2014 has started in the same way as 2013 ended – yet more stories on an almost daily basis about the economic catastrophe facing working people. Food banks, pay-day loan shark companies, bedroom tax, living standards slashed, yet Osborne claims that another £25billion cuts has to be found…and it has to come yet again from the poorest in society, while the rich continue to prosper.
But just as last year ended with a swathe of strikes, we have already seen action this year – PCS members were on strike on New Year’s Eve and January 2nd! And the fantastic action by barristers and solicitors on Monday against the attacks on legal aid show once and for all that if the mass joint strike action that we’ve been campaigning for is organised this year – it would have huge support from all those facing these brutal cuts.
The NSSN will continue to campaign for a 24 hour general strike this year as well as support all workers in struggle. Our national steering committee that met last Saturday therefore was proud to offer our total support to the RMT, whose strike ballot against attacks on jobs and terms & conditions on London Underground closes this Friday. We’ll be at the flashmob outside Euston station at 3pm this Friday and the public rally on January 16th to show our solidarity. Come and join us! The resistance has already started in 2014!
Your New Year’s resolution – I want to get more involved in the NSSN!
Brilliant! Then we’d love you to work with us, in your union branch, local community and on some of the regional or national initiatives we support. Anything you can assist with or would like to develop? Give us a shout. Contact details at the bottom of this bulletin.
Get your trade union branch or trades council to affiliate – it only costs £50. Already affiliated? Please think about renewing it. Also, many of our supporters pay a few pounds a month. You can set up a similar standing order to ‘National Shop Stewards Network’, HSNC – sort code 40-06-41, account number 90143790. Our address is NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE.
And if you can, 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 read more
The 8th Annual NSSN Conference will be on Saturday 5th July in Conway Hall – 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL – delegate/visitor fee £6
Staff on West Anglia route vote for industrial action (January 7) – Rail union RMT confirmed today that staff on Greater Anglia’s West Anglia route have voted by nine to one for both strike action and action short of a strike in a dispute over the ripping up of agreed procedures as the company try to bulldoze through the removal of station cleaners posts and enforce “flexible working” on remaining staff read more
Offshore union RMT reissues call for full public inquiry (6 January) – Transport and offshore union RMT today issued a renewed call for a full public inquiry into helicopter safety as the Fatal Accident Investigation into the 1st April 2009 North Sea helicopter disaster that cost 16 lives opens in Aberdeen today read more
Every Job Matters – Defend London Underground Jobs – This is the RMT campaign to reverse the devastating job cuts that London Underground bosses want to impose on London Underground workers and Londoners – strike ballot result due this Friday January 10th RMT members meeting 4pm Jan 10 in Conway Hall Flashmob 3pm outside Euston station
Strong support for New Year’s Eve strike (31 Dec) – Reports show that support has been solid for the PCS Met Police group strike read more
DWP NI number staff took strike action over festive leave – read more
STOP PRESS! – Protests called at 8.30am tomorrow at some of the 10 London fire-stations due to close – the ones we know about are Belsize Park, Clerkenwell and Westminster. Also closing are Woolwich, Bow, Kingsland Road, Downham, Southwark, Knightsbridge and Silvertown (Docklands)
Firefighters formally call for GLA investigation into Boris Johnson’s ‘campaign of lies’ on fire safety (January 6) – Mayor accused on ten counts of misleading Londoners about fire deaths and response times read more
Firefighters in England and Wales start the New Year with further strike action over pension changes (January 2) – read more
Unite calls for legal aid cuts to be reversed (6 January) – Ministers should reverse the draconian cuts to the legal aid budget which are causing pain and hardship to some of the most vulnerable members of society seeking legal redress, Unite said today. Thousands of criminal case lawyers are today not attending courts in England and Wales in protest at planned £220 million cuts to legal aid. Read more
Protect Teachers and Defend Education – Dispute update – unions stand firm – As you know, the NUT and NASUWT postponed the national strike action before the end of this term in order to enter talks with Mr. Gove. We said then that without sufficient progress, a national strike in England and Wales would be held, not later than 13 February 2014. Michael Gove’s prevarication and game playing have meant that so far no talks have been held. However, dates have now been set for meetings on 13 and 16 December. These meetings represent an opportunity which he must take in order to resolve our dispute. The NUT will protect members and defend education. This may require further strike action by members read more
Victory for CoNEL cleaners read more from NSSN website
Glasgow school staff accept new pupil medication deal (January 6) – Pupil support assistants (PSAs) in Glasgow schools have voted overwhelmingly to accept revised proposals from the employer on the supervision and administration of medication. The proposal follows 17 weeks of industrial action, during which assistants withdrew all volunteering to administer medication, and four days of strike action, and means that PSAs on their current grade will now only have to supervise pupils who can self-administer asthma inhalers and prescribed medicine read more
POA launch mass March, Rally and Lobby of Parliament on 19th March 2014 read more
Sign our petition – Equal rights for outsourced workers at the University of London (Dec 24) – For over a year, workers at the University of London have been fighting through their 3 Cosas Campaign – to ensure equality of terms and conditions between the University of London’s direct employees, and its outsourced workers (many of whom are vulnerable migrant workers who speak little English). There are three areas (‘tres cosas’) where the disparity between University and contract workers is greatest – SICK PAY, HOLIDAYS and PENSIONS read more
Cleaners strike ballot at the Royal Opera House (Dec 20) – The Independent Workers Union (IWGB) has today begun balloting cleaners at the world-famous Royal Opera House in London’s Covent Garden for strike action. The 30 union members are calling for the London Living Wage of £8.80 per-hour read more
Blacklisting & Victimisation
National Rank and File Construction Meeting – The next National Rank and File meeting will be held on Saturday 1st February 2014 in the Jury’s Inn Hotel, Glasgow at 1pm – 4pm.
Act up! Blacklisters and the government feel the heat (23 December) – First the construction firms denied they’d done it. Then the government refused to investigate it. And the privacy watchdog said it would not alert the victims. But a massive mobilisation of unions and campaigners against blacklisting of safety activists has forced a dramatic about face and made justice for victimised workers a genuine possibility read more
No to Sheffield library cuts and closures! Protest at 1pm today! – Wed 8th Jan at Sheffield Town Hall
Disabled campaigners are looking at a national day of action against ATOS on February 19th – we’ll keep you informed – NUS have produced some material http://www.nusconnect.org.uk/resources/open/disabled/Anti-ATOS-campaign-pack/
International (also see Labourstart)
France: French workers at Goodyear tyre plant take bosses captive – Workers in Amiens take two managers hostage at plant billed for closure in bid to keep factory open or win ‘enormous’ pay-offs read more
Canada: Stop Carnival Corp CEO Arnold Donald from Attacking Workers read more
US: Kellogg’s locks out Memphis workers to force the expansion of disposable jobs – tell them to lift the lockout! Read more
South Korea: ITF statement on the end of the Korea rail strike – The ITF has welcomed a settlement that has resulted in an end to indefinite strike action by its affiliate the Korean Railway Workers’ Union (KRWU), but has warned of the need for continued vigilance. The strikers returned to work on 31 December 2013 following 23 days on strike, after an agreement was reached with ruling and opposition national assembly members. Read more
Diary (see & use false economy)
8 Full Brighton Trades Council – 8pm King and Queen
Lincoln Trades Council – 6.30pm at Lincoln Labour Club
Brighton Peoples Assembly Open Meeting on Fuel Poverty – 7:30pm Community Base Queens Road
14 Candlelit picket of workfare exploiters Grosvenor G Casino – meet at the Pier 7pm
15 Lincoln ‘rally against racism’ 7pm at the Labour Club – as part of campaign against the far-right East Anglian Patriots who intend to march in city on January 18
17 No charges against the Sussex Five! Demonstration against disciplinary action! 1pm Library Square, Sussex University
18 Southern NSSN conference (hosted by UNITE Bracknell) ‘Building the Fightback against Austerity’ – 2pm to 5pm, Priestwood Community Centre, Bracknell
Lincoln against Racism and Fascism ‘march against racism’ – 10.30am at St Martins Square
19 Brighton Benefits Campaign fund-raising roast – Cowley Club 1-3pm
22 Save our Services in Surrey public meeting meeting against fire service cuts – 7.30pm in Staines community centre
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.
30 Already in Cardiff, details are emerging of brutal cuts planned for jobs and services in the city. Cardiff Council is pushing ahead with plans to close the STAR centre in Splott and a nursery will shut unless the plans are halted. Join the protest and urge the Council to refuse to pass on the Tory cuts onto jobs and services, and instead take the road cut by Poplar, Clay Cross and Liverpool in the past – the path advocated by rebel councillors in Southampton, Hull, Warrington and elsewhere today. Contact Ross with details of any other cuts planned via Facebook message or at 07772215281 or on [email protected].
1 National Rank and File Construction Meeting – Jury’s Inn Hotel, Glasgow at 1pm – 4pm.
4 Save our Services in Surrey lobby of Surrey County Council cabinet meeting against fire service cuts
6 RMT member P Mihaj vs Sodexo Ltd 9am London Holborn on unfair dismissal on Trade Union grounds.
27 Stop the Bloodbath Budget 3.30 – 6.30pm Cardiff City Hall
29 Uniform Day
5 8th Annual NSSN Conference – Conway Hall – 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL
PHONE 07952 283 558
EMAIL [email protected]
ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE