NSSN 172: Enough is enough…no work ‘til we drop!

Osborne’s Autumn Statement last Thursday, not only brought forward by ten years the new retirement age of first 68 and then 69 – it will be open-ended with it being regularly reviewed in line with life expectancy. This poses workers getting their state pensions into their 70s and because many occupational pensions use this age as a yardstick, workers will fear being forced to work until they drop for the full retirement benefits that they have worked and paid for. In one fell swoop, Osborne has kicked away one of the main planks of the pensions deal that unfortunately some of the union leaders signed up to halt mass public sector strikes of 2011 which culminated in 2million workers walking out on N30. That day of mass mobilisations in virtually every town and city two years ago was against the ConDem plans to make public sector workers work longer to get worse pensions yet pay more for them.

The NSSN and the fighting unions that we work with, opposed stopping the strikes in 2011. We lobbied the TUC Public Services Liaison Group in December 2011 to instead call for the massive N30 strike to be escalated into 2012 and broadened out to workers in the private sector. We believe that the impressive strikes this autumn of teachers, college lecturers and workers, firefighters and probation workers alongside on-going PCS action shows that there is still massive potential for co-ordinated strike action against the brutal cuts, particularly on pay and pensions. We call on the TUC and the unions to organise an emergency General Council to plan mass joint action with the naming of a date for a 24 hour general strike in early 2014. As a minimum, all those unions currently in dispute should immediately meet together to plan the mass action that can shake this government and force back their vicious attacks.

Rob Williams NSSN national chair

TUC lobby march 2




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]

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.


Union News


RMT General Secretary Bob Crow on plans to sell off public stake in Eurostar (04 Dec) “It is typical of this right wing government that they are prepared to flog off the valuable public stake in Eurostar just as this expanding and important service is moving into a new period of growth. read more

East Midlands cleaners latest strike action rock solid (06 Dec) Cleaners working on the Rentokil Initial contract on East Midlands Trains have kicked off a rock-solid 48 hours of strike action this morning which will run through this Friday and Saturday in a fight for workplace justice and a living wage. Pickets have been out in force at locations across the EMT routes read more

RMT calls for “constant vigilance” on safety 25 years after Clapham rail disaster (09 Dec)  Thursday 12 December 2013 will mark 25 years since the Clapham Junction Rail Crash that left 35 people dead and hundreds injured read more



MPs debate future of Northern Ireland tax offices (04 Dec) The future of Northern Ireland’s tax offices was debated by MPs during an adjournment debate this week read more

More than 100,000 sign War On Welfare petition (04 Dec) A petition urging the government to deliver a new deal for sick and disabled people has been signed by more than 100,000 people read more

Autumn statement: Work harder for longer (05 Dec) The chancellor has today announced more cuts in government departmental budgets and an increase in state pension age read more (and reproduced on the NSSN website)


Pay deal agreed at STV with 3% increase and up to 5% for lower paid staff (05 Dec) STV have agreed a new pay deal with the unions. The NUJ welcomes the settlement and the increases in pay for its members and staff read more

NUJ delighted by recognition agreement at Al Jazeera (06 Dec) The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) and sister union Bectu have been successful in achieving a recognition deal at Al Jazeera read more


Over 200 on march to save Spelthorne fire stations (07 Dec) – Representatives from every political party active in Spelthorne turned out to march in support of the campaign to save our fire stations – Labour, Lib Dems, the Socialist Party and even a few Tory councillors and a group from Ukip! There were residents from across the borough who marched side by side with trade unionists from the Fire Brigades Union (FBU), UNISON, PCS, NUT, NASUWT, UCU to name a few read more

Autumn statement shows no prosperity say firefighters (05 Dec) Fire Brigades Union (FBU) general secretary Matt Wrack says Britain’s firefighters are astonished at the gall of Chancellor George Osborne’s assertion in today’s Autumn Statement that the country is ‘on the path to prosperity’  read more

Firefighters in England and Wales to strike next weekend (05 Dec) The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has announced that its members in England and Wales will take strike action again next weekend, Friday 13 and Saturday 14 December, both from 18:00 to 22:00. These will be the fifth and sixth strikes since the end of September read more

Firefighters say: Storms show need for end to cuts and urgent measures to protect emergency services (06 Dec) As firefighters and other emergency service workers helped rescue those trapped by yesterday’s storms, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) insisted there was a need for an immediate end to cuts in the fire and rescue service. The firefighters union also called on the government to issue an order to clarify the role of fire services in attending major floods read more


‘Big society’ minister in storm over ‘crap’ comment (04 Dec) Gaffe prone Tory toff, Nick Hurd should ‘hang his head in shame’ after his reported remarks that he thought that some local government youth services were ‘crap’ read more

1,100 job losses at Hewlett Packard condemned by Unite (04 Dec) Plans by IT giant, Hewlett Packard (HP) to axe 1,100 jobs at the start of 2014 were condemned by Unite, the country’s largest union, today read more

Rate rigging fines must be paid from boardroom bonuses not by sacrificing front line staff, says Unite (04 Dec) The announcement by the European Union that banks are to be fined £1.4bn for price fixing across different markets will have significant consequences for the banks read more

Unite warns of Grangemouth skills crisis as brutal cuts confirmed (04 Dec) Britain’s largest union, Unite warned of a ‘skills crisis’ as Ineos confirmed brutal cuts to pay, pensions and terms and conditions in a series of meetings this morning (Wednesday 4 December) with the Grangemouth workforce read more

Osborne’s chill wind blasts generations to come (05 Dec) Today’s (Thursday 5 December) autumn statement signalled that George Osborne’s chill wind will blast generations to come, impoverish communities and put family finances in the deep freeze, warned Britain’s largest union, Unite read more

Victory in West Midlands ‘Ring and Ride’ dispute (06 Dec) The withdrawal of plans to reduce the hours of ‘Ring and Ride’ staff that could have hit transport trips of the elderly and those with disabilities in the West Midlands has been hailed as ‘a victory for common sense and employee solidarity’ read more

Cautious welcome on U-turn over cuts to children’s services in Oxfordshire (06 Dec) Oxfordshire county council’s U-turn on the threat to children’s centres and early intervention services (EIS) has been given ‘a ‘cautious’ welcome by Unite, the country’s largest union read more

Handsome Post Office profits prompt call for managers’ pay rise (06 Dec) Healthy Post Office profits should make the settlement of the pay claim for 900 managers a top priority, Unite, the largest union in the country, said today (Friday 6 December) read more

Pressure mounts on Pickles as Birmingham council slashes staff (09 Dec) News of a further 1,000 job losses at Birmingham city council has put pressure on the communities and local government secretary Eric Pickles to reel in his deep and damaging financial policies read more

Don’t end 500 years of shipbuilding history (10 Dec) Workers, their families and local communities to gather for a march and rally to save shipbuilding jobs in Portsmouth read more


Strike day in the press (05 Dec) UCU’s strike day won a lot of coverage in what was a very busy press week. Here are the highlights read more

Official statistics show the importance of winning fair pay (06 Dec) The Office of National Statistics published analysis on Wednesday which showed exactly why the campaign for fair pay in further and higher education is so important read more

UCU issues statement on student protests (10 Dec) UCU strongly supports the right of students to protest against the privatisation of higher education, higher fees and the sale of the student loan book to fund future places read more


IWGB University of London branch announces strike dates for the New Year (10 Dec) The IWGB University of London branch has given notice to BBW of 3 more days of industrial action, to take place on the 27, 28 and 29 January 2014 read more


Other news

Blacklist victims outraged as Richard Littlejohn attacks blacklist victims in Daily Mail (05 Dec) Victims of blacklisting hit back at right-wing Daily Mail columnist Richard Littlejohn yesterday after he launched an attack on blacklisted workers, smearing them as “IRA fundraisers” and “gangsters” read more

ReelNews: DVDs and website videos for union & anti-cuts activists – Get new DVD – includes teachers & firefighters strikes order

Jeremy Hunt: Axe The Hospital Closure Clause (38 Degrees Petition) Recently, Jeremy Hunt lost his appeal against closing Lewisham Accident and Emergency. The law that protected it would be removed if Clause 118 passes read more and sign the petition

Amec’s nuclear role questioned over construction blacklist links (09 Dec) Nuclear authorities and the Welsh government have come under pressure from trade unions over the involvement of engineering group Amec on the next generation of the UK’s atomic power plants read more

‘Cops Off Campus’ – national day of action 11 December More than 50 peaceful protestors have been arrested and the police have displayed horrific violence aimed at students over the last few days read more


International (also see Labourstart)

US fast-food workers strike over low wages in nationwide protests (09 Dec) Thousands of fast food workers went on strike across the USA on December 5, in a signal of the growing clamour for action on income equality read more

Gate Gourmet workers fight to preserve their CBA (06 Dec) Salaries and working conditions for the 122 Gate Gourmet workers at Geneva Airport have been governed since 1997 by a CBA negotiated by their union, SSP, the Public Service Workers Union. Despite improving profits at Geneva Airport, the company proposed salary cuts and fewer benefits in collective bargaining in 2013 read more

Georgia (04 Dec) In Georgia, a newly-emboldened labour movement emerges [Equal Times] read more

Global (04 Dec) SPECIAL REPORT: Rio Tinto unsustainable business practice [IndustriALL Global Union] read more

Korea (South) (04 Dec) Defend the Right to Strike of Korean Rail Workers [ITUC] read more

Europe / USA (04 Dec) Americanized Labor Policy Is Spreading in Europe [NYTimes] read more

Qatar (05 Dec) Following a catalogue of condemnation, a real chance for change in Qatar [Equal Times] read more

Canada Alberta (09 Dec) Tory laws to ban the very mention of union strikes delivers a blow to free speech [The Herald] read more

Korea (South) (09 Dec) Railway union workers stage indefinite walkout [Arirang News] read more

Korea (South) (10 Dec) Thousands of railway workers stripped from their posts following strike [Arirang News] read more

Iraq (10 Dec) Time to consign old Iraqi labour laws to the dustbin of history [IndustriALL Global Union] read more

Global (10 Dec) International Human Rights Day Statement [ITUC] read more



Diary (see & use false economy)


11 IWGB Justice for Christmas rally at the House of Commons. Guest speakers include John McDonnell MP, Clara Paillard (PCS) and Keith Simpson of UCU. There will also be films and reports from both the IWGB and RMT cleaners.  Please come along to the Wilson Room, Portcullis House, Bridge Street, London SW1A 2LW for 6.30pm on Wednesday 11 December.  For further information contact IWGB General Secretary Chris Ford at [email protected]

16 Women against the cuts in Kirklees more from PCS

January 2014

18 Southern NSSN conference (hosted by UNITE Bracknell) ‘Building the Fightback against Austerity’ – 2pm to 5pm, Priestwood Community Centre, Bracknell

25 Anti Academies Alliance meeting “Campaigning against forced academies”, Saturday 25 January, 1-4pm, Central London venue, plus AAA AGM and Steering Committee – contact http://antiacademies.org.uk/ for further info.