NSSN 357: RMT strikes in 4 companies to keep the guard on the train
The National Shop Stewards Network headlines this week’s bulletin by calling on all our supporters and affiliates to support the RMT co-ordinated strikes in four train companies on Tuesday October 3rd and Thursday October 5th: Southern Rail, Merseyrail, Arriva Rail North and for the first time on Greater Anglia. We also echo the RMT’s call for all the train companies to be brought back into public ownership.
RMT members have been taking strike action against the introduction of Driver Only Operations on Southern Rail alone for 17 months. Now the battle has been widened to these four companies, with disputes also looming on South Western Railway and the Wales and Borders Franchise.
On the first strike on Greater Anglia, RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: “Greater Anglia have been given every opportunity to give a guarantee on the future role of the guard on their services. They have failed to do so and that left us with no alternative but to move to a ballot in the interests of rail safety. Our members voted by massive majorities for action but the company have ignored that and have failed to seize the opportunity to give us the very simple assurances on the future of the guards, and the guarantee of a second safety critical member of staff on current services. That failure leaves us no option but to move to strike action.”
RMT has balloted both drivers and guards members and over 200 Greater Anglia guards, on a whopping 90% turn out, have voted by a massive nine to one for strike action. The drivers vote was two to one for action on a 75% turn out.
National dispute fund (DOO disputes) – If you would like to donate to the RMT National Dispute Fund which makes payments to support their striking members taking part in National DOO disputes then you can donate via PayPal using the donate button below or make a cheque payable to RMT National Dispute Fund and send it to the address below. Alternatively, you can ring their Freephone helpline on 0800 376 3706 who will be happy to process a credit card payment for you, or, if you would like to pay via internet banking, please email [email protected] for further details.
Vicky Thompson, Finance Manager RMT, 39 Chalton Street, London NW1 1JD
CWU sends out National Industrial Action Ballot of over 100,000 members in Royal Mail Group – watch video of CWU Deputy General Secretary Postal speaking at NSSN TUC Rally on September 10th here (after 1 hour 25 minutes) and then watch all the rally speakers!
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]
Britain still needs a pay rise – TUC Parliamentary Lobby and Rally
Date: Tuesday 17 October
NEW TIME!!: 6.30pm
Venue: Parliament Square https://www.tuc.org.uk/events/britain-still-needs-pay-rise-rally-fair-pay-public-servants
There is a London feeder march which is assembling at 5:30pm opposite Downing Street
Local ‘Britain still needs a pay rise’ events here
29 September: join PCS payday protests as national consultative ballot on pay is launched (18 Sep) – We all deserve a pay rise is the message from thousands of PCS members who will be calling for the 1% public sector pay cap to be scrapped in lunchtime payday protests at their workplaces across the UK on 29 September. It is time to say enough is enough. The 7-year pay squeeze has gone on far too long. Our members are going to send the strongest possible message to the government, that we all deserve a pay rise. Which is why, in October, PCS is planning to consult more than 160,000 members in a ballot over the government’s ongoing pay cap. Our national executive has approved a national ballot of all public sector members to support breaking the public sector pay cap and seek funding needed for an above-inflation pay rise. The ballot will also consult on willingness to take part in industrial action. The ballot will be held from 9 October to 6 November read more
Sheffield jobcentre campaign continues with fifth week of strike action (15 Sep) – Our 50 members at Eastern Avenue continue their campaign to stop the closure of the jobcentre with another week of strike action beginning on Monday 18 September. The latest action follows week-long strikes in June and July and a two week strike in August. The closure of the office, which serves one of the most deprived areas of Sheffield, would lead to the removal of a vital public service, and lead to claimants having to travel much further to access the help and assistance that our members provide. The closure would cause particular hardship to the many sick, disabled or people with caring responsibilities who use Eastern Avenue.
How you can help:
- Support the picket lines at 19 Eastern Avenue, Sheffield S2 2FZ
- Send messages of support to [email protected]
- Make a donation for this and all strikes to defend jobcentres and DWP offices to our fighting fund online or by cheque to PCS DWP Group, 3rd Floor, Town Centre House, Merrion Centre, Leeds LS2 8LY For all strikes to defend jobcentres and DWP offices:
Demo: Justice for Tube cleaners – end outsourcing DEMONSTRATION, THURSDAY 12 OCTOBER 9:00, Thursday 12 October Where: City Hall, The Queen’s Walk, SE1 2AA – London Underground has recently consolidated its major cleaning contracts into a single contract, predictably sold to the lowest bidder, American firm ABM. As with previous cleaning contracts, the main contractor, ABM, will outsource a significant proportion of the work to labour supply agencies such as AGS People, who pressure cleaners into registering as “self-employed”, or “limited liability companies” of one person, in order to avoid upholding their statutory rights. Cleaners have no company sick pay, and unlike other Tube staff, do not have travel passes to allow them to freely use the system they help run read more Facebook event
Tube drivers vote to strike (18 Sept) – ASLEF members on London Underground have voted overwhelmingly for strike action in an industrial dispute with the company. In a ballot conducted by Electoral Reform Services drivers were asked two questions:
Are you prepared to take part in a strike? Yes: 88.4% No: 11.6%
Are you prepared to take part in industrial action short of a strike? Yes: 93.5% No: 6.5%. Turnout was 53.1%. ASLEF’s executive committee, meeting today, has called a 24 hour strike on Thursday 5 October read more
ScotRail strike suspended after company withdrew job cuts proposal (14 Sept) – TSSA has today suspended the threat of ScotRail strike action after the company formally withdrew its proposal to axe 22 security critical CCTV monitor jobs read more
BREAKING NEWS!! Unite secures High Court ruling halting Birmingham refuse worker redundancies (20 Sept) – Unite called on Birmingham city council to honour the Acas agreement and resolve the Birmingham bin dispute after the High Court ruled in the union’s favour today (Wednesday 20 September) and ordered the council to withdraw redundancy notices it had served on 113 refuse workers. As part of the ruling, Unite agreed to suspend industrial action involving the refuse workers, until a full hearing, the date of which is to be confirmed. Bin workers were due to continue their industrial action of three hours a day until Friday 22 September when their existing mandate ran out, but will now return to working a full day. Unite also agreed to suspend calling further industrial action as part of the ruling. Earlier this week refuse workers voted overwhelmingly to extend their strike action by a further 12 weeks after the first day of fresh action. Commenting Unite assistant general secretary Howard Beckett said: “This judgment will be a huge relief to Birmingham’s bin workers, who in just a matter of weeks were facing losing their job or pay cuts of up to £5,000 a year. “As part of the ruling Unite will suspend its industrial action until the matter is put before a full court hearing at a later date read more. Send messages of support via [email protected] and donations to Unite the Union, 9-17 Victoria St, West Bromwich B70 8HX – please use image below on social media to build support
Fresh transport disruption expected as London bus controllers take further strike action (19 Sept) – The streets of London are facing disruption this Friday (22 September) as London’s bus controllers take further industrial action in a dispute over pay, Unite has warned. Over 400 Unite members employed by Transport for London (TfL) in the CentreComm control centre – as bus station controllers, network traffic controllers, infrastructure controllers, revenue protection inspectors and road transport enforcement officers – will stage a 24 hour strike beginning at 00.01 on Friday 22 September read more BREAKING NEWS!! London bus controller strike off as deal reached
Liverpool city council urged to back Liverpool hospital workers (19 Sept) – Unite is urging Liverpool city council to back a motion (see notes to editors) to be debated this Wednesday (20 September) which calls on the outsourcing giant ISS to end its attack on sick pay for hundreds of workers at the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals read more
First Manchester buses on strike every Monday during October at Bolton and Rusholme depots (18 Sept) – A major bus drivers’ strike is set to cause disruption to passengers during EVERY MONDAY of October. Commuters who use First Manchester are being warned to plan ahead for the action on October 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30. A total of 43 routes will be affected if the walk-out by 679 staff members from the operator’s Bolton and Rusholme depots goes ahead. That’s most services which run from those branches. They include 33 Bolton services, three Rusholme routes – and seven school buses read more from Manchester Evening News
‘Strike ahoy’ at new carrier’s Portsmouth base, warns Unite (15 Sept) – The Royal Navy’s new aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth may not be able to leave its home port of Portsmouth, if a national pay dispute involving tug boat crew steams ahead. Unite warned of choppy waters ahead if Serco Marine Services, which employs the 350 tug boat crew at Greenock, Faslane, Kyle in Scotland and Devonport, as well as at Portsmouth, doesn’t increase its ‘derisory’ pay offer. Unite said that if its members voted for strike action, the first casualty would be the £3.1bn Queen Elizabeth, the Royal Navy’s largest-ever surface warship, which would be unable to leave Portsmouth as scheduled next month. The tug boat crew, who work for the company on the Ministry of Defence contract in the five ports, are preparing for a ballot for strike action, after overwhelmingly rejecting the imposition of a 1.8 pay rise for 2016/7 and 2.2 per cent for 2017/8 read more
Support striking British airways Mixed Fleet cabin crew read more. Donate to hardship fund – account name: Mixed Fleet Branch, sort code: 60-83-01 account number: 20376387 ref: MFU or make cheques out to Mixed Fleet Branch and post along with messages of support to: Unite the Union, 99 New Road, Harlington UB3 5BQ. Send messages of protest to BA CEO Alex Cruz [email protected]. Follow @MFUnite on twitter
Support Argos warehouse workers – Unite members completed a 3 week strike on August 15 in Basildon in Essex, Bridgwater in Somerset, Castleford (West Yorkshire) and Heywood (Greater Manchester) and joined by workers at the Barton Business Park, Burton-on-Trent read more Please send messages of support to [email protected]. Strike fund donations should be made payable to Unite the Union and sent to Paula Hutchinson, 37 Camden Road, Airedale, Castleford, WF10 3LY
Support Fawley canteen staff strike – further strikes are planned for 26, 27, 28 and 29 September. They will run from 06.00 to 15.29 and then from 20.00, ending at 22.59. Staff have already taken four days of strike action read more Send messages of support to [email protected] Tel: 0771 105 7119 and post donations to Unite House, 41 Castle Way, Southampton SO14 2BW
Coalville Tulip workers consider strike action after pay row (19 Sept) – Staff at Tulip’s Coalville site are considering strike action, after senior management refused a pay rise, claimed the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union’s (BFAWU’s) regional officer. The BFAWU is to hold an emergency branch meeting this Sunday (September 24) to ballot its members on whether or not to take industrial action. The move came after pay talks organised by the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service between union representatives and Tulip broke down in a meeting on Friday September 8. BFAWU regional officer George Atwell told FoodManufacture.co.uk that union members – which total up to 130 staff at the Coalville factory – had not received a pay rise in three years read more from Foodmanufacture.co.uk
Support the McDonalds workers who went on strike in Cambridge and Crayford on September 4th – the NSSN was proud to support the historic strike by the BFAWU bakers union, the first in McDonalds in the UK on a global day of action by fast food workers. NSSN chair Rob Williams spoke on the Crayford picket and then again at the solidarity protest outside Parliament to give our solidarity and support to these exploited workers. Keep sending solidarity to the BFAWU, donate to the strike fund and also help the fund by buying a #McStrike t-shirt. More info on the Fast Food Rights/Hungry for Justice website
Derby Teaching Assistants update (Sept 15) – IMPORTANT SCHOOL SUPPORT STAFF UPDATE: The People of Derby Deserve Better. Negotiations between Derby City Council and UNISON to end the long running schools disputes have ended after the council refused to make any offer on any area of the dispute. The strikes had been suspended following an agreement that UNISON hoped would resolve the following
~A loss of 4.5hrs per week which cost staff 12% of their wages.
~A loss of 8 working weeks per year which cost staff 13% of their wages.
~A loss of £1200 per year special classroom allowance.
The council has not resolved any of these issues. “This Councils leadership lurches from one crisis of its own making to the next. You just have to ask if they are up to the job at all. It is now clear that yet again the people of Derby face problems caused by the Councils leaders read more www.facebook.com/UnisonDerbyCityBranch
Durham Teaching Assistants: New year, same old deal (Sept 17) – On Friday, Durham County Council published its latest proposal in the long-running dispute with its 2700 Teaching Assistants. TAs knew that a proposal was imminent as it is on the agenda for full Council meeting next Wednesday (20.9) and Unison have booked school meetings but Unison TA Stewards had been told we would see any papers before publication. The first I heard was when a journalist called me in the morning to ask what I thought about the papers being published later that day. The first most TAs knew was when they heard it on the local news at 6.30pm. So, now the new proposal is out there, how do we feel? That’s easy. Angry and let down. Not because we are unreasonable or because we think we are entitled to the world. We are angry because this ‘new’ proposal is the same as the one we rejected in July. They haven’t addressed a single one of the concerns that led us to reject that proposal: namely the large number of TAs still facing a pay cut (472, 22%); the majority of TAs being required to take on significant additional responsibilities in order to avoid a pay cut (the new grading structure will require over 80% of the workforce to teach a whole class, usually without support); the lack of clarity over the promised flexible approach to additional hours so that our core, directed hours do not change read more For more info: 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
100,000 Strong Petition Demands Uber Respect Workers (Sept 18) – Drivers’ union GMB and global consumer group SumOfUs team up to deliver petition to City Hall this morning. Licence renewal bid from Uber offers unprecedented opportunity for TfL to ensure company protects drivers’ rights and public safety. 72% of Londoners believe that TfL should require Uber to guarantee safeguards such as minimum wage and paid holidays for their drivers, according to new YouGov poll for SumofUs read more
From Ritzy workers in Brixton: We can’t believe it but we’ve been striking for a year! Yes, that’s right – a year! On Saturday 23 September we’ll be ON STRIKE and out in Windrush Square celebrating our anniversary and showing Picturehouse and Cineworld Cinemas that we WILL NOT GIVE UP! Please join us! More details about times of picket lines and things to look forward to COMING SOON! Every day until strike day we’ll be posting up some of our favourite photos from the last year so WATCH THIS SPACE. See you on the 23rd, and as ever, THANK YOU for all your support. Together we will win!
Donate to the strike fund: https://www.crowdpac.co.uk/campaigns/250/picturehousestrike
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.
Drastic job cuts announced for the Birmingham Mail (15 Sept) – Journalists working at the Birmingham Mail have reacted with shock and anger at Trinity Mirror’s plans to slash up to 10 jobs at the title. Last week staff were told there would be a series of job cuts, which would see the news and features team merge, and the Birmingham Mail website re-branded as Birmingham Live. On Tuesday staff were told there would be additional cuts to production on top of those announced last week. The company plans remain vague and unclear but the union has estimated more than 20 per cent of editorial and production staff will be axed read more
No to Leeds University’s Sackers’ Charter (Sept 17) – Socialist Students is appalled at Leeds University management’s plans to change the university’s charter to worsen protections for staff. These include creating a catch-all term to dismiss staff (‘Some Other Substantial Reason’ or SOSR), the removal of an independent legally qualified chair for most dismissal appeals and the removal of a medically qualified chair for panels deciding upon ill health dismissals. This has quite rightly being dubbed a Sackers’ Charter by UCU read more from Leeds Socialist Students
SHAKE THE MAGIC MONEY TREE and SCRAP THE PAY CAP: Demonstration and rally – NOW TUESDAY OCTOBER 17th (this is now a London feeder march to the TUC national rally lobby of Parliament). Assemble 5:30pm opposite Downing Street. March past Department for Health – Treasury – Department for Education – Home Office
Read on page 5 of ‘NIPSA News’ how NIPSA is fighting to defend the facility time of leading elected lay reps, including President Carmel Gates and Maria Morgan
Demonstrate: September 27th Precarious Labour Strikes Back – The IWGB is planning a big precarious labour bonanza march through central London in September! On the 27th of September Uber will be appealing last year’s Employment Tribunal decision which awarded ‘worker’ status to Uber drivers. The lead claimants in this case are members of the IWGB. We are going to march through central London to the Employment Appeal Tribunal in support of our members and all Uber drivers, and to show ‘gig economy’ bosses, the courts and the British public that we will not lie down as our employment rights are taken away! Facebook event
United Voices of the World union
UVW members who clean and polish the Ferrari and Maserati showrooms in South Kensington are set to strike for a living wage. They are currently paid the minimum, poverty wage. Following a Yes vote an indefinite strike is expected to commence on 9th October. Please make a donation to their strike fund if you can – https://www.uvwunion.org.uk/hr-owen/ UVW Facebook page
Protest the Tory Conference – Sunday October 1st in Manchester Facebook event
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)
Donate to ReelNews – http://reelnews.co.uk/donationssubscriptions/
The nurses, midwifes, medical assistants and ODPs of Charité Hospital in Berlin announced a strike starting at Monday 18th of September. Two years ago they went on strike for eleven days and fought successfully for an agreement on staffing levels in the hospital which set an example nationally. (more information here: http://socialistworld.net/index.php/component/content/article?id=7257:Germany:-Indefinite-strike-for-more-staff-at-Charit#233;-hospital&catid=71&Itemid=114) However the Hospital avoided effective improvements as they were cheating in statistics or openly violating the agreement.
Still the nurses are overstrained. During the night 64 percent of nurses work alone on the ward. One in three nurses is on the line of burnout. In Germany on nurse is responsible for 10.3 patients. One of the worst ratios in Europe. The workers of Charité hospital and their union ver.di fight for binding staffing levels and more personnel. Please support the strike with messages of Solidarity. Messages by health care workers and unions are especially welcome. Photos could be printed out and presented at the picket.
Please send messages of solidarity to: [email protected] (copy to [email protected]) and/or the facebook page of the solidarity alliance https://www.facebook.com/ver.di.charite.buendnis/
30 Construction Safety Campaign (CSC) AGM is the 30th September – Ricky Tomlinson invited speaker
1 Protest the Tory Conference Facebook event
17 Britain still needs a pay rise: TUC Parliamentary Lobby and Rally, 4.30pm – 6pm for the rally (which follows a Parliamentary Lobby), Parliament Square https://www.tuc.org.uk/events/rally-and-lobby-parliament-fair-pay-public-servants
21 Stand up to Racism national conference: ‘Confronting The Rise In Racism’ – 10.30am – 4.30pm Friends Meeting House, Euston Road, London, NW1 2BJ www.standuptoracism.org.uk/stand-racism-national-conference
PHONE 07952 283 558
EMAIL mailto:[email protected]
TWITTER – https://twitter.com/NSSN_AntiCuts
FACEBOOK NSSN GROUP or STOP The CUTS Likes page
ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE