NSSN Bulletin 107

September 6, 2012 in Bulletins

From Sunday the TUC holds its 2012 congress. So divided is the Con-Dem coalition that at times it seems a strong gust of wind could blow them over as they argue over a third runway at Heathrow or House of Lords reform.

Yet this is the government that has implemented billions of pounds worth of cuts, sacked 400,000 public sector workers, trebled tuition fees and much, much more. If they stagger on in office for the full term, the remaining 80% of the austerity measures they threaten could follow, further decimating working class people’s lives.

As the Tories shuffle round the table, with the same old ideas which are having disgraceful consequences, there are serious echoes by leading trade unionists to the call of the NSSN to Strike against Austerity as a necessary step to stop the cuts. At the TUC general council on Thursday, those who attended voted 16-16 on supporting the POA motion to look at a general strike.

On Tuesday, Janice Godrich, PCS President congratulated “the 80,000 who booed George Osborne in the Paralympics yesterday. They were speaking for the vast majority of ordinary people in this country who are sickened by this cabinet of millionaires making us pay for the bankers’ crisis. Like me they were also sickened by the hypocrisy of Atos being used to sponsor an event for Paralympics athletes while being used by the government to steal benefits off the sick and disabled.” Janice encouraged everyone to, “come on the TUC demonstrations against Cameron’s austerity on October 20th and help us get a million on the streets of London, Glasgow and Belfast. And what would really send a message to this divided coalition is if next week’s TUC conference passed motions that the cuts to pay, pensions, jobs and services would be met by the type of co-ordinated strike action we saw last November when 2 million went on strike.”

Bob Crow, RMT general Secretary, added his support to the call for a general strike against austerity, at the Burston strike school rally. “Its 98 years since Burston yet the same attacks are taking place now. We should be doing what the Spanish workers have done and the Greek workers have done and have a general strike.” NSSN officers met with Bob Crow last week and he clearly supported the need for this action as a strategy against the cuts and will be supporting the Prison Officers Association motion at TUC over the possibility of a general strike.

Join us on Sunday 9th September, in Brighton, to lobby the TUC and get even wider support for the only course of action we think will make a difference.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

  1. Come to the lobby & rally of the TUC on Sunday. Transport details
  2. We need every  union activist to ask their delegation at TUC to support the motions for co-ordinated action and follow up with meetings in every workplace and community to discuss and develop.
  3. Sign the petition and share with your friends, workmates and all.

 

Details for Sunday: Assemble 1pm at The Level park – Union Road, Brighton BN2  for march at 1.30pm to Brighton Conference Centre and then rally at Hilton Metropole.   Speakers include: Bob Crow RMT, Mark Serwotka PCS, Steve Gillan POA, Remploy Rep and Reps from a number of different disputes and campaigns.

GENERAL UPDATES

 b) STRIKING

Remploy – workers Chesterfield and Springfield have been on strike this week  . The occupation of Remploy’s offices two weeks ago brought the campaign back into focus as workers are being laid off. Messages of support to Les Woodward national Remploy convenor  [email protected]  07977436251 and messages of protest about closure of Remploy factories to Maria Miller (‘factory killer’) DWP Parliamentary Under Secretary of State [email protected]  More

GMB members at Cranswick Country Foods in East Yorkshire are today taking the first of two day’s strike action over the imposition of a 20% pay cut. More

Unite members at Capita working in Reading, Craigforth, Birmingham and Bournemouth will be taking continuous action from 4 September. The dispute centers on Capita’s plans to offshore work to India and a wider compulsory redundancy programme. four sites in Reading, Craigforth, Birmingham and Bournemouth where 220 staff are employed. More

RMT members in Carlisle Cleaning & Support Services (Transpennine Express) – continue industrial action short of a strike in the form of an overtime and rest day working ban 25th August – 8th September. More

RMT CLEANERS on the prestigious East Coast mainline and the key London Midland service, working for contractors ISS, are to step up their fight for pay justice with 24-hour strikes on Monday September 10.  more

Unite members at Bombardier has been suspended pending talks. More

The Fire Brigades Union has postponed the short duration strike action called for 5th September following crucial talks held between senior managers and FBU negotiators. More

c) BALLOTING

RMT balloting crew working on the Mitie contract on First Great Western for both strike action and action short of a strike over the blatant victimisation of union representative Sharon Petrie. More

RMT to begin balloting CalMac Scottish ferries staff for strike action in an on-going dispute over pensions and workplace rights. More

Blood transfusion test results could be hit, if strike action goes ahead, because of the threatened closure of the blood-testing centre at Colindale in north London. Ballot papers for Unite members are now out the result is due on 18 September – the day before the consultation ends on the ‘business case’ which could mean blood samples from London and the south east travelling for more than two hours for testing at Filton. More

Journalists in York who face a pay freeze – which when inflation is taken into account is equivalent to a pay cut – are balloting for industrial action. More

d) OTHER UPDATES

Southampton Council pay dispute – after 18 months the dispute may be over as unions have been offered at least a partial reversal of cuts to their pay. Council workers are voting on offer. Strike action won concessions. With Knowsley council announcing plans to outsource almost all of its services and jobs, the strike action taken by workers will be an important part of the strategy.

Unite and Rank & File Sparks target Crown House to stop ‘BESNA 2’ – More protests at sites this week, with the added fight against a key worker who has been sacked. Protests against Crown House leaving the JIB – Wales RnF at Cardiff Royal Infirmary Friday 7am. London – The Cheesegrater 122 Leadenhall Street.

Paralympics protests in support of Remploy workers took place in Stratford whilst many also challenged the ATOS sponsorship of the games in Cardiff, Sheffield and London, with an occupation at ATOS HQ. Over 1000 people have died following withdrawal of benefits, ATOS, quite literally, has blood on its hands!

UCU and Unison at London Met University are supporting a protest at the UK border agency as students are being faced with transferring studies or being deported. A joint union statement argued, “That the UKBA decision to revoke London Met’s sponsorship is an unprecedented attack on all higher education and must be opposed at all levels.”

PCS are currently consulting over the closure of 8 nurseries. More

A fight is on to save a small community hospital in the ex-mining town of Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire – visited by 15,000 people a year – has moved to the Kings Mill district general hospital in Mansfield.

Residents of the City of Liverpool sign petition in there thousands to ask Liverpool Mutual Homes to enter into meaningful negotiations with Unite. More

Last weekend a far right group attempted to march and rally in East London last week and were humiliated and now demoralized after protestors occupied the route.  Campaigners had been door-to-door over the weeks building up to the event, to discuss the protest and what could be done. Some campaigners argued for a class approach and that it needed to be against all cuts.   RMT members threatened walkouts at Kings Cross, as they faced abuse from the EXX.

 VICTIMISATION…

Glasgow electrician Stewart Hume is being victimised because of his trade union activities during the recent BESNA dispute. Stewart was one of the leading UNITE rank and file activists in the country whilst working for Balfour Beatty Engineering Services (BBES) at the Strathclyde Fire & Rescue Training Centre and INEOS Grangemouth Oil Refinery. Eddie Current (sparks rank & file) has said: “Its simple. If Balfour Beatty don’t reinstate Stewart Hume by 10th September then we’ll consider that a declaration of war. Every Balfour Beatty project in the country will be a legitimate target. The only person to blame for this situation is Gerry Harvey. If the company had an ounce of decency, it would be that blacklisting wretch they would be sacking.”

Blacklisting Support motion 15 at the  More 

INTERNATIONAL…

Philippine Airlines workers have staged a sit-down strike, launched a picket, and set up camp near Manila’s airport in a desperate bid to stop Philippine Airlines from outsourcing their union out of existence.

SPAIN Please send messages of support and “share” The SAT and its leaders, Canamero and Sanchez Gordillo have swept to national and international fame following their organisation of “expropriations” of supermarkets in Andalucia, to distribute basic foodstuffs among the thousands of rural and urban poor, in this region devastated by the crisis with an unemployment rate of over 30%. Spain: Protest leaders arrested in Malaga after bank occupation. More

South Africa  – In the face of widespread anger, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has been forced to drop the murder charges against the 270 miners arrested after the 16 August Marikana massacre and to release them. The poisonous propaganda cloud that was released by the police, sections of the media, and the NUM immediately after the massacre to the effect that the police fired at the workers in self defence is beginning to dissipate as reports indicate that many of the workers were shot in the back as they were fleeing. More

DIARY

07 Sep

Steve Acheson is now in his 45th month protesting outside Fiddlers Ferry Power Station because of his unfair dismissal due to the blacklist from 7-9.30am.

Fight the Besna 2’ Protests against Crown House leaving the JIB:-

London –  Cheesegrater 122 Leadenhall Street 7am

Wales – Cardiff Royal Infirmary Friday 7am

08 Sep

Save Jobs at REMPLOY Chesterfield March & Rally, 12.30 Chesterfield Town hall

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.

Merton & Sutton trades council Save St Helier hospital services picnic and protest  noon outside the hospital Kevin O’Brien [email protected] or 07718 585 717

09 Sep

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

10 Sep

Londoners say no to workfare! 12 noon at DWP, Caxton House, Westminster SW1

11 Sep

TUC Congress Rally against McNulty – Brighton, September 11

Fighting the Remploy cuts’ GMB & Unite fringe mtg at TUC 12.45-2pm with Phil Davies GMB, Kevin Hepworth Unite, Les Woodward GMB convener & Sean McGovern Unite DEC

2-4pm. Meeting of the newly-formed Southwark group of Disabled People Against the Cuts. Southwark Independent Living Centre, 10 Bradenham Close  SE17 2QB. [email protected]

14 Sep

Xenophobic government policies on migration and the marketisation of   education have put 2600 students at London Metropolitan University at threat   of what could be the biggest single deportation in Britain since the   expulsion of the Jews in the 13th century. UK Border Agency, 31-33 Newport Road, Cardiff CF24 0AB

15 Sep

“No hospital closures, no cuts to services” Greenwich & Bexley trades council demo, Assemble 1pm General Gordon Sq. [email protected]

Ealing trades council “Save our hospitals” march assemble at 10am Southall Park  [email protected] 07960 309 457

Brent trades council “Defend NW London NHS” march 12 noon Harlesden Jubilee clock to Central Middlesex Hospital more details from [email protected] 07906 313 954

22 Sep

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

Bromley trades council “Crisis in South London Health Trust & Cuts to Public Services” public meeting with John McDonnell MP and local speakers 7pm HG Wells Centre Monday 24 September more from Paul Rooney [email protected]

30th Sep

Rally against McNulty – Manchester, September 30 (Labour Party conference week)  More

Lobby of Labour Party conference for a clear commitment to repeal the Health and Social Care Bill

07 Oct

Protest at Tory party Conference

14 Oct

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

17 Oct

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

20 Oct

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

21 Oct

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

24th Oct

London NSSN public meeting – 7pm Wednesday October 24th ULU, Malet Street WC1E 7HY

27th Oct

Scotland NSSN conference – Glasgow

South West NSSN public meeting –Swindon

Wednesday 31 October  National Pensioners Convention rally and lobby of Parliament “Hands off the bus pass”  – 11.30am protest Old Palace Yard, 1pm rally/lobby

17th Nov

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

Yorkshire Youth Fight for Jobs and Yorkshire & Humber PCS Young Members Network demo. Fight for your future – we won’t be a lost generation

20-24Nov

The Visteon/Ford Occupation, a play 7.30pm (£10) The emerald Roadhouse, Finaghy rd, North Belfast. For tickets contact John Dunne [email protected]

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: [email protected]

Phone: 07952 283 558

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

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