join

 

United front against BT compulsory redundancy threat (Nov 15) – The CWU’s rock-solid determination to defend the union’s fundamental red line on compulsory redundancies in BT was forcefully reiterated at an emergency branch forum at CWU headquarters yesterday (Thursday). Following a week which has seen nearly 370 loyal employees in the Enterprise division placed formally ‘at risk’ of being forcibly exited, the mood was grim as the packed reps meeting digested the potential repercussions of the most serious challenge the union has faced in BT since the 1987 national strike read more

 

 

Get the Tories out in the general election – support Corbyn’s pro-worker programme!

Finally, the general election has been called – for December 12th. As our supporters know, we have been campaigning for the TUC and the unions to mobilise for this – in order to get rid of the Tories. It was the main theme of both our annual conference in July and TUC Rally in September.

As with the one two years ago, there is a clear choice in this election. The NSSN is an organisation of rank and file trade unionists. We aren’t affiliated to any political party but Jeremy Corbyn’s pro-workers policies that include the following would be a big step forward for workers and their families:-

  • repealing the Trade Union Act,
  • establishing national sectoral collective bargaining
  • a £10 minimum wage with no age exemptions
  • nationalising Royal Mail, the railways and energy
  • abolishing tuition fees and Universal Credit

We will be producing material throughout the election campaign to make the case to get rid of the Tories. The first bulletin is ‘Reverse the education cuts’ and can be downloaded here

 

 

Support these indefinite industrial actions:-

Unite

Bromley library workers renew strike mandate as dispute enters sixth month – Bromley library workers, who are in the sixth month of strike action against their controversial employer social enterprise leisure services’ giant Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL), have unanimously renewed their strike mandate. The 50 library staff, who started their strike on 6 June, have now voted by 100 per cent to continue the strike action from Monday 25 November. Talks are due tomorrow (Wednesday 13 November) between Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union which represents the library staff, and GLL bosses in a bid to resolve one of the longest employment disputes of modern times. The strike is over staffing and other issues specifically relating to GLL’s stewardship of Bromley’s 14 libraries. Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “Our members, who have shown great courage and resolution over many months, have once again sent a very clear message to GLL by voting 100 per cent to support the campaign to defend jobs and the library service. We will meet with GLL management tomorrow (Wednesday) in what will be the most important negotiations so far. We will be entering these talks in the spirit of open and constructive negotiation. This is now one of the longest running industrial disputes of recent times and tomorrow presents a real opportunity to work towards an agreement. We will play our part and invite GLL to do the same. Our members have renewed their mandate for strike action from 25 November which will mean a continuous, indefinite strike into the new year – we wish to avoid this by reaching a fair settlement this week for our members and the Bromley public who are such avid users of the library service.” Read more

Here is a link for our crowd funding site which has been set up. Please forward this to stewards and members and encourage them to donate. This is a vitally important campaign – and we will win a vitally important victory!

Also, cheques can be made payable to Onay Kasab and forwarded to 33 – 37 Moreland St, London, EC1V 8BB and messages of support via onay.kasab@unitetheunion.org   bank details are: Unity Trust Bank, Bromley LG Bromley Branch, A/C NO. 20272821 Sort 60 83 01

Sign the petition to defend Bromley Library Service Call and support the indefinite strike. Please send messages of support and any financial assistance via Unite regional officer Onay Kasab Onay.Kasab@unitetheunion.org

Support the Tayside Pharmacy workers – Well back to work tomorrow for all the pharmacy support workers across NHS Tayside for their 2nd week following industrial action, back to undertake our new band 3 role for band 2 wages. The anger and frustration is growing, “a fair days pay for a fair days work”. Potentially just over 5 weeks away from further action, the post is a band 3 so let’s implement the evaluation of this and settle any back payments for all pharmacy support workers across Tayside and stop punishing post holders. Read more on Support Tayside Pharmacy Workers Facebook page

Donate to the strike fund

 

 

 

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 diary: 2020 NSSN Conference Saturday July 4th 11am-4.30pm Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, Holborn, London WC1R 4RL

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

Watch NSSN TUC Rally video

 

 

 

 

Union News

PCS

Wallace Collection: Pay the London Living Wage NOW! – Come & join our protest to demand the London Living Wage at Wallace Collection! While the Director received a £10-15K bonus and Senior management a 5.4% rise, staff on the lowest pay are given only 1.5% pay rise. we demand the London Living Wage as a minimum – Tuesday, 3 December 2019 at 6pm The Wallace Collection, Hertford House, Manchester Square, W1U3 London Facebook event

HMRC cleaners to take six further days of strike action for the living wage (18 Nov) – PCS members employed by ISS to clean HMRC offices on Merseyside are due to take six further days of strike action on 25-27 November and 2-4 December. The cleaners are fighting for a £10 per hour living wage, improved terms and conditions, and job security guarantees. The union recently won settlements over pay and conditions for contractors employed by ISS and another contractor, Aramark, in the department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). Workers there had been on indefinite strike since July, in the longest action of its kind by outsourced workers. HMRC and ISS are currently refusing to engage with the union over the pay and conditions of the cleaners. However, the BEIS settlement demonstrates that this is nothing more than a lack of will by both parties, and PCS is determined to force them to do the right thing by their workers read more

DVSA talks break down at ACAS – Talks between PCS and DVSA have broken down at ACAS, after a month of negotiation to attempt to settle a long and bitter dispute. The dispute over travel time, imposed new slots which lengthens the working day, and proper workforce planning, resulted in four weeks strike action during August and September. Donate to the strike fund online using account number: 20331490, sort code: 608301, quoting the reference DVSA Strike Fund. Send your solidarity messages to Midsbargaining@pcs.org.uk   read more

Support the Stockport UC strikers – these workers took action recently. Donate to the PCS Stockport and Tame Valley Branch Hardship Fund: Sort code 60-83-01, account number 20260684. Send messages of support to leeds@pcs.org.uk and all will be forwarded on read more

 

RMT

Get a RMT anti-fascist ‘No Pasaran’ t-shirt – All sizes . £10 per T-shirt including postage . Bulk orders are fine . Email to rossmarshallrmt@gmail.com or text 07932 576 955. Payment by bank transfer or cash

Tube cleaners denied right to strike under anti-union laws (19 Nov) – Despite over 98% of RMT ABM tube cleaner members voting for strike action in a ballot announced today they are to be denied the right to fight for basic workplace justice as they failed by less than 2% to meet the arbitrary thresholds of the Tory anti-union laws. RMT has denounced the toxic combination of the anti-union laws and a hostile and aggressive management as a fundamental attac‎k on basic human rights that has stolen the opportunity for tube cleaners to stand up against a two tier workforce system that robs them of pensions,sick pay, travel and other benefits. General Secretary Mick Cash said; “Despite an overwhelming vote for action we have failed to meet the arbitrary thresholds set by the Government and the fact that the tube cleaners will now be denied the right to strike is wholly down to the toxic combination of the Tory anti-union laws and a bullying and hostile environment created by ABM. RMT will review the situation but no one should be under any illusions. This fight for workplace justice goes on and we will be stepping up the pressure on the London Mayor to end the scandal of the two-tier workforce on London Underground.” Read more

RMT prepares for action as Nexus/Tyne and Wear Metro ignores pay and staffing issues (15 Nov) – RAIL UNION RMT said today that it is looking at recommendations for action at NEXUS/Tyne and Wear Metro, utilising a massive mandate in a ballot of members, after the company failed to recognise in a series of meetings with the unions that their pay strategy has provoked a mass exodus of drivers to other train operators as both pay and working conditions have been left way behind the industry standard read more

RMT to strike on Eurostar over London living wage (15 Nov) – RAIL UNION RMT has called strike action on Eurostar in its fight for Rail Gourmet caterers to be paid the London Living Wage as the company marks its 25th anniversary. Rail Gourmet (Eurostar contract) workers are instructed not to book on for any shifts that commence between 00:01 hours on Thursday 28th November 2019 and 23:59 hours on Friday 29th November 2019. Rail Gourmet workers are the last group of workers on Eurostar to be paid below the London Living Wage. The company wants to withhold the uplift in wages and leave these workers on poverty pay until January 2021. Meanwhile Eurostar and catering contractor Rail Gourmet bosses are paid big salaries and both companies make good profits read more

Victoria Line Tube drivers to strike as LU renege on pledges (14 Nov) – Tube union RMT confirmed today that drivers on the Victoria Line will strike later this month after the company reneged on a series of pledges designed to resolve a long-running dispute on the line over a comprehensive and fundamental break down in industrial relations. Following a unanimous vote in favour of taking strike action by RMT members in a ballot concluded back in July 2019, strike action had been scheduled. This action was suspended as a result of progress made during discussions held under the auspices of conciliation service ACAS…Members are instructed not to book on for shifts which commence between 22.00 hours on Wednesday 27th November 2019 and 22.00 hours on Thursday 28th November 2019 read more

RMT accuses SWR of deceit over agreements on guard guarantee (14 Nov) – Rail union RMT has accused South Western Railway of deceit over agreements that were proposed and then withdrawn by the company over guaranteeing a guard on the train.  The union is set to take 27 days of strike action in December over the fact that management reneged on agreements that had been made in principle and in good faith. The company are now trying to deny these agreements were ever made in a blatant display of contempt for previous negotiations and the workers involved. As a result of SWR’s failure to move forwards on an agreement RMT members will take action as follows: We instruct our Guard, Commercial Guards and Driver members to take the following strike action:-

  • Not to book on for duty from 00:01 on Monday 2nd December 2019 until 23:59 on Wednesday 11th December
  • Not to book on for duty from 00:01 on Friday 13th December until 23:59 on Tuesday 24th December 2019

RMT action on South Western Railway goes ahead (21 Nov)

  • Not to book on duty from 00:01 on Friday 27th December 2019 until 23:59 on the 1st January 2020 read more

Support the RMT strike action on West Midlands Trains against DOO – Rail union RMT said today (13 Nov) that strike action on West Midlands Trains over plans by the company to bulldoze through Driver Only Operation and rip apart the safety critical role of the guard at the platform/train interface goes ahead this weekend exactly as planned as the company continue to resist calls for the safest possible means of operation. West Midlands Trains Senior Conductor, Senior Conductor Instructor and Train Driver members are instructed to not to book on for any shifts between:

  • 00.01 hours until 23.59 hours on Saturday 16th November
  • 00.01 hours until 23.59 hours on Saturday 23rd November
  • 00.01 hours until 23.59 hours on Saturday 30th November
  • 00.01 hours until 23.59 hours on Saturday 7th December
  • 00.01 hours until 23.59 hours on Saturday 14th December
  • 00.01 hours until 23.59 hours on Saturday 21st December
  • 00.01 hours until 23.59 hours on Saturday 28th December read more

The NSSN understands that some Aslef members did nor cross RMT picket lines at the Bletchley and Northampton depots. We salute this solidarity action

 

More Unite

Westex Carpets staff to strike over ‘insulting’ pay freeze (19 Nov) – Staff at West Yorkshire carpet manufacturer Westex Carpets will go on strike tomorrow (Wednesday 20 November) in a dispute over pay, Unite has said. Unite members will begin continuous strike action at two Westex Carpet sites in Cleckheaton and Dewsbury tomorrow after the company tabled a pay offer of 2.2 per cent, which was subsequently rejected by the membership. Westex Carpets responded by taking the offer off the table and implementing a pay freeze until at least April 2020. The company cited financial difficulties for the pay freeze, despite making pre-tax profits of £5.44m during 2018/19 and £5.164m in 2018/17. The membership believes that Westex Carpets’ profits will continue at the current level and voted in favour of strike action that will last until the dispute is settled read more

RSPCA staff to hold consultative ballot on industrial action in pay and contracts’ row (19 Nov) – RSPCA staff, members of Unite are being asked if they wish to take industrial action in a dispute over pay and new contracts. Hundreds of workers at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals are being sent voting papers in a consultative ballot designed to test the temperature on whether to proceed to a full-scale industrial action ballot. Voting closes on Thursday 5 December read more

Month long Lincolnshire health visitors’ strike starts today over council’s ‘divide and rule’ jobs move (18 Nov) – Lincolnshire health visitors started their month-long strike today (18 November) as cracks appeared in the county council’s hardline ‘divide and rule’ policy over future job roles. Unite confirmed today that the health visitors started their strike at 00:01 today ending at 23:59 on Friday 13 December over plans that could see some of them lose an estimated £150,000 over the duration of their careers. Unite is due to meet the county council, under the auspices of the conciliation service Acas, tomorrow, (Tuesday 19 November). The latest strike follows the first bout of strike action – 32 days since July with the loss of around 450 shifts over health visitors having lost more than £2,000 a year since they were transferred from the NHS – and centres on the council’s current insistence on different contracts for grade 9 and grade 10 health visitors read more

Unite warns Formica Ltd in North Shields that strikes will go ahead unless it returns to pay negotiations (18 Nov) – Unite today (Monday 18 November) warned plastics manufacturer Formica Ltd that strikes at its North Shields factory will go ahead unless it returns to pay negotiations. Unite members at the factory have voted for strike action after asking for a pay increase in line with inflation and being offered a one per cent rise alongside two days extra Christmas holiday that will be available for this year only read more

Yellow Buses drop all charges against Unite convenor (18 Nov) – Bosses at Yellow Buses have dropped all charges against a Unite convenor and bus driver who was wrongly dragged through an unnecessary disciplinary process after being assaulted by a passenger. Unite has called off its ballot for industrial action at the Bournemouth bus company. Hundreds of bus workers had demanded a strike ballot to hold bosses to account for attempting to sack their senior union representative. Martin Conder, 52, was put on a final written warning, but on Friday (15 November) the company rescinded all charges against the senior convenor read more

Unite ballots Northern Ireland healthcare members to secure pay equality, fair treatment for patients and waste on private medicine (17 Nov) – Unite in Health’s four thousand members across the health service in Northern Ireland will tomorrow [Monday 18 November] commence an industrial action ballot seeking to join the other trade unions who are campaigning to ensure NHS staff here are not left behind the rest of their colleagues in the United Kingdom. Members of the union are being balloted on strike action and other forms of industrial action with the aim of putting pressure on the Department of Health to ensure that the additional money which has been given by the Treasury in order to support recruitment and improve staff retention is delivered to our hard working health staff in Northern Ireland read more

Unite members at ABP in Lurgan declare victory after determined industrial action yields results (14 Nov) – Improved offer secures no change to start times, RPI plus (forecasted) uplift for two years, payslip transparency and opens mediated negotiations on improvements to holiday pay, toilet breaks and finish times. In Unite the union workplace ballot 94 percent vote to accept management offer secured through negotiations following twenty-four hour strike action at Lurgan site read more

‘Human chain to save NHS’ as Frimley NHS trust staff strike for two days over hived-off ‘tax avoiding’ company (14 Nov) – A ‘human chain’ to save the NHS and a rally are key features of a two day strike by staff at Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust who face being transferred to a wholly owned subsidiary (WOS) designed to avoid paying tax. Unite said today (Thursday 14 November) that its estates’ management, equipment maintenance, catering, portering, procurement and security staff, numbering about 90, will strike on Monday (18 November) from 07.00 until 07.00 on Tuesday (19 November). This will be followed by a second strike from 07.00 on 19 November to 07.00 on 20 November read more

Supermarkets face disruption as food workers vote for strike action (14 Nov) – Bakkavor workers preparing popular meals for leading supermarkets have voted for strike action in a dispute over low pay at a time when the food manufacturer is raking in tens of millions in profit. Workers are now preparing to walk out in protest over a paltry 1.5 per cent pay offer when Bakkavor Foods Ltd has posted £105 million in pre-tax profits and has a turnover of £1.6 billion. 83 per cent of workers who took part in the ballot voted for strike action. A strike could leave shelves at Tesco, Sainsbury’s, M&S and the Co-op empty of many popular meals including salad meals, wraps, soups and dips such as taramasalata and houmous which are especially popular during the festive season read more

Volkswagen Group faces serious delays as Sheerness dock drivers ballot for strike action in pay dispute (14 Nov) – Drivers at logistics firm GB Terminals (Southern) Ltd based at Sheerness docks, Kent, are being balloted for strike action after the company’s management walked out of pay negotiations, Unite said today (Thursday 14 November). Unite represents the drivers and other workers who move new Volkswagen Group vehicles, which also include models from Audi, Porsche and Skoda, off ferries arriving in Sheerness and process and park them ready to be picked up by car transporters. The ballot for strike action opened on Monday 11 November 2019 and will close on Monday 2 December 2019 read more

Council bosses accused of ‘dragging feet’ over talks, as new strikes loom at Bradford’s libraries and museums (14 Nov) – Bradford council bosses are being ‘obdurate and foot dragging’ in talks to resolve the dispute over swingeing cuts to the city’s 14 libraries and museums, Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, said today (Thursday 14 November). Unite threw down the gauntlet as more than 70 of its library and museums’ members were gearing up for four more days of targeted strike action, starting on Monday (18 November), over the cuts. Staff have already taken five days of strike action this autumn. The industrial action comes as the City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council launched a consultation, which closes on Friday 20 December, on the future of the library service – Unite is urging the public to make its views known if they want to safeguard the service for future generations read more. Please send messages of support and donations FAO Mark Martin to Winwaed House, 64-66 Crossgates Road, Leeds, LS15 7NN, cheques payable to Unite the Union

McGill bus workers vote for industrial action – Unite the union members in McGill Bus Services have today (12 November) voted for industrial action over a pay dispute affecting the company’s ex-Arriva staff. Around 50 Unite members, which includes drivers, shunters and labourers, voted by 85 per cent for strike action, and action short of a strike. The action is scheduled to begin on 26 November. The depots affected by three days of 24 hour industrial action and a continuous overtime ban are Inchinnan and Johnstone. The other dates of action are 2 and 9 December read more

Privatisation of GP services prompts east London protest on 21 November – The accelerating privatisation of GP services in London and its detrimental impact on patients will be the focus of a protest in Tower Hamlets on Thursday 21 November. Health campaigners are increasingly concerned about the activities of the privately-owned GP at Hand, a west London GP practice which is hoovering up NHS patients – an estimated 60,000 in London and Birmingham read more

‘Bad faith’ by Hackney council bosses prompts strike action in dispute over bussing disabled children to school – The reignited dispute involving drivers and passenger escorts on school buses for disabled children in Hackney will mean five days of strike action later this month, after council bosses reneged on a previously agreed settlement. Unite said that Hackney’s council’s U-turn on the agreement for its 38 members has now prompted strike action from 00:01 on Monday 25 November, ending at 23:59 on Friday 29 November. Unite today (Thursday 7 November) called on Hackney councillors to intervene ‘to bang heads together’ in the authority’s management team. The workers originally called off their strike in the long-running dispute over payments for working split shifts on 9 October, but the council is now insisting that the staff use contractual leave days for the training days agreed as part of the settlement. Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “Hackney council bosses have not just negotiated in bad faith – they have attempted to cheat low paid workers out of a negotiated agreement. The behaviour is so appalling that councillors now need to urgently intervene and bang heads together in the management team, if further strike action is to be avoided…” read more.   Picket lines will be from 7am to 10 am at 8 Rigg Approach, E10 7QH

 

Unison

Unison University of Birmingham Branch to strike again week beginning November 18th https://twitter.com/BhamUniUnison/status/1189138782748139522

 

GMB

Lewisham Hospital workers continue fight after ISS Living Wage announcement – “GMB is clear that the exploitation of hospital workers will only cease when NHS workers are transferred back in house on full NHS pay terms and conditions”, says GMB Southern. After intense pressure from GMB Union members, Greenwich and Lewisham NHS and new provider ISS have announced that the London Living Wage, now standing at £10.75 per hour, will be implemented in Lewisham Hospital with some conditions. The London Living Wage will not be granted until the workers complete 3 months training. This means workers will not receive the pay until May 2020 at the earliest. GMB will be holding a march and rally on Wednesday 27 November to call for the immediate introduction of the London Living Wage for workers, and for the outsourced services provided by ISS be brought back in house to the NHS. The march will start at Lewisham Hospital and end with a rally outside Lewisham Shopping Centre.  Details of the march and rally are as follows:

Wednesday 27 November, 2:00 PM from Lewisham Hospital, Lewisham High St. London SE13 6LH to Lewisham Shopping Centre Molesworth St. London SE13 7HB read more

As part of their ongoing campaign to bring decent quality work to Amazon employees, through union organisation, the GMB are organising campaign activities in six regions at either Fulfilment centres, Flex sites, targeting HGV drivers, and Amazon HQ on Black Friday 29th November and Cyber Monday 2nd December. This is a healthy mix, and will assist in getting outreach to various workers in the various different Amazon operations. Events being held on ‘Black Friday 29th November are as follows:

NW&I Region will be targeting Amazon Fulfilment centres at Bolton, Manchester, and Warrington

W&SW Region will be targeting Amazon Fulfilment centre at Bristol Avonmouth and the Prime site at Newport,

Yorkshire Region will be targeting the Amazon Flex depot in Sheffield,

Midlands & East Coast will be targeting Amazon Fulfilment centre at Coalville,

Birmingham Region will be targeting and organising an event at the Amazon Fulfilment centre at Rugely,

Midlands & East Coast Region will be targeting Amazon Fulfilment Centre at Peterborough,

London, Birmingham and National will be targeting the Amazon London HQ at Shoreditch, with plenty of Robots in attendance.

London event lobby and Demo, arrange to meet 11am, 1 Principle Place, Worship Street, London, EC2A 2FA (Shoreditch/City of London) Farrigdon and Barbican stations are around five minutes’ walk. GMB are asking people to meet up nearby at around 1045hrs prompt

Support the ASDA workers and reinstate Michael Hunnum – 12,000 workers are facing being sacked before Christmas by scrooge bosses ASDA, who are now owned by US superstore giant Walmart. This threat is hanging over them unless they agree to the new ‘Contract 6’ which will see them lose all their paid breaks and forced to work bank holidays. The same employer is sacking North East GMB member Michael Hunnam. Michael’s fight is part of the same struggle to resist the offensive of the ASDA bosses. Michael’s supporters believe that his determined opposition to Contract 6 is what has put him in the ASDA firing line. Support the ASDA workers and reinstate Michael!

 

NIPSA

One Hour Strike at 3 pm on Thursday 28 November (20 Nov) – It has been almost 3 weeks since the Department of Finance published the 2019-20 Pay Remit for public sector workers, but negotiations on pay for the Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS) members have not yet started.  While we expect negotiations to begin later this month, members feel justifiably angry that they will be facing yet another Christmas without a pay increase.  When negotiations do commence, NIPSA will be making a strong case for an above inflation pay increase and will be making clear that our members will no longer tolerate either pay cuts that have continued for a decade or further attacks on their terms and conditions. NIPSA members have also expressed anger at the staging of the NICS Awards 2019 which is an event held to acknowledge and reward the excellent service provided by civil servants.  It does, however, add insult to injury that awards for, inter alia, customer service, innovation, policy and operation delivery, which is the work civil servants do well each and every day, will be acknowledged by certificates and awards for the few rather than a fair and decent pay increase for all.  The event will occur the day after pay day which will serve as a further reminder, if one were needed, of how little the NICS actually rewards its staff.  For that reason, and to keep the pressure on, the Civil Service Executive Committee has decided to call a one-hour strike, at 3 pm on Thursday 28 November which is the day the awards ceremony will take place in the Long Gallery, Parliament Buildings.  We will also be holding a protest at the event that evening and we are asking those members who can, to attend at 6 pm at the security entrance to Parliament Buildings.  The protest is not targeted at those individuals who will be receiving the awards but at the concept of the awards ceremony itself read more

 

RCN

Members working in Health and Social Care [HSC] services in Northern Ireland will take industrial action from 3 December (13 Nov) – Following the news that members of the RCN in Northern Ireland have voted overwhelmingly to take industrial action, including strike action, over the nurse staffing and pay crisis, RCN Council met on 12 November 2019 to approve dates on which to take this action. Some 96% of those members who returned their ballot papers voted to take industrial action and 92% voted to take strike action. The first day of industrial action will be Tuesday 3 December 2019. Industrial action, short of strike action, will include declining to do any task that is not patient-specific read more

 

NEU

Please give support to these strikes:-

St Catherine’s Catholic School / Bexleyheath – Thursday 21 November.  Email support to deborah.jones@neu.org.uk

Salford City College / Salford – Tuesday 19 November to Thursday 21 November. Email support to Cawton.wright@neu.org.uk

Roe Green Infants & Strathcona/Brent – Wednesday 20 November. Email support to Jennifer.cooper@neu.org.uk and John.roche@neu.org.uk

Moulsecoomb Primary School/Brighton & Hove – (Forced Academisation) Thursday 21 November. Email support to Paul.shellard@neu.org.uk   Facebook event – NEU members will be joined by those of GMB and Unison

NEU members in 6th form colleges were on strike again on November 20th read more

 

NASUWT

NASUWT national trade dispute lodged with the Welsh Government (19 Nov) – The NASUWT, the largest union in Wales representing exclusively teachers and headteachers, has lodged a formal national trade dispute with the Welsh Education Minister Kirsty Williams. The formal national dispute is over pay and conditions of service, and adverse management practices, specifically relating to workload and ineffective management of pupil indiscipline read more

 

More UCU

Strikes to begin on Thursday at Coventry University in appraisal row (18 Nov) – Coventry University will be hit with strike action on Thursday (21 November) unless it urgently addresses staff concerns about its controversial appraisal process, UCU confirmed today. UCU members will be on picket lines outside the university’s main entrances on Gosford Street from 8am on Thursday, before heading to a rally outside the Graham Sutherland Building at 10am with speakers including UCU general secretary Jo Grady. Thursday’s walkout is the first of five strike days, with staff also due to take action on Tuesday 26 and Friday 29 November, followed by a two-day strike on Tuesday 3 and Wednesday 4 December. Send solidarity messages to Coventry University UCU branch secretary – Sharon McGuire, sharonmcguire68@yahoo.co.uk  read more

Long-running dispute at Nottingham College ends as college agrees deal on pay and workload (18 Nov) – A long-running dispute at Nottingham College has ended after the college agreed to retain current workload protections and ensure no staff would see their pay cut as a result of new contracts. The agreement also rules out proposed cuts to sick pay and annual leave. UCU said the college had finally recognised that it needs to work with its staff and not against them, and said it hoped the deal would pave the way for more positive negotiations on workloads and a new pay framework for staff. The dispute centred on the college’s attempts to impose inferior contracts that would have cut holiday entitlement and left some staff over £1000 worse off. UCU members at the college had walked out for 15 days in September and October and passed votes of no confidence in their CEO and chair of governors. The union said that the dispute should never have got to this stage and questioned why students had lost 15 days of lessons at such a crucial time of year. Members of UCU at the college had been due to walk out for 14 days this month, but agreed to suspend the action to consider the college’s latest offer, which has now been accepted read more

 

TSSA

TSSA To Ballot Cross Country On Industrial Action Over Pay (15 Nov) – TSSA is set to ballot members at Cross Country Trains (a subsidiary of Arriva) in a dispute over pay – raising the prospect of strike action in the run up to Christmas. Cross Country managers are angry that they have been given no indication of when or whether they will receive a pay increase this year, which was due back in May. This anger has been exacerbated by the decision of the company to implement a 3 per cent pay deal for other staff, agreed with other trade unions read more

 

FBU

Bolton fire: Firefighters condemn “complete failure” of UK fire safety system (16 Nov) – Responding to last night’s terrible student accommodation fire in Bolton, the FIre Brigades Union (FBU) has called for a complete overhaul of UK fire safety and condemned cuts to fire and rescue services. Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said:

“My congratulations go to the crews on the ground who did amazing work in incredibly difficult circumstances. This terrible fire highlights the complete failure of the UK’s fire safety system. It’s deeply troubling to see fire spread rapidly up a building’s exterior again – a shocking indictment of the government’s shameful inaction after Grenfell. This is not how any building should react to a fire in the 21st century, let alone a building in which people live. We need to end the deregulation agenda and the disastrous cuts to our fire and rescue service. It’s time for a complete overhaul of UK fire safety before it’s too late.”

Les Skarratts, FBU North West executive council member, said:

“Firefighters on the ground have worked tirelessly to contain the fire and rescue residents. There will clearly be some hard lessons to learn as the circumstances become clearer in the coming days. Greater Manchester has lost more than 600 firefighters since 2010 alone and, alarmingly, Andy Burnham is trying to cut another six fire engines, including one in Bolton. We need to stop the senseless cuts to our fire and rescue service before we see another awful incident like this.” Read more

 

UVW

Round 4 of St Mary’s hospital strikes for Equality! – The cleaners, caterers and porters at St Mary’s hospital – 160 of whom are now UVW members – will commence their 4th round of strikes with 4 days of strike action from Mon 25th – Thu 28th November! At the end of this round they would have taken a total of 10 days of strike action which will be followed by a further 5 days, in their 5th round of strikes from Mon 9th Dec – Fri 13th Dec. And the workers have pledged to take as many days as necessary of strike action thereafter until their non-negotiable demands for full equality of pay and T&Cs with NHS staff is met. There is no excuse for a two tiered racially segregated workforce in the NHS, or anywhere! Picket lines are from 8am – 5pm Facebook event

 

IWGB

See pictures of strike of outsourced workers at UCL on 19 November – Cleaners, porters and security officers took strike action at University College London (UCL), London’s largest university. The IWGB has today launched an appeal to raise money for the strike fund, which can be found here

 

 

 

 

Other news

 ‘Solidarity’ – A film about the secretive methods used against UK activists and trade unionists will be shown at the conference. You can also see it around the country:- 

25 October Document Film Festival, CCA Glasgow
30 October Phoenix Cinema, Leicester
4 November Art House Crouch End, London
7 November Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle
8 November The Maltings, Berwick Upon Tweed
16 November Undercover Policing and Trade Unions (Conference), Greenwich University.
22,23,28,30 November International Documentary Festival Amsterdam
11 December Curzon, Oxford

More dates to be announced.
Contact info@solidarityfilm.com to book a screening.

Follow the Blacklist Support Group here

 

 

 

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

Freedom for Chilean soldier David Veloso

On October 18, the Chilean people began a generalized social uprising, triggered by a rise in passenger transportation in Santiago de Chile and violent repression of secondary students demonstrating against the increase by massively evading payment. This was the drop that filled the patience of the Chilean people, after thirty years of abuse and neoliberal capitalism administered by the civil governments that succeeded the Pinochet military civic dictatorship. On October 19, President Sebastián Piñera, imposed the state of emergency in the city of Santiago, placed an army general in charge of the city, and curfew was imposed. Piñera took to the streets the Armed Forces that joined the police in the repression of social protest for the first time since the end of the dictatorship. The measure was quickly also applied in most regions of the country.

Despite this, the demonstrations were growing in number and massiveness, and people bravely challenged the curfew and repression. Just one week after the popular protest broke out, there was the most massive demonstration in the history of Chile. On October 25, two million protested only in Santiago, to which we must add other regions of the country, with four requirements: remove the Armed Forces from the street, Piñera’s resignation, withdraw from Congress the discussion of all those laws «against the people», and to convene a Constituent Assembly to achieve a new Constitution that replaces that of 1980 implemented under dictatorship and still in force.

On October 28, Sebastián Piñera was forced to lift the state of emergency and curfew, which had not allowed him to end the popular protest, despite the serious violations of Human Rights, the dead, missing and injured people. On the contrary, the state of emergency and the curfew revealed the inability of the government.

It was in that context that the soldier David Veloso Codocedo (21), refused to embark from Antofagasta to Santiago to participate in the repression and threw his weapon to the ground. The military prosecutor Cristián Ramírez, ordered the arrest of the young man who can be sentenced even to 10 years in military prison under military law, since then the young man is imprisoned.

Given this we have formed a committee against repression and consider David Veloso as a conscientious objector soldier. We request your support for the campaign demanding his freedom by sending letters to President Sebastián Piñera, demanding the immediate freedom of this brave young man.

You can write to President Piñera through the website – http://escribenos.presidencia.cl/Formulario?seleccion=Presidente

Email a copy to Committee against repression in Chile contrarepresionchile@gmail.com

Santiago, Chile, November 2, 2019

Chile: Millions take to the streets in general strike

Philippines: Anti-union repression against teacher union read more

 

 

 

 

Diary

 

2019

 

2020

July 4 2020 NSSN Conference 11am-4.30pm Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, Holborn, London WC1R 4RL

 

CONTACT US

PHONE 07952 283 558

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