NSSN 325: NSSN public meeting this Thursday – “Nationalise Tata to guarantee jobs & pensions”


Last April, the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) called a protest in Port Talbot as fears grew about the future of its steelworks. Its owner Tata was looking to break up and sell off much of its UK operations. Over 200 local people demonstrated behind our slogan ‘Nationalise Tata to save the steelworks, jobs and communities.’

NSSN organised #NationaliseTata protest in Port Talbot April 2nd
NSSN organised #NationaliseTata protest in Port Talbot April 2nd

It is a welcome fact that almost 10 months ago later, the works remain standing and operating. Whatever the true intention of Tata, it has proved politically impossible to close it, for now at least.

Now the workforce has been given the extremely difficult choice of voting to accept a vastly inferior pension scheme in exchange for the company’s promise to keep the plant open for the next 5-10 years. We totally understand the difficulties of this decision and welcome a future for steelworkers, their families and communities in what is an economic blackspot.

But the promises of Tata are uncertain. Talk of ‘seeking’ to avoid compulsory redundancies and a future seemingly dependent on making £200million profit a year do not appear very definite for such a sacrifice. Last year, the company claimed it was losing £1million a day.

We have organised a public meeting in Port Talbot this Thursday January 26th in solidarity with steelworkers and the community and to provide a forum for discussion on the way forward. We still believe that whatever the outcome of the ballot, the only way to guarantee a long-term future for the steelworkers in Port Talbot and elsewhere on the wages, terms & conditions and pensions they deserve is to take Tata’s UK operations into public ownership.

NSSN public meeting: Thursday 26th January 7.30pm Taibach Rugby Club, 50 Commercial Rd, Port Talbot SA13 1L. Speakers include Rob Williams NSSN national chair and a local steelworker www.facebook.com/events/797060563791246



Support the RMT who are demanding that they be included in TUC-hosted talks between ASLEF and Southern Rail. RMT NEC voted for their drivers to continue with planned strike after ASLEF suspended their participation to enter talks with the company


RMT Southern Rail drivers action begins at midnight with pickets planned at key locations (23 Jan) – RAIL UNION RMT confirmed today that it has still not had a positive responsive from the TUC as to involvement in the talks process over the Southern Rail disputes. As a result action planned to start  00.01  Tuesday 24th January 2017 and 23.59 hours on Wednesday 25th January  2017 also 00.01 hours to 23.59 hours on Friday 27th January 2017 remains firmly on. RMT will be contacting ASLEF requesting that their members respect picket lines read more

Southern forced to admit that they are cancelling services (24 Jan) – On first day of RMT drivers’ strike Southern forced to admit that they are cancelling services due to “driver shortage” despite promise to run full service from today read more

Southern guards’ action “solid and absolutely determined” (23 Jan) – General Secretary Mick Cash said; “RMT guards members on Southern Rail remain rock solid and absolutely determined in their action in defence of rail safety this morning. Their resilience is a credit to the entire trade union movement read more   6 times more Southern services are travelling without a second member of staff than promised by Southern read more                New figures reveal at least six times more Southern services are travelling without a second member of staff than promised by Southern

Staff Our Stations – Emergency Public Rally in support of Tube workers: Wednesday 1 February, 18:30pm Indian YMCA, 41 Fitzroy Square, London, W1T 6AQ read more

Central line Tube drivers vote to strike over depot displacement (18 Jan) – The National Executive Committee has noted the result strongly in favour of taking strike action and action short of a strike and has taken the decision to call on all affected members at Hainault, Leytonstone and Loughton Traincrew Depots NOT TO BOOK ON for any shifts that commence between:- 21:00 hours on Wednesday 25th January 2017 and 20:59 hours on Thursday 26th January read more

GWR Servest cleaners striking for pay (19 Jan) – RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said; “RMT’s cleaner members on GWR will not stand by while they are mercilessly exploited by privateers and while rail companies fill their coffers and fares soar through the roof‎ read more


United Voices of the World union

Victory at Harrods! (Jan 20) – VICTORY! VICTORY! VICTORY! We have beaten Harrods, the richest and most prestigious department store in the world! 100% of the service charge will now go to staff! Congratulations to our members, the Harrods restaurant workers, for their resilience and courage and for getting organised and standing up to their employer’s outrageous practices.


After Harrods’ chefs and waiters joined UVW we immediately submitted a claim for 100% of the service charge to go to staff. Harrods had previously been taking up to 75% for themselves, without admitting the exact percentage. This was equivalent to around £5000 per worker per year. After helping the chefs and waiters build towards a potential strike and mobilising hundreds of people for a massive demonstration which ended up shutting down Knightsbridge and much of Harrods, and threats of regular and even bigger demonstrations to come, Harrods finally gave in and agreed to give 100% of the service charge to staff. They also agreed to our other demands of appointing an independent tronc master to administer the service charge and allowing staff to sit on the tronc committee. This victory sends out a clear message to the rest of the restaurant and hospitality industry that workers are no longer going to accept anything less than 100% of the tips and trade unions are ready to help them get organised and fight. The success of the campaign at Harrods offers a powerful model to follow for other workers across the industry. We will now continue to push Harrods to improve the conditions and pay of their workers and demand proper union recognition read more   Website: www.uvwunion.org.uk   Facebook: www.facebook.com/uvwunion   Twitter: @UVWunion



NSSN news

Trade Union Act to come into force on March 1st – TUC call a special conference

The Tories have confirmed that their anti-union laws, incorporated in the Trade Union Act, including new undemocratic industrial action ballot thresholds will come into force on March 1st. The NSSN calls on the TUC to implement the policy passed at last September’s TUC Congress which was moved by the RMT which includes:

“Congress believes the General Council needs to convene an urgent conference of affiliates to provide a practical forum, including workshops, as to how to best coordinate our legal and industrial response to the Act in line with policy already set by Congress.”

and an amendment from the FBU:

“Congress should discuss all options for challenging the new legislation. This should include stepping up the campaign to scrap the Act and other anti-union legislation as well as the practical steps to be taken to support any unions and groups of workers threatened by this anti-worker legislation.”

Read more    PCS: Welsh ministers move to quash anti-union law

Watch NSSN chair Rob Williams being interviewed on SKY News on the Christmas strikes and opposing Tory attacks on the unions here


Early notice – the 11th annual NSSN Conference will be on Saturday July 1st 2017 from 11am in Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL. It is open to all trade union and anti-cuts campaigners

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


Drivers at Oxford Bus Company ballot for strike action over ‘total breakdown’ in industrial relations (24 Jan) – Oxford Bus Company are being balloted for strike action, following ‘a complete breakdown of industrial relations’, Unite said today (Tuesday 24 January). The union said that the issues included pay negotiations, disciplinary procedures, and a proposed new holiday policy and lieu days. The ballot will open on Monday 30 January and closes on Monday 20 February read more

Fellside CHP plant workers based at Sellafield plan to escalate industrial action (23 Jan) – Angry workers employed at Cape Industrial Services Limited on the Fellside CHP plant, based at Sellafield, in Cumbria are preparing to ratchet up industrial action in their long-running dispute over terms and conditions. Unite representing 19 workers, including scaffolders, thermal insulation engineers and labourers have been operating a continuous overtime and work to rule since Tuesday 3 January 2017 read more

Striking cabin crew enlist Marks and Spencer favourite Percy Pig in their battle against poverty pay (20 Jan) – Striking members of British Airways’ mixed fleet cabin crew will be enlisting the help of Marks and Spencer’s Percy Pig in their fight against poverty pay tomorrow. Since Wednesday 11 January mixed fleet cabin crew have been selling Percy Pig, the M&S favourite soft gum, along with M&S sandwiches on a basic salary, which come April, will be up to £6,000 less than customer service assistants receive in the retailer’s Greater London stores read more    Tweet support to the Unite Mixed Fleet branch @MFUnite

Woolwich Ferry set to be rocked by 12 days of strike action over bullying culture (20 Jan) – More than 40,000 car journeys that rely on the Woolwich Ferry are set to be disrupted as the workers announce 12 days of 24-hour long strikes going into the spring over a bullying culture. Crew members, traffic teams, engineers and office staff – members of Unite – voted by a large majority of 88 per cent to take strike action. The first strike day is scheduled for next Friday (27 January) and the final day is Friday 14 April read more

Unite statement on 2022 World Cup stadium fatality in Qatar (20 Jan) – Unite, the union for construction workers, called for an immediate and transparent investigation by the Qatar government today (Friday 20 January), following news that a British construction worker had died while working on the construction of Khalifa International stadium in Doha read more

Offer to settle Fujitsu dispute in Manchester to be put to Unite members (20 Jan) – An offer aimed at settling the long-running dispute on pay, pensions and job security at Fujitsu in Manchester will be put to Unite’s 300 members read more

Send a message to save jobs at the EHRC which Unite and PCS have been taking strike action to prevent details of how to help here



Support Derby school support staff – Teaching assistants, school supervisors, admin staff and other support workers were on strike last week in their latest round of action against contract changes that have seen some of them lose up to 25% of their wages

School Support Staff Industrial Action – An Emotional Statement from A Friend   Message From a Parent

Donate to Derby hardship fund here

Derby Unison branch Facebook page here

Support the Durham Teaching Assistants from Unison and ATL who have also been taking strike action to stop wage cuts of 23% –

Donate to the Durham TAs’ fund here

Durham TAs Facebook page here

Glasgow IT workers win job protection  

Support ongoing Glasgow Unison janitors’ dispute – see Unison Glasgow City Branch Facebook group and website

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



The NSSN wishes to send our condolences to the family of Bernard Roome, former members of CWU’s NEC and long-time supporter of our Network who sadly passed away last Friday. A memorial meeting will be organised in the next few weeks, which we will advertise when we get the details. An obituary can be read here



MPs condemn jobcentre closures as bereft of logic and compassion (19 Jan) – Plans to close half of Glasgow’s jobcentres have come under heavy criticism in a debate in parliament. In December 2016, it was revealed that the DWP intended to close 8 of the 16 jobcentres in Glasgow, drastically reducing employment support in some of the most deprived areas read more

Tide turns after years of Tory cuts (18 Jan) – We are turning the tide on recruitment and rebuilding our union after years of Tory cuts. Our national executive committee today thanked reps and staff for their work bringing in new members. The government has axed more than 110,000 civil servants since 2010 and dealt a major blow to our finances and membership by removing the check-off method of collecting subscriptions. The removal meant we were forced to effectively re-recruit almost every single member to pay by direct debit. We successfully challenged the Department for Work and Pensions over check-off last year and are still awaiting a settlement of our claim for compensation for loss of income. Our recruitment rate – the number of new joiners for every existing member – has doubled since last year and more new members joined in 2016 than 2015 read more



Construction Workers Take Legal Action (Jan 20) – Union backs challenge by staff sacked without warning just before Christmas. GMB construction workers locked out of the Glasgow City Council recycling and renewable energy centre they were building in Polmadie will now seek legal action read more

Huge Victory For Unpaid Support Workers (Jan 20) – Committed staff have spent several months working for nothing – but will finally get their wages thanks to union’s campaign. Devoted support workers who looked after vulnerable families for THREE MONTHS despite not getting paid will finally get their wages following a GMB campaign. Staff at Lime Trees Children’s Centre, in Birmingham, last received a full pay packet in November – but carried on their compassionate work despite having no money for their own child care, travel or even food read more



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   BFAWU Statement On Samworth Brothers’ Sacking Of Kumaran Bose



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



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



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



Please show your support for North Yorkshire Firefighters (19 Jan) – from Matt Wrack FBU General Secretary: North Yorkshire FBU members are currently engaged in a lawful trade dispute with their employer over the intention to introduce Tactical Response Vehicles (TRVs) which would be crewed with only two or three firefighters. The intention of the employer is to mobilise these vehicles to a full range of incidents. Following a successful ballot of FBU members, various forms of industrial action (short of a strike) have begun. This includes a refusal to ride the TRV with a crew of 2 or 3. Following the start of this action, the Chief Fire Officer has now begun to send FBU members home for the duration of the relevant shift. Various threats have also been made regarding possible disciplinary action. These steps have been taken by principal managers as a result of FBU members taking lawful industrial action following the registration of a lawful trade dispute and a vote by members. All our steps have been undertaken in accordance with legislation. I am sure you will share my concerns that an employer would nevertheless make such threats. FBU members in North Yorkshire are standing up for professional standards and for the safety of firefighters and of the public. They deserve the support of all of us. Therefore could I request that you send messages of support to the FBU members at Scarborough Fire Station via Brigade Secretary Steve Howley at [email protected]. Our members are now facing victimisation for taking lawful industrial action and for standing up to defend safety standards. North Yorkshire FBU have set up a hardship fund account to assist those being financially penalised by the punitive actions of the CFO and I ask that donations are collected and made to the hardship fund from your members/committees in order to assist with any financial hardship our members in North Yorkshire are suffering. Hardship fund details:

North Yorkshire:           North Yorkshire FBU Hardship Fund

Account number:          25450874  Sort code:                      05-09-94  read more

Response times to double in Stanwell area if Staines fire station is closed (19 Jan) – Controversial proposals to close Staines fire station will almost double the amount of time it takes for firefighters to respond to emergencies in the Stanwell area. The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) say response times are currently under five minutes but this could slow to a nine minute wait as firefighters would be mobilised from Feltham in south west London read more    Watch GetSurrey report of last Saturday’s protest

Save Our Fire Services Stand Up for Spelthorne! – Join the mass lobby of Spelthorne Borough Council 6.30pm Thursday 23 February at Council Offices, Knowle Green, Staines TW18 1XB www.sosis.org.uk



IWGB Couriers And Logistics Branch Facebook page



Other News

‘It’s Our NHS!’ national demonstration: assemble 12noon Saturday March 4th Tavistock Square, London WC1H – As 2017 opens, the crisis in the NHS continues. The Health Campaigns Together grassroots campaign has called a national demonstration https://www.facebook.com/events/1771664639725061/   GPs ‘incensed’ by May threat to funding warns Doctors in Unite

SERTUC Public Services Committee Health Conference – Saturday 25 February 2017 read more

Why LGBT History Month is important to PCS (23 Jan) – Help leave LGBT inequality in the past by committing to help to fight homophobia, biphobia and transphobia as part of LGBT History Month which starts next Wednesday (1 February) read more



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 who are having their Xmas party tonight December 13th – 7.30pm onwards Brixton Pound Café 77, Atlantic Rd SW9 8PU

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/




India: Stop the atrocity against the peaceful protesters in Tamil Nadu! Read more from Tamil Solidarity website

Bangladesh: Release arrested garment union leaders now! read more

Honduras: Fresh fruit giant Fyffes is bashing rights read more

‘The Assault on Academics and Journalists in Turkey’ – 5pm February 2nd Alumni Lecture Theatre, First Floor, Paul Webley Wing (Senate House North Block), SOAS University of London. Hosted by SPOT (Solidarity with the People of Turkey) https://www.facebook.com/events/1822592031339193/


Diary (see & use false economy)




4 ‘It’s Our NHS’ – National Demonstration to defend the NHS in London on March 4th 2017 – called by ‘Health Campaigns Together’ an umbrella organisation of different local campaigns against NHS cuts https://www.facebook.com/events/1771664639725061/  http://www.healthcampaignstogether.com/index.php

With Banners Held High – all day workshops, debates, exhibition gig in Wakefield in support of causes such as Justice for Mineworkers and Orgreave Truth & Justice Campaign https://webmail.123-reg.co.uk/appsuite/#!!&app=io.ox/mail&folder=default0//NNIS%5B

13 Orgreave Truth & Justice Campaign ‘Make Some Noise for Justice’ demo – 2pm, Home Office Marsham Street London SW1P 4DF http://otjc.org.uk/noise-demo-transport/

18 National Demo: Refugees and Migrants Welcome – Stand Up To Racism, Islamophobia & Anti-Semitism read more



1 11th annual NSSN Conference 11am in Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL



PHONE 07952 283 558

EMAIL mailto:[email protected]


TWITTER – https://twitter.com/NSSN_AntiCuts


ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE