The NSSN sends solidarity to the Junior Doctors who are fighting the Tories’ imposition of a new contract. We appeal to all our supporters to support their demonstrations and protests, including this Saturday October 17th in London and Nottingham. For latest news and protests follow #JuniorContract and #NotFairNotSafe on twitter. Latest updates on BMA website here
Oct 17 – London 2pm Parliament
Oct 17 – Belfast 2pm City Hall
Oct 17 – Nottingham 2pm Old Market Square
Oct 24 – Newcastle 1pm
Oct 28 – Leeds 7pm City Centre
Nov 18 – Dundee 4pm City Square
Aaron Borbora, deputy chair of the national junior doctors committee of the BMA, based on Merseyside is speaking at the NSSN #KillTheBIll meeting in Liverpool on November 3rd – 7.30pm, at the Casa Club, 29 Hope Street, Liverpool, L1 9BQ:-
It is really good to have your support at a time when the government are ramping up their attacks on us, and accusing us of simply being out for money!
The BMA has indeed responded after Hunt’s letter. While we welcome his recognition of the vital work junior doctors are already doing 24/7, we are yet to receive the concrete assurances we require prior to re-entering negotiations. We will be responding to him to seek further clarification on these.
I look forward to seeing you on the 3rd. It is vital all unions do all we can to oppose this undemocratic and regressive bill.
Mr Aaron Borbora MA (Oxon) MRCS (Eng)
Deputy Chair BMA Junior Doctors’ Committee
NSSN / Kill the Bill news
Trade Union Co-ordinating Group (TUCG) statement on the Trade Union Bill
The Trade Union Bill is a fundamental attack on our right to organise and strike in the face of ongoing austerity. The Tories know the trade unions are the last line of defence for millions of working people. The bill is yet another attempt to limit our ability to collectively resist the ongoing attacks on our standard of living and our public services. It is also an assault on one of our most basic civil liberties, the right to withdraw our Labour. The Tories elected by only 24% of the electorate, are imposing balloting thresholds that few MPs have met in their own election. We support the TUC view that extra criteria required for “essential” public service workers, is outside international labour law Read full statement
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 Club, 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
The NSSN has a stall at NAPO conference this week – come up and have a look!
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])
Royal Mail final tranche sell-off “a disgrace” says CWU (Oct 12) – Responding to the Government’s announcement today (Monday) that its remaining shareholding in Royal Mail is to be sold, possibly within days, CWU general secretary Dave Ward branded the decision as “the clearest possible indicator of the Tories’ true colours”. Dave added: “A week ago Jeremy Corbyn spoke to thousands of people calling on the government to protect the People’s Post at the CWU’s rally in Manchester – today the Government has announced they are selling the final public stake in Royal Mail to their friends in the City. This fire sale nails the lie that the Tories stand up for the interests of ordinary people.” read more
Docklands Light Railway staff to strike over pay (12 Oct) – Security and cleaning staff working for Interserve Facilities on their Docklands Light Railway contract will strike for 48 hours later this week in an ongoing fight over pay. This will be the fourth time that this group of workers have been forced to take industrial action in the battle for pay justice on this critical piece of London’s transport infrastructure read more
RMT fury as train company tries to ban union badges (9 Oct) – RAIL UNION RMT today hit back at train company Merseyrail for trying to ban its staff from wearing official union badges. RMT has distributed tens of thousands of “Keep the Guard on the Train – Keep the Train Safe” badges as part of a national campaign to defend guards’ jobs from a concerted effort, orchestrated by central government, to throw them off services and enforce a policy of Driver Only Operation. The badges are worn by guards and other staff grades supporting the fight to defend these safety critical jobs. But now Merseyrail, one of the companies looking to ditch guards in the name of increasing private profits, has tried to enforce a blanket ban on staff wearing the badges read more
Strike vote on Virgin East Coast over unfair sacking (8 Oct) – RAIL UNION RMT confirmed today that it is to ballot nearly 1400 members on Virgin East Coast over the sacking of a colleague dismissed from his job as a CSA at Edinburgh by the company as a result of a deeply flawed disciplinary matter regarding a missing Kindle from a train he was working on read more
Further PCS strike action at National Museum Wales (7 Oct) – PCS members at Amgueddfa Cymru/National Museum Wales are planning further strikes over weekend working after management dashed hopes of a compromise. Our members are set to begin a fresh round of strikes on 20 October after museum bosses refused any solution to the dispute that wouldn’t involve scrapping anti-social hours payments for low-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. 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 read more
Sports Direct chief in the dock over ‘shameful’ treatment of workers (13 Oct) –
What: Protest to coincide with Sports Direct CEO’s court hearing over collapse of USC
When: 13:00 – 14:00 Wednesday 14 October 2015
Where: Chesterfield magistrates’ court, Tapton Lane, Derbyshire S41 7TW read more
Energy staff ‘collecting Smart meters from supermarkets’ sparks week-long strike (13 Oct) – EDF Energy workers carrying out Smart meter installations are set to strike for a week in a dispute that could see them collecting their Smart meters from supermarkets and petrol stations. About 70 staff, members of Unite, the country’s largest union, are due to strike from 00.01 Monday (19 October) until 23.59 on Friday (23 October). While the strike of the meter installers, fitters and repairers will hit the EDF headquarters at Bexleyhealth, Kent and Canning Town, east London, the reasons for the dispute affect nearly 500 staff across London and southern and western England read more
Government accused of ‘snuffing the light out’ on steelmaking in Redcar (12 Oct) – Britain’s largest union, Unite, accused the government of allowing the ‘light to be snuffed out’ on steelmaking in Teesside, following the announcement that coke ovens and blast furnace at the SSI Redcar steel mill would be closed read more
Call for ‘£10 an hour living wage’, as savage tax credit axe looms (12 Oct) – The axe to working tax credits will inflict further financial hardship to those working in the six million jobs in the UK paying less than the ‘living wage’, Unite, the largest union in the country, said today (Monday 12 October). The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported that the proportion of jobs paying less than the ‘living wage’ outside London rose from 21 per cent to 23 per cent between April 2012 and April 2014. The figure for the capital rose by six per cent to 19 per cent – well below the rest of the UK read more
Hackney London Living Wage lobbies October 15 & 19 – Unite have launched a campaign for the London Living Wage in Hackney for our members working as cleaners and catering staff in schools. The text below is from a leaflet we will be giving out on the night which explains the detail of the campaign. They will be lobbying from 6 pm on 15th October and 19th October. The venue is Hackney Town Hall, Mare St, E8 1EA
Hackney traffic wardens suspend strike for talks over lack of company sick pay (9 Oct) – The five days of strike action by traffic wardens working for APCOA Parking in Hackney, east London in a bid to get a proper sick pay policy has been suspended to allow talks to take place. The 30 employees were due to strike from 00.01 on Monday (12 October) until midnight on Friday (16 October) against APCOA Parking which has the contract from Hackney council to run the service. The staff have also rejected a 1.5 per cent pay deal for this year. The workers, members of Unite, the country’s largest union, previously staged two days of strike action in August, following a 100 per cent vote for strike action read more
Sellafield workers win victory for ‘common sense’ in health and safety dispute (7 Oct) – Construction workers involved in the nuclear decommissioning and renewal project at Sellafield were hailing a victory for ‘common sense’ today (Wednesday 7 October), after securing a ground breaking deal to end their dispute over health and safety and productivity. The deal secured by their union, Unite, sees Sellafield Ltd and the 14-strong group of on-site sub-contractor companies drop their refusal to facilitate a senior shop steward to deal with health and safety, workplace welfare and training issues. The agreement, which comes after a campaign of industrial action, including walkouts and action short of a strike, also sees the formation of a health and safety committee spanning all contractors on the site read more
Scottish Ambulance Members Vote For Action (Oct 9) – GMB Scotland Ambulance Members Vote For Official Strike Ballot If Excessive Demands On The Service And Staff Are Not Tackled By Scottish Government And Managers. We will continue to work in partnership to put pressure on the Scottish Government to increase the funding to the Scottish Ambulance Service says GMB Scotland read more
Strike Ballot In North Norfolk (Oct 8) – GMB Consultative Ballot At Keir Kings Lynn And West Norfolk Over Unreasonable Demands On Refuse And Recycling Workers. Rather than make the job safer, by forcing members to wear goggles and caps in this circumstance, Kier are making it more dangerous says GMB read more
Norwich Refuse Strike Ballot (Oct 8) – GMB Members Employed By Biffa On Norwich City Council Contract To Ballot For Strike Action Over Treatment At Work. A member with 25 years of service who is also an ex council employee with protected benefits was dismissed on Tuesday 6th October and threats are not acceptable says GMB read more
Trade union response to SSI steelworks closure (12 Oct) – Commenting on news that the receiver of the SSI site is to close the coke ovens because no buyer can be found, Roy Rickhuss, General Secretary of Community, said: “Clearly this is devastating news. The government must now step in, take the plant into temporary public ownership, and protect and preserve these vital industrial assets. Keeping the coke ovens running and mothballing the blast furnace effectively would give Teesside steel the chance of a future. A hard closure will just leave a community devastated and taxpayers picking up the cost of cleaning the site.” read more
Members reject 0% in FE (Oct 13) – UNISON members working in English further education have voted overwhelmingly to reject the pay offer of 0% for 2015-16 from the Association of Colleges (AoC). The union’s FE committee will now write to the AoC and member colleges, informing them that, unless the offer is improved, UNSION will be in dispute with them read more
Glasgow local council Trade Unions representing 24,000 workers in the city call for a No Cuts budget. Defend Glasgow Services – No Cuts
Joint Trade Union Lobby of Glasgow City Council – Thursday 29 October, 12.30pm, City Chambers supported by all local authority trade unions Unison, GMB, Unite, EIS, UCATT
Glasgow City Council has made spending cuts of £250m since 2010 including huge cuts in learning disability and mental health services, home care support, supported education for children, community work, cleansing, library services, frontline office support and grants to voluntary organisations. At least 4,000 council jobs have been lost. Voluntary organisations providing care services in the city have cut hundreds of jobs due to reductions in funding from the council. In the last five years charges for many council services have gone up or been introduced for the first time. These charges often hit the poorest families most. The council has stated it intends to make further cuts of £103m in 2016 and 2017 and has raised the possibility of another 3,000 job cuts, this is over 10% of the remaining workforce. This will be a disaster for vital services in the city and hit future employment opportunities for our young people
Press release: UNISON Library response to 70% cut in staffed hours by Barnet Council (Oct 2) read more
Firefighters descend on Westminster to defend the fire and rescue service (Oct 13) –
What: Firefighters’ lobby of parliament
Where: Committee room 14, Palace of Westminster, SW1A 0AA (via Cromwell Green – visitors entrance)
When: 1 – 2pm Wednesday 14 October 2015
Firefighters from all over the country are coming to the Houses of Parliament tomorrow (14 October) to lobby members of parliament about the future of the fire and rescue service amid huge concerns about public safety read more
Video: Matt Wrack speaks at Take Back Manchester – protest Tory conference watch here
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
Morgan throws down gauntlet – not just stopping pay progression but cutting your pay (Oct 8) – The imposition of performance-related pay and the fragmentation of teachers’ pay decisions are already having serious consequences – divisive performance-pay, denial of pay progression, bullying to take on even more workload to justify your salary. But things are about to get even worse. Nicky Morgan has just written to the School Teachers’ Review Body asking them “whether you consider that there are any additional flexibilities that could be introduced to support schools, such as allowing teachers to move down from the upper pay range to the main pay range” read more on blog of Martin Powell Davies NUT NEC
Anger as Open University bans protest against job losses and office closures (13 Oct) – Union says ‘protest merry-go-round’ ahead of crucial meeting is an insult to the 502 staff whose jobs are at risk read more
Teachers to lobby MPs over “perverse” cuts to English languages courses (12 Oct) – Teachers and students will lobby Westminster MPs on Wednesday 14 October over “perverse” cuts to English language courses read more
Nikkei’s first honourable move at the FT: ransack pensions (12 Oct) – FT staff including editorial, commercial, IT and other employees, as well as NUJ and Unite members have voted to support industrial action at the Financial Times if management goes ahead with what journalists there are calling a “£4m pensions robbery” 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
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/
Day-Mer statement on Ankara bombing (Oct 13)
The NSSN took part in the demonstration on Sunday in London against Saturday’s bombing and also a press conference in TUC Congress House yesterday in solidarity with a 2-day general strike in Turkey. Below is a press release from Day-Mer (Kurdish and Turkish Community Centre) www.daymer.org
The growing call for peace cannot be silenced
We stand in solidarity with the people of Turkey calling for peace and condemn the current government of Turkey for its role in these deadly attacks.
A peace and democracy rally in Ankara, Turkey was targeted on the morning of Saturday 10 October 2015, by two suicide bombs. People were simply exercising their democratic right to peaceful protest when the explosions killed over 120 innocent people and injuring over 400 people. The rally in Turkey was organised by Trade Unions and NGOs against the ruling AKP’s increasing use of violence and war as a means to suppress democratic opposition. The rally represented hope for a peace and stable Turkey in which people of all backgrounds and ethnicities can live together in unity read full statement and appeal for action on NSSN website
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 update Oct 9
Put the champagne on ice – Blacklisted workers make huge steps forward in fight for justice – High Court trial – employers surrender!
Blacklisting was in the High Court on Thursday and after 6 years of denying everything, that the High Court trial is getting close, the blacklisting wretches have revised their legal defence, finally admitting their guilt. The 8 largest firms have run up the white flag and the ongoing negotiations between the lawyers are now just drawing up the terms of the surrender. The lawyers representing the blacklisting contractors are still huffing and puffing about their desire to go to court to fight the issue of ‘quantum’ and ‘causation’ (ie: how much compensation they need to pay) but this is just for show. The blacklisters will do anything to avoid the spectacle of a High Court conspiracy trial, which is still set to start in May 2016 and last for 10 weeks. BSG position is that we still want to see the directors of these multinational firms being forced to give evidence under oath at the High Court about their active involvement in this human rights scandal. Buying us off with a few thousand pounds is not justice.
The Blacklist Support Group would like to go on record to thank the stirling work carried out by all of the lawyers on our behalf. We could not have done this on our own. But we would like to particularity praise the work carried out by JC Townsend, Liam Dunne, Sean Curren and the rest of the legal team at Guney Clark & Ryan solicitors who have been working on the High Court conspiracy claim completely unpaid since 2009. Without their initial support, hard work and the resources allocated by GCR over the past six and a half years, we would not be in this position today. Blacklisted workers salute you.
Below is the statement issued & written by PR spin-doctors Graylings on behalf of the 8 largest firms.
On 7 October 2015 we, the eight companies that comprise the Macfarlanes Defendants*, submitted a Re-Amended Generic Defence to the Court. In this document we lay out clearly a number of admissions; these admissions are also covered in the accompanying summary which, we hope, will provide interested parties with an easily accessible reference. Both documents contain a full and unreserved apology for our part in a vetting information system run in the construction industry first through the Economic League and subsequently through The Consulting Association; we recognise and regret the impact it had on employment opportunities for those workers affected and for any distress and anxiety it caused to them and their families.
We are making these admissions now as we believe it is the right thing to do; we are keen to be as transparent as possible and to do what we can to simplify the High Court hearing scheduled for mid-2016. We hope that the clarity this brings will be welcomed by the affected workers. Indeed, ever since the closure of The Consulting Association in 2009, we have been focused on trying to do the right thing by affected workers. This was why we set up The Construction Workers Compensation Scheme (TCWCS) in 2014 to provide those who felt they had been impacted by the existence of the vetting system with a fast and simple way of accessing compensation. Currently, we have paid compensation to 308 people who have contacted TCWCS and we are processing 39 ongoing eligible claims.
We remain committed to TCWCS. We are approaching the High Court hearing in the spirit of openness and full transparency and continue to defend the claim strongly in relation to issues of causation and loss.
* Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Costain, Kier, Laing O’Rourke, Sir Robert McAlpine, Skanska UK and VINCI PLC
TV and newspaper coverage:
Pitchford Inquiry – police involvement in blacklisting to be investigated
If the blacklisting companies think that they can buy their way out of public scrutiny, they are very wrong. Teresa May has set up a public inquiry into undercover policing being headed by Lord Justice Pitchford. The first preliminary session took place on Wednesday in the Royal Courts of Justice. Blacklisted workers represented by the Blacklist Support Group have been granted core participant status. So the Pitchford inquiry will now investigate the role of the police in the blacklisting scandal. UCATT, FBU & NUM have also been granted CP status. The next 3 years will be very interesting.
Ongoing fights against blacklisting
Blacklisting is not a historic thing of the past – it is still ongoing.
Victimsed PCS rep, Candy Udwin reinstated at the National Gallery after more than 100 days on official strike. BSG would like to send a message of support to all the PCS strikers and especially to Candy. Your determined struggle and solidarity are an inspiration to us all.
New Royal Hospital project being built by blacklisting firm Carillion.
Sat 10th October
9.00am-10.30am Demo outside New Royal Hospital, Crown Street Entrance
11am-1pm – Organising meeting at Unite the Union Office
The ongoing dispute over contractors refusal to pay the nationally agreed rates of pay and blacklisting of union members at Wilton In Teesside is now in its 7th month. The Teesside activists recently took their fight against SITA to Liverpool. #PayTheRate
Andy Burnham pledges to fight for Shrewsbury Pickets
Blacklisted book was in Leeds this week – massive thank you to Kath Owen and jane Holgate for organising the meetings. The blacklisting campaign can only operate if local grassroots activists support us. http://newint.org/books/politics/blacklisted-secret-war/
Blacklisting & the Arts
Film maker Lucy Parker has been working with the Blacklist Support Group for a number of years. she will be doing a presentation in Edinburgh. BSG encourage anyone who has been blacklisted and especially wives and artners of blacklisted workers to participate in this project.
Contact Lucy via: [email protected]
Mark Thomas in New York
Comedian / activist Mark Thomas appears on the construction industry blacklist, was spied on by BAE systems and also appears on the Metropolitan Police domestic extremism database. He is one of 6 journalists being represented by the NUJ currently suing the Met Police. Mark is taking his award winning show Cuckooed (about his experience of corporate spying) to New York throughout November. The show won awards at the Edinburgh Festival and the Amnesty International. The link is for tickets. If any trade unions or journalists in New York wish to get in touch with Mark during his NY run, please contact BSG at [email protected] to arrange.
United We Stand – Ragged Trousered Philanthropist
Townsend Productions 2 political plays about the building industry are in Peckham throughout October & November with special press nights and speakers throughout the run.
Blacklisted book http://newint.org/books/politics/blacklisted-secret-war/
International (also see Labourstart)
India: PepsiSqueeze – snacks and drinks giant PepsiCo violates the rights of warehouse 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