Weekend strikes lead to closures for Amgueddfa Cymru/National Museum Wales (17 August) from PCS website
Big Pit, the National Coal Museum, has been hit by closures in the dispute over weekend working payments.
The action on 15 and 16 August followed walkouts at the other National Museums sites on Friday (12 August). The National Wool Museum in Drefach Felindre and the National Waterfront Museum in Swansea were closed to the public completely and there were gallery closures and limited services at the National Slate Museum in Llanberis, the National Museum in Cathays Park and at St Fagan’s National History Museum in Cardiff.
PCS members 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.
Losing the payments would involve slashing the income of many already low-paid staff by £2,000-£3,000 a year. Payments would remain for bank holidays but would no longer be pensionable.
Management has threatened to dismiss staff who refused to sign up to the changes, then re-engage them on the inferior terms.
Many members from the National Museums Wales joined the Cardiff Pride march on Saturday (15 August) in recognition of the support given to the striking miners by the lesbian and gay community during the 1984/5 Miners’ Strike.
This year’s Cardiff Pride march also marked 30 years after the first LGBT March in Wales took place. National Museums Wales PCS branch secretary Neil Harrison had attended both events and the march organisers arranged for the trade union banners to go at the front of the march.
Show your support
The PCS branch for Amgueddfa Cymru/National Museum Wales have therefore come up with a number of ways that branches could support our campaign, which are outlined below:
- Ask Members to join our online petition
- Messages of support can be sent to branch chair Neil Harrison or branch secretary Peter Hill and organise a collection at their local branch/workplace to support the strikers
- Make a donation to our hardship fund at:
Bank: Unity Trust Bank,
Account Name: PCS Amgueddfa Cymru 107006 Branch
Account Number: 20331827
- Join our facebook page ‘Hands Off Our Weekends Museum Wales’ to show support and keep updated about the campaign
- Send messages of support and organise a collection at their local branch/workplace to support the strikers
- Allow some members from Amgueddfa Cymru/National Museum Wales to attend a branch meeting to talk about our dispute and organise a collection
- Donate some art-work/gifts and/or attend our ‘secret art show’ fund-raiser in Cardiff in September
Further strike dates are as follows:
19 August: National Slate Museum in Llanberis and National Museum in Cathays Park, Cardiff
20 August: National Wool Museum in Drefach Felindre, National Waterfront Museum, Swansea and St Fagans National History Museum, Cardiff
22 and 23 August: Big Pit Mining Village, Blaenafon
29 August: All sites
30 and 31 August: Big Pit Mining Village, Blaenafon
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. There is a Facebook event www.facebook.com/events/396898687168095/ – please share
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]
PCS picket line marks new National Gallery’s director first day (17 August) – A PCS picket line marked National Gallery director Gabriele Finaldi’s first day in charge as members continue strike action over privatisation. Last Tuesday (11 August) our members started a continuous strike after taking more than 50 days’ action since February.
The union remains opposed to the privatisation of all the gallery’s visitor services and is fighting for the reinstatement of its senior representative Candy Udwin, who an interim tribunal has found was likely to have been sacked unlawfully for trade union activity in relation to the dispute read more
Stop the justice fines sell-off (12 August) – We are asking PCS members and supporters to help stop the unnecessary and potentially damaging privatisation of fine enforcement in the Ministry of Justice. Michael Gove, the secretary of state responsible for this privatisation, has now signed off on the business case for the project. This means that the massive £675 million contract could be awarded to the American-based company Synnex-Concentrix. Staff working in the HM Courts and Tribunals Service have improved collection rates in the face of budget cuts and consistently outperformed private debt collectors. Yet the government is pressing ahead with plans to privatise this work and transfer their jobs to a private company read more
PCS wins Living Wage for Natural England agency staff (12 August) – Staff employed by temp agencies at Natural England will be paid the Living Wage following a campaign by PCS reps and members. Following representations to the non-departmental public body, which is the government’s adviser for the natural environment in England, Natural England (NE) has agreed to increase agency pay rates to bring them into line with the Living Wage, meaning hourly rates will rise from £7.50 to £7.85. The new rates should be paid from 7 September for all existing and new agency workers. This change benefits 220 people. At the same time NE has agreed to make all fixed-term appointment staff in technical services permanent. In addition, a number of agency-employed temps will have the opportunity to apply for permanent NE jobs. In all this means that 66 posts will move from either temporary or fixed-term to permanent. 80 agency posts will also convert to short-term contracts read more
Rail fares have risen by 25 per cent since 2010 (18 August) – Rail fares for season tickets, and other regulated fares, have risen nearly three times faster than wages over the last five years, according to new analysis published today (Tuesday) by the TUC and the rail unions’ Action for Rail campaign. Rail fares for season tickets, and other regulated fares, have risen nearly three times faster than wages over the last five years, according to new analysis published today (Tuesday) by the TUC and the rail unions’ Action for Rail campaign. The analysis shows that between 2010 and 2015 fares increased by 25 per cent, while average pay went up by just 9 per cent read more
RMT to fight threat to the future of Millerhill rail depot (17 August) – RAIL UNION RMT today pledged to work with sister unions and the local community on a campaign to force back a threat of closure hanging over the Millerhill rail depot just south of Edinburgh read more
NSSN supporting #ReinstateAlan protest (18 August) – the NSSN joined the protest outside Tory Bromley council today to support suspended Unite rep Alan Brown info
Pizza Express Time to Change Your Tune! – Molly Ringwald Jazz Night picket – Don’t you…forget about Pizza Express workers…Star of 80s classics like The Breakfast Club and St Elmo’s Fire Molly Ringwald is performing at the Pizza Express Soho Jazz club on Thursday August 20th! Molly is not only an accomplished actress but a jazz singer too. We are choosing this evening to protest against Pizza Express’s unfair 8% staff tip raid because we know it will be a well-attended event. We are not protesting against Molly Ringwald! We have written to Molly’s agent informing her of the demo and inviting her to join the chorus of voices calling for fair tips for Pizza Express workers read more
Unions to protest in campaign for construction workers to be paid London living wage (18 August) – Construction unions UCATT and Unite will organise a series of co-ordinated protests tomorrow (Wednesday 19th August) at the headquarters of employers’ organisations which have blocked the introduction of the London Living Wage for construction workers. Last month the employers on the Construction industry Joint Council (the largest industrial agreement in the construction industry) blocked union proposals that all workers employed in the London area and covered by the agreement should receive at least the London Living Wage. Currently the rate for labourers and general operative working under the CIJC is just £8.52 an hour compared to the London Living Wage of £9.15. If as expected the London Living Wage increases later this year, an even greater number of workers covered by the agreement will be paid below the LLW. In response to the employers actions UCATT and Unite will stage protests outside the offices of the:
Home Builders Federation, 7-9 St James Street, SW1A 1EE
Civil Engineering Contractors Association, 1 Birdcage Walk, London SW1H 9JJ
National Access and Scaffolding Confederation, 12 Brideswell Place, London EC4V 6AP.
‘Stinking dustbins’ for Bromley residents, as refuse collectors set to strike (14 August) – Bromley residents face the prospect of uncollected rubbish as about 100 refuse collection staff employed by waste disposal giant Veolia gear up for three days of strike action in a pay dispute. About 100 workers, members of Unite, the country’s largest union, voted 85 per cent in favour of striking on 24 August and 3 and 4 September, after years of below inflation pay awards. The strikes will run from midnight to midnight read more
Deliveries of ‘white goods’ will be hit as Indesit drivers take four days of strike action (13 August) – The delivery of thousands of ‘white goods’, from fridge freezers, washing machines to cookers, will be severely disrupted, as more than 200 drivers and warehouse staff at Indesit UK Ltd gear up for four days of strike action in a pay dispute. The workers, members of Unite, the country’s largest union, will be striking for 24 hours on 21 August; for 48 hours on 27 August and 24 hours on 1 September. All the strikes will start at 06.00. This action will be coupled with a work-to-rule from 00.01 on 19 August until 06.00 on 21 August and from 00.01 on 25 August until 06.00 on 27 August. The crux of the dispute is that company has not budged on its original pay offer of 1.5 per for the year starting January 2015, after further talks between Unite and company bosses read more
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/
Undercutting at Redcar site from GMB website (August 17) – Teesside workers promised work at Wilton site laid off on 14 August after 3 weeks as further 20 Eastern European staff are employed on lower pay rates. As local staff are laid off 15 to 20 Slovakian and Hungarian workers were employed paid £5 per hour below the agreed rate says GMB. Teesside workers who eventually managed to gain employment on the Wilton Sita / Semcorp project on the promise of two months work have now been told, after three weeks working on the site, that there is not enough work and that the first of these workers was made redundant on Friday 14th August. At the same time a further 15 to 20 Slovakian and Hungarian workers have come onto the project which is being built predominately using migrant workers from eastern European who are being paid £5 per hour below the agreed rates for engineering construction workers. The Teesside Construction Committee is organizing protests at the site over the discrimination against the employment of local workers and undercutting on the agreed rates of pay on the construction of a new purpose-built energy-from-waste facility at Wilton, Redcar for SITA for Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority. The site is at the Wilton Centre, Redcar, Cleveland TS10. 4RF. There have been a series of protest demonstrations at the site and marches on 18th April and 16th May on this organized by the Teesside Construction Committee read more
Strike ballot at Carillion Oxford (August 17) – GMB ballot on strike for Carillion Staff at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford over imposition of changes leading to loss of income. Carillion are trying to force through new work patterns that will mean members losing up to £56 a week each from their wages which they cannot afford read more
Stansted Airport strike over pay (August 17) – GMB Security Scanner Operators at Stansted Airport to strike on 23rd and 31st in August in pay dispute. Mitie shareholders saw a 7% increase in dividends for 2014 and Mitie achieved a 13.5% increase in profits after tax which compares to 1.5% pay offer rejected by members says GMB. 30 GMB members who operate the security scanners for checked in luggage at London Stansted airport have given notice to their employer Mitie that they will take strike action on Sunday 23rd and Monday 31st August in a dispute over pay read more
Probation members prepare for action ballot in Sodexo companies (August 14) – UNISON and NAPO members reject reduced redundancy terms by 98% in consultative ballots covering six community rehabilitation companies. UNISON probation members working for six community rehabilitation companies owned by Sodexo could be balloted on industrial action over the company’s voluntary redundancy terms. These are well below those agreed at the probation service’s national negotiating council for England and Wales and have been rejected by 98% of UNISON members voting in a recent consultative ballot. Probation officer colleagues in NAPO also voted to reject the Sodexo terms by the same margin 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
We’re Hungry for Justice: Fast Food Rights National Organising Day: 16 September – On 16 September the Bakers union are holding a National Organising Day hosted by the Trade Union Congress. The organising day is a space for fast food workers, union activists and community campaigners to find out more about the Fast Food Rights campaign. It will be about drawing in activists from across the movement to discuss practical ways to help win better pay, job security and respect at work in fast food sector read more
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
FBU say Essex Fire and Rescue Service could end firefighter strikes at no cost to the taxpayer (14 August) – The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) have announced that the Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (ECFRS) could stop firefighters striking by implementing cost savings FBU members have drawn up, which would they say be safer and more effective than station closures and job and equipment losses. The ECFRS are, according to regional FBU officials, refusing to listen to any alternatives. Recent cuts have been the biggest attack on frontline 999 services in the history of ECFRS. The region has suffered a 15% reduction over the last decade to the numbers of full time firefighters serving at frontline fire stations, which have resulted in slower responses to 999 emergencies. Essex FBU members are striking again this week, which makes it the eighth period of recent strike action read more Firefighters preparing for another strike next week
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
BBC’s Asian Network to go on 24-hour strike (12 August) – Staff at the BBC’s Asian network are to follow up a silent protest with a 24-hour strike on Wednesday 19 August over the corporation’s decision to axe one of its two Birmingham-based editor roles and move the Bobby Friction show to London. They decided to take strike action following the management’s reaction to a symbolic silent protest on Wednesday 12 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! – UVW and friends (including activists from TUSC, NSSN, OSEA, AF, PCS, DPAC, SWP, Unison and Class War) returned to Sotheby’s last Saturday August 15 to protest for the 5th time in 6 weeks in order to reinstate the cleaners, the Sotheby’ 2, who were sacked for being members of a trade union and for participating in lawful, peaceful protest www.facebook.com/unitedvoicesoftheworld
Polish workers’ strike – it is being reported that there could be a stoppage this Thursday August 20th by Polish workers in the UK against being scapegoated by right-wing politicians and media. We support action by these workers and strongly encourage them to link up with trade unions in the UK and their fellow workers to defeat Cameron’s ‘divide & rule’ tactics. Assemble 12noon in Whitehall opposite Downing Street
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)
Blacklist Support Group – update 18 August 2015
- High Court
The High Court has chosen 20 blacklisted workers to be the ‘lead cases’ which are representative of the different blacklist files.
If you are one of the 20 lead cases, please contact the Blacklist Support Group via this email, we would like to produce a short publicity piece on each person to give our story some more human interest.
2. Agency workers deserve full employment protection from blacklisting and unfair dismissal
Two electricians were dismissed earlier in the month immediately after they were elected as stewards on building sites in Canary Wharf and Oxford Circus. There is absolutely no legal protection for them because they were both employed via an employment agency and these workers have no legal rights in respect of unfair dismissal. . Only a solid picket line and the threat of continued industrial action won any kind of justice for the 2 blacklisted union reps. A judgement from the Supreme Court says if agency workers suffer blacklisting – they also have no legal protection in UK law. This abuse needs to stop.
3. Blacklisting by agencies
This week an agency told a scaffolder he was blacklisted after he complained about his pay being short – not over the phone but on an online jobs forum. The employment agency Atlanco Rimec has been exposed on TV for blacklisting workers if they join the union and in Australia workers have been accused of blacklisting construction workers who make compensation claims after suffering accidents at work. BSG are helping to collate information about blacklisting by agencies – if you have any stories of being blacklisted by agencies after standing up for your rights or for being a member of a trade union (in any sector) please contact us asap.
- Peter Farrell
Peter Farrell, founder member of the Blacklist Support Group and the Construction Safety Campaign and currently chair of the London Hazards Centre is not well at the moment. We wish him a swift and full recovery and send best wishes to him and Julia.
- Sparks in Ireland in dispute on construction site run by blacklisting firm BAM
- Oh yes, and that bloke Jeremy Corbyn
During the standing room only meeting at the iconic Adelphi hotel in Liverpool, Roy Bentham, Blacklist Support Group executive member told the audience:
“Jeremy is the only candidate to officially endorse the Blacklist campaign along with the Orgreave and the Shrewsbury picket struggles in his speeches and literature. And blacklisted workers are proud to fully endorse him for leader of the Labour Party”.
- Blacklist Support Group send solidarity greetings to victimised union reps Candy Udwin at National Gallery and Alan Brown at Bromley Council.
Plus the ongoing Teeside #PayTheRate dispute about undercutting the national collective agreements – http://youtu.be/JgbSOxf4gTE
- Dates for the diary
Sat 22 August – Construction Rank and File national meeting (1-4pm), Unite HQ, 128 Theobalds Rd, Holborn – all construction workers welcome.
4 Sep (6:30am) – BSG & union protest against ongoing blacklisting at Royal Liverpool Hospital
4-5 September – Social Justice Conference (organised by GMB) Manchester – speakers include Tom Watson, Helen Steel and Dave Smith
4-6 September – Hazards Campaign National Conference – http://www.hazardscampaign.org.uk/hazardsconference/2015bookingform.pdf
7 Sep – Liberty Human Rights Awards – http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whatson/the-2015-liberty-human-rights-92542?dt=2015-09-07
10 Sept (7:30pm) – Croydon TUC – Blacklisted book event with Dave Smith
13 Sept – Direct against blacklisting firm Carillion in London – joint action with ‘BP or Not BP’ campaign a Facebook event for the action – anyone interested, please contact us ASAP.
13 Sept – Kill The Bil – National Shop Stewards Network at TUC Congress Brighton
15 Sep – Spycops Fringe Meeting at TUC Congress Brighton – speakers: Matt Wrack (FBU), John McDonnell MP, Helen Steel, Dave Smith, Shamik Dutta
16 Sep – Blacklisted book events in Brighton with Phil Chamberlain & Dave Smith
17 Sep – University of Liverpool – Policing & Democracy in the 21st Century conference (flyer attached)
Coming in November
United We Stand, Townsend Productions play about the Shrewsbury Pickets – Bussy Building Peckham – with Blacklist Support Group (flyer attached)
Unite the Resistance conference
- World Cup in Qatar
The scandal of the World Cup being held in Qatar in 2022 can no longer go unchallenged. So far, over 1400 workers have died in the construction of stadiums, mostly migrant workers. But FIFA’s response has been to keep calm and confirm that Qatar won’t lose the tournament. Germany’s member of the FIFA executive board, Theo Zwanzinger, feigns helplessness in the face of worker abuses. “This feudal system existed before the World Cup,” he said. “What do you expect of a football organization? FIFA is not the lawmaker in Qatar.” No but FIFA chose to hand them the biggest football show on the planet and should take more responsibility. Sepp Blatter stated in April 2014 that “We cannot interfere with the rights of workers”.
Analysts projected that more than 4,000 migrant construction workers will die before the official launch of the World Cup in 2022 if the Qatari government will not improve its labour standards and strictly enforce it to all construction companies doing business the country. This simply cannot be allowed to happen. We can take part in and encourage fellow trade union activists and friends to email or use social media objecting to the FIFA Elections, along with the following demands for all constructions workers involved in constructing the new World Cup Stadiums, especially in Qatar, by emailing the following motion / bullet four points:-
We call upon the Football Association to demand the 2022 World Cup is either relocated or that the Qatar authorities immediately end the Kafala sponsorship system that restrict workers.
- Adopt the principles of the ILO Core Conventions, United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the OCED guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and included them in the criteria for bid by countries wishing to host the World Cup
- Adopt mandatory policy of “Decent Work Stadium and Infrastructure Standards” for contracts throughout the supply chain related to World Cup
- Include respect workers’ rights, decent work and binding on safety provisions on safety and health in the FIFA law
- Contact joint labour inspections with BWI to ensure international labour rights and standards are adhered to in Qatar
Construction Rank & File Meeting – 22nd August, Unite Office London – 128 Theobalds Rd Holborn 1-4pm
Speakers: Bernard Macualy National Construction Officer, Steve Cason, with an update on Teeside Protests, Election of National Committee for the coming year
Blacklisted book http://newint.org/books/politics/blacklisted-secret-war/
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