EBulletin 154- Zero tolerance for zero-hour contracts!!


NSSN e-bulletin 154 – Zero tolerance for zero-hour contracts!!

Zero-hour contracts have hit the headlines over the last week, with 24,000 (80%) of JD Wetherspoons staff and 20,000 (90%) of Sports Direct all on such contracts. Even Buckingham Palace and the Coalition Government use them! Zero-hour contracts offer no guarantee of hours or pay, and are regularly used to stop people organising at work. Many workers who do try to organise to improve their conditions have their hours cut as punishment.

Youth Fight for Jobs (YFJ) has been campaigning against zero-hour contracts, with protests outside Sports Direct up and down the country. As part of YFJ’s new ‘Are You Sick of Your Boss?’ initiative to fight for better conditions for young workers, we have been walking into high street shops to give leaflets to staff that explain about their trade union and legal rights. YFJ is backed by six major trade unions and campaigns for real jobs that pay us enough to live on, with guaranteed hours and full employment rights including trade union rights. Get in touch for material, information about future protests or for a speaker at your event. We hold local meetings for young workers wanting to learn more about their rights, trade unions and how to get organised.

Check out the website for more updates. The NSSN also criticises councils and other public sector bodies that are using these exploitative practices.  (This weeks bulletin has been put together by Rob Williams NSSN Chair) 

Lobby the TUC Congress on Sunday September 8th – All out Together in November!

Join us and Lobby the 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, Steve Gillan, Ronnie Draper and Ian Lawrence (RMT, PCS, POA, BFAWU and NAPO general secretaries respectively) Alec McFadden (North West representative on TUCJCC for trades councils and also President Merseyside County TUC), Teresa MacKay TUCJCC & Ipswich Trades Council and Linda Taaffe (NSSN).

A rally will take place between 12.30pm-2.30pm Hardy Suite, Hermitage Hotel, Exeter Rd, Bournemouth (opposite Bournemouth International Centre, TUC Congress venue). There will be a coach to the lobby from Hampshire. To book a seat on transport from your area, email [email protected] or if you are able to arrange some and have space, let us know.

Also join us building for 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!

Feel free to use our Model Motion: Lobby TUC 8 September! The FULL affiliation letter and motion can be downloaded from our website. Consider adding ‘That their general secretaries should meet with other willing unions prior to the TUC to liaise on co-ordination (&) we fully support the 29th September NHS March in Manchester.

Union News


RMT & Unite fighting Railcare closure threat

RMT   increased the pressure on Vince Cable and the Government to step in with a rescue package for the Railcare works in Glasgow and Milton Keynes as it emerged that a question mark now hangs over the future of the royal train which has been based at the Wolverton depot near Milton Keynes for the past 98 years read more

Business secretary Vince Cable has been told that he can’t ‘wash his hands’ of Railcare, as 152 redundancies were confirmed by Unite, and RMT said that Railcare had a full order book from October and that Vince Cable should intervene immediately to encourage the banks and rolling stock companies to provide short-term loan facilities to keep the highly-skilled workforce intact read more


Tube union RMT confirms strike ballot of Victoria Line train crew over comprehensive breakdown in industrial relations (August 7) – RMT confirmed today that train crew members on the Victoria Line are to be balloted for strike action over a range of grievances that amount to a total breakdown in industrial relations read more

RMT secures landmark victory for low paid workers (August 5) – Churchill Cleaners working on the Tyne and Wear Metro system have today secured a major victory at an Employment Tribunal held in Newcastle upon Tyne after their union RMT took up their case. Today’s landmark judgement will now see a dramatic improvement in RMT members terms and conditions on the Metro as for the first time they will receive double time whilst working Bank Holidays and time and a quarter for working Sundays. The award will be backdated to 2011 read more

RMT responds to East Midlands trains planned court appeal over current dispute (August 5) – RMT on East Midlands Trains appeal over High Court refusal to grant a dispute injunction read more

RMT Serco Barclays London bike staff announce 48 hours strike after 100% vote for strike action over pay and conditions (August 5) – RMT today confirmed 48 hours of strike action later this month on the Serco Barclays “Boris” bikes after a 100% for strike action by the workforce on the London cycle scheme over a range of grievances read more

RMT announces campaign of action to halt 12.5% London Transport cuts (August 1) – RMT announced today that it will be mobilising a co-ordinated campaign, up to and including the use of industrial action, to halt massive cuts set to devastate transport services across the capital, smuggled through under the cloak of the Government’s spending review back in June read more


Carling workers’ dispute settled (05 August) – Employees have settled their long-running dispute at the Molson Coors brewery in Burton-on-Trent, Unite said today. Unite said that its members had voted to accept a second revised package put forward by the management read more

Glass workers in Yorkshire and Scotland to strike over ‘inadequate’ pay offer (1 August) – Workers at glass manufacturers, Ardagh Glass in Yorkshire and Scotland will be embarking on a series of strikes, starting next week, in a dispute over a “very inadequate” pay offer read more

Unite’s LONDON GATEWAY CAMPAIGN against Dubai Ports continues. For details of protests, please contact Jane Jeffery ([email protected])


‘Devastating’ Boris Johnson putting lives at risk by overruling fire authority on London cuts (August 5) – Responding to news that the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has overruled the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority and ordered £35 million of cuts, Ian Leahair, Fire Brigades Union Executive Member for London, said: “The cuts are dangerous and wrong, and this is devastating news for Londoners, with lives across the capital being put at risk by the Mayor’s reckless cuts. Johnson has simply ignored the evidence, and his cuts will mean slower response times for 4 million Londoners. It’s also an affront to democracy: Johnson has not listened to Londoners, his own fire authority or the elected representatives on the London Assembly.” The FBU said that the campaign against the cuts would continue, and alongside other opponents of the cuts, that they were exploring the potential for a judicial review. The plan will see 10 stations closed, 14 engines removed, 552 frontline jobs slashed and the removal of two rescue units read more


Members debate national campaign (6 August) – Every branch in our union is being consulted about the next stage in our campaign against the cuts read more

Flagship welfare work is ‘soul destroying’ (5 August) – Work on Iain Duncan Smith’s flagship social security project is “soul destroying”, according to a damning staff survey read more


New ballot to put pressure on Post Office (5th August) – Ballot papers were sent out today (Monday) to all members in the Crown post office network as part of efforts to put maximum pressure on the company to resolve the ongoing dispute over jobs, pay and closures. The ballot closes on Thursday 15 August. Members have already returned a massive yes vote for strike action and will now be asked if they would also support action short of strike. If the ballot returns a yes vote then action such as a sales ban could be called across the network of 371 Crown post offices read more

Pay rise for Steria members (5th August) – In a consultative ballot, members working for IT company Steria have voted to accept a 2 per cent pay offer read more

CWU member wins race discrimination case against BSKYB (2nd August) – CWU member Imran Rehman has won a significant victory over BSKYB relating to race discrimination and victimisation with the support of CWU read more

Royal Mail bonuses smack of private sector excess (2nd August) – Moya Greene’s package 72 times the average pay of a postal worker. Responding to the publication of remuneration details for Royal Mail executives today (Friday), the Communication Workers Union criticises the company paying £1.47 million to Chief Executive Moya Greene as “imitating private sector excess” read more

Reaction to Post Office annual report (2nd August) – Reacting to news that Post Office chief executive Paula Vennells received a 37% increase in her reward package last year (up from £510,000 to £697,000), CWU accuses the company of gross double standards and of ripping off staff and customers in favour of exorbitant executive pay read more

CWU agrees Royal Mail strike ballot (1st August) – The Communication Workers Union has today (Thursday) agreed to hold a national strike ballot of Royal Mail workers unless protections for jobs and services can be secured read more

URGENT APPEAL from BRIDGWATER CWU – 110 CWU Members out of 120 Postal Workers at Bridgwater Delivery office are currently under severe attack from Royal Mail. They have taken five days strike action so far, following a 79.3% “Yes” vote. Send messages of support to Dave Chapple at [email protected] or telephone 07776304276, or contact Dave Wilshire, Branch Secretary, CWU Bristol & District Amalgamated Branch at [email protected] or telephone 07909525740 & Cheques to “Bridgwater Trades Union Council” and send to: Dave Chapple (CWU), 1 Blake Place, Bridgwater, Somerset, TA6 5AU read more


Brighton Dispute Settled (Thursday, August 1) – GMB Members Settle Brighton Cityclean Dispute. GMB’s notification of the withdrawal of any further industrial action will of course be subject to the agreement being formally signed by both sides. GMB has announced that there will be no further industrial action in the Brighton Cityclean dispute following a significantly revised offer from the Council which has been accepted by GMB members read more

Serco Threaten Ghurkhas’ Jobs (Thursday, August 1) – GMB Protest at MOD Whitehall Over Ghurkhas’ Job and Pay And Conditions Cuts By Mod Contractor Serco read more


Next phase of Rallies of Education:-

London Saturday 14th September 2013

Queen Elizabeth Conference Centre, Broad Sanctuary, London, Greater London SW1P 3EE

11am to 12.30pm Speakers: Christine Blower, General Secretary, NUT; Patrick Roach, Deputy General Secretary, NASUWT. Directions to venue:

Nottingham Saturday 14th September 2013

Crowne Plaza Hotel, Wollaton Street, Nottingham, NG1 5RH

11am to 12.30pm  Speakers: Chris Keates, General Secretary, NASUWT and Kevin Courtney, Deputy General Secretary, NUT. Directions to venue:

Cambridge Saturday 21st September 2013

The University Arms Hotel, Regent Street, Cambridge, CB2 1AD

11am to 12.30pm Speakers: Chris Keates, General Secretary, NASUWT and Kevin Courtney, Deputy General Secretary, NUT. Directions to venue:

Exeter Saturday 21st September 2013

The Methodist Church Sidwell Street (nr Odeon Cinema), 60-64 Sidwell Street, Exeter, EX4 6PH

11am to 12.30pm Speakers: Christine Blower, General Secretary, NUT and Patrick Roach, Deputy General Secretary, NASUWT. Directions to venue:


Union goes to European Commission in legal fight over contracts at universities and college (5 August) – UCU is taking its fight to protect workers on fixed-term contracts to the European Commission. The union today presented a complaint to the Commission that says recent change to employment law contravenes the requirement on EU members not to discriminate against workers on the grounds of their fixed-term employment status read more UCU response to Nick Clegg’s zero-hours contracts investigation.


Majority of zero hours contracts favour employers (August 5th) – Commenting on research from the CIPD that there could be one million workers on zero hours contracts read more

North West Unison reps demand action on pay (August 2) – On 24th July, UNISON’s Northwest Local Government Service Group Executive met for the first time since the  national acceptance of a 1% pay increase that our region rightly opposed and actively campaigned against read more

Unison rep writes to Salford Mayor, ‘Spend windfall defending services’ (August 2) – Following this week’s announcement of a £48m windfall from the Manchester Airport Group to be shared between the ten Greater Manchester Authorities, Steven North, Salford Unison Branch Secretary wrote the following letter to Salford City Mayor, Ian Stewart (Labour)… read more

Tories are attacking our NHS too, says UNISON Scotland (August 1st) – The Tories aren’t just attacking the NHS in England – they are attacking it everywhere, warned UNISON’s Scottish Secretary Mike Kirby today. That’s why UNISON Scotland members are joining the 999 – answer the call for your NHS rally outside the Conservative party conference in Manchester on 29 September read more

Rise in zero hours contracts shame councils and hit elderly and vulnerable (August 1st) – 97% of all councils are using contracts which don’t guarantee care providers any work from one week to the next read more

How is austerity affecting the LGBT community? (August 1st) – We are all feeling the effect of cuts in public spending, but there is little record of the particular effect on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. So we are asking for your help in rectifying that read more


Indicative ballot gives good signals as some trusts get a ‘bit previous’ (August 2nd) – Napo members have provided us with a very useful temperature reading on the industrial action Thermometer. A very loud and clear message from 92% of those voting said that they were up for strike action and action short of a strike, in opposition to TR read more


ITV ballot votes yes to national staff agreement (August 5th) – A single agreement covering terms and conditions for all ITV news centres has been agreed following a ballot of members. The agreement replaces the previous local house agreements for each ITV region. The vote was 65 per cent to sign the national agreement and 35 per cent to reject the agreement; Bectu, the broadcasting union, also voted to accept read more

NUJ members vote for strike action at Independent newspaper (August 2nd) – NUJ members at the Independent have voted YES for industrial action over the threat of compulsory redundancies at the titles. The Independent NUJ chapel ballot closed on Friday 2 August with 65.5 per cent of members voting in favour of industrial action and 79.5 per cent voting for action short of a strike read more

NUJ announces re-ballot for action at Newsquest in Scotland (August 1st) – The NUJ is reballoting members at Scottish Newsquest titles in the wake of legal threats to challenge the ballot on minor technicalities read more

Blacklisting & Victimisation

National rank and file construction workers meeting Saturday 10th August, 1pm-4pm, Conway Hall Red Lion square Holborn. We have come a long way in the last 3 years – beaten BESNA and we are now into the Crossrail dispute and looking to push this industry forward. Let’s get rid of the agencies, 1st on Crossrail then throughout the rest of the country. We want the correct rate for the job, proper overtime rates etc. for the M&E sector. Crossrail needs 4000 sparks at peak, the peak will last 2 years. The choice is ours, continue getting ripped off or demand what we are entitled to.

There will be a Crossrail leverage update from Gail Cartmail Unite assistant general secretary. Election of National Committee and social after .Please do your best to attend please pass on email to fellow M&E workers. Be part of the solution

Whipps Cross NHS – EMERGENCY! You are needed to defend your job, the hospital and your union! Public meeting – Monday 19th August at 7.30pm, William Morris community centre Greenleaf road, London e17 6qq

Other News


NUS Disabled Students Campaign will be joining Disabled People against the Cuts week of action to protest against austerity, fight for our rights and celebrate disabled people. Disabled people will be launching ‘Reclaiming Our Futures’- a manifesto by and for disabled people setting out our vision of how the resources, structures and institutions of our society today can be re-designed to empower disabled people to take part in our lives on our terms. Disabled people are, and always will be, the experts on our lives and our self-determination. From 29th August – 4th September Disabled People Against the Cuts, NUS Disabled Students Campaign and other campaigns will offer a range of activities you can get involved in. These events will bring together our anger at what is happening now, and celebrate our victories won, both in the past and to come read more

The handing of a whole council to Capita: this is how they’ll come for the NHS. Read more

International(see also labourstart)


Solidarity with Dublin Bus workers on strike (5 August) – Socialist Party TD Joe Higgins and MEP Paul Murphy support the strike action being taken by SIPTU, NBRU and TSSA Dublin Bus workers read more  Stop Press – this strike has been suspended after 3 days for talks to take place  read more

Canada – Frank O’Leary, striking Labatt worker: ‘We are standing strong for what is right and just’ “We are standing up to this corporation, not only for ourselves and our families, but for all workers, now and in the future.” – Frank O’Leary, striking NAPE/NUPGE member at Labatt read more

BelgiumAirport strikes possible as Belgian state pushes ahead with privatization. Read more

Brazil – Brazil Oil Workers Plan 24-Hour Strike Friday. Read more

Egyptian doctors angry as health minister ‘bans’ strikes. Read more


Diary (also see False Economy)



7 Brighton People’s Assembly general meeting King & Queen 7.30pm

Lincoln & District TUC will meet this Wednesday at 6.30pm at the Lincoln Labour Club on Newland

9 Bedding out Hunt & Darton Café, Edinburgh

10 Construction workers National Rank and File meeting Conway Hall, Holborn, 1pm – 4pm

11 Aug to end of Nov ‘Call me Mr. Robeson’ play

15 NAPO meeting ‘The Probation Service, Public Service or Private Profit’ 7pm at City College, Brighton on Pelham Street,

17 Brighton Benefits Road Show Moulsecoomb 12noon

19 Whipps Cross NHS – EMERGENCY! You are needed to defend your job, the hospital and your union! Public meeting – Monday 19th August at 7.30pm, William Morris community centre Greenleaf road, London e17 6qq

24 Mass Sleep-out New Steine Gardens starting from 2pm Drawing attention to homelessness which will be caused by the Bedroom Tax & the assault on housing rights

Dublin Lock out Conference 9-7pm  Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Sq, London, Austin Harney and Gerry Downing, CRAIC Fighting the Cuts, PO Box No. 59188, London, NW2 9LJ; Email: [email protected] ; Mobile: 07980255642

29 August to 4 September DPAC Week of Action Local events/actions to be confirmed



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).

14 NUT Rallies for Education London and Nottingham

22 September Demo at the Labour Party Conference, Brighton Centre/Seafront – Details to TBC ‘Lest They Forget’ organising meeting to be arranged shortly

28 NUT Rallies for Education Cambridge and Exeter

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