206 – Performance Management: Turn on, log on, tune in

The CWU in British Telecom has just undertaken a survey of members whether to ballot for strike action over Performance Management (PM). A majority are in favour. But PM is increasingly being used throughout the world of work. This week, a CWU member lifts the lid on this bullying culture (names have been changed):-

“A confidential meeting between a line manager and team member is taking place. Targets have been revised and raised. Now each member of the manager’s team must hit 100% of expected job standards, but not to worry as the individual has achieved 130%; an increase of 30%. They are continuously improving and being Right First Time.  However, some of the job activities have had their time allowed to complete cut by 33%, and in others, 50%. Well done, no matter, the individual seems to be coping well with this new revision and is on track to meet expectations. But hold on there. The manager has been informed that within the 130% productivity, not enough risk is being taken. It turns out that 16% of that 130% should in fact be 30%. On that alone, the 30% increase in productivity and meeting targets must be put aside. It also turns out that on one occasion, when the manager wanted an Instant Messenger chat, the individual had been 10 minutes late back from lunch. This same technology, the manager is informed, did not pick up the extra 20 minutes yesterday spent saving a job from ending up as a Service Level Agreement for the company. No matter. The member is told to watch their timekeeping, put on a development plan and is marked “Development Needed”. When they had walked in the room they had been on a mark of “Achieving Standards”.

Reports come in the tea break. Another manager elsewhere has marked all of his team as “Development Needed”. For 30 minutes A pissed off worker has been held back by team mates as  he verbally berates this manager who, after marking all the team down, is still sits sitting amongst them on the same floor in open view of all. It is regarded as crass piss taking. The team member sits down exhausted, it is never ending, and they are always on your back. What’s the point, no one is doing f**k all about it.

Archie is screaming, swearing and kicking all his desk drawers. Everything is falling on to the floor. He is literally in tears. “What’s up mate?”

“Fucking software, cancelled out all my macros again. Got to get this f******g job out ‘cos I’m expected to do two jobs a day; they’re on my back again”. Poorly designed and replatformed software has meant that jobs get stuck in being processed on the web based computer tools. The pressure is on for despite Senior Managers knowing full well of this known but unresolved problem, targets were recently raised. Archie is on a final warning and is desperate.

Welcome to the working world where for the working week, in the world’s oldest democracy, an absolute dictatorship of the employer rules the floor. It is suffocating.”



NSSN rally & lobby of TUC Conference on September 7th in Liverpool – The 2014 NSSN conference agreed that the Network will hold a public rally at the 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. PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka is one of the confirmed speakers alongside Ronnie Draper BFAWU General Secretary and Steve Gillan POA General Secretary. Download NSSN leaflet Transport is being organised around the country – email us on [email protected] if you want to come


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


Support locked-out Buckinghamshire fire-fighters – During last week’s action by the FBU in England & Wales when fire-fighters took action for periods of two and one hours over 8 days, Buckinghamshire Fire Authority docked wages for the whole shifts. To contribute to Bucks FBU hardship fund:-


Account No:     71603124

Sort Code:        40-33-33

Bucks FBU Hardship Fund

Also, email Complaints to Bucks FRS – [email protected]

More info from FBU website

Family of member who died from asbestos receive compensation (Aug 19) – The family of a Newcastle upon Tyne retired firefighter, who died from incurable asbestos cancer, has received compensation for his death. The 78 year old worked at Pilgrim Street fire station in the centre of Newcastle for over 25 years, from 1960 – 1986. His health began to deteriorate rapidly from July 2011 and he was admitted to hospital suffering from severe breathing difficulties read more



BBC engineers and technicians across London take strike action (19 Aug) – Engineers and technicians – members of the UK’s largest union, Unite – working at Interserve on a BBC contract have this morning (Tuesday 19 August) begun strike action at BBC sites across London and at the Elstree Studios in a dispute over compulsory redundancies. The industrial action was unanimously supported by the 160 engineers and technicians – with 93 percent voting for strike action – and is due to end at 09:00 on Thursday 21 August read more

Unite to ballot its members in Scottish Power on industrial action (18 Aug) – Workers in Scottish Power Energy Networks in Scotland, England and Wales are voting on possible industrial action today (Monday 18 August) in a dispute over changes to their terms and conditions of employment. Unite, the UK’s biggest union, is holding a ballot of its 1,000 members at Scottish Power Energy Networks across sites including Merseyside, North Wales, Glasgow, Edinburgh and the Scottish borders on whether to take industrial action, short of a strike over the removal of their rostered days off entitlement being imposed by the company. The ballot closes Monday 8 September read more



NUT must join co-ordinated strike on October 14 (Aug 16) – While teachers have been recharging their batteries over the summer break, local government unions Unison, Unite and GMB have drawn up plans for a further co-ordinated strike on Tuesday October 14. Surely, as on July 10, the NUT must take strike action alongside these trade union colleagues again. The July 10 strike had a significant impact with well-supported rallies in towns and cities across England and Wales. I don’t think that it was any coincidence that, soon after, David Cameron decided it was time to ditch Michael Gove from his post as Education Secretary. That decision should give teachers renewed confidence that, with a clear plan of continuing action, we can force Cameron to change policy too – not just personnel read more on Martin Powell Davies NUT NEC blog



E-borders fiasco result of cost-cutting obsession (Aug 19) – The latest e-borders fiasco where the taxpayer has been left to foot a £224 million bill is the result of successive governments’ obsession with cost-cutting read more

Free film screenings for PCS members (13 Aug) – Pathé is offering union members the chance to see the film Pride for free on September 9 more info



Defending jobs on London Underground: mass meeting of members Friday 22nd August details



Food Standards Agency workers set to strike over pay (Aug 20) – Meat inspectors, official veterinarians and support staff employed by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) in England, Wales and Scotland are set to strike next week in a dispute over pay. Two four-hour walkouts are scheduled to take place, from 6:30am – 10:30am on Tuesday 26 August and again on Wednesday 27 August read more

Care UK members set for new strike (Aug 20) – UNISON members at Care UK in Doncaster will begin new strike action next Monday for three weeks. The action comes after a new ballot and is in support of a pay claim that calls for a minimum starting rate of £7.65, which is the national living wage outside London. The current pay for basic grade staff is £7 an hour.

Messages of support or donations should be sent to: Yvonne Butcher, branch secretary Doncaster District and Bassetlaw Health Branch, 20511 UNISON Office – Jenkinson House, White Rose Way, Doncaster DN4 5GJ read article by Care UK Unison steward Roger Hutt in last Sunday’s Observer

Mothers march for the NHS (Aug 18) – Health campaigners set off from the North East at the weekend on a march to London to “serve notice to every politician that voted to destroy our NHS”. The march, which echoes the Jarrow Crusade hunger march of 1936, involves UNISON members and is supported by the union. Organised by a group of mothers from Darlington, it left Jarrow on Saturday and will arrive in London on 6 September. By then, the marchers will have walked 300 miles, through 23 towns and cities, all the way to Parliament read more

1 September: action for NHS pay (Aug 15) – 1 September will see a day of protest on health pay, as members in NHS England ballot for industrial action read more



Mears Removes Threat to Union Rights (Aug 14) – GMB call off dispute with Brighton and Hove contractor Mears after company removes threat to union rights. We will now sit down with Mears and ACAS on 12th September to settle our differences and move forward within the spirit of an approved agreement. GMB today issued a statement on behalf of trade unions recognised within Mears Ltd the Brighton and Hove City Council housing contractor read more



NUJ gravely concerned at Herald and Sunday World merger plans (14 Aug) – NUJ chapels at the Herald and Sunday World newspapers have sought an urgent meeting with management following the announcement that staff at the papers are to be merged read more


SIPTU Ireland

Support the locked-out Greyhound Workers – The workers have been locked out at the waste disposal company since 17th June. Management at the company is attempting to force workers to accept wage cuts of up to 35% and has employed strike-breakers to carry out waste collections during the dispute. SIPTU has 78 members in the company which has a contract to collect household waste for Dublin City Council read more   latest news  Send messages of support and donations via www.facebook.com/greyhoundworkers



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



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 Ginger Jentzen Seattle $15Now

Fast Food Rights: days of action in August & September – 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

Please send details of any local actions to [email protected] / [email protected]





Blacklisting & Victimisation

GMB: Blacklist – “cut price” compensation scheme launched (Aug 19) – GMB to contact all blacklisted construction workers over unilateral offer of compensation from eight blacklisting firms. Workers will be told that fast track compensation of between £15m and £20m is grossly inadequate to deal with the devastating damage inflicted on people in their working lives and the colossal invasion of their privacy read more

GMB: Block Carillion under Scottish Blacklisting Guidelines (Aug 18) – GMB calls for barring Carillion and others from public contracts in Scotland till they compensate 582 Scottish workers they blacklisted. Compensation offer of between £15m and £20m is grossly inadequate for firms with pre-tax profits of £1.04 billion who have to own up, clean up and pay up and until they do so they should get no more work in Scotland read more

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

Blog: www.hazards.org/blacklistblog

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



Other news


To all London Hazards Supporters

We are pleased to report that London Hazards August issue is now available. We have as usual some important and relevant articles contributed by specialists in their fields on a whole range of topical subjects.

1. Asbestos in schools more than 75% of our schools contain it. read its problem and its threats.

2. International Workers Memorial Day 28th April. 2014 Demo outside Qatar Embassy London and the rally at Tower Hill.

3. Mesothilioma Day London and the Launch of a London Asbestos support group to help families and victims.

4. Safety in Laboratories.

5. Affiliation to London Hazards and appeal for help.

6. Turkish Mining disaster over 300 miners were killed.

7. M&S saleswoman exposed to Asbestos wins case.

8. Crossrail a culture of fear and spying.

9. Blacklisting updates.

10. Want to help London Hazards buy a raffle ticket you could win £1000. towards your 2015 summer holiday.


Please let me know or Paul at our office 0207 527 5107 email – [email protected] how many copies you would like for your organisation / site / office / housing estate / schools.


Thank you for your continued support Pete Farrell Chair of London Hazards



International (also see Labourstart)

From Unite: Lockout at Honeywell, Metropolis, Illinois, USA

As you may be aware the multi-national company Honeywell has once again locked out its workforce, (members of Unite’s sister union in Workers Uniting), the United Steelworkers at its plant in Metropolis, USA.

USW local 7-669 has 150 members at the Honeywell plant in Metropolis, Illinois. The plant processes uranium and they work around many extremely dangerous and deadly chemicals.

The company is demanding changes to working contracts and the use of contractors to replace permanent staff.

Honeywell had previously locked out its workforce in June 2010 and Unite and our members were involved in supporting the locked out workers.

Once again we have a multi-national attacking workers in an effort to break their union.

So how can you help?

USW Local 7-669 is a strong local (branch) but you can help them by doing the following:

Visit their website at usw7-669.com

Follow them on Twitter @USW7669

Visit the Honeywell lockout Facebook Page

Sign their petition at action network website

Send messages of support to the local via Patrick Young at [email protected]

In solidarity

Tony Burke

Unite AGS



Diary (see & use false economy)



30 Demo against NATO summit in Newport http://stopwar.org.uk/events/national-protests-no-new-wars-no-to-nato-protests#.U_RbLcVdWPv



3 Leeds Youth Fight for Jobs branch meeting

6 Anti-Austerity March and Rally in Manchester – assemble 11am Castlefield Arena

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.


Alan Stewart

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



5 Leeds Youth Fight for Jobs branch meeting



3 Leeds Youth Fight for Jobs branch meeting




PHONE 07952 283 558

EMAIL mailto:[email protected]


TWITTER – https://twitter.com/NSSN_AntiCuts


ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE