NSSN 263: PCS National Gallery victory, Tory Party demo & TUCG #KillTheBill protest Oct 13
The NSSN salutes the workers at the National Gallery and their union PCS as they return to work after over 100 days of strike action. The agreement includes the reinstatement of PCS rep Candy Udwin. This is a fantastic victory that can inspire all workers as we face more Tory cuts and their Trade Union Bill. We have given full support to the strike, including having Candy address our annual conference in July, where a financial collection was taken.
From PCS website: Agreement reached to end National Gallery dispute (2 Oct) – Our members at the National Gallery voted unanimously today to return to work after we reached an agreement to end the dispute. The news comes shortly after we marked 100 days on strike since February. We opposed the privatisation of the gallery’s visitor services staff and regret we have been unable to prevent it going ahead.
We are however pleased to have reached an agreement with the gallery and contractor Securitas that would mean protection of terms and conditions and a return to work for our senior rep Candy Udwin. We thank the new director Gabriele Finaldi and the company for their commitment to genuine negotiations. Strike action is being suspended pending ministerial approval and a ballot of our members over the deal, which also includes union recognition with the company and the London living wage.
Staff will meet outside the gallery at 9am on Monday 5 October to go back in to work together. More information will be published as soon as it is available.
Our general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “We are pleased to have reached this agreement and on behalf of the union I would like to pay particular tribute to Candy, who is looking forward to returning to the job she loves, and to all our members at the gallery.
“We still do not believe privatisation was necessary but we will work with the new company and the gallery to ensure a smooth transition and, importantly, to ensure standards are maintained at this world-renowned institution.”
STILL NEED MONEY!
We are still fundraising to be able to support our low paid members who have had no pay for 111 days so any donations will still be gratefully received!
DONATE VIA PAY PAL
Or you can donate to Sort code 086001 Account no 20169002 or cheques to PCS Culture Media and Sport Association, c/o PCS North West Region, Jack Jones House,1 Islington, Liverpool L3 8EG
NSSN supporters took part in the massive TUC demo outside Tory Party conference in Manchester on Sunday, where up to 100,000 took part. This shows the potential to build a mass movement against the Trade Union Bill. Come to the TUC lobby of Parliament on November 2nd but let’s make it a mass demonstration. Also, come to the TUCG protest and rally in Parliament next Tuesday.
Tuesday October 13th – Trade Union Co-ordinating Group ‘Kill the Bill’ protest & rally – 5pm outside Parliament for protest then 6pm Committee Room 10 House of Commons for rally – Chair: Steve Gillan POA. Speakers: Matt Wrack FBU, Michelle Stanistreet NUJ, Mark Serwotka PCS, Mick Cash RMT, John Hendy QC, Professor Keith Ewing, John McDonnell MP Shadow Chancellor, Caroline Lucas MP, Ian Lavery MP, Hannah Bardell MP, Rob Williams NSSN, Unite the Resistance More info from TUCG website
TUC lobby of Parliament November 2nd – 1pm to 2:30pm Central Hall, Westminster www.tuc.org.uk/events/lobby-and-rally-protect-right-strike
NSSN public meetings – “How can we fight the Tories’ anti-union laws?”
Tuesday 3 November:-
Manchester, 7pm, at the Britons Protection, 50 Great Bridgewater Street, M1 5LE.
Liverpool, 7.30pm, at the Casa pub, 29 Hope Street, Liverpool, L1 9BQ.
Thursday October 22nd – Southampton NSSN public meeting ‘Stop the cuts, defend union rights!’ confirmed speaker Rob Williams NSSN – 7.30pm Parkes Building, Avenue campus Southampton University Highfield Road
Rob Williams NSSN chair was interviewed live on BBC’s Daily Politics at TUC Congress watch here at about 30 minutes
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 ‘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]
Reinstate sacked Royal Mail rep John Vasey now! – John Vasey, a CWU postal rep in Wakefield, West Yorkshire has been sacked on what his work colleagues recognise as stitched up charges. The NSSN calls on all our supporters and affiliates to support John’s campaign for reinstatement and his union the CWU:-
Messages of protest to Jon Millidge, Royal Mail Group HR Director, c/o Tallents House, South Gyle Crescent, Edinburgh, EH12 9PB.
(Copies to Paul Clays, CWU Regional Secretary, 6 Concept Court, Kettlestring Lane, Clifton Moor, YORK, YO30 4XF – e-mail: [email protected])
Public Meeting: Defend Trade Union Rights, Kill the Bill – Reinstate John Vasey – victimised CWU rep Thursday 8 October,7.30pm The Black Rock, Cross Square
Building ‘something special’: People’s Post Manchester rally at Tory Party conference (Oct 6) – “We can go away from here and build something special – let’s do it for the millions, not the millionaires,” urged Dave Ward as he brought the tumultuous Manchester People’s Post rally to a close last night. Crowd With around 1,000 people crammed inside the city’s historic cathedral and several thousand more filling the Cathedral Gardens area outside, this was one of the biggest ever CWU-organised actions – it was certainly the liveliest! Forewarned that the huge venue was likely to be packed out, event organisers had taken the innovative step of setting up an extra speakers’ platform outside the iconic building, and speakers rushed from addressing the full-to-the-rafters Cathedral Hall to give their contributions again to the massed ranks thronging the precinct known locally as ‘The Triangle’. Some of the younger attendees had even climbed up on the sills of first-floor windows to get a better view, as Dave Ward, Terry Pullinger, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and others explained the People’s Post campaign as an integral part of the struggle to build a positive alternative to austerity, cuts and the so-called ‘free market’ read more
RMT to begin ballot for action on Docklands Light Railway (5 Oct) – RAIL UNION RMT confirmed today that it will begin balloting nearly 700 staff across all grades on Keolis Amey Docklands Light Railway for both strike action and action short of a strike in a dispute over a range of serious unresolved issues that are wrecking industrial relations. The ballot will open later this week and will close on the 22nd October read more
RMT confirms driver strike vote on Piccadilly Line (1 Oct) – TUBE UNION RMT confirmed today that it is to ballot nearly 400 train operators across the Piccadilly Line for both strike action and action short of a strike over a comprehensive breakdown in industrial relations combining a range of issues. The ballot will open on 6th October and close on the 20th October read more
Hackney parking wardens strike for 5 days from 12th October for dignity and respect – “All we are saying, is give us sick pay”. I am sure that the writer of the song will excuse a bit of paraphrasing – but hopefully would have been pleased to see that it has become a popular chant on a picket line involving some of the poorest paid, poorest treated workers who also have to live with an undeserved reputation and appalling image painted by the likes of the petrol head idiots at “Top Gear”. Parking Enforcement Officers have a thankless task – often poorly equipped, certainly poorly paid but now very definitely a workforce prepared to take action. Recently, workers at NSL parking took a week of strike action in a dispute over pay. Unite members at Hackney APCOA took two days of strike action in August in protest at the refusal of the company to agree a company sick pay scheme. Following the strike, the company promised talks – but with no promise of an offer. Unite therefore promised to issue notice for further strike action and the company then revised its promise – and promised an offer! On Monday 5th October Unite met with the company who made what they say is the best offer they can make. The company offered to implement a sick pay scheme that would give workers 1 week of paid sick pay in a rolling year. This would not apply to probationers. To add insult to injury, no paid company sick pay would be available for the first three days of any sickness. In other words, in order to get on day of sick pay, workers would have to be off for 4 consecutive days. To put this into context, the client is Hackney Council – APCOA run the service for the Council as a contractor. The Council pays its staff 6 months full pay and six months half pay. The average sick days per person over a year at the company is 3 days. Statutory Sick Pay, payable by law, also has a 3 day waiting period. Workers have very quickly seen the offer as a non – offer. On the same afternoon as the offer was made, workers agreed not only to reject it but to take 5 days of strike action commencing on 12th October. The anger at the offer intensified when it became clear that the employer is also cheating workers out of the London Living Wage – despite the fact that Hackney’s commitment to the rate applies to its contractors as well as directly employed staff. This is a vitally important campaign that shows what happens when services are privatised – pay and conditions are attacked in a race to the bottom. But the workers and the union are determined to win what will be a well -deserved and important victory
Public meeting called to discuss wage audit at Teesside energy-from-waste site on 7 October (2 Oct) – A public meeting to discuss the next steps in the six-month dispute to ensure an independent audit of wage rates is carried out at the £200 million energy-from-waste plant being built at the Wilton complex on Teesside will be held on Wednesday (7 October). Workers, their families and the public will be at the meeting at the Acklam Green Centre, Stainsby Road, Middlesbrough TS5 4JS, starting at 7pm read more
Sheffield street lighting strike (Oct 2) – GMB members employed by Amey on Sheffield street lighting strike on 2nd October in dispute over pay, sick pay and rights at work. To date we simply do not have anything we can recommend to members so more strikes are now planned says GMB. Over 40 GMB members employed by contractor Amey in Sheffield as street lighting workers took strike action on Friday 2nd October over imposed pay rates, sick pay and union recognition. Picket lines were set up at Olive Grove and Ecclesfield sites read more
SSI – live updates and reaction (2nd Oct) – Reaction to appointment of PWC as ‘special managers’ to assist as receiver. PWC have been confirmed as the ‘special managers’ to assist the Official Receiver for SSI now it has been put into liquidation. A spokesperson for steelworkers’ union Community said: “The way this loyal workforce has been treated particularly today but also over recent weeks has been absolutely shocking. The Thai owners of SSI UK should hang their heads in shame. They have chosen to take the cowards way out by refusing to come forward and face up to their responsibilities to their workforce and to Teesside read more
Juniors doctors’ contract: this is everyone’s fight – Next junior doctors London demo Oct 17 Parliament 2pm. For latest news and protests follow #JuniorContract on twitter
Barnet UNISON on 24 hour strike 7 October – over 46 % of Library workers to be sacked – Barnet UNISON members who still work for Barnet Council (excluding community schools) will begin a 24 hour strike action on Wednesday 7 October. The dispute involves social workers, coach escorts, drivers, occupational therapists, schools catering staff, education welfare officers, library workers, children centre workers, street cleaning & refuse workers, all of whom have made it clear they want to remain employees of Barnet Council and don’t want to be outsourced. On Friday 2 October 2015, Barnet Council published their devastating report on the future of the library service which is reveals… read more
Support the Camden NSL strike! – Here is how you can support the strike by our branch’s low-paid members on the NSL parking enforcement contract for a decent pay increase read more
Fast Food Rights campaigning in Manchester
The BFAWU is holding an exciting event at Moston miners club Manchester on the 9th of October. The Fast Food Rights Autumn Party will be an evening of Comedy, Music with the added bonus of a live discussion with the American fight for $15, Reflecting on their astounding success in doubling the minimum wage in cities all across the States.
The aim will be to use this event to draw in fast food workers from across the city for an evening that shows the value of being a member of a union. And to have a great time along the way.
In the build up to this event the BFAWU and the Fast Food Rights campaign are looking for people to help us speak to fast food workers across the Manchester area and beyond. We have arranged days of action in Manchester with the TUC and ask local trade unionists and members of the public to join us.
The Days of action are as follows:-
Thursday 8th October 12-3pm Meet escalator outside Arndale food court.
Friday the 9th October. 12pm-5pm meet escalator outside Arndale food court.
Friday 9th October Live link up with US Fight for 15 6.30pm Bands Start at 7.30pm
Please can you email me at the address below and let me know what time and days you are available. If you cannot make any of these times don’t worry email me or give me a ring and we can talk about how you can support.
Feel free to call me on 07739326006
Gareth Lane – BFAWU community Organiser Northern England
Follow me on Twitter @gar1ane
Email [email protected]
An open meeting will take place this week in Lincoln to discuss conditions affecting workers in the food and catering sector.
The Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) is organising the meeting, which will take place this Wednesday from 7.30pm at the Lincoln Drill Hall on Free School Lane. Jade Clarke, a BFAWU member who works in a local restaurant, said: “We want people who work in restaurants, pubs, and fast food outlets to come along to the meeting and find out how being in a union can benefit them.
“The BFAWU is campaigning for decent pay regardless of how old you are, an end to zero-hours contracts, improved safety, lower temperatures in the kitchen and respect and dignity at work.
“Food workers deserve more. Many see working in the food industry as a temporary thing because the conditions can often be so poor. We need to change what is happening and organise our work places!”
The BFAWU was founded over 150 years ago in 1847, and has more than 20,000 members across the UK. For more information about the event, contact Jade on 07428 679943 or email [email protected]
“Dangerous” plans to cut frontline fire services condemned by Gloucestershire firefighters (Oct 1) – Firefighters in Gloucestershire have reacted with anger at the announcement of “dangerous” plans to close Painswick Fire Station and cut frontline services at Cirencester Fire Station. The plans to cut budgets by £2M over three years were published by Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue in their consultation document Fire and Rescue: Future Service Provision read more
NUT Lobby of Supply Agencies on Wednesday 28 October 2015 – The NUT is organising a lobby of supply agencies in the October 2015 half term. The lobby will highlight the unacceptable pay and pensions position facing supply teachers as well as the role that agencies play in driving down pay, while taking huge sums in commission and paying their own senior employees huge salaries. The day will begin with a meeting at NUT HQ at 11.30am after which we will move off in groups to lobby various agencies HQs in Central London read more
NUJ Pay Day Saturday 31 October – After years of pay freezes in the industry the NUJ is holding an event to discuss how to negotiate and campaign for better wages and fair working practices for staff and freelances as job titles change and the clickbait culture starts to bite. This UK event is part of our programme of events for non-Delegate Meeting years and all members are welcome read more
Globe tour guides settle pay dispute (Oct 1) – Tour guides at Shakespeare’s Globe have settled their long running pay dispute. This week members at the venue voted overwhelmingly to accept a 3% pay increase read more
United Voices of the World
Reinstate the Sotheby’s 2! – www.facebook.com/unitedvoicesoftheworld Protest at Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Auction: 6pm October 15 Sotheby’s Auction House 34-35 New Bond Street W1A 2AA London www.facebook.com/events/741192686026832/
Black History Month 2015 (from PCS website) – take action for race equality – Black History Month starts on 1 October and it’s a great opportunity to support PCS by standing up to racism, challenging stereotypes and promoting equality. Our theme this year is ‘collective action for race equality’, marking the fiftieth anniversary of the first UK Race Relations Act and the seventieth anniversary of the 5th Pan-African Congress in Manchester that set the impetus for independence for nations across the world read more www.blackhistorymonth.org.uk
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)
MASSIVE BREAKING NEWS IN HIGH COURT – Blacklisting firms run up the white flag
During this morning’s hearing at the High Court for the blacklisting group litigation conspiracy trial, the majority of blacklisting firms in the trial represented by McFarlands solicitors submitted a revised set of legal pleadings. The document accepts virtually all of the facts about the workings of the Consulting Association blacklist argued by lawyers representing the 700 claimants. Hugh Tomlinson QC representing the blacklisted workers called the revised document a “radical transformation” and a move “on the path to righteousness”
David Kavender QC representing the major blacklisting firms told the court that his clients effectively accepted vicarious liability for the misuse of the blacklist. The admission and apology is the result of High Court legal action by the Blacklisting Support Group, Unite, GMB, UCATT and against 40 major construction firms involved in blacklisting through the secretive Consulting Association and Services Group of the Economic League. Those companies include Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd, Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Costain, Skanska, Kier, Vinci and Laing O’Rourke. It is estimated that compensation payouts could be around £100 million.
Full implications are still to be discussed and agreed as most lawyers have only seen the revised pleadings today. Other remaining blacklisting firms have not made any decisions whether they are to prepared to “hitch their wagons to the McFarlands caravan”. Lawyers for blacklisted workers will now be discussing their combined response.
Dave Smith, secretary Blacklist Support Group was in the court and commented:
“The blacklisting wretches have run up the white flag. They are guilty as sin and this is a desperate attempt to to try and avoid the spectacle of a High Court conspiracy trail. Personally, I want to see the directors of this national scandal given evidence under oath about their involvement in this systematic human rights abuse. Real justice would see those responsible for ruining so many lives sent to jail.
Unfortunately the British legal system is unlikely to provide real justice but we will continue to push for full disclosure of the evidence that has been deliberately concealed and a public inquiry to expose the full extent of this national scandal”.
Commenting Unite assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail said: “Blacklisting has ruined lives and led to hardship and misery for thousands of people. The admissions from the blacklisters and the damages for the blacklisted are an important step on the road to justice in righting that wrong.
“That road won’t be completed though, or the stain of blacklisting removed, until there is a full public inquiry and the livelihoods of the blacklisted restored by the firms involved giving them a permanent job.
“Those Tory ministers, who profess to be on the side of workers, while attacking trade unions should take note of these landmark admissions. They need to drop their draconian Trade Union bill which will make it easier for bad bosses to get away with injustices like blacklisting.”
Blacklist Support Group claimants represented by Guney, Clark & Ryan solicitors
UNITE represented by Thompsons solicitors
GMB represented by Leigh Day solicitors
UCATT represented by OH Parsons
Blacklisted book http://newint.org/books/politics/blacklisted-secret-war/
International (also see Labourstart)
USA: Chrysler workers vote down contract read more
USA: Justice fund for USW rail workers read more
Diary (see & use false economy)
17 Wakefield socialist history group are holding a meeting on the Vietnam War, “THE FALL OF SAIGON: FORTY YEARS SINCE THE VIETNAM WAR. The event is being held at the Red Shed (Wakefield Labour Club), Vicarage Street, Wakefield WF1 and starts at 1pm. Admission is free. There is a free light buffet.
We already have a couple speakers but are also looking a third.
If your organisation would like to provide a speaker please get in touch with Alan Stewart Convenor, Wakefield Socialist History Group 07931927451
29 Defend Glasgow Services – No Cuts. Joint Trade Union Lobby of Glasgow City Council 12.30pm, City Chambers
PHONE 07952 283 558
EMAIL mailto:[email protected]
TWITTER – https://twitter.com/NSSN_AntiCuts
ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE