226: July4 NSSN Conference ’15 – ‘Stop the union-busters!’

The national steering committee of the National Shop Stewards Network met last Saturday. The meeting confirmed that this year’s NSSN conference, our 9th, will be on Saturday July 4th in Conway Hall in London.

Our vice-chair and PCS Wales chair Katrine Williams updated us on the brutal attack on PCS by this government. The meeting unanimously agreed to send a message of support and solidarity to PCS and offer the full assistance of the NSSN in their fight to defend the union. Our view is that this is struggle, the whole trade union movement should be involved in and our supporters are fully prepared to build support for PCS in their respective unions and trades councils.

It is clear from PCS’s position as well as the Tories plans for strike ballots for public sector unions in particular, that one of the main themes of this year’s event will be the defence of trade union rights.

We are keen to offer PCS a platform at this time, and we are delighted to announce that the union’s General Secretary Mark Serwotka has agreed to address the conference.



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

Download the new ‘Join the NSSN’ leaflet 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

NHS pay strikes: January 29 & February 25 read more from Unison website



Woolwich Ferry workers back strike action (20 Jan) – Woolwich ferry workers, members of Britain’s biggest union, Unite, have overwhelmingly backed strike action in a dispute with the operator Briggs Marine over pay disparities and the use of agency staff. The 100 per cent ‘yes’ vote for strike action by the union’s 26 members, who include crew, electricians and road traffic teams, could cause significant disruption to the Woolwich / Greenwich Thames river crossing if talks planned for later this month fail to reach agreement. Negotiations to resolve the dispute over pay disparities, the use of agency staff and the operator’s mis-interpretation of its sick pay policy are set to take place on Wednesday 28 January read more

Ex-Tesco drivers claim victory in unfair dismissal fight (19 Jan) – Former drivers, who used to work on the Tesco distribution contract in Doncaster, are on the verge of a historic victory in their fight against their unfair dismissal by Eddie Stobart Ltd (ESL), Britain’s largest union Unite announced today (Monday 19 January). An employment tribunal hearing their case had been set to reconvene this month, but an offer significant enough to be recommended by the union has been accepted by an overwhelming majority at a meeting of the drivers. The offer covers 184 Unite members and represents a ‘resounding success’ and ‘vindication’ for their two year fight read more



48 hour strike on DLR over assault on terms and conditions (21 Jan) – Following a massive vote for action in a fight over attacks on terms a‎nd conditions rail union RMT has called a 48 hour strike with members on Keolis/Amey DLR instructed as follows;


  • 04:00 hours on Wednesday 28th January 2015 until 03:59 hours on Friday 30thJanuary 2015 read more

Latest protest in support of sacked Sodexo RMT rep Petrit Mihaj: meet 3.30pm this Friday Holborn tube for protest outside Sodexo HQ, 1 Southampton Row



Recall conference on pensions confirmed (Jan 19) – A recall conference to discuss the latest developments in the firefighters pension campaign will be held on 10 February in Manchester, the FBU have confirmed. In a statement agreed by the union’s executive council it recommends that the campaign on pensions must continue, taking into account the current situation in each part of the UK and the upcoming 2015 general election.

A number of key tasks have emerged for the union

  • Ensure a guarantee over No Job, No Pension
  • Continue the political lobbying campaign ahead of the general election
  • Demand the Labour party make clear pledges to change and improve pension arrangements
  • Consider further industrial action

Read the full executive statement here

Support locked-out Essex firefighters & hardship fund (Jan 16) – Essex Firefighters took strike action from 9am on Wednesday 14 Jan. The three days of planned partial actions have been escalated as the employers effectively chose to temporarily lock firefighters out rather than accept three days of more limited strikes read more from NSSN website

Essex FBU Hardship fund details: ‘Essex fire brigades union hardship fund’ Account no. 086001 20292568.



CSC members ballot for strike action (20 Jan) – Derisory pay offer rejected by members while company boss takes home $millions. Computer Science Corporation employs over 250 members working on an MoD contract in Glasgow and Gosport. Most staff work on pay and pensions administration or in IT. Since winning the contract from Hewlett Packard three years ago, CSC has imposed below inflation pay awards. Last year the company refused to award any pay rise and only relented on the eve of strike action by members. This year the company again attempted to impose a pay freeze, saying it could not afford to pay more. Following negotiations they increased it to 0.3% read more

Scotland strikes (20 Jan) – PCS members in the Scottish government sector are taking part in a strike action from 21 to 26 January. The rolling programme of action for fair pay started on 8 December 2014 when members in Registers of Scotland took action followed by a Boxing Day walkout at the National Museum of Scotland. Next there will be rolling strike action between 21 and 26 January read more

HMRC reverses check-off pledge (16 Jan) – The government’s second largest department has gone back on its promise to retain check-off. HM Revenue and Customs bosses say they will withdraw the system for collecting union subscriptions through salaries at the end of April. This comes just a day after their latest announcement of hundreds more job cuts read more



UNISON police strike called off (Jan 19) – UNISON has today (Monday) decided to withdraw the industrial action in police forces planned for this Friday (23 January) and is to consult members on a revised pay offer put forward by the employers. UNISON members working in police forces in England and Wales were planning a 24-hour strike this week followed by a month of action short of strike action read more    Unite: Police strike off following improved pay offer   GMB: New Offer For Police Staff



Kier North Somerset Pay Dispute (Jan 16) – GMB ballot for strike action at Keir May Gurney refuse and recycling contract in North Somerset in pay dispute. We do not accept them holding our members responsible for the fact that they took on a contract that they are now claiming is losing money says GMB. 70 GMB members employed by Keir May Gurney on the refuse and recycling contract for North Somerset Council are being balloted for strike action in the unresolved dispute on pay from April 2014. The ballot being conducted by EBRS started on 14th January and is due to close on 28th January read more



UCU members to consider new offer in Lambeth College dispute (19 Jan) – UCU members at Lambeth College are considering a revised offer from the college with the aim of ending a lengthy dispute. UCU members walked out indefinitely this morning (Monday) having already been on strike for five days this month and six in December. In June, Lambeth College UCU members walked out for five weeks – the longest strike in the union’s history. The row centres on new contracts introduced by the college without consulting the union. The college has now amended its proposals to ensure no current staff will be forced on to the new contracts, even if they request a change in their working hours. There have also been improvements made to sick pay. At a meeting on Wednesday at 4pm all UCU members at the college will have the chance to vote on the proposals. They remain on strike until then. If they accept the new plans they will return to work on Thursday read more



Rally for Education 10 February – Join us and help ensure that support for the NUT education manifesto continues to grow as we near the General Election. The rally is a chance to hear from a number of high-profile speakers, including NUT General Secretary Christine Blower and children’s author Michael Rosen.

Date: Tuesday 10 February 2015

Time: 6pm

Venue: NUT Headquarters, Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, London, WC1H 9BD

Please confirm your attendance by emailing [email protected]



Post Office workers back pay deal (Jan 20) – CWU members in Post Office admin and supply chain grades have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a three-year deal raising pay and protecting jobs. The ballot, which resulted in a 93 per cent ‘Yes’ vote, brings to an end a dispute that saw hundreds of workers take strike action before Christmas for fair pay and against the threat of widespread compulsory redundancies read more



#jesuisCharlie NUJ flag placed outside Charlie Hebdo offices (Jan 11) – An NUJ flag was attached to outside of the offices of Charlie Hebdo, this morning, by a union delegation which will be marching alongside French trade unions and families of the murdered journalists in Paris read more


BFAWU / Fast Food Rights

Newcastle launch of the £10now minimum wage animation:

Day of action – Saturday February 14th in Newcastle City Centre

Animation film show launch – Thursday February 19th TUC Commercial Union House – 5th floor, 39 Pilgrim Street Newcastle NE1 6QE details

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

International Workers Memorial Day 28th April

Organising Committee meeting

The Construction Safety Campaign ( CSC ) along with UCATT and the London Hazards Centre have set up a meeting to organise as much support for this year’s event as possible to build on last years success and make this year’s even bigger. Traditionally organised through the Construction Trades Unions such as UCATT /UNITE / GMB and the CSC as construction continually sees the largest numbers of fatalities.

Please come along to discuss and help make this 2015 IWMD a huge turnout and success on 10th February from 5.45 pm start 6pm at Leigh Day Solicitors offices- Priory House 25 St John’s Lane London EC1M 4LB.

All Trade Unions and Safety activists should take part, with massive cuts to the HSE of over 35% set to continue, and threats of privatisation, things will only get worse. Cameron’s stated Health & Safety is a burden on Industry. With the election looming now is the time to act and show were not accepting being made to pay for a crisis which was none of our making. The added threat of TTIP poses serious consequences for all workers.

Remember the Dead Fight for the Living has never been more relevant.


Fraternally Pete Farrell Chair CSC / London Hazards

Contact London Hazards 0207 527 5107 so we know numbers


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)


Blacklist Support Group – update 18 January 2015

  1. High Court

The end of January is the deadline for the firms to disclose any documents they hold relating to The Consulting Association or Economic League blacklisting organisations. To date they have not disclosed a single set of minutes or any other document – we await to see what the firms claim to hold. The next date for the Blacklisting group litigation at the High Court has been set for Friday 13th February.


  1. Dave Williams R.I.P.

Blacklisted bricklayer Dave Williams has recent passed away. He was a UCATT shop steward and member of the Laing’s Lock Out Committee who were served with a High Court injunction during their struggle against blacklisting in 1985-6.


  1. Blacklisted : the book will be published by New Internationalist in March 2015. http://newint.org/books/politics/blacklisted-secret-war/


“The book on blacklisting by Phil Chamberlain and Dave Smith could turn out be one of most important of 2015” – Rob Evans, author of Undercover & Guardian journalist via twitter


“‎This book tells personal accounts of corporate bullying on an industrial scale and how ordinary workers stood firm against some of the biggest corporations on the planet in the search for justice” – Frank Morris, blacklisted electrician


“This book performs a major service in documenting the scale and persistence of blacklisting: a conspiracy between major employers, right-wing ideologues and the police to destroy the livelihoods of courageous trade unionists who defend the rights of their fellow workers” – Emeritus Professor, of industrial relations Richard Hyman


“Phil Chamberlain is an individual to watch because of his involvement with Dave Smith and dedication to the unions. He also has strong abilities as a freelance journalist to make his voice and opinions heard.” – Confidential profile on a Laing O’Rourke document recently disclosed under the Data Protection Act.


The Blacklist Support Group are planning a UK wide tour with the authors Dave Smith & Phil Chamberlain during March-April. The aim is to publicise the issue during the General Election campaign. BSG are asking all supporters to try an arrange a meeting local to where you live – contact your University, Trades Council, bookshop, union committee etc.. to see if they would like to host an event – please contact BSG to confirm dates & arrange the logistics. We are also looking for media opportunities.


  1. Mon 19th Jan (8pm) Dispatches Channel 4 – The Umbrella Scam

lots of interviews with blacklisted workers from the construction rank & file meeting in Newcastle before Christmas.



  1. Wed 21st Jan (6pm) – London Hazards AGM

Leigh Day Solicitors

Priory House

St Johns Lane



(3 mins from Farringdon tube)


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

Blog: www.hazards.org/blacklistblog

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



International (also see Labourstart)

Saudi Arabia: Free Raif Badawi – Stop Flogging see details of Irish protest on NUJ website

Lafarge Holcim: No merger without workers’ rights! Read more


Diary (see & use false economy)


22 Lincoln Defend Our Fire Services public meeting will take place on Thursday 22nd January at 7pm in the St Giles Community Centre on Swift Gardens

29-31 NHS strike



7 South East Region TUC is hosting a conference with the Anti-Academies Alliance at Congress House, London.  The theme is equity, equality and education: securing the future of a better state education for all.  Confirmed speakers include ATL leader Mary Bousted, Kevin Coutney of the NUT,  Natalie Bennett, leader of the Green Party, Professor Gus John, Bill Esterson MP, Zoe Williams of the Guardian and Jonathan Simons who leads on education for the right wing think tank Policy Exchange.  All welcome, but please register by phone 020 7467 1220



PHONE 07952 283 558

EMAIL mailto:[email protected]


TWITTER – https://twitter.com/NSSN_AntiCuts


ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE