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Bulletin 101

Watching the odd swish car and coach race down the 30 miles of super fast lanes that have been assigned for the Olympics, shows what can be done, if a city and its representatives decide to plan to change things.  It just depends on who that the plan is for, and again its for the mainly the rich.  We might well have decided to ensure those taking part should be able to get about at some speed, but perhaps we would have also ensured more accessible and affordable transport for all? Cheaper ticket prices? Not sponsored by murdering multinationals like those who were responsible for the Bhopal disaster?

The speed lanes are more to do with the thousands of VIP international indignitaries, who have cuts services, jobs, housing and attempted to smash trade union organisations like the Turkish government with the Aviation workers, as the most recent example, and in the case of Kazakhstan, brutally and systematically repressed opposition. It’s hard not to get angry at the gross inequality that the games express, in its current form.

What an international sporting event could look like when run by workers for the benefit of 99% has yet to be fully seen. In 1936 as Hitler’s propaganda games using Goebbels spin doctory to the fullest, the ‘Peoples Olympiad’ was about to take place in Barcelona, as part of an international protest against Nazi rule. Around 6,000 athletes and 22 nations registered including the UK and US. Sadly the Peoples Olympiad was cancelled due to the outbreak of the Spanish civil war, but it is a hint of what could be possible.

We appreciated the Youth fight for Jobs events ‘Love sport, Hate Capitalism’ in Cardiff and The Austerity Games in London. Exposing what is happening to young people against the backdrop of the £9 billion event & £13 trillion estimated tax hording.  That’s unimaginable ‘Monopoly’ money and could wipe out the so called ‘debts’ that are being used as an excuse to make the cuts that we are beginning to see here, and those in Greece and Spain which have seen food shortages, and the on-going starvation of millions across the globe. Just for the record, we don’t believe there is a debt for workers to pay, here or anywhere else in the world. Its big business, usually buying up public resources and then selling them back to us at extortionate rates - see the PFI problems or the so called debt in places like Cameroon.

Tophams article,  ‘Unions win a gold medal for Olympic bargaining’  really hits the message home, and continues with ‘they might not have won the class war but unions have scored a string of Olympic pay victories’.  Had this been a TUC led iniative, with all its resources behind it,  to collectively and nationally bargain at a time when the government are desperate for a happy clappy, non-striking nation, we would have all been running round with gold medals or possibly deciding to stage our own workers Olympics…

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NSSN UPDATES - And as the TUC are not mobilising for national co-ordinated action, a general strike, we are. So get your members, workplaces, families behind the NSSN lobby of the TUC in Brighton Sun Sep 9th.  The transport is being booked in many areas - to reserve a seat, email info@shopstewards.net. Thanks to PCS Wales DWP committee & Brighton Trades Council for also supporting the lobby.

As part of the process we would have set up a Petition we will hand into the TUC over this. Please add your names and share as widely as possible. Thanks.

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GENERAL UPDATES

a) STRUCK

GMB and Unite at Remploy 24 hour strike yesterday. Just one report from Scotland: ‘Another large turnout gathered on the picket line at Springburn. One shop steward at the plant for 32 years, told us he had been involved in talks with the DWP, Remploy and a representative of the Scottish Parliament. He said that the DWP are solely intent on reducing any future redundancy payments to the lowest level possible. Further talks will take place on August 2nd and, if there is no satisfactory outcome, a further strike will take place on the 6th August.  A lobby of the Scottish Parliament  is planned for the 18th August to coincide with a visit from Marie Miller, the Government Minister for Disabled People. (more reports on our website soon) More.

UNITE Paragon print workers in Sunderland will take another day of strike action on today, Friday 27 July over an attack on their terms & conditions.

b) STRIKING

PCS National Gallery a further 4 stoppages starting at 1pm-3pm Friday 27 July outside the gallery in Trafalgar Square, messages of support to graham.eve@ng-london.org.uk PCS Department of Transport strike action at the Highways Agency, 2pm, Monday 30 July for three hours.

RMT cleaners on the tube are now striking for 48 hours. There are also five separate outstanding disputes over Olympics payments, implementation of recognition and reward agreements and the use of under-trained volunteers. Please also sign the petition. More RMT South West Trains, and TFL in continuing disputes over Olympics recognition and reward. More

FBU Essex have been striking over huge cuts and bullying. They would welcome donations to the hardship fund - to Essex FBU Hardship Fund, Unity Bank, sort code 08 60 01, account number 20292568.

ASLEF members employed by East Midland’s Trains will take strike action on the following dates. August 6-7-8, 2012, as part of their on-going dispute with EMT over pensions contributions. More

c) Were about to strike but WON!

PCS Home Office secure more than 1,000 new jobs! A planned strike on the 26 July has been suspended after officials told the union last night there would be significant investment in the border force and passport service. More

RMT secures £680 Olympics payment, pay increases and harmonisation upgrades for rail signalling contractors. RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said: “This fantastic victory has been secured by a combination of tough negotiation by RMT reps backed by a workforce willing and ready to take industrial action to win a fair deal…if you organise in a strong and militant trade union you can turn the tide on austerity and secure real breakthroughs on pay and conditions”. More

IWW John Lewis Cleaners have received another offer and suspended action over staff cuts & for the London Living Wage.

RMT Cycle hire scheme suspended following £500 payment offer. More

d) BALLOTING


UNITE Eurotunnel in strike vote over sacking of a train driver diagnosed with cancer. Unite is balloting 68 drivers operating trains on Eurotunnel for strike action over the sacking of a fellow driver who had been diagnosed with possible cancer. The ballot opened on 19 July. More

PENSIONS: Unison Higher Education Service Group Executive vote to recommend REJECT in ballot on pensions - NSSN supports REJECTING the proposals which do see tiny enhancements but still mean workers will be expected to pay more, work longer and get far, far less! Unfortunately, the UNISON Local Government SGE has voted to recommend that their members accept it. We support those Unison activists campaigning for a REJECT vote.

The FBU is holding a consultative ballot for control members in England and Wales who belong to the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS). The union’s executive council believes government proposals are still unacceptable – especially on working to 68 and the way pensions are accrued and revalued for inflation. More

NUT urges YES vote on ballot open now to strike over pay & conditions. More

Unite at Portsmouth International Port balloted for industrial action over its decision to dismiss and rehire them on inferior contracts, which has created a two-tier workforce at Portsmouth International Port.

RMT balloting this week for strike action on Northlink ferry services in Scotland after, SERCO, refused to give assurances on jobs, hours & working conditions.

 

Other updates:

 

FBU ESSEX dispute is now involved in an informal dialogue. More BFAWU members who struck against redundancies and reduced payouts are now being hit with possible closure of factory.  The bosses of the 2 sisters company, awarded themselves £12 million in Bonuses last year! RMT Portsmouth protest at Condor Ferries who have been paying Ukrainian workers £2.35 an hour. The company is owned by Macquarie who have assets of $154 billion! Solidarity messages to d.procter@rmt.org.uk

PCS ATOS fight for a living wage! Last year ATOS made annual profits of £280 million on the backs of low paid workers and those highly questionable ‘back to work’ tests, which it gets another £100 million of our tax from. This company is benefiting from millions of pounds of taxpayers money, including from the Olympics yet is screwing its workers and of course those on disabled benefits. Messages of support for the campaign: CommercialSec@pcs.org.uk. TSSA seem to have got into trouble over their olympic application! More. UNITE Blood testing staff at Colindale will be staging a demonstration on Thursday 26 July at the possibility that blood samples will have to travel 120 miles to Bristol. RMT demands nationalization of the Great Western franchise as it emerged that the government will handing an extension to FirstGroup, underwritten by a multimillion-pound taxpayer subsidy, on the bogus grounds of “delays with issuing tender documents.”

NHS – Managers from 19 health service bodies are collaborating in order to force workers to take salary cuts of up to 5%, it has emerged. More At the same time Directors of 20 NHS Trusts in the South West region paid themselves a total of £17.3m in the 2010-11 financial year and now plans to cut the pay and conditions of front-line NHS staff in 20 South West trusts.  More .Branson's Virgin multinational won the bid to deliver NHS and social care services to young people in Devon. This profit-seeking company will run frontline services in a deal worth up to £130 million. More (We will have more detailed information on the website soon)

Travellers Rights new campaign – “As the current crises bite, it can feel like we are fighting on many  fronts. Traveller rights - and specifically the fight for adequate site provision - is about housing, anti-racism, the Localism Bill, land rights,  and many more crucial struggles.” More info contact 

VICTIMISATION…

FACILITY TIME: Reps make a difference & save the taxpayer millions. More

RATCLIFFE POWER STATION - Rank & File Sparks protested at the Nottinghamshire plant  yesterday 26th July, over the renewed victimisation of Jay Poulter (H&S rep).

DEFEND THE FOUR More

 

INTERNATIONAL…

 

KAZAKHSTAN - Vadim Kuramshin, the prison rights campaigner arrested 6 months ago on trumped up charges has gone on hunger strike. More

LEBANON Civil servants stage general strike, demand new salary scale. More

EYGPT- A strike by hundreds of workers at Egypt's southern Sukari gold mine to demand better pay and the reinstatement of laid-off workers entered its fourth day on Wednesday.

TURKEY - UNITE with ITF rally at Turkish embassy at 11am over government ban of industrial action by aviation workers. More

TAIWAN - 300 textile workers in the Hualon Corporation’s factory in Miaoli County declared indefinite strike on 6th June. More

GREECE – Steelworkers defend living standards & attacked by riot police.  More
 

ISREAL’s firefighters win big gains – including the right to strike. More

 

DIARY...

 

27 July

RMT ISS & strikes & protest 12 Noon Stratford

Unite Paragon Print workers Strike

PCS National Gallery Strike 1-3pm

PCS DVLA walkout

 

28 July

Pentonville 5 & dock dispute of 1972-73 celebration. Isle of Dogs & POPLAR BLACKWALL & DISTRICT ROWING CLUB, The Boat House, Ferry Street, Isle of Dogs, London, E14 3DT, opposite Island Gardens DLR station. 

 

Protest at the corporate takeover of the London 2012 Games. The protesters will defy an attempt by Transport for London to ban the demo. An alliance of 43 campaign groups plans to assemble at Mile End Park at noon.

 

30 July

PCS Department of Transport strike action at the Highways Agency 2pm

11 August

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

 

Sheffield Save Our NHS - protest against Virgin Care 12 noon on Fargate - protest against the increasing activity of Virgin Health Care  http://bit.ly/OXmg4q

18 August

Remploy lobby of Scottish Parliament

31 August

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

 

02 September

Burston Longest strike in British history 10.45 – 3.45pm Church Green, Burston, Norfolk. Music, speakers and march!

 

09 September

'Strike against Austerity!' NSSN lobby of TUC: Brighton 1pm, The Level.

 

07 October

Protest at Tory party Conference

 

22 September

Protest against the LibDem conference Brighton – No to Austerity! Noon @ The Level (Stop the Cuts & Brighton Trades Council)

 

20 October

TUC Mass demonstration against austerity, ‘A Future That Works’ TUC mass demonstration with rally in Hyde Park More. Transport details can be seen at, and should be uploaded to False Economy.

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