NSSN 255: National Gallery strike goes indefinite!

From PCS website: First day of National Gallery all-out strike “stronger than ever” (11 August) – Indefinite strike action by PCS members at the National Gallery against privatisation and victimisation started today, 11 August.

The members, who first walked out in February over plans to privatise visitor and security services, have already taken a total of 55 days’ action.

The action is being escalated because the gallery has brought forward the announcement of the appointment of private security firm Securitas to manage the visitor-facing and security services on a 5-year contract reportedly worth £40million.   About 300 gallery assistants who guard paintings and help visitors will be affected. They will no longer be employed by the gallery and will instead work for Securitas.

The striking members have walked out today and plan to stay out indefinitely until management offer a settlement.

PCS industrial officer Paul Bemrose said: “The mood on the picket line today was upbeat and members are feeling positive.  There was a picket line of about 30 members and we have heard that more rooms inside the Gallery have been closed than on previous strike days.”

NG indefinte strike


Lead rep Candy Udwin was suspended on the eve of the strike and then sacked.  While her colleagues at the gallery were out in force today on the picket lines in Trafalgar Square, she was attending an appeal hearing with gallery management.

Earlier an employment tribunal interim relief judgement ruled that it was likely she had been unfairly dismissed for trade union activities.

Urgent appeal

PCS is paying strike pay of 50% to the striking members, but many are still facing hardship. You can help the campaign in a number of ways by:

  • organising a collection at your workplace
  • donating to sort code 08-60-01; Account Number 20169002
  • sending cheques to PCS Culture Media and Sport Association, c/o PCS North West Region, Jack Jones House, 1 Islington, Liverpool L3 8EG
  • donating via PayPal
  • showing your support by visiting the picket lines, which will be outside the gallery between 9-11am every strike day

For latest news of strike go to www.pcs.org.uk and follow #NationalGallery & @NGNotForSale on twitter


NSSN news

NSSN ‘KillTheBill rally & lobby of TUC Congress 1pm-3.30pm Sunday September 13th in Brighton – The NSSN are pleased to announce that union General Secretaries Mark Serwotka PCS, Mick Cash RMT, Matt Wrack FBU, Ronnie Draper BFAWU and Steve Gillan POA will be speaking at our #KillTheBill rally at this year’s TUC Congress in Brighton.


The rally will be part of a lobby called by the NSSN. We will be calling on the TUC and its affiliated trade unions to organise a demonstration when the Tories debate their trade union bill in Parliament. The lobby will also push for preparations to begin for mass co-ordinated strike action if the laws are passed and against the Tories’ brutal cuts.

It will be in the Grand Hotel from 1pm-3.30pm in the Charlotte Room 97-99 King’s Rd BN1 2FW (next to the Brighton conference Centre).

Email us on [email protected] if you want to attend and need transport.


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


RMT confirms new strike dates in Night Tube dispute (11 August) – TUBE UNION RMT has today confirmed two twenty four hour strikes (Aug 25-26 & 27-28) in the Night Tube and station jobs disputes as London Underground management, under the direction of Mayor Boris Johnson, continue to stall over the issue of work/life balance and job cuts arising from the new rosters and the Fit for the Future programme – due to come into force from the 12th September read more

RMT on latest statements from Mayor and LU (10 August) – RMT on latest statements from Mayor and LU over possible delays to Night Tube introduction. General Secretary Mick Cash said “London Underground and the Mayor are sending out conflicting messages to the public over the start up for Night Tube and rather than ducking and diving around the 12th September date that is plastered all over London it would make more sense to suspend the introduction to allow for thorough negotiations around the unresolved issues.” read more

Rock solid tube action (6 August) – Rock solid tube action sends out clearest possible message that issues must now be addressed read more



Sellafield shop stewards meet on Friday over escalating health and safety dispute (11 August) – A crunch meeting of shop stewards will be held on Friday (14 August) to discuss future industrial action at Sellafield in Cumbria in the growing campaign to improve health and safety and productivity at the nuclear facility. More than 1,200 construction workers involved in the decommissioning and renewal project at the site are angry at the refusal by Sellafield Ltd and the group of sub-contractor companies to facilitate a full-time union convenor on the site read more

Pizza Express London protest – Stop pinching staff tips – Monday 10 August (7 August) – Pressure is mounting on Pizza Express to drop the eight per cent admin fee it takes from staff tips paid on a card, as protesters prepare for further action in London on Monday 10 August read more   Sign petition: Pizza Express, stop pinching staff tips!    NSSN photos of protest

Pizza Express#1  Pizza Express#2

Sports Direct urged to tackle ‘Victorian’ work practices and pay the real living wage (7 August) – Britain’s largest union, Unite urged the highly profitable Sports Direct to clamp down on ‘Victorian’ work practices today (Friday 7 August), as it submitted a pay claim on behalf of workers at its Shirebrook headquarters and warehouse in Derbyshire. The union, which represents permanent warehouse workers on the site, is calling on Sports Direct to move zero hours agency workers onto permanent contracts and pay the real living wage of £7.85 per hour. Unite estimates that only 300 out of the 3,000 plus workers at the Shirebrook depot actually have permanent contracts with Sports Direct with the majority on zero hours contracts with two employment agencies – Best Connection and Transline read more

EDF Energy workers to strike over ‘pay loss of up to £6,000’ (5 August) – The roll-out of a Smart meter installation programme across London and southern and western England will be hit when EDF Energy staff stage two days of strike action this month in a dispute over pay cuts, job losses and working extended hours to install the meters. Unite, the country’s largest union representing nearly 500 staff, said that if the proposals were allowed to go through some of its members would lose up to £6,000-a-year in income which was ‘totally unacceptable’. Meter readers and fixers, office staff and managers will be striking for 24 hours from 00.01 on Wednesday 12 August and at the same time on Thursday 20 August. They had voted by a margin of 85 per cent for strike action and 92 per cent were in favour of industrial action short of a strike read more    BREAKING NEWS!! EDF strike suspended following the offer of talks

Defend trade union rights in Bromley: lobby to support Alan Brown – Alan Brown is a Trade Union Member who has been suspended from his job in Bromley there will be a hearing on 18th August 2015. A protest will take place to support Alan and show solidarity while the hearing is taking place. Please show support to Alan, and let’s get Alan Brown Reinstated www.facebook.com/events/671090702991835/672224399545132/



PCS concerned over future of 200 HMRC staff (10 August) – PCS has voiced concerns over the fate of 200 HMRC staff as talks on their future get under way today. We are beginning talks with HMRC to look at every possible means to avoid redundancies following last week’s announcement that the department wants to axe 200 staff. We’re very concerned that HMRC hasn’t met its obligations under the civil service-wide agreement on the timescale and process for consultation that was set up to try to avoid redundancies read more

More National Museum Wales strikes announced (6 August) – PCS members facing attacks on pay at Amgueddfa Cymru/National Museum Wales are starting a fresh wave of strike action next week. The staff at NMW’s 7 sites took part in a well-supported 1-day strike on Saturday (1 August), which closed 3 museums, in a dispute over proposals to cut the take-home pay of the poorest-paid staff. They are opposing plans to scrap premium payments for weekend working, which make up as much as 15% of the take-home pay of front-of-house staff read more



Defend Max Watson at his appeal hearing – On Thursday 27 August Max Watson, London Met Uni UNISON Branch Secretary will be making his appeal against compulsory redundancy.  Max Watson, is under threat of being made redundant. He is the only member of staff in his whole faculty being made compulsorily redundant and one of only three UNISON members facing compulsory redundancy among non-academic staff across the whole University. Max has proved time and again to be a staunch fighter of members’ interests at the University, and UNISON believes the University is using this round of redundancies to deliberately target Max because he is a thorn in their side – Thursday 27th August, 12-2pm outside Rocket Complex London Metropolitan University 166-220 Holloway Road



Strike at Devonport Dockyard (August 6) – GMB Members at Babcock Devonport Dockyard in further strike in pay dispute. GMB members working for Babcock International at  Devonport dockyard are to hold another day’s strike on Friday 7th August 2015 as part of their of going pay dispute following the breakdown in the latest talks read more



Gunstones workers win dispute – more news to come: follow #Gunstones on twitter

Work in Fast Food? Join the BFAWU – £10Now! Fast food Workers in the united states are registering  victory after victory. The fight for $15 and a union is winning increases in minimum wage in cities across the states. Some of the most oppressed working class people in America are driving the political agenda of the Presidential election and forcing the likes of Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama to make statements in support of their cause and in support of unions in general. Workers in the US started in the same position as workers in the UK with small numbers of fast food workers engaged with the union. A small group of workers in New York, came out on strike and triggered a national phenomenon. We can do the same read more

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]



Firefighter wins legal case against Cambridgeshire fire service after judge rules their behaviour ‘irrational and perverse’ (7th August) – Frontline firefighter Kerry Baigent, a former Cambridgeshire rep for the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) and the former national secretary of the union’s National Womens’ Committee, has won an employment tribunal decision against Cambridgeshire Fire & Rescue Service (CFRS). The Judge found she had been unfairly constructively dismissed due to an “irrational and perverse exercise”. On Wednesday this week (5th August) Ms Baigent learned that she had won her case for constructive unfair dismissal against CFRS, and is to be awarded almost £10k in compensation read more

Essex firefighters warn against dangerous cuts as they take strike action – Firefighters in Essex are on strike today (6th August) in protest at the largest, most devastating cuts to emergency fire response in the history of Essex County fire and Rescue Service (ECFRS) read more

August edition of FireFighter available here



POA announce strike ballot at Ashworth high-security psychiatric hospital – the union is balloting members from August 5-19 after two members were sacked. More info to follow



Royal Albert Hall staff vote for BECTU recognition (5 August) – Staff at the Royal Albert Hall have voted to have BECTU recognised for collective bargaining and representation. The results of the ballot, which was conducted by ACAS, were declared today (Wednesday 5 August) read more




Latest edition of NUT The Teacher magazine read here



Legal Aid strikes – follow #legalaid on twitter for updates

Barristers and solicitors across UK are supporting direct action, arguing cuts will lead to miscarriages of justice and drop in quality of representation


United Voices of the World

Reinstate the Sotheby’s 2! – Two of the Sotheby’s four have been reinstated. However, Sotheby’s and Servest are continuing to victimise Percy and Barbara, UVW shop-stewards on the malicious grounds that they are “inciting violence” and are “deliberately trying to harm Sotheby’s”. We will not accept this divide and rule strategy. The fight continues!

Protest: 15 August 16:00–18:00 – Meet us at 3.45pm at Oxford Circus station, United Colors of Benetton exit www.facebook.com/events/1629863663958449/



University of London loses landmark tribunal case to trade union, IWGB (7th August) – On 3rd August 2015, the University of London was found to be in breach of the Information and Consultation of Employees (ICE) Regulations by the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC). The ruling is an important victory for the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) in their fight for employees’ rights to representation and consultation in the workplace read more



Other News

Sign petitions against the Tory anti-union bill:

Don’t let employers use agency temps to break strikes sign petition here

David Cameron: scrap the Trade Union Bill. It’s undemocratic, unnecessary and deeply unjust sign petition here



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  

Sembcorp bosses pressing Cleveland Police to arrest Teesside Construction Activists’ #PayTheRate #Wilton protesters read more

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 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)

Ireland: Mass non-payment campaign transforms political landscape read more


Diary (see & use false economy)




6 Burston Strike School Rally – Church Green, Burston, near Diss, Norfolk IP22 5TP https://burstonstrikeschool.wordpress.com/the-rally/

13 NSSN rally & lobby of TUC Congress in Brighton 1pm-3.30pm Grand Hotel



4 No to Austerity, Yes to Workers Rights – National demonstration at Conservative Party Conference in Manchester more info




PHONE 07952 283 558

EMAIL mailto:[email protected]


TWITTER – https://twitter.com/NSSN_AntiCuts


ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE