Bulletin 150 – New Labour attacks trade unions

NSSN e-bulletin 150

New Labour attacks trade unions

The major union news of the week has been the battle between New Labour and Unite over the role unions play in the Labour party. NSSN supporters and our sponsoring unions have differing views over the Labour link; some are affiliated to Labour, others have no party political affiliations while the RMT reiterated its support for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition at its recent AGM. What we can say is that New Labour was no friend of the trade unions in office and has promised to continue the ConDems austerity programme if elected. We also reject New Labour calling in the police against Unite, and also the attacks of the bosses, their media and the Tories. Bob Crow, RMT general secretary, was most forthright: “With this latest assault by Labour on the unions the time is right to start building an alternative political party that speaks for the working people and the working class communities that find themselves under the most brutal attack from cuts and austerity in a generation. Clinging to the wreckage of a Labour Party that didn’t lift a finger to repeal the anti-union laws despite 13 years in power is a complete waste of time.”

  • Lobby TUC conference in Bournemouth on 8 September! Name the date for a 24 hour general strike! ‘All out together in November!’ NSSN rally at the TUC Congress at Bournemouth on September 8th followed by a lobby of Congress. Confirmed speakers: Bob Crow, Mark Serwotka and Steve Gillan (RMT, PCS, POA general secretaries). 12 noon-3pm Hardy Suite, Hermitage Hotel, Exeter Rd, Bournemouth (opposite Bournemouth International Centre, TUC conference venue). Book a seat on transport from your area: email [email protected]
  • Build the TUC national demonstration outside Tory Party conference in Manchester on 29 September! March behind the NSSN banner: 24 hour general strike to stop the Tory cuts!

Model Motion: Lobby TUC 8 September! The FULL affiliation letter and motion can be downloaded from our website.

See the video shown at the 7th annual NSSN conference.  Also see Billy Hayes CWU leader report of conference.   Several of the speeches have been put online by others.


Union News



25 years on from Piper Alpha offshore union RMT warns of new safety risks here

RMT pledges all-out fight to halt TFL plans to sack all train guards on London Overground here

Two weeks of strike action to coincide with Durham Miners Gala as RMT steps up fight for living wage for Tyne and Wear Metro cleaners here

Whitechapel ticket office closure protest 15 July here

Serco Barclays London bike staff vote 100% for strike action over pay and conditions here


Back the overtime ban to fight the cuts here

Members say no to Victorian pay rates at National Gallery for Scotland here

Multinational Mitie told pay a living wage here


CWU reacts to the announcement of a flotation of Royal Mail as illogical and impractical here

CWU bus tour against Royal Mail privatisation continues here

Petition against Royal Mail privatisation here

Bridgewater Delivery Office strike pictures here

Consultative Ballot for Parcelforce members here

Virgin Media planners lodge mass grievance here

Petitioning against injustice for agency workers here


Workers at Leeds facilities company ballot for industrial action in pay and pensions dispute Members at a Leeds facilities company will be voting on industrial action in a dispute over loss of earnings, which could amount to more than 40 per cent.  Workers at Morrison Facilities Services Ltd, who maintain social housing in Leeds, started voting on Monday 1 July for strike action or industrial action short of a strike. The ballot closes on Monday 15 July. More

Unite members at EDF Energy are fighting a determined campaign to force the employer to finally pay workers what they are owed from a pay deal agreed last year. Incredibly, the energy provider responsible for calculating energy bills claims that it did not do the math when signing up to the deal and now claims it cannot afford it. They will be meeting the employer again on 15th July – if they do not pay up, we will issue notice of a strike ballot to Unite members in the London, Eastern, South East and South Eastern regions.

Unite to fight shipowners’ attempts to lower pay and standards at UK ports here

Glass workers in Yorkshire and Scotland ballot for industrial action over ‘inadequate’ pay offer here

Cruel’ announcement by government for Remploy workers here

Unite Housing workers in Equinox strike fro 48 hours on Thursday Last week, members and supporters lobbied the Board, including handing them a vote of No Confidence in Chief Executive Bill Puddicombe.  The following day, supporters also leafleted attendees at a social care conference in which Equinox were participating and there was a lot of sympathy from participants& One Housing Group further Strikes here

Pay the living wage, says Unite, as Sainsbury’s workers struggle to live well for less here

Government selling off Royal Mail to pay for economic failure here

Bootle print workers walk out. here


GMB Refuse Staff in West Wiltshire Strike Action on 8th July in Pay Dispute here


South London college staff votes to strike over cuts here

Dispute at the University of Salford suspended after productive negotiations here

Pressure mounts on University of Liverpool as UK professors unite in condemnation of dismissals here


‘Unworkable’ proposal for firefighter pension scheme provokes strike vote here


Layers of inequality: impact of public spending cuts on black, asian and minority women. Here

Levels of Bedroom tax non payment in Scotland. More

This summer, a wide coalition of people and groups are coming together to Reclaim the Power. We want the National Shop Stewards Network to join us. Reclaim the Power will be a 4 day action camp and protest at EDF’s West Burton power station. Politicians are pandering to tax-dodging energy companies who are getting ever richer and pushing their prices ever higher, forcing more and more people to choose between heating and eating. 7,200 people died last winter in the UK because of fuel poverty. EDF and the other ‘Big Six’ energy companies are profiting from our misery. www.reclaimthepower.org.uk  having two national gatherings – one on Saturday July 13th in Birmingham, the other in London on Sunday August 4th – at which you would be welcome – just email [email protected]


Special offer from Red Pepper For members of the National Shop Stewards Network

It was inspiring to see so many committed activists at the NSSN conference on Saturday. Here at Red Pepper magazine we’ll continue to report on the fight against austerity, blacklisting, police spying & more. With upcoming protest at the Tory party conference, calls for civil disobedience and strike action, we can help you stay up to date: TRIAL subscription offer: Get 6 months of Red Pepper for just £5


India: Justice for Indian PepsiCo workers! Workers who are members of Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) at West Bengal warehouses exclusively contracted by PepsiCo are fighting for fairness and justice in the face of mass dismissals as a result of exercising their right to join a union. 162 workers out of 170 have been brutally fired. More

Dock Workers at Brazil’s Santos Port to Strike. More

Kazakhstan: International solidarity: of the workers and the bosses. More


13 Durham Miners Gala

Workfare Walk of Shame: Meet midday outside Marks and Spencer on Western Road, Brighton

16 March to stop the fire cuts 11.30 The Monument, Fish street Hill, EC3R

18 Lobby Canterbury City Council over the bedroom tax 6.30pm

19-21 Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival

20 UK Uncut callout: stuff the banks!

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

27 Day of Action against bedroom Tax


8 NSSN Rally at the TUC Congress at Bournemouth followed by a lobby of Congress. 12 noon-3pm Hardy Suite, Hermitage Hotel, Exeter Rd, Bournemouth (opposite Bournemouth International Centre – TUC conference venue).

29 National TUC Demonstration to save our NHS at Tory party Conference

30 Manchester Unite local government branch is hosting a showing of the exhibition about Liverpool’s socialist council 1983-87. Speakers include: Len McCluskey, Tony Mulhearn, Felicity Dowling, Ted Knight & Kevin Bennett. Methodist Central Hall, Oldham St. Manchester. Tel: 0161-234-1896 email [email protected].



 [email protected]   or look on our Website for further info.


Secretary: Linda Taaffe Email: [email protected] or 

Phone: 07952 283 558

NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE