For the NSSN, 2012 ended as it started…supporting workers who were taking action. On the morning of Friday December 21st, we were outside the Department of Transport with sacked Unite Crossrail shop steward Frank Morris. And early on New Year’s Eve, we were standing shoulder to shoulder with RMT members on strike against cleaning companies ISS and Initial.
A year ago this weekend, the NSSN threw its full support and resources behind the bold decision of PCS Left Unity to call a conference of the left and rank & file activists across the union movement to try and keep the N30 pensions strike going after unions like Unison and GMB broke the strike coalition. Over 500 activists turned up at short notice to discuss the way forward. We believe that this was the starting point for the May 10 strike where 400,000 members of PCS, Unite, RMT, UCU, NIPSA, and ISU were joined by 30,000 prison officers from the POA who walked out to take unofficial action.
While the pensions strike may have stalled, its example led to many smaller individual strikes across the public and private sector, mostly unreported in the media. We saw a major part of our role as making sure that these disputes were known across the union movement. The Sparks and London bus drivers showed that workers can win victories. Others like the Doncaster Tesco drivers showed that concessions can be wrung from the employers, even in the most desperate circumstances.
As far as the ConDems are concerned, 2013 is also more of their same austerity – cuts, privatisation, job losses and pay cuts. But for us there really is no alternative but to fight together. NUT and NASUWT have live disputes, PCS is balloting. We call on all our supporters and affiliates – raise in your union about contacting these and other unions considering taking action. Put the pressure on to name the date for a strike of the maximum co-ordination. Keep fighting for a 24-hour general strike to defeat this government and its cuts agenda!
Rob Williams NSSN Chair
The rest of the Bulletin is now attached as a WORD DOCUMENT NSSN Bulletin 123 Jan2013 or A PDF NSSN Bulletin No.123 Jan2013 document (click on either to download. – Note the word document keeps all the live weblinks)
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