No. 132 It’s time for a united union fight for decent pay!


NSSN ebulletin 132

International Women’s Day 2013: Women to the fore against austerity – “it’s high time for a united union fight for decent pay”

Women internationally have fought to defend jobs and services and this has never been so important as we approach international women’s day this year.  All the gains that we have made are under attack. However women have also been at the forefront of standing up to defend public services as the majority of the workers in the public sector. And also campaigning in our communities against cuts as women recognise how important these services are to their lives. As PCS prepares to strike to defend members by striking on budget day, this union will be highlighting how important terms and conditions like flexitime and family friendly policies are to make it much easier for women to remain in the workplace and will be fought for.  64% of the lowest paid workers are women so fighting for a decent pay rise is especially relevant for women workers.  After years of pay restraint and freezes in the public sector then this issue raises the concrete potential of coordinated strike action across the public sector to break the pay cap of 1% and win a decent wage rise – following the lead taken by PCS.  It is scandalous that 40% of the staff due to be delivering Universal Credit will be on this benefit themselves because of low pay. So it’s high time for a united union fight for decent pay. Support the PCS strike on budget day March 20th!

(Katrine Williams – NSSN vice-chair & PCS DWP Group Vice-President)

There are many events nationally marking International Women’s Day – these are some of them:-

March 8th:

Unite London & Eastern Region Women’s Committee: International Women’s Day rally ‘Women in Struggle’ – Firebox, 106-108 Cromer Street London WC1H 8BZ

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

Sheila Rowbotham: Dorothy and Edward Remembered – A film of a lecture by Sheila Rowbotham will be premiered in The Hive, Worcester – The lecture contains references to British feminists and grassroots socialists of the past 275 years.

March 12: Celebrate International Women’s Day with Sisters from Unite on Tuesday March 12th from 5.30 pm – 7 pm at Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, Holborn, London WC1R 4RL


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:

Union News

PSC 20th March 

PCS to walkout on Budget day – Time to strike togetherOver a quarter of a million PCS members will walkout on March 20th just as George Osborne stands up to deliver yet another cuts budget. 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

PCS members in the Department of Education are walking out 3:00pm today, Thursday 7 March, for two hours in a demonstration of their collective determination to defend jobs in DfE


Unite BASSA members protest at Heathrow along with striking Iberia workers on March 6th – ITF press release h photos

Greencore workers stand firm and win (March 4)Following a ballot of 500 workers at the Greencore cakes and desserts’ site in Hull, Unite has today (4 March) announced an offer has been overwhelmingly accepted to settle the long-running dispute.  The dispute over the withdrawal of premium rates for overtime, shift working and bank holidays had involved a long campaign of demonstrations and other action against the company, culminating in a 24 hour strike on 30 January 2013. However, the threat of a further 48 hour strike last week was suspended when management agreed to reinstate all premium rates and also to award a pay increase.

Unite victory at Capenhurst construction project (March 1) – Construction workers have claimed a victory at the Capenhurst construction project near Chester and prevented attacks on terms and conditions by the site’s owner Urenco and its contractor Jacobs. Hundreds of workers had been demonstrating at the site in the defence of a long standing agreement, the National Agreement for the Engineering Construction Industry (NAECI).

Interview with Rob Williams NSSN chair at first Capenhurst protest

Isle of Man drivers face lock out by Bus Vannin

Unite Housing Workers  in St Mungos accept pay increase & HCA members ballot for industrial action over pay.

Unite Ambulance Service Yorkshire hold strike vote over staffing changes.


Victory at Cheshire Site (March 5th) – GMB calls off Cheshire protests after employers agree to apply NAECI agreement to nuclear construction site

GMB Members In Living Wage Protest At Passing Out Ceremony At Scottish Fife Police

While ordinary London families are unable to find council house to rent rich farmers are scooping them up by the tractor load as Thatcher’s “right to buy” turns into rich harvest for greedy farmers and elite

80,000 pay equality claims and still a pay gap of over £8k in full time employment.


RMT launches fight to defend Belfour Beatty defined benefit pension fund (March 5) – RAIL UNION RMT today said it will be launching a campaign to defend the defined benefit pension fund at construction giant Balfour Beatty after the company tried to bulldoze through changes that would rip away future pension rights from over 2500 workers while top bosses pensions and benefits soar through the roof.

Jubilee Line tube drivers in strike vote over bullying and working conditions (Feb 28) – Tube union RMT confirmed today that tube drivers on the Jubilee Line, working out of the Stratford and Greenwich depots, are to be balloted for industrial action in a dispute over bullying of staff through the misuse of procedures and an appalling decline in the standard of working conditions.

RMT security and safety staff employed by STM Security Group on London Overground services are continuing their campaign over bullying and harassment and an attempt to impose workplace changes without agreement. The next protests are:- •13th March 2013 – 9am to 11am outside Palestra House  •27th March 2013 – 9am to 11am outside City Hall

Support Tyne and Wear Metro Cleaners Video

RMT launches Domestic Violence policy


Pensions – write to MPs about the threat of mass dismissals (March 4) – The FBU is asking members to write their MP about the Westminster government’s plans for firefighters’ pensions. The government is pressing on with its Public Sector Pensions Bill, which imposes a normal pension age (NPA) of 60 on firefighters. Yet its own report published earlier this year shows most firefighters cannot work safely until that age.

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


NUT members are lobbying the Department for Education on Wednesday 13 March, 5pm, COVENTRY: Department for Education Offices, 53-55 Butts Rd, CV1 3BH

Sheffield College NUT to strike over 20% workforce cut (14th March)

LONDON: Cathedral Piazza, Victoria St, Westminster SW1

Sheffield College’s NUT members vote to strike (March 6) – Teachers at a college in Sheffield have voted to go on strike over potential compulsory redundancies. Longley Park Sixth Form College is cutting its budget by £1m in the next academic year, resulting in the loss of about 20% of the workforce and changes to the curriculum.

Lewisham NUT unanimously voted to support amendments to motions to this Easter’s NUT Annual Conference inserting, amongst other proposals, a clear call for national strike action against PRP next term.


Scottish members to ballot on local govt pay offer (March 4) – 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 decides on any recommendation on the 1% offer from the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities.


John Lewis cleaners to strike for the living wage (4 March) – Cleaners at the John Lewis Partnership are to ballot for strike action at the flagship Oxford Street store.  This is the first step in the revived campaign to win the Living Wage for all cleaners employed by John Lewis. The Industrial Workers of Great Britain (IWGB) which represents the 33 cleaners at the store has served a formal ‘notice of dispute’ with sub-contractor Integrated Cleaning Management (ICM) who employs the outsourced cleaners.  On Thursday 7th March John Lewis will announce it annual bonus for in-house staff.  The company is expected to announce a 17% increase of its annual profits of £415 million in the year to January 2013; this follows bumper sales with John Lewis making £6848 million in the Christmas period. However, the cleaners at John Lewis who are excluded from the partnership scheme are denied any share of the company’s profits.  A high profile union campaign last year saw the cleaners take strike action in July winning a 10% pay increase.  But the cleaners still earn a mere £6.72 per-hour, the London living wage of £8.55 per-hour is a basic minimum to live on, which the employers could easily afford to pay.

Police Federation vote over right to strike, 81%  voted yes with 34% members voting.

40 Bedroom Tax protests across the UK.

‘Why I broke the Labour Whip to vote against cuts’ (Unite member in North west) & Breaking news: 21 year old wins by-election in Maltby standing for the Trade Union & Socialist Coalition!

“In the first open rebellion seen at the Guildhall for more than a decade, three backbenchers voted against their own group’s budget’ Hull

“Health Axe halted in Yorkshire. ‘

‘Ten disabled and vulnerable children have launched legal proceedings against work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith”

45 Years since the Ford Dagenham Strike: Women workers still fighting for decent pay!

Blacklisting & Victimisation

Crossrail and BFK must answer blacklisting charge (7 March) – A worker on the Crossrail project who believes he was blacklisted because of his union and safety activities has won the right to challenge his sacking.

There will be a benefit for Steve Acheson Friday 22nd March, 7pm at Saffron Restaurant, Cheetham Hill. Tickets are £20 waged, £12 unwaged. Please circulate widely

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

Stop the Witch Hunt at London Met VIDEO & Petition 


International Women’s Day (IWD) started in 1909 in the US then in it was developed by the second international congress for Socialist women to hold an international day in 1911. Over 1 million women marked the day with over 300 protests, demands included the vote, and wider demands for equality for working class women. Women in St Petersburg struck on IWD in 1917 sparking the Russian Revolution. We want bread, but we want roses too” 

Unite stands shoulder to shoulder with Venezuela following Chavez’s deathHugo Chavez was a massive inspiration to those fighting for social justice and standing up against grinding poverty and social exclusion, the leader of Britain and Ireland’s largest union, Unite said today (6 March).

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

Lebanon – Public sector workers on indefinite strike over wages (March 4)



Sprit of 45 Ken Loach’s film on the battle for the NHS will be out in cinemas across the UK.

8  MARCH International Women’s Day (IWD)

There are many events internationally –some  local ish ones:-

Unite London & Eastern Region Women’s Committee invites you to our International Women’s Day rally ‘Women in Struggle’ – Firebox, 106-108 Cromer Street London WC1H 8BZ

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

Sheila Rowbotham: Dorothy and Edward Remembered – A film of a lecture by Sheila Rowbotham will be premiered in The Hive, Worcester – The lecture contains references to British feminists and grassroots socialists of the past 275 years.

PCS IWD events in Nottingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, & More!


9  Dundee protest against blacklisting 10.30 Meadowside.

Southampton rap & rock against Soton youth service cuts. All day benefit @ the Joiners

Benefit Justice Summit at ULU, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HY 11am – 4.30pm

11 What next for the Campaigns against cuts, Cardiff. 7.30pm Bus & Sports club.

12 Celebrate International Women’s Day with Sisters from Unite on Tuesday March 12th from 5.30 pm – 7 pm at Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, Holborn, London WC1R 4RL

Sctostoun Bedroom tax public meeting.

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  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:

14 Save New Cross Fire station 8.30 Trinity Centre, SE14

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

20 Brighton public meeting: the assault on welfare

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

27 Action For Rail


29  Unite exhibition to celebrate election of Liverpool 47,  who would not vote for Tory cuts. They also built 5000 houses! Opened by Len Mcluskey Unite, Tony Mulhearn & more!


1 International Workers day! Marches, protests and events everywhere

2  ‘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, WC1H 9JE


NSSNPO Box 54498, London E10 9DE

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




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