NSSN 386: Victory for trade union rights in West Dunbartonshire

April 17, 2018 in Bulletins


The NSSN sends our congratulations to the trade unions in West Dunbartonshire Council – Unite, Unison, GMB and EIS. This is an article explaining the victory:-

The SNP administration in West Dunbartonshire has, this morning, released a statement announcing their decision to reverse the cuts to trade union convenors and union facility time. This climbdown is a victory for the trade unions and local communities.

Instead of the proposed cut to two convenors, they say they will now retain the full 3.5. This retreat comes after a mass campaign was mobilised, both in the work place and the local community, against a budget that detailed not only this attack to trade unions but a swathe of other cuts. These included a plan to share local amnesties with other councils, removal of much needed frontline public services and a reduction in grass cutting and care of flowerbeds in parks. These cuts still need to be fought.

Trade union protest at West Dunbartonshire council meeting

Trade union protest at West Dunbartonshire council meeting

The SNP now claim that their attacks on the trade unions were a “misunderstanding.” In reality this was a serious attempt to undermine trade union organisation that was fully supported by the Tories in West Dunbartonshire.

A public meeting which attracted a huge crowd, with speakers from the council unions – Unite, Unison, GMB and EIS, the Labour Party, the Community Party and Socialist Party Scotland, saw workers make clear their anger at the cuts and their willingness to go to ballot for strike action if necessary.

A rally at a hasty meeting of councillors to debate whether to discuss with trade unions and well supported local stalls added pressure to a council who were already working against first minister Nicola Sturgeon’s statement in Holyrood and at STUC that “trade union time is precious” forcing them to “make the necessary amendments to the budget.”

This is a really significant win and shows what can be achieved when workers and the community take action to fight the cuts. They should now press forward with the campaign against all the budget cuts demanding more money and an end to the local council passing on Tory austerity.




McStrike to Spread Across UK on May Day (15 April) – Workers vote by 95.2% for strike action at 5 McDonald’s stores across the UK. Workers will strike at Global CEO Steve Easterbrook’s hometown of Watford. McDonald’s workers have announced strike action at 5 stores on International Workers Day (Tuesday 01 May 2018).  The workers from 3 new stores in Manchester and Watford will join the stores at Crayford and Cambridge who made history last September by going on strike for the very first time in the UK. Workers will strike in Watford, the hometown of multi-millionaire McDonald’s Global CEO Steve Easterbrook. The Bakers’ Union members are striking for £10 an hour, a choice of fixed hour contracts, the end of unequal pay for young workers, and for union recognition. McDonald’s responded to September’s strike in January by giving workers the largest pay rise for a decade. The ballot result across the five stores was 95.2% in favour of strike action read more

McStrike logo

McStrike! Fundraiser Party – from 9pm Friday April 20th at Styx, 5 Ashley Road, N17 9LJ London Facebook event

Keep sending solidarity to the BFAWU, post cheques to BFAWU, Stanborough House, Great North Road, Welwyn Garden City, Herts AL8 7TA and donate to the strike fund. Also help the fund by buying a #McStrike t-shirt. More info on the Fast Food Rights/Hungry for Justice website




Support the London teachers’ strikes: Organising action, winning for education – Over the last few months, some tremendous campaigns – and some important victories – have been organised across the London Region by the National Education Union. Some campaigns can be won just by organisation and good arguments – but it sometimes needs the threat of collective industrial action to make sure those arguments are heard! Here are a few examples    Campaign against Newham academies boosted by victories

Next London strikes – Newham: Avenue out on April 17-19, 24-26 and May 1-3; Cumberland 18-19, 24-26 and May 1-3. Waltham Forest: Connaught April 17-19. Ealing: Acton High April 19

Newham demo Feb 26

Newham demo Feb 26

Join the national weekend of action against School Cuts on April 21-22 read more



TUC demonstration ‘A new deal for working people’: Saturday May 12th – assemble 11am at Victoria Embankment between Hungerford Bridge and Blackfriars Bridge. For details, including transport to the demonstration – https://www.tuc.org.uk/events/new-deal-working-people-tuc-march-rally

TUC demo snip

Come to the ‘A new deal for working people’ TUC march and rally in London on Saturday May 12th. It is an opportunity to mobilise hundreds of thousands of trade unionists, their families, friends and service users who are angry at the attacks of the employers and their Tory Government.


Celebrate International Workers Memorial Day April 28th and May Day International Workers Day on and around May 1st. Click on the links for IWMD and May Day to find events in your area

IWMD London – There will be a rally with speeches commencing at 10:30am at the Building Worker Statue, Tower Hill, London, EC3. Organised by Unite construction sector with a speaker – all welcome. Straight after the event at Tower Hill (around 12:45pm) there will be a silent vigil at Grenfell Tower – outside Notting Hill Methodist Church, 240 Lancaster Road, W11 4AH



NSSN news

NSSN Conference moved to  Saturday July 7th – support the June 30th NHS 70th anniversary events


The NSSN steering committee has decided to put our annual conference back a week to avoid a clash of dates with a national day of action to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the NHS on June 30th. We will do all we can to build these protests against continuing Tory health cuts.

The 2018 National Shop Stewards Network Annual Conference will be from 11am-4.30pm on Saturday July 7th in Conway Hall – 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL. The attendance fee is £6 and it is open to all trade union and anti-cuts campaigners. Affiliation letter and conference appeal letter is here

We also want to give advanced notice that once again we will be organising a rally at TUC Congress. This year it will be in Manchester on Sunday September 9th.

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

Download the ‘Join the NSSN’ leaflet here

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 [email protected]

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Follow us on twitter via @NSSN_AntiCuts and Facebook





Union News


Transport union RMT pledges “total solidarity” with striking French rail workers (13 Apr) – TRANSPORT UNION RMT today pledged “total solidarity” with striking rail workers in France in their fight to defend jobs, workers’ rights and the principle of a publicly-owned railway. Members at the union’s train crew conference, meeting in Aberystwyth, have confirmed the support and General Secretary Mick Cash has sent the following message to the CGT union in France: “I am writing to inform you that members of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) representing Guards, Shunters and Train Drivers meeting today in Aberystwyth at the union’s annual train crew conference called for “total solidarity” with striking French railworkers…” read more

National RMT protest against Driver Only Operation on Wednesday 25th April – rail union RMT have confirmed that it will be holding a national protest outside Parliament on Weds 25th April at 11.30 at Old Palace Yard, London, SW1P 3JY (Opposite the Palace of Westminster and in front of the George V statue) read more

RMT Waterloo picket January 8 anti-DOO strike

RMT Waterloo picket January 8 anti-DOO strike

National dispute fund (DOO disputes) – If you would like to donate to the RMT National Dispute Fund which makes payments to support their striking members taking part in National DOO disputes then you can donate via PayPal using the donate button below or make a cheque payable to RMT National Dispute Fund and send it to the address below. Alternatively, you can ring their Freephone helpline on 0800 376 3706 who will be happy to process a credit card payment for you, or, if you would like to pay via internet banking, please email [email protected] for further details. Vicky Thompson, Finance Manager RMT, 39 Chalton Street, London NW1 1JD. Tel: 020-7529-8843

RMT confirms it has served notice on KAD for next phase of Docklands strike action – DLR union RMT confirmed today that it has served notice on Keolis Amey Docklands for the next phase of strike action in a dispute over outsourcing, abuse of procedures and workplace justice. All KAD members have been instructed not to book on for any shifts that commence between 04:00 hours on Friday 20th April 2018 and 03:59 hours on Tuesday 24th April 2018 read more



Support the indefinite Bromley library strike – Staff at all 14 of Bromley’s libraries in Unite started an indefinite strike on Wednesday 28 March over a ‘paltry and insulting’ pay offer. The strike by the 36 workers comes after the breakdown of pay talks between Unite and Greenwich Leisure Ltd (GLL), which runs the library service on behalf of Bromley council. The strike is the latest to hit the controversial Tory-controlled council which has made outsourcing the lynchpin of its polices.

Bromley library April 2018

Please email messages of support to Bromley Unite branch secretary Kathy Smith [email protected]

Make donations out to ‘Bromley Unite’ and post to: Onay Kasab, Unite the Union, 33-37 Moreland St, Clerkenwell, London EC1V 8BB

Deeside construction site protest to halt ‘shameful race to the bottom’ (16 Apr) – Unite members and fellow trade unionists will be protesting at the £800 million energy to waste construction site at Parc Adfer in Deeside north Wales tomorrow (Tuesday 17 April) as part of a campaign to stop a ‘race to the bottom’ in pay, conditions and safety at the site. Campaigners will be protesting outside the Parc Adfer site on Weighbridge Road, CH15 2LL from 06:00 demanding that the French contractor CNIM adheres to national construction sector agreements covering pay, terms and conditions read more

Thurrock bin strikes off but tensions remain, warns Unite (16 Apr) – Unite members working in Thurrock council’s waste collection service have agreed to end the current threat of strike action; but tensions remain in the service and the threat of strikes could be revisited if the council reneges on its promises, Unite warned today (Monday 16 April). Following the decision to suspend the initial strike action (on April 6) Thurrock council has now made a series of concessions in writing. As a result Unite’s members have agreed to call off their remaining planned strikes. The 72 hour strike beginning at 0:01 hours on Tuesday 1 May and the 24 hour strikes due to begin on 16, 23 and 30 May have now been formally called off read more

Escalation in Dacorum dustbin redundancy pay dispute on cards (16 Apr) – The redundancy payments’ dispute at Dacorum borough council in Hertfordshire, which has seen delays in the collection of dustbins, is set to escalate with more industrial action. Unite, the country’s largest union, said that the council had deliberately ratcheted up the dispute when it made nine compulsory redundancies in the team that looks after cleaning-up adventure playgrounds. The council has voted to cut compensation payments to staff who are made redundant from 2.2 times the weekly wage for each completed year, down to 1.5 times of the weekly wage for each completed year. Unite believes that the council’s hard line on redundancy payments is part of a ‘hidden agenda’ to prepare the refuse service, which covers Hemel Hempstead, Berkhamsted and Tring, for Carillion-style privatisation. Unite and Unison members will hold a protest rally that will take place at the Civic Centre, Hemel Hempstead HP1 1DN on Wednesday (18 April) at 18:45 read more

Chorus of discontent over pay and bullying engulfs Royal Opera House (13 Apr) – Unite has called ‘curtains’ over poor pay and allegations of bullying of security personnel at London’s prestigious Royal Opera House. Performances at the world-renowned Covent Garden venue, whose history can be traced back to 1732, will be disrupted this summer if the security guards vote for strikes as this action could herald a breach of ‘health & safety’ regulations. Unite represents the vast majority of the 30-strong security workforce who start voting on whether to take strike action on Monday (16 April), with the ballot closing on Friday 4 May. The security function is outsourced to Corps Security (UK) Ltd which employs Unite members read more

TGI Fridays hit with first ever strike ballots over tips and minimum wage abuses (11 Apr) – The first strikes in a UK casual dining chain in decades have moved a step closer today (Wednesday 11 April), after Unite notified TGI Fridays that it will be balloting workers in two branches for strike action, in what will be the first in a series of strike ballots over the coming months. Waiting staff at the American dining chain’s Milton Keynes and Covent Garden restaurants are being balloted from Wednesday 18 April over breaches of the company’s tip and tronc policy and minimum wage abuses. The ballots close on Tuesday 1 May. TGI Fridays which has 83 branches across the UK is now facing a wave of rolling strike ballots as the union prepares to ballot workers in two restaurants a week from Friday (13 April) read more

Support Ian Allinson: Protesters accuse Fujitsu of victimising whistleblowers read more. Keep up to date with Unite: Our union in Fujitsu website. Protest outside Japanese Embassy 12noon Thursday April 5th – 101-104 Piccadilly, Mayfair, London W1J 7JT Facebook event



ACAS conciliators to take industrial action in long-running dispute (16 Apr) – PCS members, who work as conciliators for ACAS, are to take industrial action in a long-running dispute over the imposition of changes by management of the conciliation service. The imposed changes include the downgrading of conciliation work and in terms of workload our members are now trying to manage the unmanageable as a result of the transformation programme at ACAS which has been running for 2 years. In January, PCS won an employment appeals tribunal ruling that ACAS must consult PCS about these changes. Last month our members voted overwhelmingly in support of industrial action, which would include strike action, as well as action short of strike. PCS members will begin action short of strike from 25 April – including no obligation to undertake any reactive or proactive work on early conciliation cases or employment tribunal cases which ACAS defines as fast track. The planned action is also to include a one-day strike on 11 May and a 2-day strike on 6 and 7 June read more

30 April join the Big PCS Pay Petition Day (16 Apr) – PCS is urging all members to get involved in our Big Pay Petition Day on 30 April to continue to put pressure on the government as we await its response to our pay claim. 30 April is our Big Pay Petition Day when members will sign A4 petitions, which should then be pasted to a single large placard and used in photo opportunities with the maximum number of members taking part. You can download and print a petition and ask your colleagues to sign it or ask your workplace rep for a copy to sign. Once everyone has signed your workplace petition take a group photo outside your workplace and email it to [email protected]. PCS communications will then publish your photos on our social media channels. We then want you to keep your petition and bring it to PCS annual delegate conference in Brighton next month read more

18 April – Join the vigil for justice (10 Apr) – Join the fight to save our justice system at a vigil outside the Ministry of Justice, supported by PCS, from 7-8pm on 18 April. Our justice system is in crisis. Staff are paying the price for unprecedented budget cuts and privatisation with thousands of job cuts – more than 5,000 court staff axed – since 2010. At the same time more than 250 courts have closed in England and Wales. Cuts to legal aid mean too many people are being priced out of justice. When legal aid was introduced 8 out of 10 people were entitled to free legal advice. Now fewer than 1 in 10 receive it. Join the vigil for justice in London, organised by the Justice Alliance and Speak Up For Justice. Guest speakers include PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka – Outside the Ministry of Justice, 102 Petty France, London SW1H 9AJ (near St James tube) read more

Protest: Tell British Museum It’s time to talk to Carillion staff – 12.30pm, British Museum, Gt Russell Street, London Facebook event

Campaign for ex-Carillion staff to be brought in-house at the British Museum Sign our online petition

DWP compulsory redundancies: send PCS e-letter to permanent secretary – PCS is calling on all DWP members in the Department for Work and Pensions to send an e-letter to permanent secretary Peter Schofield to support 2 of our members at Plymouth Benefit Centre who are needlessly facing compulsory redundancy. Bizarrely the office that these two members – who are administrative officer grade staff – work in is not actually closing. However, the work that they do is moving to another location that is outside their mobility and the DWP claims that it can find no other AO work in Plymouth for these staff to do. Help support the campaign by registering your protest against this shameful decision by sending an e-letter to the DWP permanent secretary Peter Schofield read more

Support DWP strikes:

  • Send messages of support to [email protected]
  • Send donations to the strike fund to PCS DWP Group, 3rd Floor, Town Centre House, Merrion Centre, Leeds, LS2 8LY



UCU members vote in record numbers to accept proposals in pensions dispute (13 Apr) – In a record turnout for a national ballot, UCU members voted by two to one to accept proposals aimed at resolving the university pensions dispute. A second wave of strikes due to begin next week and to continue into May and June has been suspended, as has the action short of a strike. The result: Yes to accept the UUK offer 64%, No to reject the UUK offer 36%, Turnout: 63.5%. The dispute started because of proposals by Universities UK (UUK) to remove the guaranteed ‘defined benefit’ pension for members of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) – a move the union said would see a typical scheme member lose around £10,000 a year in retirement read more    Unison: Universities members vote to accept proposals on USS pension scheme

Sign this petition to stop the anti-union dirty tricks in the Coventry University Group – We the undersigned condemn the management of the CU Group, a subsidiary company of Coventry University, who have sought to block UCU from applying for recognition by setting up a company union and recognising it

Strike ballots at two West Yorkshire colleges over job cuts (12 Apr) – Staff at Bradford College and Kirklees College are being balloted for strike action over plans to cut jobs and change contracts. The ballots at both colleges will begin on Friday (13 April) and finish on Thursday 3 May read more

Strike ballot at Hull College Group over job losses – the ballot opened on Friday 23 March and close on Wednesday 18 April read more. Messages of support to Dave Langcaster via email [email protected]



Hull recycling workers strike for sick pay – Branch appeals for donations to hardship fund as workers start two weeks on the picket line for sick pay from international company worth hundreds of millions. Recycling workers working for FCC Environment in Hull have started two weeks of strike action for decent pay sick pay, and are asking for donations to their hardship fund. Please send messages of solidarity and financial support to the Wilmington Strikers c/o Adrian Kennett Hull City UNISON 39, Alfred Gelder Street, Hull HU1 2AG. Please make cheques payable to UNISON Hull City Branch read more

Sign petition: Support sacked NHS Midwife Jane Greaves

Sign petition: End victimisation of trade unionists at Belle Vue Buses in Manchester

Support the Birmingham Homecare Workers read more on Birmingham Unison website Facebook page



ScotRail CCTV strike may hit Scottish Cup Final (16 Apr) – Unless crisis talks tomorrow between TSSA and ScotRail resolve the industrial dispute over the axing of too many CCTV staff, and imposition of a night shift, strike action could affect the Scottish Football Cup final. Last minute talks will take place with the company tomorrow. But TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes will ask Humza Yousaf to order management to resolve the crisis, at a meeting now scheduled to take place in Holyrood on Wednesday if ScotRail bosses do not agree to restock the numbers of safety critical CCTV staff tomorrow read more



Prison officers take legal action over pensions (11 Apr) – The POA has started the process of initiating Employment Tribunal proceedings which will challenge the introduction of a new pension scheme for Prison Officers in 2015. It is anticipated that more than 3,500 POA members will join in the proceedings read more



Mayoral power grab of fire service could spell disaster, warns union (12 Apr) – No public mandate exists for the West Midlands Fire Service to be taken over by the Mayor according to the results of a public consultation, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has said. The consultation saw just 1163 people respond out of a population of 2.8 million people within the West Midlands read more

Sign petition: Stop West Midlands Firefighters being taken away from the frontline! #FiredUp



Support the Picturehouse workers and sacked reps – Read the latest on Brixton Ritzy Facebook Page and those of Hackney, Crouch End, Central, Dulwich East and Duke of York Brighton

Donate to the Picturehouse Cinema strike fund: https://www.crowdpac.co.uk/campaigns/250/picturehousestrike



USDAW members at Tesco Dagenham urge the company to improve their pay offer following an overwhelming vote for industrial action (13 Apr) – USDAW members working at Tesco Dagenham have voted by 70.1%, on a turnout of 62.6%, to take industrial action after the company failed to make an acceptable pay offer. The most recent offer, which has been rejected by USDAW members was worth less than 3% over 12 months. USDAW hopes that the company will now return to the negotiating table with a significantly improved offer so that industrial action can be avoided. The Tesco Dagenham distribution centre specialises in distributing to Tesco convenience stores within the Greater London area read more



University cleaners announce biggest ever outsourced workers strike in UK higher education – University of London workers organised by the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) are to hold the biggest-ever strike of outsourced workers in UK higher education history. Over 100 cleaners, porters, security officers, receptionists, gardeners, postroom staff and audiovisual staff are expected to walk out on 25 and 26 April after a near unanimous vote in favour of industrial action. The workers, who are employed by a number of outsourcing companies that have contracts with the University of London central administration, are demanding to be made direct employees of the university, and for equal terms and conditions with those that are directly employed read more   Donate to strike fund. Strike solidarity protest 4pm Wednesday April 25th Facebook event

IWGB to ballot Ernst & Young cleaners for strike action over redundancies (Apr 10) – The Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) is to ballot cleaners working at three Ernst & Young (EY) offices in London for strike action over proposed redundancies read more


United Voices of the World

Today the Orion recycling workers return to work as heroes bringing an end to their historic two and a half week walkout over dangerous working conditions which began on Wednesday 28th March – In a 5 hour meeting held last Friday 13th April at the Orion plant, all the workers’ demands over health and safety, hygiene and training were conceded. The workers also secured a guarantee of full payment of their wages throughout the two and half week stoppage. Whilst their safety has now been secured talks will be ongoing in respect of the London Living Wage and Occupational Sick Pay which may lead to a strike ballot in the coming weeks. Confident, combative, united and inspiring, these ‘invisible’ workers have shown what it takes to stand up and resist precarity and marginalisation. Dismissed as ‘unorganisable’ by most official unions, these migrant worker members of United Voices of the World have shown that the best weapon to fight back is the collective strength of those you work with. If ‘invisible’ migrant workers at an industrial site in east London can do this, there’s no reason why other workers can’t take on the bosses and win! www.facebook.com/uvwunion



Other news

Join DPAC’s National Day of Action on Universal Credit this Wednesday 18 April details of events and protests


Watch the play about the 1970s Grunwick Strike ‘We Are The Lions, Mr Manager!’ (hosted by Coventry TUC) – 7.30pm Friday 4th May Belgrade Theatre, Belgrade Square, CV1 1GS Coventry Facebook event




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





NUJ: Two media outlets forced to close following Orbán’s electoral win in Hungary read more







28 International Workers Memorial Day



1 May Day – International Workers Day

12 TUC demonstration ‘A new deal for working people’ https://www.tuc.org.uk/events/new-deal-working-people-tuc-march-rally



30 NHS 70th anniversary rally



7 National Shop Stewards Network 2018 Annual Conference 11am-4.30pm Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, Holborn, London



9 NSSN TUC Rally in Manchester



PHONE 07952 283 558

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ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE