Clive, a long-standing leading rep in the CWU had an appeal against unfair dismissal rejected by British Telecom on 9 November, confirming his sacking after 38 years of service. Clive is chair of the CWU Birmingham, Black Country & Worcester branch and is a leading lay rep of the union.
Clive worked in a BT call centre and was dismissed after an aggressive customer reported him to management just 33 seconds into a phone call. The decision was made without taking stress into account despite the local CWU branch reporting that 7% of staff at the call centre leave their jobs each month, some walking out mid shift. Management took the decision without consulting any medical advice or taking into account any mitigation.
Clive is a NSSN steering committee member and we will be supporting the campaign protesting the sacking and campaigning for his reinstatement.
John Vasey, a CWU postal rep in Wakefield, West Yorkshire has also been sacked on what his work colleagues recognise as stitched up charges. John is waiting for his appeal at the end of this month. 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])
Please take your photo with this poster and send round on social media:-
NSSN / Kill the Bill news
As expected, the Tory Trade Union Bill passed its 3rd reading last night November 10th. It now goes to the Lords. But we must keep up the pressure and prepare for resisting it of it becomes law.
Trade Union Co-ordinating Group (TUCG) rally: ‘After Corbyn’s victory, build the fight against austerity’ – Saturday, 21 November from 1.30pm to 4.30pm in Central Hall Westminster Storey’s Gate SW1H 9NH London more info info from PCS website
TUCG statement on the Trade Union Bill here
Rob Williams NSSN chair was interviewed live on BBC’s Daily Politics at TUC Congress watch here at about 30 minutes
Early notice – the 10th annual NSSN conference will on Saturday July 2nd 2016 in Conway Hall, London. Please put in your new diaries!!
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]
80 Royal Mail postmen and women at Bridgwater Delivery Office in Somerset defied the Tory anti-union laws today (Nov11) – they walked out without a ballot to protest at Royal Mail’s refusal to reinstate Andrew Mootoo, a postman who suffers from MS/Multiple Sclerosis. Andrew has been waiting so long for Royal Mail to support his return to work that his pay has been stopped and he has to rely on benefits. Dave Chapple, CWU Rep, said: “Most decent employers would do their best to try and get a disabled worker like Andrew Mootoo off benefits and back to work on a properly adjusted duty. Instead, for 18 months, since MS was diagnosed, Royal Mail, nationally and locally, have tried every dirty trick in their book to get Andrew the sack and reduce him to a lifetime of benefits dependency. 18 months ago they tried to sack him. We stopped that by proving they would have acted illegally. Then Royal Mail tested Andrew back at work: when he passed this with flying colours, they invented a new test, which they ensured he would fail, for example, by deliberately using a faulty chair! The last straw is Royal Mail saying that Andrew has no rest room for his meal break, because it is in continuous use by managers for disciplinary purposes; and that his MS means he will get stuck in the toilet. What offensive rubbish from the country’s second largest employer! Justice for MS sufferers at work! Justice for Andrew Mootoo!”
Andrew, who is of Indo-Mauritian parents and who is also profoundly deaf, lives a full life: he drives a car, shops, goes to sport matches, goes shopping, walks down busy high streets, goes to the gym once a week, all without falling over, getting stuck in a toilet or endangering anyone else. All Andrew’ s friends at Bridgwater Delivery Office want, is for Royal Mail to sit down and give him a chance to come off the dole and work for his living, as he wants to do. The work is there. The CWU have even accepted that Andrew could return on a monitored trial basis. Every reasonable compromise CWU offer to Royal Mail has been spurned: every patient CWU plea to Royal Mail to give Andrew a chance has been ignored. 80 Bridgwater trades unionists are right now, a day after the Tory Anti-Union Bill passed the House of Commons, breaking these vicious laws to fight for workplace justice for a severely disabled and much respected colleague. They, and Andrew, deserve your support.
Please contact Dave Chapple, CWU Rep, on 077007 869 144, or e-mail on [email protected]
Paediatric nurses in Antrim Area Hospital vote ‘yes’ for industrial action (Nov 5) – Unprecedented turn out sees staff back action in dispute over safe staffing levels. Paediatric nurses in Antrim Area Hospital have voted ‘yes’ in favour of action short of strike action and 93% in favour of all-out industrial action – with an unprecedented 100% return on ballot papers and a 100% return voting read more
Sandy Nicoll reinstated – Sandy Nicoll SOAS Unison branch secretary and SOAS J4C activist and a long standing and steadfast activist and trade unionist, has been reinstated after being suspended by SOAS management on grounds of alleged gross misconduct. The allegations were not only false but were fabricated in an attempt to victimise him and undermine the trade union support for the student’s occupation of SOAS against massive cuts and course closures. The NSSN sends our congratulations to Sandy, his members and his union more info
POA announce 24 hour strike for Ashworth Hospital on 13th November (Nov 2) – The POA have sent a notice to Merseycare Trust informing them that a 24 hour strike will take place on the 13th November 2015 from 07.00 hours to 07.00 hours on Saturday 14th November 2015 after its members in the trust voted overwhelmingly for strike action. This follows the dismissals of Kevin Gregson and Peter Hilton following the restraint of a violent patient read more
RMT confirms 48 hour strike on Arriva Trains Wales (4 Nov) – Rail union RMT said today that driving staff on Arriva Trains Wales will strike for 48 hours from 00.01 on Thursday 12th November 2015. The key issue is the unwillingness of Arriva Trains Wales to table an adequate pay offer despite RMT postponing previous strike action to allow for further meaningful discussions to take place read more
Offshore industrial action postponed as fresh offer to be considered by caterers (9 Nov) – Unite has welcomed a fresh offer from the Catering Offshore Trade Association (COTA) employers that could avert industrial action and end a long-standing pay dispute. COTA members, who deliver catering and ancillary services across offshore installations in the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS), will now be asked to vote on accepting a deal that includes increments to cover, delay and training allowances in addition to a ‘no cuts’ clause for the duration of the current agreement. A consultative ballot will run until 12 noon on Friday 4 December read more
Hackney traffic wardens win proper sick pay policy after talks (4 Nov) – Traffic wardens in Hackney in east London have won a major victory after Unite, Britain’s biggest union, secured them the London living wage and a proper company sick pay policy after last ditch talks to avert strike action. APCOA Parking, the workers private sector employer, had no company sick pay policy, with members only entitled to statutory sick pay (SSP). The company has now agreed to introduce a sick pay scheme of 15 days over a rolling year. The deal, following talks at the conciliation service Acas, also sees the London living wage introduced with immediate effect and backdated to November 2014, along with a 1.5 per cent pay increase. The firm has also committed to upgrade traffic warden pay each November in line with annual increases to the London living wage read more
Steel union leader hits back at Tata CEO comments (10th Nov) – Hundreds of people marched through Scunthorpe today, chanting ‘Save Our Steel’, to call for more support for the town’s steel industry read more
See details of ‘CELEBRATING RESILIENCE’ – An exhibition organised by PCS National Gallery strikers in ‘Other News’ below
Strike called at Hewlett Packard in overtime pay dispute (10 Nov) – PCS members providing vital IT support to ensure people are paid pensions, winter fuel allowance and child support, are taking action over plans to cut overtime bank holiday pay. The staff, who provide round the clock support for the Department for Work Pensions computer system at HP in Newcastle, began an overtime ban yesterday (9 November), which includes not covering leave and sickness, and working strictly to their terms and conditions of employment. They are also taking part in 3, 48-hour strikes from: 13-15 November, 27-29 November and 11-13 December read more
Fire cuts could lead to industrial action, say West Mids firefighters (Nov 4) – Firefighters in the West Midlands have warned they could be forced to take industrial action over plans to cut 300 firefighting posts, leaving the service understaffed, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has said. The proposed cuts to West Midlands Fire Service would mean the service would have to rely on the ‘pure goodwill’ of firefighters to work non-obligatory overtime shifts to make sure fire engines can be mobilised to emergencies. This development comes as the nationally agreed overtime rate that firefighters are paid of ‘time and a half’ has been replaced with a flat rate. It is believed that this will make overtime shifts less attractive, increasing the likelihood of staff shortages, which will in turn put public safety at risk read more
PUBLIC PROTEST: Stop Leicestershire Fire & Rescue Cuts November 14th – Leicester Town Hall Town Hall Square, LE1 6 Leicester
Joint union action in Liverpool wins umbrella victory (9 Nov) – Construction union UCATT have strongly welcomed joint union working which has ensured that a subcontractor falsely self-employing workers or requiring them to be employed via umbrella companies has been removed from a major Liverpool construction site. Local UCATT Organiser John Sheppard became aware that workers for the lagging company CDA Insulation were being employed on the Liverpool Royal Hospital project either via umbrella companies or were being falsely self-employed. This was contrary to the site agreement on the project where it has been agreed that all companies should be employing their workers directly on the site via standard PAYE methods. There is also a joint union agreement on the site with the GMB being responsible for lagging and insulation work, Unite for mechanical and electrical workers and UCATT for the construction workers read more
Eight long years too long (4 Nov) – An electrician, working on a demolition site in Elephant and Castle in south London was killed in August 2007 when falling concrete joists crushed him to death. Only now – in November 2015 – has his employer been made to admit negligence. UCATT the construction union asks – how does Britain allow the bereaved families of workers – who suffer the totally unnecessary and negligent death of a love one – to be plunged into an eight year legal nightmare? read more
700 Workers Laid Off On Teesside (Nov 5) – Jobs Suspended On Air Products Energy From Waste Construction Site On Teesside Is Devastating News Seven Weeks Before Xmas. There are talks with Air Products to try to resolve this appalling situation where due to no fault of their own members have been dismissed with no prior consultation says GMB read more
Strike in further education colleges goes ahead in pay dispute (9 Nov) – Members of the UCU in further education colleges will be taking strike action tomorrow in a row over pay. Staff are angry that the employers’ representatives, the Association of Colleges, recommended a pay freeze, despite staff suffering a real-terms pay cut of 17.1% in the last five years. Three-quarters (74%) of UCU members who voted back strike action after the employers rejected the joint trade unions’ pay claim of £1 an hour extra for staff read more
Junior Doctors / BMA
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. For latest news and protests follow #JuniorContract and #NotFairNotSafe on twitter. Latest updates on BMA website here
Nov 18 – Dundee 4pm City Square
Catch up on the November 10th global fast food day of action by following #FastFoodGlobal on twitter
Why John Roan teachers in Greenwich are right to take strike action (Nov 10) – Today, NUT members at John Roan School in Greenwich took a day’s strike action against the imposition of unacceptable assessment, scrutiny and appraisal policies read more on blog of Martin Powell-Davies NUT NEC
NUT National lobby of Parliament – 18 November more info
A dozen jobs to go on the Warrington Guardian as a ballot for action commences in Bolton over Newsquest cuts (6 Nov) – Newsquest is to make 12 posts at the Warrington Guardian redundant, as NUJ members in Bolton are preparing to ballot for action following earlier proposals to cut virtually a quarter of its editorial workforce read more
United Voices of the World & Unite Hotel Workers
Service Sector Solidarity Social November 14th at SOAS – United Voices of the World and Unite Hotel Workers Branch are coming together for a fundraiser! We’re organising in difficult terrain. The Service Sector – primarily contract cleaning and hospitality – has historically been neglected and un-unionised and characterised by low pay, long hours and the exploitation of migrant workers. We’re dealing with Zero Hours contracts, hostile employers and appalling conditions for mostly minimum wage workers with ever decreasing employment rights and access to justice. But we’re changing this. We are working with many migrant workers speaking a diverse number of languages who are coming together to fight for their interests. We are fighting back and we need fighting funds to help us do it! https://www.facebook.com/events/600838456724230/
CELEBRATING RESILIENCE – An exhibition organised by PCS National Gallery strikers
One year on from our last exhibition and after 111 days of strike action PCS National Gallery strikers have organised a new exhibition with the theme RESILIENCE.
The exhibition, at PCS HQ Clapham, will feature work by PCS members responding to the strike, as well as pieces by campaign supporters, plus art works, banners and posters made during the strike.
WEDNESDAY 11 NOVEMBER 6.30pm PCS HQ Clapham
Join us for an evening to celebrate our successes and our resilience
Exhibition opening times
The exhibition will be open from 12-22 November on Monday – Friday 10am – 5pm
PCS HQ Clapham 160 Falcon Road SW11 2LN. The PCS office is next to Clapham Junction station reached by trains every few minutes from Waterloo and Victoria.
Blacklisting & Victimisation
Buy the book ‘Blacklisted: The Secret War between Big Business and Union Activists’ Author: Dave Smith and Phil Chamberlain. Blacklisted tells the controversial story of the illegal strategies that transnational construction companies used to keep union activists away from work. See the official trailer from ReelNews
Blacklist Support Group financial appeal: the Blacklist support group is desperately short of funds, to continue the incredible work in 2015 we need more finance, would you please consider making a donation, raise it at your branches and trade councils. Please make cheques payable to Joint sites committee and send to 70 Darnay Rise Chelmsford Essex CM1 4XA. Please forward onto your contacts many thanks Steve Kelly (JSC Treasurer)
Blacklisted activists demand action from MSPs over blacklisting and undercover police in Scotland
Blacklisted activists Dave Smith and Ellenor Hutson spoke at a meeting inside the Holyrood parliament calling on MSPs to take action over the issue of blacklisting and the activities of undercover police officers in Scotland. A large number of MSPs were present including Elaine Smith, deputy speaker of the Scottish parliament.
Ellenor Hutson, an environmental activist from Glasgow who was blacklisted by the notorious Consulting Association told the MSPs that she had been spied on by a number of undercover police officers over many years. She relayed the story of those other women activists who had been deceived into having long term sexual relationships with the officers who cynically used the relationships as a way of ingratiating themselves within campaigns. Ellenor told how some of the women activists have described this as “being raped by the state”.
Ellenor explained how during the G8 Gleneagles summit in 2005, she had worked alongside the undercover police officer Mark Kennedy who while a serving officer was one of the central organisers of the anti-globalisation protests, being the Transport Coordinator, which involved hiring flatbed lorries and minibuses to transport materials and people – a key logistical role during the summit protests.
Dave Smith, secretary of Blacklist Support Group (BSG) and co-author of the book ‘Blacklisted’ also spoke at the meeting and told how undercover police officers had posed as construction workers even infiltrating trade unions. Smith alongside other blacklisted workers and the Blacklist Support Group have been granted ‘core participant’ status in the Pitchford public inquiry into undercover policing that has just opened. However, the remit for the public inquiry set up by the Home Secretary, Teresa May specifically limits the inquiry to the activities of undercover policing in “England and Wales”, so the activities of the police officers who played leading roles in the protests at Gleneagles and who may have spied on trade unions in Scotland would be excluded from the investigation.
Smith & Hutson both called for a full public inquiry into the role of undercover police operating in Scotland – either by the Scottish government writing to Lord Pitchford and asking him to extend the geographical scope of his inquiry or else by setting up a separate inquiry.
Dave Smith also called on the Scottish government and other public authorities across not just Scotland but the whole UK to implement the proposal of the Scottish Affairs Select Committee investigation into blacklisting and to ban blacklisting firms from publicly funded contracts. Smith explained how the major construction firms have now fully admitted their guilt and made a public apology in the High Court. Smith told MSPs, “Blacklisted workers don’t want sympathy from politicians: we’re drowning in sympathy. What we need is action, not just fine words”
The meeting was hosted by UNITE the Union with Neil Findlay MSP for the Lothians also speaking. Neil Findlay MSP commented after the meeting:
‘This was an excellent and shocking event at the Scottish Parliament. The meeting heard from two people whose lives have been directly affected by being put on a blacklist. To hear how Dave Smith was prevented from earning a living because of his trade union activity and for questioning health and safety practices and welfare on construction sites was truly scandalous. Likewise to hear from Ellenor how she was placed on a blacklist for the ‘heinous crime’ of caring about our environment, despite having never worked on a construction site, was remarkable.’
‘What compounded the shocking nature of Dave and Ellenor’s testimonies was their description of the role played by undercover Police. This speakers explained the central role played by the police in compiling names and passing them on construction companies. Ellenor described how she was an activist alongside Mark Kennedy, who it is now known was an undercover policeman pretending to be an activist. This collusion needs investigating and I and others will be calling for an inquiry.’
This is the 3 minute video that was shown to the MSPs at the meeting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=miAzmU5HuFU&feature=youtu.be
Video (5 mins) from the start of the Pitchford inquiry: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8GsY7yM3F8
Information about undercover police who operated outside England and Wales: http://campaignopposingpolicesurveillance.com/2015/10/30/the-pitchford-inquirys-geographical-blinkers/
Blacklisted book http://newint.org/books/politics/blacklisted-secret-war/
International (also see Labourstart)
Turkey: Please see the motion on the Ankara massacre from Day-Mer. They would be grateful if you could share this widely and request groups to make a donation.
Free Mahdi, in need of urgent medical help in Bahrain read more
Diary (see & use false economy)
14 East London Trades Councils Conference – 11am-3.30pm “Defeat anti-union laws! Stop austerity” with Steve Hedley RMT, Michelle Cook Unite, Mick Houghton GLATC, Rob Williams NSSN – Harold Road Centre, Harold Road; London E13 0SJ. Nearest Tube station: Upton Park Map – contact 07486 047 978 or 07506 733 392
17 Wisbech, March & District Trades Council
Film “Tony Benn: Will and Testament” 7.30pm
Wisbech £5 Q&A after the film, more info: [email protected]
21 Trade Union Co-ordinating Group (TUCG) rally: ‘After Corbyn’s victory, build the fight against austerity’ – from 1.30pm to 4.30pm in Central Hall Westminster Storey’s Gate SW1H 9NH London
Barking, Dagenham and Havering Trades Council
Housing Crisis in Barking and Dagenham Public Meeting
Midday St Margaret’s Hall (opposite Barking Theatre)
More info: [email protected]
Greater London Association of Trade Union Councils
Conference: “London against austerity” 10am
27 Yorkshire NSSN Conference: Stop the Union Busters / Organise the Unorganised – 10am Cosmopolitan Hotel 2 Lower Briggate, LS1 4AE Leeds https://www.facebook.com/events/514766158692960/
2 10th annual NSSN conference in Conway Hall, London
PHONE 07952 283 558
EMAIL mailto:[email protected]
TWITTER – https://twitter.com/NSSN_AntiCuts
ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE