NSSN 196: Seattle $15WON campaigner speaks at NSSN Conference!
The NSSN is delighted to announce that a Ginger Jentzen from the victorious $15Now campaign that has lifted the minimum wage to $15 per hour in Seattle will address the NSSN annual conference on July 5th. Undoubtedly, the election last year of Kshama Sawant of Socialist Alternative as city councillor played a crucial role in this victory alongside an incredible mass campaign. It is an inspiration to all low-paid workers all over the USA and internationally.
The NSSN secretary Linda Taaffe attended the enthusiastic and vibrant 15NOW Conference in Seattle in April bringing greetings and promising to help in any way. As part of this solidarity we have decided to bring over to London for our NSSN Conference a representative of the 15NOW campaign. We believe that it would be a real inspiration to hear their story.
It is particularly relevant as this is part of a global campaign developing to fight for low-paid workers such as those working in the fast food industry. The NSSN participated alongside the BFAWU bakers union and others such as Youth Fight for Jobs (YFJ) in the UK in the Fast Food Rights campaign on the worldwide day of action on May 15th. Ronnie Draper the BFAWU bakers’ union General Secretary will be speaking alongside $15Now and YFJ at the conference.
However, we need to raise money to pay for the air fare and some subsistence. Could your union contribute an amount towards this? If you can, make out a cheque to NSSN and send to NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE. Please try to help. For further information go to our website www.shopstewards.net or 15now.org
The main thing is…come to the NSSN Conference on July 5th!!
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, Janice Godrich PCS President and Peter Pinkney RMT President.
Confirmed workshops include:-
Fast food rights/zero-hour contracts/living wage/$15Now
Fighting NHS cuts
Construction: fighting the umbrella scam and blacklisting
Political representation for workers after the Collins Review
Housing workers fighting back
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]
Local government workers strike ballot on ‘poverty pay’ opens today (June 11) – Local government employees, members of Unite, the country’s largest union, start voting today (Wednesday 11 June) on possible strike action over the ‘insulting’ one per cent pay offer. Thousands of ballot papers are dropping on the doormats of members in England, Wales and Northern Ireland over whether they wish to take strike action or industrial action short of a strike after enduring four years of pay cuts in real terms. The ballot closes on Monday 30 June. Unite is seeking a £1-an-hour increase in pay for the local council workforce which has 400,000 employees earning below £15,000 a year and a million earning less than £21,000
Visteon workers successfully conclude their pensions campaign (10 June) – Unite and Ford have agreed an overall settlement worth millions of pounds for former Visteon workers who lost part of their pensions when their employer went into administration. Eligible ex-Visteon workers have fought for years for this settlementread more
Acas talks to avert new EDF Energy pay dispute strikes (10 June) – Last ditch talks are being held between EDF Energy and Unite on Thursday (12 June) to avert further strikes in the three-pronged pay dispute. Nearly 500 workers in the London, South Eastern, South West and Eastern regions will be striking for 24 hours from 00.01 on Monday 16 June which will mean delays in fixing and installing meters for customersread more
Occupational Therapists to walk out against bullying (June 9) – Unite members working as Occupational Therapists in Greenwich, London, will be out on strike again on 11th and 12th June in protest at bullying, harassment and victimisation read more on NSSN website
One Housing workers on strike in ‘victimised rep’ dispute (6 June) – workers at the One Housing Group (OHG) are taking four days of strike action from today (Friday 6 June) in support of the ‘victimised’ lead Unite rep at the association read more see video see NSSN photo
Messages of support please to: [email protected]
Donations to: Housing Workers Branch, Unity Trust Bank, Account number: 20040639 Sort Code 03-60-01
Or cheques made payable to Unite Housing Workers Branch posted to PO Box 66701, London E119FB
Eleven-day strike over zero hours contracts at Tilbury docks (5 June) – Moves by the hardline management of SCA Logistics, based at Tilbury docks, to drive down wages by introducing zero hours contracts has sparked an 11-day strike which started this morning (Thursday 5 June) read more see NSSN photo
Scottish Rank & File meeting Saturday14th June at 10am in the Iron Horse bar, West Nile St, Glasgow. The employers’ de-skilling agenda continues, but this time through the JIB. They are trying to push through 2 new “Entrant Grades” which are underneath the labourer grade. It’s vitally important that all Scottish sparks attend this meeting. If you want to protect your livelihood you must attend
Hackney and Westminster care workers rally to oppose vicious cuts this Thursday! Look Ahead Attack their Workers Terms and Conditions Again! Unite the union’s members in these vital mental health services who are already on low pay, received an average pay cut of 15% less than two years ago, and are now being asked to take a further 14% cut to their pay! Skilled posts are proposed to be deleted in a service which is already stretched to the limit. Their employer, Look Ahead Care and Support, is notorious for taking on services and slashing staff terms and conditions and quality for the clients they are contracted to support, whilst raking in public money for lavish executive pay rises.
The most recently available accounts of Look Ahead show 12% growth, reserves of £61 million and a £60 K pay rise for their highest paid executive. Hackney Council’s money must be spent on ensuring decent, safe and properly staffed residential care for vulnerable members of our community, not running down services to satisfy corporate greed. Come down to the rally and show your support! On Thursday, June 12th at 3pm, Hackney Town Hall
Send messages of support to:- Unite the Union Organiser Matthew Dore-Weeks on 07900160871 or senior shop steward Dominic Rollin on 0779552332
Strike warning over passport crisis (9 June) – We have told passport office bosses they could face industrial action if they fail to tackle the jobs crisis. We warned for years that cutting one tenth of the workforce and closing offices would lead to major problems read more
Sign the petition to help save ILF (6 June) – There is a legal challenge to the decision to close the Independent Living Fund, which gives vital support to 18,000 severely disabled people in the UK. The Department for Work and Pensions is facing a judicial review challenge by a group of disabled people of the decision by minister for disabled people, Mike Penning MP, to close the Independent Living Fund (ILF) in June 2015 read more
First 24-hour firefighter strike announced after minister ploughs ahead with “unworkable” pension scheme (June 5) – Firefighters in England and Wales will strike again over attacks on their pensions after the government confirmed it would implement a new scheme without further negotiations. A 24-hour strike — the longest yet in the three-year campaign — will take place from 9am on Thursday 12 June, with another set for 10am-5pm on Saturday 21 June read more
St Pancras International cleaners balloted for strike action (11 June) – Cleaners working for contractors Initial at the prestigious St Pancras International rail station are to be balloted for both strike action and action short of a strike over an all-out attack on jobs, pay and conditions, rail union RMT confirmed today read more
Transport for London staff to strike on Friday (10 June) – RMT, TSSA and Unite members at Transport for London will be taking a further 24 hours of joint strike action from this Friday morning in a dispute over an all-out attack on pay and pensions that would condemn to staff to a life of poverty in retirement read more
RMT backs London Taxi protest on Wednesday (9 June) – Taxi union RMT will be supporting a massive, joint protest by thousands of London Taxi Drivers which will take place in London on Wednesday 11th June, centred around Trafalgar Square from 2pm onwards and expected to gridlock the capital, as organisations representing the trade unite in defiance of measures being driven through by Mayor Boris Johnson which amount to an all-out assault on the industry read more
Virgin West Coast Mainline cleaners to strike (6 June) – Rail union RMT confirmed today that cleaners at Manchester’s Longsight train care depot looking after Virgin West Coast’s fleet will strike next week over the victimisation and appalling mistreatment of a work colleague and union activist. The dispute is over the disgraceful treatment of RMT member Simon Upton read more
Jubilee Line track staff balloted for strike action (5 June) – RMT members working for Tube Lines in the Permanent Way Department (track) on the Jubilee Line are being balloted for both strike action and action short of a strike from today in a dispute over the withdrawal of rest days, the union confirmed this morning read more
Heathrow strike action rock solid as new terminal opens (4 June) – Heathrow Express and Connect strike action over massive cuts to jobs and safety rock solid this morning as new terminal opens read more
HOLT Day of action – June 13: to link up with the RMT’s national organising day on Bob Crow’s birthday, 13 June, the Hands Off London Transport campaign is organising leafleting of the public and other action to raise awareness of the harmful effects of Tube cuts. So far, actions are planned at Brixton, Walthamstow, Finchley Central and Kings Cross Tube stations. If you want to organise an event at your local Tube station, please get in touch and we will provide campaign materials. 4.30pm-6.30pm, Friday 13 June read more
TfL: We strike again (9 June) – A further day of strike action has been called for all members (Bands 1-3) of TSSA, Unite and RMT read more
Ballot for strike action called for at BBC (10 June) – NUJ members of the BBC have voted to ballot for industrial action, including strikes, after dismissing a “derisory” pay deal of 1 per cent read more
More strike action called for at Newsquest titles (10 June) – Newspapers owned by Newsquest in London and the south have joined colleagues from the North West in voting for strike action. The result from a fifth chapel is due tomorrow. Journalists working on the South London Guardian papers voted 100 per cent for strike action. The dispute concerns pay – the staff have had only one pay increase in six years – the closure of the Elmbridge Guardian and the Twickenham office and loss of posts read more
VIDEO: Claire Laker-Mansfield of Youth Fight for Jobs combines forces with the BFAWU to campaign for better pay and conditions for UK fast food workers. Claire was a guest speaker at this week’s BFAWU annual conference 2014 watch video
UCU/Unison: Lambeth College indefinite strike– Joint rally on June 11 outside Clapham campus to celebrate the Lambeth College Unison branch joining the strike action. Unison members are facing the same threat to their conditions as UCU members and will be joining the strike on the 11th and 12th June Lambeth College blog
More staff to walk out at Lambeth College this week (10 June) – More members of staff will be out on strike at Lambeth College this week as disputes about changes to staff contracts show no sign of being resolved. Members of UCU walked out indefinitely last Tuesday (3 June). They will be joined tomorrow and Thursday by their colleagues from the trade union UNISON, who have backed a two-day strike read more on UCU website
King’s College London staff to be balloted for industrial action (3 June) – Members of the UCU at King’s College London are to be balloted for industrial action this week over plans to make up to 120 staff redundant in the institution’s prestigious health schools read more
Vote YES in NJC local government pay strike ballot – open May 23-June 23 read more
NHS members protest against continuing pay freeze (June 5) – UNISON members and colleagues from across the NHS were out in force on NHS Protest Day today to make their message loud and clear – they deserve a proper pay rise. Up and down the country, almost from first light, activists were busy, making sure that the message got out read more NSSN photo
UNISON condemns Glasgow City Council attack on strikers (June 4) – UNISON has condemned Glasgow City Council for taking action against more than 60 carers for participating in an official strike earlier this year read more
Doncaster Care UK workers – Send messages of support to [email protected] and donations/cheques made out to: “Doncaster, District & Bassetlaw Health Branch” and sent to: Jenkinson House, White Rose Way, Doncaster, DN4 5GJ.
IWGB / 3 Cosas
3Cosas strike for 6 days to save 80 jobs starting Friday June 6th – Three of the University of London’s residence halls, the Garden Halls, are due to close down on 30 June, placing over 80 people at risk of redundancy. The companies have refused to negotiate with the workers’ trade unions. Workers started the strike on Friday 6th June, continuing the this week Monday-Thursday read more see NSSN photo
Ritzy workers take protest to Hackney & Eric Cantona (7 June) – Ritzy workers are staging their sixth strike today, Saturday 7 June, in their fight to secure the London Living Wage. Eric Cantona shows his support for the London Living Wage protest by joining the Ritzy workers for a picture read more and see photo
GMB Drivers to Protest On 11th June (June 9) – GMB Professional Drivers to Protest in London On Wednesday 11th June over Deregulation and Poor Management of Trade by TFL read more
Support for Birmingham Council Steward (June 6) – GMB support for shop steward suspended accused of talking to press about Birmingham City Council policy and practice on green waste. At no time has the council ever spoken to shop steward about the many times he has talked to the press it is only now when a public row has erupted over the collection of green waste that they are taking this action read more
Rotherham School Strike on Monday 9th June (June 4) – GMB Members at Rotherham School Strike on Monday 9th June over jobs and fears over health & safety and pupil behaviour read more
Postal workers ‘will strike’ if told to deliver free Sun copies as Hillsborough anger continues read from Independent
Justice for sale – latest campaign newsletter read more
Blacklisting & Victimisation
From GMB: Blacklisting Hearing in High Court (June 10) – GMB In High Court on 10th June to challenge application by employers to unilaterally proceed with inadequate Blacklisting Compensation Scheme. Compensation offer is not an act of contrition it is a PR stunt so companies should get serious and make proper restitution and close the book on this shameful chapter says GMB read more from GMB website
Blacklist Support Group Update:
Lawyers acting on behalf of Vince Cable have today presented legal documents that for the first time concede that blacklisting of trade unionists is a breach of human rights. The legal documents drawn up by Daniel Stilitz QC relate to the ongoing case of Smith v Carillion. Dave Smith a union activist in the building industry was covertly spied on and blacklisted by the construction multinational as part of the Consulting Association blacklist scandal.
The test case which started in 2009 gained considerable media coverage when Smith lost his Employment Tribunal even though the company admitted that their managers supplied information about him to the illegal blacklist because of his trade union activities as a UCATT safety rep. Smith lost the case because he was an agency worker and therefore not covered by UK employment law, which only protects direct employees. The original tribunal judgement identified that Smith “has suffered a genuine injustice and we greatly regret that the law provides him with no remedy”
The case is currently at the Court of Appeal stage, where John Hendy QC is arguing that blacklisting breached Article 8 (privacy) & Article 11 (freedom of association) of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). Human rights are supposed to protect everyone but if UK law cannot protect Smith because he is an agency worker, then the court is being asked to issue a “Declaration of Non-Compatibility” with the ECHR.
The Secretary of State of Business, Innovation and Skills has now intervened in the case and the written submission for the very first time, presents the UK government’s legal position on the human rights issue.
Paragraph 58 reads: “The Secretary of State accepts that the government the Appellant’s [Smith] Article 8 rights were engaged by the conduct of the Respondent. There has been an interference with his right to respect his family life due to covert collection of data on him.
Paragraph 61 reads: “The Secretary of State accepts that the Appellant’s Article 11 rights were engaged by the activities of the Respondent…. but for the issue of his employment status”
This is the UK government admitting that blacklisting of trade unionists is a breach of article 8 and article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights and the only reason that Smith did not win his case in the Employment Tribunal was because of his employment status. Despite this massive legal admission, the UK government has now intervened in the case in order to fight against Dave Smith and is arguing that the Court should not issue a declaration of non-compatibility.
The hearing will take place on 5th-6th November 2014.
Dave Smith said:
“Blacklisted workers have always known that the illegal blacklisting conspiracy by multinational construction companies was a breach of our human rights. We have waited over 5 years for this to be confirmed but finally the British government has officially admitted it. We feel totally vindicated for the stand we have taken. The fact that the UK government has admitted I was a victim of human rights abuse but is now going to fight against me in court is beyond belief.
The legal challenge is just one part of our ongoing fight for justice. We will not stop until the whole sordid scandal is exposed.
We are in court on the 5th November – expect fireworks!”
EDL opposed in Stevenage
Stevenage & District TUC led the successful anti-EDL demonstration last Saturday September 7th read more Stevenage & District TUC photo
International (also see Labourstart)
Brazil: Protest at Brazilian Embassy this Friday for the re-instatement of 60 sacked Metro workers in Sao Paolo see photo – 11am 14-16 Cockspur Street London SW1Y 5BL. Send solidarity messages to the metro workers union. Addressed to Sindicato dos Metroviarios de Sao Paolo, sent to [email protected] with copies to [email protected]
US: latest on the $15Now campaign – including ‘Protest at McDonald’s Chicago Headquarters’ and ‘Laborers and 15 NOW STORM PORTLAND CITY HALL’ https://15now.org/
India: Tell PepsiCo to remedy human rights abuses! Read more
Korea: No return to authoritarianism! Read more
Algeria: Government of Algeria must recognize NOW workers’ right to form independent trade unions read more
Thailand: Campaign success at KFC Thailand! The IUF campaign to stop the harassment of union leaders at KFC Thailand has succeeded in stopping management from threatening and harassing union leaders. Changes are underway at the company which the union believes have opened space for KFC workers to access their rights and fight for a living wage. The union has expressed its appreciation to the many thousands who responded to the campaign with messages to the company
Diary (see & use false economy)
11 Trade unionists in Lincoln will gather next week to remember the thirtieth anniversary of the Miners’ Strike with a public rally. The meeting will be addressed by Mel Hepworth, a striking Yorkshire miner at the time, and Brenda, an activist involved in the Women Against Pit Closures movement.
Nick Parker, Secretary of Lincoln & District TUC, said “We are proud to be hosting this event to remember what was the most significant industrial dispute in modern British history. “For nearly a year, one of the most active and well-organised trade unions in the country pitted itself in a fight to defend jobs and entire communities against a Tory government that wanted to crush our movement and any opposition to its policies of austerity. I think there’s a lot of lessons for the present day.” Lincoln & District TUC is hosting the event, which is open to members of the public. It is from 7pm at Lincoln Labour Club, 32 Newland, Lincoln
13 Hands off London Transport day of action – To link up with the RMT’s national organising day on Bob Crow’s birthday, the Hands Off London Transport campaign is organising leafleting of the public and other action to raise awareness of the harmful effects of Tube cuts http://handsofflondontransport.wordpress.com/2014/05/21/holt-day-of-action-13-june/#more-224
14 Orgreave mass picket and festival on 30th anniversary of Miners’ Strike – 11am-7pm Catcliffe Recreation Ground S60 5TZ
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!
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.
Convenor, Wakefield Socialist History Group
4 London Hazards —– Mesothelioma Day July 4th
Thousands die in the UK every year from exposure to asbestos, mainly construction workers but increasingly in schools now teachers and pupils. We want to establish a London Asbestos Support Group to help victims and families. Please come and support this event. Refreshments will be supplied, specialist speakers from the schools asbestos campaigns and Guys Hospital specialists are just some of the campaigners who will contribute to the discussion on how to make this happen
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
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ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE