sort of had to blink a few times, were Unite lobbying Unison at its national HQ on 26th Feb 12.30 to save the Agenda for Change? (NHS workers’ agreements which would mean cuts to pay, terms and opting out of national agreements). Well yes and no, Unite are lobbying at Unison HQ but it’s the National Staff Council. Anyway the thing is, it is very possible that one union or several more publicly lobby or challenge others over strategies to fight (or not) against cuts and the ‘need for Austerity’ myth.
For Unite members (& the wider community) in Derby, there will be a demolition of homeless services as a key national fund , supporting people cuts over 80% of funds. The battle with local councils (some with councillors who are members of Unite) to defend our members and the services they provide is becoming even more of a time bomb. Not just in terms of how each union will challenge or accept the process but how us as service users (and trade unionists/anti-cuts campaigners) will respond. In Derby another £63 million of cuts has just been pushed through. Really can this go on? Well it seems not, as many Unison branches also begin to lead protests at local budget meetings against the cuts and changes.
The ‘my cuts are better than your cuts’ doesn’t wash, in fact it stings like hell and with more and more cuts being piled on us. Union leaders, reps and local councillors are going to also have to make a choice – to fight or not?
The question of where the money could come from is always raised with many protestors arguing for the £120 billion in unpaid tax to be collected , “Tax avoidance isn’t illegal, I do it every year”, shamefully says Eddie Martin, the leader of Cumbria County Council!
We know it’s not that it’s an easy option to build for industrial action, co-ordinated action, a general strike with the public and private sector and the community, but really the only options left for us to stop the cuts. As we speak, many protested to stop evictions in Spain ‘it’s not a crisis, it’s a con!”.
ONE YEAR ON: Still so much to fight for!
BESNA BEATEN – Almost a year to the day, Balfour Beatty pulled out of the BESNA deal which would have seen cuts of up to 35% for construction electricians and worsening terms and conditions. In Cheshire, Jacobs has replaced its HR manager at Capenhurst by one who tried to break the NAECI national agreement at the Lindsey Oil Refinery (LOR) in 2009, a clear signal to workers and their unions. According to Unite, Jacobs and Urenco are “attempting to renege” on bonus payments, costing workers around £100 a week, and on disciplinary procedures. Construction workers and supporters turned up in Cheshire against this attack. At the same time another demon took place at the Incinerator Site in Cardiff with Unite and GMB construction workers demanding employers stick to the Blue Book (NAECI) agreements and stop cutting pay, terms and conditions.
MMP Unite lockout “1 year ago today the workforce of MMP where stranded behind a locked gate and watched as the management of that company attempted to strip the factory bare by using outsourced transport.
Watching as they did the workforce saw their entire future pass through the chained and locked gates. We stood up for ourselves that day, and ever since, in demanding a solution. To this day we are still fighting for a resolution. And will continue to do so until all their obligations are met. UNITY IS STRENGTH!”. (Via MMP UNITE reps)
Solidarity and ongoing support from the NSSN
& 165 years ago Marx & Engels published the Communist Manifesto!
NSSN 7th Annual Conference Sat 29th June, Camden Centre, London
Please share the conference flyer NSSN 2013 conf leaflet your members, campaigns and trades councils. The workshop sessions are back too with likely ones on organizing in the workplace, Housing, defending the NHS & fighting the blacklist.
Please ensure you raise this for your local branches and trades councils to affiliate & also attend the conference on Saturday 29th June 11am-5pm, Camden Centre, Judd Street, London, WC1H 9JE
£££££! The NSSN needs your financial support too! Our money to put on events, flyers, support protests etc. comes from you all and your union’s branches, trades councils and anti-cuts groups & individual standing orders. Can we ask you as an urgent matter to make a donation for our campaigns and & re-affiliate? If you’re able to, please set up a standing order for of £2/1 a month? It would really help!
RMT Churchill Cleaners on the Tyne and Wear Metro, continuing a seven day long strike against poverty pay and in support of their long running campaign for a workplace justice, will be holding a picket line at 17.00 on Thursday 21st February 2013 outside NEWCASTLE CENTRAL STATION and will be joined on that picket line by Bob Crow, RMT General Secretary.
RMT on OHL collapse at St Neots and travel chaos out of London
Rail union RMT calls for halt to “radar detection” level crossing programme as pilot highlights major safety flaws
Bullying and intimidation rife in Welsh rail strike ballot
Justice for the 33! Support the TfL Agency Workers! Video here
Michael Gove’s civil servants have voted 63.3% to strike over plans for 50% cuts that threaten 1,000 jobs and six UK offices.
Vote Yes 2013! National Ballot details here & VIDEO to share.
PCS reps and members launched a flashmob in Whitehall to stress the importance of voting ‘yes’ in the national ballot.
The union’s campaign on tax justice is helping to highlight the corporate giants paying tiny amounts of tax. Member Tess Scanlan explains how you can get involved
PCS win a 20% basic pay increase and equal holiday pay for agency workers at Hewlett Packard in Blackpool
GMB members employed in the NHS have voted to reject proposals for cuts in national pay and conditions & will join Unite lobby the NHS staff Council members on the 26th Feb at Unison Hq, Euston Rd, London.
Tanker drivers at Scotland’s only oil refinery in Grangemouth will take industrial action from Friday morning in a dispute over cuts to pensions and earnings, severely impacting all aviation supplies and BP forecourts across Scotland and the North East of England. Unite has notified BP – which posted eye-watering profits of over £7.6 billion in 2012 – that discontinuous strike action will commence from 04.00 hours on Friday 22nd February, ending at 08.00 hours on Monday 25th February. A continuous ban on overtime will also start at 08.01 hours from Monday 25th February.
MoD firefighters hail Lords’ victory on flawed pensions’ legislation. About 1,000 Ministry of Defence (MoD) firefighters have won a vital parliamentary victory in their fight not to work an extra eight years until they are 68 before they receive their pension.
The Fire Brigades Union says that merging Avon with Devon and Somerset fire and rescue service is a diversion that will not improve the service to the public.
The greater London assembly meets on 25 February to decide the final budget arrangements of Mayor Johnson. FBU will lobby this meeting, “we are putting all supporters of the fire service and the police service on notice, that you should come and join us and make your thoughts known to the Mayor, before he makes one the most disastrous & reckless decisions any senior politician who has governed over London has done in centuries.” London FBU PETITION
Strike to stop PRP – How can we afford not to?
Flagship national and regional news programmes across the BBC network were pulled as the NUJ’s strike against compulsory redundancies was hailed a huge success.
Union wins Living Wage at Central Scotland Police
Wirral members and their supporters lobbied the council, as they met to set its budget. An angry crowd of between 500 and 600 people, made their feelings known. The threat of strike action is still not ruled out.
Cambridgeshire members at Shire Hall demonstrated outside the Council Budget meeting, in protest at a proposal to cut their pay and terms and conditions.
Somerset UNISON members protested over £66m council cuts
BLACKLISTING & VICTIMISATION
Support sacked PCS Rep Kevin Smith from Home Office Merseyside branch. More info and petition
UCU Support the Halesowen 4 including sacked UCU branch secretary Dave Muritu. Further action will take place today.
RMT support Petrit Mihad fighting to save his job with Sodexo
Blacklist support group news : Blacklisting inquiry has been called for in the Scottish Parliament by Neil Findlay MSP here 6. Dundee March & protest against Blacklisting, 10:30am Sat 9th March, Albert Square, Dundee here Blacklist Support Group. video: blog: www.hazards.org/blacklistblog
NHS protests continue: Around a 1000 take part in protest in Blaenu Ffestiniog over planned closure of the local hospital and 200 marched in Caerphilly to ‘ Bring back our A&E’. Another 200 turned out in Kingston over plans to close 2 of the 5 hospitals in the area. A last minute meeting called over the proposed plans to downgrade Whittington Hospital saw 500 people and a protest for 16th March is being organized.
Gabriel Pepper: Fighting govt plans to close the Independent Living Fund for Disabled people with Councils unable to take up the costs.
Birmingham City Council in a completely undemocratic act have cancelled a room booking for an anti cuts protest meeting the evening before the council vote through £110 million of cuts for ‘unforeseen circumstances’ Birmingham against cuts. The cancellation of our meeting organised to lobby councillors along with a public meeting organised to discuss the cuts provoked strong condemnation with Trade union leaders yesterday – including the Birmingham TUC and residents from across Birmingham signing mass letters calling on the meeting to be reinstated.
India take part in the 2nd day of a general strike with 100 million workers hold their first day of co-ordinated action as the government meets to set more cuts and food prices have rocketed by 30%. It is against price rises, wage cuts, and for a minimum wage, social security, secure pensions, no subcontracting and outsoaring of permanent work and benefits in parity with regular workers.
Spain Growing anti-eviction campaign
“Bulgaria is currently experiencing mass riots over electricity costs, economic issues and other matters. Some 300,000 people are rioting.”
Egypt: Port Said strike enters day four
Greek Journalist Strike: French President Francois Hollande arrived in Athens today to discuss Greece’s financial crisis but a journalists’ strike left the event without coverage in the Greek media, infuriating the government.
Malawi airports have been forced to shut down following a wage strike by civil servants.
Ireland IPTU says workers at CRH quarry at Fortunestown have downed tools in unofficial action over canteen closure
Rio Stadium workers strike in pay dispute
23 National Construction Rank & File Meeting 1pm-4pm, Jury’s Inn, Jamaica Street, Glasgow.
Porsmouth march against benefit cuts. 12 Guildhall Sq.
Coventry demo against cuts. 10.30 Cathedral Steps.
Merseyside Blacklist Support Group. 11am Unite offices, Jack Jones House, L3 8EF
25 Lobby GLA budget meeting over Fire cuts. London FBU and supporters 9.30 – 12
26 Lobby the National Staff Council at Unison Hq, London 12.30 over agenda for change
Lobby Council setting budget of more cuts Coventry. 12.45-2pm Council House, Earl St.
27 Lambeth Save our Services ‘ A budget to believe in!’ £66 million cuts have already been made, how can we cut another £108 million over the next four years? 6-7.30pm Brixton Town Hall
28 Stand up for social housing, One vision office Bootle 11.30
Cardiff stop the council cuts 3.30pm City Hall.
Sprit of 45 Ken Loach’s film on the battle for the NHS will be out in cinemas across the UK.
1 1stWORK YOUR HOURS DAY. Today & Every day! We gave the employer £29.2 billion of FREE work in 2011
6 Liverpool city council budget day protest against cuts 4pm
8 International Women’s Day
St Albans, Welwyn & Hatfield trades council presents Banner Theatre “Fighting the Cuts” in St Albans 7.30pm. Admission free, bar and refreshments available. Contact Jon Berry [email protected] or 07721 040 631
No laughing matter! Comedy night for rape is no joke. Canal theatre, London 7pm
9 Dundee protest against blacklisting 10.30 Meadowside.
Southampton rap & rock against Soton youth service cuts. All day benefit @ the Joiners
13 VISTEON 4th Anniversary Demonstration meeting at London Unite HQ at 10.45am and then to Westminster for rally and speeches
EUROPEAN DAY OF ACTION – NSSN SUPPORT THIS EUROPE WIDE CALL OF ACTION AGAINST CUTS & BOGUS AUSTERITY FOR US and action on that day. TUC Pre-Budget Rally: A Future for Families London: Wednesday 13 March 2013 starting at 18:00
The Emmanuel Centre, 9-23 Marsham Street, London SW1P 3DW Book: TUC website
16 RESISTING AUSTERITY in Europe and in the UK 10.00 am –16.00 pm, Congress House, WC1 3LS. Key discussions on: International crisis, International resistance/Austerity in Britain, there IS an alternative & how trade unions can fight austerity. Book your place on 020 7467 1218, [email protected]
Councilors against cuts conference supported by LRC. 11am Birmingham.
23 Campaign for Trade Union Freedom launch rally (not 23 February as mistakenly listed last week) 1.30-4.30pm Friends Meeting House London. With Len McCluskey Unite, Bob Crow RMT, Billy Hayes CWU. here
Blacklist Support Group AGM 10.30-4pm Faraday house, 48 Old Glouster St, WC1N
Barnet Spring march over sell offs of services. 1pm Finchley station
29 Unite exhibition to celebrate election of Liverpool 47, who fought cuts and built 500 houses, is opened by Len Mcluskey Unite, Tony Mulhern & more!
1 International Workers day! Marches everywhere
2 ‘The Thatcher years’ month long exhibition of response to the last Tory government at Richmix by Dave Sinclair and related events including ‘Don’t mention the 47’ documentary on Sunday 12th May. Donate to the project using crowdfunder or via your union branch/Trades council or groups
29 June 7th annual conference of the NSSN
11am-5pm Camden Centre, Judd Street, London, WC1H 9JE
Facebook main group ‘National Shop Stewards Network’ & ‘Stop the cuts’
Email: [email protected] (
Phone: 07952 283 558
Post: NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9D
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