NSSN Bulletin 103

It’s official. Making young people work for nothing is NOT slavery! Last week, a high court judge dismissed the case of a post-graduate, who had contested being forced to sweep floors and stack shelves 5 hours a day 5 days a week in Poundland without pay in order not to lose her Job Seekers Allowance – her only source of income. He said that this government initiative was in no way to be compared to the colonial oppression of empire. Iain Duncan Smith, Tory Secretary of State for “slavery and pension cuts”, piled in too, rubbishing this courageous young woman’s challenge as “ridiculous… and insulting to people who face real oppression“!!!

So, all the bosses in companies from local sweatshops to big multinationals have now got legal backing to use the labour of a million 16-25 year olds for absolutely nothing. Is the threat of being deprived of a grudging £53.45 a week Job Seekers Allowance not real oppression? Is living in poverty while the richest 1% wallow in luxury not real oppression? Are the bosses not using the same tactics as in the age of colonial slavery, but just accommodated to twenty-first century conditions? We say this IS slavery!

The TUC, recognising that the desperate situation of youth is a social time-bomb, want young people to head the mass demonstration on October 20th. And quite right too. But marching behind union banners is only a start and many young people have taken part in protests over the EMA and tuition fees and know it was important to march, but not enough. The trade union movement needs to harness the energies of all of our communities to fight for a real change in conditions – starting with a living wage for all.

NSSN urges all trade unionists to campaign in their unions to make the next step a 24-hour general strike against austerityNSSN calls on all young people to be part of the working class fight to sweep away the slavery – and the wage slavery – of the capitalist system. Come to the Lobby of the TUC on September 9th in Brighton. (LINDA TAAFFENSSN Secretary)


Over 100 people have already committed to coming to the lobby of the TUC and that’s despite the summer slowdown and spectacular sporting events. So book a place and get your members, workplaces, families behind the NSSN lobby of theTUC in Brighton, Sunday September 9th. Updated petition, flyer and transport will be on the website. More


Birmingham and Coventry Clive Walder 07771 931185

Brighton & South East [email protected] 07894716095

Bristol Leaving at 8am from Anchor Road, [email protected]

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 but possible West London 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 [email protected] 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 [email protected] 07963 454 041


If your area is not covered but you want to come let us know.[email protected]

Thanks to new donations & support for the lobby from Unite Coventry 7 & Unite Scunthorpe.



            a) STRUCK


RMT Tyne & Wear Metro Cleaners held another 48 hour strike in their battle against poverty pay and the victimisation of a work colleague at Churchill. RMT reported fantastic support from the public as union members leafleted stations and key central locations explaining the background to the dispute – an attempt by contractor Churchill’s to demand de facto pay cuts, through a zero % pay offer to staff already on minimum wages while the company rakes in millions of profits. ASLEF East Midlands Trains members took action this week as part of their on-going dispute with EMT over pension contributions. More




RMT bus drivers working for Stagecoach at Winchester depot are to take both strike action and action short of a strike in a dispute over pay again on 11th August. Trying to force through below inflation pay increases, a month ago Stagecoach reported pre-tax profits of £239.8m.


RMT Cleaners for ISS & INITIAL will be striking again tomorrow at Stratford for another 48 hours for pay and Olympic recognition. More


PCS ATOS PCS members at the multi-million pound company Atos will be taking strike action on the 13 August and 28 August and action short of strike from the 14 August to improve a below inflation pay offer and commit Atos to become a ‘living wage’ employer. It is the first time many of these workers will have taken strike action and support on picket lines, etc, will be very much welcomed. Messages of support to [email protected] There are around 250 workplaces but the main IT ones are: Glasgow – G58 1SB,Durham – DH99 1NS, Blackpool – FY3 9YP  National Assembly for Wales – 2 locations: Crown Building, CF10 3NQ and Caradog House, C1F10 3BE. More

PCS Contact centre  strike on 13th August and take further discontinuous strike action in CCS & Posters ‘THEY’ DON’T want you to see: SCOTLAND Paisley Contact Centre, Glasgow Springburn Contact Centre, Dundee contact Centre. WALESBridgend Contact Centre, Bangor Contact Centre, Pembroke Dock Contact Centre. ENGLAND Sheffield Contact Centre, Halifax Contact Centre , Grimsby Crown House, Middlesbrough Contact Centre, Cobalt House- Newcastle upon Tyne, Coventry Contact Centre, Telford Contact Centre, Derby Contact Centre, Lincoln Contact Centre , Annesley Contact Centre , Sherwood Business Park, Norwich Contact Centre, Lowestoft Contact Centre , Southend Contact Centre , Chorlton Contact Centre, Makerfield Benefit Delivery Centre, Stockport Contact Centre, Blackburn Contact Centre, Blackpool Contact Centre , Bootle Contact Centre, Garston Contact Centre, Bristol Benefit Delivery Centre, Poole Contact Centre , Taunton Contact Centre , Torquay Contact Centre , Exeter Contact Centre

PCS Month of action by tax workers against cuts: Tax workers begin a month of industrial action today to highlight the extent of the cuts in September with action short of a strike taking place. More

Unite bus drivers at Abellio Byfleet 24 hour strike Monday 13 August over pay and duty rosters contact[email protected]


PENSIONS: Unison Higher Education Service Group Executive voted to recommend REJECTION in ballot on pensions – NSSN supports. 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.

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

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

BECTU SIS Outside (former BBC) Broadcasts action gets under way this week following management’s insistence that there is no scope for an improvement on their pay offer. More

RMT ballot as Calmac, Scotland, refuses to give staff assurances on routes lined for privatisation. More


Disabled People Against the Cuts’ actions against ATOS – a company that’s sponsoring the Paralympic Games but wrecking disabled people’s lives. More

As the NHS has recently been in the spotlight with an Olympic opening ceremony, it highlighted the reform/closures including Ealing Hospital’s Accident & Emergency service. Part of the campaign includes a petition on Change.org to save the A&E department. The workers say that over 100,000 adults and children attend the A&E every year and losing it means also losing services including maternity, children’s, surgery and medicine. They’re concerned by the number of patients who will have to travel further to find the care they need, and that this will disproportionately affect the elderly and those on low incomes. One GP noted that “services are already atbreaking point and have no extra capacity to take on extra work in the community resulting from A&E closures.”

NHS protest Redditch – Over 1,000 people attended a march and rally in Worcestershire last Saturday to protest against the threat to services at the local Alexandra hospital, particularly maternity and A&E. The cutbacks are being considered as part of £200 million savings sought by Worcestershire NHS by 2014/15, £50 million of which must be found, they say, from the three acute hospitals. See also the National Pensioners Convention briefing on the care and support white paper. More

Unite Housing workers warn of action if One Housing sacks and reinstates staff with 30% pay cuts! More

Women and unions – “With unemployment among women at a 20-year high, a new wave of female union leaders and activists has come to the fore, reviving the fight for workers’ rights when they are under greater threat than ever”. Hardly a wonder as we are being hit twice as hard! More

TUC & Pensions warning – TUC is calling on the government to ban employers from passing on the costs of taking advice from consultants on the implementation of their new legal duty to automatically enrol staff in a pension to staff pension pots.


SHREWSBURY Pickets: 1st Sep Justice for Shrewsbury Pickets 40th anniversary conference, Liverpool.[email protected].

Three workers (2 UNITE members) who were sacked byLiverpool 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: A group of blacklisted workers in the UK has launched a High Court claim against construction giant Sir Robert McAlpine which could potentially be worth £600million. MoreProtest against Balfour Beatty 10am, Balfour Beatty Engineering Services HQ, Glasgow, G52 4RU. Protest called jointly by: Blacklist Support Group and UNITE Scottish Sparks rank n file. Balfour Beatty is one of the worst of all the blacklisting firms with 6 Enforcement Orders against the company by the Information Commissioners Office because of their role in the Consulting Association scandal. Gerry Harvey – Director of Human Resources for Balfour Beatty Engineering Services Limited – is a proven blacklister having been identified in parliament & court.


TURKEY ‘Brutally yours’ is a short video as part of the campaign to put pressure on Turkish Airlines (THY) & the Turkish government to reinstate the 305 dismissed aviation workers & end the strike ban in the industry. More
US: One Year Later, 45,000 Workers at Verizon Communications members of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) & the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)-have been locked in contract negotiations for more than a year. It is crystal clear that Verizon’s strategy in these negotiations is to destroy jobs and roll back benefits earned. In 2011 profits hit $10 billion, and the top five executives at Verizon received more than $65 million in compensation.

SPAIN: The solidarity account set up from the UK by ex Miners & Miners partners is no longer taking donations as the dispute has ended. SMCS: ‘We extend our heartfelt thanks to all who have shown their generous solidarity with the struggle of the Spanish miners, their families and their unions for their pits, jobs and communities by donating money or engaging in activity’ . Also in Spain Members of the trade union, Sindicato Andaluz de Trabajadores, have gone into two supermarkets and taken goods without paying. The food was destined to a social centre that provides food for those who are in desperate situations.More

RUSSIA – Release Pussy Riot immediately! More