NSSN 221: Fight Osborne’s never-ending austerity!

You couldn’t make it up…Osborne reveals a budget that means another £35-50billion worth of cuts to be unloaded on public sector workers and working-class communities just as Starbucks admit that it will be another 3 years until they pay ‘normal’ levels of tax!

The ConDem’s Autumn Statement confirms that if he gets his way, the catastrophe we’ve faced over the last four years is the new normal. Some government departments will have had their budgets cut by 80% since the Coalition sneaked into power. In real terms, this means continuing vicious cuts to jobs, living standards and services.

But as well as being a disaster, austerity isn’t working. As more workers sink into low pay and the fat cats simply refuse to pay their share – tax receipts are falling. So the deficit is scheduled to rise to £100billion! This adds to a debt pile of £1.45 trillion, equal to 80% of national income. The interest we pay on this is £1 billion a week!!

We have to re-commit our efforts so THEY don’t get away with it! Workers are showing on a weekly basis that they are prepared to fight, if they are given a lead by their union. Victories have been won recently at HTC Cranes and Trelleborg, while there have been strikes at Jacobs and there could be action at Jaguar Land Rover as workers fight for their share of this one-sided recovery.

Support these strikes and the many others we’ve reported in the bulletin below. The NSSN is still campaigning for mass co-ordinated strike action to bring together these disputes with those from the NHS to workers to the fire-fighters and others.

To tweak the old saying – “Get mad AND get even!”




The famous pink NSSN £10 minimum wage t-shirts are still available. Email us to order – £8 each. We have the following sizes: women – small, medium, large, XL and men – small, medium, large, XL, XXL

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

Midlands NSSN Conference – Saturday March 14th 2015 Unite Offices, Birmingham download leaflet

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


Firefighters in England announce further pensions strike (Dec 1) – Firefighters in England today announced a further 24 hour strike to take place from 09.00 on Tuesday 9 December. This follows the government’s decision to commence the Parliamentary procedure to implement regulations for an unfair, unaffordable and unworkable pension scheme. After almost three years of discussions firefighters still face a stark choice of either being sacked or a severely reduced pension if they fail fitness tests as a result of naturally declining fitness through age read more   see FBU video

National FBU demonstration to fight the pensions attack and defend Ricky Matthews – Tuesday December 9th – assemble 11.30am Oakfield Road Park, Aylesbury HP20 1LL

Firefighters lost around £600 of pay due to the recent 4-day strike. The National Shop Stewards Network appeals for hardship collections to be taken to local fire stations in support of the dispute. The national FBU hardship fund bank account details are: Sort code 08-60-01 Account number 20034726 FBU solidarity & financial appeal



Staff on historic Settle/Carlisle rail line to strike (3 Dec) – Staff employed by the Settle and Carlisle Railway Development Company – providing at-seat catering on Northern Rail services between Carlisle and Settle – are to take strike action a week on Saturday in a row over compulsory redundancies. The strike will run from 00.01 hours on Saturday 13th December until 23.59 hours on Saturday 13th December 2014 read more

Staff at Waterloo Station to strike again on Friday (2 Dec) – Following two earlier phases of rock solid action last month, cleaners employed by Interserve, looking after the busy and internationally famous Waterloo Station in London, are to strike again from Friday over a comprehensive breakdown in industrial relations relating to a whole range of fundamental issues…The action will start on Friday, 5th December at 2.59pm with a picket line and protest throughout evening rush hour at Waterloo Station Exit 5 – opposite the old Eurostar terminal. On the day before, Thursday 4th December 2014, at 4pm the strikers and their supporters will be taking the campaign to Interserve’s London HQ – Capital Tower 91 Waterloo Road Waterloo London SE1 8RT read more

Northern Line action rock solid (1 Dec) – Mick Cash RMT General Secretary said. “Our members are standing rock solid, shoulder to shoulder with their victimised colleague and as we have said all along the union is determined to secure a just and fair outcome to this dispute read more   see NSSN photo of picket line

RMT Slams Re-Privatisation of the East Coast Mainline (Nov 27) read more

RMT News November / December 2015 Edition here



Get involved in GMB’s campaign for £10 per hour at Next, which has been linking up with Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott Tour supporting Next workers see GMB website for details of protests in your area

More NHS disruption on the cards (Dec 3) – GMB warn that unless Government increase pay offer NHS faces more disruption into the New Year and beyond. NHS staff are demanding talks following 2 days of strike action and action short of strike and working to rule across the country says GMB. GMB and other NHS unions issued a joint statement in the dispute in the NHS over pay to coincide with a photo call at HM Treasury before the Autumn Statement on 3rd December read more

Justice For Cammell Laird 1984 Strikers (Dec 2) – GMB welcome EU Parliament Petition Committee call for UK Government to apologise for unjust treatment of Cammell Laird 1984 strikers. We are now keeping our fingers crossed for further developments as we have come further in the last two days than we have ever done in 30 years says GMB ex Cammell Laird striker read more

Strike suspended at Jacobs Liverpool (Dec 2) – strike suspended at Jacobs Liverpool to allow time for talks to resolve dispute over imposed changes to terms and conditions of employment. Talks will focus on the long term interests of the site which are vital and repairing the industrial relations at the site and we will keep members up to date with the progress of these talks says GMB. A 24 hour strike by 800 GMB members at Jacobs Biscuits factory in Aintree Liverpool due to take place tomorrow 3rd December has been suspended to allow time for talks to resolve the dispute over sick pay and the management culture in the plant read more

More Strikes At Woolwich Hospital If Talks Fail (Nov 26) – failure of December talks will trigger more strikes at ISS Woolwich Hospital after 2 days of rock solid strike in dispute over 2 tier workforce. GMB members are confident, strong and ready to take more industrial action should no offer be made during negotiations in December. Talks to resolve the current dispute between GMB and ISS at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich are due to take place in December in the long running dispute over a two tier workforce. GMB members employed by ISS held two further days of solid strike action on Monday 24th and Tuesday 25th November. There was an earlier 24 hour strike on 8th October. See notes to editors for previous GMB press release on the strike read more



London bus drivers in strike vote over ‘farcical’ pay disparities (3 Dec) – Over 20,000 bus drivers across London’s 18 bus operators began voting today (Wednesday 3 December) on whether to take strike action over ‘farcical and unfair’ pay disparities across the capital’s buses in a campaign to secure one London wide agreement covering pay, terms and conditions. In contrast to tube drivers, there is not one collective pay deal for bus drivers in the capital, whose pay is negotiated on a company by company basis leading to pay inequality and disparities between drivers driving the same routes. A refusal by the bus operators to address the issue has led to pay gaps of over £2 an hour for new starters opening up with pay varying from £9.30 to £11.46 an hour depending on the company. The ballot of the members of Britain’s largest union, Unite closes on Thursday 18 December raising the possibility of strike action in the new year if London’s bus operators continue with their refusal to enter talks. A consultative ballot in November saw 96 per cent of members indicate they would be willing to take strike action read more

EDF Energy disciplinary and pay row deepens as strike vote opens (Dec 3) – Over 500 EDF energy workers began voting in an industrial action ballot today (Wednesday 3 December) as a row over pay and spurious disciplinary cases deepens, following confirmation of the sacking of a driver who allegedly ate a ‘Dairylea Dunker’ while driving. The workers, members of Britain’s largest union, Unite, working in EDF’s meter reading section across London, the south east, south west and eastern England, have grown fearful as the number of sackings and warnings on the flimsiest of evidence increases. Anger has also mounted over a two per cent pay offer which workers feel does little to address real term pay cuts of previous years and a continued squeeze in living standards. The ballot for strike action and action short of a strike runs from 3-17 December. It follows EDF’s dismissal of an appeal by the sacked driver. Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “We had hoped that EDF would see sense and step back from this trumped up sacking. Instead EDF is sticking to a pattern of attacking workers, where so called allegations which a year ago would have gone nowhere, now lead to people losing jobs. Members have had enough of this climate of fear which is being compounded by a pay offer that does nothing to alleviate years of real terms pay cuts and the continued squeeze in living standards. Feelings are running high and unless management get around the negotiating table and talk meaningfully, there is every prospect that they will have strike on their hands.”

‘Work extra hours or lose your job’ threat sparks strike action at Bristol packaging firm (1 Dec) – Over 100 workers at the Bristol food packaging firm Sharpak are set to take part in two 24-hour strikes this week over a ‘sign or be sacked’ ultimatum forcing them to work extra hours. The first of the 24-hour stoppages by members of Britain’s largest union, Unite starts tomorrow (Tuesday 2 December) morning at 6am, with the second running from 6am on Thursday 4 December to 6am on Friday 5 December. Members are angry at the company’s threat to sack people who don’t sign up to new contracts which extend the working week by three hours to 40 read more

Charity’s ‘grossly unfair’ plans to slash pay prompts strike vote (1 Dec) – Industrial action could hit the housing charity Shelter following moves to impose a new pay scale which could lead to pay cuts of up to £5,000 a year for new advice and support workers and £3,000 for existing frontline staff. A strike ballot of over 330 members of Britain’s largest union, Unite closes later this week on Thursday (4 December) after the charity’s management walked away from talks despite warnings from Unite that the changes would create a two tier workforce. In addition to cuts to new starter rates, Shelter is also seeking to impose a separate pay scale for existing frontline advice and support workers. The proposed scale differs from the one for non-frontline workers and could see some advice workers earning up to £3,000 a year less than colleagues working on the same grade, but in a different role read more

Sheffield city road traffic electricians strike in pay dispute (28 Nov) – Highly skilled road traffic electricians, employed by Amey LG limited at the Olive Grove depot in Sheffield will be taking part in a 24 hour strike action on Monday 1 December with further action planned on the 22 December in a continuing dispute over pay and the loss of their terms and conditions. Unite, the country’s biggest union, which represents the team of nine electricians who maintain Sheffield city’s road traffic signals and lighting, says that Amey’s paltry 1.7 per cent pay ‘bribe’ in exchange for their terms and conditions will leave the workers earning less than the company’s lower skilled labourers. Formerly employed by Sheffield City council, the electricians, who were TUPE transferred (Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment regulations) to Amey when the council outsourced its road traffic maintenance contracts, are facing the loss of up to £500 a year as the company seeks to axe their terms and conditions without proper compensation read more

10 day strike to hit Defence Support Group as pay dispute escalates further (27 Nov) – The Defence Support Group (DSG) is set to be hit by the longest strike in its history as workers at the Ministry of Defence (MoD) facility announced they would be starting a 10 day strike on 8 December in an ongoing dispute over a one per cent pay rise read more



Escalating action at Lambeth College starts this week (Nov 30) – Following the excellent result (83% Yes for strike action, on a 58% turnout) in the re-ballot over new contracts, Lambeth College UCU will be taking the first day of strike action this Thursday 4th December…Please join us on the picket lines outside each centre from 7am to 7pm, and the rally at lunchtime on Thursday…If there is no acceptable offer from management the action will escalate with 2 further days on Tuesday & Wednesday 9th and 10th December, then 3 more days on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 15th, 16th and 17th December. The action will continue after the Christmas break if necessary read more

FE pay in England – The UCU ballot of members in further education opens on Friday 28 November and closes Friday 19 December. The union is recommending that members vote YES for action to take a stand on fair pay read more



Police staff vote yes to strike over pay row says UNISON (Dec 2) – UNISON’s members working for police forces in England and Wales have voted yes to industrial action over pay read more



Judicial Review: Disclosure Hearing Success (Nov 27) – Following our initial directions hearing at the High Court to apply for a Judicial Review, Napo yesterday attended a disclosure hearing.  For quite some time, Napo has been seeking to secure a copy of the Test Gate 4 report but, to date, the Secretary of State had only provided summaries, but not the report itself.  Because of this, and as the Secretary of State had provided so little other accompanying documentary evidence with their witness statements, an application for specific disclosure was made on behalf of Napo, and yesterday afternoon  the Secretary of State was ordered to provide significant documentary evidence, including – importantly – the Test Gate 4 and Test Gate 5 reports. Whilst not all of our requests were accepted by the Judge a significant proportion were, and the documentation that will be released is highly significant in relation to our case against the Secretary of State read more



BECTU’s petition telling Picturehouse Cinemas to pay their staff a living wage has now gone past 7,000 signatures, which is amazing and will definitely be getting Picturehouse’s attention! The campaign is making progress in other areas too. At BECTU, we’re now putting in formal claims for union recognition at three more branches of Picturehouse. It’s a long and difficult process to apply to the Central Arbitration Committee, but important. Getting recognition of the union gives the workers the rights and security to have a say in decisions that affect them – It made a big difference in winning the original pay rise that our members in Brixton would like to see extended to their colleagues around the chain. Please spread the word and increase the pressure on Picturehouse by forwarding the petition link to your friends – https://campaign.goingtowork.org.uk/petitions/picturehouse-cinemas-pay-your-staff-a-living-wage


BFAWU / Fast Food Rights

See video of lobby of Parliament on November 21st in support of Ian Mearns MP’s private member’s bill on zero-hour contracts here

Write to your MP to support Ian Mearns’s EDM 573 – young workers and level of national minimum wage here

See photos of Sheffield Hungry for Justice protest against zero-hour contracts and for £10/hr minimum wage last Saturday – follow #hungryforjustice on twitter

Reports of Fast Food Rights protests on Youth Fight for Jobs website and Fast Food Rights website

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


Other news

Dr Aleida Guevara, daughter of Ché, will finish her UK tour by

speaking at the Candlelight Vigil for the Miami Five outside the US

Embassy this Wednesday 3 December, at 6pm.

Click here for full details http://edm.cuba-solidarity.org.uk/csc_lists/lt.php?id=ZhoJBA4LVEgKBUQAB1EF


Urgent ‘Save Our Services in Surrey’ meeting

Dear friends

Due to the urgency of the situation regarding the six Surrey Care Homes, with formal consultation ending in a couple of weeks and Cabinet due to make a decision in February, we have called a special Save Our Services in Surrey steering committee.

This will take place on Weds 10th December at County Hall, Penrhyn Road, Kingston KT1 2DN at 4pm (immediately following a regular meeting of Surrey County Council Trade Unions already booked to take place).

This will be a short but important meeting to discuss the next stage of the care homes campaign and will make important decisions regarding dates and timings of protests etc.

Although this is a meeting specifically for the regular steering committee, any member of SOSIS is welcome to attend BUT YOU MUST LET US KNOW BY REPLY. Someone will have to meet you at the reception at County Hall.

Please keep signing and pushing the live online petition here:


If you live in or near Farnham please try to come to the Care Homes public meeting on Thursday evening. More details here: www.sosis.org.uk.

Kind regards

Paul Couchman

Secretary, Save Our Services in Surrey



Blacklisting & Victimisation

Blacklist Support Group financial appeal: the Blacklist support group is desperately short of funds, to continue the incredible work in 2015 we need more finance, would you please consider making a donation, raise it at your branches and trade councils . Please make cheques payable to Joint sites committee and send to 70 Darnay Rise Chelmsford Essex CM1 4XA. Please forward onto your contacts many thanks Steve Kelly (JSC Treasurer)

17th December 2014 – High Court & Blacklist Support Group meeting

9:30 am – 3pm (approx)

High Court Blacklisting trial continues

Royal Courts of Justice

The Strand (nearest tube Holborn or Temple)

4:30pm – 6:30pm Blacklist Support Group national meeting

Central London venue

Invited speakers include: John McDonnell MP, John Hendy QC, Guney Clark & Ryan solicitors


Shropshire GMB “Crocodile Tears” Protest 10 Nov Shaming Parish Councillor Sandy Palmer Ex Carillion Manager Directly Linked To Blacklisting 36 Construction Workers

After leafleting the whole Town of Ellesmere in Shropshire on the 10th November 2014, twenty pickets turned up at the local Parish Council meeting. One of the leading lights on Ellesmere Rural Parish Council was a ‘black lister’. We cannot take him to court because at the time he was involved it was not a criminal offence. So GMB have gone for maximum publicity. Out in the ‘sticks’ like rural Shropshire everyone knows your business; the campaign is one to expose these deeds undertaken by so called ‘pillars’ of the community so that people know what grief their actions have caused to ordinary working people wanting to put a crust on the table to support their families.

At short notice my entire Branch Committee activists (GMB W50 Branch, Birmingham West Midlands Region) turned out, a Branch Committee which averages 50 years of unbroken service; and a special mention to one of our Brothers who drove back from a hospital appointment in Birmingham just to show solidarity.

GMB officials travelled up from Kent to help coordinate the picket and two Unite boys who came down from the Wirral; both with twenty years on the Black List for taking positions as safety reps in the Construction Industry which has more fatalities than any other Industry.

The only correct demand at this moment in time is to call for the Nationalisation of these big companies like McAlpines and Tarmacs.

John Mann GMB   photo here


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

Blog: www.hazards.org/blacklistblog

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



International (also see Labourstart)

USA: fast-food workers are striking this Thursday December 4th – follow on twitter via #StrikeFastFood #Fightfor15

Australia:  Occupy Tingalpa! PepsiCo Smiths Chips workers demand equal treatment for casual employees read more

Wizz Air: Stop union-busting now! Read more


Diary (see & use false economy)


3 Leeds Youth Fight for Jobs branch meeting

13 Construction Safety Campaign AGM – 11.00am to 3.00pm.

Friends Meeting House, 6 Mount Street, Manchester, M2 5NS

Speakers include: Steve Acheson – Blacklist Support Group & Hilda Palmer, Greater Manchester Hazards Campaign





PHONE 07952 283 558

EMAIL mailto:[email protected]


TWITTER – https://twitter.com/NSSN_AntiCuts


ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE