NSSN 460: Solidarity with the CWU – defend the right to strike!

November 13, 2019 in Bulletins

This week’s NSSN bulletin comes out just after the High Court judgement that has ruled against the CWU and its members in Royal Mail.

The NSSN gives our total support and solidarity to the CWU and the postal workers. The NSSN national chair Rob Williams said:

“This is an absolute disgrace! The CWU smashed the undemocratic voting thresholds in the Tory anti-union laws – 97% yes vote on a 76% turnout. Yet an establishment judge declares it void, so that an official strike couldn’t take place in the run-up to Christmas, the busiest time of the year for Royal Mail and during the general election, embarrassing Boris Johnson and his fake pro-worker populism.

The whole labour and trade union movement must immediately show solidarity to the CWU and postal workers, who are in dispute with bullying management and support whatever protest action they decide to take.

Support the CWU and the posties!

Defend trade union rights and the right to strike!

Repeal the Tory anti-union laws!

Re-nationalise Royal Mail!”

 

CWU’s voice of defiance rings out around the country (Nov 13) – Tonight, the CWU stands absolutely united in their anger at Royal Mail bosses and the high Court following today’s “outrageous” decision to invalidate our overwhelming Yes vote and enormous turnout. While our national leadership was speaking out in central London, our representatives from around the country spoke with one voice – a voice of steadfast defiance read more

 

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

 

CWU support Postal Workers poster

 

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

 

Formal disagreement registered with BT over compulsory redundancy threat (Nov 12) – A formal disagreement has been registered with BT over its inflammatory decision to start a process that could lead to compulsory redundancy notices being issued early in the New Year. The move comes as BT branch reps from across the country prepare to converge on CWU Headquarters in Wimbledon on Thursday (November 14) to discuss the union’s response to the growing threat of compulsory redundancies in BT Enterprise 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.

 

 

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. 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

Members of UCU working in Scottish universities have backed strike action in ballots over both pensions and pay and working conditions

 

 

BFAWU

BFAWU November 12th South London McDonald’s strikes – On Tuesday November 12th, members of the BFAWU bakers and food workers union were on strike again in McDonalds, this time in six South London restaurants – Wandsworth Town, Downham, Balham, Deptford, Catford and Crayford. Strikers joined together in the morning at the Wandsworth Town location and spoke about why their action was necessary, before a lunchtime Downing Street rally, where speakers included John McDonnell Shadow Chancellor and TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady

It was part of an international day of action for fast food workers’ rights. The McDonald’s workers are calling for a New Deal for McDonald’s workers that would include: £15 an hour, an end to youth rates, the choice of guaranteed hours of upto 40 hours a week; notice of shifts 4 weeks in advance, recognition of the Bakers Food and Allied Workers’ Union, and to be treated with respect and dignity at work

 

 

 

 

Support these indefinite industrial actions:-

Unite

Bromley library workers renew strike mandate as dispute enters sixth month (12 Nov) – 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 – 1st day back at work today and none of us are looking forward to it, a ridiculous situation we have been put in by NHS Tayside being forced to return without our case being resolved. A lot of anger and frustration amongst us with emotions running high, a simple extension of immunity would have been as fair resolution to this to allow the process to be completed. Let’s hope the Scottish terms and conditions Committee meet today and conclude their decision and grade us correctly.

With a re-ballot, any further delays or negative outcome will see us back out again on picket line mid December

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

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

Watch NSSN TUC Rally video

 

 

 

 

Union News

PCS

Interserve strikers demand an end to second class treatment at the FCO (7 Nov) – Outsourced facilities management workers at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London began their sixth period of strike action today (7). Following overwhelming support in the recent re-ballot, with an amazing 83% turnout and 100% support for strike action, PCS members employed by Interserve started their sixth period of industrial action today read more

DVSA talks break down at ACAS (7 Nov) – 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

PCS condemns timing of prisons staffing review (6 Nov) – A review by HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) will be looking at non-operational staffing levels within prisons, probation and youth custody. The staffing review that the Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) has initiated will start within the period of parliamentary purdah, the term used for the period between the time an election is announced and the date the election is held.  During a general election Ministers remain in office and in charge of their departments but it is customary for them to observe discretion in announcing initiatives that are new or of a long-term character during this period read more

Support the cleaners in the fight for a Living Wage in HMRC on Merseyside – PCS members employed by ISS to clean HMRC offices on Merseyside have been on strike read more on Justice for HMRC Cleaners and the PCS website

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

As tube cleaners ballot for action RMT reveals they would have to work 20 years to earn a TfL executive’s annual pay packet (11 Nov) – As tube union RMT ballots Tube cleaners for industrial action for pay justice the union has revealed that an Underground cleaner would have to work for nearly 20 years to earn the £374,000 TfL’s highest executive makes in just one year, while it would take them 246 years to earn the £4.5 million the CEO of the US outsourcing company that employs them pulls in annually. Yet in spite of the shocking pay differentials, tight-fisted ABM and TfL executives refuse to give these low paid workers staff travel rights on the TfL network. Even worse, hypocritical TfL bosses themselves get the staff travel benefit while denying it to the people who clean their trains and stations. RMT is balloting ABM’s cleaners for industrial action as part of the union’s fight for parity with their London Underground colleagues in relation to pensions, sick pay and staff travel, following the failure of both ABM and TfL to tackle this injustice read more

RMT announces 27 days of strike action on SWR – Rail union RMT has confirmed that a total of 27 days of strike action will take place in December on South Western Railway after the company dangled a potential breakthrough deal in front of the union and then failed to honour it, offering no reasons for the delay. The company’s unremitting failure to give assurances that their new operational model won’t move to Driver Controlled Operation – with the role of the guard butchered completely – means the union has been left with no alternative but to call further industrial action. 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
  • Not to book on duty from 00:01 on Friday 27th December 2019 until 23:59 on the 1st January 2020 read more

RMT strike action goes ahead on West Midlands Trains (13 Nov) – Rail union RMT said today 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

RMT calls strike on Virgin West Coast over sacked and victimised member – RAIL UNION RMT confirmed today that it has called a 24 hour strike on Virgin West Coast over the shocking treatment and dismissal of a colleague that the union says is a straightforward and vicious case of victimisation. RMT has congratulated members for their solid and united support for their colleague who has been so disgracefully treated by Virgin West Coast. An overtime and rest day ban over the last few weeks has been rock solid in spite of various efforts to mislead, intimidate and harass members in clear underhand tactics to undermine it…The unions National Executive Committee has considered this matter again and, having taken on board the views of local representatives, has decided to suspend the current overtime and rest day ban and call strike action as below: –

  • All Train Manager members are instructed not to book on for any duties that commence between 00.01 hours and 23.59 hours on Tuesday 19th November 2019 read more

 

 

More Unite

Demonstration at the HS2 site, against Costain Skanska Joint Venture’s refusal to allow access to Unite –

Venue; CSJV site entrance, Corner of Euston Rd and Melton Street  WC1 0BE

Nearest tube station: Euston

Date: Wednesday 20th November

Time: 11:30 – 13:30

Low pay at Premier Inn highlighted as workers protest during living wage week (12 Nov) – Hotel workers will mark living wage week by holding demonstrations tomorrow (Wednesday 13 November) outside of two London branches of Premier Inn to protest at the poverty wages the hotel chain pays its staff. Despite being the country’s largest hotel chain, with an operating profit of £498m in 2018, most Premier Inn staff are paid the minimum wage of just £8.21 an hour read more

McGill bus workers vote for industrial action (12 Nov) – 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 (12 Nov) – 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

Bus drivers begin voting on strike action at Yellow Buses (8 Nov) – Hundreds of bus workers will begin voting for strike action today (Friday 8 November) to defend their union convenor from what they believe is an unjustified campaign of bullying and intimidation by company bosses (see notes to editors). Unite regional officer Janet Wall said: “Ballot papers will begin dropping through drivers’ letter boxes today. Yellow Buses in Bournemouth has created a poisonous working environment because of the unjustified attack on Martin Conder, a well-respected shop steward with 13 years unblemished service. “With the ballot result due on 21 November, a strike could happen over the Christmas period if workers vote for action. Management can end this dispute in a stroke if the company drops this ill-judged disciplinary. We hope management thinks again and gets back to business as usual for the residents of Bournemouth.” Read more

‘Bad faith’ by Hackney council bosses prompts strike action in dispute over bussing disabled children to school (7 Nov) – 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

Broken promises on train sewage, risks workers’ health and could lead to strikes, warns Unite (6 Nov) – Unite has warned the broken promise to end the practice of train toilets dropping sewage on tracks by the end of the year , is putting the health of rail maintenance staff in danger and unless immediate action is taken the union will ballot for industrial action. The longest delays to end the disgusting practice appear to be on East Midlands Railways which is operated by Abellio and which will continue to dump sewage on tracks until 2023 read more

Resistance to TfL’s paltry pay spreads as Dial-a-Ride workers begin strike ballot (6 Nov) – Unite members employed by Dial-a-Ride will join the growing numbers of Transport for London (TfL) workers who are resisting TfL’s decision to impose a below inflation one per cent pay deal. The workers will begin voting for strike action today (6 November). 320 workers, who operate from depots including Woodford in north London, Wimbledon, Wembley and Orpington in Bromley, provide special needs transport to the elderly, the vulnerable and those with disabilities. Hundreds of essential TfL workers have already voted for strike action. Last week, 89 per cent of Unite members in TfL’s Control Centre voted in favour of strike action and 88 per cent of members working as compliance officers, revenue protection inspectors and roads and transport enforcement officers backed a strike read more

Staff at Frimley NHS to strike for two days over hived-off ‘tax avoiding’ company, says Unite – NHS staff at Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust will strike for two days later this month as they face being transferred to a wholly owned subsidiary (WOS) designed to avoid paying tax, Unite today (Tuesday 5 November). Unite’s  estates’ management, equipment maintenance, catering, portering, procurement and security staff, numbering about 90, will strike on 18 November from 07.00 until 07.00 on 19 November. This will be followed by a second strike from 07.00 on 19 November to 07.00 on 20 November. Unite will be coordinating  the strike action with Unison and the GMB union – altogether about 1,000 staff at Frimley Park Hospital, Camberley; Wexham Park Hospital, Slough; and Heatherwood Hospital, Ascot are affected by the trust’s plans. Unite members voted by 92 per cent to strike read more

Bradford Library & Museum Strikers Stand Firm Against Cuts – Around 50 Unite members across libraries and museums across Bradford have entered their second round of strike action, escalating from two to three days of action this week. As well as rallying in the city centre, strikers have held rallies outside a number of local libraries linking up with concerned service users in places like Wibsey and Ilkley. The services face £1.21m cuts in 2019/20 and a further £1.55m in 2020/21. There are already half day closures taking place at libraries at short notice due to staff shortages, further cuts will make the service even less sustainable. Both Bradford Industrial Museum and Bolling Hall Museums are already facing reduced openings…Further four and five day strikes are planned to escalate the action, from 18-21 November and 2-6 December. 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 read more

Lincolnshire health visitors to strike for a month over council’s ‘divide and rule’ jobs move – More than 70 Lincolnshire health visitors will strike for a month from Monday 18 November in the deepening row as county council plans to ‘divide and rule’ over future job roles, which could  see some health visitors lose tens of thousands of pounds over their working lives. Unite said today (Monday 4 November) that the health visitors will start their strike at 00:01 on 18 November 2019, ending at 23:59 on Friday 13 December over plans that could see some of them lose £150,000 over the duration of their careers. 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. Those striking are not just the health visitors, who have been denied legitimate pay rises by the council since being transferred in October 2017, but health visitors on the lower grade 9 and higher grade 10 read more

Derbyshire flooring workers to hold the first of 20 days of strike action tomorrow over pay, after rejecting last minute offer – More than 70 production workers at Forbo Flooring UK Ltd in Ripley, Derbyshire will stage the first of ten 48 hour strikes tomorrow (Tuesday 15 October), after rejecting a new ‘unsatisfactory’ pay offer, Unite said today (Monday 14 October). The workers at the High Holborn Road site rejected a slightly improved two year package backdated to 1 January 2019 and running to 31 December 2020 by a large majority today. Unite said that a culture of staff being undervalued and disrespected hangs over this dispute read more

Bradford library and museum strike ‘solid’, says Unite – A strike by library and museum staff in Bradford over ‘swingeing’ cuts was ‘solid’ leading to the closure of the libraries and disruption to the service, the UK and Ireland’s largest union, Unite, said today (Monday 21 October). Today’s stoppage, involving over 50 Unite members, is the first day in a two day strike. It will then be followed by a three day strike on 5, 6, and 7 November. There will then be a four day strike between 18 and 21 November inclusively and a five day stoppage on 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 December. There were demonstrations this morning outside Bradford’s City Library and Shipley Library where the public showed their support for the striking workers. A further two demonstrations are planned for tomorrow at Keighley Library, 1 Albert Square, Keighley, BD21 2AT from 08:30 and Cliffe Castle Museum, Keighley, BD20 6LQ from 11:30. Unite has charted a decade of cuts to libraries and museums by the City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council – the latest £950,000 for the year starting April 2019 and a further £1,050,000 earmarked from April 2020 read more

 

Unison

Northern Ireland NHS staff and social workers back strike action, says UNISON (12 Nov) – Safe staffing and pay were ballot focus. Health staff and social workers in Northern Ireland represented by UNISON have today (Monday) voted overwhelmingly for industrial action. The ballot concentrated on safe staffing levels and pay parity, as health workers in Northern Ireland are paid less than their colleagues in Britain. The absence of both has been a key factor in waiting lists and waiting times reaching crisis levels for patients across Northern Ireland, according to UNISON read more

NHS workers to strike at three hospitals over privatisation plans – Facilities staff at Wexham Park and Heatherwood hospitals in Berkshire, and at Frimley Park in Surrey have announced dates for strike action, in an escalation of their campaign to stay in the NHS. Their employer Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust (FHFT) plans to privatise up to 1,000 NHS cleaners, caterers, porters, security and estates staff to a new wholly-owned subsidiary company early next year. The trust has so far refused to change its plans, so staff feel industrial action is their only option, says UNISON. UNISON has been campaigning against the creation of subsidiaries UK-wide, believing them to be back-door privatisation of the NHS and a blatant tax-avoidance scheme. Strike action will take place at all three hospital sites from 7am on Monday 18 November to 6.59am on Wednesday 20 November read more

GMB confirm strike dates for members at Frimley Health Foundation Trust

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

Drug and alcohol workers escalate strike as Addaction boss is appointed Liberal Democrats’ new chief executive – Drug and alcohol support workers employed by London-based charity Addaction in Wigan and Leigh have intensified their strike action in a dispute over pay. Thirty staff will begin five days of strike action on Monday 4 November in their fourth round of industrial action over what they say are Addaction’s broken pay promises. read more

 

GMB

7 million Asda shoppers could ditch supermarket (11 Nov) – Up to 7 million Asda shoppers could ditch the supermarket over their treatment of workers, new polling released today by Survation for GMB union shows. 37% of shoppers said they would be less likely to shop at Asda after hearing the terms of the new contract imposed on Asda workers today. A total of 34% – up to 6.5 million shoppers – said they would reconsider their Christmas shop at Asda read more   sign petition

GMB members vote unanimously for strike action at Moulsecoomb Primary School – “We will not stand by and allow the school to be taken from the local community and local education authority, putting the future of children’s education and staff’s terms and conditions at risk” says GMB Southern. GMB members at Moulsecoomb Primary School have voted 100% in favour of strike action with a 100% turnout. This comes after all three unions representing staff at the school balloted members on strike action over government plans to turn the school into an academy. This result follows an overwhelming result against the forced academisation from the parent ballot undertaken by Brighton & Hove City Council and also the staff ballot run by NEU which was also 100% in favour of strike action read more

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

NIPSA Health Strike Action Ballot Opens 4 November (6 Nov) – Health Service workers have begun an industrial action ballot over unsafe staffing levels and pay injustice. The ballot is seeking majority support for strike actions and action short of strike action. Currently thousands of unfilled posts across the Health Service puts patients’ lives at risk every day and NI Health Workers are the lowest paid compared to staff in Wales, Scotland and England. Discussions have begun about the possibility of a NIPSA health service wide strike on Election Day, Thursday 12 December 2019. NIPSA Official Maria Morgan stated: “NIPSA members did not create this crisis in the NHS but they are determined to end it. The crisis is the product of a political choice to continue with austerity combined with massive mismanagement over many years. This essential service exists due to the compassion, professionalism and dedication of public servants but they cannot continue to work in an unsafe environment and be underpaid. We demand more for our members and our communities. NIPSA will use the 12 December General Election as a focus, to hold to account those that have caused the crisis” read more

 

RCN

Nurses vote to take industrial action including strike action (7 Nov) – Members of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) in Northern Ireland have voted overwhelmingly to take industrial action, including strike action, over the nurse staffing crisis and pay. This is the first time in the history of the organisation that RCN members have voted to take strike action. Some 96% of those members who returned their ballot papers voted to take industrial action and 92% voted to take strike action. The ballot involved RCN members working under Agenda for Change terms and conditions within Health and Social Care [HSC] in Northern Ireland. The RCN UK Council will meet early next week to approve plans to take forward industrial action, including strike action, across HSC services in Northern Ireland read more

 

NEU

Please give support to these strikes:-

  • St Catherine’s Catholic School / Bexleyheath – Tuesday 12 November-Thursday 14 November. Email support to deborah.jones@neu.org.uk
  • Salford City College / Salford – Tuesday 12 November-Wednesday 13 November. Email support to Cawton.wright@neu.org.uk
  • Bexleyheath Academy / Bexleyheath – 13 November-Thursday 14 November Email support to deborah.jones@neu.org.uk

Teachers vote to strike at Moulsecoomb Primary School – TEACHERS have voted to strike against plans to convert a school into an academy. Members of the National Education Union at Moulsecoomb Primary School will take strike action on November 21 against Government-backed academy plans read more

 

More UCU

Strikes on the cards after colleges refuse to prioritise staff (11 Nov) – Colleges are facing potential disruption in the new year after UCU accused employers of a ‘breach of faith’ over pay and said it would consult members over strike action. The union met with the Association of Colleges today and said a 1% pay offer was ‘derisory’, after the employer body had previously acknowledged that staff deserved more and campaigned alongside the UCU in calling for additional funding. The government announced an extra £400million of funding for colleges in August and UCU said it was time for colleges to prioritise staff. The union said the 1% offer would only widen the pay gap – currently £7,000 a year – between school and college teachers after school teachers were awarded a 3.5% rise read more

Five strike days announced at Coventry University in appraisals row – Coventry University will be hit with five days of strike action and a marking boycott unless it responds urgently to staff concerns about its controversial appraisal process, UCU announced today. UCU members are planning a series of one-day walkouts on Thursday 21, Tuesday 26 and Friday 29 November, followed by a two-day strike on Tuesday 3 and Wednesday 4 December. Members of UCU will also begin action short of a strike on 5 December following the strikes. This will see them boycotting the university’s appraisal system and refusing to undertake any marking or assessment of students’ work read more. Send solidarity messages to Coventry University UCU branch secretary – Sharon McGuire, sharonmcguire68@yahoo.co.uk

Striking staff at Nottingham College announce 14 strike dates for November – Nottingham College will be hit with another 14 strike days from Tuesday 5 November after striking staff announced plans for further action and accused the college of reneging on promises over workloads. UCU members entered their fourth week of strike action on Monday 7 October and will have walked out for a total of 15 days this academic year. The increasingly bitter dispute centres on the college’s plans to impose contracts which would leave some staff more than £1,000 a year worse off, as well as reducing holiday entitlement and removing protections against work overload. Staff at the college have not received a pay rise since 2010. The union says that the college has now backtracked on a commitment to limit teaching hours to 24 hours a week while a new contract is negotiated. UCU says the college’s refusal to negotiate in good faith has left members with no alternative but to announce more strike dates. The second wave of strikes will consist of three and four-day walkouts over a four-week period covering most of November. The full strike dates for the second wave are:

Tuesday 5, Wednesday 6 and Thursday 7 November

Monday 11, Tuesday 12, Wednesday 13 and Thursday 14 November

Monday 18, Wednesday 20 and Friday 22

Monday 25, Tuesday 26, Thursday 28 and Friday 29 November read more

Support sacked Sandwell College lecturer Dave Muritu read more

 

FBU

Under-resourced crews responding to floods without statutory duty (8 Nov) – Responding to floods in the North of England, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has called out under-resourcing of crews and called for a statutory duty for firefighters in England to respond to flooding read more

 

Prospect

Highways England staff vote for industrial action over pay (7 Nov) – Prospect members at Highways England have voted overwhelmingly for industrial action over pay. Members were balloted after the organisation imposed a 1% pay award on its staff read more

 

UVW

Round 2 of St Mary’s hospital Strikes 11, 12 & 13 Nov – The fight for equality at St Mary’s hospital continues. After 3 amazing days of strike action on 28th, 29th and 31st October which was overwhelmingly supported by patients, doctors and nurses at the hospital, the cleaners will walk out again for a further 3 days on 11th, 12th and 13th November. Even greater numbers of workers and supporters expected to join the pickets for round 2. The workers are demanding full equality of pay and T&Cs with NHS staff on the AFC contracts. The workers are currently outsourced to  a cut-throat multinational called Sodexo which makes around £1 billion a year profit and treats the workers like dirt. There is no excuse for a two tiered,  segregated workforce in the NHS, or anywhere, and the St Mary’s workers will strike until equality is won! Facebook event

 

IWGB

Biggest strike of outsourced workers in UK higher education history voted through at UCL (6 Nov) – Cleaners, porters and security officers have voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action at University College London (UCL), London’s largest university. The strike will take place on 19 November and will be the biggest strike of outsourced workers in UK higher education history. The Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) balloted almost 300 workers over their terms and conditions, as part of the union’s campaign to end outsourcing and zero hours contracts at UCL. 98% of the cleaners and porters that voted in the ballot and 98.75% of the security officers that voted backed strike action…The IWGB has today launched an appeal to raise money for the strike fund, which can be found here   read more

 

 

 

 

Other news

Undercover Policing and the Trade Unions conference: Saturday 16th November 2019 – jointly organized by the Blacklist Support Group

A major trade union conference ‘Undercover Policing and the Trade Unions: The Political and The Personal’ is taking place at the University of Greenwich on Saturday 16th November 2019. The event is jointly organised by the Blacklist Support Group and our sister campaigns Police Spies Out of Lives and the Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance (COPS). The conference is officially supported by UNITE the Union.

Amongst other issues, the conference will cover undercover police infiltration of trade unions, police collusion in blacklisting, the human rights violations against female activists by the British state and ongoing corporate surveillance of union activists. The speakers will include spied on activists, blacklisted union members, lawyers, politicians, investigative journalists and artists. See the attached documents for more information.

Attendance is free but registration is essential. Please raise the issue at your union committee and encourage people to apply for a space online via: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/undercover-policing-and-trade-unions-the-political-and-the-personal-tickets-64167284074

Affiliate to the Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance (COPs) and to send representatives from your trade union branch/organisation to our Trade Union Conference on Saturday November 16th at University of Greenwich, Stephen Lawrence Building, Old Naval College, 30 Park Row, London, SE10 9LS.

Return Address: Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance (COPS), c/o 5 Caledonian Road, London, N1 9DX

‘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

 

 

To trade unionists of the world (received from Leeds TUC)

KIA Motors Slovakia OZ KOVO Trade Union calls for solidarity!

Dear brothers and sisters,

KIA Motors Slovakia (Žilina) Trade Union is facing pressure of unacceptable magnitude from the side of the employer.

As members of the OZ KOVO Trade Union Committee, we know our activities will not be met enthusiastically from the side of the employer, and that the relationship between the employer and the Trade Union are going to be rough – we are ready for it. In the course of past three years we managed to successfully negotiate, with massive support from the workers, for almost 30% pay rise and also to improve our workplace for the workers in this company in numerous ways. Next round of collective bargaining will take place this year, starting in only a few weeks.

The management is preparing itself for these negotiations in a very aggressive manner. In March this year, they have withdrawn from the CB Agreement the Amendment regarding the duty of the employer to provide the Trade Union time, material, and organisational necessities for its activities. In this time, the management started with repressions against the Trade Union Committee members in the form of reposting them to different work positions, or in the form of sending them the warning letters referring to their unionist activities.

The peak of this employer anti-Union campaign was reached in September, when they have dismissed the chairman of the Trade Union Committee and two others elected Committee members. The official reason for this act was absence, even though the dismissed unionists have had their contracts amended with a guarantee that they may be absent for longer periods of time provided for their Trade Union business. Such an act is unprecedented in Slovakia and we firmly believe this undemocratic abuse cannot stay without a proper response. This is why the Trade Union has brought both the dismissal and the withdrawal of the Amendment from the Agreement to the court. But we cannot rely on the courts only – we must show the strength of our unity.

Therefore, as we as Trade Unionists share common values, we ask for your solidarity.

It doesn’t matter whether you are from London, Berlin, Paris, Seoul, or Detroit. It doesn’t matter which union organisation you are from or what sector you work in. An attack against a Trade Union anywhere in the World is an attack against every Trade Union in the World. It’s an attack against democracy and workers’ rights!

To trade unionists of the world

KIA Motors Slovakia OZ KOVO Trade Union calls for solidarity!

How can you help?

  • Inform your members about the situation in KIA Motors Slovakia
  • Keep yourself posted and contact/support the unionists directly: zoozkovokiazilina@gmail.com
  • Send a protest letter / e-mail to the management: Kia Motors Slovakia s.r.o. Sv. Jana Nepomuckeho 1282/1 013 01 Teplicka nad Vahom Slovakia or • media@kia.sk, with a copy to zoozkovokiazilina@gmail.com • Inform public about the situation and share your group photos! #SupportKMSWorkers

Dear friends,

We believe, that the only effective way to defend our rights from the corporations, that have enormous resources and are perfectly coordinated, is collectively defending and aiming for such positions which will guarantee a dignified fight for better life and rights of the workers and their families.

We believe, that our call for solidarity will be heard, that new friendly contacts will be formed, and that together we will win this battle.

In Solidarity

Head of OZ KOVO: Emil Machyna ………………………………………….

Head of OZ KOVO KIA ŽILINA: Miroslav Chládek ……………………………………..

OZ KOVO KIA Žilina Trade Union Committee members

Attached OZ KOVO Automotive Committee statement:

‘Members of OZ KOVO Automotive Committee, who represent the workers in the automotive industry, are gravely concerned about the unfolding of recent events in KIA Motors Slovakia, which lead to dismissal of three members of the Trade Union Committee in one of the OZ KOVO organisation units.

The rights of the workers’ representatives are protected from any reaction of the employer to the activities of the Trade Union by the law of every EU member state, and of any other democratic society just as well.

In a democratic society which cherishes the principles of the rule of law, the disagreements until they are resolved, should not have resulted in such an unprecedented action, as the dismissal of the representatives was.

Members of the OZ KOVO Automotive Committee therefore declare their full support and solidarity with their colleagues from KIA Motors Slovakia, as well as with the dismissed representatives, and the rest of the employees.

We are ready to stand up for you and support your activities!

Solidarity is what we share!

Hold tight.

Members of OZ KOVO Automotive Committee’

 

 

 

Diary

 

2019

November

16 Undercover Policing and the Trade Unions conference: Saturday 16th November 2019 Eventbrite

 

CONTACT US

PHONE 07952 283 558

EMAIL mailto:info@shopstewards.net

 

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