244: Prepare for mass action to defeat new Tory anti-union laws!

In the splendour of the unelected House of Lords, through the mouthpiece of a hereditary monarch, the Tories who were elected by 24% of the electorate have announced plans for new anti-union laws.

Their Trade Unions Bill, will impose a 50% turnout threshold on strike ballots, with a further requirement in essential public services for strikes to be supported by 40% of those entitled to vote to be legal. This is on top of what Tony Blair approvingly called the most restrictive in Western Europe. If these laws come in without a fight, it will be a green light for bosses to ride roughshod over workplace agreements and victimise union reps.

It is no accident that these plans have been announced 6 weeks before Osborne’s Budget on July 8th. The Tories fully understand that the trade unions, still with 6½ million members, can be an obstacle to another wave of vicious cuts – if they take decisive mass action, particularly on the scale of a 24 hour general strike.

The union movement has to link the cuts with these planned laws to make it clear to every worker why decisive mass strike action has to be prepared now. The NSSN calls for an emergency TUC General Council to be organised urgently. This has to be a council of war to organise a national campaign of public meetings and rallies in every area on the theme of ‘Strike to fight the cuts and stop the union-busters!’

This is the title of the NSSN national conference on July 4th. We need mass rank and file pressure on the union leaders so that we take the action that is needed to defeat the Tory attacks on union rights and stop the cuts. As part of this, we encourage all trades councils to call meetings of affiliates to plan opposition to the plans and call local demonstrations that can reach out to all those fighting the cuts in the trade union and anti-cuts movements. The fantastic protests that have taken place since the election, including last night in response to the Queens Speech shows what is possible.

This is potentially a weak government that can be defeated if we organise!

(For photos and coverage of last night’s protests around the country on twitter #QueensSpeech)




The NSSN is delighted to announce that after the FBU voted at its national conference on May 15th to affiliate to the Network, their general secretary Matt Wrack has agreed to speak at the NSSN conference on July 4th. We look forward to building a relationship with the FBU. We now have 9 national unions that officially support us alongside many union branches, shop stewards committees and trades councils.

‘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, Matt Wrack FBU 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 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 have been out for 7 weeks

Please support Dundee porters: [email protected] Donations to Unite, 110 Blackness Road, Dundee DD1 5PB (cheques to Unite). Facebook: Support Ninewells Porters   Dundee porters turning the screw as NHS bosses flounder read more  The Scottish Terms and Conditions Committee is due to make a proposal week beginning 1st June. The porters are also taking two coaches to protest at the Scottish parliament on Thursday 28 May

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   UNISON questions who runs council after nine weeks of strike action and threatens action over allegations of strike breaking activities 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

5 reasons to join National Gallery #M30 rally (May 28) – Thousands of people are set to rally in Trafalgar Square on Saturday to support the PCS strike at the National Gallery. Here are 5 reasons you should get involved. Our strike, which is over the attempted privatisation of 400 visitor services staff and the sacking of senior rep Candy Udwin, gives a stark example of what could be played out across the civil service read more

Famous names back National Gallery action (May 26) read more

No Privatisation at National Gallery & reinstate sacked PCS rep Candy Udwin NATIONAL DEMONSTRATION Saturday 30 May 1pm Trafalgar Square read more



Gateshead Kone workers step up action (May 26) – Kone workers on the Team Valley Trading Estate, Gateshead have escalated their action from a series of one day strikes to a two week all-out stoppage.  The strikers all feel this has been necessary because of the company’s lack of commitment to finding a settlement. Unite have urged the bosses of the Finnish owned company to, “knock heads together” of their UK company. The dispute is about ensuring a tracking system, known as VAMS, is not used as a disciplinary tool by management. Strikers on the picket line have explained how unreliable this system is.  In one case VAMS registered that a van had been driven for 1000 miles without refuelling read more from NSSN website



DLR Interserve staff to strike for 48 hours from tomorrow (26 May) – After a vote of over 80% for action, transport union RMT has confirmed that staff working for notorious anti-union facilities company Interserve on Docklands Light Railway will strike from tomorrow for 48 hours in a dispute over an assault on pay and working conditions read more    NSSN photo



Sit in at West Yorkshire factory (May 22) – GMB members at Kozee Sleep bedding factory are currently engaged in a sit-in at the company’s headquarters at Ravensthorpe in West Yorkshire over the non-payment of wages after the appointment of administrators from accountancy firm KPMG read more

Brighton Sodexo Strike Ballot (May 22) – GMB strike ballot for members at Sodexo in Brighton & Sussex NHS Trust over two tier workforce. Sodexo’s failure to deal with outstanding issues leaves members no choice other than to take this ultimate step. GMB, the union for staff in the health service, will ballot members employed by Sodexo at Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust for industrial action as on-going attempts to reach agreement over fair pay and contracts has reached an impasse read more

Back Green Co Workers and Join Our Rally! (May 21) – GMB members at Green Co in Sheffield are fighting an ongoing battle against an employer that has sacked two of our reps and spent thousands of pounds on an ‘army’ of zero hours workers to ‘take the slots’ – the job! – of our members who stand up for themselves.  In recent weeks they’ve also scrapped the living wage. Green Co is a subcontractor who the Council say they have no faith in. We’ll continue standing up for our workers but we need your support too read more



Probation strike date set for 11 June 2015 (May 22) – UNISON has today confirmed that its members working in probation in England and Wales are to stage a 24-hour stoppage on Thursday 11 June. This will be followed by five weeks of action short of strike action from Friday 12 June. In the ballot – which closed this Wednesday – 73 per cent of members voted yes for industrial action and 88 per cent for action short of strike action read more



London Met to strike on June 4 (May 27) – UCU HQ has now authorised, and notified the university, the date for our next day of demonstrative strike action – Thursday 4 June, to coincide with the Board of Governors ‘Strategy Day’, should we receive no guarantee at tomorrow’s management meeting that the threat of compulsory redundancies has been completely withdrawn read more

Strike action ballot at Mid Cheshire College in row over job losses (27 May) – UCU members at Mid Cheshire College have voted unanimously to ballot for strike action in the face of compulsory redundancies. The ballot will open on Thursday 4 June and close on Wednesday 17 June read more

More strikes at University of Salford in row over sackings (22 May) – Staff at the University of Salford are set to take part in a four-day strike next week (Tuesday 26 May to Friday 29 May inclusive) in protest at the treatment of two colleagues who were put on forced gardening leave, sacked and refused any appeal. UCU members who work in the school of nursing, midwifery, social work and social sciences will be on strike. That four-day strike will be followed by a week-long walk-out (Monday 1 June to Friday 5 June) by UCU members who work in the school of marketing and student recruitment read more



Rotherham Advertiser targets union rep for redundancy (28 May) – The NUJ has condemned the decision of the Rotherham Advertiser to target the Father of Chapel (FoC)  for compulsory redundancy. The NUJ’s FoC Phil Turner has worked for the company for more than 30 years and has been the FoC for most of his time working for the newspaper read more

Dublin Gazette journalists protest at late salary payments (May 27) – Chapel members at Gazette Group Newspapers staged the first of a planned series of protests outside their Dublin workplace at lunchtime today, demanding they be paid on time. They were joined by NUJ colleagues who turned up in solidarity on Clarendon Street. Many other members took to social media to support the chapel. In late 2014 the company unilaterally changed the way they were paid. Instead of getting one payment, they now get two payments each month. This has resulted in major problems for chapel members when paying their monthly bills read more

NUJ ballots Newsquest South London for action on jobs, cuts and closures (22 May) – The company has announced plans to restructure and cut staff across its South London newspaper titles. Newsquest is one of the UK’s largest regional newspaper publishers with more than 200 newspapers, magazines and trade publications, including 17 dailies. In response to the proposals, the union is balloting Newsquest South London NUJ members based at the company’s Sutton offices read more



BECTU members working at the Globe Theatre took strike action on 18 May and are due out again on 1 June in a dispute over pay – There are two ways in which we can show our support and solidarity: (1) arrange for your union to send a message of support to the strikers. Please send these to BECTU via P Styles at www.bectu.org.uk   (2) visit the picket lines on 18 May and 1 June. These will be taking place between 8.30am-3.00pm at the Globe Theatre on the Southbank. For further information about the dispute, please visit the news pages on the BECTU website – at: https://www.bectu.org.uk/news/2404

Finally, we have invited a representative of the strikers to speak at the solidarity meeting we have arranged for 1 June in Congress House starting at 6.30pm. Full details can be found on our Facebook event page – at: https://www.facebook.com/events/824035771021969/

With best wishes, Tom Taylor Secretary SERTUC Creative & Leisure Industries Committee



Breaking news!! Prendergast Academy Order rescinded – questions needing answers (May 27) read more on blog of Martin Powell Davies Lewisham NUT and NEC

More strikes in Lewisham against academies (May 19) – Unions agreed not to call further strikes during the main exam preparation period up to half-term but both the NUT and NASUWT have called further two-day strike action on Wednesday June 3rd and Thursday June 4th. We hope that parents, students and fellow trade unionists can help build our activities read more on blog of Martin Powell Davies Lewisham NUT and NEC

Swansea Teachers Strike Against Cuts (May 20) – Teachers employed in Swansea’s ‘Education Other Than at School’ (EOTAS) have been forced to take 2 days strike action in response to the Labour Council’s attempt to slash their service in half, leaving some of the city’s most vulnerable children without adequate provision. Members of NASUWT and NUT had lively protests outside the Civic Centre to highlight the damage these cuts will have, especially on those children with mental health problems 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

“Filipino Standing up against racial stereotyping and Irresponsible journalism” – In light of the recent Daily Mail article inexcusably discriminating against Filipinos and Filipino healthcare workers, there will be a demonstration outside the Daily Mail office on Saturday, 30 May 2015 at 10: 00 in the morning. Malcolm Conlan who has brought incredible social media attention to the situation has had his post shared almost 15,000 times and is supporting the demonstration. Let us continue sharing it and this event to send a message to the Daily Mail that this will not be tolerated.


Here is the detail on how to get to the venue of the solidarity rally.

Buses 9,10,27,28,52,452,49,C1,C3. More info – https://www.facebook.com/events/903250613054846/



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)

Blacklisted workers apply for ”core participant’ status in undercover policing inquiry – Blacklist Support Group (BSG) are applying to the Home Office for ‘core participant’ status in the Pitchford public inquiry into failures in undercover policing set up by Teresa May.  This follows claims in the book ‘Blacklisted’ by Dave Smith & Phil Chamberlain, that undercover police officers spied on trade union activists from the construction industry and intelligence gathered was passed onto big business – resulting in blacklisting of union activists. Imran Khan & Partners solicitors are representing BSG, the same firm is also representing Doreen Lawrence in the Pitchford Inquiry.

The BSG are the only organisation to have officially complained to the IPCC over police collusion in the Consulting Association blacklist scandal and have been informed that ‘every Special Branch in the country routinely supplied information about prospective employees’ in correspondence from the police watchdog.

As a ‘core participant’ in the Pitchford inquiry, the BSG would be part of a central group of parties entitled to some input into the remit and to see the evidence before it is put into the public domain.

A number of individuals on the construction industry blacklist were spied on by undercover police officers from different units including the notorious Special Demonstration Squad, including Bob Lambert, Mark Kennedy, John Dines, Mark Jenner and the ex-undercover police officer turned whistleblower, Peter Francis. During an interview published in ‘Blacklisted’, Peter Francis admits targeting prominent union activists from the construction industry.

Special Demonstration Squad undercover officer Mark Jenner, became a member of UCATT under his false name during his deployment and was a regular visitor to picket lines and meetings in London during the late 1990s.

In addition, DCI Gordon Mills from another undercover police unit known as National Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit (NETCU) actually attended meetings and gave a PowerPoint presentation to the illegal Consulting Association. According to ‘Blacklisted’ there was a two way exchange of information between the police unit and the illegal blacklisting body.

There are likely to be clusters of evidence sessions around different aspects of undercover policing. Spying on justice campaigns (such as the Lawrence family), the women who were targeted & abused by the police, anti-racist / socialist / environmental groups, the use of dead babies identities etc… A number of the activists that appear on the building industry blacklist were participants in a variety of peaceful democratic campaigns and will therefore have an interest in a number of the different themes.

Dave Smith, BSG secretary & himself a victim of undercover police surveillance said:

“Hopefully by the BSG applying for core participant status, we will be able to guarantee that spying on trade unions and passing over information to private companies becomes a theme within the Pitchford inquiry. Police and security services spying on trade unions is not a one off aberration, it is standard operating procedure by the state.

Undercover police units and security services were involved in operations against trade unions at Grunwick, Shrewsbury, Wapping and during the Miner Strike. It is known that activists & officers from UCATT, UNITE, RMT, FBU, Unison, CWU, NUT and PCS have been targeted by undercover police units. BSG hope that all the unions affected come together and put in a joint submission to Pitchford, probably under the umbrella of the TUC. Official pressure from France’s O’Grady and other General Secretaries could have a significant influence on the scope of the Inquiry.”

Attached photo is Imran Khan with a copy of ‘Blacklisted’ book, in which the claims about undercover pounce spying on trade unions are made.

Rank & file national meeting Saturday May 30th – 1pm-4pm Unite the Union, Tony Benn House, Victoria Street, Bristol, BS1 6AY

Blacklisted 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)

Turkey: Sign petition & support growing resistance of metalworkers in Turkey read more from NSSN website

Turkey: Support the sacked 14 SF leather workers – lobby Mulberry @Mulberry_Editor Photo of May 26 Day-Mer protest outside Mulberry

FIFA sponsors must tell Qatar to play fair on workers’ human rights read more

Greece: join the European week of action against pro-austerity forces, the EU institutions and in solidarity to those who fight for social justice and democracy read more


Diary (see & use false economy)


30 Rank & file construction national meeting Saturday May 30th – 1pm-4pm Unite the Union, Tony Benn House, Victoria Street, Bristol, BS1 6AY



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