NSSN 476: Fight victimisation of union reps

March 16, 2020 in Bulletins

Since the new year, a whole number of union reps and members have been sacked, suspended or disciplined. This is becoming a pattern. So much for ‘all being in this together’ during the coronavirus pandemic”. This comes on the back of the Tories’ planned new anti-union laws.

The NSSN will continue to highlight every such case and build support and solidarity so that these workers and others get their jobs back. Please send a message of support to those being attacked and invite them to your union branch and trades council. Keep letting us know about any other acts of union victimisation and we’ll publicise.

Clive Walder speaking at NSSN Coventry meeting

Clive Walder speaking at NSSN Coventry meeting

Reinstate Clive Walder: the campaign continuesUnfortunately, we have to inform you that the appeal by Unite against Clive’s dismissal by National Express in Birmingham was unsuccessful. In the hearing on 5 March, the company downgraded his offence from gross misconduct to misconduct and altered the penalty from summary dismissal to dismissal with four weeks’ notice. We believe dismissal is totally disproportionate and Clive should be reinstated. Clive and his union Unite the union will shortly decide the next steps in his campaign against his sacking. Clive would like to thank all those who have expressed solidarity with him, including supporters of the National Shop Stewards Network who took part in the protest leafleting of his workplace before the appeal hearing. It was successful enough for National Express to report it to the Unite full time official. Please continue to send protest emails to travelcare@nationalexpress.com. The NSSN has produced a flyer which can be downloaded and printed off to give to National Express employees and customers in support of Clive. We are appealing to our supporters to take photos of any solidarity protests and post on social media

Support Danyal Aziz Unite Daniel was a Unite rep at London City Airport, who was recently sacked. Labour MP Sam Tarry has tabled a Parliamentary Early Day Motion in support of Danyal. Email your local MP to get them to sign the EDM

Defend Paul Williams PCS Stop the victimisation of senior PCS rep Paul Williams – Paul Williams has a long and proud history of defending his colleagues at the Department for Transport, and predecessor departments, for nearly 40 years but as a result of his union activities is facing compulsory redundancy even though there are vacancies at his grade read more

Support Tony Smith Unison Tony Smith one of the leaders of the successful FCC dispute which won sick pay for nearly 2,500 workers is being victimised. charged with gross misconduct over health and safety charges, his hearing is on Thursday. Please send messages of support to Hull Trades Council c/o mike.whale@neu.org.uk

Sign the petition: Reinstate UNISON rep Peter Moorhead and stop victimising trade unionists at Alternative Futures Group (AFG)

Support the ASDA workers and reinstate Michael Hunnum – 12,000 workers faced being sacked before Christmas by scrooge bosses ASDA, who are now owned by US superstore giant Walmart. This threat hanging over them was 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!

Defend Moe Unite – support Moe Muhsin Manir, a hardworking Unite rep on London buses, working for Abellio. We are delighted to report that Moe is back at work. We will keep everyone up to date on any developments. Moe would like to thank everyone who sent support and solidarity.

 

Fight the anti-union laws events

Gloucester & District and Cheltenham TUCs hosting ‘Striking back to defend workers’ and trade union rights’ – Saturday 14th March at the Friendship cafe, Painswick Rd, Gloucester 11.30am-4pm https://thefriendshipcafe.com/ . Speakers include: Terry Pullinger CWU DGSP, Katrine Williams NSSN vice-Chair, AJ Singh CWU Cardiff Secretary, Julius Marstrand NHS campaigner

Watch video of London NSSN rally on February 18th

(Send us details of these events and we’ll advertise)

 

 

Workers shouldn’t pay the price for Coronavirus

The NSSN welcomes the information being sent to union members concerning the spread of coronavirus, including the TUC, Unison, Prospect, Unite, RMT, PCS, ASLEF, TSSA, CWU, EISMandate, NUJ, NIPSA, FBU, POA, NASUWT and the GMB.

We believe that it is essential that workers are protected during this worrying period and are not impacted, whether in terms of their safety as well as their pay and employment rights.

We have drafted this model motion which we’ve made into a bulletin that can be downloaded and printed off to be distributed. Feel free to use in your union and trades council, in totality or partially to highlight the issues that need to be addressed.

Follow how unions are facing up to coronavirus globally via LabourStart

USA: Sign Fight for $15 petition: Tell McDonald’s: Give your workers paid sick leave NOW

‘Health not profit’ strike wave sweeps Italy

 

 

Shrewsbury Pickets Win At the Criminal Cases Review Commission

The CCRC has today (March 4th) finally agreed to refer the convictions of the Shrewsbury pickets to the Court of Appeal. Eight of the North Wales building workers who were jailed or received suspended prison sentences in 1973-74, will now get the chance to show that they suffered a miscarriage of justice. They are Des Warren, John McKinsie Jones, Ken O’Shea, Michael Pierce, Terry Renshaw, Kevin Butcher, Malcolm Clee and Bernard Williams. The Shrewsbury 24 Campaign has worked tirelessly since 2006 to publicise the case and gain support from trade unions and the Labour Party. The Campaign’s Researcher and Secretary, Eileen Turnbull, travelled throughout the UK to find the fresh evidence necessary to persuade the CCRC to refer the case to the appeal court. The documents that Turnbull unearthed now form the basis for the appeal read more

Unite welcomes decision to refer Shrewsbury 24 convictions to Court of Appeal (6 Mar)

 

 

Support this indefinite industrial action:-

Unite

Support Westex Carpets staff strike – Westex Carpet strike reaches two month mark: Members of Unite at the Westex Carpets factory in Cleckheaton are about to reach the two month mark in their ongoing dispute over pay. The strike began on November 20th after workers rejected a minimal pay rise which was then withdrawn by the company, which has since refused further dialogue read more    Westex Carpets ‘won’t win battle of wills’ as strikes head into ninth week after talks collapse (22 Jan)

To make a donation to the hardship fund:-

Account name – TGWU

Account number – 20175407

Sort code – 60/83/01

Reference – WESTEX 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. Feel free to use this affiliation letter

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

This leaflet advertising the 2020 NSSN Conference can be downloaded and printed off

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

UCU 

Support the higher education strikes

Reballots postponed due to Covid-19; pickets cancelled but action continues (15 Mar) – from UCU general secretary Jo Grady: “On Friday afternoon UCU’s higher education committee (HEC) was convened for a special meeting to consider our next steps in our national disputes in light of the coronavirus crisis. After extensive discussion, a decision was taken to postpone the reballots of higher education branches which were due to begin on Tuesday 17 March, and keep our options for progressing the disputes under review. Following last week’s advice to cancel rallies and other large events, I have also decided to advise that those branches due to be on strike this week (click here for a list) should call off all pickets…” read more

 

RMT

Sign petition: to The Mayor of London and the London Assembly – End the privatisation of cleaning at Transport for London

RAIL UNION RMT has suspended strike action on South Western Railway in good faith to allow further talks to take place read more

Donate to the RMT strike fund on South Western Railway – The NSSN is appealing for financial support and solidarity for the RMT and their members on SWR, who have just voted to renew their mandate to take mote strike action. Send messages of support and requests for speakers for your union branch and/or trades council to RMT NEC member and SWR guard Geoff Kite – g.kite@rmt.org.uk

To make a donation to the hardship funds set up for RMT members striking against Driver Only Operation:-

National Dispute Fund:
Transfers can be made directly into the account using the details below:
Account name: RMT Head Office National Dispute Fund
Account no: 20113524
Sort Code: 60-83-01
Alternatively, you can send cheques to the Finance Department at Head Office – Unity House 39 Chalton Street London NW11JD

RMT Wessex DOO Dispute Fund:
Transfers can be made directly into the account using the details below:
Account name: RMT Wessex DOO Dispute Fund
Account no: 20399461
Sort Code: 60-83-01

 

ASLEF

ASLEF votes for strike action on London Underground (Mar 13) –

Votes cast in the ballot as a % of individuals who were entitled to vote 74.5%

Question: Are you prepared to take part in industrial action consisting of a strike?

Yes: 95.2%    No: 4.8%

“Yes” votes as a % of individuals who were entitled to vote 70.9%   read more

 

PCS

HMRC cleaners strike today over Living Wage (16 Mar) – Contracted out cleaners at HMRC have begun 2 weeks of strike action today in a dispute over the Living Wage. ISS staff who are employed to clean tax offices at Bootle and Liverpool will take 14 days action with colleagues in Birmingham taking 2 days. Workers are angry at ISS over poor pay and conditions and the refusal of ministers at HMRC to take the cleaning contract back in-house.  The real Living Wage is £10.75 in London and £9.30 for the rest of the UK is based on the cost of living and is voluntarily paid by nearly 6,000 UK employers who believe a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay. The strike received a 97% yes vote on a 90% turnout.

Show your support

HMRC announces change to office closures plan (12 Mar) – HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has announced significant deferrals of the planned closures of two of its offices. The department’s office in Washington will now remain open until 2030, whilst its Bradford office will remain open until 2027. As well as the possibility of additional security for members based in the north east, this decision will mean that members based in Bradford and Shipley, whose circumstances mean they are unable to move to the Leeds regional centre, have the possibility of extending their career with the department. PCS welcomes the decision to extend the life of the two offices, as well as welcoming the fact that the department has clearly begun to recognise that its 2015 plan to cut the entire estate to just 17 offices, will be insufficient to meet HMRC’s staffing requirements going forward, and that there is clearly a need to keep the plan under review read more

Support Interserve strikers – Interserve workers at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, were on strike for the whole of February. You can support the strike in the following ways:

 

More Unite

Newham highway operatives to be balloted in grading dispute (16 Mar) – Newham council, which has been dogged by industrial disputes recently, faces another one – this time over the failure to pay highway maintenance staff the rate for the job. Unite said that its highway members at Newham council would be balloted for strike action from Friday (20 March). The ballot closes on 3 April. Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “The issue is that members have not been properly graded and, as a result, have not been properly paid. We estimate individuals have lost £8,000-a-year over a period of time. Negotiations with management have dragged on for months and now our members have lost patience with this foot-dragging local authority.” Read more

St Mungo’s CEO warned to ‘stop blaming staff for your leadership mistakes’ as workers set to strike (13 Mar) – CEO slammed for weaponising coronavirus. Unite has warned the CEO of the homeless charity St Mungo’s, Howard Sinclair to ‘stop blaming staff for your leadership mistakes’ as hundreds of workers get set for three days of strike action from Monday (16 March). The strike from 00:01 Monday (16 March) to 23:59 Wednesday (18 March) comes after St Mungo’s senior management team rejected a sensible, middle ground solution to the ‘race to the bottom’ jobs row. Unite has been locked in a bitter industrial dispute with the charity for over a year, over a number of issues, including a punitive sickness policy and changes it made to the junior staffing cap, which workers’ fear opens the door to a cheaper workforce on worse pay and terms and conditions. Safety would also be undermined. In a message from the charity’s frontline staff to their vulnerable ‘clients’, Unite members said: “Your safety is our priority, which is why we feel so strongly about standing up to defend the services we deliver to you.” In response to the CEO’s calls for the strike to be suspended because of the cornavirus outbreak, Unite has said that it will follow government guidance and not be bullied by Mr Sinclair read more

Support the striking Bexley Refuse workers, please donate – these workers, employed by Serco, are taking action this week from Wednesday to Saturday over low wages and a bullying culture. To donate to the hardship fund, you can pay online to Greenwich Unite – sort code 60-83-01 and account number 20267438 read more

Sandwell bin strike threat over as Serco backs down (12 Mar) – Unite has welcomed a decision by controversial outsourcer Serco not to reduce the number of refuse rounds being undertaken in Sandwell council. Strike action seemed likely late last year after Serco, which holds the refuse contract for Sandwell council, announced that it intended to cut the number of refuse rounds and increase the number of bins each worker is expected to empty. The proposed changes would have resulted in the workforce having to cope with unmanageable workloads. Following intense pressure from the unions, led by Unite, which is the largest union at the workplace, Serco has now officially dropped its proposals read more

Woolwich Ferry workers to strike tomorrow, as more strike dates are announced (12 Mar) – More than 50 Woolwich Ferry workers will strike tomorrow (Friday 13 March) in their long-running pay dispute, as two more days of strike action are announced. Unite represents 56 workers who will hold a 24 hour strike tomorrow in their dispute with Briggs Marine Contractors Ltd. The workers will also hold two more 24 hour strikes on 27 March and 6 April. They have already taken a day’s strike action on 28 February read more

Greenwich council housing repair workers to strike after bosses ‘backslide’ on pay deal – About 120 housing repair workers at Greenwich council will strike for two days later this month after bosses reneged on a settlement over a new pay structure, Unite said today (Tuesday 10 March). Last October, Unite called off industrial action after a deal was hammered out with the Royal Borough of Greenwich for the carpenters, electricians and plumbers based at the Birchmere depot, Eastern Way, London (SE28 8BF). Unite today accused the council’s management of ‘backsliding’ in failing to implement the new pay structure. As a result, there will be two 24-hour strikes on 23 and 24 March, starting at 00:01 and ending at 23:59. Last autumn’s deal promised that the instances when Unite members’ pay can drop will be minimised. There will also be ‘pay protection’ and, most importantly, no imposition of any changes unilaterally. Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “Unite negotiated a settlement in good faith last October, but the management have been foot dragging and backsliding ever since. We thought we had a deal, but apparently that has turned out to be a mirage…” read more

Heathrow braced for ‘Easter holiday chaos’ after baggage and freight handling strikes set – Heathrow airport is braced for ‘Easter holiday chaos’ following the announcement of strikes over a pay dispute and attempts at ‘union-busting’ at ground handling firm Vanderlande, Unite said today (Tuesday 3 March). The strikes, which will take place over six days between 14 March and 9 April, could leave thousands of passengers without their baggage and potentially impact air travel, as well as affecting International Airline Group (IAG) freight services. Unite represents around 80 workers at Vanderlande, which operates the Terminal Three luggage belt as well as transporting passenger baggage to and from the terminal, where planes from One World Alliance, Virgin Atlantic and Emirates dock read more

Black hole looming for Heathrow luggage as baggage specialists strike throughout March – Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest union, is warning passengers who are separated from their luggage at Heathrow next month, that they are unlikely to be reunited with it, as specialist baggage handlers take fresh strike action over pay. The workers who are employed by Global Baggage Solutions Ltd will begin strike action at 00:01 on Monday 2 March until 23:59 on Monday 9 March. There will be two further eight day periods of strike action beginning on Saturday 14 March until Saturday 21 March and Thursday 26 March until Thursday 2 April. The workers play a crucial role in locating and repatriating lost baggage with worried customers read more

TfL workers step-up strike action across the capital Hundreds of workers employed by Transport for London will stage a 24-hour walkout today (Friday 28 February) to fight back against cuts to pay and holidays. 80 workers employed in TfL’s control centre who are the ‘eyes and ears’ of the capital will join the series of strikes. TfL is cutting their holidays by imposing a system of counting holidays in hours instead of days, which has the effect of slashing the workers’ holiday entitlement by five days (see note to editors). Around 300 workers employed by Dial-a-Ride and 300 TfL revenue protection inspectors, road transport enforcement officers and compliance officers will strike for 24 hours for a second time over the imposition of a real terms pay cut. Further action is planned on 27 March and 24 April read more

CWU

Support the CWU and the posties as union re-ballots in Royal Mail – The NSSN sends solidarity to the CWU as they re-ballot members in Royal Mail. As readers of this bulletin will know, the union overwhelmingly smashed the undemocratic voting thresholds in the Tory anti-union laws in their national strike ballot last October – a 97% vote for action in on a 76% turnout. Scandalously however, one unelected High Court judge dismissed the ballot and the action, planned for during the general election and the busiest time of the year for the company. Now after attempts by the union to resolve the dispute, they feel no option but to again ballot members for action. This comes at the same time as Boris Johnson’s tory government planning even more anti-union laws, targeted for now at least at the rail and transport unions. The NSSN pledges our full support to the CWU and their members in Royal Mail. Already, NSSN members are organising solidarity meetings to build support for the CWU, the rail and transport unions and other workers taking action. We encourage such rallies and meetings of the NSSN, trades councils and union branches – ‘An injury to one is an injury to all!’ The result will be known this week

Terry Pullinger tells Royal Mail: ‘No justice, no peace’ – “Let’s make history and let’s tell Royal Mail, as Paul Kennedy said earlier: ‘No justice, no peace’,” commented our deputy general secretary postal after today’s 500-strong national reps briefing in central London read more

Watch CWU video on re-ballot here

For our jobs, our security and our future – we need to vote YES

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 – click here to join

New outrage enflames BT Enterprise compulsory redundancy drama (Mar 13) – Hot on the heels of a remarkable explosion of workforce anger in Sevenoaks at BT Enterprise’s apparent determination become the first part of BT Group to make compulsory redundancies amongst team member grades, a new bushfire is taking hold in London. Just days after South East Central branch members registered their disgust at the division’s decision to target a long-serving female engineer with the first ever compulsory redundancy notice by voting to be balloted for industrial action (see story here) eight further Enterprise employees at based at Ambassador House in Paddington were delivered the bombshell that they will be forcibly exited even sooner! Read more

Breakthrough for CWU’s Period Poverty campaign as BT provides free sanitary products (Mar 11) – Sustained lobbying by the CWU has prompted BT Group to adopt an industry-leading position on the provision of free sanitary products for female employees across its UK operations. At the suggestion of the union, the formal launch of the initiative – which directly fulfills the objectives of the CWU’s Period Poverty campaign– was timed to coincide with Sunday’s International Women’s Day celebrations, meaning that rollout started for real on Monday across not just BT UK but also Openreach, EE and Plusnet read more

 

GMB

ISS continues to withhold cleaner pay at Coronavirus-hit Lewisham hospital (13 Mar) – Cleaners staged an impromptu protest outside of Lewisham hospital today as ISS reneged on their promises to pay them wages owed by this morning. Furious cleaners on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic downed tools yesterday –  but came into work this morning after ISS told that their pay would be corrected today. When GMB Union learnt of the crisis, representatives met with ISS director Nick Clarke, who suggested it could take up to another week to sort out the pay issue. No managers have been affected by the pay crisis, Mr Clarke said. ISS has denied workers any form of compensation for the crisis and to add insult to injury they threatened to withhold the promise of the London living wage being paid with full back pay in April if workers attended the protest today read more

Cleaners in Coronavirus-hit hospital walk out after not being paid (12 Mar)

Sign petition: Requisition private hospital beds to help NHS with coronavirus

Refuse workers vote for strike action in industrial ballot (13 Mar) – Refuse workers at Veolia’s Padworth Depot have voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action in a consultative ballot over a bid to cut their pay. Staff are furious after Veolia UK ignored their opposition and announced a reduction the pay for ‘catch up Saturdays’. The company then threatened to dismiss workers and re-engage them on the new terms and conditions. GMB will now move to a full strike ballot. If industrial actions takes place, residents of Newbury, Thatcham and others will see rubbish piling up around bins and collection points until Veolia get back around the table, stop enforced implementation and pay deductions and discuss and agree alternatives read more

 

NEU

Please find below details of forthcoming action. You are encouraged to send messages of solidarity to the email addresses below:

Action Date Contact
Colfe’s School / Greenwich
(Teachers’ Pension Scheme)
Tuesday 17 March,
Wednesday 18 March,
Thursday 19 March
Tim Woodcock
tim.woodcock@neu.org.uk
Hull Collegiate School / Hull
(Pay)
Tuesday 17 March,
Thursday 19 March
Damian Walenta
damian.walenta@neu.org.uk

 

FBU

Underfunding hit our flood response, firefighters say (11 Mar) – The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has called for fire and rescue service funding to be included in budget measures to improve flood preparedness, as analysis reveals almost 11,000 firefighter jobs have been cut in the UK since the major floods of 2011. The findings come after the government last week voted down an independent inquiry into the floods and news that the Chancellor will double flood funding in today’s budget. The FBU says that few lessons have been learned from previous floods, as understaffed and under-resourced services face looming demands from severe weather events. FBU research shows there are 10,970 fewer firefighters in the UK than at the time of the 2011 floods, and 1,531 fewer than the 2015 floods. This is despite climate scientists and the environment agency warning of an increased risk of flooding due to climate change – 31 flood warnings and 159 flood alerts remain in place across the UK read more

 

 

 

 

More News

TUC courses at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CoNEL) at the Tottenham Campus

Please see here, our course flyers for TUC courses starting in April and September 2020. Please note that there are two new Certificate courses that we have developed entitled Health & Safety Essentials Certificate and Equality Certificate. The Trade Union Education Department of the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CoNEL) at the Tottenham Campus is delivering these courses. If you have any issues applying online, please give us a call on 020 8442 3075 with your email address and we can send you an application form. It would be appreciated if you could also speak to your branch secretary or other branch officers and reps to promote these courses. Many thanks colleague.

 

Kind regards

Mark Andrew

 

 

 

 

 

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

Turkey: Fight for a free media (from Solidarity with the People of Turkey)

It’s all about coronavirus these days but certain business continues as usual in Turkey. After the recent arrests, a group of journalists got together and launched an initiative, called “Haberin Var mi?”, or “Have You Heard?”, to support dozens of colleagues in jail.  Needless to repeat, we very much appreciate and value your support in spreading the word about our struggle for free media in Turkey.

You’re all kindly invited to join us and share the video below on Monday with the hashtags #HaberinVarMı #HaveYouHeard with suggested text to follow;

– In Turkey, the number of journalists under arrest keep rising. Putting journalists behind bars does not prevent the truth from becoming public. #HaberinVarMı #HaveYouHeard

– Regardless of the publications they work for or their political affiliations, we will, altogether, break through the iron doors keeping these journalists jailed. #HaberinVarMı #HaveYouHeard

– In Turkey, the number of journalists under arrest keep rising. Arbitrary arrests hurt people’s trust in justice and violate human rights.

For those who would like to retweet, simply adding hashtags, the Twitter accounts to follow are; @HVMinsiyatifi and @TRFreePress

 

 

Nigeria Solidarity Appeal – ABBEY TROTSKY VS SUMAL FOODS LIMITED:

Drop Trumped-up Charges, Recall Sacked Workers and End Slave Conditions in Sumal

Court Case on Trumped-Up Criminal Charges comes up on March 3, 2020

An appeal for more local and international Solidarity actions and financial support!

Following the intervention of the Campaign for Democratic and Workers’ Rights (CDWR) – a campaign platform of the Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM) – in the strike action of casual workers at Sumal Foods Limited, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria, over pay and poor working conditions on October 2, 2018, Comrade Abiodun Bamigboye (Abbey Trotsky) is currently facing four different court cases.

Abbey Trotsky is the Oyo State Coordinator of the CDWR but also doubles as the acting National Chairperson of the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN).

The management of Sumal Foods, sadly in connivance of right wing/reactionary leadership of National Union of Food, Beverage and Tobacco Employee (NUFBTE), is using the police to persecute Abbey Trotsky with trumped-up criminal charges at magistrate court. Indeed, before Abbey was arraigned in court he had been arrested and detained many times by the Police and Department of State Service (DSS) – the Secret Police.

In addition to the criminal matter there are three civil matters – one at magistrate court and two at the National Industrial Court – instituted by the company and the outsourcing companies that recruit casual, insecure and poorly paid workers for Sumal Foods.

All the cases came up at different dates in January 2020. Their next adjourned dates fall between March and April 2020. Specifically the criminal case comes up on March 3, 2020.

The basis for all these numerous cases is to deter members of the CDWR particularly Abbey Trotsky from intervening in the plight of poor casual workers of Sumal Foods Limited and also to strike fear into the heart of mass of casual workers in the company especially now that the enactment of a new minimum wage of N30, 000 will mean that workers could begin to demand an increment in their daily pay.

 

Despite the continued persecution of comrade Abbey Trotsky, members of CDWR have remained undaunted and resilient as they had launched a campaign against casualisation and indecent labour practices not only in Sumal Foods but also in other workplaces in Ibadan and its environs. Political activities are also organised on regular basis by members of CDWR to support the legal defence being handled by a number of lawyers led by Mr Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika of Citipoint Chambers pro bono. These political activities have greatly helped to deepen and strengthen the campaign against casualisation and indecent labour practices such that CDWR is gradually becoming a point of attraction to some layers of workers who are not only dissatisfied with their slave working condition but also interested in a fight back.

 

At the moment, over 20 workers that cut across no fewer than four different Ibadan workplaces have joined CDWR and have been actively involved in the campaign against casualization and activities often organised to support the legal defence against the persecution of comrade Abbey Trotsky. We thank all members and supporters as well as civil society and socialist organisations locally and internationally particularly members of CWI and our lawyers for all their solidarity and support which has helped to sustain the struggle this far. We equally recognise the fact that to sustain and build on this campaign will require more solidarity action and financial support both locally and internationally.

 

We call for immediate dropping of all trumped-up charges against Abbey Trotsky at magistrate court; withdrawal of all frivolous civil cases in the industrial courts; NUFBTE leadership must defend interest and rights of workers including casuals and end its unholy alliance with the management; reinstatement of all workers sacked because of their involvement in the struggle for better pay and conditions; and Sumal Management must end slave conditions in the company, end casualisation and respect law laws and regulations.

 

It is in the light of this that we call on the leadership of the three labour centres, Nigeria labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and United labour Congress (ULC) at the national and state level, industrial unions, civil society organisations and socialists locally and internationally for more solidarity actions including physical presence at the court, public statements, petitioning and picketing of Nigerian Embassies and High Commissions. These can also include financial support to support the political activities and campaigns towards the struggle on the plight of workers in Sumal Foods, Ibadan, and against casualisation, outsourcing and other anti-labour practices.

 

We request that sms Protest Messages should be sent to the following persons:

-Federal Ministry of Labour Oyo State Office – +2348035676740

-President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) – +2348036556600

-Commissioner of Police Oyo State – +2348038467592

-Speaker Oyo State House of Assembly – +2347032542579

-Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) Zone 11 – +2348036536581

Copies of all protest letters or messages to be sent to: dsmcentre@yahoo.com or WhatsApp – +2348033914091

Please Donate to CDWR Account:

Fortress Books Nigeria

1012616511

Zenith Bank

For donations from outside Nigeria please email the CDWR on campaignworkers@yahoo.co.uk or contact local CDWR supporters to arrange payment.

Rufus Olusesan

National Chair CDWR

Email: campaignworkers@yahoo.co.uk

 

 

 

 

Diary

 

2020

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

September 13 – NSSN TUC Rally Brighton 1pm

 

CONTACT US

PHONE 07952 283 558

EMAIL mailto:info@shopstewards.net

 

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