241: Dave Smith of BSG to speak at NSSN Conference

The NSSN is delighted to announce that Dave Smith, a leading campaigner against blacklisting of workers for trade union activity will speak at this year’s NSSN conference on July 4th. Dave is also the co-author of the new book ‘Blacklisted’, which ‘tells the controversial story of the illegal strategies that transnational construction companies resorted to in their attempt to keep union activists away from their places of work. This is a story of a bitter struggle, in which collusion with the police and security services resulted in victimization, violence and unemployment, with terrible effects on families and communities.’

Dave was arrested on a protest against sackings on Crossrail in March. He will be in court on July 23rd at City of London Magistrates Court. The NSSN appeals for all trade unionists to join the lobby that will take place on the day in support of Dave. He explains here why the fight against blacklisting is so important and well as building rank and file union organisation like the NSSN.

“Working people have always had to fight to defend our jobs, homes and communities. Whatever the political make-up of the new government, that struggle will continue. We should never rely on politicians or lawyers to sort out our problems for us. Whether in the factories, offices or building sites, it is the trade union movement that has been the true voice of working people over the decades – and it is no different today.

But the movement has suffered setbacks and there are some in the leadership of the trade unions who believe that it is impossible to mobilise workers to fight austerity. The movement needs to be rebuilt. We need to regain our confidence and our self-belief. But rebuilding the trade union movement cannot be left to General Secretaries – it is the rank and file that will show the way.

The construction industry has witnessed mass movements over the past few years. Whether on the issue of blacklisting or attempts by employers to rip up collective bargaining agreements, tens of thousands of workers have repeatedly ignored the anti-unions laws. Industrial militancy and civil disobedience have been put back on the agenda.

NSSN has stood shoulder to shoulder with us on picket lines, site occupations and early morning protests: solidarity at its best. I consider it a privilege to speak at the NSSN conference. Rebuilding the rank and file has begun.”

Dave Smith

Secretary – Blacklist Support Group

Co-author: Blacklisted: the secret war between big business and union activists




‘Stop the union-busters!’ Advanced notice: this year’s NSSN conference, our 9th, will be on Saturday July 4th in Conway Hall in London. Confirmed speakers include Mark Serwotka PCS General Secretary, Ronnie Draper BFAWU General Secretary & Dave Smith anti-blacklisting campaigner. Download updated leaflet

The famous pink NSSN £10 minimum wage t-shirts are still available. Email us to order – £8 each. However we only have women’s sizes left in the following: small, medium, large, XL

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

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

Scotland Unite and Unison indefinite strikes

Please support Dundee porters: [email protected] Donations to Unite, 110 Blackness Road, Dundee DD1 5PB (cheques to Unite). Facebook: Support Ninewells Porters


Please support Glasgow Homeless case workers: email [email protected] Cheques to Glasgow City Unison 84 Bell Street, Glasgow G1 1LQ. Facebook: Glasgow Homeless Caseworkers strike



Unite members at Hackney employed as drivers in the Passenger services section will again be taking strike action on 14th and 15th May to protest against massive cuts in pay. Members have taken one day of strike action already and are now preparing for a further two. We are now making an appeal for funds so that we can financially assist the strikers. If branches are in a position to make a donation, please make cheques payable to Hackney Unite and forward to Unite officer Onay Kasab at Unite, 33 – 37 Moreland St, London, EC1V 8BB

Paramedics start 24-hour strike in Northern Ireland (May 6) read more

Surrey bus drivers to ballot for strike action over ‘salami slicing’ of pay and conditions (1 May) – More than 100 bus drivers in Surrey are being balloted for strike action because their employer, the Dutch-owned Abellio is ‘salami slicing’ their pay and working conditions. The ballot for strike action by the drivers, members of Unite, the country’s largest union, based at Abellio’s depot at Byfleet, Surrey, is set to open on Tuesday 5 May. It closes on 19 May read more

Mounting anger over Rolls-Royce cuts leads to industrial action warning (29 April) – Rolls-Royce’s continued failure to offer guarantees over compulsory redundancies is leading to mounting anger that raises the possibility of industrial action, warned Britain’s largest union Unite today (Wednesday 29 April). The highly skilled workforce is angry that despite securing a record $9.2 billion order for Emirates Airlines, Rolls-Royce is ploughing on with plans to cut 2,600 jobs from its aerospace division, which could see compulsory redundancies at a number of sites in the UK as early as July read more



Download NSSN leaflet supporting PCS from the government’s attacks: ‘Stop the union busters!’ here  MARK Serwotka PCS General Secretary to speak at NSSN conference on July 4th

National Gallery Strike latest and solidarity protest – reinstate Candy Udwin! – On day of Candy’s Disciplinary Hearing TUESDAY 12 MAY 9-10am National Gallery with Mark Serwotka and other supporters. A thousand sunflowers were held up on the London May Day march to say #noprivatisation #reinstatecandy and to #showculturesomelove! see videos here  and here

Thank you again for all your support during our 23 days of strike action.  Our latest supporters include artists Grayson Perry, Mark Wallinger, Ryan Gander and Peter Kennard. You have helped us win the London Living Wage for staff and have made the gallery’s privatisation plans a national issue.

The Gallery have now set 12 May as the date for a disciplinary hearing for Candy Udwin and are threatening her with dismissal.

Candy is a senior PCS representative at the gallery who was suspended the day before strike action started.  Nearly 10,000 people round the country have called on the National Gallery to reinstate her. You can add your name here http://action.pcs.org.uk/page/s/no-privatisation-at-the-national-gallery

Despite the Invitation to Tender the privatisation plans can be dropped at any time. We hope any new government will intervene to encourage the Gallery to return to talks to discuss our alternative plans. If the Gallery insist on going ahead with the privatisation plans or dismiss Candy Udwin for her role in the dispute PCS members will be planning extended strike action.  We will be asking our supporters to back significant escalation of the action including a national demonstration on 30 May in support of our campaign. So please do continue to raise money for our strike fund and invite PCS members at National Gallery to speak in your area.  More information here https://ngnotforsale.wordpress.com No Privatisation at National Gallery NATIONAL DEMONSTRATION Saturday 30 May 1pm Trafalgar Square



Massive Vote for Industrial Action at Royal Fleet Auxiliary (6 May) – maritime union RMT confirmed today that members working for the Royal Navy’s lifeline supply operation the Royal Fleet Auxiliary have voted by massive majorities for both strike action and action short of a strike. The background to the current dispute is rooted in the managements attempt to bulldoze through major changes that would hit staff across the board read more

RMT demands action from First Great Western (30 April) – RAIL UNION RMT today demanded that First Great Western immediately drop their threat to axe guards and buffet cars from the new Hitachi trains after Virgin East Coast, who will be using the same new fleet units, gave the union a cast-iron assurance that there will no threat to jobs, safety and services on their trains read more

RMT News April 2015 edition here



Union announce further 22 days of Barking and Dagenham refuse workers strike action (May 5) – GMB announce another walk out starting on Wednesday, May 13 for 13 days and then again from May 30 for a further nine days read more  For updates follow #SackRodwell and #BackBandD on twitter

Kensington and Chelsea strike ballot (May 5) – GMB strike ballot for members employed by OCS in Kensington and Chelsea Housing in dispute over pay and move to monthly pay without agreement. Workers on £7.40 per hour seek living wage of £9.15 per hour and reject proposals on monthly pay that will leave them £8.57 per week worse off for next 12 months says GMB read more

Strike ballot at Royal Parks (May 5) – GMB strike ballot at Central London Royal Parks as OCS Move from weekly to monthly pay without agreement and with detriment to workers. OCS will offer a loan for two week’s pay already earned that they will deduct over 12 months which will put workers who maintain Downing Street gardens into debt and wipe out any pay award says GMB. GMB members employed by OCS in Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, St James’s Park, The Green Park, Grosvenor Square and Brompton Cemetery in London are to be balloted for strike action over OCS serving notice to move from weekly to monthly pay without any agreement with staff and on a number of other issues read more

Hats with stickers on Redcar site not enough (May 1) – Requiring 1 In 10 Workers On Teesside Site To Speak English And Wear Hat With Sticker To Identify Them Does Not Meet Safety Law Says GMB. Law requires providing translation, using interpreters, or replacing written notes with clearly understood symbols or diagrams on site where there was a serious incident this week read more



Barnet Council workers on strike over outsourcing threat (May 1) – Over 600 UNISON members working for Barnet Council are in the middle of a 48-hour strike in an increasingly bitter row over the outsourcing of local council services. Child social workers, staff in stand-alone children’s centres, together with those working in libraries, refuse collection, street cleaning and school meals are among those who walked out on yesterday (Thursday) read more



Strike action ballot at the University of Aberdeen over job losses (5 May) – Members of UCU at the University of Aberdeen are being balloting for strike action in a row over job losses. The ballot opens today and closes on Monday 8 June. The row centres on the university’s plans to axe 150 jobs and its refusal to rule out compulsory redundancies. The union says it wants to work with the university to manage the situation, but that its members will not sit back and watch jobs disappear and Aberdeen’s reputation for excellence suffer read more

Supreme Court rules in favour of union in six-year battle over redundancies (29 April) – The Supreme Court has today (Wednesday) ruled that the University of Stirling broke the law when it let staff on fixed-term contracts go without consulting unions. The court found that the university had been wrong not to include the fixed-term staff in a redundancy consultation and backed the University and College Union’s (UCU) view that employers should have had to consult with the union where 20 or more fixed term contracts were coming to an end. The judgement means the Stirling staff, and other fixed-term employees, could now be entitled to up to 90 days’ pay read more



TSSA starts strike ballot over Network Rail’s four year pay offer (30 April) – Union accuses Network Rail of “scare tactics” to win vote. A second rail union, the TSSA, begins a strike ballot tomorrow (May 1) on a four year pay offer from Network Rail. The result of the ballot by more than 3,000 NR staff will be declared on May 15, a week after the General Election read more



Black, Asian and minority ethnic staff hit by Grayling’s probation “reforms” (May 1) – A joint action research initiative involving the Association of Black Probation Staff, Napo and the National Initiative for Leadership and Empowerment (NILE) have carried out a survey looking at the impact of TR on BAME probation staff. The interim report, published today, highlights a worryingly low morale amongst BAME staff as well concerns staff have that the staff transfer process had a disproportionate impact on BAME staff read more



New ratecard for feature film after break with PACT (May 6) – PACT logo in red and white The new ratecard will be applied by union members on all US and UK productions in receipt of the UK tax break. The move follows the breakdown of talks with PACT on a new collective agreement. BECTU has today issued a new ratecard covering work on feature films in the UK after talks with employer’s body PACT on a new collective agreement broke down last month. The union issued the following press release today, Wednesday 6 May read more



IFJ denounces war on journalism ahead of press freedom day (1 May) – To mark World Press Freedom Day on Sunday 3 May, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) said that journalism is under attack on several fronts across the globe in 2015, including acts of intimidation through repressive press laws, arbitrary detention as well as killings which the IFJ urges the international community to take seriously and press governments to investigate promptly. According to the IFJ’s latest figures for 2015, 44 journalists have lost their lives since the beginning of the year. The IFJ denounces the targeting of journalists across the globe that is making this period the most dangerous in the past decades read more



Matt Wrack blog: Blog | After the election our struggle continues (May 5) – With the general election only days away the result is still too close to call. Once the election is over, our union, with others, will need to assess the situation and the next steps for the FBU and the rest of the movement read more



CWU tells Post Office: ‘Don’t break your word’ (May 6) – Post Office bosses stood accused last night (Tuesday) of trying to “wriggle out” of a national agreement after frustrating CWU negotiators for a second time read more



A short animation including some researched facts about £10/hr can be found here

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

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

BFAWU bakers’ union General Secretary Ronnie Draper to speak at NSSN conference on July 4th


Other News

Just a note to say massive thanks for the NSSN’s support with    ‘The Accidental Activist’

Around 250 attended an anti-cuts show – it reflects what could be achieved nationally if the Labour and Trade Union Leaders were prepared to give a lead.

It’s always wonderful when people pay their hard-earned money to come to shows and everyone concerned was proud to be part of probably the biggest anti-cuts gathering in the North East this General Election.

The response was great and the feedback tremendous. People want to discuss politics. Events in Scotland (Greece and Spain) show what will happen to Labour parties that continue with policies of austerity instead of organising  a fightback.

Exciting times ahead.


Ed Waugh



Blacklisting & Victimisation

Buy the book ‘Blacklisted: The Secret War between Big Business and Union Activists’ Author: Dave Smith and Phil Chamberlain. Blacklisted tells the controversial story of the illegal strategies that transnational construction companies used to keep union activists away from work. See the official trailer from ReelNews

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

book: http://newint.org/books/politics/blacklisted-secret-war/

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

blog: www.hazards.org/blacklistblog

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



International (also see Labourstart)

May Day 2015 – Hong Kong unions demand an end to violence against Chinese labour activists read more


Diary (see & use false economy)


1 May Day (events will be taking place between May 1-4) London May Day rally & demonstration: May 1 assemble 12noon Clerkenwell Green download leaflet

9 Wakefield Socialist History Group meeting, 1-4pm at the Red Shed, Vicarage Street, Wakefield WF1.  The topic is THE STORY OF THE ILP -AND LESSONS FOR TODAY.  The speakers are Iain Dalton (Socialist Party) and Barry Winter (Independent Labour Publications).  The chair is Kitty Rees. Admission is free and there will be a free light buffet



20 People’s Assembly anti-austerity demonstration in London details here



4 ‘Stop the union-busters!’ 9th annual NSSN conference – Conway Hall in London

11 Durham Miners’ Gala details here

17-19 Tolpuddle Martyrs’ Festival details here




PHONE 07952 283 558

EMAIL mailto:[email protected]


TWITTER – https://twitter.com/NSSN_AntiCuts


ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE