NSSN 350: Support Birmingham Bin Workers!

The NSSN is supporting the struggle of refuse collectors in Birmingham. This is by one of our local supporters:-

Since June 30th, refuse collectors employed by Birmingham City Council and members of Unite the Union have been taking industrial action against the employer’s proposals. They will see a reduction in their staffing numbers by 113 posts (20%), changes in working practices and extending the working week.

The Labour controlled council has argued that the plans will achieve a necessary ‘modernisation’ of the service but Unite members argue that this will further reduce the numbers on each wagon resulting in too few operatives at Grade 3 thereby compromising Health and Safety standards particularly at the ‘loading’ stage of the operation. In addition, a cut of around £4,000 in the annual pay packets of the Grade 3 operatives is proposed if staff refuse to consider alternative posts.

The workers anger also stems from previous cuts in their wages and a recent consultation exercise conducted by the Authority where the council ignored all the practical suggestions of the bin workers. They cite examples of millions of pounds being wasted by management by installing computers in the vans and a huge order for poorly designed wheelie bins that fall off the wagons!

Brum bin strike

The industrial action began with a one- day strike and continued with 2-hour stoppages and working to ‘Safe Working Practices’. This has had the effect of greatly delaying bin collections across the city resulting in household rubbish stacking up. The Labour council, rather than conduct talks with Unite, has embarked on a media exercise to undermine the case of the bin workers who were receiving support from the public, along with bringing in an external agency, illegal under existing trade union industrial action legislation, and paying out £1,000 per day  of council taxpayers money to ‘scab outfits’ to attempt to break the dispute and the union organisation.

In order to meet this challenge, Unite has announced an extension of the programme of action into September and increased the action to include a daily lunchtime stoppage where members return to depots and book-in vehicles -a time consuming procedure. In addition, street cleaners, both members of Unite and Unison are also being balloted to join the action. Pickets have been extremely well attended by strikers and morale in the dispute remains high   ‘Support the Brum Bin Strike’ Facebook Page

Unite: Talks on cards in Birmingham bin dispute

Send messages of support via  [email protected] and donations to Unite the Union, 9-17 Victoria St, West Bromwich B70 8HX



NSSN TUC Congress Rally in Brighton: ‘Fight together to scrap the 1% pay cap and 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, Ronnie Draper BFAWU General Secretary, Sean Hoyle RMT President, Amy Murphy USDAW Southern Division NEC member and Len Hockey Secretary Unite Barts NHS Trust branch – currently on strike. Chaired by Janice Godrich PCS National President – all welcome!  We will also be giving a platform to speakers from other current disputes to build solidarity. Facebook event    From NSSN website

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 members to take further strike action at Arriva Traincare over pay (27 July) – RAIL UNION RMT said today that members working for Arriva Traincare will be taking further strike action over the company’s latest refusal to improve on their abysmal pay offer. Members are instructed to take 24 hours of strike action by NOT booking on for any turns of duty between 00:01 hours and 23:59 hours on Friday 18th August 2017. Furthermore, members are also instructed to take industrial action in form of refusing to work on a rest day and refusing to work any overtime between the following times/dates 00:01 hours on Wednesday 9th August 2017 until 23:59 hours on Thursday 17th August 2017 read more


More Unite

Unite secures landmark holiday pay legal ruling and warns employers ‘get your house in order’ (31 July) – Unite today (Monday 31 July) called on employers to urgently get their ‘house in order’ over holiday pay after it secured a landmark legal victory meaning employers must now include voluntary overtime in holiday pay calculations. Today’s decision by the employment appeal tribunal on an appeal by Dudley Metropolitan borough council is the first to confirm that payments for entirely voluntary duties, such as voluntary overtime, standby, call-out work and travel-time linked to that work, should be included in the calculation of workers’ holiday pay read more

Support the Mixed Fleet cabin crew: Colossal profits confirm BA can easily afford to end obscenity of cabin crew poverty (28 July) – The country’s national carrier, British Airways, can easily afford to resolve its long-running pay dispute with its poverty pay mixed fleet cabin crew workforce, according to Unite. The claim comes as International Airlines Group (IAG) – BA’s parent company – revealed today (Friday 28 July) colossal profits of €975m for the half year to July 2017, a rise of nearly 40 per cent read more

Mixed Fleet lobby of Parliament Feb 7
Mixed Fleet lobby of Parliament Feb 7

Bank of England strike – photo call – amended date (28 July) – Tuesday 1 August 2017, 10:00-10:30am at The Bank of England, Threadneedle Street, London EC2R 8AH. Staff at the Bank of England will start a three day strike on Tuesday 1 August 2017. The strikers will be holding a demonstration outside the bank’s London office at 10am on Tuesday (1 August) to mark the start of the strike over pay. In a gesture of goodwill by the union the start of the strike has been postponed for one day in order to allow for last minute talks to take place at Acas. Protestors will be wearing masks of Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England and holding placards and flags stating: ‘Bank of England staff want fair pay’. This is the first strike action at the bank in over 50 years. Unite members working in the maintenance, parlours and security departments will be taking three days of strike action on 1, 2 and 3 August 2017 read more

Support Barts NHS Trust strike – workers are in the middle of a fortnight’s strike after the nine days they have already taken. Send messages of support and request strikers to speak at your meeting to the Unite branch secretary Len Hockey – [email protected]. Sign the online petition – www.change.org/p/pay-up-serco. Send messages of protest to Serco – [email protected]

RL July 25

London day of protest Thursday August 3rd in support of Unite Barts NHS Trust, BA Mixed Fleet cabin crew and Bank of England strikes:–

Barts strike: Protest at Serco shareholders meeting – 7.30am assemble at JP Morgan, 60 Victoria Embankment, EC4Y 0JP

Bank of England strike – 10.30am march to the Bank of England, Threadneedle Street, EC2R 8AH

British Airways Mixed Fleet cabin crew strike – 2.30pm march to the Civil Aviation Authority, 45-59 Kingsway, WC2B 6TE

Bridgend Ford workers ballot over sourcing announcement read more

Support Mears Manchester housing workers on all out strike action read more



31 July protesters say break the pay cap – Break the pay cap, was the message from PCS members at dozens of HMRC workplaces across the UK who joined in with our payday protests against the imposition of a maximum 1% annual pay cap. Members went out in number with placards and flags during their lunch breaks today to send a powerful message to HMRC chief executive Jon Thompson and the government that they desperately need a pay rise read more

Union campaigning leads Scottish Government to agree to lift 1% pay cap (28 Jul) – Campaigning by PCS and other public sector unions has led the Scottish Government to announce today that it will remove the 1% pay cap from 2018. Derek Mackay, the minister with responsibility for Scottish Government pay policy, has also agreed to allow employers to bring all pay settlement dates forward to 1 April next year. This will mean earlier pay rises next year for thousands of PCS members in the devolved Scottish Government sector as most pay settlement dates are towards the end of the year in Scotland. In making his announcement Mr Mackay acknowledged he was responding to calls from PCS and our sister unions. Although this is a welcome change for 2018, it does not deal with the crisis in living standards that PCS members are facing now. Inflation is 3.5% and members have already seen a 20% drop in living standards since austerity began. So today PCS members delivered a birthday card to Mr Mackay. The card, signed by hundreds of members directly employed by the Scottish Government, contains a simple message: share a piece of the cake with your employees read more



Cross Country pay update 3.3% rejected (27 July) – TSSA along with the other Cross Country trade unions has rejected an offer to increase the salaries for staff covered by collective bargaining by the greater of 3.3% or £800 per annum. The offer also applies to allowances. The sticking point is the failure of the company to honour an element of the pay deal reached with Virgin in 2002 regarding travel facilities for retired staff read more



Chronic staff shortages at North Yorkshire fire control leave public public at risk, say firefighters (28 July) – The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) have revealed that budget cuts to North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service’s control room are putting lives at risk, with staffing reductions to blame. In 2016, the service reduced the number of emergency control operators from 22 to 15 read more

FBU publishes Grenfell Inquiry submission (26 July) – The public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower disaster must look at the failures in the fire safety regime that led to the worst blaze in the U.K. since World War Two, the Fire Brigades Union has said. The demand is part of the union’s submission, published today, to the inquiry which is currently consulting on its terms of reference read more



UNISON in Court of Appeal victory over employers who fail to consult unions (28 July) – UNISON has won a landmark court victory today (Friday) that makes it much harder for employers to ignore staff when making major changes in the workplace. The Court of Appeal ruling means that for the first time employers will be obliged to consult with unions around any workplace issues that affect their members. Until now, unions only had the right to be consulted where the law required this, for example in TUPE regulations where employees transfer from one employer to another, and in redundancy cases. The ruling means employers will also have to involve unions in issues such as those around working hours and holiday pay read more

Further education: Dispute registered over plans for Nottingham redundancies (27 July) – Official dispute registered after 385 staff, including some on term-time only contracts, told they are at risk – after the end of term. UNISON has launched an official dispute with Nottingham College after members were told that they could lose their jobs – just as they broke for their summer holidays read more

Higher education: Hull members protest against pension cuts (27 July) – Low-paid staff could lose as much as £1,000 a year in retirement. University of Hull senate members faced a determined protest yesterday by low-paid staff who could lose as much as £1,000 a year in retirement after changes to their pensions. The protest at the senate meeting saw porters, mail room workers, student support, grounds and maintenance workers and administrative assistants give up their lunchtimes to protest against senior management’s decision to close the university’s final salary scheme and move them to a defined contribution scheme 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



BFAWU will be joining the global day fast food workers’ day of action on September 4th

The Bakers Union Launches Important Campaign at Amazon.com to Fight for Workers’ Rights read more



RCN national #ScrapTheCap Pay Rally – 12.30pm Wednesday 6th September Central London read more    Facebook event

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



Construction crews to vote on pay offer (30 July) – Ballot papers will soon be arriving with film construction crew members. The topic is a proposed 2.75% pay increase over eight months rather than 12 read more

Support Picturehouse workers: PICTUREHOUSE BECTU MEMBERS FROM FIVE CINEMAS ARE ON STRIKE THIS FRIDAY 4th & SATURDAY 5th from 4pm Friday and all day Saturday. Staff pickets will be out from 4pm Friday and Saturday. Picturehouse management refuse to meet with us to discuss our requests: recognition of our chosen union, BECTU; to pay no less than the London Living Wage; fair pay differentials for other pay grades; full company sick pay, maternity and paternity pay. The company have refused independent conciliation and have sacked four union reps at the Ritzy cinema in an attempt to undermine staff action. Picturehouse owners Cineworld made £93 million profit in 2016, while the CEO’s total pay package was worth over £2.5 million. They can afford to pay their staff properly. Please drop by and show your support for staff!

What is the Living Wage? https://www.livingwage.org.uk/what-is-the-living-wage

Picturehouse cinemas on strike: http://www.picturehouselivingwage.com/

Donate to our strike fund: https://www.crowdpac.co.uk/campaigns/250/picturehousestrike

Watch ReelNews video of the last Brixton strike with speech by John McDonnell MP Labour Shadow Chancellor

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.



FT journalists threaten to strike over gender pay gap (31 July) – journalists at the Financial Times are threatening to strike over their growing anger about the gender pay gap at the newspaper. An email from trade union leaders at the FT to about 600 staff said there was an increasing sense managers at the organisation “have not been taking this matter seriously enough” and added that the lack of transparency about pay for executives at the newspaper “does not inspire confidence” read more in Guardian

Trinity Mirror staff ask why they are getting a 1 per cent pay deal as company announces a 20 per cent profit (31 July) – As shareholders at Trinity Mirror can look forward to a dividend pay-out of 7.1 per cent and the company forecasts a profit of 19.6 per cent, the NUJ is asking why staff have been offered a one per cent rise, essentially a pay cut 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/



SHAKE THE MAGIC MONEY TREE and SCRAP THE PAY CAP: Demonstration and rally – THURSDAY OCTOBER 12th. Assemble 5:30pm opposite Downing Street. March past Department for Health – Treasury – Department for Education – Home Office

Rally in Parliament SquareSupport the NUT London school strikes against cuts at Forest Hill in Lewisham read more



The IWGB takes Addison Lee to tribunal in employment status case (21 July) read more



Other News

Community Memorial for the ship Ciudad de Barcelona 1937 – The International Brigadistas came from across the globe in the late 1930s to stand alongside Republican Spain in the civil war, united to stop the rise of the fascist far right. On 30th May 1937, the Ciudad de Barcelona, a ship bringing around 300 brigadistas from France, was sunk by a fascist torpedo just off the coast of Malgrat de Mar, Catalonia. We want to create a memorial to honour both those brigadistas and the local people of Malgrat de Mar and we believe the best way is by bringing the local and international communities together once again. That is what the project Solidarity Park is about! Details on how to donate 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.

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/




Greece: Victimisation of trade union activist at Athens municipality read more






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



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



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