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NSSN Bulletin No. 98

06 July Last week was a typical week for the NSSN - supporting workers like the London bus drivers, Coryton oil refinery workers, the bakery workers in Leicester and taking part in a an excellent Wales network conference. But it was also a typical week for Cameron and his fat cat mates. 'Diamond' Bob, one of the fattest cats of them all, lost his job at Barclays because it turns out that the bank was double-dealing on interest rates. This meant that they illegally made billions in profits while workers couldn't get mortgages and small businesses couldn't get loans or they all had to pay through the nose to get them. It’s even possible that the Bank of England could be implicated!

So on the back of MPs fiddling their expenses, Murdochgate and the rich avoiding tax - it now seems that the bankers broke the law while sharing out billions in bonuses and much more in profits over the last 25 years since the 'Big Bang' deregulated the banking system - with the full support of Tory, New Labour and now ConDem governments. Yet who's in the sights of this government to pay for this crisis? Workers - through the attack on their pensions and working longer to get less and paying more, a four year pay freeze and the prospect of regional pay and over 350,000 public sector jobs lost. Young people - through the trebling of tuition fees and the abolishing of EMA as well as the cuts in housing benefit. The poor and the disabled - through the attacks on benefits. Ignoring the law and taxes for the rich - austerity for the poor.

There's an old saying, don't get mad get even! That's what the Remploy workers have done when they voted by 80% to strike against the factory closures and mass sackings that would effectively get rid of a gain for working people that originally was supposed to give work to soldiers maimed in the Second World War.

The NSSN welcomes the TUC demonstration against austerity and the cuts in London on October 20th. We will do all we can to double the number who marched on the last one on March 26th 2011 and get 1 million workers and their friends and families on the streets. But it won't be enough to force this cabinet of millionaires to retreat, with 85% of the cuts to come. The NSSN is lobbying the TUC conference in Brighton on September 9th to call on the TUC to follow the march with a one-day general strike as the start of the action that we need to win. This is a weak and divided government - it’s now up to 34 U-turns but they know that to retreat on the cuts would be their last. Come on the lobby - March together on October 20th, then strike together to force the ConDems out! (Rob Williams NSSN Chair)

 


NSSN UPDATES


Northwest NSSN AGM meeting: ‘How can we stop victimisation on sites?’ Given the recent lay offs of Jason Poulter and 18 others from Ratcliffe, this meeting becomes even more vital. Speakers include Steve Acheson & chair Andy Ford. Tuesday 17th July, Warrington Railway Club, WA1 1XR. 7.30pm. nwshopstewardsnetwork@gmail.com 

An excellent conference was held by the Welsh Shop Stewards’ Network Conference last weekend called for 24 general strike.

Thank you to those who have begun standing orders for the NSSN we have doubled the numbers since the June conference. Also thanks to Unite Bracknell for supporting the 9th Sep lobby of the TUC and donating £50 towards costs. NSSN letter to union branches and leaflet for lobby of the TUC are available online (or drop us an email if you need some posted.) Also use the FB invite.

Sadly Roger Mackay died last week & the NSSN would like to send our condolences to Teresa MacKay, family & friends. Roger was an active trade unionist in the NUT & life long socialist. Funeral: Fri13th July Ipswich

 


GENERAL UPDATES

Sheffield GMB Dump it WIN : The Sova recycling workers in Sheffield have won the re-instatement of their 6 sacked colleagues. After 27 days of strike action, the strike has been suspended pending further negotiations, particularly relating to working hours and pay. A new bonus scheme is to be trialed, which promises workers up to £2 an hour wage increase across the board. Messages of congratulations can be sent to peter.davies@gmb.org.uk 

FBU Essex calls strikes over cuts & imposed changes in Terms & Conditions, July 7th & 19th, Aug 18th & October 18th. Since 2008 one in five jobs has already been cut in the service! Essex fire chiefs today stand accused of trying to intimidate fire-fighters by introducing fast-track disciplinary measures to use against those taking strike action. The Fire Authority's budget has increased by £7 million since 2008, yet it has underspent £1.6 million on its frontline staffing budget, allowing the authority to build up reserves of £12 million.

500 Food processing workers contribute to fight the race to the bottom by food manufacturers despite making huge profits. Workers are in the midst of discontinuous strike action over an original 190 redundancies, now proposing 350 & downgrading the agreed redundancy package. Solidarity to: tony.lewis@bfawu.org

Unite London Bus workers action for Thursday was suspended with a better offer on the table, however Unite are fighting for their proposal. Next Strike date 24th July.

RMT Central TFL staff will also be taking action over Olympics recognition & reward, with action short of strike action on the 8th & 15th July.


Virgin Provoke Olympic Strike Ballot as TSSA ballots over 500 members on the West Coast line for strike action after Virgin Trains fired and then later suspended one of its union reps in the company's head office in Birmingham.


Coastguard unions PCS and RMT today demand a halt to the Government’s planned cuts and closure programme to coastguard and maritime rescue centers. Clyde, is set to be closed in December with indications that no alternative capacity is due to come on stream until 2014 leaving the life-saving services with hopelessly inadequate cover for over a year.

Keep Barclay's Out Of NHS: Bankers should concentrate on cleaning up their own cesspit and be kept well away from our NHS as their only interest in it is as a source of money that will end up in offshore tax havens says GMB. As South London Healthcare goes into administration after the burden of £61million interest payments a year on a PFI deal, its clear that PFI is crippling the NHS, as one tweeter stated, ‘We can afford universal healthcare - stop NHS paying banks and equity investors.” Its also legislation that was brought in by the labour government in 2009! Further announcements add to the argument, with Care Trusts handing in massive debts to the new Clinical Commissioning Groups.
Millions wasted as tax payers taken for a ride by rail privatisation, RMT confirmed today that balloting for strike action and action short of a strike has begun three main train services: * South West Trains * Greater Anglia * First Great Western. MP’s have come out in support of the Churchill’s cleaning staff on the Tyne and Wear Metro in their fight for pay justice.

GMB Consult Members At Aberdeenshire Council over proposed changes to terms and conditions of employment.
Congratulations to Beauly-Denny construction workers win swift victory & Cleaners branch SOAS University for their successful campaign for a living wage at Senate House.
 

 


VICTIMISATION

A successful meeting was organised in Birmingham in support of Martin Hodges, a TSSA rep victimised by Virgin Trains. Martin was told that there were issues with his 'communications style' with customers and was summarily dismissed. The summary dismissal was later commuted to suspension on full pay. The real reason for the victimisation is that Martin wanted to organise against the hire and fire culture that exists at Virgin Trains. The company are doing everything they can to avoid going to an Employment Tribunal because they are worried about the publicity that might ensue. TSSA are currently balloting for industrial action for Martin's reinstatement and will be leafleting railways stations. Anyone able to help out with the campaign and a YES vote for action contact: stopvirgin@tssa.org.uk

Blacklisters face professional abuse charges after the CIPD published a new code of conduct for its members. The blacklist Support group intends to make formal complaints about HR managers.

A second protest in support of the suspended president of the National Union of Students, Shahna Begum at Bolton University has taken place.
 

 


INTERNATIONAL

Spanish miners continue their action underground but also in street battles with brutal riot police tactics, which have seriously injured hundereds but have still not, stopped the strike or protests that are escalating yet a huge media blackout, locally and internationally. UK miners/ex-miners have set up for Spanish miners whose pits are threatened with closure: Contact SMSC@talktalk.net or 07768 300 148.
Turkish police detained 71 trade unionists and leaders in around 20 cities.

Argentina striking truckers and other union members gathered in front of the presidential palace to demand tax cuts in a one-day work stoppage.

Norwegian labour union leaders met to discuss a possible expansion of their ten-day strike over pensions that have cut the country's oil production.
 

 


DIARY

07 July
World Pride festival in London. Update on its curtailment by Mayor. RMT activists meeting at HQ to go towards 12 noon Baker St.
International Brigade memorial Jubilee gardens London SE1 12.30 music.
National action against Workfare as part of the UK week of action
Barnet NOT for sale! Conference from BAPS & UNISON 12 noon Greek Cypriot Centre, 2 Britannia Rd, Barnet N12 9RU

12 July
Unite against police privatisation protest rally 11am West Midlands police HQ, Lloyd Hse, Colmore Circus, Birmingham B4 6NQ

13-15 July
Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival

13 July
Action for Rail – North West Conference at Mechanics Centre, Manchester


14 July
Durham Miners Gala
Protest against the coalition - A future for our children! Fair Pensions for all! Defend public services! Called by NUT & NASUWT. Assemble 11.30am from Devonshire Green, Devonshire Street, Sheffield & also Manzil Way, Oxford OX4. Rally 1pm in Broad Street, Oxford OX1. Contact 07967 392229 or Email J14@odtuc.org.uk


16 July
Action for Rail leafleting 7-9am Kings Cross


17 July
North West NSSN AGM & Public meeting: ‘How can we stop victimisation on sites?’ Speakers Steve Acheson. Warrington Railway Club, WA1 1XR. 7.30pm.


21 July
Brighton Trades Council Seminar for local trade unionists on defending facilities time and opposing. BrightonTradesCouncil@gmail.com

23 July
Austerity Games from Youth Fight for Jobs!
Action for Rail leafleting 7-9am Liverpool St, London

28 July
Pentonville 5 and dock dispute of 1972-73 celebration. Isle of Dogs.

11 August
National Rank & File JIB electricians and construction trades meeting, 2pm-5pm, Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London

31 August
National Hazards conference, Keele University hazconf@gmhazards.org.uk

02 September
Longest strike in British history!

09 September
NSSN lobby of TUC conference: Brighton for 24-hour Strike 1pm

07 October
Protest at Tory party Conference.

20 October
TUC Mass demonstration against austerity.


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Email: info@shopstewards.net 
Phone: 07952 283 558
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National Shop Stewards Network

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