NSSN 348: Support PCS fight against DWP office closures

The government is abandoning unemployed, sick and disabled people, and putting hundreds of jobs at risk, by confirming today the closure of almost one in 10 jobcentres. The news comes as we announce our members in Eastern Avenue jobcentre in Sheffield, one of the threatened sites, will strike again from 17 to 21 July following a week-long walkout in June.

The Department for Work and Pensions has announced just six of the original 78 jobcentres earmarked for closure will remain open, and only 11 of the 80 planned to co-locate with local authorities have been given a reprieve – and in most cases because of a lack of space in council buildings. Two jobcentres that were to stay open have been added to the closure list.

We are calling on DWP to immediately publish the equality analyses it carried out for each site closure. Currently these are being kept secret. Two ‘back of house’ offices have also been saved, but at other sites closures mean compulsory redundancies are highly likely. Redundancies are also likely from planned corporate centre office closures, as staff will not be able to relocate.

When our 50 members in Eastern Avenue walked out for five days in June shadow chancellor John McDonnell sent a message of support, saying: “The DWP has forced through this office closure programme with no consideration for either the service or the staff.”

Our general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “While we are pleased a handful of threatened sites will now stay open, thanks to the hard work of our members, community groups and local MPs, it is utterly disgraceful that DWP is pressing ahead with these closures.

“This Tory government is abandoning unemployed, sick and disabled people, making it harder for them to access the services they need, and putting jobcentre jobs at risk. We will continue to oppose these plans in every way we can.”

PCS DWP President Fran Heathcote said, “Our DWP Group Executive (GEC) is meeting this Friday and we be supporting our branches in fighting this attack on our members and claimants.” read more

Sheffield Eastern Avenue Job Centre picket June 2nd
Sheffield Eastern Avenue Job Centre picket June 2nd

Support Sheffield Eastern Avenue jobcentre strike – PCS members have been on strike over plans to close the jobcentre. The next strike is from July 17-21. Messages of support should be sent to [email protected]. Donations to the PCS Fighting Fund should be sent PCS DWP Group, 3rd Floor, Town Centre House, Merrion Centre, Leeds, LS2 8LY or can be made online via the PCS website read full post on PCS website


Unite Barts NHS Trust workers step up strikes against low-pay this week with 7 days of action read more.

Support the strike demonstration this Saturday July 15th – assemble from 11.15am outside Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel. Speakers include Labour Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell MP

Send messages of support to Unite branch secretary Len Hockey [email protected].

To make a donation: make out cheque/payment to Branch LE/7384L   sc 60-83-01   20344885 and post to Unite Barts strike fund, 33-37 Moreland St, Clerkenwell, London EC1V 8BB

The NSSN is hosting a meeting open to all this Thursday July 13th near the Royal London Hospital to build solidarity for the strikers – 6pm top floor of the Ideas Store 321 Whitechapel Road E1 1BU



NSSN TUC Congress Rally in Brighton: ‘Fight together to get the Tories out!’ – 1pm Sunday September 10th in the Arundel Suite in the Holiday Inn, 137 King’s Rd BN1 2JF. Confirmed speakers: Mark Serwotka PCS General Secretary, Steve Gillan POA General Secretary and Ronnie Draper BFAWU General Secretary and Sean Hoyle RMT President

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


RMT to take action in Piccadilly Line/Tube Lines workshop dispute over two-tier workforce (12 July) – Tube union RMT today confirmed action by staff in the Piccadilly Line workshops at Northfields and Cockfosters Depots in a dispute over an attempt by Tube Lines to create a two-tier workforce by driving a coach and horses through current agreements and recruiting 35 new staff on fixed term contracts read more

RMT to fight shocking cuts to safety-critical rail jobs in Newport and Eastleigh (12 July) – Rail union RMT confirmed today that it is mobilising a full campaign of resistance after the shock announcement by Babcock Rail of its intention to cut 89 jobs, including the total closure of its Newport and Eastleigh depots read more

Rail worker action in fight for safe railways for all rock solid this morning (10 July) – RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: “Once again this morning safety-critical staff on Southern Rail are being forced by this rogue rail operator to take action in defence of safe and accessible services. It is a disgrace that Southern have chosen to continue their war on staff and passengers alike rather than negotiate a settlement that protects the principle of safe railways for all. “RMT members on Southern, Northern and Merseyrail remain absolutely rock-solid and determined in separate disputes that have the common objective of putting safe rail travel before private profit read more

Merseyrail Kirkdale picket
Merseyrail Kirkdale picket

Breach of agreement, guards and commercial guards – South West Trains read more



Update: Southern Rail Overtime ban (28 June) – Commenting on the train driver overtime ban which is due to take effect on Southern Rail from tomorrow (June 29th) ASLEF General Secretary Mick Whelan said ‘the ban reflects the total loss of trust and goodwill between train drivers and the company. Drivers work overtime on an entirely voluntary basis and have no contractual obligation to do so.’ Read more



Industrial action called off after DB Cargo UK agree to TSSA proposals (6 July) – TSSA has stepped back from threatened industrial action at DB Cargo UK after the company withdrew unacceptable flexibility clauses in new contracts of employment for staff. The company also agreed to employ more staff, and guarantee existing sick pay and ill-health arrangements. Talks which began on Monday have now adjourned. TSSA has given the company 12 weeks to introduce a new action plan to address serious staffing gaps and rostering problems created by the cull of nearly 1000 jobs earlier this year. Around twenty new jobs will be created to help alleviate staffing pressures which will avoid some staff being forced into redundancy, and TSSA has also secured DB’s agreement to protect staffs’ current rights to redundancy, sickness absence, and ill health severance and retirement arrangements. The company has also undertaken not to ask staff to sign new contracts read more


More Unite

Demo to save Bromley libraries from privatisation on 19 July (12 July) – A demonstration protesting at the proposed privatisation of Bromley’s 14 libraries and calling for them to remain council-controlled will be staged on Wednesday 19 July. The protest, organised  by Unite, the country’s largest union, comes as the Tory-controlled council’s executive meets to discuss awarding the libraries’ contract to Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) – a social enterprise, that the union says, has a ‘tarnished’ reputation’. The demo will be at Bromley Civic Centre (BR1 3UH) at 18.00 on 19 July as the executive meets at 19.00 to discuss the privatisation proposal which Unite said has been ‘cloaked in swathes of unnecessary and self-serving secrecy’ read more

Birmingham bin workers step up action (12 July) – As Birmingham’s Labour council continues to try to impose job cuts and conditions changes on Brum’s bin service workers, members of Unite the Union are to escalate their strike. They announced that from a weekly two-hour strike between 6 and 8am, they would now undertake such a two-hour strike every week day through to 4th August. Send messages/letters of support which could be sent to regional officer Lynne Shakespeare: [email protected] read more

Bridgend Ford workers to ballot over sourcing announcement read more

Unite hails victory in M&S food delivery dispute (12 July) – The pay dispute at Hemel Hempstead, which could have had implications for deliveries to Marks & Spencer food stores, has been settled. The crux of the dispute at GIST Ltd centred on pay parity for the 23 ‘pickers and loaders’ who were being paid considerably less than the majority of the workforce. Unite said today (Wednesday 12 July) that, following talks with the management, the workers affected had overwhelmingly accepted a deal that gave them parity in terms of pay, and terms and conditions with the majority of the workforce read more

British Airways cabin crew announce 14 more days of strikes (5 July) – Members of Unite working for British Airways’ mixed fleet today (Wednesday 5 July) announced a further escalation in their dispute over pay and the sanctioning of striking workers with a further 14 days of continuous strike action. The strike running from 00:01 hours on Wednesday 19 July 2017 to 23:59 hours on Tuesday 1 August 2017 is in addition to a 16-day strike currently underway which started at 00:01 on Saturday 1 July and finishes at 23:59 on Sunday 16 July. As part of the dispute, Unite has launched legal action against the government’s decision to give the go-ahead to the ‘wet lease’ of nine Airbus aircraft by British Airways to cover striking cabin crew strike. The union argues that the lease of aircraft and cabin crew from Qatar Airways breaches European regulations read more

Support Mears Manchester housing workers on all out strike action read more  Their strike has just gone indefinite and they are protesting outside a shareholders meeting tomorrow July 13th: 11.30am Franklin Templeton Investments – Stationers Hall Ave Maria Lane, London EC4M 7DD and again next Monday outside Montanaro Asset Management – 53 Threadneedle Street London EC2R 8AR

Support Bank of England staff to strike on 31 July, 1, 2 and 3 August read more



Fire crews of three are putting lives at risk, says firefighters’ union (7 July) – Fire engines are being sent to incidents in Northumberland with a crew of just three firefighters, which is critically below the number needed to tackle a life-threatening fire, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has revealed. The trial scheme, known as ‘phased response’, currently underway at Wooler and Seahouses fire stations, means fire engines would only have enough firefighters to respond to small contained ‘low risk’ fires. This is a dangerous policy, say the FBU, as fires can develop rapidly to the point where three firefighters alone can’t tackle them – a minimum crew of five is needed before firefighters can even contemplate undertaking life-saving interventions read more



Durham Teaching assistants reject council’s offer to settle dispute –Durham County Council had voted to put a new proposal to Teaching Assistants. They say it was an improved offer and will see 78% of Teaching Assistants not losing money. However, the County Durham Teaching Assistants’ Activist Committee had serious concerns about the proposal for the following reasons: 22% of TAs are still facing a pay loss. They might have their pay protected for 2 years but they have already had 21 months of extreme stress not knowing if they can keep their homes or their jobs read more  https://www.facebook.com/TAsDurhamValueUs/

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



RCN Westminster Pay Rally – Thursday July 27th 4pm Richmond Terrace, opposite Downing Street

Join the ‘Scrap the cap’ pay protests https://www.rcn.org.uk/nursingcounts/scrap-the-cap



Sellafield Firefighters To Strike on July 24 – Like everyone else in the country who hasn’t had pay rises that have kept pace with inflation, GMB’s firefighter members at Sellafield need to pay the bills says GMB. GMB, the union for nuclear workers, has announced a 24 hour strike at Sellafield by firefighters starting on Monday 24 July 2017 over pay. The offer from Sellafield would still leave firefighers’ pay nearly 5% below the combined increase in the inflation rate since 2009 read more



Picturehouse workers strike again – BECTU members at five London sites were on strike again last Friday 7 July as their battle to secure the Living Wage intensifies. Union members at the Ritzy in Brixton and at the Hackney Picturehouse, Picturehouse Central and East Dulwich Picturehouse downed tools. Last Friday’s strike comes ahead of the interim relief hearing in the Employment Tribunals in Croydon on Monday 10 July which will consider the circumstances of the dismissal of three BECTU representatives at the Ritzy cinema on 14 June read more    Sign the petition

Keep supporting the Picturehouse workers: read the latest on Brixton Ritzy Facebook Page and those of Hackney, Crouch End, Central, Duke of York Brighton and Dulwich East. Support the Picturehouse Strike Fund – donate now

West End theatre workers seek 9% pay rise (5 July) – Theatre workers in London’s commercial West End are seeking a 9% pay rise in the pay review due in October. The ambitious pay claim is justified, says BECTU, by “the steady increase in the cost of living with RPI currently standing at 3.7%, with an anticipation that it will continue to rise throughout the year.” The pay claim for 2017/18, submitted last month, comes as the previous three-year deal draws to a close read more



Teesside University tells professors to reapply for jobs (7 July) – Teesside University is under fire for ‘bizarre’ plans to make all its professors reapply for their jobs over the summer. UCU said the university has not explained the rationale behind its decision, nor why it decided to drop the bombshell as the 27 members of staff were about to start preparing for a summer break and the new academic year read more

Sign petition: reinstate Indro Sen immediately – Indro Sen, a maths lecturer and trade union branch officer at the College of North West London (CNWL) has been dismissed for actions in assisting a former colleague at an employment tribunal case. He was voted by students as the most popular teacher, 2014-15. We demand that the College Governors and Senior Management Team reinstate Sen immediately sign here

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



Fair Funding for All Schools protest: Sunday 16 July – Assemble:  Victoria Embankment at Midday, Rally:  Parliament Square at 1.30pm http://www.fairfundingforallschools.org/index.html

Review Body ‘divide-and-rule’ on pay will only make matters worse in schools (10 July) – Today’s report from the School Teachers’ Review Body has done nothing to ‘break the 1% pay cap’ as some initial reports have stated. No, only new teachers on the very bottom of the main pay range will get a 2% increase (and even that is still less than inflation – so still a cut in real terms). For everyone else, it’s a performance-related award read more

Shake the ‘Magic Money Tree’ and scrap the pay cap: Demonstration and rally THURSDAY OCTOBER 5TH. Assemble 5:00pm opposite Downing Street March past Department for Health – Treasury – Department for Education – Home Office Rally in Parliament Square

Support the NUT London school strikes against cuts at Forest Hill in Lewisham – teachers are taking their 13th day of strike action today (July 12) read more



Taylor review panel member’s financial interest in Deliveroo prejudices process – IWGB says (July 10) read more

IWGB writes jointly with UVW to oppose planned outsourcing at London School of Hygiene and Medicine (July 9) – Dear Mr Lee, Re: outsourcing of cleaners at the London School of Hygiene and Medicine (LSHTM). We are writing to condemn in the strongest possible terms your decision to outsource the cleaning staff at the LSHTM to the private company Regent Samsic, which, we understand, will come into effect from 1 August 2017. Our two unions, the IWGB and United Voices of the World (UVW), represent hundreds of cleaners, porters security guards and other outsourced staff across the University of London including at the LSHTM read more


United Voices of the World Union

LSE CLEANERS’ STRIKE UPDATE: Following a vote of UVW members at the LSE this morning (July 11) a decision has been made to suspend the strike action due to take place over the coming days in order to await the employment tribunal’s decision at Alba Pasmino’s unfair dismissal hearing next week, a decision to which the LSE has now finally committed in writing to abiding by. Furthermore, the cleaners do not wish to disturb the student’s graduation ceremonies which, incidentally, management were perfectly happy to jeopardise through their initial unwillingness to resolve this dispute. If the tribunal finds in Alba’s favour and she is not reinstated accordingly then strike action will be resumed. Furthermore, please note that the LSE has stooped to a new and disturbing low today by issuing a memo to all cleaners shamelessly suggesting that the LSE’s unnecessary decision to heavily securitise a cleaners’ strike might leave the LSE vulnerable to a terrorist attack because “during this period of heightened security your actions will force us to divert security staff away from being alert to possible threats.” https://www.uvwunion.org.uk/


 Other News

Trade Union mobilisation against fracking with mass demo at Preston New Road this Friday

Fb event is there: https://www.facebook.com/events/840040919483526

We still got quite a lot of spaces available on coaches from Liverpool/Birkenhead and from Greater Manchester.

Can you please promote as much as you can today and tomorrow with your networks, Trade unions or not? Whether it is by email or social media, I would be grateful if you can help us to fill the coaches! Option of free or cheap tickets available. Please include links to coaches in the core of email is possible?

Merseyside coach: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/merseyside-coach-to-climate-jobs-renewables-divestment-demo-tickets-35974810627

Manchester coach: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/manchester-coach-to-climate-jobs-renewables-divestment-demo-tickets-35973391382


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.

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)

Blacklist Support Group update 10th July 2017

  1. One word. Shocking.

Undercover Police Monitored And Spied On Jeremy Corbyn For 20 years. Jeremy as ever has the BSG’s full support


  1. Did Undercover Police Target Grenfell Residents Who Raised Fears About Safety?

Dave Smith representing. As above with Jeremy, the Grenfell residents can count on the BSG’s support. As a Hillsborough survivor, I can assure the victims of the fire that they can count on our solidarity too


  1. Blacklisted worker Roy Bentham causes the establishment and mainstream media to go into frenzy after being elected to a union liaison role in Wavertree Labour Party



  1. Protest in solidarity with great comrade of the Blacklist Support Group Bob Carnegie over Lendlease. Special mention to BSG member Keith Dobie in coordinating last weeks demonstration against Haringey Council regarding their partnership with the rogue company.


  1. There was a protest outside Housing conference in Manchester Central (GMEX) on Thursday 29th June when the Mears CEO was speaking.

Maintenance workers, employed by Mears and working on social housing in Manchester, are in the middle of 12 weeks of strike action over unequal pay and attacks on terms and conditions.

The BSG sends its support and solidarity


  1. ‘Blacklisted’ book (echoing union activists) describes umbrella payroll companies in the construction industry as a giant scam designed to deny workers basic employment rights and at the same time deprive the tax man of billions in revenue.

Now the bosses who orchestrated these schemes are starting to be sent to jail.


  1. Blacklisted workers travelled from across the country to the big Tories Out demonstration last Saturday. #NotOneDayMore http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-40468881
  2. Calling all blacklisted workers or associates in the Manchester area!

MIF are working with the Turner Prize-nominated visual artist Phil Collins on a project for the Manchester International Festival on July 16th. Phil’s project is a very timely examination of current day working practices – minimum wage, zero hours contracts, blacklisting and exploitation.

Get yourself along if you are in the area. http://mif.co.uk/mif17-events/ceremony/

  1. Great result at the Football Supporters Federation AGM on Sunday at the FA National Centre in Burton. 70 Football fan groups voted in favour of boycotting the S*n from their respective clubs.


  1. 21st June. Jeremy Corbyn received one of our justice campaigns banner t shirts at a recent Unite Executive Council meeting in Holborn during an impromptu visit.


  1. Durham Miners Gala. 8th July

Plenty of BSG members in attendance at an event which garnered record crowds with Jeremy addressing a reported 200,000 supporters. Don’t forget Tolpuddle this weekend.

  1. Private Investigators spying on union and fracking activists


And finally best wishes to brother Dave Smith who is studying hard to get his PHD nailed.

I’d also like to thank everyone within the group for campaigning magnificently on behalf of the Labour Party during the election too.

Never forget. We are the many

Roy Bentham (joint secretary)

Blacklist Support Group

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/




Defend US farmworkers’ right to organize! read more






14-17 Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival www.tolpuddlemartyrs.org.uk/festival



3 Burston Strike School Rally 2017 – Guest speakers already confirmed include John McDonnell MP, Len McCluskey, Unite General Secretary http://burstonstrikeschool.co.uk/rally2017/

10 NSSN rally at TUC Congress

30 Construction Safety Campaign (CSC) AGM is the 30th September – Ricky Tomlinson invited speaker



18 Protest the Tory Conference. Let’s get this party started Facebook event



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