NSSN 313: Support NUJ Newsquest South London strike & Unite Crossrail campaign

Support NUJ Newsquest South London strike

NUJ members working for Newsquest in South London are out on strike again this week after voting to extend their strike by another 5 days. It is over a newsroom restructure that will result in 12 reporters covering news, sport and leisure across 11 newspapers and eight websites under a single content editor. Seven reporters have resigned over the plans.


The striking journalists outside the company’s Sutton HQ told the NSSN, “We aren’t out here for more pay or better perks but because we have been cut to the extent that it’s impossible to do our jobs. Our office has basically halved since March. We aren’t able to do proper quality journalism and we were stretched before March! They don’t care that the quality will suffer. I heard somewhere that between 2003 and 2014 their profits have increased by 25% but by reducing staff by 50%. But once they do it here, they will roll it out throughout the country. They are refusing to talk to us – we just want them to negotiate properly with us.”

The initial action started on 13 October until 19 October and after Friday will be followed by an indefinite work to rule.

To send messages of support and donations to the hardship fund, email Bernard Roche at [email protected] noting the amount and send the money to Account number 20143387 Sort code 608301


Unite Sparks Crossrail campaign catches fire

Hundreds of construction electricians crowded into the main conference room at Unite’s national HQ last week to hammer out an action plan on the massive Crossrail project – the biggest publicly-financed scheme in Western Europe. With management saying that the project is 80% completed and desperate to complete the electrical jobs on time, workers realise that now is the time to put demands on the bosses – direct employment, improved facilities and health & safely as well as a 2nd tier productivity bonus payment. This at a time when managers and senior engineers are earning 6-figure sums!


This was the biggest show of strength of ‘The Sparks’ since the victorious struggle in 2011-12 to defeat the BESNA contract which the big electrical contractors wanted to impose which would have seen wages cut by 35%. Since then, workers have been fighting the use of agencies and ‘umbrella companies’ and other varieties of bogus self-employment which are used by companies to cut wages. This is why on the early days of Crossrail, a succession of union activists were blacklisted from the job. This included Frank Morris who was reinstated after a 6 month campaign and has since been elected to the Unite Executive.

It was clear from the meeting that a new and increasingly younger layer of electricians are being mobilised by Unite and its rank and file activists and have now launched a new bulletin for the sites called ‘Tunnel Vision’. There have already been instances of workers ‘cabining up’ on sites. NSSN national chair Rob Williams was able to speak to give the support of the National Shop Stewards Network and to remind the meeting about victories that have been won over the last few years and the potential to achieve a breakthrough now on Crossrail

UCATT forces Crossrail to introduce a timekepper after failure of digital payment system


Conference: Turkey after the failed coup and the battle for democracy (organised by Solidarity with People of Turkey SPOT)


10am-4.45pm NUT Headquarters, Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, London WC1H 9BD read more

Turkey is fast forwarding towards a dictatorship, and it is no exaggeration to say that the country’s fragile democracy faces further destruction if a strong movement in defence of democracy and human rights is not urgently built.

SPOT (which the NSSN is affiliated to) is committed to supporting a strong democratic movement in Turkey and in partnership with the NUT, invites you to join journalists, trade unionists, minority activists and human rights campaigners from both Turkey and the UK at its official launch and conference on 29 October 2016.

The conference will provide a timely opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the situation in Turkey and make links between progressive individuals and movements in both countries. Confirmed speakers include – Christine Blower, President, ETUCE, Chris Baugh, Assistant General Secretary, PCS and Kate Osamor, Labour MP for Edmonton

Turkey: Press freedom is essential for democracy, set journalism free! Read more



NSSN news

This is a video of the NSSN TUC Congress Rally on 11 September – Tories Out! Keep Corbyn!

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 is below

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]


Union News


The NSSN calls on all our supporters and affiliates to support RMT members who are in dispute with Southern Rail workers – the next strike dates are: Friday November 4 to Saturday 5, Tuesday 22nd November to Wednesday 23rd November and Tuesday 6th December to Thursday 8th December read more here and here. Please send messages of support and donations to the RMT – [email protected] RMT Unity House 39 Chalton Street London NW1 1JD

RMT’s Mick Cash calls for direct meeting with Chris Grayling over Southern Rail during Common’s evidence session

Tuesday 1st November 12.30pm – protest demonstration and rally at Houses of Parliament to support Southern conductors and oppose DOO – assemble at 12.30–13.30 opposite Parliament (Old Palace Yard).This will be followed by a rally inside Parliament from 14.00 – 15.30 in Committee Room 10 read more



ASLEF to ballot for action on Southern (18 Oct) – ASLEF is to ballot its drivers on Southern Railways for industrial action after last-ditch talks at head office on Monday failed to resolve the problems at the heart of this dispute read more



Derby council is escalating pay dispute with school support staff ‘pointlessly’, says UNISON (Oct 20) – UNISON is accusing Derby City Council of inflaming tensions and escalating a dispute with school support staff who have seen their pay slashed by up to 25%. The staff – who begin their latest two-day strike today (Thursday) – plan to distribute balloons and stickers to parents and children as part of their good-natured community campaign to raise awareness for their case against the council read more

Durham teaching assistants back strike action, announces UNISON (Oct 19) – Durham teaching assistants have voted overwhelmingly for strike action in the long-running dispute over cuts to their pay, their union UNISON has announced today (Wednesday). UNISON held a ballot over Durham County Council plans to move teaching assistants to term-time pay. This could see school support staff lose up to 23% of their wages read more

To contribute to the Durham TAs’ fund, please visit: here

Durham TAs Facebook page read more

Donate to Derby hardship fund here

Derby Unison branch Facebook page read more

UNISON and Scottish FE employers to talk at Acas (Oct 20) – Further education committee agrees to talks, but further strikes remain a possibility read more

Sign petition to support the Kinsley School cleaners in Wakefield on indefinite strike since September 6th sign here   Facebook Group  Donate to strike fund – send to Wakefield Unison, 18 Gills Yard, Wakefield WF1 3BZ

Lobby Against Privatisation of Glasgow City Council IT Services – Wednesday 26th Oct at 1pm – 1.30pm, Glasgow City Chambers https://www.facebook.com/events/354878838181695/



Support striking government equality staff (21 Oct) – staff at the governments’ equality watchdog, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, are striking next Wednesday (26 October) over cuts that PCS says would make it impossible for the agency to function. The first phase of non-strike industrial action at the EHRC starts the following day, and dates for further walkouts will be considered read more

Unite members at equality watchdog overwhelmingly back industrial action

Black History Month: PCS celebrates our past, present and future read more

Sign the petition to end privatisation at the Imperial War Museums sign here



Plans to close Leicester children’s heart centre ‘a scandal’, says Unite (24 Oct) – The plan to end heart surgery at Leicester’s Glenfield Children’s Heart Centre is ‘a scandal of national proportions’, Unite, the country’s largest union, said today (Monday 24 October). A protest meeting and march will be held in Leicester on Saturday (29 October) to stop the moves which will see the East Midlands lose this facility – it performs about 300 operations a year on children born with heart defects. Protesters will meet at Victoria Park at 11.00 on Saturday, near Granville Road car park LE1 7RY before the march sets off at noon to Jubilee Square for a rally at 13.00 read more

Gatwick workers to vote in strike ballot over pensions (19 Oct) – Gatwick Airport Ltd (GAL) stands accused of blatant opportunism over the closure of its final salary pension scheme as Unite, Britain’s biggest union, serves notice that it will begin balloting its 1,800 members for strike action and action short of strike from next week Friday (28 October) read more

Work to rule and strikes loom as cable maker drags its feet over pay (19 Oct) – 167 members of Britain’s largest union, Unite working for the energy and telecoms cable maker Prysmian in Eastleigh, Hampshire are set to start a work to rule on Tuesday 25 October in dispute over pay, which could escalate to a 48-hour strike starting on Sunday 13 November read more



Cheshire Firefighters To Strike Next Week Over Job Losses (Oct) – These GMB members who provide a professional service are outraged that they are being treated this way says GMB read more



London NUT demonstration ‘Invest don’t cut!’ – assemble 5pm Thursday November 17 in Whitehall opposite Downing Street for march to Department of Education and rally at 6.30pm in Emmanuel Centre in Marsham Street

Support Simon O’Hara — victimised teacher at Small Heath School in Birmingham



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



City of Liverpool College staff pass no confidence vote over financial concerns (21 Oct) – UCU members at the City of Liverpool College have passed a unanimous vote of no confidence in the college leadership over concerns about financial mismanagement read more

UCU members at Coventry subsidiary company to be reinstated on original contracts (21 Oct) – The University and College Union (UCU) has today (Friday) welcomed a decision to allow a group of Coventry University staff recently moved onto agency contracts the opportunity to move back to their original contracts and be covered by a new recognition agreement for collective bargaining https://www.ucu.org.uk/article/8509/UCU-members-at-Coventry-subsidiary-company-to-be-reinstated-on-original-contracts?list=1676

Support the reinstatement of London Met union reps: Mark Campbell and David Hardman https://uculondonmet.wordpress.com/



Second Post Office strike announced (20 Oct) – “The stakes have never been higher for the Post Office, its workers and the communities they serve,” said general secretary Dave Ward as the union announced a second national strike by members in Crown Offices, Admin and Supply Chain. Some 3,500 CWU members will strike for the day on Monday 31st October, and as well as workplace pickets, there will also be a high-profile protest taking place in central London, aimed at making sure the union’s message is heard loud and clear read more   Unite: Post Office managers to strike on 31 October over closure of pension fund

Rock-solid postal strikes in Luton (19 Oct) – Area delivery rep Thomas Oakey thanked CWU members at Luton and Leagrave delivery offices for their “solid support” for today’s strike. And he warned the company that further strikes will take place next week unless a resolution is found. Hundreds of postal workers across four Luton post codes – LU1, LU2, LU3, and LU4 – went on strike today in protest against management bullying, in a walkout which followed an over 92 per cent vote for action 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. 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


Nationalise Tata – support the Steelworkers

For latest developments, follow Facebook group



Brixton Ritzy Picturehouse cinema workers to strike for 3rd time on October 31st read more

Brixton Facebook Page     Hackney Facebook Page   Support the Picturehouse Strike Fund – donate now


BMA Junior Doctors

Please sign this petition to support the junior doctors 


BURSARY OR BUST: Continuing the fight to save NHS bursaries https://www.facebook.com/NHSbursarycutsforum/

NHS students overburdened by extra work and rising debt, says UNISON



Deliveroo Campaign Public Meeting – 8 November 7pm Marchmont Street Community Centre, 62 Marchmont St, WC1N 1AB London Facebook event


United Voices of the World

Cleaners at the London School of Economics (LSE), backed by their union United Voices of the World (UVW) and LSE staff, students and other supporters protested on 14th October to demand the reinstatement of Alba, one of the longest serving members of the cleaning team at the LSE, who was unfairly, unnecessarily and unlawfully sacked by the LSE’s new cleaning contractor Noonan

John Lewis Protest: bring the Cleaners into the partnership! – SAVE THE DATE: 5 NOVEMBER 2-5pm (John Lewis, Oxford Street) https://www.facebook.com/events/1765354393752143/

Read more on United Voices of the World Facebook Group and Website



Other News

Dare Devil Rides To Jarama – a new play by Neil Gore by Townsend Productions October 24-29 CLF Art Café Bussey Building 133 Rye Lane, Peckham, SE15 4ST read more

NPC Lobby of Parliament will take place on Wednesday 2 November 2016, with a demonstration in Old Palace Yard at 12 noon and a rally in Committee Room 14 from 1-3pm, hosted by Kelvin Hopkins MP

BOOK NOW for a conference celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Lucas Plan! – Leading figures from the left, trade union, environmental and peace movements are coming together at a conference on November 26th with a fresh perspective on tackling current crises, using the ideas of socially useful production pioneered in the Lucas Plan. The Plan, produced by workers at the Lucas Aerospace arms company, showed how jobs could be saved by converting to make products that answer a social need, rather than weapons. To book for the conference, visit www.lucasplan.org.uk/tickets.  See www.lucasplan.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 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)

Book http://newint.org/books/politics/blacklisted-secret-war/

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlCa8yQmZ70

Blog: www.hazards.org/blacklistblog

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/groups/blacklistSG/

Donate to ReelNews – http://reelnews.co.uk/donationssubscriptions/




Support the Spanish School Students Strike on October 26 – send a message of support.

General student strike! In defence of public education! – On 26 October, students throughout the Spanish state will vacate our classrooms, to fight against policies which are destroying public education. As in many other countries, our right-wing government has applied massive cuts to public education and put in place various counter-reforms, which seek to make education accessible only to those who can afford to pay for it read more

Ireland: Jobstown protester found guilty – “A recipe for totalitarianism”. Attack on basic democratic rights must be resisted – In an outrageous decision, a seventeen year-old student, who took part in an anti-water charge protest, in November 2014, has been found guilty of falsely imprisoning the then Tanaiste (deputy prime minister) and leader of the Labour Party, Joan Burton. ‘Jobstown Not Guilty’ has called for a day of protest on Saturday 29th October across Ireland and internationally to show solidarity with the young student and the 18 other protesters facing trial next year, and calling for the end of this assault on our democratic right to protest read more

Remember Colombian trade unionist Heber Marin’s fight for justice – Monday, 31 October 5 pm – 7pm Diskus Suite, Unite House in Holborn

Heber Marin was an elected officer of the TGWU Catering Workers’ Branch, predecessor of both the Unite Hotel Workers’ Branch and the Unite Restaurant Workers Branch. He was murdered by a paramilitary death squad in his home country of Colombia on 10 October 1986.

This meeting on the 30th anniversary of his death will celebrate his work organising migrant workers in London and fighting for human rights in Colombia. It will discuss the situation facing migrant workers in London today and why Justice for Colombia has become the key international solidarity issue for Unite’s London and Eastern Region



Diary (see & use false economy)





29 “Solidarity with the People of Turkey” (SPOT) in partnership with the NUT, will be hosting a conference which provides an opportunity to bring journalists, trade unionists, minority activists and human rights campaigners together from both Turkey and the UK



5 National libraries, museums and galleries demonstration https://www.facebook.com/events/282708008768589/


19 NUS/UCU United for Education national demonstration in London read more



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ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE