20 July 2012 Yes, we’ve made it to 100! Just a few weeks after the 6th annual NSSN conference – the 100th ebulletin. The NSSN is now a fixture in the union movement – building the rank & file since 2006, when we were initiated by the RMT. Big thanks to our supporting national unions RMT, PCS, POA, NUM, CWU and NUJ plus many other union branches, shop stewards committees, trades councils and the thousands of stewards, reps, activists and all those in the union & anti-cuts movements, young and old who support the NSSN.
We hope you’ve found our weekly email valuable and informative, although we know it can be a bit long! The way we look at it, the longer it is, it must mean that workers are fighting back more. Our first weekly ebulletin was in March 2010, just before the ConDems were ‘elected’. That was when the media used to say that workers in Britain don’t fight like our brothers and sisters in Europe. No one says that anymore! Not after March 26th, J30, N30, M10…or the Sparks, Unilever, MMP, Coryton, Sova etc plus fighting and defeating union victimisation on London Underground, Honda and Ratcliffe. At long last, priceless victories to show that fighting back works.
The NSSN has been proud to support all these struggles. We were there in building the idea of co-ordinated strike action across the public sector to defend pensions that culminated in the 2 million-strong N30 as well as lobbying the TUC on December 19th, to try and keep the strike coalition together. We committed all our resources to help build the fantastic open conference called by PCS Left Unity on January 7th to regroup the willing unions that made May 10th possible, which sent a defiant message to the government – this is not over!
Now we welcome the TUC demo on October 20th and are committed to getting a million on the streets of London and Glasgow. But we think that it can’t be the end of the fight against austerity and the estimated 85% of the cuts to come. The NSSN is lobbying the TUC conference on September 9th in Brighton to call on the union leaders to use the platform of October 20th to organise a 24 hour general strike as the starting point for the sustained co-ordinated action necessary to defeat this government of the corrupt bankers and the tax-avoiding rich. The transport is being booked in your area – to reserve a seat, email [email protected] .
How do we celebrate our anniversary? Telling you about another busy week in the union movement – Remploy workers, Essex firefighters, East London teachers all on strike and Coryton oil refinery workers protesting as well as workers’ struggles all over the world. After the first century there is another….keep the news coming! Solidarity! (Rob Williams, NSSN Chair)
North west NSSN held an excellent meeting on how to fight victimisation and what else needed to happen in the onslaught from the bosses, trade unionists heard Steve Acheson, blacklisted electrician, speak on the recent BESNA victory and the continuing battle against blacklisting. Many of those attending were construction workers and they lambasted the mostly unelected trade union officials in UNITE and UCATT for their persistent failure to lead a struggle for members and, in some cases, for collaboration with blacklisting. London NSSN also met with representatives of several unions including RMT, PCS, POA and Unite to plan a London mobilisation for the lobby of the TUC on Sep 9th. STRIKE AGAINST AUSTERITY! NSSN lobby TUC:letter to union branches and leaflet for lobby of the TUC are available on our website. London RMT & Bolton Trades Council has also agreed to support the lobby.
GENERAL UPDATES: STRUCK, STRIKING, BALLOTS & more!
REMPLOY GMB & UNITE Struck yesterday across England, Scotland & Wales. Lively but determined picket lines were out in force, with great local support. This is a further attack on disabled people who want to have a choice of what form their working lives take, whether it’s supported employment or mainstream employment. Remploy factories play a vital role in enabled disabled people have a sustainable, independent working life as opposed to being left to rot on the unemployment scrapheap, reliant on ever diminishing benefits. It stands alongside the NHS as an historical legacy won through the Labour government elected in 1945. Given the number of attacks that disabled people face, its hardly any wonder why some REMPLOY workers are also arguing for a Strike against Austerity! More
FBU Essex struck again this week over cuts & imposed changes in Terms & Conditions. 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. It is a local dispute however as the authority has imposed the changes outside of agreements, this dispute has national implications. Matt Wrack, FBU general Secretary, speaking at the end of a lunchtime protest in Chelmsford of local and UK wide fire-fighters, announced further action was being proposed unless real talks were forthcoming. More
Royal Mail CWU workers: At 7.30am this morning 100 at Bridgwater Delivery Office in Somerset walked out in a lightning protest strike against Royal Mail managers’ bullying and breaking agreements with their trade union the CWU. BMA Staff 2nd 24 Hour Strike this week over Pay. More Warrington Trades Council was pleased to help RMT members employed as cleaners on the Trans-Pennine Express route as they leafleted passengers outside Warrington Central station on Saturday. More
b) ABOUT TO STRIKE…
IWW John Lewis Cleaners to strike during today. The cleaners of the flagship John Lewis Partnership store on Oxford Street are continuing their strike against staff cuts & for the London Living Wage. Notice has been served notice that their next strikes on Thursday 26th.
Paragon print workers take two more days of strike action . Unite members working for Sunderland based print company Paragon will take two more days of 24 hour strike action on Tuesday 24 July and Friday 27 July over an attack on their terms and conditions. More
PCS Home Office – Members of PCS have voted for industrial action over pay, privatisation and the victimisation of their reps, striking on the 26th July. A pay freeze has been in place for a number of years and is expected to continue for a number more. On several occasions PCS reps have been disciplined on dubious charges including two dismissals. Messages of support to: andrew.jenni[email protected] & [email protected]. More
UNISON Health workers at Northumbria Healthcare will lobby their trust governors’ AGM ahead of a one-day strike. This will be the second strike in their bid to protect terms and conditions, having previously walked out on 28 June. More
RMT strike protest for London Living Wage & Olympic Bonus 12 Noon Stratford.
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. NUT ballot open now to strike over pay and conditions. More. Unite members 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 will begin balloting this week for strike action on Northlink ferry services in Scotland after the new company running the routes, SERCO, refused to give assurances on jobs, hours and working conditions More. As there are so many ballots going on in RMT, heres the link of all the sections results, from Initial in Bristol to Carlisle Cleaners! More
UNITE Bus Workers London bus workers back £577 Olympic bonus. After six days of negotiations at the conciliation service Acas TfL and the employers made money available to secure a fair offer that recognised the contribution that bus workers are going to make to keeping London moving during the Olympics.More.
Coryton oil refinery workers and their families will be demonstrating outside the Vopak terminal in Purfleet from 10am this Saturday (2st1 July), demanding a public inquiry into the controversial sale of the refinery with the loss of 850 jobs. Come and join the Coryton oil workers and their families in their fight for justice and their community. Contact Russ Ball, Unite regional officer on 07845 684 616. [email protected] or[email protected]
Workers at Greencore, a key supplier of cakes and desserts to Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose also protested yesterday over the company’s attacks on workers’ rights by slashing pay and threatening redundancy. More
GMB CARILLON workers took part in a further one day stoppage on Sunday 15th July at Carillion at Great Western Hospital in Swindon, because instead of dealing with the evidence of shakedowns and corruption by Carillion managers that their own second investigation found, the company has chosen instead to take disciplinary action against workers. More
Unite Housing workers – Swift action by Unite in St Mungos has led management to back away from plans to outsource its bank of locum workers. More
Rail Money? The DAY after Nick Clegg and his coalition partners confirmed that they are to fund a series of long-delayed rail improvements through a combination of job cuts & fare increases, rail union RMT have announced that they will be taking a rail protest right to the heart of his Sheffield. More. RMT Thameslink – As Parliamentary session ends, Government kicks Thameslink fleet contract and future of UK train building deeper into long grass. More Action from RAIL conference, report
POA Prison closures – “This is short-sightedness by Ministers. They talk about rehabilitation but have given prison officers no space to do that key work that protects the public from re-offending. The prison population is vastly overcrowded”. More
GMB welcomed Bournemouth Borough Council’s intention to bringing 22 or more jobs, outsourced to Mouchel over the last 20 months, back-in house in a series of measures to attempt to kick start the local economy. More
STOP THE CUTS – NSSN letter of support to 2 Southampton Labour councillors & ex Lambeth Labour who have voted against cuts but are now being challenged by their own parties. ‘We wanted you to know that many in the labour and trade union movement are behind your brave and principled stand. The NSSN is opposed to all cuts whoever implements them and we stand by those Labour councils and councillors who refuse to pass them on to working-class communities. As a result, we have supported Kingsley Abrams from Lambeth, who has been suspended from the Labour Group over the last year’.
DEFEND THE FOUR – Brilliant news as high court decides that Unison cannot claim £100,000 costs against the 4. Please continue to circulate the petition against this ongoing campaign against socialists. More
FACILITY TIME: An eight-week consultation over government plans to cut what is known as facility time, is being fought. More from PCS & UNISON
RATCLIFFE POWER STATION – Rank & File Sparks have called protest at the Nottinghamshire plant at 6am next Thursday July 26th at the renewed victimisation of Jay Poulter
SPAIN- trade union confederations CCOO and UGT led a protest against at the austerity policies of the Spanish Government. Just days after receiving loans from the rest of Europe to bail out the banks, the Spanish Government has proposed yet more stringent attacks on the welfare state, hitting the living conditions of workers, pensioners and the unemployed.More . Spanish miners have occupied mines, marching to Madrid & been forced into pitch battles on the streets. UK miners/ex-miners have set up for Spanish miners: Contact [email protected] or 07768 300 148.
KAZAKHSTAN – Vadim Kuramshin, the prison rights campaigner arrested 6 months ago on trumped up charges has declared that if the trial against him is not resumed within ten days he will declare a hunger strike. More
TURKEY – Early on the morning of 25 June, trade union activists were targeted in a police operation which swept through 18 Turkish cities Within 12 hours of the arrests, KESK members had organized protests across Turkey. In Istanbul some 4,000 demonstrators held an evening protest rally, with parallel actions taking place in other cities. More.
TAIWAN – 300 textile workers in the Hualon Corporation’s factory in Miaoli County, Taiwan declared indefinite strike on 6th June. Since then they have occupied the factory for one month. They are fighting for money owed on their wages and pensions going back over a decade. Protests to the Taiwan Government via your local consulate & to the Ministry of Labour web-siteSolidarity messages:- [email protected]
EGYPT – More than 23,000 workers angered by low wages at Egypt’s biggest textile company staged a strike on Sunday, bringing production to a halt and adding to the challenges facing the new president. More