NSSN Bulletin 141 – ‘we can’t sit back and wait for 2015’

NSSN ebulletin 141

‘We can’t sit back and wait for 2015’

The results of last week’s shire council elections have dealt a clear blow to the Con/Dem Coalition’s austerity juggernaut, both parties losing seats in large numbers. However, the protest vote did not accrue overwhelmingly to the ‘official’ opposition – as has been the case in recent times. Rather, UKIP cut a sizeable slice of the protest vote, undoubtedly for its right-wing populism and dangerous immigration policy, trying to capitalise on real fears over jobs and housing. Trade unions and particularly their leading bodies should view this development with some alarm. This warning cannot be ignored. Things are changing in Europe and now in Britain too. But we must make it clear that it is the fat cat bosses and bankers who have caused this crisis not workers, whatever their nationality.

There must be no further delay in the trade unions coming into the public arena and holding high the flag of mass protest. A start was made in 2011, but did not develop much further. The race to the bottom must be stopped. Immigration issues must not be allowed to divide workers. NSSN has been campaigning alongside several unions for public/private sector coordinated strike action, which could act as a beacon of struggle for everyone enduring  poverty, including those not yet involved in trade unions, like students, the young unemployed, community campaigners and pensioners. Unions should be seen once again as serious vehicles for change. Workers need to see their unions in action big time! We need to combat the media view that unions are irrelevant. Unfortunately the recent TUC general council delayed on the issue of mass action yet again, reinforcing this view even more. NSSN says coordinated trade union action must not be pushed off the agenda. Otherwise the ground could be opened up to movements of the Right, instead of the Left.

There are those in the trade union movement who claim that now is not the time for mass action and to wait for a Labour government in two years’ time. Inevitably, these election results will again open up the debate about political representation within the unions. A long time ago trades unionists decided they needed a political voice alongside their workplace organisations; it is clear that need remains. Some will argue that Labour is the only alternative to the ConDems while others like the RMT are no longer affiliated to Labour and have voted at their annual conference to support and participate in the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition in an attempt to bring together all those who want to stop all cuts, and claim the protest vote for the Left.

However, while this debate will continue, what is crystal clear after the political volatility ushered in by last Thursday’s results, is that the unions can’t sit back and wait for an election in 2015. Name the date for a 24-hour general strike! (Linda Taaffe, NSSN National Secretary)



Join us at the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) 7th national annual conference – We already have several bookings from keen trade unionists to take part.

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. We will have 4 workshops – Fighting for the NHS, Building the Housing front, Blacklisting & Organising & ‘Sick of your Boss’.

BOOK NOW £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 is on the resources page of the website. This is the conference to organise the urgent fightback in the unions with a clear NO CUTS policy!

New NSSN NHS Bulletin (no.3) now out! Plus new NSSN conference flyer! Please let us know if you need supplies

Wales Shop Stewards Network Conference – “All out together – TUC call a general strike!” – from 10-4 on Saturday June 8 in The Maldron Hotel, 100 yards from Cardiff Central station, St Mary Street, Cardiff, CF10 1GD

Thanks to several branches and trades councils for affiliating. Please also affiliate and donate

Video: NSSN lobby of the TUC for a 24-hour general strike view here


Walkouts begin across public sector group read here

PCS ‘public service group’: 1 hour stoppage on Friday May 10 – Parts of the civil service which are classified as “public services” by the state are taking one-hour strike action on Friday 10th May. It includes: British Council, Department for International Development, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, and others

Strikes highlight importance of key public bodies read here



RMT slams Orkney Ferries over “complete contempt” for workforce in long-running pay dispute – RMT today slammed management’s complete contempt for the workforce in a long-running dispute over pay justice on Orkney Ferries and warned that that arrogant and bullying attitude of the company could force an escalation of the current action more

British transport workers join US Teamsters protest at National Express AGM read here


Unite political fund opens read details here

Hanson brick workers Peterborough continue action. To send messages of support, details here

One Housing management justify pay cuts for low paid staff: ‘the market is the market’ (May 1) – At an ‘information’ meeting for One Support staff threatened with pay cuts management dismissed concerns that services would be damaged by a loss of experienced and skilled staff. more

Equinox workers now balloting over wage cuts read here


GMB to Consult Members at Circle Anglia  – GMB to Consult Members at Circle Anglia in Bishop’s Stortford Over Unfair Dismissal Of GMB Shop Steward And Cuts To Terms And Conditions Of Employment. The allegations against the GMB Shop Steward are vigorously refuted and defended by GMB at the disciplinary process which reeked of double standards more

Brighton and Hove refuse workers continue strike action read here


Solid support for Crown Post Office strike read here

NUT-NAS/UWT– Public Rallies for Education:-

Saturday 11 May – Birmingham 11.00am – 12.30pm

Location: ICC, Broad Street, Birmingham, B1 2EA

Speakers: Chris Keates, NASUWT General Secretary and Kevin Courtney, NUT Deputy General Secretary.

Leeds 11.00am – 12.30pm

Location: Hilton Leeds City Hotel, Neville Street, Leeds, LS1 4BX

Speakers: Christine Blower, NUT General Secretary and Dr Patrick Roach, NASUWT Deputy General Secretary.

Saturday 18 May – Cardiff 11.00am – 12.30pm

Location: Motorpoint Arena, Mary Ann Street, Cardiff, CF10 2EQ

Speakers: Chris Keates, NASUWT General Secretary and Kevin Courtney, NUT Deputy General Secretary.

Newcastle 11.00am – 12.30pm

Location: Centre for Life, Times Square, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4EP

Speakers: Christine Blower, NUT General Secretary and Dr Patrick Roach, NASUWT Deputy General Secretary.



NORTH-WEST REGIONAL STRIKE and LONDON MARCH & RALLY ON JUNE 27 – Michael Gove’s announcement that he plans to attack our holidays and conditions, on top of his attacks on pay, have angered teachers’ right across the country. In the North-West, those attacks will only encourage an even stronger response to the call for joint NUT / NASUWT regional strike action on June 27th. Over 500 teachers packed into rallies in both Liverpool and Manchester on April 27. Reps left inspired and even more determined to bring out every school on strike. In London, according to the calendar of action agreed at NUT Conference, teachers will not be called out on strike until the autumn. However, we can all play our part in building publicity for our campaign this term more from Martin Powell Davies’s blog – NUT NEC report


FBU pensions’ campaign reaching a critical stage read here

Stop Press!! BREAKING NEWS: FBU conference next week to discuss call for national strike action over attacks to firefighters’ pensions. read here

Haldane Society

Support Haldane Society Campaign against Legal Aid Cuts – The Haldane Society has released a document in opposition to further legal aid cuts, which is in line with the IER’s viewpoint on the restriction of access to justice. Please take some time to read the Society’s consultation response and standard letter and support them in their campaign here


Blacklisting & victimisation

Manchester, 7.30am Friday 10th May

Manchester City FC Academy construction project (its right next to the stadium)

Blacklist Support Group

video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRB9DjmhBHg

blog: www.hazards.org/blacklistblog

facebook: http://www.facebook.com/groups/blacklistSG/ <http://www.facebook.com/groups/blacklistSG/

Sheffield PCS members strike to defend sacked rep Lee Rock read here

Reinstate London Metroline bus driver Oscar Alvarez now! See leaflet

International see also Labourstart

Nigeria: All members of Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM) arrested at May Day events have been released

Petition to Wal-Mart, H&M and Gap: Do your part to stop the murders of garment workers in Bangladesh – Join us in calling on Wal-Mart, H&M and Gap, the largest buyers of clothing made in Bangladesh, to make immediate safety improvements in their supplier factories by joining the legally-binding Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Agreement. All three retailers have been involved in the scourge of factory disasters in Bangladesh more

Workers Uniting (includes Unite and United Steelworkers in the US) statement on Bangladesh read here

Belfast events celebrating May Day and the Dublin Lock-out here

Hong Kong Dockworkers’ strike ends after 40 days read here


Appeal from the Daymer organisation

Dear All,

I am writing to ask you for your support for Day-mer’s 24th Culture and Arts Festival which will take place between the dates of 9th June – 7th July 2013.

About Day-mer

As most of you may know my name is Oktay Sahbaz and I am a management committee member for Day-mer which is a Turkish and Kurdish organisation called Day-mer.  Day-mer, unlike other migrant organisations has an objective around integration under the banner of “common struggle against common issues”. In this sense it is very active in British politics and is trying to act as a bridge between the Turkish/Kurdish community and British working class in UK. We believe by getting workers from all backgrounds regardless of their race, colour and religion together against their common issues and working together against these common issues we can build the best form of integration. We are also an organisation which supports all local and national organisations which stand against austerity measures and injustices caused by this.

Day-mer Festivals

Day-mer has been organising a Culture and Arts Festival for the past 24 years in Hackney and North London. It is currently the longest running festival in Hackney and one of the known festivals in London. It publishes and distributes over 30 thousand leaflets and posters in promoting it. The festival consists of series of events for children to young people, adults to senior citizens. This year it is aiming to kick off its events on the 9th June and finish on the 7th July with the park festival at Clissold Park.  It attracts 15-20 thousand people to all its events throughout. Our final event at Clissold Park on 7th July is an exciting day for all members of the community. It is a day where people of all ages and all backgrounds come together to celebrate unity through the means of music, food and culture.

We need your support

Although the festival has been running for the 24 years and it is the longest running festival in Hackney it gets no support from the council. All the work and expenses are covered by Day-mer members and Day-mer friends. As we continue to strive and keep this fight festival going we need the support of our brothers and sisters in other organisations to help us achieve this. On this note we are asking all organisations who know Day-mer, who worked with Day-mer and who was supported by Day-mer to support us.

To promote the festival we will be publishing a brochure which will talk about the events and have all the organisations which supports Day-mer. We are calling all organisations in sponsoring page on this brochure to help us cover the costs of the festival. Any organisation can sponsor a full page for £300 or half a page for £150 with a message of support and a small intro about your organisations. Through this way we don’t just get your support by we also help thousands of people know about your organisations through these leaflets (around 30 thousand in English and Turkish are distributed every year).

Please support this cause by sponsoring a half page or a page to help us continue with our work in building a bridge between Turkish and Kurdish Community and working class in achieving the best form of integration under the banner of “Common struggle against common issues”.

I also like to take this opportunity to invite you and members of your organisation to the festival reception on 12th June 2013 at 6pm at the North London Community House in Bruce Grove.

Please inform us your decision and any questions you may have.

Oktay Sahbaz



11 Lewisham Carnival against cuts.

12 Don’t Mention the 47 Documentary & discussion at Richmix, London (£7/4) plus other events that day including Unite Housing workers, ‘How to stop the housing cuts & what are the alternatives?’ Radicals & Revolutionaries walk (£5/£2) of the East End, 3pm ScriptReadEast (£4).

13 Counihan-Sanchez campaign Open meeting @ The Albert, NW6

14 The Institute of Employment Rights & The Haldane Society invite you to hear: Frances O’Grady General Secretary TUC In conversation with Sharan Burrow, General Secretary ITUC – Trade unions at work globally: offering an alternative to austerity Chair: John Hendy QC – 6.30pm At the Diskus Conference Centre, UNITE House, 128 Theobalds Road, London WC1X 8TN – Nearest Tube Holborn

18 Fight the NHS cuts London march [email protected]

27 Stop the Eviction of the Counihan-Sanchez campaign



8 Confronting the Climate Crisis – Campaign Against Climate Change Trade Union group, from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM (PDT) London Metropolitan University, Stapleton House 277 Holloway Road N7 8HN London more

22 People’s Assembly – Central Hall Westminster, Storey’s Gate, London, Westminster, London SW1H 9NH more

29 7th annual conference of the NSSN – 11am-5pm Camden Centre, Judd Street, London, WC1H 9JE more



CONTACT US [email protected]  Website


Secretary: Linda TaaffeEmail: [email protected]

Phone: 07952 283 558

NSSNPO Box 54498, London E10 9DE