The sound of establishment figures crashing out of office provided the backdrop to the 10th annual National Shop Stewards Network conference. “In all the tumult, let’s not forget that this week we saw the downfall of a Tory prime minister” said PCS president Janice Godrich to huge applause.
The Economist referred to the referendum result as “an outpouring of fury against the establishment” and there was plenty of this fury in the hall, from bakery workers dismissed and bullied to teachers preparing a national strike. The wonderful message of hope brought by Yann Venier, secretary of the CGT trade union coordinating committee in Nancy in the north east of France, demonstrated that workers everywhere are gaining confidence in their own ability to change the world: “You have to retain your confidence in the working class that they are capable of rising up.”
Of course, much of the day’s debate had centred around the appalling attempts to unseat Jeremy Corbyn from those who, at best, have no confidence in the working class and, at worst, are deliberately assisting the establishment maintain the status quo. The conference agreed unanimously to send a letter of solidarity to Jeremy and John McDonnell.
That status quo is no use to Kumaran Bose, the Samworth Brothers – owners of Ginsters – bakery worker sacked for seeking union recognition or the cleaners organised in the United Voices of the World union on indefinite strike in the City of London; all of their contributions brought standing ovations.
The NSSN has proudly campaigned for unions to actively combat austerity. Some of the results of that hard work were clearly visible. Whether it be the marvellous victory of PCS workers in the Welsh museums, or the fightback against Greenwich Labour council’s disgraceful ideological attacks on its libraries, or the inspiring struggle of the junior doctors, the link between cuts and the attempted removal of rights under the Trade Union Act were pointedly made.
Afraid of revolt from below, the Tories sought to tighten procedural measures to prevent action. In time, these will be brushed aside again. The glimpse of power the referendum gave workers will not easily be extinguished and, as Hugo Pierre from UNISON and others pointed out, those who equated the Leave vote solely with reaction and anti-immigrant views are not seeing the movements developing underneath the surface.
Geraint Parfitt from the Welsh museum strikers said: “I’m not here to blow our trumpet; I’m here to tell you to blow yours”, a message which won’t go unheard.
There were so many excellent interventions including rallying calls from BFAWU general secretary Ronnie Draper, his counterpart in the POA, Steve Gillan, RMT president Sean Hoyle and PCS assistant general secretary Chris Baugh and NUT NEC member Jane Nellist before the July 5th national teachers’ strike.
But maybe the last words should go to Yannis Gourtsoyannis BMA junior doctors committee national executive who perhaps in anticipation of Tuesday’s rejection of the proposed deal by junior doctors simply told the conference “Now is the time to ramp things up”.
£125 each was donated to the United Voices of the World indefinite strike, the BFAWU Reinstate Kumaran Bose campaign and the Butterfields housing struggle through a bucket collection of delegates
NSSN TUC Congress rally ‘Cameron Gone – get the rest of the Tories Out!’ – 1pm Sunday 11th September
Video shown at start of NSSN Conference
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]
POA branches call meetings outside prisons at 8am on Friday 8th July read more
Teachers strike back on July 5! – Kevin Courtney NUT Acting General Secretary: “This has been a very well supported strike, both by NUT members and the general public. We thank all those parents who have supported us despite the inconvenience it may have caused. This strike should not have been necessary. The NUT will keep campaigning to ensure that the education our children receive is not compromised through school budget cuts. We must invest in our education. The Government needs to start listening” read more on NUT website See strike photos and reports by following #
Reinstate Kumaran Bose – sacked by Samworths! The NSSN is supporting the BFAWU’s campaign in support of Kumaran Bose who was dismissed for speaking out and for organising a union in his workplace read more Facebook group Sign petition 1 here and sign petition 2 here
Dozens of workers to go on strike again at Newport food factory RF Brookes – Dozens of workers at a Rogerstone food factory have threatened to go on strike again next week over pay conditions – just a month after lining the picket line. Up to 100 shop workers at RF Brookes are planning on staging an all-out strike next Thursday and Friday (July 14 and 15) unless a compromise can be reached in a meeting with factory bosses this week read more from South Wales Argus
RMT responds to confirmation of GTR emergency timetable (5 July) – General Secretary Mick Cash said: “This is crisis management on Britain’s biggest rail franchise, a franchise that is now in terminal meltdown. The continuing attempt to blame this gross mismanagement on the front line staff is a cynical and cowardly ploy by a company who have chosen to wage war on their passengers and workforce alike read more Ministers must now act on GTR, says TSSA
RMT Scotrail action remains “rock solid and determined” today in fight for safety (3 July) – “Despite the continuing and rock-solid action today it is extraordinary that Abellio/Scotrail choose to ignore the strength of feeling amongst their staff over the extension of DOO. That disgraceful and cavalier approach to jobs and safety on Scotland’s railways is shameful read more Public Meeting: The truth about Abellio Scotrail slashing Guards’ jobs
Support school support staff against pay cuts – Join teaching assistants Facebook Group here Durham school support staff mobilise against slashing of pay
Opposition to Land Registry sell-off forces rethink (1 July) – Broad opposition to the government’s plans to privatise the Land Registry appears to have forced a rethink. Mirroring what happened when ministers tried to sell off the agency two years ago we have worked with politicians and industry professionals, and more than 300,000 people have signed an online petition read more
BIS industrial action to continue throughout the summer – Action short of a strike will start on Monday 20 June with the possibility of more complete walk-outs 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
‘38 pence an hour’ extra for three years sparks new Leeds bus strikes on Friday and Monday (5 July) – bosses in Leeds have been accused of deliberately prolonging the city’s bus dispute by Unite, the country’s largest trade union, after the latest offer amounted to 38 pence an hour extra for the next three years. Unite said that the ‘insulting 38 pence an hour’ offer sparked the third 24-hour strike in Leeds from 02.01 on Friday (8 July). There will also be a six-hour stoppage from 04.00 to 10.00 on Monday (July 11) read more
Ealing traffic wardens striking for a living wage (5 July) – Ealing traffic wardens, members of Unite will be striking for a second day today (Tuesday 5 July) as part of a 72 hour walk-out in a bid to secure the London living wage and end a two tier workforce. The union’s 38 members who voted overwhelmingly for strike action with 100 per cent voting in favour, have already staged a two day strike in their fight for fairer pay. The dispute with NSL, which provides the traffic warden service for Ealing council, centres on the company’s refusal to become an accredited living wage employer, as defined by the Living Wage Foundation read more
A fourth week of strikes by Weymouth bus drivers are set for next week, as bosses endanger tourism by refusing to talk (5 July) – Weymouth bus drivers have accused management of endangering the town’s lucrative tourism industry by refusing to negotiate in the long-running ‘poverty pay’ dispute. Unite today (Tuesday 5 July) announced three more days of strike action next week, the fourth week running, for the drivers, based at Weymouth and Bridport read more
Suffolk staff at animal feed firm to vote for strike action in ‘bullying’ contract row (4 July) – Nearly 50 workers at Suffolk animal feed firm, A B Agriculture Ltd will be voting for strike action, amid allegations of bullying, in a dispute which has seen ‘a concerted attack’ on their terms and conditions. Unite will be balloting its members at the Bury St Edmunds firm from Monday (11 July) for strike action and/or industrial action short of a strike over the unilateral imposition of a ‘draconian’ workplace agreement. The ballot closes on Friday 22 July read more
Greenwich ‘battle of the books’ opens new chapter with strike action (4 July) – The long-running ‘battle of the books’ in Greenwich opens a new chapter tomorrow (Tuesday 5 July) when library workers strike for 48 hours to save the borough’s mobile library service from closure. Unite, the country’s largest union, has called for its 84 library members to strike from 00.01 tomorrow (Tuesday 5 July) as Greenwich councillors plough ahead with plans to close the mobile service which delivers 33,000 books a year to children – an increase from the 22,000 books lent last year read more
Solid support for Encirc Glass workers strike (1 July) – There was solid support on the final day of a 48-hour strike at Chester glass manufacturers Encirc Glass today (Friday 1 July), as messages of support flooded in from workers at some of the firm’s customers, including Heineken, InBev and Diageo. Over 300 members of Unite, the country’s largest union, have been on strike read more
Unite at the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) were on strike on Thursday 19th May and are still in dispute. Pay Up HCA! – 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
Bromley demo against council cuts July 23 – supported by Unite Local Government National Industrial sector Committee: Assemble Norman Park, Hayes Lane, Bromley BR2 9EF at 11am
GMB Strike At Wigan Roof Manufacturer Over Unfair Dismissal Of GMB Rep (July 4) – Staff are sick and tired of bullying and victimisation at the hands of Monier Redland Management and are saying enough is enough says GMB. GMB began a one week strike today (Monday 4th July, 2016) following the dismissal of a GMB representative from a Monier Redland site in Wigan. The convener was dismissed by the company following a collision with a parked car that should not have been there read more
BMA Junior Doctors dispute – junior doctors vote to reject deal by 58% to 42% on a 68% turnout Read more on BMA website
For more info follow #JuniorDoctorsStrike #NotSafeNotFair #JuniorDoctors on twitter
BURSARY OR BUST: Continuing the fight to save NHS bursaries https://www.facebook.com/NHSbursarycutsforum/
Keep up to date with UCU rolling strikes here
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 Since launching this petition, the situation at London Met has now deteriorated further. University management have commenced a further round of compulsory redundancies that threaten the jobs of almost 400 academic and administrative staff – some one-third of all substantive university staff. They have also stated their intention to further increase the use of zero-hour contracts and reduce research to that which explicitly ‘generates a profit’. Please see details here
Calls for resignation of Manchester fire authority chair over new “family wrecking” shift system (6 July) – There have been calls for the chair of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority to quit after the local branch of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) unanimously passed a vote of no confidence in his leadership. The union says firefighters have lost confidence in David Acton after the authority backed controversial plans to put firefighters on ‘family unfriendly’ 12-hour shifts. The shift pattern change is part of a raft of measures unveiled in response to central government funding cuts which will also include more than 250 job losses read more
CWU to launch strike ballot over Post Office privatisation (July 4) – Union will ballot all Post Office members to “defend the future of great British institution”. Today (Tuesday) the Post Office board has announced the privatisation of a further 20 Crown Post Offices bringing around 175 job losses read more
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
BBC World News to hold 24-hour walkout over rota row (4 July) – Staff at BBC World News are planning a walkout as part of a 24-hour strike on Thursday 7 July over rota changes which require them to work significantly more hours. They will leave their central London newsroom building at noon. NUJ members voted by 96.5 per cent, on a strong turnout, for the action read more
Further growth in false self-employment revealed (5 July) – Figures obtained by construction union UCATT via a Freedom of Information request reveal that the problem of false self-employment is continuing to increase in the construction industry. The figure acquired from the HMRC reveals that in 2015/16 a total of 992,973 people or organisations received a net payment from the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS). This was a 3 per cent increase on 2014/15 when 963,000 people received at least one CIS payment. In the last two financial years people receiving CIS payments have increased by 7 per cent read more
Nationalise Tata – support the Steelworkers
For latest developments, follow Facebook group
United Voices of the World
Cleaners indefinite strike from June 8 – Please come and support our strike from June 8 in support of the cleaners at 100 Wood Street who are paid poverty wages and are being unlawfully dismissed by the anti-union cleaning contractor Thames Cleaning and Support Services Limited (“Thames”).
Cleaners reach 30th day of indefinite strike for London Living Wage – The striking Latin American cleaners are at 100 Wood Street, an office building which is owned by Europe’s richest man Amancio Ortega (1), is home to financial giants such as JP Morgan and Schroders and is managed by CBRE, a Fortune 500 commercial real estate company. This is the first all-out strike in the history of the City of London. It is also the first time in the United Kingdom that a workforce composed entirely of Latin Americans has gone on all out strike
All the cleaners are asking for are their rights to be respected and to be paid a wage they can live on Please consider donating to our strike fund. Bank details can be found at http://www.uvwunion.org.uk/volunteer/ read more on United Voices of the World Facebook Group Strike Facebook event
Support Antonio! Reinstate Cleaner Sacked for Union Organising – Over Christmas, Antonio, a cleaner employed by cleaning contractor ISS at the premises of huge international institution of finance capitalism Bank of America Merrill Lynch, was sacked a few months after managers saw Antonio distributing IWW union joining forms, they hauled him into a disciplinary meeting without his union rep. Four days later (on Christmas Eve!) they sent Antonio a letter confirming he’d been sacked – they gave him seven days (until New Year’s Eve!) to appeal. read more
Trade Union Co-ordinating Group (TUCG) annual Tolpuddle seminar in Parliament – Tuesday 12th July at 6.30pm in the Wilson Room, Portcullis House (more information to follow) www.tucg.org.uk This year’s theme is ‘Keeping the Right to Strike’ and it will include contributions from legal experts, politicians and trade union leaders. There is also a Q and A at the end of the session
Emergency demo: no more austerity – no to racism – Tories must go Saturday 16 July 2016 Assemble 12pm, BBC HQ, Portland Place, London W1A 1AA http://www.thepeoplesassembly.org.uk/emergency_demo_16july
Socialist Opposition to Word War One Exhibition – open until July 11 at TUC Congress House
Miami Five Freedom Tour dates: Gerardo Hernández and René González to speak in Britain this summer see dates here
Blacklisting & Victimisation
Buy the book ‘Blacklisted: The Secret War between Big Business and Union Activists’ Author: Dave Smith and Phil Chamberlain. Blacklisted tells the controversial story of the illegal strategies that transnational construction companies used to keep union activists away from work. See the official trailer from ReelNews
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/
International day of action for dockers: Dockers are under attack! Fight back by taking action on 7 July read more
Iran: Gold Miners Lashed, jailed workers on hunger strike read more
Nigeria: Oyo State workers’ indefinite strike read more
Stop union-busting and stop retaliation against whistleblowers at WIPO read more
Diary (see & use false economy)
9 Durham Miners’ Gala http://www.durhamminers.org/gala
15-17 Tolpuddle Martyrs’ Festival http://www.tolpuddlemartyrs.org.uk/ – Sunday 17 July Tolpuddle Martyrs’ Festival 2016, Dorset:-
Barking Dagenham and Havering TUC Coach Day Trip (coach leaves Dagenham Civic Centre 7.45am – returns 5.45pm) Deposit £5
Bookings Contact: Susan Aitouaz [email protected]
Croydon TUC Coach Day Trip (coach leaves Ruskin House, Croydon 8am – returns 9.45pm) Deposit £6
Bookings Contact: [email protected] / 07941 890 756
10 6th Wigan Diggers’ Festival https://wigandiggersfestival.org/
11 NSSN TUC Congress rally ‘Cameron Gone – get the rest of the Tories Out!’ – 1pm Grand Hotel (next to Brighton Centre)
PHONE 07952 283 558
EMAIL mailto:[email protected]
TWITTER – https://twitter.com/NSSN_AntiCuts
ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE