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NSSN bulletin 104

I passed the newsagents this morning and saw the Daily Mirror headline - "Britain's 20 most wanted tax dodgers". I thought what's this? Is the government of the rich going to finally expose their fat cat friends? But I didn't recognise anyone on the front page. True to form, while we don't condone tax dodging of millions of pounds, and these 20 are responsible for £700 million being lost - its a drop in the ocean compared to the £120 billion avoided and evaded by the super-rich and the corporations - much of it legally! PCS's 'Tax Justice' campaign has brought much of this to light. Where's the photo of Sir Phillip Green, the boss of Arcadia which owns Topshop and Burtons? He avoided £285 million on his own when he put his business in his wife's name! 20 tax dodgers? We could name 200 or 2,000 and more!

This week also saw the a high profile challenge to the further privatisation and outrageous fares whilst many rail companies are raking it in. Privatisation of our railways has led to a fragmented and dysfunctional system. With further cuts it is suggested that another 20,800 staff are at risk. ’’18 years on passengers are paying 10 times more than in other European cities and we are paying £3billion more than when we actually owned them!’

This shows that the cuts are unnecessary and that the money does exist in society. That's why the NSSN has always said "Stop ALL cuts - not one job or service for the bosses' crisis." We welcome the TUC demonstrations on October 20 in London, Glasgow and Belfast and we'll be helping to get a million on the streets. But we fear that this weak and divided government can stagger on if it is left at that. However, a strike reaching out from the public sector to the private sector - a 24 hour general strike - as the launch of sustained and co-ordinated action that could force the ConDems back.

Our strength was shown on N30 last year when 2 million took action together to defend public sector pensions. Unfortunately momentum was then lost when some union leaders signed up to the outline of a deal. We call on Unison members to vote NO & REJECT the government's pension deal now and we welcome the Unison's executive in Higher Education in voting to ballot for strike action in October and November over pay. Whether its pay or pensions, there's clearly a basis for the co-ordinated strike action that can unite all workers suffering from the Tory-LibDem austerity drive.

Come to the NSSN lobby of the TUC in Brighton on Sunday September 9 which is calling on the unions to organise this type of action. Listen to fighting union leaders like Bob Crow RMT, Mark Serwotka PCS and Steve Gillan POA as well as hundreds of shop stewards, reps and activists. March together on October 20th...then strike together to stop Cameron's austerity! (Rob Williams Chair NSSN)

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Over 150 people have already committed to coming to the lobby of the TUC and that’s despite the summer slowdown and spectacular sporting events. Steve Hedley RMT newly elected Assistant General Secretary explains why he is attending. So book a place and get your members, workplaces, families behind the NSSN lobby of the TUC in Brighton, Sunday September 9. Please sign & share the PETITION we will hand to the TUC over this, thanks.

Birmingham and Coventry 8am Priory, Queensway then 8.30 Coventry sports centre, Fairfax st. Clive Walder 07771 931185
Brighton & South East Nssnsoutheast@gmail.com 07894716095
Bristol Leaving at 8am from Anchor Road, tradom@live.co.uk
Hampshire Contact Dave Boyes 07833 412757
Huddersfield 6:00am - Mike Forster 07887668740
Hull - details tbc contact Mike Whale 07528780098
Leeds 6:30am - Kevin Pattison 0707962867034
London 10.45 London Bridge station, contact us to reserve a ticket £5 & possible West London coach 07977132391
Portsmouth Chris Pickett 07707 039071
Southampton Graham O'Reilly 07578 331537
Totnes & Newton Abbot- Minibus leaving Totnes 8am, pick up in Newton Abbot. Alex Moore aleximoore@btinternet.com 01803 868713
Sheffield 7:30am- Alistair Tice 07706710041
Wales Tumble - 5.00am, Llanelli Town Hall - 5.20am
Swansea railway station - 5.45am, Cardiff Museum - 6.30am
Ronnie Job ron.job@sky.com 07963 454 041
If your area is not covered but you want to come let us know. info@shopstewards.net


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GENERAL UPDATES
 

a) STRUCK
 

Congratulations to John Lewis cleaners who after 2 days of strikes have seen off threatened compulsory redundancies + won 10% pay rise!

PCS Contact centre workers struck again on Monday over oppressive working conditions and unrealistic targets. Over 6,000 members in 32 call centres in England, Scotland & Wales took part. Further discontinuous strike action is planned. More & Posters ‘THEY’ DON’T want you to see. NSSN reports from strike day here.  

Unite bus drivers at Abellio Byfleet 24 hour strike Monday 13 August over pay and duty rosters contact paulbrown1571@virginmedia.com

RMT bus drivers working for Stagecoach at Winchester depot struck in a dispute over pay as the company tries to force through below inflation pay increases. A month ago Stagecoach reported pre-tax profits of £239.8m.

RMT Cleaners for ISS & INITIAL struck again at Stratford  over hours for pay and Olympic recognition.

Unite members at Gomer Press in Llandysul, Ceredigion struck yesterday for half-a-day in response to enforced changes to pay and conditions and ‘a culture of bullying and harassment of union members’. 

Unite Bus drivers in Surrey took part in a one day strike on Monday and are threatening further strike action in pursuit of a fair pay rise. The 120 drivers - working for the Dutch government-owned company Abellio at the Byfleet depot - disrupted services in Guildford, Kingston, Staines, West Byfleet and Woking. 

b) STRIKING

Unite members at Capita IT Services have voted overwhelmingly for both strike action over work being sent to India and a wider compulsory redundancy plan. The dispute is centered around four sites in Reading, Craigforth, Birmingham and Bournemouth where 220 staff are employed. The impacted sites serve Prudential Phoenix and Abbey Life customers.

PCS Month of action by tax workers against cuts Despite the fact that they are only half way through the current programme of action calling for 'Tax Justice for All', the PCS have already made gains on their key demands. The Tax Justice message, coupled with campaigning and action by members on the ground, has resulted in the department beginning to listen. The 1,000 temporary jobs announced recently is a recognition that the department is under resourced and more investment is needed.

Unite maintenance staff in 3 Lincolnshire hospitals began work to rule on Monday over £1,700 pay cuts

Unite Sheffield City Council Craft workers are due to take in industrial action consisting of a 24 hour stoppage starting at 06.00 hours on Friday 17th August 2012 to defend their pay. Messages of support: Mark.fieldhouse@unitetheunion.org

 c) BALLOTING

PENSIONS: NSSN argues we should REJECT the proposals which 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.

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 a retirement age of 68 and pensions accrual and inflation revaluation.

NUT urges YES vote on ballot open over pay & conditions. 

RMT prepares ballot for action and political fight as First Group wins West Coast franchise with massive cuts plan. As it was confirmed this morning that First Group have won the InterCity franchise from Virgin on the basis of 20% cuts across the board and with a bid that RMT says contains a billion pound black hole.

WERE ABOUT TO STRIKE BUT...

PCS ATOS PCS members at the multi-million pound company Atos were about to strike this Monday but a better offer has been brought to the table including immediate payment of the living wage, some non-consolidated payments, new pay process, transparent appraisal system & development of plan to promote dignity & fair treatment for all workers. 

d) OTHER UPDATES 

Disabled People Against the Cuts’ actions against ATOS – the company that’s sponsoring the Paralympic Games but wrecking disabled people’s lives. As thousands of Remploy workers are put out of jobs in the coming weeks, this protest becomes more important. Today Unite will be at downing street handing in over 8,000 messages of support for the Remploy factories. Redundancy payments are also £5,000 less! The Welsh government has put aside £2.4 million for employers giving jobs to those Remploy workers whose factories are being closed.  

Staff working at the private hospital Royal Bucks, only got paid 2%0 of their wages for July. They were given three days notice of this. A week later they were given 30 days notice of redundancy and that the hospital was closing. A hardship fund has been set up, initial donations can be made payable to Bucks Health Unison and sent to the Union Office, Tindal Centre, Bierton Rd, Aylesbury Bucks, HP19. Contact steve bell, bucks unison branch sec and Unison SGE

 Brighton Green council is planning to close homes for adults with learning difficulties - please sign and share.

SAVE our school fields! Education Secretary Michael Gove is selling off our school sports fields to rich property developers at a staggering rate -- leaving a generation of British kids with nowhere to play. Sign the Avaaz petition as part of the campaign.

NUT Worthing oppose Academy schools: serencollins@ymail.com & Petition.

VICTIMISATION…

RMT member at Churchill Cleaning services, Tyne & Wear has succeeded in his claim against unfair dismissal. He was dismissed after providing an honest critique of mismanagement in a comments box, he was dismissed without notice. Staff balloted and took action in his support and over poverty pay. 

Three workers (2 UNITE members) who were sacked by Liverpool Mutual Homes (HMS) , alongside 12 others, are also now facing court action over questionable charges over workers who have been at the head of the campaign. Many trade unionists in Liverpool stood outside the court this week in support; the case is adjourned till 23rd August.

BLACKLISTING: CWU have raised a motion at TUC conference (p15) against corporate bullying.

SHREWSBURY: 1st Sep Justice for Shrewsbury Pickets 40th anniversary conference. justice4pickets@lists.riseup.net

INTERNATIONAL…

Turkey – 5,000 textile workers are striking indefinitely in Gaziantep for a wage rise. With the support of security forces the textile company bosses are planning to divide the workers’ struggle, increasing pressure on the workers and organising wide ranging attacks to force them to return to work at existing conditions . Messages of support info@daymer.org. More

PAKISTAN – Hotel Workers protest and sit in after months of unpaid wages. HONDURAS teachers take action in defence of their work, social security and public education.  RUSSIA – Release Pussy Riot immediately!

DIARY …

16 August

Peterloo Memorial, Radisson Hotel, Manchester.  7pm (£3/1)

17 August

Stop Condor Ferries exploiting seafarers at 12 platform rd, Southampton, gate 4.

18 August

Remploy lobby of Scottish Parliament

Scottish Rank & File meet 10am STUC, 333 Woodlands Rd, Glasgow.

Chelmsford trades council says “Stop the EDL”. maljan9@googlemail.com.

RMT protest at Portsmouth Continentia Shipping Port, PO2 8SP

1911 transport strike commeration of workers killed by troops, 10am Eldonian Village hall, Liverpool. Len McCluskey to unveil the plaque.

24 August

Protest against Balfour Beatty 10am, Balfour Beatty Engineering Services HQ, 40 Ainslie Road, Hillington Park, Glasgow, G52 4RU. Protest called jointly by: Blacklist Support Group and UNITE Scottish Sparks rank n file.

28 August

ATOS protest at 12 1st Floor, Tamarisk hse, Jobcentre plus, Cotland rd, Bournemouth

31 August

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

1 September

Justice for Shrewsbury Pickets 40th anniversary conference, 12 noon, Unite HQ, Liverpool, L3 8EF

We are Waltham Forest march “We are united against the EDL” and event 11am

02 September

Burston Longest strike in British history 10.45am-3.45pm Church Green, Burston, Norfolk. Music, speakers and march! In April 1914, two teachers at Burston Village School were sacked because one of them organised the labourers into the union. The pupils walked out & for many years were taught by those sacked teachers whilst money was raised for a Strike school.

08 September

Wigan Diggers - A FREE Open Air Festival celebrating the life and ideas of Wigan born and bred Gerrard Winstanley (1609-1676) & the 17th Century Diggers' (True Leveller) Movement. The Wiend, Wigan, 12-8.

09 September

'Strike against Austerity!' NSSN lobby of TUC conference: Brighton 1pm, assemble at The Level and rally at Hilton Hotel.

15 September

“No hospital closures, no cuts to services” Greenwich & Bexley trades council demo, Assemble 1pm General Gordon Sq. lynne.windeatt@btinternet.com

22 September

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

30 September

Lobby of Labour Party conference for a clear commitment to repeal the Health and Social Care Bill and rebuild our health service.

07 October

Protest at Tory party Conference

14 October

Defend the Right to Protest National Conference 11.30 -5.30pm, London

17 October

Youth fight for Jobs Scotland & PCS Young members network March for Jobs!

MIDLANDS NSSN Conference Unite offices, 211 Broad Street, Birmingham, B15 1AY. 1200-1600. Speakers include Joe Simpson, Asst Gen Sec POA

20 October

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

21 October

Ragged Trousered Philanthropist performance introduced by Matt Wrack, GS of FBU.

20-24 November
The Visteon/Ford Occupation, a play 7.30pm (£10) The emerald Roadhouse, Finaghy rd, North Belfast. For tickets contact John Dunne info@londonirishtheatre.com

24 Nov

YORKSHIRE & HUMBER NSSN Conference 10am - 4pm. Leeds, Cosmopolitan Hotel, 2 Lower Briggate, LS1 4AE. Contact Kevin Pattison 07962867034.

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Follow us on Twitter NSSN_Anticuts, share information with us on Facebook main group 'National Shop Stewards Network' & the NSSN FB 'Stop the cuts' & regularly check our website! But most importantly get active to develop the NSSN and our trade union and community movement against the cuts! There is an alternative.

Email: info@shopstewards.net

Phone: 07952 283 558

Post: NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9D

 

 

 

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