The tremendous #J10 public sector strike last Thursday has changed the mood music. All of a sudden it is the government desperately re-arranging the deck chairs on its Titanic with its latest re-shuffle. As the NSSN predicted, if the unions give workers a lead, they will respond. Not only that, the action was overwhelmingly popular as all those who have suffered from these cruel cuts were delighted to support someone standing up for them. This is particularly the case as Labour shamefully refused to support the strike.
But it was clear on July 10 that workers realise that to win, we need the action to continue and escalate. Therefore, we welcome Unison announcing its intention to strike again – for 2 days – in September. These dates need coordinating with the other local government unions, the teaching unions and others to ensure the maximum effect. And this time around, there should be no confusion over academy schools – they should be brought fully into the action.
As John McInally, PCS Vice-president urged on the Bristol strike rally, “No more excuses, no more unions taking action on their own. Everyone knows how we can defeat the pay freeze and austerity too – by joint coordinated action across the public sector.”
We agree with PCS leader Mark Serwotka who from the London stage called for all those unions taking action on J10 or planning strikes to meet asap to plan further joint strikes.
The victories by workers in the private sector over the last few days in Hackney and on Tyneside show yet again that there is no division between the public and private sectors. Private sector workers don’t live in a bubble but are the husbands, wives, children and friends of those in the public sector and we all face the same issues of low pay and zero-hour contracts etc and would respond to any call for mass action.
Every speaker on J10 agreed that it was a great day but only the start. Now is the time to confirm the next strike dates and build a campaign to make the next action bigger, broader and better than last Thursday.
The NSSN conference on July 5th agreed that the Network will hold a public rally at this year’s TUC Congress in Liverpool to lobby delegates to keep up the pressure for further co-ordinated strikes – 2pm Sunday September 7th in Jury’s Hotel opposite Echo Arena conference centre in Albert Dock. Whether you’re a delegate or not, come along and help us keep up the pressure!
Watch the NSSN #J10 strike video here
Over 300 shop stewards, union rep and anti-cuts activists attended the 8th Annual NSSN Conference on Saturday July 5th. The speakers included Ronnie Draper BFAWU bakers’ union General Secretary, POA General Secretary Steve Gillan, Janice Godrich PCS President and Peter Pinkney RMT President…plus Ginger Jentzen from the victorious Seattle $15Now campaign.
Watch a video of the first session here
See photos from the conference here
Watch the video shown at the start of the conference – All strike together & Memorium for Bob Crow
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]
Firefighters set to strike on eight consecutive days over government’s “vicious” pension attacks – Firefighters in England and Wales will strike on eight consecutive days this month, saying that the current proposals by government are unacceptable, unworkable, unrealistic and nothing short of a “vicious” attack on firefighters’ pensions.
Strikes will take place:
Monday 14 July: 6am–8am and 5pm–7pm
Tuesday 15 July: 6am–8am and 5pm–7pm
Wednesday 16 July: 6am–8am and 5pm–7pm
Thursday 17 July: 6am–8am and 5pm–7pm
Friday 18 July: 6am–8am and 11pm–1am on Saturday 19 July
Saturday 19 July: 11am–1pm and 11pm–1am on Sunday 20 July
Sunday 20 July: 5pm–7pm
Monday 21 July: 6am–8am and 5pm–7pm
The union will also begin ongoing action short of a strike from 7pm on 21 July
Buckinghamshire firefighters negotiate end to ‘lock out’ (July 15) – Firefighters in Buckinghamshire will no longer be ‘locked out’ for the duration of shifts this week after the Fire Brigades Union negotiated an end to the local fire service’s policy read more
Firefighters rally to defend Ashley Brown (July 15) – Over 100 fire-fighters and supporters held a rally outside Hertfordshire County Council offices this morning to demand the reinstatement of Ashley Brown. The FBU member was dismissed by Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service in December following comments he made on social media regarding the union’s industrial action in defence of pensions. Speaking to the rally FBU General Secretary Matt Wrack condemned employers for their increasing attempts to control the opinions of fire-fighters read more & see photos from NSSN website sign petition on BFU website
Victory for Look Ahead Unite Members! (July 14) – Look Ahead Victory! Strike Off! There has been a stunning eve-of-strike victory for Look Ahead Unite Members. After weeks of negotiation and an escalating threat of industrial action, with a seven day strike due to start on Thursday 9th July, members working in the four Hackney Look Ahead services were finally made an offer that they considered acceptable – and what a victory! read more on NSSN website
Victory for Tyneside Safety Glass Strikers! (July 14) – After three weeks of strike action TSG strikers have won a tremendous victory against tight-fisted bosses who had offered an insulting zero per cent pay increase. Initially, the bosses stated that they would not talk terms whilst the strike continued. By relying on agency workers (illegally taken on), they seemed intent on breaking both the strike and the union. However, as it became increasingly clear that the strike was rock solid and that the agency workers were not capable of doing the work to the normal “world class standards”, TSG bosses were then forced to backtrack and negotiate read more on NSSN website
78 locked out NHS workers protest against trust mistreatment (July 14) – The 78 biomedical scientists stopped from doing their vital work at Northampton General Hospital (NGH), will protest against the appalling bullying by their employers who demand that they sign contracts that will see the staff work longer for less pay. The workers were shut out of the NGH by their employer on June 26, in a move described by their union, Unite, as a blatant attempt to `starve’ the workers into accepting inferior terms read more
Landmark agreement secures promotions and pay rises for 6,500 Barclays branch staff (11 July) – Britain’s largest union, Unite, announced today (Friday 11 July) that it had secured promotions and pay rises of up to £600 a year for approximately 6,500 of the lowest paid branch staff working for Barclays bank read more
Industrial action vote to stop jobs transfer (14 July) – A multinational IT firm’s plan to move hundreds of jobs out of the north west could be frustrated after PCS members voted to take industrial action. We represent 70% of the Hewlett Packard staff at sites in Lytham and Warrington, and are opposed to the company shifting 400 jobs from the region as part of cuts of 33,000 to its global workforce read more
Land Registry sell-off shelved (14 July) – The Land Registry will remain in public hands following a hugely popular campaign headed by PCS read more
Power Control Strike Suspended (July 15) – Further to my last letter, I am pleased to advise you that ACAS talks to resolve this dispute have resulted in real progress. This matter has now been considered by the General Grades Committee which has decided to suspend all industrial action in this dispute with immediate effect and therefore you are instructed to work normally read more
Ballot on Northern Rail over abuse of sickness procedure (July 15) – RMT begins balloting conductor’s on Northern Rail today for action over what the union says is one of the most grotesque abuses of sickness procedures that the organisation has ever encountered. The ballot for strike action amongst Northern’s Wigan conductors has come as a result of an individual member being subjected to the most brutal intimidation and harassment that has forced him out of the company despite being signed off sick under the agreed procedures read more
Portsmouth demos tomorrow against shipping exploitation (July 14) – SHIPPING UNION RMT’s latest wave of protests on the south coast to raise awareness of the impact on shipping jobs of social dumping and the exploitation of overseas workers by the shipping companies kick off tomorrow read more
“Gove’s a Gonner” – Striking Works! (July 15) – As I was sitting in a primary school staff room this morning, the news came through that Michael Gove had been axed – and demoted to boot. “Gove’s a Gonner – Yay!” was immediately written on the top of the staff noticeboard! read more on Martin Powell Davies’s blog
NUJ, BECTU & Unite strikes at BBC on opening day of Commonwealth Games (15 July) – NUJ members voted to take strike action next Wednesday 23 July – coinciding with the opening of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow – in their fight for a decent pay rise. NUJ reps from across the BBC met to discuss the result of the ballot for industrial action over pay and appraisals which has been running over the past 3 weeks. Members voted overwhelmingly for strike action – with 77.2 per cent of members voting for industrial action including strike action and 89.5 per cent voting yes for action short of strike. The strike action will take place from 11.59am to 11.59pm on Wednesday 23 July, and will affect all parts of the BBC. The action will be held jointly with members of Bectu and Unite. A work to rule will start from midnight Thursday 24 July, coupled with an appraisals boycott read more read more from BECTU website
Ritzy Brixton Cinema workers were on strike again last Sunday – for more info https://www.facebook.com/RitzyLivingWage
Benefit gig July 12th – 19:00 to 13 July at 04:00 in UTC+01
BECTU cinema workers rally Thursday 17th July 1pm BFI South Bank to 4pm GLA Tower Bridge – Front of house staff across Odeon, Cineworld, Curzon and Everyman are joining the Ritzy cinema workers on a Cinema Workers Rally through the West End ending with speeches outside the GLA. Cinema staff and their supporters across the entertainment industry are marching in support of the Living Wage for cinema workers nationally and calling for a boycott of Picturehouse cinemas. Ritzy staff are currently taking strike action in their bid to secure the London Living Wage from the hugely profitable multi-national Cineworld. Curzon staff are currently in negotiation for the same. Both campaigns have taken on a growing significance both nationally and in the capital as austerity continues to impact harshly on low-paid workers
National Rally at Parliament – Members’ Voices – 3 September
Napo is organising a national rally of Parliament from 2pm to 3.30pm on Wednesday 3 September. Branches have been asked to organise delegations. Contact your Branch now if you are able to be there. Most crucially we are calling on members to write to their MP over the summer (or better still visit them in their constituency) urging them to attend and hear from frontline Probation staff about the chaos that is TR.
Ask your MP to sign EDM 111 calling for the government to assess the risk to public safety of the new probation service and halt the process of privatisation read more
Strike action not ruled out in row over job losses at K College (11 July 2014) – UCU has not ruled out the possibility of strike action at K College in a row over jobs losses at the Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells and Ashford sites. One hundred twenty-seven people, around one in six of the total staff at the three sites, are at risk of losing their job under college plans to try and save £2.4m in staff costs read more
Zero Hours Contracts – Whose Side Are You On? We live in the sixth richest economy in the world. You could be forgiven for thinking that his should mean a fair, decent society that leaves no-one behind and provides opportunities for all. However, what we have in the UK is a society whereby the top 1% hold 24% of the total wealth and the top 10% control 40% of the wealth see BFAWU video
VIDEO: $15 NOW & Fast Food Rights Campaign – Campaign against low pay to sweep across the Atlantic, as union organises UK Fast Food workers see video of press conference with Ronnie Draper BFAWU, John McDonnell MP and Gionger Jentzen Seattle $15Now
Fast Food Rights: upcoming plans and ‘activists’ pack – at the last Fast Food Rights campaign planning meeting on 25 June, the campaign decided on a plan of action for the months to come. This followed the global day of action that saw protests across Britain as well as in over 30 other countries on 15 May in solidarity with US fast food strikes. The next national Fast Food Rights days of action will take place on the day of the next US fast food strike. Dates are still being confirmed, but this will be late August/ early September. As soon as details are confirmed we will announce them read more from Fast Food Rights
It’s decision time NOW on BT Performance Management (July 15) – Should recent agreements covering BT’s application of performance management be given more time to work – or should the union ballot for strike action immediately? Read more
Read latest POA ‘Gatelodge’ magazine here
Blacklisting & Victimisation
GMB: October Date in High Court (July 11) – High Court Sets Hearing For October in Action for Compensation for 3,214 Blacklisted Construction Workers read more
Blacklist Support Group – Quick update from the High Court (July 10th 2014)
Over 30 lawyers including the superstars of the legal profession, and nearly 50 blacklisted workers and their supporters packed into the snug Court 65 at the Royal Court of Justice to hear the blacklisting High Court claim of Acheson (& others) v Sir Robert McAlpine Limited (& others). There were not enough spaces and the clerk of the court had to bring in additional folding chairs for claimants to sit in the walkways but even then others could not get into the courtroom.
Up until this point every blacklisting case has been individual workers seeking individual redress at an employment tribunal about specific incidences of dismissal or victimisation. Yesterday the lawyers for the claimants – Hugh Tomlinson QC (Guney Clark & Ryan solicitors), John Hendy QC (UNITE), Guy Vassall-Adams (GMB), Matthew Nicklin (UCATT) asked the Court to agree a Group Litigation Order (GLO) to allow all of the cases for the blacklisted workers to be heard together against all of the blacklisting companies. The Senior Master Leslie granted the Group Litigation Order. This effectively means that the entire construction industry is now on trial for blacklisting.
Both sides now have to draw up a list of key individuals from which test cases will be heard in full trial. The next court date 1st October 2014 and the full trial should start a few months afterwards. There are numerous legal strands to the High Court including conspiracy, defamation, human rights and breaches of the Data Protection Act. The prospects of industry grandees such as Cullum McAlpine plus ex-undercover and serving police officers being grilled by QCs at the High Court will turn this into a show trial.
Steve Acheson, blacklisted electrician, lead claimant in the High Court trial and chairman of Blacklist Support Group said:
“Time is running out for the blacklisting multinationals, who over a period of decades have deliberately and systematically set out to ruin our working lives. They may think that because they are rich and powerful that they are above the law. But those of us who have seen our families suffer, were never prepared to let this human rights abuse go unaccounted for. Blacklisted workers have fought for over five years but finally these directors are going to have to face the music. We hope the QCs put them to the sword. It’s less than the wretches deserve.”
Message to Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Costain, Kier, Laing O’Rourke, Sir Robert McAlpine, Skanska UK and Vinci PLC from the Blacklist Support Group:
“You know where you can poke your four grand compensation – see you in court”
Striking PCS MOJ members and blacklisted workers outside court https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BsKwob4CcAA5BxJ.jpg:large
International (also see Labourstart)
Iran: Free jailed trade union leader Reza Shahabi now read more
USA: Revolutionary US Teamsters Celebrating the 80th Anniversary of the 1934 Minneapolis Strike read more
Diary (see & use false economy)
18-20 Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival – Tolpuddle, near Dorchester, Dorset visit Tolpuddle Martyrs museum here
2 Does working-class education have a future?
A day conference for all trades unionists including Union Learn reps, trade union branch officers, TUC/ Trade Union Studies tutors, WEA/adult education lecturers, and mature students, organised by Trade Union Solidarity magazine and Bridgwater Trades Union Council
11am to 4pm, Saturday 2nd August GWRSA/Railway Club, Wellington Rd, Bridgwater, Somerset, TA6 5HA
Marie Hughes South West TUC Regional Education Officer
Trish Lavelle CWU National Education Officer
Becca Kirkpatrick Co-editor Trade Union Solidarity
Shan Maidment TU studies tutor, City of Bristol College
Carole Vallelly GMB Southern Region/TUC tutor
Nigel Costley, Secretary, South West TUC
Dave Chapple, Bridgwater TUC
Ian Manborde, Ruskin College
Richard Ross London Metropolitan University
Cost is £5 per person which includes buffet lunch. Places are limited: please register in advance if possible, make cheques out to “Bridgwater Trades Union Council” and send to Dave Chapple, Conference Organiser, 1 Blake Place, Bridgwater, Somerset, TA6 5AU. Further details phone 07707 869 144 or e-mail [email protected]
6 Featherstone Massacre Commemoration. We will be meeting at the Bradley Arms, North Featherstone at 2pm. There will then be a graveside commemoration followed by a guided walk led by local socialist historian John Gill.
If you would like to get involved (or if you would like to speak at the commemoration) please get in touch.
We are also looking to organise an event about the First World War later in the year…this is likely to be on a Saturday afternoon in November. Again if you are interested in speaking -or can recommend a speaker- please get in touch.
Convenor, Wakefield Socialist History Group
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