NSSN supporters spent last week racing around picket lines and strike protests as a succession of workers took action. In Sheffield, PCS members at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills were on strike to stop their office being closed, while across the city hundreds of BFAWU bakers’ Union members were on picket lines, day and night to stop their employer Pennine Foods imposing new inferior contracts.
In London, we were supporting the Unite strike at the Homes and Communities Agency as well as giving solidarity to the picket and protest of RMT members at Southern Rail. In Glasgow, the ongoing ‘Justice for Jannies’ dispute saw striking Unison members protest outside the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh and Glasgow City Centre. PCS Welsh Museum workers have been continuing their indefinite strike.
This week sees UCU members in Higher Education taking national action at the same time that the NUT is balloting. Steelworkers are marching in London on Wednesday to save their plants, jobs and communities, the same day as BECTU cinema members in Hackney are striking. Every week sees more workers taking action – whether it is against their private sector employer but also increasingly against what they see is a government that is weak and divided. The question is how do we bring these struggles together, to make a breakthrough against the bosses’ offensive and the Tory cuts and their new anti-union laws?
The teachers pushed the Tories to make a partial retreat over forced academies and now want to win further concessions. The Junior Doctors’ tenacious action forced Jeremy Hunt to the negotiating table. BMA members will now decide if enough has been won and if they need to take further action. But if as the NSSN has argued, the TUC had organised mass solidarity action, as called for by the PCS and the FBU, the Tories and their planned imposed contract could have been totally defeated, opening up the possibility of a major crisis for the government and even its removal. It is no accident that the recent BMA’s Junior Doctors conference called for the union to work closely with other unions. If the new offer is rejected, we encourage the BMA to demand to speak at the TUC General Council about a united struggle to support them, the campaign to save the NHS bursary as well as defending the NHS.
The NSSN’s 10th annual conference is in London on July 2nd. Hundreds of union reps and activists alongside anti-cuts campaigners will be meeting together to tell each other about the multitude of disputes and campaigns. We will be providing a platform to every strike that is going on to build solidarity as well as the learning the lessons from the ones that have taken place. But it will also be a ‘Council of War’ to discuss how the rank and file of the union movement can put maximum pressure on the union leaders to call the mass co-ordinated action that is needed to defeat the Tories.
Back Amgueddfa Cymru/National Museum Wales staff on all-out strike – PCS members at Amgueddfa Cymru/National Museum Wales have escalated their 2-year dispute over removal of extra payments for weekend working to an all-out strike read more Facebook Group Send message of support to Peter Hill PCS Branch secretary at [email protected] and complain to Director General David Anderson – [email protected]
Bristol – Wednesday 18 May https://www.facebook.com/events/585485981615222
London – Thursday 19 https://www.facebook.com/events/1762956343990963/
Make a contribution to the hardship fund:
Bank: Unity Trust Bank
Account name: PCS Amgueddfa Cymru 107006 Branch Hardship Fund
Account number: 20364700
Sort code: 60-83-01
Or via PayPal: http://bit.ly/26eNhvq
BIS members start series of strikes over job loss threat (20 May) – PCS members in BIS walked out nationally with further strikes planned for next week over plans to close the Sheffield office and move work to London. Members will be taking two more days of strike action next week on Wednesday (25 May) and Thursday (26 May). They are also being balloted on action short of a strike, which would mainly consist of activities concerned with withdrawing goodwill. PCS industrial officer Lois Austin said: “The employer has made some concessions due to union pressure such as proposing policy staff can move to a job in London. This is a change from what was first proposed in the announcement of 28 January. “The fact they are shifting their position shows union pressure works. But we have to keep on pushing to get what we want. We are demanding that policy jobs stay in the regions, that Sheffield remains open and we want a no compulsory redundancy guarantee.“ read more
- Sign the online petition against the closure of the Sheffield office
- Write to your MP
- Tweet your messages of support @pcsbis using the hashtag #KeepSheffieldOpen.
- Donate to the strike fund: cheques made payable to the PCS BIS hardship fund can be sent to the BIS group treasurer at 9 Medina Way, Upper Stratton, Swindon, SN2 7NW or money can be transferred to Unity Trust bank account 20240992 sort code 60-83-01
225,000-strong petition opposing Land Registry sell-off set to be delivered
PCS will join other campaigners on Thursday to deliver a petition to tell the government to stop the sale of the Land Registry.
Unite at the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) were on strike on Thursday 19th May. Pay Up HCA! – Strike Pay Appeal: Two more strike days are proposed on Wednesday 15th and Thursday 16th June. We are therefore urgently appealing for donations to our strike fund to assist those on strike and minimise hardship. You can contribute as follows:
- By cheque made out to “Unite Housing Workers Branch LE111”, sent to PO Box 66701, London E11 9FB.
- By BACS to account name Unite Housing Workers LE/1111 Branch, account number 20040626, Sort Code 60¬83¬01 read more
Support Alison Morris: Defying all justice, Fire alarm rep sacking row continues (May 10th) – The boss of a Birmingham drug and alcohol charity, which sacked health and safety rep Alison Morris for raising concerns with her manager over fire safety, has received nearly 3,000 emails calling for her reinstatement. David Biddle, the chief executive of CGL (Change, Live, Grow) the city’s leading substance abuse charity, has received thousands of emails supporting Alison Morris’ reinstatement. Email message of complaint via http://www.uniteforoursociety.org/page/speakout/justice-for-alison-
Hundreds of Manchester bus drivers to strike in dispute over collective bargaining breaches (23 May)
Hundreds of bus drivers, members of Unite, Britain’s largest union, working for First Manchester Ltd will stage a one day strike on Tuesday 24 May over a series of serious breaches of longstanding industrial agreements.
Unite vows to fight job losses at ‘Boaty McBoatface’ yard
Unite, the country’s biggest union, has said it will fight dozens of compulsory redundancies at Cammell Laird, the Birkenhead shipyard set to build ‘Boaty McBoatface’.
Unite in Peabody reject 1.5% pay offer
No votes in favour of acceptance. A growing Unite membership in Peabody has decisively rejected a pay offer of 1.5% – with NO votes cast in favour of acceptance.
Strikes at Pennine Foods in Sheffield starting May 19 – the Bakers Union has announced a series of 48-hour strikes starting last Thursday against the imposition of new contracts – May 19-20, June 1-3 16-17 June 30-July 1 www.bfawu.org Please send messages of support to [email protected] / [email protected] and donations: make cheques out to BFAWU and send to Pennine Strike Fund – BFAWU, Stanborough House, Great North Road, Welwyn Garden City, Herts AL8 7TA
A BFAWU organizer appeals for solidarity
“You will probably be aware of the recent 48 hour strike at Pennine food, Sheffield.
The initial 48 action was a resounding success with mass pickets of between 100-200 pickets for the duration of the strike.
We are now accepting invitations to speak at events for a speaker for your event contact
Branch Secretary: Debbie Loy
[email protected] or [email protected]
Also these workers a very low paid workers, if we are to escalate action we will need considerable support from the trade union movement, any solidarity donations
Make cheques payable to Deborah Loy
Send them to
BFAWU Pennine strike fund
Thompsons Solicitors, McLaren Building,
35 Dale End, Birmingham B4 7LF
Up and coming action
Wednesday 25th may 5pm-6pm
Support the Pennine workers solidarity picket of M&S Fargate Sheffield.
For those attending parking is available at Central united reform church Norfolk Street. Sheffield. S1 2JB
Here is the facebook event
Next two days of strike action will be Sunday Monday 5th & 6th June,
Please join us on the Pickets at Pennine food from 6am
Sheffield S20 7JG near crystal peaks,
For further information on this strike please contact regional organiser Haroon Rashid
In the meantime please pass this email on to all your contacts
BFAWU community organiser,
Common sense prevails as Glen Hart returns to his job (May 20) – I am pleased to advise you that we have some good news with regards to Brother Glen Hart. I have received a letter from LUL that Glen, myself and NEC member John Reid are happy with. Shortly Glen will be able to return to his normal duties in his job at work. This is great news for Glen, the union and all of us. Justice and common sense has prevailed. Thanks and in solidarity – John Leach RMT Regional Organiser London Transport region 11 read more
RMT slams “disgraceful” Southern/GTR as press report this morning confirms that they have deliberately set out to smash unions
RAIL UNION RMT today slammed Southern/GTR for “disgraceful and provocative” behaviour as it emerged in a report in the Times this morning that the company have deliberately engineered disputes with their staff in an attempt to smash the unions so that they can dilute safety and maximise profits.
RMT on 19 August start date for Night Tube
General Secretary Mick Cash said;”There are major unresolved issues in relation to the Tube Lines engineering workforce and it is imperative that the company now moves quickly to address the points at the core of that dispute
This year’s annual NSSN conference – our 10th – will be on Saturday July 2nd in Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL – 11am-4.30pm. Conference fee is £6 each www.facebook.com/events/1361018323924300/ – confirmed speakers: Steve Gillan POA General Secretary, Matt Wrack FBU General Secretary, Ronnie Draper BFAWU General Secretary, Janice Godrich PCS President, Chris Baugh PCS Assistant General Secretary, Sean Hoyle RMT President Yannis Gourtsoyannis BMA junior doctors committee national executive
ASLEF drivers vote to strike (23 May)
Mick Whelan, general secretary, has welcomed the strong mandate from GTR Southern & Gatwick Express members who have voted overwhelmingly in favour of taking action over the dispute concerning the extension of driver only operations.
Support Simon O’Hara — Teachers at Small Heath School in Birmingham are continuing to take action to support Simon who remains suspended. You are encouraged to send messages of support to David Room at [email protected] https://www.facebook.com/Reinstate-Simon-OHara-1090494714318024/
BMA Junior Doctors dispute – after initially ruling out talks over the Saturday part of the new contract, the Government backtracked opening up the way for new talks with the BMA. Members are now considering a new offer read more
The NSSN has produced a model motion that can be used in unions at all levels and trades council here
BURSARY OR BUST MARCH: Continuing the fight to save NHS bursaries – Saturday June 4th 1pm from St Thomas’ Hospital Westminster Bridge Rd, SE1 7 London https://www.facebook.com/events/1020899857963987/
Stop the sackings of union reps at London Met – #savelondonmet #saveourreps Yesterday (April 30) our branch chair Mark Campbell and secretary David Hardman were made redundant in what is an outrageous attack on their strenuous and tireless trade union activities defending jobs and education at London Met read more Sign petition
UCU confirms two-day strike at UK universities over pay – UCU has confirmed plans for a two-day national strike at UK universities as part of an ongoing dispute over pay. UCU members in higher education will walk out on Wednesday 25 and Thursday 26 May read more London march May 25: from Northampton Square EC1V 0ES Map 12pm to UCEA (universities & colleges employer association body)
Union calls for halt to estimated 100 job losses at City of Bristol College
UCU today urged managers at the City of Bristol College to rethink plans to slash approximately 50 teaching jobs and a further 50 support staff posts, in a bid to reduce its debt.
Reinstate Clive Walder
Clive Walder, a longstanding leading rep in the CWU was sacked last November after 38 years of service with British Telecom. Clive is chair of the CWU Birmingham, Black Country & Worcester branch. Last week, his Employment Tribunal was dismissed on a technicality after a claim by BT, denying Clive the right of a fair hearing. This is outrageous.
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.
Contact Clive to send messages of support and invite him to your union branch, shop stewards committee, trades council etc – [email protected] 07771931185
NSSN / Kill the Bill news
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 attached and 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]
More Union News
Nationalise Tata – support the Steelworkers
‘Save Our Steel’ March of the Steel makers – 12noon Wednesday March 25th Embankment, top end of Whitehall Gardens London SW1A London read more
For latest developments, follow Facebook group
Glasgow Councils Climb Down (May 20) – GMB Scotland welcomes Glasgow Council climb down on holiday dispute. GMB Scotland has this afternoon (Friday 20 May) welcomed Glasgow City Council’s (GCC) decision to climb-down from their changes to working time that could have cost workers up to £500 a year. The Council has confirmed that plans to convert six public holidays into annual leave will now be dropped having made budget savings. Yesterday, a GMB Scotland industrial action ballot closed with 72 per cent support for strike action against the plan read more
Private hire protest in Berkeley Square on 24th May against Addison Lee terms and conditions
GMB members working as private hire drivers for Addison Lee will block Berkeley Square on Tuesday (24th May, 2016) in protest over the poor operating terms and conditions implemented by the company.
GMB protest on Tuesday 24th May at Avery Care Home over a failure to backdate living wage
GMB, the union for care workers, will hold a protest for GMB members employed by Avery Healthcare on Tuesday, 24th May in a fight over National Living Wage implementation.
Glasgow U-turn on public holiday cuts shows the value of planned united action (20 May) – This communication follows the decision by Glasgow City Council to withdraw all proposals to cut public holidays for staff as communicated by the Chief Executive in her email earlier today read more
UCATT member in Cambridgeshire wins significant tribunal against umbrella company (17 May) – A UCATT member from Ely in Cambridgeshire has won a hugely significant employment tribunal case against an umbrella company. Maurice Meredith contacted UCATT after the union staged a demonstration against umbrella companies in November 2014, outside a Hills construction site next to Cambridge Railway Station. Mr Meredith was awarded payments for the unlawful deduction of employer’s national insurance from his wage packet and unpaid holiday pay read more
Legal victory for union after service tries to double the working week (12 May) – Delegates at the Fire Brigades Union’s 89th conference debated the issue of unsafe duty systems. Neil Carbutt, brigade secretary of the FBU in South Yorkshire, highlighted the dangers of close proximity crewing (CPC) and reported on a successful employment tribunal that concluded the 96-hour shift duty system breached the working time directive read more
Rio cinema staff to strike on 25 May – Staff at The Rio, one of London’s most prominent independent cinemas, have voted today to take strike action. Seventy per cent of BECTU members took part in the ballot and 93% cast their vote for industrial action. Strike action will take place on Wednesday 25 May read more
Mandate / SIPTU (Ireland)
Mandate Tesco strike suspended – Following the decision by Tesco to remove their threat to unilaterally reduce the terms and conditions of our members, Mandate as a consequence deferred the strike planned for Monday 16 May 2016. Both parties have also agreed to attend the Workplace Relations Commission [WRC] for discussions read more
Support the Luas workers. Support Group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/533923853456339/
United Voices of the World
Reinstate ‘The Topshop 2’ & demand a Living Wage – Look at United Voices of the World Facebook group for more info on this campaign and other disputes and reports, photos and videos of the national day of action on May 15 which had the protests at Topshop’s flagship Oxford Street store at its centrepiece
SPOT, Solidarity with People of Turkey evening of solidarity with people of Turkey on Wednesday, 25 May 2016, at North London Community House in Tottenham, Bruce Grove. On the day we will discuss the concerning developments in Turkey and consider building a campaign in support of all those who are currently being persecuted for raising their voice against the AKP government and president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey. As a first step we would like to take this opportunity to appeal to academics, politicians, trade unionists and peace campaigners to come together and discuss the actions we can take.
SPOT, Solidarity with People of Turkey – 22 Moorefield Road
London N17 6PY Tel: 020 8885 0899 E-mail: [email protected]
Tamil Solidarity – Solidarity Day: Saturday June 4th in Unite HQ, Holborn, London https://www.facebook.com/events/1724072431169931/
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 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)
Donate to ReelNews – http://reelnews.co.uk/donationssubscriptions/
Diary (see & use false economy)
2 10th annual NSSN Conference in Conway Hall, London https://www.facebook.com/events/1361018323924300/
9 Durham Miners’ Gala http://www.durhamminers.org/gala
15-17 Tolpuddle Martyrs’ Festival http://www.tolpuddlemartyrs.org.uk/
PHONE 07952 283 558
EMAIL mailto:[email protected]
TWITTER – https://twitter.com/NSSN_AntiCuts
ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE