133 – “It’s not about making sense, it’s about making money”

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The NHS starts our bulletin this week. On Saturday, there is likely to be a big demo in North London to defend Whittington Hospital (see below). Meanwhile, the ConDem attacks are coming into effect soon. Here is a brief piece from NSSN supporter Chris Moore:

The Health and Social Care Act – it’s not about making sense, it’s about making money

In April, the H&SCA comes into force in England; 65 years after the formation of the NHS, the Coalition government plan to pension it off. The government’s climb down over the act’s competition regulations is a success but the act still opens up the NHS to wide ranging privatisation. In Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, a protest is being organised on 6 April to build opposition to the act and defend the A&E department, under threat at the local hospital. Across England, if protests, rallies or lobbies have not already been organised for April then there is still time to do it. But to defend and rebuild this national service under attack from every direction, national coordination is urgently needed, starting with the health unions calling a national weekend demonstration alongside a 24 hour general strike. As a nurse once said to me: ‘No one ever died because I took strike action, but they will if I don’t.’ Chris Moore (Coordinator of Stroud Against the Cuts)

The NHS could be an issue around which co-ordinated action develops. Unions have also been agreeing their submissions to the TUC on the general strike. The Unite submission has been made public here . We will be interested to hear contributions on this and other submissions as we get them. 

Next Wednesday will also see national action by the PCS which we would encourage everyone to support, attend picket lines, send messages etc. Meanwhile, keep up the pressure!

(This weeks bulletin has been mainly put together by Kevin Parslow Assistant Sec NSSN)


National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) 7th national annual conference – 11am-5pm, Saturday June 29th, Camden Centre, Judd Street, London, WC1H 9JE – initial speakers confirmed: union general secretaries – Mark Serwotka PCS, Billy Hayes CWU and Steve Gillan POA The entrance fee is £6. Cheques can be made payable to ‘National Shop Stewards Network’ – either email [email protected] or reply to PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE

Leaflet: Letter for union branches, shop stewards committees, trades councils, anti-cuts campaigns. This is the conference to organise the urgent fightback in the unions!

Union News 

PSC 20th March

PCS to walkout on Budget day – Time to strike together – Over a quarter of a million PCS members will walkout on March 20th just as George Osborne stands up to deliver yet another cuts budget, he quite litally crosses a picket line to do so!. This one-day strike is the start of PCS’s battle to defend its hard-won terms & conditions from attack as well as to fight to break the 5-year pay freeze. It could and should also herald the next phase in the general struggle against the ConDems’ austerity offensive


Unite HCA members (Housing Workers Branch) will be on strike on the 20th March against a divisive and inequitable pay offer that has resulted in unprecedented anger and disgust amongst members. Unite will have picket lines at the Maple House office on Tottenham Court Road (London) and Piccadilly Gardens (Manchester). The pay strike is being co-ordinated with the PCS union, which is also one of the HCA recognised trade unions, and is starting a three-month programme of action with a strike on 20 March to coincide with the chancellor George Osborne’s budget. More

Former Visteon workers marched from Unite Headquarters in Holborn to demand that Ford pay their pensions in full following the company’s collapse in 2009. The whole Unite Executive adjourned their session to welcome them and the workers were addressed by Unite General Secretary Len McCluskey and National Motor Components Sector Secretary Roger Maddison. Following a march to Westminster, they were addressed outside Parliament by MPs representing constituencies with ex-Visteon plants inside or adjacent. A news briefing is here

Buyers for Remploy factories face ‘obstacles’ here

Lloyds slashes jobs while continuing to take on agency workers here

Go North East bus workers strike 15 March as company makes millions in profits here

Turning Point staff fight cuts! here


At least 600 teachers protested outside the Department of Education on 13 March against the ConDem government and Education Secretary Gove’s policies for schools. here


Carillion GMB school support staff strike action on Friday 15th March in Sheffield for living wage of £7.45 per hour here

Council jobs down 380,500 since 2010 here



Arriva Trains Wales cleaners on Churchill’s contract to strike Saturday 16 March in fight for living wage here


London day of action on March 16th against threatened closure of 12 fire stations – includes demonstration to defend Clapham Fire Station

Privatising education will be opposed – NUT Cymru here


Scottish local government workers will be balloted on a final pay offer from councils after a Glasgow meeting of UNISON branch delegates on 15 March

Glenn Kelly, (NSSN steering group) is one of the Unison activists attacked by the union’s leadership but who won their campaign against their unfair treatment, has been elected to the post of Bromley Unison Branch Secretary following the lifting of his suspension! The branch leaves regional supervision on 2 April.

London Metropolitan University has lifted 5-week suspension orders against 3 staff at respected research institute into working class history. Activists suspect disciplinary threat was a retaliation for UNISON’s successful campaign against £74m privatisation plan last year. More


Reps vote for mail boycott threat here


BBC workers name new strike days over job cutsMore

TUC womens’ conference – 3 NSSN officers in attendance, 2 as delegates and have spoken argued for specific areas of focus but linked those to need to strike against austerity. The two PCS speakers will be taking industrial action over cuts next Wed 20th March and Unite housing branch visitor will be supporting HCA branch members on their picket lines on the same day.

Overall there were constant examples of the further impoverishment of working women and how that was impacting. From Worsening mental health, due to stress, overwork, insecurity and bullying coming from huge cuts in jobs, services and welfare. 40% of DWP workers who are being expected to implement the universal credit, which requests one person per household to make claim and take the money (hmm no one argues over money??!). It was also noted that the biggest increase in shoplifting was for food!


Other News

Sussex student occupation continues.

Alfie Meadows and Zak King are not guilty: now it’s time for police behaviour to be scrutinized

Lawyers for disabled workers whose jobs are being axed by Birmingham City Council have launched judicial review proceedings.

Bedroom tax, a few concessions but really it has to go! Unite Community flyer.


Blacklisting & Victimisation

Steve Acheson WINS £11,000 at Tribunal for unlawful refusal of employment!!(Blacklisting). Nothing compared with what he should get but its an massive victory, congratulations to all those involved in fighting this case.  There will be a benefit for Steve Friday 22nd March, 7pm at Saffron Restaurant, Cheetham Hill. Tickets are £20 waged, £12 unwaged.

Blacklist Demo in Dundee last weekend Video Blacklist Support Group AGM, 23 March 2013 here . 

 Latest blacklisting news here

London Rank & File Unite construction meeting – Monday March 25th, 6.30pm Conway Hall, Holborn

Below is the full list of the company Directors that chaired the Consulting Association: ‘We regret that we got caught” 1993-96    Cullum McAlpine – Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd

1997-99    Tony Jennings – Laing O’Rourke

2000-01    Danny O’Sullivan – Kier

2002-03    Stephen Quant – Skanska

2004-05    Trevor Watchman – Balfour Beatty

2006-09    David Cochrane – Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd


Portuguese transport workers to strike over budget and pay cuts March 21-23

Lebanon Public sector strike moves to Beirut Port

More than 1,000 garment workers from Myanmar are continuing their strike over what they describe as unhealthy food and discriminatory wages at a factory in an industrial zone in Jordan that supplies global brands.

Turkey: More than 100 public sector unionists arrested

Oman – Muscat airport workers end safety strike 

Egypt- Doctors threaten further strike action


Sprit of 45 Ken Loach’s film on the battle for the NHS will be out in cinemas across the UK. (Also see review by Katrine Williams, chair of PCS Wales)

More events can be found in False Economy

14   Save New Cross Fire Station. 7:30pm  The Stephanie Rossiter School of Dance The Barnes Wallis Community Centre, 74 Wild Goose Drive, SE14 5LL London, United Kingdom, SE14 5LL

If we don’t take action the Mayor of London will close New Cross and other fire stations before the end of this year

16 RESISTING AUSTERITY in Europe and in the UK conference organised by SERTUC 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 or email [email protected]

Councillors against cuts conference supported by LRC. 11am Birmingham.

Save Whittington Hospital demonstration – assemble 11.30am Highbury Corner, Holloway Road, London N7

Defend Clapham Fire Station demonstration – assemble on The Common 12noon rear of Holy Trinity Church SW4 0QZ

No to Benefit Cuts / No to the Bedroom Tax! Rally & Demo meet Brighton, Clock Tower Midday.

There are over 50 anti Bedroom tax meetings in the coming days.

20 Brighton public meeting: the assault on welfare

22 Steve Acheson Benefit Do – 7pm Saffron Easter, The old Town Hall, Manchester M8 8PY £20/12 con including food.

23 Campaign for Trade Union Freedom launch rally 1.30-4.30pm Friends Meeting House London. With Len McCluskey Unite, Bob Crow RMT, Billy Hayes CWU.

Blacklist Support Group AGM 10.30-4pm Faraday house, 48 Old Gloucester St, London WC1N

Barnet Spring march over sell offs of services. 1pm Finchley station

25 London Rank & File Unite construction meeting – 6.30pm Conway Hall, Holborn

26/27 National Pensions conference, Southport.

27 Action For Rail



29 Unite exhibition to celebrate election of Liverpool 47,  who would not vote  or implement Tory cuts. They also built 5000 houses, froze rents and much more. Opened by Len McCluskey Unite, Tony Mulhearn & others!



1 International Workers day! Marches, protests and events everywhere

‘The Thatcher years’ month long photographic 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.



29 7th annual conference of the NSSN

11am-5pm Camden Centre,

Judd Street, London,



NSSNPO Box 54498, London E10 9DE

Secretary: Linda Taaffe
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 07952 283 558




SORRY OUR EMAIL IS STILL NOT FUNCTIONING PROPERLY. Email/Call Linda or Rob directly for now. Thanks