NSSN E-Bulletin 148
Come to the Seventh NSSN Annual Conference this Saturday!
- Teachers start their fightback with strike in the North-West
- RMT re-affirms its commitment for a general strike against austerity!
On Thursday 27 June, NUT and NASUWT members across twenty-two local authorities in the North-West of England are being called upon to take region-wide strike action. Strike rallies will be taking place in Manchester, Preston, Chester and Liverpool.
Across the rest of England and Wales, teachers are being asked to show their solidarity with the North-West action by wearing stickers, sending in messages and photos of support, and other actions.
In London, up to 1,000 teachers marched on Tuesday, 25 June in the build-up to Thursday’s strike in the North-West.
Two North-West NUT Officers, both from Associations affiliated to the rank & file ‘Local Associations National Action Campaign’ (LANAC), explain why the 27 June strike is so important:
“Teachers teach because they care about children, so we are always reluctant to strike. However, Gove’s latest ‘reforms’ leave us with no choice but to strike on 27 June; our pay and pensions have been attacked and now Gove wants to sweep away anything and everything that protects us from exploitation in our contracts.
“This government has singled out teachers as we are the best organised, most unionised workforce in the country. The fight back begins in the North-West this Thursday. We can – and we will – win!”
Greg Foster, Secretary, Cheshire West and Chester NUT.
“Pay, pensions, workload, holidays, OFSTED, surveillance… the attacks on teachers have never been as severe. In many schools, this Government has created an atmosphere of terror. Managers with no teaching responsibility roam schools armed with clipboards and OFSTED-inspired grids, pouncing on teachers. ‘Drop-ins’ that turn into capability procedures are the vogue.
“Gove hopes to ‘do a Maggie’ and smash the teachers but this is a weak and divided coalition which we can beat. Our 27 June strike must be just the first step in pressing back the Government’s offensive. We have to win. We have to escalate to win. We have to show the weak and divided Coalition our iron determination. We will not be a sacrifice to Gove’s ambition! Victory to the teachers!” Peter Glover, Liverpool NUT and NUT National Executive member for Merseyside and Cheshire
This is an edited version of a post on the blog of Martin Powell Davies, NUT NEC & NSSN Steering Committee)
This weekend is our one-day NSSN conference, which brings together trade unionists, and the community to fight cuts with an industrial strategy as a key part of the process. Register online in advance and save some queues!
We have leading trade union speakers, including union general secretaries Mark Serwotka PCS, Billy Hayes CWU and Steve Gillan POA, plus striking workers in disputes up and down the UK attending and wanting to share information of their disputes and develop links and share inspiration. There will be four workshops: Fighting for the NHS, Building the Housing front, Fighting the Blacklisting & ‘Sick of your Boss’. As part of our general anti–cuts campaigns, Tommy Sheridan chair of the Scottish Anti-Bedroom Tax Federation will also speak & Turkish trade unionists from Day-Mar bring together the local campaigns and international solidarity and action against austerity.
Rail workers warned today that only a general strike would stop the Tories condemning the next generation to poverty.
Rail union RMT’s AGM voted unanimously to push the TUC to organise a Britain-wide walkout. here
RMT AGM turns spotlight on continuing attacks on British shipping industry here & warns of lethal safety risks from casualisation of rail jobs. here
RMT slammed the latest rail privatisation scandal as the government was forced to admit that, despite raking in hundreds of millions in profits, there is no legal requirement on private rail companies to provide toilets on any of their services! here
At its AGM in Brighton, transport union RMT will hear of the full extent of the takeover of Britain’s railways by overseas interests led by state-owned railways in Germany and other parts of Europe. here
Working-class representation ‘in crisis’: A councillor expelled from the Labour Party for opposing cuts warned that Britain faces a “crisis of working-class representation”. Keith Morrell told delegates at the Brighton conference of rail union RMT that he had been booted out of Labour after 30 years in the party. here
Unite will be in Barcelona and Madrid (see notes to editors) to protest at Ferrovial’s involvement in the blacklisting and victimisation of trade unionists working on Crossrail, the biggest construction project in Europe. here
Unite workers on the bins in Bromley and Croydon have named 2nd, 3rd and 4th July for strike action in the next step of their campaign for fair pay. The workers are employed by Veolia who made £121 million in profits. Members are quite rightly demanding a pay rise that meets the cost of living. The campaign is spreading; Unite members at Camden Veolia are now also set to join the campaign. We are making a call for mass pickets on the strike days to stop managers taking the vehicles out and breaking the strike – join us on the pickets.” Here
One Housing Group, members of Unite LE1111 Housing workers branch, struck for three days last week with several picket lines and a NOISY protest outside the HQ. The action brought out a new layer of militant trade unionists prepared to fight cuts and drew much support from the community. Photos Here . St Mungo’s members of the same Unite branch held a packed meeting earlier this week and voted unanimously to ballot for strike action if management introduced low-paid ‘support assistants’ here
Runcorn construction workers walked out over bullying and intimidation last week on the £65 million project here
The chancellor will announce further cuts to jobs and services in the comprehensive spending review on 26 June. On 27 June the union is organising a day of protest as part of its on-going national campaign with events in Peterborough, Newcastle, Durham, Cardiff, Birmingham, Bournemouth, Preston, Plymouth, London, Belfast, Nottingham, Leicester, Coventry, Dudley, Bristol, Bootle, Liverpool, Manchester & Exeter. here video with Mark Serwotka on protests. ‘Downgraded chancellor must stop these damaging cuts’ here
Angry care workers have started voting for strike action over plans to axe 155 jobs and slash salaries. The workers, all members of public-sector union Unison, are employed by Cornerstone Community Care in the West of Scotland. Cornerstone has said that those who are unsuccessful in securing their own jobs will be demoted to a support assistant role and see their salaries slashed by £2,000 to £3,000. here
Dundee council workers rallied in the city square to demand a pay rise before they ballot for strike action. Here
Unison wins historic equal pay case worth millions of pounds for members in Dumfries and Galloway Council here
TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes blasted Network Rail (NR) bosses for trying to give themselves over £10 million in ‘double bonuses’. He urged NR public members – the taxpayer-funded firm’s equivalent of shareholders – to reject the plan at the 18 July annual general meeting in Cardiff here
GMB members at VIP Polymers in Huntingdon have taken their second day of strike action in a dispute over cuts to pay and conditions of employment here
Barnet and Southgate College is under fire for refusing to explain why the former principal of Barnet College, Marilyn Hawkins, was paid a total of £203,000 in severance and related payments following the merger with Southgate College in November 2011 here
There has been a vote of no confidence in Gwent College management after union reps were suspended at same time as redundancies were announced here
‘Fire Cuts Cost Lives’ is very concerned about the use of scab labour within the fire and rescue service should industrial action take place. However in South Yorkshire the Chief Fire Officer, Jaime Courtney has taken the unprecedented step of recruiting and training scab labour in an effort to pre-empt any possible action by the Fire Brigades Union. here
Over 4,000 people attending the People’s Assembly waved off two People United buses on their two week journeys which will see them visit over 25 towns and cities across England to build the People’s Manifesto. here. Two other reports of the People’s assembly here & here.
“A few weeks ago, the board of this private care company in Barnet shocked people by walking out of a meeting that service users and families attended, saying it didn’t have to talk to them about proposed service cuts because it was a private company. Well. The company backed down this week because parents made a legal threat. That’s a success all right. This story now includes an update with the details.” here
Pensioners warned austerity-addicted politicians at Westminster that they will face a big fight if they attack bus passes and fuel allowances. National Pensioners Convention (NPC) general secretary Dot Gibson spoke out after Chancellor George Osborne hinted that he would undermine universal pensioner benefits after the next election. here
Scandal of police attempt to denigrate Lawrence family. Leaders of YRE call for genuine independent inquiry. here
Bristol council opposes bedroom tax evictions here & ‘Know Your Rights’ sheet from the Socialist Party “People who are confronted with the bedroom tax across Merseyside and Manchester, fighting it with everything they have, without support from politicians. They’re worried about their kids being taken away if they don’t pay the tax and are thought to be ‘struggling’. They say developers want the land that their houses are built on and that’s why they’re being pushed out to make room for fancy apartments.” here.
‘Sick of your Boss?’ has a Week of Action 8th-13th July targeting one of Britain’s worst employers, Primark. Obviously Primark have hit the headlines with their horrifying contempt for the lives of garment workers in Bangladesh. Here
Home care: Cuts & Outsourcing equal abuse here
Follow the TUC’s national tour, to hear stories from across Britain of how government austerity policies are harming ordinary people and their communities. Check out events near you and add your own story online, here
Want to get onto your local councillor or MP? Tap in your postcode, here.
INTERNATIONAL See also Labourstart
BRAZIL: Following the tsunami of mass struggles during recent days, the state government of Sao Paulo, the prefects of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, the two largest cities in Brazil, along with dozens of state capitals and cities throughout the country, have decided to reduce transport fares. here
BEIJING: An American executive has been held hostage for four days at his medical supply plant in Beijing by scores of workers demanding severance packages like those given to 30 co-workers in a phased-out department. Here
INDIA: Bajaj Auto, on Tuesday, said workmen at its Chakan plant had ‘stopped coming’ to work, thereby, affecting production following the management’s refusal to allot them shares at a discounted price. here
ITALY: Tens of thousands march in Rome against unemployment. Here
NIGERIA: The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) Monday vowed to go ahead with its planned three-day warning strike by Wednesday, if the federal government’s intervention to resolve its disputes with Chevron and Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) was not concluded. here
TURKEY: The June Days in Turkey: an update by Emre Eren Korkmaz (DISK) here
Today in 1919 Winnipeg General Strike ended with concessions including a 5-hour reduction in the working week. Here
26 Lincoln & District TUC launching a broad anti-racist group, public meeting will take place on 7pm at the Labour Club on Newland.
Merseyside Federation of Anti-Bedroom Tax Groups Lobby housing ‘so called’ professionals such as Welfare Minister Lord Fraud at Chartered Institute of Housing, Manchester
Week of action against the Bedroom Tax: Edinburgh & Lothians
Woolwich and the War on Terror: public meeting 7pm at Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL. here:
York TUC is holding a free open public meeting 7.30pm.Ricky Tomlinson is confirmed as speaker. Priory St Centre, York.
29 7th annual conference of the NSSN, HOW WE ARE FIGHTING CUTS & BUILDING FOR A GENERAL STRIKE. Register NOW
11am-5pm Camden Centre, Judd Street, London, WC1H 9JE.
Week of action against the Bedroom Tax: Edinburgh & Lothians
1 Barnet Alliance for Public services AGM 7pm
3 RMT McNulty demo Poole Station 5-6.30
Cardiff against the cuts 7-8.30pm Suite 1, Unite HQ, 1 Cathedral Rd, CF11.
Fight the bedroom tax Dorchester 7pm Colliton Club, DT1
5 NHS party in the park celebrating 65 years of the NHS 1pm Trafford General Hospital, M41
6 Matchgirls strike festival of East London
8-13th ‘Sick of your Boss?’ week of action
13 Durham Miners Gala
18 Lobby Canterbury City Council over the bedroom tax – 6.30pm
19-21 Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival
19-21 Hazards Conference, Keele University. The national conference for union safety reps and community campaigners. Hazards run the online blog for the Blacklist Support Group and there will be blacklisting speakers at the Friday plenary session
24 Action for Rail Wimbledon station 5.30pm
Sep 29 National Demonstration to save our NHS at Tory party Conference, called by Unite, GMB & Unison.
Secretary: Linda Taaffe Email: [email protected] or
Phone: 07952 283 558
NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE