NSSN 190 – Celebrate May Day: support RMT & FBU strikes!

The officers and steering committee of the National Shop Stewards Network sends May Day greetings to all workers internationally.

The origin of May Day is bound up with the struggle for shorter hours and greater leisure time for workers – this remains a major demand of workers’ organisations worldwide.

On May 1, 1886, more than 300,000 workers in 13,000 businesses across the United States walked off their jobs in the first May Day celebration in history. May Day 1890 was celebrated in many European countries. And at the 1893 congress of the Second International, the following statement was carried:

The demonstration on May First for the 8-hour day must serve at the same time as a demonstration of the determined will of the working class to destroy class distinctions through social change and thus enter on the road, the only road leading to peace for all peoples, to international peace.

For well over a century since then, workers have celebrated May Day as a symbol of international solidarity and as an expression of a job still to be completed – freedom from the yoke of capitalism.

2014 will see a number of galas and demonstrations throughout the UK, many coinciding with the Bank Holiday. But London sees a march and rally on Thursday, 1st May itself which will honour the contribution to our movement made by two political giants – Bob Crow and Tony Benn. Full details can be found at www.londonmayday.org/docs/2014-MAYDAY-FLYER-A5.pdf. The NSSN banner will be present.

Of course, the world doesn’t stop for May Day – our struggles continue and over the bank holiday weekend, comrades in the FBU are being forced to take further strike action against the government’s intransigence in the continuing battle to defend public sector pension schemes. See latest FBU video here

The NSSN urges all its supporters to visit FBU picket lines on Friday, Saturday and Sunday with messages of support and offers of assistance. The full details of the stoppages are:

  • Friday 2 May, between noon and 5pm
  • Saturday 3 May, between 2pm and 2am
  • Sunday      4 May, between 10am and 3pm

And by May Day, the next round of strikes on London Underground by RMT members will have ended, before recommencing next Monday for a further 3 days. Once again, the response from trade unionists and other members of the public has been strongly behind the action against ticket office closures. NSSN supporters visiting picket lines have reported a steely determination and confidence amongst RMT members to win this battle.




Come to the 8th Annual NSSN Conference on Saturday July 5th – ‘What recovery? We want our share! Fight Together for a Pay Rise! – Break the pay freeze, fight for a real living wage, oppose zero-hour contracts, fight for PAYE’. Leaflet – http://www.scribd.com/doc/221151679/NSSN-2014-conference-leaflet

It will be on from 11am-5pm in Conway Hall – 25 Red Lion Square, Holborn, London WC1R 4RL – delegate/visitor fee £6. Confirmed speakers include Ronnie Draper BFAWU bakers’ union General Secretary, POA General Secretary Steve Gillan and Janice Godrich PCS President. Email us now if you want to come as well as if you want leaflets – [email protected].

If you want to put yourself forward for the NSSN steering committee, email us by 12noon on Thursday July 3rd


Get your trade union branch or trades council to affiliate to the NSSN – 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’, HSBC – sort code 40-06-41, account number 90143790. Our address is NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE. Affiliation letter here

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]



Union News


RMT hits back at Johnson union bashing (30 April) – Responding to Boris Johnson’s attack on trade unions this morning, RMT acting general secretary Mick Cash said: “From Boris Johnson’s wholesale assault on the trade unions this morning it is crystal clear that he has sought to engineer and provoke a dispute on London Underground, by bulldozing through his cuts and closures programme, in order to use Londoners as pawns in his personal crusade for the leadership of the Tory Party. It is no wonder his officials have not allowed a single inch of progress to be made in days and days of talks.” read more

RMT looks at escalating action on Northern Rail (30 April) – RMT today confirmed that it is considering plans to escalate industrial action on Northern Rail after senior management chose to wreck peace talks aimed at resolving a long-running dispute over re-grading of maintenance drivers at two key depots in Newcastle and Leeds read more

RMT slams LU for misleading public and risking safety (30 April) – Tube union RMT today slammed tube bosses for misleading the public as to the level of services running in the city and for cutting corners which have left the skeleton operations and platforms and stations dangerously overcrowded. With the action solid again this morning , social media has been packed with pictures of severe overcrowding as tube chiefs rip up the safety rule book in an effort to spin a pack of lies about what services are functioning and at what level read more



Local government workers to vote on strike action on pay  

See Unison website    See Unite website



Petition for PAYE: Please kindly sign the petition below and send on to all your contacts, recent changes in the 2014  budget are having a major impact on construction workers take home pay for those who are forced to work through employment agencies, these organisations seek to re-categorise construction workers by passing on all NI Employer Contributions and liabilities onto construction workers resulting in around an £80-00 per week cut in take home pay. Sign petition here    New Siteworker blog


EDF strike days announced – while company branding melts in the sun! (April 30) – For 2013, the company offered a below inflation proposal of 2% plus £200 as a one off payment, which Unite members in London, South East, South Western and Eastern regions have rejected. These members, following a 77% majority yes vote in a strike ballot will be taking strike action on 6th and 8th May read more


Taking on the bullies in Greenwich (April 30) – 11 Occupational Therapists, all employed at Greenwich Council are currently being balloted for strike action in protest at a prolonged campaign of bullying instigated by managers at Greenwich Council. This small group of workers have made the courageous decision that they will not allow themselves to be backed into a dark corner where they take a metaphorical beating in the dark and out of sight. Instead, they have agreed to expose an appalling culture of bullying and victimisation read more



Help save Durham Miners’ Gala (30 April) – The organisers of the UK’s biggest trade union event, The Durham Miners’ Gala, are appealing for help after its future was threatened because of a massive legal bill read more for details on how to help



Lambeth college UCU is on indefinite strike from 1st May.  Email messages of support to [email protected]

Strike rally – 6pm Thursday May 1st at the Karibu Centre, Gresham Road, Brixton

Pickets are at 7:30am:-

Clapham Centre – 45 Clapham Common South Side, London SW4 9BL

Brixton Centre – 56 Brixton Hill, London SW2 1QS

Vauxhall Centre – Belmore Street, Wandsworth Road, London SW8 2JY



Ritzy cinema staff to strike on May Day (25 April) – BECTU members at the Ritzy cinema in South London will be on strike again on Thursday 1 May as their struggle to secure the London Living Wage continues. Strike action will run from 6.30pm-3am read more



International Fast Food Rights Day of Action May 15th

BFAWU website   Fast Food Rights website      Youth Fight for Jobs website



Major pay deal secured with Post Office (24th April) – An agreement that will see a pay increase of up to 7.3 per cent for Crown Post Office workers has been reached between the CWU and Post Office Limited this week, following months of negotiations and industrial action read more



Blacklisting & Victimisation

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlCa8yQmZ70

Blog: www.hazards.org/blacklistblog

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/groups/blacklistSG/


Other News

Fight to defend the NHS, know your enemy (April 22) – In their attempts to destroy the NHS the Government have established local organisations under the guise of local accountability, but in reality these bodies are part and parcel of the privatisation and fragmentation agenda. If we are to effectively  campaign to save the NHS we need to understand the role of these bodies. Most people have no idea what these shadowy groups do read more from NSSN website

Support the Day-Mer Culture and Arts Festival – Dear Friend, I am writing to ask you to support the Day-mer’s 25th Annual Culture and Arts Festival by taking the motion below to your union branch meeting and discussing. Day-mer has been organising a Culture and Arts Festival for the past 25 years in Hackney and North London. It is currently the longest running festival in Hackney and one of the best known festivals in London. It publishes and distributes over 40,000 leaflets and posters in promoting it. The festival consists of series of a events for children to young people, adults to senior citizens. Between 15 and 20,000 people come to all its events throughout the festival. This year it is aiming to kick off its events on the 1st June and finish on the 6th July with the park festival at Clissold Park. The final event at Clissold Park on 6th July is an exciting day for all members of the community. It is a day where people of all ages and all backgrounds come together to celebrate unity through the means of music, food and culture. This year for the first time the festival is backed by SERTUC and TUC. SERTUC hopes to have a UnionCity at the park festival to encourage people in getting advice on unions and joining a union.

Should you need further information do not hesitate in contacting me.

Thank you in advance for your support,

Oktay Sahbaz [email protected]

Former Library, Howard Road

London, N16 8PU

Tel: 020 7275 8440

Fax: 020 7275 7245

E-mail: [email protected]

Web site: http://www.daymer.org


Model motion:

(Union Branch) notes that the Day-Mer festival is one of the biggest community festivals in London, and receives no funding from the council. (Union Branch) agreed to: 1. Support the Day-mer Festival by putting a half page advert in the festival brochure for (Donation amount).

2. Circulate publicity to members, and encourage members to attend


International (also see Labourstart)

Turkey: For the right to celebrate May Day in Taksim Square – Turkey’s first mass May Day demonstrations in Istanbul’s Taksim Square took place in 1976, with the participation of hundreds of thousands. A year later, half a million people took part — but 37 were killed by gunfire… When union leaders attempted to hold a small press conference in late April (pictured above), police responded with tear gas and more arrests read more


Ecuador: Stop the persecution of social and labour activists – The former leader of an organization affiliated with Public Services International (PSI) in Ecuador and two others were sentenced to prison after criticizing government actions in Ecuador read more


Spain: Inspiring film from Reel News about the shooting of 5 Basque Country strikers in 1976 and their continued fight for justice. Inspirational stuff and an example of rank & file organisation.

Share this far & wide

Massacre in Vitoria: http://youtu.be/ci-wPcVYHc8


Diary (see & use false economy)


1London May Day demonstration – assemble Clerkenwell Green EC1 12 noon (nearest tube Farringdon) download leaflet here

3 Cardiff Trades Council May Day march & rally details here

5 MAY DAY MAY DAY Save Sunbury and Staines fire stations benefit – from 12noon The Magpie – 64, Thames Street, Sunbury on Thames TW16 6AF

Chesterfield Trades Council 37th May Day People’s Gala and Demonstration –  assemble Town Hall 10.30am leaflet here

24 National Anti-McNulty march and rally in Doncaster


21 “No to Austerity” demo at the BBC, 21st June….No More Austerity – Demand the Alternative National Demonstration + Free Festival, Sat 21 June 2014 – Assemble 1pm BBC HQ, Portland Place London W1 1AA Then march to Parliament

Hurrah for the Luddites: challenging the myths about Luddism – 2-4pm at the Red Shed, Vicarage Street, Wakefield WF1.

The event is about seeing the Luddites in their proper historical context.  Contrary to myth, they weren’t a bunch of head bangers.  Luddism was a genuine social movement made up of normal working people fighting for justice.  They had immense support, were well organised and for a time were immensely successful.  Come along and hear more about the true Luddites!

Speakers are:

Ken Rowley: Ken is a former Vice President of the National Union of Mineworkers.  He is a member of the Wakefield Socialist History Group.  He has spoken widely on the Luddites and their West Yorkshire connections to both the University of the Third Age and to local history groups.

Shaun Cohen: Shaun is a member of the Ford-Maguire Society.  The Society is named after two notable Leeds socialist pioneers Isabella Ford and Tom Maguire.  Shaun’s particular interest is the radical history of Leeds.  He has researched widely into the Luddite revolutionary tradition.

Admission to the event is free and there will be a free buffet.


Alan Stewart

Convenor, Wakefield Socialist History Group

01924 360565


5 8th Annual NSSN Conference – Conway Hall – 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL

12 Durham Miners Gala 2014 visit Durham Miners’ Association official website here

18-20 Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival – Tolpuddle, near Dorchester, Dorset visit Tolpuddle Martyrs museum here


18 TUC demonstration in London – ‘Britain Needs a Pay Rise’. It will begin with a march through central London, culminating in a rally in Hyde Park read more here



PHONE 07952 283 558

EMAIL mailto:[email protected]


TWITTER – https://twitter.com/NSSN_AntiCuts


ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE




Get your trade union branch or trades council to affiliate to the NSSN – 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’, HSBC – sort code 40-06-41, account number 90143790. Our address is NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE. Affiliation letter here

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]