This week we produce a letter from Portsmouth Trades Council advertising a demonstration this Saturday November 16th against the closure of the naval shipyards in the city with the loss of nearly 1000 jobs. At very short notice, over 200 attended a protest last Saturday.
The NSSN gives full support to these workers and the similar number who will also be thrown on the scrap heap in Scotland. We fully endorse the sentiment in the letter, which calls for a united campaign to stop ALL shipyard closures and save ALL jobs! We also support the call that many are raising that the shipyards should be nationalised to save these national assets. Please spread the word about Saturday’s protest.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
We are writing to send a message of support from dockyard workers here in Portsmouth and our supporters in the local trade unions to the horrendous announcement made by BAE last week.
Below is a statement agreed at the Portsmouth Trades Council meeting last Thursday 7 November.
“The loss of 940 skilled shipbuilding jobs in Portsmouth will be a disaster. It is not just the workers and their families who will suffer.
The knock-on effects for the local economy will be huge and will trigger even more job losses.
We should not follow the lead of local politicians who argue to cut jobs in Scotland to save jobs in Portsmouth.
We should fight to save all shipbuilding jobs, wherever they are. BAE and the government can be put under pressure to keep all the shipyard jobs, if there is a concerted campaign.”
On Saturday 16 November we are holding a demonstration in Portsmouth which we would like to invite you to take part. The march will assemble at 12 noon at the Trafalgar Gate in Portsmouth.
Please contact me as soon as possible to confirm that a representative from your union will be able to attend.
Yours in solidarity,
On behalf of Portsmouth TUC
Want to get more involved in the NSSN? Come to one of our regional Conferences. If there is not one in your area, get in touch to either assist in organising or have a speaker at one of your meetings or events. Contact Rob or Linda on [email protected]
November 23 Yorkshire NSSN conference – 10am-4pm, Cosmopolitan Hotel, 2 Lower Briggate, Leeds LS1 4AE
November 30 Midlands NSSN conference – 12pm-4pm, Unite offices in Broad Street, Birmingham Flyer can be downloaded here
January 18 2014 Southern NSSN conference (hosted by UNITE Bracknell) ‘Building the Fightback against Austerity’ – 2pm to 5pm, Priestwood Community Centre, Bracknell
8th Annual NSSN Conference will be on Saturday 5th July 2014 in London.
2nd Higher Education national strike announced for December 3rd – involving UCU, Unison, Unite and EIS from Scotland (Nov 12) UCU statement Unison statement Unite statement
Firefighters to strike in England and Wales for fourth time after government worsens pension proposals (Nov 12) – Firefighters in England and Wales who are forced to retire before 60 as a result of declining fitness could now receive pensions of just over £9,000 a year as a result of the latest government proposals. After withdrawing proposals made on 19 June, the government now plans to punish firefighters who are forced to retire at 55 rather than face dismissal by reducing their pensions by 47.1%. Firefighters will strike again between 10am and 2pm on Wednesday 13 November read more
£4 million cuts will ‘devastate’ Mid and West Wales fire and rescue, say firefighters (Nov 11) – 96-hour shifts and massive reductions in response times likely. Proposed budget cut of over £4 million will ‘devastate’ fire and rescue services in Mid and West Wales, firefighters have said read more
Firefighters urged to vote ‘yes’ in ballot on additional, non-strike action over pensions (Nov 11) – The fight against the government’s attacks on pensions and retirement age is at a critical stage. Fire Brigades Union officials across the country have reported that firefighters are keen to campaign in other ways on non-strike days to maximise pressure on the government. As a result, the FBU’s executive council — which is made up or representatives from across the UK — has decided to hold a vote of members over other forms of action. This vote will supplement but not replace the current strike ballot read more
NAPO serves supplemental notice of industrial action: Action Short of Strike Action (Nov 8) – Following yesterday’s completion of a hugely successful 24 hours of strike action, which has created a renewed sense of solidarity amongst the Napo membership, we have significantly raised the profile of the consequences of the Government’s dangerous TR plans (‘Transforming Rehabilitation’ = privatisation of the probation service) with the public, partner organisations and the media. As the next step in our industrial strategy we have today served notice on the employers of our intention to take Action Short of Strike Action with effect from 14th November 2013 read more
CWU October round-up see here
The case for joint coordinated industrial action (Nov 11) – In light of recent setbacks for the working class, does the trade union movement need to reconsider how it uses industrial action? John McInally, PCS union national vice-president explains (in a personal capacity) why PCS believes joint coordinated industrial action is still the way forward read more from NSSN website
Equal Pay Day: women still paid less than men (7 Nov) – Women civil servants continue to suffer unequal pay, earning on average £10 a day less than their male counterparts, new figures reveal. To mark the TUC’s Equal Pay Day we have calculated that, based on the latest Annual Civil Service Statistics for 2013, although 53% of civil servants are female there remains a stubborn inequality in pay, with women earning on average 13.57% less than men. This equates to women on average being paid £9.76 a day less than men. In annual terms, women earn £3,560 less than men. This means that while male civil servants start earning from 1st of January each year, women civil servants will not start earning until the 18 February read more
IDS responsible for Universal Credit mess (7 Nov) – A report by the influential Public Accounts Committee published today confirms that plans to implement Universal Credit are in a mess. Committee chair Margaret Hodge MP, stated in relation to the costs that: “£425 million has been spent so far on the programme. It is likely that much of this, including at least £140 million worth of IT assets, will now have to be written off”. From when the initial plans for Universal Credit were first announced, we warned that such a massive change to the social security system was practically possible to implement read more
Sellafield worker receives seven figure compensation for amputation injuries (12 Nov) – A Sellafield worker and Unite member has received a seven figure settlement after he suffered serious amputation injuries at work while employed by Johnson Controls as a mechanical fitter read more
London parcel deliveries strike on cards by end of the month (12 Nov) – Parcel deliveries in London could be severely hit in the run-up to Christmas, after staff at UPS Parcels voted overwhelmingly to strike in a dispute over unreasonable workloads and alleged bullying. The 120 drivers and loaders, members of Unite, the country’s largest union, who work at the Camden depot – the biggest UPS depot in Europe – have voted by a massive 91 per cent to take strike action. Last ditch negotiations with the Regis Street management are due to be held on Wednesday 20 November, but if these fail, strike action will go-ahead before the end of the month read more
Fatality at Laing O’Rourke construction site prompts Unite to demand access (8 Nov) – Unite is calling on Laing O’Rourke and its subsidiary Crown House to now allow the union access to its construction site for the new Francis Crick Institute near Kings Cross where a construction worker suffered fatal injuries on Wednesday (6 November) read more
RMT calls for recognition and reward payments for 2014 Games (13 Nov) – Transport union RMT today called on train companies and Network Rail to negotiate recognition and reward payments for staff involved in delivering services to meet the increased demands that will be generated by the 2014 Commonwealth Games. RMT is seeking a series of urgent meetings with all relevant employers to open up the negotiating process read more
First Great Western Mitie cleaners strike for third time over Living Wage and zero hours contracts – RMT members working for sub-contractors Mitie on First Great Western trains were on strike again in two phases from Thursday 7 November in a fight for a Living Wage and workplace justice as anger grows at news that the cheapskate companies top boss, presiding over the culture of low pay and zero hours contracts, has raked in £1.37 million with shareholder dividends soaring to over £20 million. Read more here
Cleaners for train operator First Great Western (FGW) have staged their third walkout in the past month in a dispute over pay and zero-hour contracts. It involves about 200 Railway Maritime and Transport (RMT) union members who are employed by sub-contractor MITIE. More from BBC website
PROTESTERS put the pressure on First Great Western and Mitie yesterday (Saturday November 9) when a 70-strong crowd bearing placards, banners and megaphones descended on Swindon. Coaches bussed in members of the Railway, Maritime and Transport Workers union from London Paddington, Swansea, Cardiff, Bristol and Westbury to the headquarters of FGW in Milford Street. The protest by railway workers employed by Mitie on behalf of FGW, was against low pay and zero hours contracts. More from Swindon Advertiser
RMT rejects P&O Dover harmonisation plan (7 Nov) – An overwhelming 77% of RMT seafaring members employed by P&O Ferries in Dover have rejected P&O’s proposals to introduce new salary scales for new entrants on Terms & Conditions harmonised with other sectors of the business. After several months of negotiation the employer and the union agreed to put the matter of harmonisation with other sectors of the business to the workforce. The result has been that the company’s proposals have been overwhelmingly rejected read more
RMT to Ballot for Industrial Action over Tube Use of Agency Workers (Nov 7) – We note the continuing widespread use of agency labour by London Underground Ltd (and other parts of Transport for London): as of 2 April this year, there were 829 ‘non-permanent’ staff on London Underground Ltd. LUL’s continuing use and abuse of agency staff is seriously detrimental to LUL employees, as it undermines their opportunities to obtain and retain work and creates disruption in the workplace Ltd. We reaffirm our demand that LUL stops using agencies and offers their workers permanent employment – including those of the 33 former Trainpeople employees that it has not yet employed. LUL should sack the agencies – not the workers! read more
Union wins Bradford de-recognition battle (Nov 11) – UNISON has won an important victory on recognition in Yorkshire, after a company that had taken over a branch of services in Bradford threatened to derecognise the union read more
Celebration of Hovis Workers Victory against Zero Hours Contracts on November 30th
Wigan trades union council presents a celebration of Hovis workers’ historic strike against austerity and low wages – Saturday afternoon 30th November @ Whelley labour club, Northumberland street, Wigan WN1 3PZ (off the Whelley) 1.00pm – 6.00pm
All trade unionists and their families welcome to a feast of music, entertainment, speeches and resistance to austerity
Speakers from Bakers Union, Hovis, Fire Fighters, Posties, Teachers, Civil Servants, Local Government, and others. PLUS Theatre, Comedy, Music and Food.
Contact 0771957200 for more information more info on BFAWU website
GMB Portsmouth Demo Over Job Losses (Nov) – GMB to hold protest over “march of the Hampshire makers to the dole queues” on 14th November at BBC question time in Portsmouth. 300 job losses at Polimeri in Southampton is the second major announcement of manufacturing job losses in Hampshire in days. GMB will hold a mass picket outside the BBC Question Time on Thursday 14th November from 6pm at Portsmouth Grammar School, Old Portsmouth over the announcements of manufacturing job losses in Hampshire this week read more
Still the Enemy Within (11 Nov) – Thirty years ago Margaret Thatcher went to war with the working-class in this country. Still the Enemy Within is a riveting new documentary film about the miners in Britain who fought back against a brutal Tory government determined, for political reasons, to break the trade unions and close this country’s mines. The film, Still the Enemy Within, is a first time feature for director Owen Gower, and a landmark documentary. It tells the story of the strike through the voices of Arthur’s Army – a group of miners who put themselves on the front line of every major battle for a year to defend their jobs and their communities read more
BBC used “ripped” footage to concoct story about Unite protesters (7 Nov) – The BBC is being asked to explain why it ran footage from a Unite the union demonstration about blacklisting out of context to illustrate an item on the dispute at Grangemouth refinery read more
Victory For Independent Living Rights In English Appeal Court (Nov 11) – Statement by Anne Pridmore, Gabriel Pepper and Stuart Bracking. As three of the Independent Living Fund users who have challenged the legality of the government’s decision to close the Fund, we welcome the Appeal Court’s unanimous ruling that this decision should be quashed read more from NSSN website
NHS Support Federation – latest monthly blog here
Blacklisting & Victimisation
The TUC Day of Action on Blacklisting November 20th. Blacklist Support Group (BSG) are calling on all supporters, Trades Councils and trade union branches to organise an event in your area for the TUC Day of Action.
A protest outside a building site being built by a blacklisting company or a public body still using blacklisting firms to provide public services. This is an official TUC sponsored Day of Action, so all unions in an area should work together to coordinate action. Official TUC flyer attached (print out and distribute – with local details printed on the back if needed)
Whether it is a protest, a media event or direct action please take pix and post on social media and contact the local press to ensure the story runs everywhere.
Use the hashtags #blacklisting #N20 #BSG
Some ideas to maximise the chances of getting media coverage: Blacklisted T-shirts, banners, placards, PA (play some music not just speakers on a megaphone), hand in a giant oversized protest letter, inflatable rat, it’s just been firework night so make a guy in a suit with a Cullum McAlpine face mask, blacklisted workers have been locked out of work so a big padlock & chain might come in handy. Whatever you do – make it visual.
7:00am – Protest at Laing O’Rourke, Cheesegrater, Leadenhall St, City of London (opposite Lloyds Building)
10:00am – Protest at Laing O’Rourke, Francis Crick Medical Research Centre, Kings Cross (behind the British Library)
1:00pm – TUC protest with MPs & 4 union General Secretaries, College Green, Parliament Sq, Westminster
2:00pm – TUC Lobby of MPs, House of Commons
3:30pm – House of Commons Committee Room 11 – John McDonnell MP chairs BSG meeting speakers: Sean Curran (GCR solicitors for High court claim) & blacklisted workers.
12:00pm – STUC protest outside Holyrood
1:00pm – film show inside Holyrood organised by Neil Findlay MSP
transport from Glasgow via: [email protected]
12:00 WTUC event – Senedd media briefing room. Speakers include Andy Richards Unite, Nick Blundell UCATT, Martin Hird GMB and Jane Hutt the finance minister.
Anyone wishing to attend contact: [email protected]
7:15am – Manchester Town Hall protest against NG Bailey – organised by BSG – speakers include blacklisted workers: Graham Bowker, Colin Trousdale, and George Tapp
There are also a number of direct action events taking place across the country.
Send us the details of your event and we will update this list to maximise a turnout at every protest
Blacklist Support Group
The Construction Safety Campaign are organising a wreath laying and minutes silence for Richard Laco, the worker killed last week on the Laing O’Rourke building site at Kings Cross.
2pm Thursday 14th November
Laing O’Rourke site entrance
Francis Crick Institute project
Kings Cross (behind the British Library)
Pete Farrell (painter) Chair of Construction Safety Campaign said:
“Our thoughts go out to the family and friends of Richard Laco. And we intend to hold a respectful event as an opportunity for friends and workers on the site to show a moments respect for this tragic death. Too many workers die on building sites. Too often this is because construction firms give safety a lower priority than profit. We need to make sure no other families have to suffer the heartache of losing a loved one.”
Unite Assistant General Secretary, Gail Cartmail said:
“This fatality is a tragedy and our condolences go out to the bereaved family and friends. This is a harsh reminder of the importance of high standards of health & safety in an industry that is extremely dangerous. Trade unions have a role to play in maintaining safe working environments but Laing O’Rourke has bizarrely banned Unite officials from their sites. There is no place for anti-trade union behaviour in an industry where we should be working together in the interests of safety. We urge Laing O’Rourke and its subsidiary Crown House to give Unite access to the sites to support workers and help make improvements where necessary.”
People before Profit
Mourn the Dead – Fight for the Living
International (also see Labourstart)
Message of support to the people of the Philippines (Nov 12) – UNISON sends a message of support and sincere condolences to all those across the Philippines suffering from the devastation caused by the typhoon. The union has made a donation of £10,000 to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), and has contacted our sister unions in the region more from Unison website
UNI Global Union Alliance @ Walmart calls for global actions (Nov 11) – IndustriALL Global Union supports the call for action and joins workers around the world on 18-24 November to demand good jobs at Walmart stores, and throughout Walmart’s supply chain read more
Columbia: Nestlé Factory Worker Shot Dead more in Wall St Journal
Diary (see & use false economy)
13 FBU national strike
Unite Health Conference fringe meeting on the attacks on the health service and how we can fight back. This is open to all those who want to protect our NHS: 6:30pm-7.30pm Sandringham Suite, Metropole Hilton Hotel, Kings Road, Brighton, BN1 2FU
16 Portsmouth Trades Council demonstration against BAE shipyard closure – assemble at 12 noon at the Trafalgar Gate
Brighton Anti-workfare picket – Meet Clock Tower 11am – Brighton Benefits Campaign
Moving Forward: Identifying and resisting the enemies of democracy in 2014. Conference organised by Searchlight Book places here
20 TUC Day of Action against Blacklisting: As part of the Day of Action there will be a Lobby of Parliament to put pressure on MPs to hold an inquiry. Assemble on Old Palace Yard opposite the Houses of Parliament at 13:00. read more
23 Yorkshire NSSN conference – 10am-4pm, Cosmopolitan Hotel, 2 Lower Briggate, Leeds LS1 4AE
30 Midlands NSSN conference: 12noon-4pm Unite offices in Broad Street, Birmingham
Brighton demonstration of Solidarity with Russian LGBTQ People “To Russia with Love”
Speakers include Russian LGBTQ activists and Peter Tatchell
18 Southern NSSN conference (hosted by UNITE Bracknell) ‘Building the Fightback against Austerity’ – 2pm to 5pm, Priestwood Community Centre, Bracknell