NSSN Bulletin 124 – TUC Consultation on General Strike Motion

URGENT!! – TUC Consultation on General Strike Motion

The NSSN is alerting all our members, supporters and affiliates. We lobbied the TUC General Council on December 11th to call on it to set the date for the maximum co-ordinated strike action against the government’s austerity offensive – up to and including a 24 hour general strike. The passing of the POA motion at the TUC conference in September (which we also lobbied) forced the TUC to consider this type of action.

The TUC General Council agreed that all TUC-affiliated unions would be asked for their opinions. We know that at least some unions have been writing to their branches for members’ views. PLEASE DO NOT PASS UP THIS OPPORTUNITY TO LET YOUR LEADERS AND THE TUC KNOW WHAT YOU AND YOUR MEMBERS WANT.

In some unions, a deadline for branches’ submissions has been given for January 29th. If you haven’t heard anything, please contact your union head office IMMEDIATELY!

The ConDems ‘celebrated’ reaching the half-way point of their term of office by trying to pit those on benefits against people in work. They say that benefits shouldn’t rise quicker than wages; therefore they are slashing the benefits for the most vulnerable in society. Our solution is to pay workers more and break the pay freeze. This shows that workers’ pay is the yardstick for all working-class people and explains why mass strike action, properly prepared and explained would be very popular and effective.

Keep the pressure up to strike together to stop the ConDem cuts!


Union News


RMT response to Network Rail investment plans, 8 January 2013

RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said: “Whilst RMT supports any plans to expand and invest in Britain’s railways to meet the demands identified by Network Rail you cannot seriously expect to safely increase capacity whilst at the same time the Government is looking to axe key front-line staff on trains, track and stations. Those cuts to safety-critical staff are right at the core of Sir Roy McNulty’s Government rail review and we repeat our call for his plans to be stopped in light of the surge in demand for rail services rightly identified by Network Rail. http://www.rmt.org.uk/Templates/Internal.asp?NodeID=168245&int1stParentNodeID=89732


Scottish signallers’ announce new phase of strike action in long-running rosters dispute, January 8 2013

RAIL UNION RMT confirmed today that signallers in the Stirling area will be on strike again this weekend in the long-running dispute over rosters as the union takes steps to broaden the campaign in light of the flagrant violation of existing rostering agreements by Network Rail. http://www.rmt.org.uk/Templates/Internal.asp?NodeID=168246&int1stParentNodeID=89732


RMT protest on Monday January 7th outside Wembley Central station in support of 33 sacked agency workers.

Speakers included Bob Crow RMT General Secretary, Steve Hedley RMT Assistant General Secretary, Janine Booth RMT COE member and some of the agency workers. Rob Williams spoke from the NSSN. http://shopstewards.net/2013/01/rmt-protest-against-sacking-of-agency-workers/  For a RMT video of the protest and more info about the campaign: http://www.rmtlondoncalling.org.uk/node/3777

Rail, maritime and transport union RMT shows continued growth in face of savage attack on jobs




Bakerloo and Central line drivers to take action over “detrainment” carriage checking, 8 January 2013

The RMT’s planned Industrial action that was due to take place on Thursday 10th January 2013 has now been revised, so action can be co-ordinated with ASLEF on the Bakerloo Line. A joint notice with ASLEF has been produced http://www.rmtlondoncalling.org.uk/node/3783

ASLEF ballot result: Bakerloo Line dispute http://www.aslef.org.uk/information/134661/ballot_result___bakerloo_line_dispute/

A ballot was carried out in relation to the trade dispute between ASLEF and London Underground over the company’s failure to provide detrainment staff on the Bakerloo Line. Accordingly, relevant members were asked whether they would be prepared to take part in industrial action short of a strike. The result of the ballot, which closed at 10am on Monday 7th January, is as follows:

Number voting yes:  52.8%

Number voting No:  47.2%



Fares up but not as much as bonuses! 4 January 2013

Fares aren’t the only things to be rocketing in 2013. They are mirrored by huge increases in the take-home pay of senior rail managers. ‘If they have any conscience, we’ll hear nothing about the need for cost cutting in our industry in the coming twelve-months,’ says ASLEF general secretary Mick Whelan. And while overcrowding is the order of the day for passengers, company cars are in vogue for rail bosses. Tim O’Toole of First Group picks up £12,000 for his company car! Continues… http://www.aslef.org.uk/information/134636/fares_up_but_not_as_much_as_bonuses/



GMB members won a victory in Port Talbot Steelworks on January 8th. Around 50 laggers employed by insulation company C and D were told on Monday by principal contractor Oschatz they would no longer be needed to complete their work on the site’s Basic Oxygen Steelmaking (BOS) plant. Yet there was up to 3 months work left. The workers were suspicious that cheap labour would be used to complete the job. They staged a protest outside the works entrance causing huge tailbacks on the M4.



DWP workers vote whether to strike over compulsory redundancies. Ballot deadline 10th January.

Pension staff took strike action on New Year’s Eve in a fight for fair leave: http://www.pcs.org.uk/en/department_for_work_and_pensions_group/dwp-news.cfm/id/0876B2DA-FD7A-43E4-BB66C17C478C5492



Construction workers at the Runcorn Thermal Power Station site have walked out in protest over health & safety issues on January 8th and 9th

A worker on the site explained what’s happened:

We walked out yesterday (January 7th) because of a few issues. The sparks have got issues with the gaffer, and other firms have got their own issues. The stewards don’t get the respect from management which they should do, but the main issue is the toilet facilities which have no hot water and no heating, and the canteen which yesterday had no lights on! Basically they’re trying to run the site as cheaply as possible with only the bare minimum provided.

These issues have been raised with management numerous times over the last 18 months and they’ve paid only lip-service to our concerns. So at a mass meeting today we decided to stay out until we see improvements. We also took a solidarity vote today, that anyone with a dispute on the site will get the support of the whole site.

Things have come to a head and we’ve decided we need to make a stand to get the facilities and the recognition for our stewards that we deserve. So tomorrow, we’ll cabin-up, and either they make the improvements we want, or we’re staying out!


Send messages of support c/o the North-West Shop Stewards Network, [email protected]

Loss of 70 Peterborough print jobs ‘terrible’, says Unite, 07 January 2013

The loss of 70 jobs at magazine printers Wyndeham in Peterborough was described as “terrible news” by Unite, the country’s largest union, today (Monday 7 January). http://www.unitetheunion.org/news/lossof70peterboroughprintjobsterriblesaysunite/

Isle of Man Bus drivers to strike:


Health staff in north east Lincolnshire face ‘savage’ cuts to pay and conditions



Teachers support strike action to stop Gove – from Martin Powell Davies NUT NEC member

A number of newspapers have picked up on Stephen Exley’s article in the Times Educational Supplement “Unions prepare for national strike” (http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6312365 ). The article states that the members of the NUT executive have agreed to “build towards strike action in the spring term” and have agreed to “approach the NASUWT nationally early in January about the necessity for strike action”. http://electmartin1.blogspot.co.uk/#!/2013/01/teachers-support-strike-action-to-stop.html



Reinstate David Muritu – January 7th

Members of UCU at Halesowen College met on January 8th to decide on the next steps in their dispute with the college. Over 100 UCU members from across the region staged a lobby outside the college this morning in protest over the sacking of the union’s branch secretary, David Muritu. http://www.ucu.org.uk/index.cfm?articleid=6413



NUJ condemns bullet in post – January 7th

The National Union of Journalists has expressed grave concern at confirmation that the Police Service Northern Ireland has intercepted a letter containing a bullet addressed to a Belfast-based journalist.

The journalist was advised by the PSNI that the letter containing a bullet was intercepted at the weekend. The letter was sent following the journalist’s reporting of Loyalist rioting in Belfast. http://www.nuj.org.uk/innerPagenuj.html?docid=2760



Joe Simpson, assistant general secretary, responds to government prison closures http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20969898

Other news

Support the Durham Miners’ Gala

Message from Dave Hopper

Dear Friends,

The Durham Miners Association has now set up a website which we hope will inform our many friends in the labour and trade union movement of our activity and to encourage financial support for the Durham Miners Gala.

We will be very grateful if you would assist us by forwarding this email to all your contacts.

Our site can be found at http://www.durhamminers.org

Many thanks,

Dave Hopper

General Secretary


Sign Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign petition

The Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign – seeking truth and justice for all miners victimised by the police at the Orgreave Coking Plant, South Yorkshire, on June 18th 1984.

Orgreave is part of the pattern of cover ups and lies by the police from many different forces, which are now being exposed. We call for a full public inquiry, to take place as soon as possible, into the policing and subsequent statements recorded by the police at the time.

We ask that everyone who seeks the truth and wants justice to support us in our campaign.”

To sign petition – http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/41844



The campaign of sacked Crossrail Unite shop steward Frank Morris is continuing. Frank is protesting this week outside the Crossrail site in Bond Street/Oxford Street from 7am-12noon daily

Donations to hardship fund are gratefully received: – cheques payable to Joint Sites Committee – c/o 70 Darnay Rise Chelmsford CM1 4XA. Also, new Siteworker is out if you want some let us have your address and we will post you some out. Available via same address





Up to 500 people protested outside the Indian Embassy on January 7th against the rape of an Indian woman in Delhi


Brazil ‘Sparks’

One of the construction electricians/Sparks forwarded on this message to us. Goes to show how inspiring the BESNA battle was!

“Five construction workers have been jailed in Brazil, they were inspired by the Sparks demos they saw on youtube, they started rearing up and said that they owed a lot to the UK building workers.”



10 January Protest at BBC Question time 5.30pm Goldsmiths University.

11 Jan – 8am-10am: 33 sacked agency workers, RMTmembers, are protesting outside London Underground’s HQ which is above St James’s tube station – for more info about their campaign go to http://shopstewards.net/2013/01/rmt-protest-against-sacking-of-agency-workers/ – it includes a link to the RMT London website which has a video of Monday’s protest

11am Meet at Unite HQ for a protest from 12noon-2pm: Unite are staging a protest against the closure of Howdens Kitchens in the North West outside the company’s HQ – 40 Portman Square, London, W1H 6LT http://goo.gl/maps/SlfDu

12 Jan Defend your home against bedroom tax. The Black-E, Liverpool.

Stop the victimisation of benefit claimants / STOPIWCH ERLEDIGAETH O HAWLWYR BUDD-DAL. Statue of Aneurin Bevan, Queen St, Cardiff 12noon-2pm

16 Jan Save Birmingham Services – 7pm Birmingham against the cuts

19 Jan Save Sheffield Early Years Services – 11am Devonshire Green to Town Hall

21 Jan Lobby of the London Fire Authority 2.00pm by regional FBU Union SE1

23 Jan GMB protest over social dumping in Brussels.

26 Jan Merseyside County Association of Trades Union Councils (MATUC) is organising a conference to be held at the Adelphi Hotel in Liverpool.

2 February Women & Austerity conference (Brighton Women Against Cuts) Art and activism; using the media; benefits; safety; the public sector; Setting up women’s network; NHS – building the campaign. Brighthelm Centre, North Road, 1pm – 4pm Crèche available

29 June 7th annual conference of the NSSN – Camden Centre, London.


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Website: www.shopstewards.net
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